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A more energy-efficient alternative to the national grid

  • by JW

Two-thirds of energy is wasted by the current antiquated system.”

“There are instead a variety of options available which will reduce constraints on the grid while simultaneously helping the UK to achieve its Net Zero targets and avoid hefty bill increases.”


We need to be supporting ‘local energy production’:

Futures Forum: “Support communities who want to install renewable energy systems”

It needn’t be more expensive than the current centralised system:

Futures Forum: Council-run solar farms – a new trend?

Futures Forum: Local energy can be very profitable: “Seizing the opportunity of decentralised energy generation can provide new income streams for communities and councils.”

A couple of years ago, there was annoyance in government at the hikes in energy prices:

Futures Forum: How to beat the Big Six >>> deprivatise energy

The big energy companies around the world are meanwhile doing what they can to hamper ‘off-grid’ energy:

Futures Forum: Going off-grid

This week, the Daily Mail looked at the terrible wastage in the current national grid:

expert claims ministers should focus on UK’s power network where ‘two-thirds of energy is WASTED

Government is blasted over ‘baffling’ plan to install 20,000 new GAS boilers | Daily Mail Online

Here’s a piece from Greenpeace which confronts the current system:

Two-thirds of energy wasted by antiquated system

Our centralised model of production and transmission wastes an astonishing two-thirds of primary energy inputs, requiring us to burn far more fuel and emit far more carbon dioxide than necessary. It is hard to imagine a more wasteful and inefficient model than that which currently services the economies of the ‘developed’ world.

In our existing system, electricity is produced in a small number of large power stations, and then distributed to where it is needed. Because the power stations are generally far from centres of demand, much of the heat which is produced when fossil fuels are burnt is not used, but vented up chimneys or discharged to rivers. This heat loss alone represents a wastage of over 60% of the total energy released by burning the fossil fuels.

Further losses occur as the electricity travels along the wires of the transmission and distribution systems. In total, the energy wasted at the power station and on the wires is equal to the entire water and space heating demands of all buildings in the UK – industrial, commercial, public and domestic. This is a nonsensical way to run our economy and power our lives.

Two-thirds of energy wasted by antiquated system | Greenpeace UK

This is due to something called ‘electrical impedence’:

What is Electrical Impedance? | EAGLE | Blog

The power industry is of course lobbying for an ‘upgrade’:

UK Power Networks | Losses

Lost in transmission: why upgrading the UK’s network should be top of the agenda – Future Power Technology Magazine | Issue 103 | October 2018

Here’s something a little more imaginative from the Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-operative

What solutions are available to ease constraints on the electricity grid?

What solutions are available to ease constraints on the electricity grid?

The most obvious solution to increasing the capacity of the electricity network is to pay for grid reinforcement. However, this is an extremely expensive option and will ultimately lead to an increase in consumer bills, which could exacerbate levels of fuel poverty. It also ignores the profit taking that was achieved by the electricity networks over the years when insufficient investment was made to prepare for the transition to a clean, affordable energy supply.

There are instead a variety of options available which will reduce constraints on the grid while simultaneously helping the UK to achieve its Net Zero targets and avoid hefty bill increases…

Improving energy efficiency – the UK has the oldest housing stock in Europe, with roughly two thirds of housing registered as having an EPC Rating of D or worse. Reducing heat loss by installing measures like insulation and double glazing will improve the warmth and comfort for residents whilst also lowering the capacity required to generate heat, decreasing demand on the networks, lowering energy bill costs and carbon emissions produced by the property…

Smart battery storage – by installing battery storage technologies, we can capture energy produced when the wind is blowing and from solar panels during the day saving it for use at times of peak use. We can also charge the batteries from the grid when there is a glut of generation capacity… British based smart battery company Moixa Technologies Ltd are developing one such Virtual Power Plant in Worthing, which has been identified as an area of gird constraint…

On-site micro generation – Installing more renewable energy generation for homes and business will reduce grid constraints because by generating their own energy, they don’t need to take power from the grid, by purchasing power from an energy supplier…

Demand Side Response and Time of Use Tariffs – In addition to rolling out new technologies, grid constraint is alleviated by implementing variable energy costs to encourage energy consumers to change their behaviours in response to peaks and troughs of energy generation and demand…

Why ‘grid constraint’ could hobble the clean energy revolution