The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by lpm » Wed Mar 29, 2023 4:36 pm

You have been lied to.

HPs work at 100 C plus, for offices or industrial premises. Most domestic models work between 40 and 60. But there's no reason why you can't get one of the domestic models that run at 70 C, there's plenty that do. Propane-refrigerant versions run at 75. Anyone telling you HPs only go up to 55 is lying.

What is your flow temperature now, with a gas boiler? 60? 65? There's no problem at all getting exactly the same with a HP - if you really needed to, which you wouldn't. If your gas boiler heats your home adequately at the moment, a HP will. If your boiler doesn't heat your home enough then you probably already add in some 1:1 electrical heating.

The UK is a mild country, hence we got away with bad insulation compared to the rest of Europe. Today, like much of winter, it's >10 degrees. Even your house won't have much heat loss today, and around 75% of winter days lie in this easy HP zone. The 25% of winter in the less efficient zone, i.e. during frosty nights and days close to zero, HPs in badly insulated homes still get 160% to 250%. For a mildish southern England winter I'd bet you would get an annual SCOP of 300%, because that's what people with similar "inappropriate" homes are reporting. England is not like continental Europe or the US and has HP efficiency to match its climate.

Whatever you get, it will be at least double the efficiency of gas.

The rest of your post is muddling the economics with the practicalities. Yet again you are only looking at the world of 2023. Gas costs more than electricity, regardless of how the shambles that is the UK (and the wider world) price these things. A small tilt in the pricing and HPs will be cheaper than fossil gas even in your home.

"Noise issues" is another fossil fuel industry lie, they are quieter than gas boilers.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by IvanV » Wed Mar 29, 2023 5:28 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 4:36 pm
You have been lied to.

HPs work at 100 C plus, for offices or industrial premises. Most domestic models work between 40 and 60. But there's no reason why you can't get one of the domestic models that run at 70 C, there's plenty that do. Propane-refrigerant versions run at 75. Anyone telling you HPs only go up to 55 is lying.

...

"Noise issues" is another fossil fuel industry lie, they are quieter than gas boilers.
I have read numerous reports by a variety of sources: academics like Imperial College, reports sponsored by DECC/BEIS/whatever they are called now, reports from Dutch people doing this in the Netherlands. I am personally acquainted with several of the world's leading energy economists at Cambridge Energy Research Centre, and professors at Imperial College Dept of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. I have done collaborative studies with them and discussed these matters with them.

So why are all these people who, as far as I can see have no axe to grind, lying or fallen for these lies? Why are they saying that domestic heat pumps with the same temperature water as GCH - I run mine at 60C - do not exist or are impractical? Why are installers like in that study saying "house too expensive to adapt" rather than finding them a more suitable heat pump?

As you say, we need to be aware of what comes next, rather than what is available today, and be sure it is realistic. What we can't do is beat the laws of thermodynamics.

So I have done a little search on high temperature heat pumps. For example, I found this domestic heat pump which claims to heat up to 70C. https://www.daikin.co.uk/en_gb/product- ... innovation

Is the issue the COP goes down a lot when you insist on higher temperatures? For example, looking at the spec table in that brochure, for the outdoor units, they are pleased to tell you the COPs with heating water coming out at 35C or 45C, but not at higher temperatures. I also see they talk about reinforcement immersion heaters to get your hot water tank temperature up, if you want it high.

So you are right, you can heat to higher temperatures with heat pumps. The difficult issue is whether is whether that is what we should be encouraging people to do when the COP goes down for these higher temperature outputs.

On a small point, the noise issue is noise experienced by the neighbours, if the only install points are illegal in terms of where you can put them for that reason.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Wed Mar 29, 2023 7:31 pm

It’s bizarre that we don’t care about the noise generated by gas boiler - I can hear my neighbours - but we do care about HP noise. Older generations of HPs were noisier than the current ones.

Heat Geek got 600% efficiency on a heat pump in an old house with no insulation - granted this was a peak not a typical, but they show that putting in bigger radiators is a much bigger difference than installing mega insulation.
https://youtu.be/X6qIP8snPW8
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by IvanV » Wed Mar 29, 2023 7:49 pm

Grumble wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 7:31 pm
Heat Geek got 600% efficiency on a heat pump in an old house with no insulation - granted this was a peak not a typical, but they show that putting in bigger radiators is a much bigger difference than installing mega insulation.
https://youtu.be/X6qIP8snPW8
The building is irrelevant to the COP (what you are calling efficiency) you get out of your heat pump. As it points out in the comments, you can get very high COPs if you take a low water output temperature. Similarly, the comments point out that data reported in the video indicated a COP of 4.5. on a particular day when it was 7C outside and they were taking a 40C output water temp. That is reasonably consistent with the figures for the Daikin one I linked to the brochure.

Yes you can heat buildings with 40C water if you have very big radiators. If you don't mind them, that might be a good way to go. For many of us, huge radiators is not an acceptable or even plausible retrofit. You might also need wider bore plumbing to feed such large radiators. Underfloor heating is the more widely acceptable version of very big radiators, but more costly retrofit.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by lpm » Wed Mar 29, 2023 8:10 pm

IvanV wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 5:28 pm
lpm wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 4:36 pm
You have been lied to.

HPs work at 100 C plus, for offices or industrial premises. Most domestic models work between 40 and 60. But there's no reason why you can't get one of the domestic models that run at 70 C, there's plenty that do. Propane-refrigerant versions run at 75. Anyone telling you HPs only go up to 55 is lying.

...

"Noise issues" is another fossil fuel industry lie, they are quieter than gas boilers.
I have read numerous reports by a variety of sources: academics like Imperial College, reports sponsored by DECC/BEIS/whatever they are called now, reports from Dutch people doing this in the Netherlands. I am personally acquainted with several of the world's leading energy economists at Cambridge Energy Research Centre, and professors at Imperial College Dept of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. I have done collaborative studies with them and discussed these matters with them.

So why are all these people who, as far as I can see have no axe to grind, lying or fallen for these lies? Why are they saying that domestic heat pumps with the same temperature water as GCH - I run mine at 60C - do not exist or are impractical? Why are installers like in that study saying "house too expensive to adapt" rather than finding them a more suitable heat pump?

As you say, we need to be aware of what comes next, rather than what is available today, and be sure it is realistic. What we can't do is beat the laws of thermodynamics.

So I have done a little search on high temperature heat pumps. For example, I found this domestic heat pump which claims to heat up to 70C. https://www.daikin.co.uk/en_gb/product- ... innovation

Is the issue the COP goes down a lot when you insist on higher temperatures? For example, looking at the spec table in that brochure, for the outdoor units, they are pleased to tell you the COPs with heating water coming out at 35C or 45C, but not at higher temperatures. I also see they talk about reinforcement immersion heaters to get your hot water tank temperature up, if you want it high.

So you are right, you can heat to higher temperatures with heat pumps. The difficult issue is whether is whether that is what we should be encouraging people to do when the COP goes down for these higher temperature outputs.

On a small point, the noise issue is noise experienced by the neighbours, if the only install points are illegal in terms of where you can put them for that reason.
Why are they all wrong? Because these are economists thinking economics is reality.

Reality: the physics that exist across the universe where Boyle's Law etc apply

Economics: something that applies to a stupid species (Homo sapiens) on an increasingly damaged planet (Earth) and for us a pathetic island (Britain) which is currently unusually badly run (Conservative government) in a below average time (early 2020s)

These economists are taking a tiny slice of time and space and thinking it makes an Actual Thing.

These leads to the mistake of taking electricity 34p and gas 10.3p and gas boiler efficiency 90% and calculating 297.09% as the point where "heat pumps work" and writing nonsense papers as a result.

The crazy thing is gas isn't 10.3p. It's a total fake price, not even a market price. This winter it was 17p under the artifical price cap mechanism. The government subsidised it down to 10.3p (with the approval of environmentalists on this forum to my eternal displeasure). It could have been 10.3 or 17 or 34 or 3 or 0.01 or any other arbitrary number.

Use 34 and 17 and 90% and the maths becomes 180% and everyone writes different papers.

None of that is real. It is just a trivial geographical and temporal instance.

The reality is fossil gas is too expensive to burn and electricity is on the fast track to low prices, plus all economics from 2021 is now torn up by the Putin's sudden acceleration of the shift. What was once 2040 is now 2030.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Mar 29, 2023 8:19 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 3:08 pm
Ivan is not correct.

That was pure fossil fuel industry propaganda. Of course heat pumps work in badly insulated homes! Why wouldn't they? If gas can make a house warm, so can electricity. This is just basic physics. How absurd to think electricity can't make things hot!

The only homes where heat pumps won't work are where there's not the physical space. There's space in the UKs stock of semi and detached houses. For dense apartments district heating would be better anyway. For some flats 1:1 electricity heating is sufficient.

It's straightforward. There will be zero fossil gas. H2 is silly. District heating is limited. The rest is all electricity. Most of that is HP for efficiency.
Its not fossil fuel propaganda. My comments are based upon having owned and operated heat pumps for the last 15 years.

Do what you're suggesting in the other posts and you'll find that the heat pump costs more to install and run. Possible, yes, but that argues for Ivan's point that you're underestimating the costs for potential users who live in sub-optimal conditions.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by lpm » Wed Mar 29, 2023 8:34 pm

IvanV wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 5:28 pm

So I have done a little search on high temperature heat pumps. For example, I found this domestic heat pump which claims to heat up to 70C. https://www.daikin.co.uk/en_gb/product- ... innovation

Is the issue the COP goes down a lot when you insist on higher temperatures? For example, looking at the spec table in that brochure, for the outdoor units, they are pleased to tell you the COPs with heating water coming out at 35C or 45C, but not at higher temperatures. I also see they talk about reinforcement immersion heaters to get your hot water tank temperature up, if you want it high.
https://www.theheatinghub.co.uk/article ... heat-pumps

This has various models. E.g. Panasonic at the bottom says 222% running at 65 C.

I've no doubt you can get 300% at 60 or 55 C, even with poor insulation in southern England, particularly in the warm winters on average during the climate breakdown. But 222% will still be cheaper running costs than gas.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by lpm » Wed Mar 29, 2023 8:37 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 8:19 pm
lpm wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 3:08 pm
Ivan is not correct.

That was pure fossil fuel industry propaganda. Of course heat pumps work in badly insulated homes! Why wouldn't they? If gas can make a house warm, so can electricity. This is just basic physics. How absurd to think electricity can't make things hot!

The only homes where heat pumps won't work are where there's not the physical space. There's space in the UKs stock of semi and detached houses. For dense apartments district heating would be better anyway. For some flats 1:1 electricity heating is sufficient.

It's straightforward. There will be zero fossil gas. H2 is silly. District heating is limited. The rest is all electricity. Most of that is HP for efficiency.
Its not fossil fuel propaganda. My comments are based upon having owned and operated heat pumps for the last 15 years.

Do what you're suggesting in the other posts and you'll find that the heat pump costs more to install and run. Possible, yes, but that argues for Ivan's point that you're underestimating the costs for potential users who live in sub-optimal conditions.
In which year? State the year you are referring to.

The minute you state the year you'll realise your argument collapses.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Mar 29, 2023 8:57 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 8:37 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 8:19 pm
lpm wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 3:08 pm
Ivan is not correct.

That was pure fossil fuel industry propaganda. Of course heat pumps work in badly insulated homes! Why wouldn't they? If gas can make a house warm, so can electricity. This is just basic physics. How absurd to think electricity can't make things hot!

The only homes where heat pumps won't work are where there's not the physical space. There's space in the UKs stock of semi and detached houses. For dense apartments district heating would be better anyway. For some flats 1:1 electricity heating is sufficient.

It's straightforward. There will be zero fossil gas. H2 is silly. District heating is limited. The rest is all electricity. Most of that is HP for efficiency.
Its not fossil fuel propaganda. My comments are based upon having owned and operated heat pumps for the last 15 years.

Do what you're suggesting in the other posts and you'll find that the heat pump costs more to install and run. Possible, yes, but that argues for Ivan's point that you're underestimating the costs for potential users who live in sub-optimal conditions.
In which year? State the year you are referring to.

The minute you state the year you'll realise your argument collapses.
I don't buy your 'energy will be too cheap to meter' argument. You appear to have developed 'lpmonomics' in which the costs of labour, land and capital are irrelevant. Great if it happens of course.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by lpm » Wed Mar 29, 2023 9:11 pm

That's only half the story. The other half is gas. What price will gas be 2025 to 2050? We have to buy gas from disreputable countries like Qatar and Australia with elevated transport costs.

If price is 3:1 some HPs aren't cheaper. At 2:1 all are.

By 2040 we want all gas gone from domestic heating anyway. It's not like there's a choice in this.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by lpm » Thu Mar 30, 2023 1:34 pm

Timely - this morning the government announced the consultation over how to rebalance electricity vs gas, with implementation by end 2024.

Step 1 is removing £110 of taxes, branded green levies, from electricity. That's another £110 for EVM's whiteboard and heat pumps will "stop working" beneath 297.09%

Separating electricity pricing from the marginal kWh is the real challenge.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Tue Apr 04, 2023 2:09 pm

Max solar power (not including domestic, I think) in the U.K. was April 22 2021, at 9.8GW. If we have a sunny end of April this year it will be interesting to see if we can best that. We’re at about 9GW today. Slightly disappointed that we aren’t at 15 or more, I want to see it increase by appreciable amounts each year not incremental.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Wed Apr 05, 2023 12:07 am

lpm wrote:
Thu Mar 30, 2023 1:34 pm
Timely - this morning the government announced the consultation over how to rebalance electricity vs gas, with implementation by end 2024.

Step 1 is removing £110 of taxes, branded green levies, from electricity. That's another £110 for EVM's whiteboard and heat pumps will "stop working" beneath 297.09%

Separating electricity pricing from the marginal kWh is the real challenge.
Silly question. Why do all generators need to be paid the price of the most expensive bid needed to satisfy demand? If you paid them what they bid, purchasing power from cheapest bids first, the retail price would come down. The whole thing is a market constructed by government anyway, so just change the rules. What am I missing?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Wed Apr 05, 2023 6:47 am

bjn wrote:
Wed Apr 05, 2023 12:07 am
lpm wrote:
Thu Mar 30, 2023 1:34 pm
Timely - this morning the government announced the consultation over how to rebalance electricity vs gas, with implementation by end 2024.

Step 1 is removing £110 of taxes, branded green levies, from electricity. That's another £110 for EVM's whiteboard and heat pumps will "stop working" beneath 297.09%

Separating electricity pricing from the marginal kWh is the real challenge.
Silly question. Why do all generators need to be paid the price of the most expensive bid needed to satisfy demand? If you paid them what they bid, purchasing power from cheapest bids first, the retail price would come down. The whole thing is a market constructed by government anyway, so just change the rules. What am I missing?
I think the intent was to incentivise the cheapest forms of electricity production, because the operators would then get the most profit. But also allow operators of peaker plants to make profits otherwise they wouldn’t exist, and we do need them.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Wed Apr 05, 2023 9:28 am

The peaker plants are currently setting the marginal price, so they are getting rewarded at the price they need anyway.

And to your main point, why bother encouraging cheaper generators if the lower cost is not passed onto end users?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Apr 05, 2023 9:34 am

bjn wrote:
Wed Apr 05, 2023 9:28 am
The peaker plants are currently setting the marginal price, so they are getting rewarded at the price they need anyway.

And to your main point, why bother encouraging cheaper generators if the lower cost is not passed onto end users?
It would make sense if the aim is to shift from one type of production to another (rather than to supply people with electricity at the lowest price). Higher profits is a market incentive for greater investment in infrastructure.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Wed Apr 05, 2023 9:35 am

bjn wrote:
Wed Apr 05, 2023 9:28 am
The peaker plants are currently setting the marginal price, so they are getting rewarded at the price they need anyway.

And to your main point, why bother encouraging cheaper generators if the lower cost is not passed onto end users?
I’m not saying it’s a good system. The contracts for difference idea is much better and will save us money. I think the first of those are now generating.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Apr 05, 2023 9:36 am

lpm wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2023 9:11 pm
That's only half the story. The other half is gas. What price will gas be 2025 to 2050? We have to buy gas from disreputable countries like Qatar and Australia with elevated transport costs.

If price is 3:1 some HPs aren't cheaper. At 2:1 all are.

By 2040 we want all gas gone from domestic heating anyway. It's not like there's a choice in this.
I've no idea what the gas price will be. But it seems like the we can the US to the list of dodgy suppliers.

I agree that we should shift everyone over from gas to electricity. It just seems to me that there will be significant costs that will be carried by consumers.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by lpm » Wed Apr 05, 2023 10:14 am

We've had nearly 40 years of super-cheap gas. So it's normalised in our expectations. The price doesn't come from science or physical energy properties, it just comes from the random geography and global political events.

Obviously we cannot have another 40 years of cheap gas. We need to start pricing it properly, including the CO2 costs in the price.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Wed Apr 05, 2023 12:39 pm

Here's a particularly niche example of renewables pricing out fossil fuels.

Yesterday morning I was in a meeting about renewable energy at the South Pole. The payback time there for a $1 million PV + Li-ion short term energy storage investment is 1.1 years, even though it can only operate at full capacity for 3 months of the year, and operate at all for 5-6 months.

The payback time for PV + wind + Li-ion energy storage is 2.1 years, on a $10m investment, with 95% savings in diesel. That includes the cost of qualifying wind turbines to operate at -70°C, and the necessary maintenance on them during 15 year minimum lifetime operations.

Both the capital costs are a fraction of the capital budget for the instruments we are planning to send there, and there's currently almost no renewable usage at pole.

Of course, the cost of diesel fuel at the South Pole is extremely high, as it has to either be flown in by Air National Guard C-130 transport planes, or dragged across 850 miles of ice in fuel bladders.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Apr 05, 2023 5:03 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Apr 05, 2023 10:14 am
We've had nearly 40 years of super-cheap gas. So it's normalised in our expectations. The price doesn't come from science or physical energy properties, it just comes from the random geography and global political events.

Obviously we cannot have another 40 years of cheap gas. We need to start pricing it properly, including the CO2 costs in the price.
It’s the geopolitical events that are difficult to predict. Who knows, maybe the 2025 Moscow coup will usher in a return to cheap gas for Europe. I’m also somewhat jaded after hearing years of peak oil predictions that oil prices were going to imminently going to start rising forever.

I agree, humanity should include wider carbon costs in the price of fossil fuels. Whether that’ll happen comes down to politics, which is difficult to predict.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Apr 06, 2023 1:41 am

bjn wrote:
Wed Apr 05, 2023 12:07 am
Silly question. Why do all generators need to be paid the price of the most expensive bid needed to satisfy demand?
Not silly at all! That's how a free market works. Each supplier will charge as much as they can. If some have lower production costs then either they will charge as much as the supplier with the highest cost, or the supplier with the highest cost will go out of business as everyone will buy from someone else at lower cost. If the product is one where production is easily expanded, the latter happens - hence why a tin of beans in the supermarket is very cheap. If the product has a constrained supply, the former happens. And this is the case for energy supply due to artificial limits on expanding production for cheaper sources. Sources such as wind and solar require planning permission and suffer greatly from delays in this process. And obviously the production of the wind turbines and solar arrays also has a maximum speed at which it can be expanded. In a completely free market, the much greater profits from these sources would drive a huge, rapid expansion of them - with some of the big profits being used to finance their supply chain, driving other sources out of business.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Thu Apr 06, 2023 3:21 am

Bollocks. If I’m trying to buy N items of something I’ll find the cheapest bidder for those items. If I can’t find someone to supply all of them, and the transaction costs don’t interfere, I’ll buy from the cheapest supplier at the price they offered then the rest from other suppliers. I don’t pay the cheapest supplier the bud price of the most expensive one I bought from.

Tell me you’ve never run a business without telling me you’ve never run a business.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Thu Apr 06, 2023 11:16 am

Sainsbury's shoppers: saving plastic is for c.nts.

Just wait until they hear about the impact of the meat inside...
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by IvanV » Thu Apr 06, 2023 9:38 pm

bjn wrote:
Thu Apr 06, 2023 3:21 am
Bollocks. If I’m trying to buy N items of something I’ll find the cheapest bidder for those items. If I can’t find someone to supply all of them, and the transaction costs don’t interfere, I’ll buy from the cheapest supplier at the price they offered then the rest from other suppliers. I don’t pay the cheapest supplier the bud price of the most expensive one I bought from.

Tell me you’ve never run a business without telling me you’ve never run a business.
That is probably true if you are buying nails, especially so if you are willing to buy them in bulk and store them, perhaps a little less so if you want just-in-time-delivery of varying amounts. But electricity is not like nails, it's more like plane tickets. And we understand that you can't buy mid-week Feb plane tickets, store them, and use them on a week-end in August, for the tickets have a time on them. If you want to move people by plane on a weekend in August, you will have to pay August weekend prices. And that's similar to what's going on with electricity.

Plainly you can contract in advance to buy a whole year's worth of electricity, for a specific daily/seasonal demand profile, and pay a fixed price for that. Most electricity is in fact traded in that way. Not just final domestic customers, but also wholesale, for example the suppliers who supply the domestic customers will substantially contract in that way. The short-term trading is mostly about adjustments to the contracted quantity. But the fixed price per kWh for the whole year in a wholesale contract will be roughly equal to the average price of electricity over the whole year, weighted by the demand profile. Because if it wasn't like that, one of the two parties to the contract would prefer to trade in the spot market.

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