European energy policy

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Re: European energy policy

Post by dyqik » Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:26 pm

bolo wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 7:46 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 7:07 pm
Southern US and southern EU have similar insolation, but AC is only normal in the US. There are definitely cultural factors too.
Really? Madrid is at about the same latitude at New York. I'm pretty sure that nearly everywhere in the US South is further south than anywhere in the EU. Houston is further south than Cairo.
North Eastern US, e.g. Boston, is level with Porto, and south of the entirety of mainland France.

It's also on the eastern side of a North/South orientated continent, which gives it much more extreme weather than France, Italy, Spain, etc.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Aug 08, 2022 11:47 pm

Latitude isn't the only factor with insolation (nor is insolation the only factor with temperature of course).

But a quick butchers at an insolation map like this https://globalsolaratlas.info/map shows that while much of the SW is more Saharan in sun levels, the "deep south" easily compares with south europe.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by dyqik » Mon Aug 08, 2022 11:51 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 11:47 pm
Latitude isn't the only factor with insolation (nor is insolation the only factor with temperature of course).

But a quick butchers at an insolation map like this https://globalsolaratlas.info/map shows that while much of the SW is more Saharan in sun levels, the "deep south" easily compares with south europe.
Now do humidity levels, which have a direct effect on insolation, plus the loss of heat overnight.

Air conditioning works to lower humidity at least as much as to cool the air.

(I've been almost collapsing from heat this weekend in Montpelier, Vermont, half a degree north of Montpelier, France, up in the mountains where there's been heat indices in the high 30s all weekend)

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Re: European energy policy

Post by dyqik » Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:09 am

Ignore

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Re: European energy policy

Post by IvanV » Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:29 am

bolo wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 7:46 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 7:07 pm
Southern US and southern EU have similar insolation, but AC is only normal in the US. There are definitely cultural factors too.
Really? Madrid is at about the same latitude at New York. I'm pretty sure that nearly everywhere in the US South is further south than anywhere in the EU. Houston is further south than Cairo.
The US is mostly cooler, on average than Europe and North Africa, for any given latitude and altitude, but often with a hotter summer - at least in comparison to Europe, North Africa has some very high summer temps once you go not very far S of the Med coast. That is only possible with the much wider summer/winter temperature variation you get in most of the US. I say "most of" because the Pacific NW has a climate similar to parts of Europe, and there are also places like Florida and the Gulf coast that have a quite different climate type, these comparisons are not valid for.

I'll compare NY with Barcelona rather than Madrid, because Madrid is quite high at 650m, and Barcelona like NY is on an east-facing coast, and still within 1 degree of latitude from NYC.

For example, annual average temp in NYC is 13.2C vs Barcelona 18.2C. But July av max in NYC (hottest month) is 29.4C vs 26.1C in August in Barcelona (hottest month).

BoF in Lisbon on a west-facing coast has a still more even climate across the year, but I'll use data from Porto further north in Portugal to get a better latitude match to NYC. At avg 15.2C, Porto is rather cooler than Barcelona, but still rather warmer than NYC. But av max in August only slightly down at 25.7C. Porto's Jan daily mean of 9.5C is similarly below Barcelona at 11.8C. Snow is a rare occurrence in either place, with a return period of 20 or 30 years or something. It's actually rather more common in Athens, would you believe, where some quite heavy falls occur from time to time.

In many parts of Iberia it is common to have neither winter heating nor summer air conditioning. Though these things are becoming more common as people become better off and modern styles of housing are less of a defence against summer heat than the old-fashioned style of very thick-walled buildings with small windows.

Istanbul is a better climate match for NYC among coastal places in Europe at a similar latitude. Annual average is 15.0C, but summer max is similar, so winter is almost as cold as NYC.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by monkey » Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:13 pm

I live in the southern US.

The reason people don't have solar panels here is the power company.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Aug 24, 2022 10:09 am

Portugal is considering limiting shop opening hours to save energy, amongst other measures:
The Confederation of Commerce and Services of Portugal (CCP) has agreed to discuss with the Government the reduction of night hours in stores on at least two days a week, within the scope of the Energy Savings Plan that the government is expected to present at the end of August, reports Jornal de Negócios.

On Thursday and Sunday nights, periods when sales tend to be lower, shopping centre stores could potentially close earlier.
As measures to be adopted in the short term, the CCP admitted controlling temperatures in commercial establishments or service buildings and reducing night lighting (shop windows and public lighting), as is being adopted in other European countries, but warned of the “need to ensure enhanced security and policing”.
https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/20 ... 24/08/2022
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Re: European energy policy

Post by dyqik » Wed Aug 24, 2022 2:34 pm

IvanV wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:29 am
Istanbul is a better climate match for NYC among coastal places in Europe at a similar latitude. Annual average is 15.0C, but summer max is similar, so winter is almost as cold as NYC.
Istanbul is not a climate match for NYC. The humidity is vastly different, with Istanbul having its lowest humidity in July and highest in January, while NYC has its highest humidity in July and lowest humidity in January. NYC is on the eastern seaboard of North America, while Istanbul is at the western end of the Mediterranean, between two large seas.

Also, NYC is in the north east of the US, and is not relevant to discussions about AC in the US south. NYC also has relatively low installation rate of AC.

In trying to match up air temperatures, you've ignored sensible heat, which is the relevant quantity.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by IvanV » Wed Aug 24, 2022 3:24 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 2:34 pm
IvanV wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:29 am
Istanbul is a better climate match for NYC among coastal places in Europe at a similar latitude. Annual average is 15.0C, but summer max is similar, so winter is almost as cold as NYC.
Istanbul is not a climate match for NYC. The humidity is vastly different, with Istanbul having its lowest humidity in July and highest in January, while NYC has its highest humidity in July and lowest humidity in January. NYC is on the eastern seaboard of North America, while Istanbul is at the western end of the Mediterranean, between two large seas.

Also, NYC is in the north east of the US, and is not relevant to discussions about AC in the US south. NYC also has relatively low installation rate of AC.

In trying to match up air temperatures, you've ignored sensible heat, which is the relevant quantity.
You are right. And you mentioned the humidity point up front, and I missed it.

Fortunately my other comparators Barcelona and Porto are of comparable - indeed slightly higher - average humidity in summer than New York. So the comparisons in those cases are more valid.

Casting around for a better comparator than Istanbul, geography robs us of many potentials at just the same latitude. Going a couple of degrees north, we find Burgas on the east coast of the Black Sea in Bulgaria. Only a sea, not an ocean, but we haven't got any oceans to sit on the eastern board of, which is kind of why climates are so different from Europe to the US. In this part of eastern Europe, summer rainfall is rather higher than the Med. So Burgas has similar (slightly higher) summer humidity to NY, very similar July av max temp, and its annual av temp of 14.3C is only a degree more than NY. But it's still a winter-wet climate with higher winter humidity. But if you go inland from the Black Sea, you find drier winters.

So once you get that far east in Europe, you do find climates at least with summers more similar to what you can find in places like NY.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by dyqik » Wed Aug 24, 2022 3:51 pm

NYC is also a terrible place to put solar panels, with some of the densest housing and lowest roof space per housing unit in the US.

We're mostly talking about the south, like Georgia (e.g. Atlanta), Dallas/Fort Worth, etc.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Aug 30, 2022 11:58 am

Calls from many EU member states to split the market:
Yet, the price of renewable electricity has remained low, the spokesperson added, echoing remarks made last year by Spain, France and other EU countries, which have asked for decoupling gas and electricity markets.

“The aim is for consumers as well as industry to benefit more on their electricity bills from the fact that renewable energies produce so cheaply,” the German spokesperson explained. To finance this, Berlin wants to “address” the windfall profits that electricity companies have made from rising power prices.

These calls were reverberated on Sunday by the Belgian energy minister, Tinne Van der Straeten.

“Electricity is produced today at a price that is much lower than the price at which electricity and gas are sold. There is no longer any link between the cost of production and the selling price. This European electricity price formation system needs to be reviewed,” she wrote on Twitter.

In Austria too, Chancellor Karl Nehammer asked for decoupling gas and electricity prices after an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday.
France and Spain were the first to call for a radical overhaul of the current marginal pricing system for electricity, with Madrid asking for “structural solutions” at the European level to decouple gas and electricity markets. They were backed by the leaders of Italy, Portugal and Greece, who urged the EU executive to address the “contagion effect” of high gas prices on electricity markets.

Yet, the German plan amounts to a rejection of a Greek proposal that was outlined in the summer, government sources told EURACTIV.

In July, the Greek government suggested to split the EU electricity market in two, with one market for “expensive” fossil-based generation and a separate market for “cheaper” renewables.

The proposal by Athens was positively received by Italy, Cyprus and France but met with scepticism from Denmark and Luxembourg who defended the current market structure.
https://www.euractiv.com/section/electr ... er-market/
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Re: European energy policy

Post by Millennie Al » Wed Aug 31, 2022 2:33 am

In deciding what to do about the cost of energy, it's important to understand how markets work, what will happen if we do nothing, and what effects various interventions would have.

The problem is that the supply is insufficient to meet demand. This is because of a mismanaged interventions in the market which were motivated by green goals. The sensible way to manage a transition would have been to subsidise green energy sources and then let fossil fuels gradually go out of business as they cannot compete with green energy (whether because of the subsidies or because technology has improved to the point where green energy is cheaper). Instead the policy has been to suppress fossil fuel supply, sometimes with dishonest policies, such as buying gas from Russia so that merely domestic production of fossil fuels can be reduced - which obviously is not in any way green as green policies need to take into account global effects.

What would happen if we left the market to sort it out?

More demand than supply causes the price to rise until the imbalance is corrected. There are two complementary effects - the price rise directly suppresses demand as people buy less either because it is no longer good enough value for them or because they simply cannot afford that price. The rise also means that supply becomes more profitable, leading to sources that previously were not profitable to become so, contributing to the supply, but also it stimulates investment in new sources (possibly by spending money that would otherwise have been invested in something else).

So the market will fix the imbalance by itself. However, unless you're a right-wing idiot who worships the market, this may be unsatisfactory and require intervention. In the case of energy, the obvious problem is the hardship caused to poor people who cannot afford the high prices.

Compared to not intervening, what effects will various interventions have?

So what happens if we subsidise energy prices generally - such as by cutting VAT on fuel? This means that someone who has only £100 to spend on energy gets more for their money, so they use more. And anyone who has a choice over how much they spend, similarly has an incentive to use more. That's bad. It means that in the face of insufficient supply we have increased demand. The good news is that some of the money that would have gone in tax may instead go to suppliers, which will tend to increase supply, but unless all goes to suppliers (which is surely not the intention) it is overall bad.

What if we subsidise prices for only the poorest? Well, this will make them use more energy. The price will rise to a higher equilibrium, which may make the subsidy insufficient (both for those receiving it but also by causing hardship for those just over the threshold for receiving the subsidy). A big problem with this intervention is matching the poorest with the energy they pay for.

What if we simply give the poorest more money? This will allow them to spend more on energy, so it does not suppress demand as much, but some of the money might be spent on other things, so demand may not be as high as with direct price subsidy. The great advantage of this intervention is that we (presumably) already know who the poorest are through the benefits system, so it should be easy and cheap to implement (though anyone who has interacted with the benefits system will know that it doesn't actually work very well) - or, at least, easier and cheaper than constructing a separate parallel system for handing out money. The problem with this is finding the money to hand out.

What if we give the poorest more money and increase VAT on energy to raise the necessary funds? This may seem crazy, but it actually works. The increased tax suppresses demand from everyone, countering the effect of the poorest having more money (which must account for the increased tax) and therefore not reducing their demand (as much as doing nothing). It also redictributes money from the richest to the poorest, which is often seen as a good thing in itself.

What about giving the poorest more money funded by a windfall tax on very rich energy suppliers? Well, since the rich energy suppliers are foreign companies (and may be owned by foreign governments) they are outside the reach of the UK government (short of invading and seizing them), so it's impossible to tax them. UK sources, such as the North Sea oil fields are already heavily taxed and increasing tax will obviously reduce supply (tax is currently 30%+10% - https://obr.uk/forecasts-in-depth/tax-b ... -revenues/). If you ever want to see an example of gross profiteering, look at how much tax has been paid on oil production.

And finally, what about a price cap? This is the most insane and disastrous intervention of all, and why the current situation is as bad as it is. Without price rises, demand is not suppressed, and supply is not increased, so the gap inevitably leads to failure of supply. Suppliers will refuse to sell where they can sell abroad at higher prices, so their energy must be taken by force. Where the energy is imported, suppliers will either refuse to sell at a loss or go bankrupt as has heppened to lots of suppliers already. If suppliers are nationalised, as has effectively happened with Bulb Energy Ltd, ever increasing subsidy must be provided to allow for the continuing losses. If this intervention is continued, it will result in all suplliers being nationalised and requiring ever increasing subsidy until the nation as a whole is bankrupt or actions by sane foreign governments to increase supply result in the crisis gradually ending. Since the cost of Bulb alone is approaching £2bn already, we could be paying the cost of this for a very long time. The current price cap should be abolished urgently.


Remember that however bad things are, it's always possible to make it worse.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Sep 02, 2022 6:49 pm

Nordstream 1 appears to have fallen out of a hospital window. Should have been shut down years ago. But let’s see what happens to the gas price.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Sep 15, 2022 5:07 am

Lukadhenko is a very poor wood chopper. He poses next to someone who is worse: https://twitter.com/mariamagd7/status/1 ... lOjBBW9DbQ

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Re: European energy policy

Post by plodder » Thu Sep 15, 2022 11:29 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Aug 31, 2022 2:33 am
In deciding what to do about the cost of energy, it's important to understand how markets work, what will happen if we do nothing, and what effects various interventions would have.

The problem is that the supply is insufficient to meet demand. This is because of a mismanaged interventions in the market which were motivated by green goals. The sensible way to manage a transition would have been to subsidise green energy sources and then let fossil fuels gradually go out of business as they cannot compete with green energy (whether because of the subsidies or because technology has improved to the point where green energy is cheaper). Instead the policy has been to suppress fossil fuel supply, sometimes with dishonest policies, such as buying gas from Russia so that merely domestic production of fossil fuels can be reduced - which obviously is not in any way green as green policies need to take into account global effects.

What would happen if we left the market to sort it out?

More demand than supply causes the price to rise until the imbalance is corrected. There are two complementary effects - the price rise directly suppresses demand as people buy less either because it is no longer good enough value for them or because they simply cannot afford that price. The rise also means that supply becomes more profitable, leading to sources that previously were not profitable to become so, contributing to the supply, but also it stimulates investment in new sources (possibly by spending money that would otherwise have been invested in something else).

So the market will fix the imbalance by itself. However, unless you're a right-wing idiot who worships the market, this may be unsatisfactory and require intervention. In the case of energy, the obvious problem is the hardship caused to poor people who cannot afford the high prices.

Compared to not intervening, what effects will various interventions have?

So what happens if we subsidise energy prices generally - such as by cutting VAT on fuel? This means that someone who has only £100 to spend on energy gets more for their money, so they use more. And anyone who has a choice over how much they spend, similarly has an incentive to use more. That's bad. It means that in the face of insufficient supply we have increased demand. The good news is that some of the money that would have gone in tax may instead go to suppliers, which will tend to increase supply, but unless all goes to suppliers (which is surely not the intention) it is overall bad.

What if we subsidise prices for only the poorest? Well, this will make them use more energy. The price will rise to a higher equilibrium, which may make the subsidy insufficient (both for those receiving it but also by causing hardship for those just over the threshold for receiving the subsidy). A big problem with this intervention is matching the poorest with the energy they pay for.

What if we simply give the poorest more money? This will allow them to spend more on energy, so it does not suppress demand as much, but some of the money might be spent on other things, so demand may not be as high as with direct price subsidy. The great advantage of this intervention is that we (presumably) already know who the poorest are through the benefits system, so it should be easy and cheap to implement (though anyone who has interacted with the benefits system will know that it doesn't actually work very well) - or, at least, easier and cheaper than constructing a separate parallel system for handing out money. The problem with this is finding the money to hand out.

What if we give the poorest more money and increase VAT on energy to raise the necessary funds? This may seem crazy, but it actually works. The increased tax suppresses demand from everyone, countering the effect of the poorest having more money (which must account for the increased tax) and therefore not reducing their demand (as much as doing nothing). It also redictributes money from the richest to the poorest, which is often seen as a good thing in itself.

What about giving the poorest more money funded by a windfall tax on very rich energy suppliers? Well, since the rich energy suppliers are foreign companies (and may be owned by foreign governments) they are outside the reach of the UK government (short of invading and seizing them), so it's impossible to tax them. UK sources, such as the North Sea oil fields are already heavily taxed and increasing tax will obviously reduce supply (tax is currently 30%+10% - https://obr.uk/forecasts-in-depth/tax-b ... -revenues/). If you ever want to see an example of gross profiteering, look at how much tax has been paid on oil production.

And finally, what about a price cap? This is the most insane and disastrous intervention of all, and why the current situation is as bad as it is. Without price rises, demand is not suppressed, and supply is not increased, so the gap inevitably leads to failure of supply. Suppliers will refuse to sell where they can sell abroad at higher prices, so their energy must be taken by force. Where the energy is imported, suppliers will either refuse to sell at a loss or go bankrupt as has heppened to lots of suppliers already. If suppliers are nationalised, as has effectively happened with Bulb Energy Ltd, ever increasing subsidy must be provided to allow for the continuing losses. If this intervention is continued, it will result in all suplliers being nationalised and requiring ever increasing subsidy until the nation as a whole is bankrupt or actions by sane foreign governments to increase supply result in the crisis gradually ending. Since the cost of Bulb alone is approaching £2bn already, we could be paying the cost of this for a very long time. The current price cap should be abolished urgently.


Remember that however bad things are, it's always possible to make it worse.
You might find this analysis useful. It's driving the strategy of SSE who are investing huge sums in renewables right now. tl;dr, decarbonising is affordable and will result in long term savings, therefore it makes good business sense to do it.

https://netzeropower.lcp.uk.com/

Note this is a different analysis from the one just published this week (been featured in the press) which has a different method but comes to a similar conclusion.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Sep 15, 2022 11:54 am

The challenge seems to be the upfront investment. Modern capitalism prefers rent-seeking on existing assets (which is why everything is a subscription service now). This is why the building of new fossil infrastructure needs fighting by every means possible - the powerful capitalists profiting from them will use every trick in the book to exploit them to the max, and we have to start leaving this sh.t in the ground.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by plodder » Thu Sep 15, 2022 12:30 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 11:54 am
The challenge seems to be the upfront investment. Modern capitalism prefers rent-seeking on existing assets (which is why everything is a subscription service now). This is why the building of new fossil infrastructure needs fighting by every means possible - the powerful capitalists profiting from them will use every trick in the book to exploit them to the max, and we have to start leaving this sh.t in the ground.
Other powerful capitalists are investing fortunes in renewables. I referenced SSE a second ago - by way of example: https://www.sse.com/news-and-views/2021 ... programme/

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Re: European energy policy

Post by bjn » Thu Sep 15, 2022 1:37 pm

It is more the case that FF incumbents want to get as much from their assets as possible. This includes not only existing oils fields etc… but the whole infrastructure to create more oil fields etc… They are fighting tooth and nail to keep that going.

The new money can see the way it’s going and throwing cash at renewables. From the likes of Canon-Brooke’s in Oz to SSE as pointed out by plods above.

It’s a fight between old and new.

Still capitalism mind. Whatever you think of that.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by plodder » Thu Sep 15, 2022 2:33 pm

Thing is that the skills and expertise in building things at sea like turbines, generating power from gasses like hydrogen, piping the hydrogen around - all the engineering and supply chain savvy, not to mention the understanding of the global energy markets… you can see where I’m going with this, right?

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Re: European energy policy

Post by bjn » Thu Sep 15, 2022 10:36 pm

Some of the skill and industrial base is repurposable (eg: making big structures in the North Sea), some of it isn’t (how to dig coal).

H2 is never going to happen for anything much beyond direct industrial use. You won’t see it used in home heating, way too inefficient and poor volumetric energy density means that you have to redo all your plumbing everywhere. Plus it is very burny and very splody.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Sep 15, 2022 10:47 pm

plodder wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 2:33 pm
Thing is that the skills and expertise in building things at sea like turbines, generating power from gasses like hydrogen, piping the hydrogen around - all the engineering and supply chain savvy, not to mention the understanding of the global energy markets… you can see where I’m going with this, right?
I think you're saying that the skilled, labile labourforce knows where the future is and are looking to jump ship?
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Re: European energy policy

Post by plodder » Fri Sep 16, 2022 4:18 am

bjn wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 10:36 pm
Some of the skill and industrial base is repurposable (eg: making big structures in the North Sea), some of it isn’t (how to dig coal).

H2 is never going to happen for anything much beyond direct industrial use. You won’t see it used in home heating, way too inefficient and poor volumetric energy density means that you have to redo all your plumbing everywhere. Plus it is very burny and very splody.
It can be used to make electricity (ie storage of excess renewables) and it can also be used to make low carbon replacements for things like ammonia (the carbon footprint of fertiliser production is enormous) so H2 is absolutely one of the key technologies we need. It might not be piped to your home but it will make a significant contribution.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by plodder » Fri Sep 16, 2022 4:18 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 10:47 pm
plodder wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 2:33 pm
Thing is that the skills and expertise in building things at sea like turbines, generating power from gasses like hydrogen, piping the hydrogen around - all the engineering and supply chain savvy, not to mention the understanding of the global energy markets… you can see where I’m going with this, right?
I think you're saying that the skilled, labile labourforce knows where the future is and are looking to jump ship?
Yeah, to the same companies in many cases.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Grumble » Fri Sep 16, 2022 5:46 am

bjn wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 10:36 pm
Some of the skill and industrial base is repurposable (eg: making big structures in the North Sea), some of it isn’t (how to dig coal).

H2 is never going to happen for anything much beyond direct industrial use. You won’t see it used in home heating, way too inefficient and poor volumetric energy density means that you have to redo all your plumbing everywhere. Plus it is very burny and very splody.
H2 is going to be massive for reducing iron ore, and quite possibly other ores too. I haven’t heard of fossil free nickel production but I suspect it would involve hydrogen
A bit churlish

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Re: European energy policy

Post by bjn » Fri Sep 16, 2022 10:40 am

I did say industrial use, and production of ammonia and reducing iron are the top two main things I had in mind.

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