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Electric Car Charging–A Dose Of Reality

November 25, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 

 Fox Valley leads the charge for electric vehicle drivers

Fox Valley Electric Car Charging Bays

 

I have been doing a bit of digging into the EV chargers at our local shopping centre, which were installed last year.

They are run by a company called InstaVolt, whose Annual Accounts are here. The latest Accounts are for March 2019.

They show that they had 314 units installed at that date, with a Gross Asset value of £5.5m. This works out at an average of about £18,000 each. They all appear to be 50KW units, although there are plans to introduce higher power ones.

It is not clear who paid for the new substation (which you can just see to the right of that white van). But I would assume that must belong to the shopping centre, who will of course recover the cost via rental charges. That would of course significantly increase that figure of £18000, if all capital costs were taken into account.

Given that hardly anybody has an electric car, the finances of InstaVolt are unsurprisingly dire!

image

 

They are funded by an equity investment of £18m from Zouk Capital, an investment fund that specialises in renewable projects. At the current rate of loss, that equity will be wiped out in a couple of years.

 

Up to now, a lot of car chargers at the likes of Tesco have been free to use, a way of increasing footfall. However, at Tesco at least, these have all been slow 7KW chargers, the sort you would put in your garage at a cost of £1000.

An hour’s charge on one of these would cost around a quid, so they would make good business sense if they bring in customers who might spend £50.

However, 7KW chargers will be far too slow once there are millions of EVs on the road. You certainly would not be able to turn up at Tesco and leave your car there all day, if you had nowhere else to charge it.

Consequently Tesco are now beginning to introduce faster 22 and 50KW chargers. But these are “priced in line with market rates”, probably similar to the 35p/KWh charged by InstaVolt.

There is simply no way Tesco could give away £10 of electricity free to every customer. Nor could they afford to spend £20K for every charger installed. A typical Tesco supermarket with, say, 10 chargers would cost £200K.

The bottom line to all of this?

The free ride is over for EV owners. If you cannot charge at home, you will have to pay through the nose.

The same of course will apply to chargers run by local councils and other public bodies. They might be able to afford free power for the tiny number of EVs currently, but costs will soon balloon once numbers grow.

 

There is also an important warning here as well. There will be very few investors with either the will or the money to incur the sort of losses which InstaVolt have.

As a result we are unlikely to get the millions of public chargers needed until we have millions of electric cars on the road.

Chicken and egg, I think!

Which brings us back to the question of who will pay for them.

Boris’10-Point Plan pledges £1.3bn for charging infrastructure, but most of this appears to be for the 6000 high-powered chargers promised for motorways and trunk roads. (I would guess we are looking at at least £100,000 each, plus associated infrastructure. I have seen costs of £250,000 for the really fast chargers)

image

 

It is hard to see much money left over for local chargers. A million 50KW chargers, which is probably the minimum we would need, would cost at least £20bn, even before we count the cost of digging up roads and upgrading power cables.

Who will pay for that?

90 Comments
  1. Aaron Halliwell permalink
    November 25, 2020 11:34 am

    Well, they might be useful if you’re running out of charge after coming over the Woodhead pass in the winter with headlights and heater on, heading along the A616 to the M1, but a petrol station would be better!

    • spetzer86 permalink
      November 25, 2020 1:08 pm

      Well, pouring gasoline all over your electric car and lighting a match would be satisfying in that situation. And I suppose the heat from the burning battery would last awhile and keep you warm. But that won’t get you home.

    • saparonia permalink
      November 25, 2020 1:11 pm

      I doubt that Woodhead Pass or the Snake, will be open through this winter. The North wind will blow and we shall have snow.

  2. Joe Public permalink
    November 25, 2020 11:44 am

    C’mon Paul, it’s not all Doom ‘n Gloom.

    Shopping centres & motorway service areas will simply open Fitness Centres.

    This is the effort needed to slow-charge a single EV:

  3. Hotscot permalink
    November 25, 2020 11:46 am

    This really does smack of a massive red herring by Boris.

    No one in government could be this stupid. If Boris lasts out the next six months the Conservative party will have taken a battering and labours popularity will surge. The only thing left for Boris will be quietly bury his green deal by doing the bare minimum until the next election.

    He’ll be forced to Tax us all for a Covid recovery and there is no way on earth extra Taxation for the climate will be tolerated by the country. If labour dare go near green initiatives, then it could very well be Farage’s day.

    As a life long Conservative, I’ll not be voting for them, and I’ll stick pins in my eyes before voting for socialism, so Farage it is for me.

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      November 25, 2020 12:23 pm

      Seems bizarre to come up with massive further expenditure of any sort at a time when funding our recovery from Covid 19 is problematic to say the least. We’ll see what the Chancellor says today.

    • subseaeng permalink
      November 25, 2020 12:40 pm

      +1

    • Tom Scott permalink
      November 25, 2020 3:55 pm

      I’d agree with you but the bonus for Boris is that everyone knows that Labour’s green strategy would be even more expensive and stupid. We are stuck with two main parties that both essentially agree on everything. The only people who don’t agree are the electorate, but we can safely be ignored.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        November 25, 2020 4:33 pm

        I can’t imagine Farage will have much to say about Green initiatives. His views on covid will be controversial enough to get on with. He’ll need to sense a sea change in public opinion before he goes against the CC agenda. There’s also Brexit lurking in the background.

      • Hotscot permalink
        November 25, 2020 6:02 pm

        Mad Mike

        If you saw UKIP’s climate manifesto when Farage was running the show, it was entirely sceptical and run by a climate sceptic as well. He doesn’t seem to have much time for the subject and, as usual, isn’t afraid to say it.

        Add that to his popular immigration stance and he’ll get some serious support when the public realise how much Boris’ plan will cost them.

        I was on the governments Facebook site when Boris announced his green initiative and I was surprised, and pleased, at the number of people groaning about the green cr@p.

        I couldn’t resist, of course, getting into a few punch ups with the climate faithful and I think made a pretty good job of beating them off. A few of them resorting to the usual screaming of “DENIER” and posting childish gifs and memes when they ran out of argument.

        The thread is big and long, but if you look through it, my name is David Redfern. Judge for yourself if I did well or not.

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      November 25, 2020 5:44 pm

      Agreed, until we get a conservative Conservative government, if ever that happens.

    • Rowland P permalink
      November 26, 2020 4:47 am

      The Heritage Party is worth considering. Sure it is new but the manifesto hits all the right buttons for me.

  4. jack broughton permalink
    November 25, 2020 11:47 am

    Spoil sport, the believers do not want any costs or financial examination: “saving the planet” is their self-justifying cry. Even the most miniscule reduction is lauded irrespective of cost, while the massive increases in China, India, Japan and even Germany are passed-over like the wood burning madness at Drax.

    EVs are a prime example of virtue posing. At an Aldi near our house they have had two electric chargers for over a year: I have only ever seen one car charging at these, despite passing this frequently.

  5. GeoffB permalink
    November 25, 2020 11:55 am

    As I have often quoted on this site…….”Do not confuse me with the facts, My mind is made up”

    • David Perkins permalink
      November 25, 2020 12:11 pm

      Or as somebody once said: They don’t want to hear what you think, they want to hear what they think, coming out of your mouth”!

  6. Ian Magness permalink
    November 25, 2020 12:07 pm

    Paul,
    At a speech to the GWPF a few months back (before lockdown) the very eminent Professor Kalghatgi stated that a major flaw in all the BEV plans was the need to put in place large numbers of additional electrical substations. He believed that, such is the magnitude of the need for more electricity that a new substation would be needed for every 4 BEV chargers and that each one would cost in the order of £250,000. Such expenditures rolled out across every area of the UK fundamentally change the economics of the whole BEV story, and would do so even if the economics of the rest of the story made sense (which they clearly do not).
    If, as seems likely, the likes of Tesco are having to install these, do we know who has paid for the ones already in place and what the costs actually were?

    • November 25, 2020 12:19 pm

      Interesting that a company turning over less than £200k pays its directors over £600k, with its top paid director getting over £300k. Nice work if you can get it, and all paid for from investors ‘loans’. Methinks a few people are going to get a shock soon!

    • spetzer86 permalink
      November 25, 2020 1:10 pm

      More substations would, of course, be needed. But I’d think the overwhelming question would be “where’s the power coming from?”

      • Dave Ward permalink
        November 25, 2020 1:33 pm

        “But I’d think the overwhelming question would be “where’s the power coming from?””

        Absolutely! But this applies across the board – it wouldn’t make any difference if there was a massive push towards LPG or Hydrogen powered vehicles. You still need the raw material and distribution networks so drivers can actually use it. This simple fact of life appears to become a mental blockage when politicians are involved…

    • GeoffB permalink
      November 25, 2020 3:15 pm

      Good point, I had a quick look at the sub station regs for local distribution, 4 off 50kW chargers would take 200kW, say 200kVA (power factor not known, but probably around 0.7). A new housing estate (1000 houses) needs 500kVA, so its unlikely you can hook the chargers into the 415V existing 3 phase supply. So have to use the 11/6.6 kV supply and you have to have a substation. I would buy shares in transformer manufacturers.

      • Nicholas Lewis permalink
        November 25, 2020 10:58 pm

        A dedicated distribution substation for a new load would have to be paid for upfront by the EV charging site developer. If however domestic consumers gradually add EV chargers to there houses and the local network becomes overloaded the distribution company would have to pay and then make case to regulator to increase charges. Hence why they are so keen that smart meters control when they are charging.

    • Rowland P permalink
      November 26, 2020 4:49 am

      Elon Musk can afford them. He’s got loads-a- munay!

  7. Thomas Carr permalink
    November 25, 2020 12:18 pm

    Really excellent choice of subject to reveal to even D. Mail readers that Boris’s plans have everything to do with distraction strategy -jam tomorrow if you like. He may not be bothered to find the time to understand the implications of his 10 point plan. We know not to expect him to master the details.
    What can be the point of his teams of special advisers, however.
    I await the first reports of compromised battery life from the motoring lobby — the RAC or the AA would do — and how commercial vehicles will achieve electric nirvana.

  8. Brian Johnston permalink
    November 25, 2020 12:20 pm

    They want us out of cars. There is not enough lithium to have everyone in a battery car. There is not enough for all the buses.
    They want us in cities where we wont need a car.
    The battery is a con.
    They want less industry not more..
    Who are they.
    The world has about 3,000 years of oil and gas remaining. We do have time to think about this.
    We need more CO2 not less, see, Dr Patrick Moore and many others.

    • Hotscot permalink
      November 25, 2020 6:23 pm

      There is a global supply of 1,000 years worth of Methane Hydrate waiting to be tapped the moment we reach Peak Oil/Peak gas/Peak Coal – after they are exhausted in 1,000 years or so.

      Meanwhile, we might even have cracked Fusion by then.

      And I always quote this to the climate faithful:

      No one in the history of mankind has ever empirically, repeatably and scientifically demonstrated that atmospheric CO2 causes the planet to warm. Berkeley Earth were the last to try in 2015 and failed.

      There is always one of three reactions.

      1. “Rubbish” the consensus says………..

      2. They scurry off to Berkeley Earth and come back to you with “But BE says it was a complete success” to which the reply is “Were it a success it would be plastered all over every MSM on the planet, but it isn’t, even the BBC don’t mention it”.

      3. “Prove it” – How can one prove a negative?

      The climate faithful were telling us all long before 2015 that atmospheric CO2 was a problem. Why then, were it certain, would Berkeley earth spend tens of $millions attempting to re-invent the wheel?

      Easy meat. These people are dummies. They can’t think their way out a wet paper beg. And this is always my default position. No matter how they attempt to distract me, I quote this Ad nauseam, and fight my corner based on it.

      It is irrefutable. Even Arrhenius gave up his unsubstantiated belief (it was never a scientific theory) in 1906.

      • Hotscot permalink
        November 25, 2020 6:26 pm

        …..Wet paper bag…….

      • dave permalink
        November 26, 2020 1:58 pm

        A ‘wet paper beg’ brings a mental image of a dog with a chewed up newspaper in its mouth, asking for it to be thrown as a substitute for the lost ball.

        Poetry!

    • Rowland P permalink
      November 26, 2020 5:01 am

      The World Economic Forum has all the answers including the notion that “NOBODY WILL OWN ANYTHING AND EVERYBODY WILL BE HAPPY”!

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        November 26, 2020 9:37 pm

        Or else!

  9. Anders Valland permalink
    November 25, 2020 12:31 pm

    Norway has been leading the pack on electric cars subsidies, and this problem is starting to manifest itself now. The funny thing is, before Covid a lot of Norwegians would spend their summer holidays abroad but this past summer people had to go for domestic holidays. And sure enough, there were queues at the commercial charging stations. And cries of frustration, the government must surely build more stations….

    People charge at home here in Norway. Sure, a few do not have access to their own charging point but most do. And if you charge an electric car at home, you don’t need to go to the commercial station during a ordinary week, including weekends. Thus, normal traffic at those stations is very low. And if the station is outside a city, the normal traffic is extremely low. And it will remain extremely low because people will continue charging at home.

    The electric car people do not seem to realise, or want to realise, that the business model for petrol stations and charging stations are very different. The government does not build petrol stations because they don’t have to. All cars need to use them, and market governs the supply. Almost no electric cars need the commercial stations. Until vacation time, that is.

    Unless the government wants to subsidise forever, commercial charging will be expensive. And slow. Norway does not have a grid able to sustain the high power chargers needed. I don’t think the UK grid is any more robust than ours.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      November 25, 2020 1:38 pm

      “I don’t think the UK grid is any more robust than ours”

      No, I doubt that it is – and we don’t even have the benefit of decent (hydro) storage that you do!

    • chriskshaw permalink
      November 25, 2020 3:16 pm

      Thanks Anders. A fresh perspective for sure. Understanding the business model is pretty fundamental, unless of course you have unlimited lines of credit supported by other people’s money.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        November 25, 2020 4:44 pm

        I don’t know much about Norway but, with the terrain, long distance travel might be difficult or largely unnecessary. The UK has always had a fair share of vehicles travelling 1-2 hundred miles all the time. You only have to travel on the M1 or M6 to see that. The need for commercial charging points would therefore be bigger here.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      November 25, 2020 7:05 pm

      Yet this year Norway has a power surfeit: the hydro reservoirs have been full since early summer, and wholesale prices for electricity are consistently low in a bid to deter power surpluses on low demand days from elsewhere, especially when it is also windy or sunny and the renewables surpluses build up. It hasn’t helped that the connector across the Skaggerak has been operating only at part capacity, in that there has been limited ability to export power to get the reservoir levels down.

      https://www.statnett.no/en/for-stakeholders-in-the-power-industry/data-from-the-power-system/#hydrological-data

      A look at prices:

      https://www.epexspot.com/en/market-data?market_area=&trading_date=2020-11-24&delivery_date=2020-11-25&underlying_year=&modality=Auction&sub_modality=DayAhead&product=60&data_mode=map&period=

      • Anders Valland permalink
        November 26, 2020 8:37 am

        Norway currently has a surplus of 10-15 TWh. It varies though with precipitation each year. Some years we have a net deficit.

    • Anders Valland permalink
      November 26, 2020 8:43 am

      @mad mike, Norway is predominantly a long country. And long distance travel is always across some mountain range, apart from travelling on the south coast. We absolutely need commercial charging if you want to go anywhere other than your local area. However, most people travel by airplane for work related travels, since it is far more efficient for time. We have a very high level of airtravel per capita.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        November 26, 2020 1:28 pm

        Anders are goods transported by sea in any volume? Norway has seemed to be a country where road distances and as the crow flies distances are significantly different. Are there now bridges across fiords to cut out 100km loops around a 1km wide stretch of water? I used to travel with my dad in the 1960s, he used to visit farms and vets for a pharmaceutical company, and days when we went round the NW of Scotland driving round sea lochs meant it took two or three days to complete the trip. These days with modern short cut bridges we’d probably manage the same trip with one night away rather than 2 or 3. It’s only in the last forty or so years that Puffers have finally disappeared.

  10. Gerry, England permalink
    November 25, 2020 1:16 pm

    Councils lack the intellectual capacity to examine the engineering problems with providing battery chargers and to then assess the costs so they can go back to the idiot Johnson and ask how will this all be funded.

    Mind you with the introduction of all the empty cycle lanes, councils are trying to force out motor vehicles – including battery ones – and expect everything to be done using cargo bicycles or tricycles.

    • stevejay permalink
      November 25, 2020 1:45 pm

      I’m just imagining cargo bikes, or trikes I think they’d have to be, delivering heavy goods to building sites and stocking up the supermarkets. What kind of man (or woman) power would be required to pedal these things?

      • Mad Mike permalink
        November 25, 2020 4:49 pm

        You are not thinking laterally Steve. You obviously need strings of these cycles linked together like mule trains in the Wild West. The motorway regulations would need to change of course but that’s just bureaucracy after all. We don’t even have to worry about Indians either. What could possibly go wrong.

      • Penda100 permalink
        November 25, 2020 7:08 pm

        100+ bikes pulling a 40 tonne trailer – solves the unemployment problem.

  11. November 25, 2020 2:01 pm

    An important issue with fast charging is that it can be very bad for battery life:

    https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/fast-charging-can-damage-electric-car-batteries-in-just-25-cycles

  12. November 25, 2020 2:49 pm

    There appears to be a sudden obsession with ozone depletion and the montreal protocol in the climate change media.

  13. November 25, 2020 3:20 pm

    Although there is a huge amount of chatter about Electric cars these days, very few people have highlighted the issue of producing the batteries. As I understand it the minerals required for manufacture are very scarce, require mining and refining using large amounts of energy and mostly come currently from China where they burn coal to make electricity ! Furthermore, all the worlds current production of lithium / cadium would need to be diverted to the UK to acheive Boris’s ambitions. Crazy !!

    • Mad Mike permalink
      November 25, 2020 4:52 pm

      As we might end up being the only country using EVs, all these metals would be available to us.No problem. By the way, you forgot to mention cobalt mined by children in the Congo.

    • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
      November 25, 2020 9:10 pm

      minerals required for manufacture are very scarce,

      Some are call “rare earths” but that doesn’t mean they are actually or truly rare, it is more of a historial usage. The problem is elsewhere in the production thereof.

      From the United States Geological Survey (USGS): ” The rare earths are a relatively abundant group of 17 elements composed of scandium, yttrium, and the lanthanides. The elements range in crustal abundance from cerium, the 25th most abundant element of the 78 common elements in the Earth’s crust at 60 parts per million, to thulium and lutetium, the least abundant rare-earth elements at about 0.5 part per million.”

  14. Diogenese permalink
    November 25, 2020 3:20 pm

    Well they have to replace fuil duty with something , and easy to collect, plug in swipe your charge card ( pun intended ) then the charger pays the tax direct to the treasury at whatever rate they decide on ,( rough guess .50 pence per KW ). . there is no such thing as a free lunch ,

  15. Gamecock permalink
    November 25, 2020 3:46 pm

    ‘They are funded by an equity investment of £18m from Zouk Capital’

    I can’t help thinking the government is somehow backing them. This seems way too speculative to raise private money. Unless . . . establishing prior franchise. I.e., if (ha ha) EVs become popular, and public charging becomes a thing, then being first in the market will provide huge long term returns.

    ‘an investment fund that specialises in renewable projects’

    “Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.” – Outlaw Josey Wales

  16. November 25, 2020 4:26 pm

    How much more does a public charger cost if it is powered by a diesel charger next to it? Remembered seeing a photo of one a little while ago so did a quick search and was a bit shocked by the number or results so obviously not unusual.

  17. ianprsy permalink
    November 25, 2020 4:42 pm

    One Dale Vince, owner of Ecotricity, has a range of chargers but he came out bottom in a survey by Auto Express. He appears often on Talk Radio, but at a time when he’s unlikely to be challenged on his green claims. Last time I heard him, he was suggesting the green revolution will require no change in lifestyle other than giving up meat and all fossil fuels! Simples!

  18. Mack permalink
    November 25, 2020 4:48 pm

    Zouk Capital won’t be losing out, they are just the fund managers, so I’m sure they’ll still be earning very nicely thank you very much. The financing of the infrastructure would seem to be coming direct from HMG (i.e. the great Bristish taxpayers), Abu Dhabi (bit of back scratching going on with the emirates’ involvement methinks) and, more recently, a cool £80 million from the impoverished virtue signallers of the C of E, via the Church Commissioners, who can’t afford to repair church roofs but they can afford to make the Archbishop of Canterbury feel all nice, warm and fuzzy inside by spunking money away on green vanity projects. Marvellous.

  19. yonason permalink
    November 25, 2020 5:31 pm

    There’s an EV charging oasis (for lack of a better moniker), with about 6 charging stations, at a grocery I shop at. It’s been there for at least 3 years. I don’t shop there often, but I’ve never seen an EV being charged there. Maybe some day . . . ?

    Leftists love to waste resources.

  20. yonason permalink
    November 25, 2020 5:40 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the transportation of the future…

    • Mad Mike permalink
      November 25, 2020 5:45 pm

      Who swiped the mudguard?

      • yonason permalink
        November 25, 2020 6:38 pm

        LOL – I think it’s still there, just blends in to the dark background. But since you draw my attention to it, why are they so much higher than the wheels? Looks more cosmetic than functional? (Must be the deluxe model?)

      • yonason permalink
        November 26, 2020 12:27 am

        Oh, wait. Maybe you meant in back, where they are really needed? If so, then yeah, that could have been a real problem. Nice catch.

  21. Admiral permalink
    November 25, 2020 6:48 pm

    Putting petrol in your car at 30 litres/minute delivers energy at a rate of 17MW. If your car is 20% efficient that is a “useable” rate of 3.4 MW…beats hanging around waiting for a 50kW charger to do the job

  22. November 25, 2020 7:03 pm

    Sprung Suspension. Mudguards fitted to the seat which compresses to accommodate body weight. Wheels and mudguards get closer!

  23. Peter permalink
    November 25, 2020 7:12 pm

    What has happened to checks and balances? The boss of the Grid should be telling government and the public that green policies mean higher prices, an unstable grid and blackouts. The car manufacturers should be pointing out that the EV policy is madness. The media should be having a field day exposing all the nonsense.

    It seems that all organisations are 100% committed to fantasy policies regardless of the consequences for the country. Why is this? Is it lack of common sense, lack of integrity or group think madness as Booker believed? Many, such as subsidy harvesters, will become wealthy, but all of us will suffer in the long run as the we rue the passing of a reasonably optimised use of energy and face the enormous cost and uselessness of green policies.

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      November 25, 2020 7:40 pm

      On the button, like Chris. Booker.
      Amazing for such a high proportion of, presumably, responsible and educated people to for such obvious twaddle and overlook that UK output NEGLIGIBLE greenhouse gases.
      If one feature of Boris’ s present political trends marks him as a hopeless clot, unsuitable as PM, this is it.
      The attention given to the Thunberg movement is crazy.

    • dave permalink
      November 26, 2020 10:50 am

      “Why is this?”

      The horrible truth is that all the cleverest people seem to deliberately embrace their inner stupidity. I really do not know why. It is a puzzlement.

    • Gamecock permalink
      November 27, 2020 3:26 pm

      “The boss of the Grid should be telling government and the public that green policies mean higher prices, an unstable grid and blackouts. The car manufacturers should be pointing out that the EV policy is madness.”

      They can’t do it. YOU CANNOT OPPOSE ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY.

      “The media should be having a field day exposing all the nonsense.”

      Well, they aren’t. Which is why “the boss” and the car manufacturers have to keep their mouths shut and play along.

  24. Ed P permalink
    November 25, 2020 7:58 pm

    All the projected shortfalls of power supplies, how the electricity is generated, distribution problems and costs fail to notice the intended population of the UK in 2025 is only 17 million.
    This is the globalist plan, known as “The Great Reset”. They’re aiming for only 25% of the present UK population, which would make the electric cars manageable with existing power stations and infrastructure.
    Since their first attempt at population reduction, known as SARS-CoV-2, has turned out to be a bit of a dud, not killing sufficient numbers, expect moves towards other ways to exterminate, even by nuclear war, from these insane psychopathic ‘leaders’.
    Anyway, YOU will not get an electric car unless you are part of the ruling clique.

    • roger permalink
      November 25, 2020 10:39 pm

      Now thrive the armourers….
      Not quite as Shakespeare envisaged, but their shares are rising nicely now that Trump has been attenuated.
      Other shares are available.

  25. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 25, 2020 8:14 pm

    Wind power showing signs of going awol as the chill sets in, no idea if it will drop out completely.

    I see forest burning has been going flat out a lot of the time in recent days, burn the trees to save the environment, you know it makes sense! Makes it look like coal is not required as much as it would be, so all’s good in the propaganda war.

    https://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

    I hadn’t noticed the non-pumped hydro dial before – supplying nearly 3% as I write, the legend in interesting, seems the Scots have found another way to game the electricity market to fleece the English on top of deliberate excessive installed windmill capacity.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      November 25, 2020 8:40 pm

      OTOH we already have a record month for wind curtailment, with £47.75m spent on curtailing 665,234MWh to 24th November. One more good windy day would take us over £50m.

      https://ref.org.uk/constraints/indexbymth.php

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        November 25, 2020 9:54 pm

        Yep, Scottish windfarms rolling in it, from deliberate over capacity – then they make stupid claims about Scotland being 100% wind powered, when what they mean is they could have provided enough to do the equivalent of that in theory, but because it doesn’t follow demand, it’s not actually true, they dump on the rest of the UK or curtail.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      November 25, 2020 9:30 pm

      Checked gridwatch @ 21.22 on 25/11/2020

      Gas + Nuclear generating over 70% of our electricity
      Wind 6.6%
      Biomass 8.3%
      Net interconnector supply is 7.9% (of which most is French & 89% from gas & Nuclear)

      And the grid frequency has been dropped to reduce demand.

      So we could increase wind capacity by 12x to fill the shortfall, or increase forestry felling for Biomass by 10x and we would just have enough supply to cover it, with little margin

      And we should note its not really cold yet.
      And few EV cars yet.
      And no getting rid of gas boilers yet
      And…….you get the picture

      Renewables = Insanity

      When are the Government & Country going to WAKE UP FROM THIS MASS DELUSION?

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        November 26, 2020 7:49 am

        This morning 26/11/2020 @ 07:40 am

        Wind at 1.02%
        Solar 0%
        Biomass at 8% (maxed out)
        Gas at 63.7%
        Coal at 5.9%
        Nuclear at 15.9%

        So good old fossil fuels running at 70% and with nuclear supplying we get over 85% of our electricity. Totally reliable. Totally predictable.

        Wind, solar and biomass = < 10%.

        Lets build more wind turbines and solar! How stupid is that?

  26. It doesn't add up... permalink
    November 25, 2020 8:36 pm

    Peering at the accounts a little more, I find they have so far provided 609MWh at an average of 33.5p/kWh, almost all of it in FY to March 2019. The rate of increase in the asset base suggests that on average during the year they had about 220 charging stations operational, so each one delivered about 2,630kWh on average, or just 300W. Average utilisation is therefore 0.6% if they are 50kW units, which is derisory. A four square petrol station with 8 filling positions might be expected to sell about 5 million litres a year: a supermarket with 16 pumps might sell as much as 20 million litres a year. At 8-10 miles/litre (petrol/diesel) that’s 40-50 million miles of motoring at the regular petrol station, and 160-200 million from the supermarket. At 3 miles/kWh you would need to provide 13.3-16.7GWh p.a. to replace the petrol station. With 50kWh chargers it would take 31-38 charging station years at 100% utilisation to provide it.

    Chart of range and “real” fuel economy of a selection of EVs – data from What Car? The average is a little under 3 miles/kWh.

    https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/e1ofS/1/

    A supermarket pump might be occupied on average 1.25 million litres/20litres/min/60 min/8760 hours or about 12% of the time (a very busy one might manage twice that). I took a look at a Google time of use profile for a 24 hour Birmingham Tesco petrol station. Between about 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., custom is almost non-existent. It ramps up to a steady value by 10 a.m., and has a small afternoon bump at 3-5p.m. and ramps down again after that. So that is roughly 8 hours at zero, 4+5 hours at 50% average, and 7 hours at peak flow – just under 50% of peak as average customer flow. Comments do report queueing at peak times.

    It’s hard to see these charging stations reaching enough of a turnover to be able to afford to drop the margins they charge.

  27. It doesn't add up... permalink
    November 25, 2020 8:48 pm

    A P.S. on the accounts: they spent out some £430,000 on operating leases – presumably they lease the parking spaces – with a total future liability of almost £8.4m. Presumably that has to be added to the capital cost.

  28. November 25, 2020 9:34 pm

    People will hang on to their petrol cars like in Cuba. These cars will become sought after and increase in value.

    • Gas Geezer permalink
      November 25, 2020 10:15 pm

      Where will they get the petrol ?

  29. Coeur de Lion permalink
    November 25, 2020 10:44 pm

    Over the Channel IONITI charges 0.69 euros per kWh. Eye watering.

  30. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 25, 2020 11:16 pm

    SHORE POWER – yet another new demand on the grid.

    As a result of air pollution concerns with ships running auxiliary diesel generators in port, ships are moving over to being plugged in whilst docked.

    A small ferry may require 1MW, a large cruise liner 10MW or more.

    Ships visiting Copenhagen apparently use about 17GWh a year, the same as the annual consumption of around 7,500 average Copenhagen households.

    ***https://www.danskehavne.dk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/GP-CMP-Shoreside-Report.pdf***

    It seems these schemes are another uneconomically viable ‘solution’ and schemes in the UK (like Southampton £7M) seem to require large government grants.

  31. Robin Guenier permalink
    November 26, 2020 7:46 am

    Contributions to electricity demand this morning (7:30) are another dose of reality. Demand is 36.4 GW. Coal is contributing 2.1 GW (6%), CCGT 23.0 GW (63%), Nuclear 5.9 GW (16%), Biomass 3.0 GW (8%), Wind 0.4 GW (1%) and Solar 0 GW (0%). And note: the French Interconnector is taking 1.3 GW from the system (-4%).

    Yes – coal is contributing six times more than wind. Someone should tell Boris.

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      November 26, 2020 8:59 am

      Therefore, we need more coal as winter is coming in with a vengeance!.
      Afraid Boris has become impermeable, fr ok pillow talk, long- covid-compounded.
      Needs an extended holiday, perhaps to confer with the ineffable Thunbergs and script writers.

    • mikewaite permalink
      November 26, 2020 9:12 am

      And also tell the BBC

  32. Coeur de Lion permalink
    November 26, 2020 7:51 am

    Grid watch at 0750 Thursday 26 November shows windmills producing one per cent of our electricity. Demand is 37GW. Gas is going flat out as is criminal biomass.

    • Nordisch geo-climber permalink
      November 26, 2020 10:01 am

      Wind is currently disappearing off the scale as a resource today 26th 10am UK (0.36 Gw). With coal capacity so low, what happens when demand exceeds what coal backup can produce? Imagine the Carbon footprint of all that “biomass”!!!! I think someone on this site described it as an accounting scam.

  33. Phoenix44 permalink
    November 26, 2020 9:34 am

    6,000 chargers will stop us worrying about range? Are these people completely incapable of doing some quick maths to show the lunacy? Say 1 hour per charge and that’s 72,000 cars in 12 hours. Less than 0.25% of total cars. How many cars does he think are driving long distances each day?

    A typical motorway service station can “charge” perhaps 120 cars an hour but a bank of ten EV chargers will do less than 10% of that.

  34. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 26, 2020 10:26 am

    Wind flops, who could have predicted that!

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      November 26, 2020 10:32 am

      National Grid don’t seem worried yet, so there must be sufficient margin for this evening’s peak even with no wind/solar, for now.

  35. Mad Mike permalink
    November 26, 2020 10:53 am

    I recorded a program of Simon Reeve in OZ and watched it last night. It was the second of three and 2 things concerning CC stood out to me. He was up on the Great Barrier Reef with a guy who represents businesses dependant on the Reef’s popularity. His concern was with a predatory starfish which has an almost insatiable appetite for coral. We were shown big ares of white coral where the starfish had eaten and killed the top layer. Although this guy did blame human activity for the star fish’s increased population, it was the runoff mainly of fertilisers etc from farming and some from industry he was blaming. Not once did he refer to CC as being to blame despite Reeve’s interjection bringing CC in to the discussion.

    The second point was when Reeve went further down the coat to the biggest coal exporting terminal in the world. It was truly awesome, not in the American sense though. The amount of coal being put on bulk carriers and being shipped abroad, mainly China and India, was jaw dropping and Reeve, who cannot resist claiming CC is to blame for virtually any weather event, must have realised how puny UK’s efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuel must be. He did point out that this coal production, along with other minerals etc., was on growth path in OZ. For an alarmist like him it must have been very dispiriting.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      November 26, 2020 11:11 am

      Crown-of-thorns was the bogeyman before climate change, mentioned it lots of times.

      When I was at school there were documentaries about teams of divers hunting them to save the reef, in more recent times they have tried building robots to kill them.

      I’ve no idea if they do represent a serious threat, seems unlikely, when nature seems out of balance with a plague of something, disease/food source depletion re-balances it, and the food source bounces back, perhaps just not on a human lifetime scale – maybe cycles of hundreds+ years.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        November 26, 2020 11:24 am

        If I’ve got it right the runoff fertilisers etc enable plankton to thrive and this is the source of food for baby starfish. More baby starfish lead to more adult starfish. They go hunting for the starfish but there’s a lot of them. It didn’t say it in the program but large areas of white coral denuded by starfish looked suspiciously like “bleached” coral to me.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        November 26, 2020 2:12 pm

        I guess dead coral looks like dead coral.

        If the starfish were such a threat, and they’ve been going on about them for more than half a century, they’d be no reef left for climate change to kill!

        They didn’t even discover how coral reproduced until the 1980s.

        Much of the worry of scientists is just a manifestation of ignorance.

  36. Vernon E permalink
    November 26, 2020 11:10 am

    Re earlier posts didn’t Richard Tice announce recently that Farage’s Reform Party supports the Climate Change Act? No more dosh from me.

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