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Drax profits up in green boom
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Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 15 4:51 pm    Post subject: Drax profits up in green boom  Reply with quote    



Drax profits up in green boom

Falstaff



Joined: 27 May 2009
Posts: 1014

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 15 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Interesting - Interesting comments too about wind farms and solar.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34457
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 15 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

green they aint but they did have to stop burning metal rich petcoke with misbehaving scrubbers to get the green tax breaks.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10131

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 15 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am not sure about biomass burning power stations. They often import woodchip from all over the world with the risk of bringing in more pests and diseases, and transporting bulky fuel, either coal or bio all over the world can't actually be saving much in the way of fossil fuels or reducing the carbon footprint.

A way needs to be found to use the brash from forestry which could be usefully burnt, and often is on site.

OtleyLad



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 15 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My gut feeling is that burning anything doesn't seem like a solution to preventing accelerated climate change. We should surely be focusing our efforts on minimising this.
I know we have to burn stuff for lots of industrial processes but to replace burning of coal by wood to generate electricity just seems dumb.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 15 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Shipping fuel around the world via the sea isn't that expensive in carbon terms.
A lot less than shipping salad from Spain via refrigerated road freight.
Boats are one of the most environmentally sound means of transport.
The problem lies with the fuel source, as Ty proved with a link here weeks ago, it's not renewable plantation timber that's being felled & burnt but environmentally sensitive, species rich natural forest.
So not very green even if they replant, which I doubt they are.
Especially as we have vast forests of plantation timber with no use in this country other than amenity.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 15 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Especially as we have vast forests of plantation timber with no use in this country other than amenity.


And grasslands. I'm beginning to think that perhaps biofuel would be a better use of the surplus resource.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10131

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 15 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Using anaerobic digestion would be a good way of producing gas to power various things, but think you would need vast amounts of both grass and digesters to produce enough to run a power station.

Tavascarow, while we could get a lot of timber from unmanaged woodland, I don't think we have enough to provide for electricity generation long term. Getting more woodland managed has been an aim of the Forestry Commission for a long time, but most woodland is privately owned, so the owners either don't want to bother or wait until the price is high before felling. Some timber is virtually unsalable as it has got too big. We are using beech that was grown for making paper for firewood as there are no pulp mills taking new hardwood in the UK. The shut as the price of power was too high.

GrahamH



Joined: 23 May 2015
Posts: 418

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 15 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Drax power station for all it's bad press is a wonderful piece of engineering.
I remember walking down the inside of one of the flues towards the bottom of the stack, the light was filtering down the 850 foot tall shaft and the faint illumination showed the roof of the flue ascending to about 90 foot to where it met the shaft.
With the silence, the light levels and the immense structures I was reminded of the interior of a cathedral.
From on top of the stack, looking down at the 375 foot tall cooling towers and the rest of the site was astounding and later, in the generating/turbine building, itself nearly three hundred foot high seeing the shaft that all the rest of the processes were in place for.
As a piece of engineering it works remarkably well and has adapted to the changes in fuels and legislation over its fairly long life. The largest power station in Western Europe, the tallest industrial chimney in the UK, started generating about 1976.
Hopefully Drax and it's like will be replaced by a green option but when, and by what who knows.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 15 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

GrahamH wrote:
Drax power station for all it's bad press is a wonderful piece of engineering.
I remember walking down the inside of one of the flues towards the bottom of the stack, the light was filtering down the 850 foot tall shaft and the faint illumination showed the roof of the flue ascending to about 90 foot to where it met the shaft.
With the silence, the light levels and the immense structures I was reminded of the interior of a cathedral.
From on top of the stack, looking down at the 375 foot tall cooling towers and the rest of the site was astounding and later, in the generating/turbine building, itself nearly three hundred foot high seeing the shaft that all the rest of the processes were in place for.
As a piece of engineering it works remarkably well and has adapted to the changes in fuels and legislation over its fairly long life. The largest power station in Western Europe, the tallest industrial chimney in the UK, started generating about 1976.
Hopefully Drax and it's like will be replaced by a green option but when, and by what who knows.


I agree, and it makes a good photo, too

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 15 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
Using anaerobic digestion would be a good way of producing gas to power various things, but think you would need vast amounts of both grass and digesters to produce enough to run a power station.

Tavascarow, while we could get a lot of timber from unmanaged woodland, I don't think we have enough to provide for electricity generation long term. Getting more woodland managed has been an aim of the Forestry Commission for a long time, but most woodland is privately owned, so the owners either don't want to bother or wait until the price is high before felling. Some timber is virtually unsalable as it has got too big. We are using beech that was grown for making paper for firewood as there are no pulp mills taking new hardwood in the UK. The shut as the price of power was too high.
I'm not talking about unmanaged woodland.
That's far to valuable to nature.
Although with sympathetic management they would be better for nature.
I'm talking about the large acreage of monocrop conifers planted by forestry commision. Deserts as far as natures concerned & low value timber.
I think the answer why is if people see how many acres of woodland Drax consumes in a day they wouldn't see that as being green.
Wont stop them from using more electrickery though.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 15 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
Using anaerobic digestion would be a good way of producing gas to power various things, but think you would need vast amounts of both grass and digesters to produce enough to run a power station.


Yep, but it's going to oxidise any way, may as well capture the energy somehow. I think it's mainly maize they're using at the moment but I've heard, recently, of one taking grass.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 15 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I fail to see why their isn't an anaerobic digestion plant at every sewerage works. Recovering energy from s*** & making the by-product less polluting & with less heavy metal contamination actually a valuable fertilizer makes perfect sense to me.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10131

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 15 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Conifer plantation isn't as sterile as it is made out to be Taviscarow. In the north of England and Scotland it is home to red squirrels and pine martens. The pine martens are seeming to oust/kill the grey squirrels, so valuable in expanding such red squirrel populations as we have. I would also disagree about unmanaged woodlands. If you look at the flora of an unmanaged woodland it is very sparse as there is very little light below the canopy. We re-coppiced one acre that was mainly ash and hazel, and hadn't been coppiced for up to 50 years. From about 4 species we now have over 70. I am sure there are others, but with all the growth there, I couldn't get to all of it, and ended up with burrs in my hair as it was. We now get silver washed fritillaries and other butterflies in there. Insects attract bats, birds and other animals etc.

I agree with you about using sewage for power generation, and as you say Rob, using unused grass would also be useful, especially as where you are not grazing/cutting seems to do damage to the soil.

Graham, Drax does sound an amazing structure. When you look at the engineering of a lot of places, they really are very good. Pity that some of them are so ugly though like that 'Gherkin' shaped thing in London which always reminds me of a 1960s picture of a rocket, and the Lloyds building there too. We had a similar thing in Portsmouth called the Tricorn; built in the 1960s using new technology. It was cold and leaked water, the ramp up to the car parks was too tight and it looked awful. It has now been demolished, and instead they have the Spinnaker Tower. Again very clever, but only acceptable if painted white. I saw it before painting and it just looked like a lump of concrete. I worked at the other end of the scale and some of our microelectronics looked quite jewel like.

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 15 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Agree the spiniker looks better, although it would be good if they could get the lift working.

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