Should we start to burn coal again?

Discussion in 'Eco Talk' started by Bob Rathbone, Dec 24, 2021.

  1. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    Nice coal fire today, lit late morning, just had 6 chestnuts....lovely :);)...tis the smokeless coal called Wild Fire that also gives of an excellent heat.
  2. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    Nothing like egg and bacon done on a shovel in the fire box. But I remember coal and coke fires. And also remember the dusting as the ash got everywhere.

    But what we tend to do is compare something done in the 1950's to some thing done today and forget how technology has moved on.

    These fires Hughes Condensing Stove 2 small.jpg wallnoefer.PNG are nothing like the fires of the 1950's. The main thing is combustion air is not taken from the room, but also the burn rate is very carefully controlled to reduce particular emissions, this means in the main a fixed output, so some method to store energy also required.

    Torrent pipe example.PNG So to work we need careful control and a heat store, and my brother-in-law has this in his last house, worked well, but when he moved he priced up fitting to new house, it would never pay for its self for a 70 year old, maximum time we have is 30 years, we are unlikely to be living in these homes when over a 100 years old, so realistic looking for pay back in 15 years.

    We are also looking at how government has given warning of new laws and regulations. How long did the diesel car go for? We had diesel wagons for years, but the diesel engine to be efficient needs a high volumetric efficiency or in layman's terms a high compression ratio, the early cars used on the continent used a low compression ratio to keep noise down, and so used around the same amount of fuel to petrol, they sold as on the continent diesel was cheaper than petrol, but this was not the case in the UK, so until manufacturers started putting in high compression engines we were not interested in diesel for cars.

    So we had around 10 - 15 years where the diesel car was in favour, but when I buy a car, looking at 15 years life, if not more, some people look after their cars better than me, so last a lot longer IMGP0106_7_8_tonemapped.jpg

    OK that car is not in daily use, but does show how long it takes to loose the old stuff, we still have steam cars and steam trains.
  3. JohnMorgan10

    JohnMorgan10 New Member

    We have a wood stove that will take pellets or coat too. We only use wood or pellets but it’s a great way to heat. Atleast it gives us another option is gas becomes way too expensive.
  4. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    As I see it, the govt will have to step in and do something, namely subsidising the first x therms of gas per household otherwise I see a widespread public discontent not seen since the introduction of the poll tax.

    How the govt can do this , when the industry once a nationalised monopoly now lies fragmented in private hands, remains to be seen !
    Astramax likes this.
  5. skydelph

    skydelph New Member

    Happy New Year to all!

    My understanding of the last half year energy production reports, calculations and decision is the next.

    COP26, reported national and international plans for leading countries and those who produce and consume the power tell us 'we will achieve zero emission till 2050'.

    But the numbers analysis says, 'it is almost not possible, too expensive to achieve, etcetera'.

    It is not about starting to burn again, but continuing to burn it.

    Environmental analysis is in its development stage (not maturity) due to lack of information gathered from on earth probes (enlarging number and precision of those currently) and satellites monitoring systems (space race technological innovations struggling to bring more precision for emission levels and local ecosystems monitoring).

    Coal will finish eventually.. 2050 might be a too bald target. But renewable energy is unstoppable, and the plan will definitely spur the industry.
  6. MRY

    MRY Active Member

    "Should we start to burn coal again?" No. We should be going nuclear. Hopefully the SMR initiative from RR and others will be helpful.

    I've about a ton and a half of best Welsh anthracite at the moment, to fuel the Rayburn. About £750/2 tons. Even a gas boiler would be a big step forward for me!
  7. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    Way things are going, you never know.
    1. In the current gas price crisis, the energy companies are asking for the Green levies to be scrapped and VAT to be reduced from 5% to zero.
    2. EU wants to relabel gas and nuclear as green, allowing them to continue.

    meanwhile here in UK, another nuclear power station closes this month, which means our long term energy security is compromised further.
  8. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    Another energy co getting smug about rising energy prices. After Ovo’s gaff on eating porridge and cuddling up to a pet to keep warm, Eon has sent socks to 30k customers along with leaflet telling them how to keep warm ! Guess their marketing people are missing sending out low energy bulbs by shiploads often in wattages that had no practical use :mad:
    BiancoTheGiraffe likes this.
  9. skydelph

    skydelph New Member


    Energy crisis will obviously bring unexpected steps, labels, speculations and proposals. Even if all the plans 2050 are to be realized, we have 30 years to go somehow.
    What is for sure is that:
    - existing plants should decrease waste and go for new technological production ways, where it is possible. For some mighty productions it is, I believe;
    - nuclear is necessary but with not any chance to technological mistakes, weather it is a small plant or a large one.

    Where there is crisis, there is a mess to go with and fight it's consequences after decades.
  10. BiancoTheGiraffe

    BiancoTheGiraffe Screwfix Select

    I'd forgotten about that...

    Old people were falling down stairs all over the place because they a) took ages to get to full brightness and b) were too dim to be useful in most rooms anyway!
  11. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    I don’t disagree with anything you say, but these things need a consistent strategy, planning and an iron will to carry on when things get tough. The real issue is that successive govts in any democracies, can’t look beyond the end of their own term in office. Incoming government may well agree with the policies of the previous one, but economic and political priorities often override such sentiments. After all , they were voted in because the previous incumbents were booted out.

    As MGW pointed out yesterday, full electrification of UK took nearly 75 years. To provide sufficient electricity to power your house heating (heat pump), electric car along with the usual domestic load may mean 200amps , best served with 3phase, at 415v, to keep cable dimensions manageable.

    none of the recent infrastructure projects have come in either on time or within budget and they are on average 10 years in duration. Cross rail 1, HS2, Thames sewer etc. the debate on nuclear continues while existing ones run beyond planned replacement date till further continuation becomes impossible.
    skydelph and stevie22 like this.

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