Car EV charging point advice

That would only be true if all electricity was generated from gas or coal, and there was no nuclear, hydro, wind or solar power.

But there is, and it isn't.

Hydro reacts very fast to fluctuations, even though its capacity is small.
NO, no, and thrice no.
Go back and read again. When you add a load onto the grid, then (simplifying and assuming there are no other changes), there has to be a balancing increase in generator output to match it - if not then the whole grid will slow down a bit. So "somewhere" a generator will have to "open the taps" a bit.
Wind and solar (almost) always run at maximum output for the conditions - and if the grid can't take it (not that often, usually only triggered by good winds in Scotland and the north-south grid connections reaching capacity*) then the generator operator actually gets paid extra. It's the result of a system where the energy companies are near enough obliged to buy all the renewables output before they are allowed to use anything else. Thus the increase in output cannot come from them.
Small scale hydro also typically runs at max output for the available supply of water. As it happens, at work we used to have a customer that put in an 87kW turbine and he gave me the password for the status portal - it was quite interesting being able to look at the historical graphs and correlate recent rainfall with the water level and see how the control system would back off the output if the water level in the stream dropped below a set level. Larger scale hydro may be used for rapid acting frequency control, but as you say, it's capacity is limited - and it's "unlikely" that your increased load will run off that for long.
Nuclear is not used for load following - the plant just isn't designed for it. From observation, it's not very common for it to be changing much in output even during the overnight dips in demand (unless renewables output is high, and demand particularly low). Economy 7 was brought in to specifically keep overnight demand up so as to allow the nuclear plants to remain on full output.

So we are left with - gas and, to a much lesser extent, coal are used to provide the bulk of variable output. Study the graphs on Gridwatch or NETA and you'll see that this is the case (though I don't think the presentation in the new NETA site is half as good for that).

And really, it doesn't matter if we've zero nuclear or 10GW nuclear, zero wind or 10GW wind, ... Unless there is ZERO gas and coal output, then the incremental load from switching something on - in the UK at least - is supplied by a gas or coal station. Very short term it may be a bit of hydro, over a period of more than minutes it's going to be gas, and over timescales measured in hours it's probably going to get transferred to coal. That incremental load CANNOT be supplied by wind or solar, or realistically hydro other than for a short term, as their output is already being used elsewhere.

* As an aside, one of the design considerations for the 400kV grid upgrade to connect the planned Moorside nuclear plants in Cumbria is to provide an additional 400kV north-south connection. At present, according to a recent presentation I went to, there's only one over on the east side of the country - on this side there's only 132kV running up the coast to (what was) Calder Hall and then on up to Carlisle.
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"It would be foolish to assume that hydrogen will be stored and carried in unlined steel containers."
AIUI, it is at the moment. I'm not sure what they might line it with, I suspect most materials are porous to hydrogen.
let's suppose that the load was, on a sunny Sunday morning, 32GW

Let's suppose that the nuclear kettles were boiling out 8GW, the interconnects 3.5GW, Solar 8GW, wind 8GW, and coal 4GW.

All of these figures are currently realistic.

Let's suppose the hydro is ticking on and off, and pumped storage is absorbing slight oversupplies and pricing anomalies. Some combined gas is whirring at near-tickover.

You really can't say "you can rest assured that your "green" car is gas or coal powered." because very little of the energy is coming from gas or coal.

The capacity is there, of course, and we have always needed excess capacity.

As Wind capacity continues to increase, and a trickle of new solar installations, the amount of fossil fuel burned is only going to reduce.

When we've paid vast amounts of money for some new French atomic kettles, and promised to pay above-market prices for their energy, we'll use even less. Days will occur when there is spare cheap power to run the hydrogen-cracking plant, or the new storage batteries. Power storage is a great game to be in, because you buy it when it's plentiful and cheap, and you sell it when it's scarce and dear.
If one burns a litre of fuel with a static engine and with that you generate power you can use that to drive a tram which compared with a bus is lighter so the tram will go further then if the same litre of fuel was burnt in a bus. Also for hundreds of years we have realised trucks running on rails need less power to those running on rubber tyres.

However as soon as you add a battery you also add weight, and as well you add the losses needed to charge a battery. The idea of a hybrid where the vehicle uses a battery to bridge the gaps in the supply may work, Australian system has gone some way towards having an integrated bus and tram. But as yet they are not using electric power, in the UK Liverpool would be the ideal starting point, the Queensway tunnel already has a tram way which can't be used for buses because of fumes, have a hybrid gets around the problem of setting up over head wires around the city and in the tunnel there is no problem with a return rail at ground level, with the underground we have a live rail at ground level.

But forgetting taxi's as I don't really see them as Public transport, the problem around UK is integration. We have a train local to us, and it has an interconnecting bus service, where the company running the buses were fined for waiting for the train. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency ( VOSA ) has closed. It's been replaced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency ( DVSA ), but it does the same thing, it checks buses run on time among other duties. However a bus is subject to traffic conditions, so some leeway is required. If I want to go to Tywyn "formerly Towyn, is a town and seaside resort on the Cardigan Bay coast of southern Gwynedd, Wales" by public transport I need to change vehicles twice, once in Wrexham and once in Dolgellau, in Wrexham there is a problem swapping from train to bus not much can be done about that, however in Dollgellau I need to swap bus, at one time the buses had a real hand over, the drivers actually had to shake hands before they drove off so passengers could transfer, at one bus every two house Wrexham to Barmouth this was needed there were actually three buses there was also one to Aberystwyth, this has all now gone. With a 58 mile run keeping a bus on time is not easy. The bus did run Chester to Barmouth, but this allowed the English to use their bus pass to get to Barmouth so now only runs from Wrexham.

It is all well and good in London where there is a bus every 5 minutes, but in North and Mid Wales integration is required. It is 19.5 miles Portmadog to Caernarfon by train this takes 2.25 hours and route is as direct as the road which by car is 45 minutes may be 30 minutes with some luck. An ideal run for electric car first half using battery second half recharging battery. But it still uses more energy per person then the steam train does, have we really progressed.
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let's suppose that the load was, on a sunny Sunday morning, 32GW

Let's suppose that the nuclear kettles were boiling out 8GW, the interconnects 3.5GW, Solar 8GW, wind 8GW, and coal 4GW.

All of these figures are currently realistic.

As it's now a sunny sunday morning, let's have a look at the actual figures...

Demand 35.76 GW

Coal 0.64 GW
Nuclear 7.55GW
CGT 15.17GW
Wind 1.42GW
Hydro 1.0GW
Bio 2.09GW
Solar 4.25GW
French ICT 2.00GW
Dutch ICT 1.00GW
Solar 4.25GW (*Est)

So not a bad forecast, though it's not very windy today, so the CGT (combined gas) stations are busy.
Over the decades several experimental buses were trialled in Switzerland in attempts to reduce fuel consumption.

One of the first was using a flywheel energy store charged at the depot using electricity produced by a micro hydro electric station. I recall this was considered sucessful for short route with electrical dynamic braking putting the energy back into the store. The down side was the gyroscopic effect made it necessary to mount the fly-wheel and it's motor generator in gimbals which used up a lot of space in the bus.
because you buy it when it's plentiful and cheap,
Electricity has never been plentiful and cheap. It never will be.

Plentiful and expensive is possible, as long as electric vehicles remain a novelty for the few.
If electric vehicles are even moderately popular it will become scarce and expensive. People will then find out what their smart meters are really for.
Electricity has never been plentiful and cheap.

On the wholesale market, when nuclear, hydro, wind and solar are pumping out electricity that meets or exceeds demand, and when there is no incremental cost in producing it (no costly fossil fuel input), then the price drops and drops and drops. It is so cheap that it is already used to pump water uphill so that it can generate hydro power at times of high wholesale price. When wholesale electricity is cheap and plentiful, it will be used to crack hydrogen and to charge the new storage batteries.

What you, as a retail customer, pay, is a different matter.

Look at the pricing graph here (it includes the price surge after the Brexit vote)
click on Wholesale Price Trends (show)
then Electricity Prices
try this


Short-notice balancing prices are so embarrassing that they are not disclosed.

"Current Prices
"The current wholesale electricity price is around £38 per MWh; that is still far lower than prices back in 2007/2008 when the market was at its peak. The peak happened during 2008 which saw these rates nearly double to over £90/MWh, and that’s when most of the big six suppliers increased tariffs.

"Since then, we haven’t seen the same reduction, but there are also investment programmes that the energy companies need to implement that also put pressure on prices."
:evil: OK, so what I'm hearing is that
(a) there is no viable alternative to fossil fuel for road transport
(b) catastrophic climate change is inevitable, therefore
(c) we're screwed, Trump has got it right and we might as well all forget about trying to be green as we are doomed to fail.

So far AFAICS no-one has any positive suggestions of practicable ways to solve the issue - all I hear is doom and gloom.:evil:
Trump has got it right

all I hear is doom and gloom.
that's not true

you have seen mention of reduced use of fossil fuel

Have you heard that storage battery research is galloping along, because there's a lot of money in it? And that price, size and weight go down, and capacity goes up, with each generation?

that's not true

you have seen mention of reduced use of fossil fuel

Have you heard that storage battery research is galloping along, because there's a lot of money in it? And that price, size and weight go down, and capacity goes up, with each generation?

Yes - I was thinking more about the problems of generation and distribution - which that does not address. The capacity of the batteries in the cars is irrelevant if we can't generate and distribute the power to charge them.

(Note the :evil:s in my post)
you are thinking of electric cars? And not about industrial and domestic use of electricity generated from non-fossil sources?

There is a certain amount of spare overnight capacity, when demand drops from daytime 40GW to nighttime 30GW.

Large storage batteries are not intended for cars, they are intended for storing cheap power for use at expensive times at a house, district or factory level.

The oil companies, however, are looking in particular at synthesised fuels and hydrogen cracking, which I suppose fits better into their integrated distribution and storage facilities.

The UK government cancelled research into carbon storage, which might be essential to hydrogen cracking from methane.
here is an example of house-level storage
I am prepared to believe it makes sense in, say California, where you might get dependable sunshine and use it to power your aircon or electric car

In UK I just looked at their online quote, they are offering
One 14 kWh Powerwall battery £5,400
For reference, my house uses about 5kWh per day in summer. A powerwall would not make economic sense.

I have a feeling that in a year or two costs will drop and performance will improve.

It is said that district-level and factory-level storage depends on mass array of standard devices, and cheap materials. Attempts have been made to copy the Aluminium smelting model.

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