February 2023 Smart Energy News

By Pilgrim - February 15, 2023

As we complete the managed shutdown of DevicePilot by the end of March, this is my last monthly newsletter, and next month our website will cease to exist. I’ve listed some of my best information sources below so you can subscribe to them directly if you choose. 

Smart Energy

  • Through most of 2022 the UK exported electricity to Europe over its interconnectors
  • From 1 Oct 2022 to 13 Jan 2023 the UK generated more electricity with renewables than with gas.
  • Lots of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) - alongside some outright misinformation - being thrown at renewables and EVs by legacy energy businesses, including unfortunately nuclear. The latest angle seems to be all the damage from mining. Great context here from myenergy about mining. And the Guardian article about lithium got its units wrong, so reported numbers that were 1,000 times worse than reality.
  • UK spent £215m last year switching-off (“curtailing”) windfarms. This excellent overview explains it’s because of a lack of cables between Scotland and England and lack of storage, and explores how ‘nodal’ pricing could incentivise solutions.
  • First SMR design in the US gets design certification (50MW x N). In the UK Rolls Royce is touting a 500MW design as an SMR, on the basis that it can be built in modular form in a factory, though perhaps it’s too big to really qualify as the fundamentally interesting thing about SMRs is that you build a lot of them, thus driving down costs (always nuclear’s Achilles’ heel) through learning-curve dynamics.
  • We take the UK national grid too much for granted. Let’s keep in mind Ukraine as Russia’s bombing of critical national infrastructure makes rolling outages the norm.
  • A soup-to-nuts treatise by Nat Bullard summarises how the energy transition is going and where it will go next: Everything everywhere all at once.



Recommended information sources

I’ve hugely enjoyed making this newsletter (backissues on the Wayback Machine).

Thank you for reading - and take care. 




P.S. If you’d like to keep in touch, my personal email address is <firstname>@<lastname>.org.uk and you can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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