is electric heating likely to become cheaper than gas heating in future?

I'm wondering whether I should fork out for gas central heating in my new house. However, I wonder if elctric heating will be cheaper than gas heating after they build the new nuclear power stations. I think that's what happened in France, isn't it?
Al
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Al 1953 wrote:

It seems unlikely in the short to medium term. Electricity is a secondary energy source at the moment, and significant new nuke capacity is going to be some time coming.
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I'd agree with that. I guess the current nuclear electricity cost must be similar to combined cycle gas turbine electricity, which gives you about 60% thermal efficiency.
But if it's heat you want, using gas direct gives you about 90%.
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newshound wrote:

Its about 1.somethng p per unit, but varies tremendously with the interest rates, since to an extent, its all in the cost of the money you borrowed to build the thing.
A complete contrast to a gas set, which is cheap to build but expensive to run.

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wrote:

Not likely. Electric is 3x > 4x as expensive and that gap will not be closed for the lifetime of any current type of gas/electric system.
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On Wed, 24 Mar 2010 22:15:54 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@blueyonder.co.uk wrote:

Especially given that, for the next decade at least, most of the UK's electricity will be generated by burning gas.
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And what effect do you think the introduction of Travelling Wave Reactors (TWRs) will have on the costs of nuclear electricity generation? TWRs can be fuelled on depleted uranium with a single charge lasting 60-100 years, they have higher thermal efficiencies than current technologies and produce less waste. It's estimated that current supplies of depleted uranium if used as fuel in TWRs would produce sufficient electricity for 80% of the world's population to sustain Western electricity consumption for >1000 years.
Very little CO2 emitted over that 1000 years either.
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Steve Firth wrote:

Make it more expensive mainly.
Fuel costs are currently so low in a Uranium reactor as to be almost irrelevant.
Build cots are everythung.
No one has ever built a TWR

THERTEICALLY.
Theoretically a fusion reactor could use distlled seawater and be even cheaper. Don't see any about though.

The figures are even better for fusion, but no one has built a practical unit yet either.
And with the Losers Party running everything, its unlikely anyone is educated to a standard to allow them to, either.
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

My Nuke (c) Microsoft ;-)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/24/bill_gates_and_terrapower /

True, but it sounds like maintenance and decommissioning costs ought to be significantly cheaper. Its also a handy use of the DU from existing reactors.

TWR sounds a little more doable with the technology we have now thought.
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John Rumm wrote:

I agree. It's well worth putting a billion into to see what the issues are. Along with pebble beds, and laser ignited reactors and the like. Both inerently stable and cant run away..
BUT in the meantime, we have enough expertise to utilise PWRS or whatever the latest stable technology is.
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snipped-for-privacy@blueyonder.co.uk wrote:

Oddly enough it was at a point last year cheaper to use electricity than OIL. taxation accounts for some of it. The heat pump calculations I did - because the 'effective' efficiency of a heat pump is 300-400% typically, meant it was very comparable with direct fuel burning as far as burn to heat output conversion efficiencies and costs went. Possibly even better. . At one point, cheap rate overnight electricity got cheaper than oil too.
Even without the heat pump.
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On 24/03/10 22:15, snipped-for-privacy@blueyonder.co.uk wrote:

So why is it not economical to generate one's own domestic electrickery from a small mains gas-fired generator.
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chunkyoldcortina wrote:

If you use a heat pump, electricity is actually cheaper than gas or oil, just about. its certainly in thee area where a blanket statement is not true. The devil is in the details.
secondly, the efficiency you get from a petrol or diesel generator is far less than you get from a properly constructed power station, and you will almost certainly end up paying road fuel tax on the fuel. Even if you don't, its very marginal. And you cant get a domestic nuclear reactor, which is of course currently pipping the post as the cheapest way to push electrons down wires.
you probably only get 20% eff. form a diesel generator, and that varies with the load. A good power station averages the load of lots of people, and achieves up to 60%. AND they can forward buy fuel in bulk.
You can get 80% eff* off a boiler heating water. Maybe more.
Compare that with 60% for the power station and 95% for the grid. No point in direct electrical heating carbon wise unless you use nukes to make it.
Finally, if nuclear power becomes widely adopted, and fossil fuel start to get hard to extract, and or attracts a carbon tax, electricity will in time be cheaper than fossil fuel.
*true thermal efficiency, not concocted figures by boiler manufacturers.
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Is a domestic scale CHP system feasible? (use the coolant and hot exhaust from your diesel to heat the hot water / radiators)
Andy
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Andy Champ wrote:

Of course its feasible: whether its cost effective is quite another matter.
Its a bloody poor way to make watts in summer!
at 20% efficiency a 25bhp engine (small 2 liter non turbo diesel at say 3000 RPM) is generating 15Kw of electricity, and 60KW of heat!
I often need 15Kw electricity. I NEVER need 60KW of heat.

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On 26 Jul,

Cos it's limited in efficiency by thermodynamic constraints. If you use the waste heat it's a different matter, hence the interest in CHP. Capital costs will be high.
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In direct heating terms, probably not - as a large proportion of our electricity will continue to be generated from fossil fuels, even when more nuclear power stations come on stream (plus the costs of cleaning up emissions from both existing and new fossil fuel power stations).
However, electrically powered ground/air source heat pumps might become much more attractive, as they already have a considerable efficiency advantage over direct heating.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSHP.
The initial costs are considerable though, and your site must be suitable.
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On Wed, 24 Mar 2010 15:36:11 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

I think the running costs are similar: the possible advantage of heat pumps nationally/strategically is that the electricity they use can in principle be sourced from non-fossil sources (if such are available) whereas GCH is of course restricted to fossil-fuel (unless one acquires renewable source of methane or similar).
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John Stumbles

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My knowledge of these is not through practical experience of them, but...
This is heat pumping, *not* geothermal heat.
This: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSHP#Thermal_efficiency
and everything else I've read about them says they deliver at least 3 times the heating efficiency of direct heating, *because* heat is pumped.
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John Stumbles wrote:

Similar to what? certainly not to straight electrical heating!

Well, quite, although all 'renewable' energy (as opposed to nuclear) is vastly more expensive (apart from hydro) than fuel burning.

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