For help, advice and discussion about stuff not related to aviation. Play nice: no religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
#1746513 ... R_COPY.pdf

OK so we all want to be clean and green, but apart from direct use of wind energy for sailing ships, pretty much everything else will have to come via electricity.

Taken off the first graph in the document above, broad brush figures for annual energy usage are:

Petroleum 65 MToe
Nat Gas 45 MToe
Elec 25 MToe
Bio/Waste 5 MToe

TOTAL 145 MToe

So even if we do produce all of this from electricity in some way, how can it be stored and distributed around the country?

If the National Grid is pretty much at capacity at 25 MToe, what plans are afoot to allow it to distribute 145 MToe?
Charles Hunt wrote:
If the National Grid is pretty much at capacity at 25 MToe, what plans are afoot to allow it to distribute 145 MToe?

That's a very good question. Whether there is enough national grid capacity to meet planned demand is something I should really look into because (as a property business) we've pretty much committed to electric only, probably from 2021/2.

Currently and from a building POV most sensible developers take a "fabric first" approach to reduce energy demand by improving the insulation and air-tightness of buildings served by plant with ever improving efficiency. Industry does take this very seriously and it's fuelled by customer demand up the chain.

Then there is increasing the amount of local generation plus more substations to manage it better, so windmills and, err, windmills basically. It's not easy to justify anything else that's not heavily subsidised. Holding onto produced energy with batteries is probably the next big deal but we're not at the point where it is commercially viable to do it as standard. Where batteries are included it tends to be because of the need for critical power back up supplies.

In former heavy industry areas (eg Sheffield) there is still a lot of capacity in the cable / substation grid that was required for the bazillions of watts needed to heat up ore, metal and coal. The many local coal fired power-stations are all long gone, which brings us back to replacing it with local renewable generation. Personally, I have yet to encounter a project where there isn't enough supply even if it needs bringing from a substation at an eye-watering cost.

But I can't even begin to answer your main question "what is carbon neutral" and we have all sorts of mitigation ideas brewing from windmills to buying forests and putting them in perpetual trusts.

Surely "Carbon neutral" can only be by offsetting and that sounds like greenwash to me.
.... and will demand be evened out by people taking from the grid and then storing locally (like that Tesla battery thing)?

Not sure ground source will be feasible in areas of high population density.
During the current gales in the far north, many of the wind turbines are turned off as the distribution system can’t handle the loads. An 84 turbine array (each generating 7MW) off our coast puts power (subsea) ashore at Black Hill. Since the land based turbines (5MW each) are too much for the pylon distribution system, many are shut down at the very time that it should be utilised - companies being paid subsidy for idle units.
This excess ought to be used for H2 production. One of our local ferries to Orkney uses hydrogen fuel cells for propulsion.