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UK’s Looming Energy Gap Suffers ‘Wind Chill’

I’ve often thought that maybe the Kyoto Protocol could have been more aptly named the ‘Don Quixote Protocol.’ Why? Because ‘Kyoto’ sounds like ‘Quixote’ and, in the novel by Miguel de Cervantes, Quixote fought an imaginary enemy of giants that turned out to be windmills. Today, our imaginary enemy is ‘big warming’ driven by CO2 conjured up in computer models. One of the consequences of fighting this phantom menace is the UK’s looming energy gap. Instead of windmills, we have wind turbines. This brings me to a new report by the Centre for Policy Studies entitled: ‘Wind Chill’

The summary states:

Britain faces an energy gap of up 32 GW by 2015 as older coal and nuclear power stations are paid off. At the same time, Britain has made a binding commitment to deliver 15% of all its energy consumption from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Government policy is based on using wind power both to help close the energy gap and to meet its renewable energy targets

If the Government is to meet its renewables target, then the amount of electricity to be generated by wind farms
will have to increase by more than 20 times.

Expensive

This will be very expensive. Electricity generated by wind turbines already enjoys huge subsidies and tax breaks
through the Renewables Obligation scheme.

The Government has now accepted that the total costs of meeting the 2020 target will be £100 billion. This is the
equivalent of £4,000 for every household in the country.

WIND CHILL

The Royal Academy of Engineering has calculated that wind energy is two and a half times more expensive than other forms of electricity generation in the UK.

Unreliable

Wind generation does not provide a reliable supply of power. It must be backed up by other baseload sources.

Greater reliance on wind power could lead to electricity supply disruptions if the wind does not blow, blows too hard or does not blow where wind farms are located.

The experience of Denmark – often hailed for its pioneering development of wind farms – is that wind energy is expensive, inefficient and not even particularly “green”. There are signs that other countries are losing some of their enthusiasm for wind power.

Unpopular

There is no evidence that people are prepared to pay for wind power. Only 15% of people say that they are fairly or very willing to pay higher electricity bills if the extra money funds renewable power sources such as wind. The figures for “very unwilling” and “fairly unwilling” are 37% and 24% respectively.

This over-reliance on expensive wind energy, coupled with rising gas prices, will drive six million households
into fuel poverty.

Disrupting

Present wind farm planning applications do not take into consideration the economic viability of the project or whether the topography and meteorological conditions are suitable.

The planning system already favours wind farm developers. But if the Government is to meet its renewable target by 2020, then current planning regulations will have to be weighted even further in favour of wind farm suppliers.

The Ministry of Defence has recently lodged last minute objections to at least four onshore wind farms claiming
the turbines will interfere with their national air defence radar.

The alternative

The energy gap must be filled with equivalent baseload capacity as quickly as possible.

The UK should therefore now develop its nuclear, clean coal (including coal gasification) and other renewable supplies of energy (particularly tidal).

Wind energy, in contrast, should only play a negligible role in plugging Britain’s looming energy gap.

There is also an article about the report in the Daily Mail: Wind turbines are ‘unreliable and will cost each home £4,000′ claims think-tank

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88 Responses to “UK’s Looming Energy Gap Suffers ‘Wind Chill’”

Pages: « 1 [2] Show All

  1. Comment from: Ender


    Mark – “US generating capacity = 900,000,000 kW
    1% of capacity for 6 hours = 54,000,000 kWh”

    Also quoting figure like this is nonsensical. Even though the USA may have 900GW if installed capacity depending on the time of day the electricity demand of the USA might be only 100GW. Not all fossil fuel generators are on all the time. There is always a percentage off for regular maintenance or repairs.

    There is not 900GW of power plants in the USA running flat out all the time.

    Lets have at a more realistic example:

    http://www.nemmco.com.au/

    At the front page for NSW you can see that peak demand is about 11GW. NSW has about 3.5 million cars. Lets say 20% of them were PHEVS and BEVS that had an average of 20kWh capacity.

    .2 * 3.5 million = 700 000 cars

    700 000 cars has 14GWh of capacity, sufficient to run the entire peak demand of NSW for more than an hour. It could run the off peak demand for 2 hours or more.

    So all the generators in NSW could fail and 20% of the cars could run the entire state demand for at least an hour at peak times or 2 hours of off peak.

  2. Comment from: Marcus


    Ender
    Your comparison re. computers is not a particularly good one.

    There is only a lack of suitable infrastructure, that stands in the way of a distributed system.

    After all we have ISPs don’t we, but you wouldn’t want computer speeds like, that of the Internet?
    (incidentally you can back up your data now on the net, but again why would you?)

    I think our disagreement about the electrical systems is mostly philosophical, not technical, if we want badly enough, we could make any system work, the question is of efficiency.

  3. Comment from: Ender


    Marcus – “I think our disagreement about the electrical systems is mostly philosophical, not technical, if we want badly enough, we could make any system work, the question is of efficiency.”

    So why would a distributed system be any less efficient?

    It is the base load generators only that are more efficient, as a general rule, the bigger they are. That is the exact reason they are so big.

    With modern power electronics smaller generators can be equally, if not more efficient, than larger ones.

  4. Comment from: Doug Jones


    As an AGW skeptic I generally disagree with most things Ender says. However I have to agree with him here on the advantages of distributed energy systems. One only has to look at WA’s case where one ruptured pipe and subsequent fire has crippled the state’s industry by reducing the gas supply by one third for the next six months. Incredibly poor Govt planning. Makes the Germans’ large uptake of household solar generation and buyback a real winner by comparison.

  5. Comment from: Ivan


    “As an AGW skeptic I generally disagree with most things Ender says.”
    Don’t apologise – most people are of this opinion.

    “..on the advantages of distributed energy systems..”
    Fine, but V2G is not a distributed energy system – it’s a distributed storage system. Not one watt of power is generated outside the vile base load generators.

    The WA analogy is baseless. In the V2G model, if the base load generator blew up, you would (potentially) have a few minutes backup. Big deal. Once the V2G batteries are discharged – then what ?

  6. Comment from: Ivan


    Welcome to Ender-land: the happiest kingdom of them all. Nothing costs anything in Ender-land, because it’s all subsidised by the government (or somebody).

    Here’s what we would all be driving in Ender-land.

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/09/mitsubishi_unve.php

    Note the wind turbines in the grill – very chic!

  7. Comment from: Peter


    Ender,

    How many of those 20% of vechiles would be connected. Just thinking your example is over optimistic and sheesh all those cars that wouldn’t start in the morning , yikes.

  8. Comment from: Ender


    Ivan – “Fine, but V2G is not a distributed energy system – it’s a distributed storage system. Not one watt of power is generated outside the vile base load generators.”

    No it is but one part of it. It is mainly a neat way of using battery electric cars batteries when to construct a large battery system. This large battery system is also distributed so that elements of it can work independently so that the loss of one allows either a graceful shutdown or running in survival mode until whatever caused the disruption is fixed. Also a lot of the energy in the storage system will be surplus wind power where quite often supply exceeds demand.

    V2G cars are not the answer on their own either they simply allow surplus energy to be stored in batteries that are not just sitting around in warehouses doing nothing else. This way you only have to construct one battery system and not two.

    “The WA analogy is baseless. In the V2G model, if the base load generator blew up, you would (potentially) have a few minutes backup. Big deal. Once the V2G batteries are discharged – then what ?”

    Well not really. If WA had more wind, solar PV, solar thermal, tide and wave tied together with normal and V2G storage in a smart grid then we would be having far less problems.

    One of the main problems is that our main heating gas is down by 30% so industries that need heat are forced to use other forms of heat or stop working. Also if we keep the essential industries going with gas from other places then there is less for the critical peaking power plants that are mostly gas fuelled. Peaking power can also be powered by diesel however the worldwide shortage of diesel is driving prices into the stratosphere.

    If we had storage, V2G or otherwise, this could be doing some of the peaking duties freeing up gas for industries that burn it. Also the wind and solar that we do not have could be replacing the lost gas generating capacity.

    Ir really brings home the fact that if you concentrate on one form of generation or fuel, if the supply gets disrupted then you are screwed. It reinforces my point that Britain (and WA) should diversify its electricity generation to avoid this sort of thing again.

  9. Comment from: Ender


    Ivan – “Note the wind turbines in the grill – very chic!”

    You don’t seriously think that they are wind turbines do you?

    And yes if they sell it in Australia I would look at buying one. Mind you I like the Aptera much better.

  10. Comment from: Marcus


    Ivan
    Yes the turbines are the ones to clinch the deal.
    Why, if you drive fast enough, they will recharge the batteries even! (/sarc just in case)

    This really bugs me, people keep saying it’s a conspiracy, that we don’t have a decent EV.

    Believe me, with the potential market already, if there was one good enough, they would be snapped up faster than they could be made. I would buy one myself.

    Look at the rate, that dog of a car the Prius is selling?

  11. Comment from: Ivan


    “If WA had more wind ….”

    The AGW world’s favourite word: “IF”. Finally we get to the core of the issue.

    Not sure why you’d bother with highly inefficient solar PV and wind, when solar thermal, geothermal, wave and solar tower (even nuclear) would probably all be more cost effective — and provide a true distributed energy generation system. In this case V2G would be an expensive “nice-to-have” – a distant second to solar-thermal, I would guess.

  12. Comment from: Ivan


    “You don’t seriously think that they are wind turbines do you?”

    What??
    You think environmentalists would lie??
    Isn’t that part of their covenant with God??

    I’m shocked!

  13. Comment from: Mark


    Ender: “So even with your very conservative figures you would only need 17% of the vehicles in the US to be PHEVs for this to work.”

    “Also quoting figure like this is nonsensical. Even though the USA may have 900GW if installed capacity depending on the time of day the electricity demand of the USA might be only 100GW. Not all fossil fuel generators are on all the time. There is always a percentage off for regular maintenance or repairs.

    You missed the point entirely (no surprise there)! I was using a representative example to show that even to meet a middling degree of power generation backup that a large number of EV’s would be required. You may have missed the bit in my calculation where I used just 1% of the installed generating capacity!

    I can just imagine the new excuses of the future. “Hon! I’ll be late back from the office tonight because the wind’s not blowing and I need to leave the car plugged in so you can cook dinner and then I’ll need to push it home!” LOL!!

    Oh! And care to suggest how many decades it will be before there are 54 million EV’s in the U.S.?

    The scary thing is that are far too many people like you in public office these days!

  14. Comment from: Ivan


    “The scary thing is that are far too many people like you in public office these days!”

    Amen to that, brother!

  15. Comment from: Eyrie


    WA wouldn’t have a power problem if it had 3 or 4 nice nukes.

    Run the desal plant when peak power demand isn’t there and divert the power to grid when it is.

    The gas can be used as is or turned into liquids for transport fuel.

    As for the gas dependancy, didn’t we see all this in Victoria a few years ago?

    I once asked a friend who is high in the defence forces if there was an office in the defence Dept with “Office of Strategic Vulnerabilities” on the door. Didn’t get a good answer. I’d say not.

  16. Comment from: Ivan


    “As for the gas dependancy, didn’t we see all this in Victoria a few years ago?”

    Help me out here, but I can’t see what all the fuss is about.

    All these AGW nutters and their Loony Green friends are busily working away for a carbon-free future, and then suddenly: *BANG* — an opportunity to live the future drops into our hands (better than Earth Hour, even) and all everyone does is complain.

    Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humour?

  17. Comment from: Ender


    Mark – “You missed the point entirely (no surprise there)! I was using a representative example to show that even to meet a middling degree of power generation backup that a large number of EV’s would be required.”

    Not really. You used a completely representative example that had no basis in reality to try to show what you wanted to see. I used actual figures from reality to show that a quite small number of cars has a quite huge power potential.

    What you seem to be unable to grasp it is exactly that large numbers of cars are required. Western societies have enormous numbers of these cars that could be available to store energy when they are not ferrying their owners around. The utility does not have to buy these cars or their batteries and they are saving resources as the battery system does not have to be duplicated. Remember that utilities are already installing batteries in fossil fuel grids for stabilisation purposes.

    “I can just imagine the new excuses of the future. “Hon! I’ll be late back from the office tonight because the wind’s not blowing and I need to leave the car plugged in so you can cook dinner and then I’ll need to push it home!” LOL!!”

    Imagine this then “Hon I can’t afford the $100 I need for the petrol to get home and anyway I would have to queue for 2 hours to get it – I wish we had bought that electric car now”

  18. Comment from: Ender


    Eyrie – “WA wouldn’t have a power problem if it had 3 or 4 nice nukes.”

    What good would they do? The gas supplies are affecting peaking plants, the nukes would be just as helpless.

    The last thing WA needs is nukes.

    Ivan – “Help me out here, but I can’t see what all the fuss is about.”

    The fuss is that the WA economy is propping up the whole Australian economy at the moment. The gas supplies that are cut are affecting the resources boom. I asked a customer of ours in the Kimberley, jokingly at first, how was the gas problem/ He said they are shutting down tomorrow. This was not a small operation either.

    WA economy tanks – the Australian economy tanks. Obviously Victoria is not as important as it thinks it is.

  19. Comment from: Ender


    Mark – “Not really. You used a completely representative example that had no basis in reality”

    That should have been:

    “Not really. You used a completely UNrepresentative example that had no basis in reality”

  20. Comment from: Ivan


    “The fuss is that the WA economy is propping up the whole Australian economy at the moment.”

    It’s good to see WA pulling its weight for a change, but your comment completely misses the point – yet again. If nutters like Hansen ever get their way, there won’t be any economy left to prop up.

    Which I think you’ll find is what some of us have been saying for some time.

  21. Comment from: KuhnKat


    Ender,

    V2G will cost you your allowance for at least as long as it will take for you to evolve.

    Try this new newspaper on wind farming and other energy issues:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/20/mackay_on_carbon_free_uk/

    “Professor David J C MacKay of the Cambridge University Department of Physics holds a PhD in computation from Cal Tech and a starred first in Physics, so we can take it that he knows his numbers”

    “Our conclusion: if we covered the windiest 10 per cent of the country with windmills, we might be able to generate half of the energy used by driving a car 50 km per day each. Britain’s onshore wind energy resource may be “huge,” but it’s not as huge as our huge consumption. I should emphasize how audacious an assumption I’m making. … The windmills required … are fifty times the entire wind hardware of Denmark; seven times all the windfarms of Germany; and double the entire fleet of all wind turbines in the world”

    Seriously, you simply have no concept of the word MAGNITUDE!!
    You play with numbers but have no concept of value, worth, and REALITY!!!

    Tell us, how many people purchase new cars each year. How many of those are going to be in the area you are trying to convert. How many years is this going to be a FUBAR!!! Oh yeah, you warmers are going to turn FASCIST and FORCE everyone to do it your way!!

    Where is the money coming from realist?? Are you going to force all the rich people to pay for it?? What happens when the designs turn out to have ISSUES and you have to redesign and replace large chunks of this KLUDGE!!

    If you take long enough to insure everything is solid, the world has already melted down!! If you don’t, the usual problems will tank the project!!

    And guess what, if the same type of people doing the climate science do the engineering on this………..

    Uh Oh ENDOH!!!!!!!

  22. Comment from: Ivan


    “Oh yeah, you warmers are going to turn FASCIST and FORCE everyone to do it your way!!”

    You got that one right.
    Here’s what they’ll be forcing everyone to drive when they take their Prados and Hummers off them:

    http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/30/venturis-eclectic-solar-wind-powered-car/

  23. Comment from: Eyrie


    Ender, you really have convinced me you are irretrievably stupid.
    “The gas supplies are affecting peaking plants, the nukes would be just as helpless.”

    Let’s see, the nukes would have several years’ worth of fuel on site. Not exactly likely to suffer from temporary supply disruptions. WA also has lots of uranium and you could get it from seawater if you had to with not disastrous effects on the cost of the power. I did note that WA had lots of coastline when I lived there.

    Last I saw gas was supplying 65% of WA’s electricity. This is peaking load? Anyway you do need peaking load to run the system.

    I notice you slid right by the “run the desal plant” when you don’t need the power for the grid.

    Under those conditions ordinary “baseload” nukes can supply your peak load also. Not that there aren’t designs for peak load nukes. Way back in the 1950′s there was a lot of work done on nuclear jet engines which could be turned into relatively quick response nuclear peak load generators. Much peak load nowadays is gas fired turbines which are close cousins to those on 747′s etc. The nukes are similar but run heat exchangers to carry heat from the reactor to the “combustor” section of the turbine engine.

  24. Comment from: Ender


    KuhnKat – “”Professor David J C MacKay of the Cambridge University Department of Physics holds a PhD in computation from Cal Tech and a starred first in Physics, so we can take it that he knows his numbers”

    Well I have found one mistake already. He uses the average wind speed to estimate the energy output of a windfarm.

    I downloaded his book:
    http://www.withouthotair.com/

    “Chapter B (p.257) explains how to estimate the power per unit area
    POWER PER UNIT AREA
    windfarm 2W/m2
    (speed 6m/s)
    Table 3.1. Facts worth
    remembering: windfarms.
    of a windfarm in the UK. If the typical windspeed is 6m/s (13milesper hour, or 22 km/h), the power per unit area of windfarm is about 2W/m2. This figure of 6m/s is probably an over-estimate for many locations in Britain. For example, figure 3.2 shows daily average windspeeds at Cambridge during 2006. The daily average speed reached 6m/s on only about 30 days of the year. But some spots do have windspeeds above 6m/s – for example, the summit of Cairngorm in Scotland (figure 3.3).”

    From the wind power manual:

    http://www.windpower.org/en/tour/wres/bottle.htm
    ” The Average Bottle Fallacy
    What is the average energy content of the wind at your wind turbine site?
    Most people who are new to wind energy think they could easily live without the Weibull distribution. After all, if we know the average wind speed, we also know the average power of the wind, don’t we? So, can’t we just use the power (or energy) at the mean wind speed to figure out how much power (or energy) will hit the wind turbine?
    In other words, couldn’t we just say, that with an average wind speed of 7 m/s we get an average power input of 210 Watts per square metre of rotor area? (You may find that figure in the table on the power of the wind in the Reference Manual ).
    The answer is no! We would underestimate wind resources by almost 100 per cent. If we did that, we would be victims of what we could call the Average Bottle Fallacy: Look at the smallest and largest bottle in the picture. Both have exactly the same shape. One is 0.24 m tall, the other is 0.76 m tall. How tall is the average bottle? ”

    I sent him an email.

  25. Comment from: Ender


    Eyrie – “Ender, you really have convinced me you are irretrievably stupid.
    “The gas supplies are affecting peaking plants, the nukes would be just as helpless.”"

    Well thanks for that Eyrie.

    “Let’s see, the nukes would have several years’ worth of fuel on site. Not exactly likely to suffer from temporary supply disruptions. WA also has lots of uranium and you could get it from seawater if you had to with not disastrous effects on the cost of the power. I did note that WA had lots of coastline when I lived there.”

    Really? And where do we get the nuclear fuel from? Natural uranium is only fuel for one type of reactor the CANDU. All others require enriched uranium. Uranium from seawater? I did a calculation once that you can get about 20 times the power out of putting a solar panel above a unit area of sea than trying to get the uranium out of it.

    “Last I saw gas was supplying 65% of WA’s electricity. This is peaking load? Anyway you do need peaking load to run the system.”

    No some of it is used in the co-gen intermediate plant in Kwinana. However peaking plants are all gas or diesel fuelled.

    “I notice you slid right by the “run the desal plant” when you don’t need the power for the grid.”

    Actually I didn’t. I just thought it was a joke. You seriously think that you can use a billion dollar desal plant as a dump load for a nuke? Quite apart from the 2 billion cost of the nuke power plant you propose that to avoid building a couple of million dollar peaking plant, to spend a billion dollars building a desal plant that gets it’s power cut off unexpectantly every day. I am sure the desal operators would be overjoyed at that one.

    “Under those conditions ordinary “baseload” nukes can supply your peak load also. Not that there aren’t designs for peak load nukes.”

    No they can’t. They could pump water for pumped hydro however not a lot of mountains in WA. Peak load nukes LOL – so now you are reduced to vapourware to justify your crap nuclear power ideas.

    And you say I am irretrievably stupid?

  26. Comment from: Eyrie


    Ender,

    We’d get the enriched nuclear fuel where everyone gets it from. Ask the French. At least until we built our own enrichment plant and could do this ourselves with our own uranium.

    As for putting solar panels above a square meter of sea and getting more energy than extracting uranium from it, you’ve equated an area with a volume. Irretrievably stupid.

    BTW how do the desal operators get by now with their wind driven plant? Oh yes, I forgot, it actually runs off the gas fired WA power grid. How’s that working out right now?
    Peak loads are also relatively predictable over the 168 hour cycle so the power would hardly be cut off unexpectedly just reduced on a known schedule

    For pumped storage you don’t need thousands of feet of head. The Darling range will do fine and it is close by the major power users in the south west, but everything depends on having the energy available in the first place for which nuclear power plants will do fine.

    The engineering on nuclear gas turbines got done 50 years ago. I know of one company promoting this technology for peak load electricity.

    .

  27. Comment from: Ender


    Eyrie – “We’d get the enriched nuclear fuel where everyone gets it from. Ask the French. At least until we built our own enrichment plant and could do this ourselves with our own uranium.”

    So you want to put our energy future in the hands of others that sell us nuclear fuel? On the enrichment – Iran is having a really easy time building an enrichment plant. Why are you so certain we would be allowed to enrich uranium?

    “As for putting solar panels above a square meter of sea and getting more energy than extracting uranium from it, you’ve equated an area with a volume. Irretrievably stupid.”

    Again usually the person crying stupid is the one that actually is. A volume of water contains a certain amount of uranium which is a incredibly diffuse energy resource. If the uranium in a unit volume of water say 1 M^2 down to a 1000 M deep was extracted and turned into energy it would contain far less energy than simply placing a 1 M square solar panel in the sun. I did the calculation to show how irretrievably stupid it is to think we can extract uranium from seawater. Even if you did this only .72% of it is U235 anyway.

    “BTW how do the desal operators get by now with their wind driven plant? Oh yes, I forgot, it actually runs off the gas fired WA power grid. How’s that working out right now?”

    The idea that it is powered by the wind is a political stunt by the WA Government to greenwash the desal plant. It cannot, as it stands, be a dump load for a nuke you would have to build a couple of them for each dumb nuke plant.

    “For pumped storage you don’t need thousands of feet of head.”

    No you don’t however if you do not have thousands of feet of head you need many many times more water. I am sure that nobody would object to flooding millions of hectares of native forest just for pumped hydro to prop up nukes.

    “The engineering on nuclear gas turbines got done 50 years ago. I know of one company promoting this technology for peak load electricity.”

    I am sure it did however utility grade peaking nukes are vapourware. Also who is going to spend 2 or 3 billion dollars on a nuke plant that is used twice a day for a couple of hours? For 2 billin dollars you could buy a bank of batteries to do the same job. I guess it would be the stupid taxpayers – I thought you were against socialism? Oh I forgot, socialism is OK if it is getting nukes built.

  28. Comment from: Mark


    I know, we’ll use V2G to load balance for nukes! What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

  29. Comment from: Mark


    Hey, why don’t they use V2G to take base load from nukes and store it to meet peak demand. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

  30. Comment from: Ender


    Mark – you can do this however why would you? Especially in Australia the renewables are cheaper and cleaner than nuclear power and faster to deploy.

    Nukes do not make any sense.

  31. Comment from: Mark


    That’s great Ender! Except when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow! I must get out of the way before I get trampled by market governed private utilities scrambling to build your proposed nirvana rather than tried, true and workable solutions!

  32. Comment from: Ender


    Mark – “Except when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow!”

    When these things happen the other elements of the smart renewable grid will take over so this argument is just old and tired now.

    “I must get out of the way before I get trampled by market governed private utilities scrambling to build your proposed nirvana rather than tried, true and workable solutions!”

    Maybe you would be trampled by the market forces rushing to build nukes:

    http://www.rmi.org/images/PDFs/Newsletter/NLRMIspring08.pdf

    “Nuclear power, we’re told, is a vibrant
    industry that’s dramatically reviving
    because it’s proven, necessary,
    competitive, reliable, safe, secure, widely used,
    increasingly popular, and carbon-free—a
    perfect replacement for carbon-spewing coal
    power. New nuclear plants thus sound vital
    for climate protection, energy security, and
    powering a growing economy.

    There’s a catch, though: the private capital
    market isn’t investing in new nuclear plants,
    and without fi nancing, capitalist utilities aren’t buying. The few purchases, nearly all in Asia, are all made by central planners with a draw
    on the public purse. In the United States,
    even government subsidies approaching or
    exceeding new nuclear power’s total cost have
    failed to entice Wall Street.”

  33. Comment from: Ender


    Just a bit more on nuclear costs:

    http://www.energycentral.com/centers/energybiz/ebi_detail.cfm?id=525

    “”It’s not so much how much the plant costs, it’s what’s the price of electricity is when the plant comes online and how does that compare with natural gas, that’s really the important question,” says Heymer.

    Yet consultant Harding says that he estimates that operating cost per kilowatt-hour for a new nuclear plant will be 30 cents per kilowatt-hour for 12 or 13 years until construction costs are paid down, at which point operating costs will drop to 18 cents. Harding adds those costs are a tough sell when concentrated solar power and wind power can be had for about 14 cents per kilowatt-hour. He said he believes that those renewable resources, as well as natural gas, and perhaps LNG, might prove competitive to a new nuclear plant. ”

  34. Comment from: Mark


    “When these things happen the other elements of the smart renewable grid will take over so this argument is just old and tired now.”

    Like what? Hamsters?

  35. Comment from: Mark


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/06/29/eawind129.xml

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/06/29/do2910.xml

  36. Comment from: Geoff Sherrington


    Peter Lang is experienced in electricity provision and costs in Australia. He has given me permission to circulate the following paper.

    It deals with the cost of avoiding emission of a tonne of CO2 from a new power generator in Australia. Because of the need for backup power, the windmill approach costs over $1,000 per tonne of CO2 avoided. Nuclear costs $22.

    Worth a read? It’s a word document to click once you get my esnips account page. It’s my only post there at the moment.

    http://www.esnips.com/web/CostofCO2inpowergeneration

  37. Comment from: Geoff Sherrington


    World Nuclear News notes thus -

    IEA spells out carbon reduction challenge. The OECD International Energy Agency’s
    biennial publication Energy Technology Perspective has outlined what it says is necessary to
    halve today’s CO2 emissions by 2050 in order to keep global temperature increase below 2.4C.
    This would require the virtual decarbonising of the power generation sector and entail
    investment in new technology of over $45 trillion by 2050 plus carbon emission costs of $200
    to $500 /t CO2. Apart from conservation, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage are
    the main technologies to achieve this, and some 1400 new nuclear plants are likely to be
    required by 2050. WNN 6/6/08.

    This is reality land, calculated by experts rather than dreamers.

    If you wish to kill millions of people, stop fossil fuel consumption and GHG emissions overnight. To parody Oscar Wilde, “There is only one thing in the World worse than GHG, and that is not having GHG”.

  38. Comment from: Marcus


    Ender,
    The Victorian gov. approved a new coal fired power station.
    (I’m sure it’s to power the desal plant)
    It will use brown coal, dried to black coal standard.
    Looks like they don’t have a lot of faith in renewable energy supply just yet, or in the foreseeable future either, given that it takes years to build.

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