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What should we do about climate change?

Posted on 27 October 2010 by Kevin Judd

A short piece for the general audience of RTR radio, Perth, Australia.
(listen to the original audio podcast)

Climate scientists are telling us that the earth is warming, we are causing it, and we should reduce carbon dioxide emissions to lessen the effects. So what should we do?

Firstly, we should either use less energy, or use renewable energy sources, like solar-thermal generators that are now providing energy in Europe more cheaply than Nuclear generators, without the waste products. In Australia, peak energy demand is on hot summer days, when solar energy is most abundant; it makes no sense to not use solar energy to help meet this peak demand.

Most importantly, we must stop listening to disinformation. Contrary arguments have been repeatedly shown to be false and misleading. Claims that climate change is a hoax, or a conspiracy, or that climate scientists have deceived the public, is an inversion of the truth. Climate change denial is the propaganda. Ninety seven percent of scientists agree climate change is happening. The peer-reviewed evidence is overwhelming. The time for scepticism about climate change has past.

Scepticism is a good thing, all scientists are sceptics. I always encourage people to critically examine evidence and motivations. A good place to begin is the following. What is more plausible? That thousands of scientists have been fabricating evidence and theory for over a hundred years in a conspiracy to achieve, well, what exactly? Or that industries and their partners are sponsoring a disinformation campaign because they stand to lose billions of dollars in profits, if people should use less, or alternative forms of, energy? Ask yourself who stands to lose the most if the scientists' warnings are acted on? Then ask yourself who stands to lose the most if scientists' warnings are not acted on.

And keep in mind that the costs of prevention now is less than the cost of trying to fix the damage later

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO PODCAST

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Comments 301 to 350 out of 380:

  1. #297 JMurphy

    There is an international treaty governing the use of nuclear power called the Non Proliferation Treaty. Non nuclear armed states that sign up are entitled to do what they will for the peaceful use of nuclear power in return for forgoing nuclear weapons. No state that has signed and not subsequently withdrawn from the treaty has ever developed nuclear weapons. The IAEA will provide assistance to states new to nuclear power for such purposes as establishing appropriate regulatory structures.

    I don't know what all this "going it alone" business is about. The Bushehr reactor is a Russian built VVER-1000, Russia is supplying the fuel and taking back the spent fuel. To my knowledge no nation that is planning for new nuclear power is going it alone. They are all forming agreements with foreign suppliers and building established designs. eg Vietnam/Russia UAE/Sth Korea. All suppliers have a vested interest in not seeing their products go bang.

    If Iran wished to "go it alone", it would hardly be surprising considering the constant harassment and "all cards are on the table" threats. Especially as the harassment has a long history, most notably the CIA (cheered on by the Brits) engineering the overthrow of a social democratic government and installing the Shah. Who knows, without that there may have been no Islamic revolution and possibly a secular social democratic government in power today.

    Will Iran build nuclear weapons in the future? Who knows, but the more they perceive they are being threatened, the better then chances are.
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  2. In #299, JMurphy posted more links about subsidies to nuclear. The "Economics of Nuclear and Renewable Electricity" link mentions a study by Greenpeace that found that in Germany "total (direct + indirect) subsidies from 1950 to 2008 amounted to 165 billion euros (US$235 billion)" In 2009, German nuclear power generated 149 billion kWh. Applying the subsidized solar price (my link in #195), "green" nuclear power is worth $77B per year. Either nuclear is an extreme bargain or the solar subsidies are way too high (or both).
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  3. Peter Lang #282: "At the same time they are forcing governments to waste extraordinary amounts of money and national wealth on subsidising renewables. For no significant benefit. That is the political and policy environment we are in."

    None of this seems remotely accurate to me. Subsidies on renewable energy have been tiny. If you add it all up renewable power gets LESS public funding than nuclear... and those two combined are insignificant compared to the subsidies fossil fuels have received.

    If you've got a study which says otherwise I'd love to see it because every one I've ever looked at makes it very clear that this claim that renewables get the most funding is pure nonsense. The closest I've seen on that would be studies showing that R&D subsidies for renewables are about the same as those for fossil fuels (but about HALF the R&D subsidies for nuclear) or studies that look at current subsidy amounts divided by the total energy production of each energy type... which is misleading since it ignores all the past subsidies which went into developing the massive fossil fuel infrastructure.

    "My position is I want to see an economically rational level playing field."

    No objections there... we just need to base 'economically rational' on actual costs vs fictional costs.

    "1. coal generates about 80% of Australia’s electricity. Baseload amounts to about 75% of our electricity consumption."

    I've read alot more about US, European, and global energy use than I have Australian so that may be part of the disconnect. Has the Australian government provided inordinate amounts of support to renewable energy? I wouldn't know. Seems unlikely given the strength of the 'global warming is a myth' contingent in Australian government. That said... Australia has huge amounts of sun drenched little used land in the interior. I believe the south coast also has decent wind power potential. So what would be wrong with developing such resources in the areas they are viable?

    "3. Nuclear and pumped hydro could meet all our requirements now. That would provide very low emissions electricity, and at the least cost (if we removed the impediments)."

    Consider for a moment a small isolated community in central Australia. They have low electricity needs, but they are far away from any large waterway or existing electrical grid. Which is going to be least expensive:

    1: Building them their own nuclear power plant.
    2: Building the electrical grid out from a major population center hundreds of miles away to their small community.
    3: Building a small solar thermal power plant outside town.

    If you didn't say 3 then you are lying to yourself. If you did then you must see that 'nuclear and hydro would be least expensive' is false... there are situations where other power sources will clearly cost less. There are many isolated mountain communities around the world where the same issues make wind power the best choice. Ditto islands all over the world. Then add in all the places which will refuse nuclear power. You may not like it, but it is REALITY. Refusing to accept reality is a poor foundation for any plan of action.

    "4. Solar and wind cannot provide baseload power. They are unlikely to be able to for a very long time, if ever. I doubt solar will ever be viable for baselod generation."

    Simply not true. Setting aside space based solar and high altitude wind as technologies not yet ready for the mainstream (like thorium reactors for instance) it is still entirely possible for wind and solar to provide stable baseload power. This can be accomplished by storing energy during peak generation periods for use during peak demand periods and/or by having a large enough grid with enough excess capacity to meet demand even during low production periods.

    How can you advocate pumped hydro and not see how that, amongst MANY other options (e.g. molten salts, graphite heat sinks, compressed air, actual batteries, et cetera), can solve the supposed 'baseload problem'? Wind blows more than needed somewhere on the electrical grid... the excess is directed towards pumping water uphill... some part of the grid later doesn't have enough power... that pumped water is allowed to run downhill through a hydro power station... required energy is supplied. No amazing new technology or massive investment required. Simple application of existing technologies.
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  4. Peter Lang has got it spot on. Anyone in the power engineering field knows these numbers.

    Fossil (coal, oil, gas) fuel, nuclear, hydro and geothermal are the only short to medium term available sources for base load 24/7 electricity generation.

    Windmills and PV Solar are probably energy black holes due to the low energy density tapped, storage devices required and distance from major loads.

    What is never discussed seriously is the fact that Windmill, PV Solar and other renewables have existing costs based on an industrial infrastructure mainly powered by fossil fuel (coal) and nuclear, hydro which are all relatively cheap. What would be their costs if produced by an industrial system powered by Wind and PV Solar?

    Low availability of Wind and to a lesser extent Solar (seasonal and weather) requires baseload backup plant to cover for periods of no or light wind and cloud/seasonal lows over large geographic areas.

    Molten salt (and pumped hydro) and similar storage devices significantly add to cost and though smoothing out the fluctuations, still have no effect on the general problem of low availability.
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  5. #276 scaddenp at 11:16 AM on 3 November, 2010
    A blanket "solar energy is not economically viable" is false. Do you object to the idea that all subsidies on fossil fuels should be dropped for starters so we have a level playing field.

    It is not false. There are three problems inherent to solar energy that are difficult if not impossible to overcome in terrestrial installations.
    1. Power density is small, therefore land use is wasteful
    2. It is intermittent, needs temporary storage capability
    3. Competes with plant life for the resource

    None of it applies to outer space in the inner solar system though.

    Point 1. is the most worrisome one, because raw land area is the only resource (beside human awareness) which is in short supply even in the long run, irrespective of any technological breakthrough. There is no conceivable way for expanded reproduction of land.

    As for subsidies on fossil fuels (or anything) I agree with you wholeheartedly. Especially for the so called Clean Coal or CCS (Carbon Capture & Storage) madness. It does not mean I would not prefer clean smokestacks to dirty ones in the ordinary sense, meaning only air, H2O and CO2 are emitted, while sulfur, nitrogen oxides, black carbon, heavy metals and the like are retained.

    The only reasonable way to spend public money on energy issues is by supporting basic research (with no political pressure on its supposed directions whatsoever). Other than that, the government can (and should) install regulations in a way that promotes responsibility (including full financial responsibility, by compulsory industrial liability insurance perhaps) but otherwise makes private R+D efforts calculable, even on nukes.
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  6. More figures to chew on :

    Nuclear Subsidies

    A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030 - Scientific American Nov 2009

    Those should be understandable, whether you are an engineer or not - although, is anyone else surprised by reading engineers proclaiming the wisdom (virtual infallability, even) of their own branch of science, while sneering at and belittling what have been previously described as 'scientists' who work in Climatology ?
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  7. Peter,
    My impression is that the anti-nuclear and renewable advocates have dominated energy policy for the past 40 odd years.
    Your impression does not square with recorded history.

    society in the western democracies will have to take the necessary steps, including some subsidies to nuclear until it can be competitive again in the western democracies. The precedent has been set with the massive subsidies we’ve paid to renewables, so arguing this case should not be opposed.
    This claim is wrong. The US Federal government subsidized nuclear power equivalent to all subsidies on solar, wind & hydro combined in 2006 (most recent complete data available).

    Energy Report - Government Financial Subsidies
    Estimated Federal Energy Subsidies in 2006

    Nuclear: $1.19 billion

    Wind: $458 million
    Solar: $383 million
    Hydro: $295 million

    Coal: $2.75 billion
    Oil & Gas: $3.5 billion

    BP,

    Point 1: Facetious. Solar energy production does not require sole use of the land. Sole-use facilities can be built where land is plentiful and unused for other purposes, e.g. a desert. They can also be deconstructed without centuries-long containment procedures & extensive land reclamation.

    Point 2: This is not a difficult problem in widescale deployment mixed with other technologies. There are many storage methods currently available & viable. It is facetious to claim that hydropower can be distributed, but that solar & wind cannot.

    Point 3: Beyond the pale ludicrous. This point is wholly indicative of straining to validate a belief. I must congratulate you on coming with a point that I have never heard of before though.

    The only reasonable way to spend public money on energy issues is by supporting basic research (with no political pressure on its supposed directions whatsoever).
    I agree.
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  8. Cato Institute: Hooked on Subsidies
    Pro-nuclear groups herald the coming flood of applications as proof that nuclear energy makes economic sense. Nonsense. The only reason investors are interested: government handouts. Absent those subsidies, investor interest would be zero.
    ...
    How do France (and India, China and Russia) build cost-effective nuclear power plants? They don't. Governmental officials in those countries, not private investors, decide what is built. Nuclear power appeals to state planners, not market actors.

    The only nuclear plant built in a liberalized-energy economy in the last decade was one ordered in Finland in 2004. The Finnish plant was built on 60-year purchase contracts signed by electricity buyers, by a firm (the French Areva) that scarcely seems to be making good money on the deal.
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  9. Re: gallopingcamel (272), Barry Brook (277), Peter Lang (254, et al)

    Apologies for not attending to this earlier (still Internet-access-challenged for a few more days).

    Several posters upthread had queried Peter as to his position on AGW (for various reasons I, which I won't dwell on here). Curious, I asked Peter myself in my comment at 249. My reasoning for doing so was stated there.

    Peter was kind enough to respond to me in his comment at 254, wherein he spelled out what he would talk about INRE: Co2
    "I’ll talk about cutting CO2 emissions, costs of doing so, security of supply etc, and leave others to join the dots in the way they want to."
    But he again declined to specify a position on AGW. Very curious. Why have CO2 emissions reductions as an area of concern when Peter won't even acknowledge the veracity of the science behind it (which says it's a profound problem)? And if he is indeed truly pro-AGW on other websites, why the sudden reticence here?

    I do not dispute his knowledge on NP (far in excess of mine). Heck, I agree that NP should be a primary (short term and long term) replacement for fossil fuels. But, given the current prevailing public sentiments towards NP, pragmatism dictates an inclusionist perspective at the "lets replace fossil fuels as energy sources" dinner table party. I was not dictating any specific mix, but in my response at 267 I did specify that NP should be central to the equation.

    So, why does Peters silence on AGW matter? It revolves around the fundamental crux of education. Without acknowledgement of a need to change, change cannot readily take place. For example, alcoholics will not begin to recover until they admit they have a problem. Our world has a problem with excess CO2 emissions. That is what the science tells us. The role of educating the world on the dangers of excess CO2 has to be filled somehow, by someone or something. That is the role for SkS: convincing those who will convince the world of the need to leave fossil fuels in the ground, where they can do no further damage to the world on which all of us depend.

    Given success in that educational path, a replacement stategy for coal as a source for energy production has to then be developed and sold to the public. In that area, Peter's knowledge and expertise would be valuable. But if he's unwilling to be transparent about potential conflicts of interests and motivations here, among a more friendly and receptive audience, how much sway will he have convincing the public at large?

    One more thing: even if a full-NP solution is implemented, rollout will take time. Without the education to convince areas without NP to replace fossil fuels, do you really think people won't continue to burn what they have? Even a full-blown implementation of everything we have, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal, wind, NP...all will take years to roll out and implement. During which CO2 will still be injected into the carbon cycle. How much is too much? How much time do we have? At some point, where do we cross that line in the feedback process where methane clathrate/hydrate releases from permafrost go from a remote possibility to a real possibility? To an eventuality? Can anyone say that we haven't already crossed that line? Bueller?

    Disaster planners speak of planning for the worst possibility, not the worst expectation. A PETM-style methane release from permafrost hydrate/clathrate stores is still just a possibility at the moment (from my understanding of the literature). But given the uncertainties, to avoid a shift into it becoming a probability, every effort to avoid more CO2 releases by humans should be undertaken wherever and whenever possible.

    This experiment we are in the middle of can only be done once. There are no do-overs. No extra lives. Who amongst you feels differently? On what knowledge do you base this? Please do share, if so.

    Peter, I care about my children, my neighbors, my countrymen, my race. As I'm sure you do as well. I respect your obvious knowledge and expertise on NP. I feel NP must occupy a central role in weaning the world off fossil fuels, with time of the essence. But I don't need you compromising your potential role in the upcoming educational process with the public, which must take place, because you feel reluctant to take a stand on AGW here, among a friendlier audience than you'll find in the world at large. I need you to step up here, for me, my children and yours. And everyone else.

    The Yooper
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  10. Bibliovermis @307

    You quoted figures for US government subsidies for 2006. I have several observations after a very quick scan of the article you linked to:

    1. It seems the main subsidies for wind and solar are not included. These are the cost that must be paid because wind and solar are mandated by government. They are “must take” generators (that is the utilities much purchase whatever they generate). There are also costs imposed on purchasers by feed in tariffs and by mandating the amount of energy that must be purchased. These amount to 100% to 150% mandated subsidy for wind energy and in the order of 1,000% subsidy for solar energy. In Australia we have guaranteed feed in tariffs for solar which are up to ten times the cost of power from conventional power stations. And that subsidy is guaranteed for 20 years. And we have and Renewable Energy Certificates (REC). Similar regulations exist in USA., Canada, UK, EU. None of those subsidies are included in the analysis you provided (as far as I can see).

    2. You quoted the total amount of subsidies by technology. But you did not normalise these amounts by dividing by the amounts of electricity generated? Why not?

    If you had done so the figures you would have provided would have been:

    Estimated Federal Energy Subsidies in 2006
    Techno;ogy $/MWh
    Nuclear: $1.42

    Wind: $8.22
    Solar: $156.33
    Hydro: $1.05

    Coal: $1.29
    Oil & Gas: $3.61

    This shows that subsidies (just the ones included in you source document) for wind energy are 8 times and for solar energy are 130 times the subsidies for nuclear per MWh supplied.

    3. If you divided by the real value of the energy generated (solar and wind power is near valueless because it is not dispatchable and because of the extra cost required to manage it), then the subsidies for wind and solar are near infinite per $ value of the energy supplied by these technologies.

    Your post appears to me to be an attempt to mislead the readers. This is why I doubt the integrity and credibility of many posting here, and have shown a sense of frustration in some of my replies to some people, regretfully sometimes these responses have been addressed to the wrong person.

    Sources:

    Government Financial Subsidies

    IEA, Electricity and heat for USA, 2007
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  11. Daniel Bailey,

    @309 you said:

    I agree that NP should be a primary (short term and long term) replacement for fossil fuels.

    If you want to recover any of your lost credibility with me you will lay out here what efforts you have and are putting into trying to convert the the anti-nuclear, pro renewables policies of Greenpeace, WWF, FoE, and the Greens.
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  12. Re: Peter Lang (311)

    You left out the Don Quixote Society. I tilt at them all the time.

    As for my unlamented credibility, I think I shall still sleep well at night.

    The Yooper
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  13. Credibility and Integrity

    Regarding the many comments about credibility and implied lack of integrity, I similarly have little faith in the credibility and integrity of many who participate here.

    It appears to me these people believe what they want to believe and dig around to try to get evidence that supports their belief.

    It appears their Pro-Renewable Anti-Nulcear (PRAN) beliefs are based on faith, rather than objective analysis. I wonder whether they have used the same approach to support their other strongly held beliefs.

    The demonstration on this thread of their phobia about nuclear power, tends to make me suspect such people’s beliefs and opinions about other faiths they hold so dear may not be objective either.

    If the PRANs want to regain credibility with me, they would need to do the objective research on how the world can cut emissions by the extent advocated; show how it can be done at least cost to the world ecoomy; and show how the proposed solution is practical (clearly getting an international, economically efficient ETS is not possible at the moment and may not be for a long time).
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  14. I have not questioned your veracity, integrity or credibility in this thread. I therefore bid you a good day.
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  15. JMurphy @306.

    You suggested the readers should "chew on" the Mark Jocobson paper: A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030 - Scientific American Nov 2009.

    Chew on and spit out is all that paper is worth. It is nonsense. You might like to chew on just one of the many critiques.
    Critique of a path to sustainable energy by 2030
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  16. CBDunkerson @303

    None of this seems remotely accurate to me. Subsidies on renewable energy have been tiny. If you add it all up renewable power gets LESS public funding than nuclear... and those two combined are insignificant compared to the subsidies fossil fuels have received.

    You cannot compare on the basis of the raw numbers. You need to compare the subsidies on the basis of the amount of energy supplied. See post #310.
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  17. At Peter Lang. I was following this debate with interest for a while. It has broken down a bit, but I think your leap from frustration to questioning the integrity of those who partake in climate science discussion at this site (including by extension John) is completely unecessary, logically unfounded and not even sensible given your desire to promote NP.

    This is the way I see it. Many people would prefer not to have to deal with a system that produces waste that requires a lot of babysitting (in some cases for centruries) and poses significant security risks over long intervals. Another simple fact is people fear radioactivity deeply. It has nothing to do with being an enviro anything. You should see the looks I get from parents and students (or my mother!) when I explain that I use it all the time in my research. The cold war seems to have etched that fear deeply in the minds of the public, in the same way that some seem to think that communists still exist and want to take over the world.

    Others also hope for a decentralized structure for power distribution rather than a centralized one, for a number of reasons. There might be a personal preference for the independence that implies, maybe there's a distruct of centralized political power that results from such structures, or a distrust that risks will be evaluated fairly once we're committed to it (I tend to share that view!) or maybe a sense that distributed systems would be more resilient, though difficult to engineer. These are legitimate concerns, though some are very hard to argue against, I admit.

    Finally, many think that renewable energy alternatives have not received the investment that other more centralized forms of power distribution have. We haven't seen that kind of funding for those technologies, and people want to see them given a far chance. I think you tend to undersell there potential a bit. Also, while I tend to agree that we have some way to go to have renewable energies completely replace what we have, the fact is that some argue the NP/renewable divide as an either or scenario. That typically hardens stances.

    All that has nothing to do with the goal of this site - which is to discuss the scientific bases underpinning our role in climate dynamics.
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  18. #306, JMurphy, you posted another link about subsidies. This time they determined the full price for nuclear power taking into account all capital and operating costs, plus insurance against meltdown. A total of 21 cents per kWh. The German price from my link in #192 is 52 cents. Nuclear provides fully-costed power at 2/5ths of the price.
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  19. CBDunkerson @303

    No objections there... we just need to base 'economically rational' on actual costs vs fictional costs.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. I believe that is what I am doing and I believe it is what the PRANs are not doing.

    For example, we cannot compare wind or solar with nuclear purely on the basis of $/MWh. We have to include the cost to make wind or solar able to provide power of equivalent quality and reliability. That means we need to include the cost of back up. Here is a comparison on the basis of average power (a very simplistic way to get a rough cost of energy for technologies where the upfront cost dominate).

    Nuclear = $4,500/kWy/y

    Wind (with gas back-up) = $11,800kWy/y
    wind with pumped hydro storage = $132,300/kWy/y

    This is admittedly simplistic, but the result is not too far off. Wind energy, when you include all the costs of the back-up required and all the extra costs of enhancing the grid to enable it to manage the fluctuating power supplied by wind and solar, costs around three times the cost of nuclear energy. The costs of energy storage at the scale required make it not viable now or probably ever.

    I'd urge people to try to see the big picture as a first step.
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  20. Stephen Baines,

    I am well aware of all that. It's not as if it hasn't been said a million times. The problem is that most of the general belief about nuclear, renewables, energy security, distributed electricity generation is wrong and it is being perpetrated here. Someone mentioned up thread we need to educate people about DAGW. Well, why doesn't that apply just as much to the misunderstandings about nuclear and renewables? If we want to cut emisisons, surely we need to educate people about what solutions are actually viable as oppsed to be wishful thinking.

    I'll pick on just one of your points:

    Also, while I tend to agree that we have some way to go to have renewable energies completely replace what we have, the fact is that some argue the NP/renewable divide as an either or scenario.

    I agree with this statement "the fact is that some argue the NP/renewable divide as an either or scenario." It is clearly true that environmental NGOs and Greens and most on the Left have tried to block nuclear totally. They do not want any of it. So clearly your statement is correct. It is not true that anyone has tried to block renewables, however. I want whatever is most economic.

    I argue that renewables, in most cases are uneconomic. They are economic in some situations, and where that is the case I strongly support their use.
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  21. Stephen Baines,

    We've discussed many of the issues already. But they are continually regurgitated in the same sort of vacuous statments like:
    "Many people would prefer not to have to deal with a system that produces waste that requires a lot of babysitting (in some cases for centruries) and poses significant security risks over long intervals."

    1. The 'waste' as you call it is once-used-nuclear-fuel. We've used just 1% of the available energy so far. It will be reused eventually, once it becomes cheaper to recycle the material rather than mine new uranium, whenever that is.

    2. Only nuclear energy manages the toxic component of its waste. No other technology does. Why don't you do proper comparisons?

    3. The waste from nuclear is no more toxic than the waste from other technologies. Furthermore, radioactive waste does decay over time. Most of the toxic chemicals released by other technologies do not decay. They last forever. Why don't you do proper comparisons - or refer to authoritative studies that have (such as ExternE)?

    4. the quantities of waste from nuclear energy are miniscule compared with quantities from the alternatives that can provide our power (fossil fuels). They are also small compared with solar (per MWh generated over the life of the plant).

    I may have shown this picture before. The picture shows 16 canisters which hold all the once used nuclear fuel from the entire 31 years life of a now decommissioned NPP in New York state. The plant supplied 44 TWh of electricity. If that had been supplied by coal it would have released about 44 million tonnes of CO2, similar amount of mining waste, plus fly ash, particulates, heavy metals, benzenes, long chain hydrocarbons and about 10 tonnes of Uranium, all of which is released to the environment.

    If you are objective, as you think you are, why don't you do your homework before repeating all the anti-nuclear nonsense?

    If you are objective, as you think you are, why don't you tackle the organisatiosn that are blocking nuclear power? Why don't you (and the others that say they want to reduce emisisons) make a conserted effort to get these anti nuclear groups and political parties to change their anti-nuclear policies. I expect most here have never attmepted to do so, which suggests an inconsistency between what you claim and what you actually do.
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  22. @Peter Lang: "We've discussed many of the issues already. "once it becomes cheaper to recycle the material rather than mine new uranium, whenever that is."

    I like how you claim that Nuclear power is needed *now* because renewables aren't ready, yet dismiss the waste problem as something that'll be solved by technology sometime in the future...

    "The waste from nuclear is no more toxic than the waste from other technologies."

    How do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you make claims like this? How is waste from wind or solar power more toxic than nuclear waste?

    "It appears their Pro-Renewable Anti-Nulcear (PRAN) beliefs are based on faith"

    Who said anything about being anti-nuclear? Why do you keep misrepresenting the position of people who oppose you? This type of strawman arguments has no place in an honest, rational debate.

    This is *exactly* the type of comments that make it sound as if you're shilling for the Nuclear industry. I'm not saying you are, but putting words into other people's mouths only proves you're more interested in pushing your message than finding the truth.

    As many have said before, it will take a mixed solution. Your one-sided advocacy for nuclear, though it may or may not be self-interested, is counter-productive.
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  23. Whoa! this thread headed in political country but I dont think we need this.

    Perhaps we need something like IPCC for advising governments about alternative energy that has assessments audited for BS and industry advocacy from any source firmly tied back to verifiable facts. I really miss the peer-review process in making sense of these competing claims. Like climate, government processes need to be reliably informed so they dont just depend on which lobby group has the best tactics. (Sounds like this might be asking a bit much in the US though where politics appears to have gone tribal).
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  24. A little bit of trivia:

    "there’s more than ten times the nuclear energy available from the [uranium in] coal ash than there is chemical energy available from the coal."
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  25. scaddenp,

    I agree. I believe ExternE is the equivalent of IPCC regarding the comparison of the various electricity generation technologies.

    Google:
    "ExternE" for externailities
    "ExternE NEEDS" for costs, material requirements"
    "ExternE NewExt" for comparitive risk assessment
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  26. Many people do not realise why the cost of nuclear is so high in the western democracies. Look at this and you might understand why. Greenpeace can barely contain themselves:

    DV82XL at BNC says: ...rumor has it that Entergy Corp. will announce this week that it plans to sell the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

    Note that while the State of Vermont cannot rule on this plant’s license, (such things are a federal prerogative in the U.S.) the company that owns it is fed up with the State and and has decided that continuing to do business there is not worth the trouble..


    How high does the investor risk premium have to be to cover for having your investment shut down by changing political environment.

    This was built under a poitical environment when it was wanted by the people. Investors were attracted on the basis of promises at the time. Now politcs has changed. The investors loose. Under such a suituation, it wil be difficult (i.e. very costly) to get investors to invest in nuclear again without a very large public sector swag of money, adn the public lose it first.

    That is one of the main reasons nuclear is so much more expensive than it should and could be in the western democracies.
    0 0
  27. I just noticed I made an error in my post #310. The corrected sentence reads:

    "This shows that subsidies (just the ones included in your source document) for wind energy are 6 times and for solar energy are 110 times the subsidies for nuclear per MWh supplied.
    0 0
  28. Peter Lang #317: "You cannot compare on the basis of the raw numbers. You need to compare the subsidies on the basis of the amount of energy supplied."

    I cited that viewpoint, and explained why I consider it untrue, in the paragraph after the one you quoted. In short, I covered that point before you ever made it... yet here you are raising it again without bothering to answer my objection to it.

    Peter Lang #320: "We have to include the cost to make wind or solar able to provide power of equivalent quality and reliability. That means we need to include the cost of back up."

    I explained in the same post how wind and solar can be made reliable WITHOUT backup power plants.

    Add 'not reading what the other person says' to the list of things which prevent meaningful conversation with you.
    0 0
  29. scaddenp wrote : "Whoa! this thread headed in political country but I dont think we need this."


    I agree. Peter Lang's conspiracy theories involving an all-powerful bunch of Lefties using AGW (or, even more horrifyingly, "DAGW") to take control of the world is just bizarre. Further discussion is about as useful as trying to persuade Monckton that Communism is not plotting world domination.

    Thankfully there are plenty of unbiased, non-ideological sources out there, including the following, which lays out all the options in a rational format :

    Sustainable Energy - without the hot air
    0 0
  30. #329, JMurphy, I like that e-book and would recommend it for everyone. My only quibble so far is some information is out of date e.g. "Modern phone chargers, when left plugged in with no phone attached, use about half a watt." That small problem no longer exists thanks to microwatt level phantom draw the last few years or zero in recent designs. But that merely reinforces the author's point which is very practical: "every little bit" does not help, it induces an artificial reality of "doing something" when in reality "doing nothing".
    0 0
  31. Eric (skeptic) wrote : "I like that e-book and would recommend it for everyone."


    I agree, and the other message that I draw from the "every little bit" helps/doesn't help message (depending on what the 'little' refers to - not driving to the newsagents round the corner, for example, is a little sacrifice that would help) is that 'big bits' are more useful, if more of an effort - although, the 'little bits', being easier and taking less effort, are easier to sell to the public.
    0 0
  32. Peter, thanks for pointing out ExternE. I would say a step in the right direction but as far as I could tell, so far lacking in the transparent review and audit processes of IPCC. (eg. for IPCC, I can see comments from every reviewer and editorial response). It's the nature of the subject that makes their references somewhat uninspiring and difficult to locate. While there is endless bitching in climate circles about access to primary data, it looks a lot worse in energy sector where I am guessing commercial concerns hamper access.

    Nonetheless, I am pleased to see cross-government funded research going into this and obviously attempts to create a reliable, trustworthy resource for policy makers.

    JMurpy and Eric - I am also a fan of that book. I've attempted to create the matching numbers for NZ.
    0 0
  33. My goal is not to pick winners, but to present honest quantitative facts about all the options.


    Thanks for the pointer. The full book is downloading right now. It's amusing that it was published on April 1st in North America.

    I'm not anti-nuclear. I'm cynical based on society's track record of short-term profit potential vs. long-term risk management.

    Sort of the same way I'd be cynical about handing a chainsaw to a 12 year old with ADD.

    The emphatic safety claims call to my mind claims of an Unsinkable Ship.

    It is my opinion that there is no simple, silver bullet solution. I would say this even applies to potential game changers such as aneutronic fusion of Hydrogen-Boron fuel through dense plasma focus.
    Lawrenceville Plasma Physics: Focus Fusion
    0 0
  34. CBDunkerson @328,

    "Add 'not reading what the other person says' to the list of things which prevent meaningful conversation with you."

    I don't know aht you are referring to in the post that enbds with this statment, but it seems to me this statement applies to you. You clearly haven't read, or if you did you didn't understand, the material and links I've provided.

    I agree, we cannot have a meaningful conversation.
    0 0
  35. "I am concerned about cutting the emissions of twaddle:

    David Mackay, Preface to "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air"

    Excellent book but does not cover costs. That is important to be aware of. We cannot make policy without understanding costs, schedule, resource requirements. They are fundamental to any policy decisions.

    You may be interested in page 335 (greenhouse gas conversion factors. Notice Figure 1.9 Carbon intensity of electricity production (g CO2 / kWh)
    France = 83
    Denmark = 881

    France has highest proportion of nuclear in Europe (and the world) and lowest emission intensity from electricity; Denmark has the highest proportion of wind power in Europe (and the world) and the highest emissions intensity in Europe.

    I'll mention that France is correct but Denmark's figure is probably a little too high).

    But the point remains valid. Renewables do not cut emissions significantly. Nuclear does.

    Another point on David Mackay's book, he provides several scenarios of technology mixes that could allow UK to achieve the emisisons targets by 2050. Since the book was published he has added another scenario he calls PlanC.pdf 'Plan C'. This is the closest to being achivable. It requires 60% nuclear!
    0 0
  36. That link to David Mackay's 'Plan C' should be:
    'Plan C'

    http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/book/tex/PlanC.pdf
    0 0
  37. scaddenp said:
    I am also a fan of that book. I've attempted to create the matching numbers for NZ.


    Except that it's impossible to do it properly, or come up with a "Plan C" or Plan E for NZ, because they, like Australia, forbid nuclear.
    0 0
  38. Peter Lang wrote : "Since the book was published he has added another scenario he calls PlanC.pdf 'Plan C'. This is the closest to being achivable. It requires 60% nuclear!"


    But, unsurprisingly, there are a few 'buts' :


    Plan C is a suggested starting point for a single consensus plan.
    (MY EMPHASIS)


    We build almost every zero-carbon technology we possibly can, as fast as we possibly can, starting right away.
    The plan reduces energy consumption by between 30% and 50% (depending how the accounting is done) by adopting super-efficient technology for the two biggest consumers – transport and heating.



    Figure 1.10. Plan C. Energy sources in 2050. Average energy contributed by source in kWh per day per person :

    Wind - 12
    Clean Coal - 1.2
    Tide - 3.7
    Nuclear - 28
    Wave - 0.3
    Hydro - 0.2
    Waste - 1.1
    Pumped Heat - 13
    Wood - 3
    Solar HW - 1
    PV - 0.3
    Solar in deserts - 4

    (Total - 67.8, i.e. Nuclear contributes 41%)


    Without smart demand management, the expansion of wind and nuclear will not work.


    And he has anticipated those who claim it's impossible without nuclear :


    Plan C gets most of its power from wind and nuclear. The mix could be adjusted in response to economic or political preferences: the exchange rate is that each Sizewell B is equivalent (on average) to 2000 (2 MW) turbines, which would make up wind-farms occupying an area of roughly 2000 km2.
    0 0
  39. I am getting pleaded with at BNC to shut up on the matter of excessive requirements for nuclear safety. I don't agree with the advocates for em to shut up. I thought I'd post my reply here too so you can all support my position :)

    "gallopingcamel, quokka, DV82XL, Douglas Wise, and all the others that are pleading with me to stop saying, and agitating, that:

    nuclear is 10 to 100 times safer than coal. The extra safety requirements are increasing the cost of nuclear and making it uncompetitive, so we have to stick with coal instead. This is illogical. We need to reduce the cost of nuclear to get it to roll out faster. This cannot be done with Gen III (much) but it can and should in Gen IV. We need to change the focus of our requirements from ‘super safe’ to ‘least cost with an acceptable level of safety’. Acceptable level of safety is what we accept for other industries, such as the chemical industry.

    I hear your plead for me to shut the f…k up on this. But I don’t agree with you.

    I understand you see how it is perceived by the public. I do understand this. I’ve been where you are. Now I think I am miles ahead of you.

    My reason for saying this is because I’ve seen 20 years of the pussy footing around. It gets us nowhere. I now believe we need to explain the facts.

    The facts are that we’ve made nuclear too safe compared with other industries. It is not feasible to raise the safety of other industries to what we require for nuclear. So that means that nuclear is disadvantaged. That means we cannot have the benefits of its higher safety and lower emissions.

    Another way to look at this is to point out that if nuclear had been available before coal and we were trying to introduce coal now to replace nuclear, we wouldn’t even consider it. When you think of it this way it points out just how ridiculous are the imposts we’ve imposed on nuclear.

    I do not agree with you guys that it is best to hold these discussions in private between consenting parties. I believe the discussion needs to be had with the public. Some will get it, others wont. But some will start to understand that they really have been taken for an enormous ride by the anti-nukes over the past 50 years.

    I believe Gen IV should be made as low cost as is necessary to provide the same level of safety as a chemical plant. I am thinking of what is needed to roll out nuclear instead of coal for generating electricity in the developing world. They can’t afford to buy developed country levels of safety for anything – chemical plants or anything else. So why would anyone believe they should have Gen III’s. It is totally illogical.

    We need to focus on least-cost not super-safe for Gen IV. We need to focus on the least cost available Gen II or Gen III until Gen IV is available because any Gen II or Gen III is more than safe enough. When implementing Gen II or Gen III (until Gen IV is available) the focus should be on removing as many of the imposts as possible so we can get the damned things at the lowest possible cost. We do not need to focus on safety. If they will provide lower cost electricity and free up fresh water by being on the coast near our major cities, then I am all for that. If it will be cheaper to put the first plants on brownfield sites, then I’m OK with that too.
    0 0
    Moderator Response: If that is a direct copy of a comment you previously posted at some other site, next time please provide just a link plus some commentary, summary, or additional thoughts. Please don't just copy and paste lengthy comments that duplicate material available elsewhere. Thanks!
  40. J Murphy,

    So why aren't you out there advocating toe Greenpeace and the rest of the anti-nukes to change their policy to be pro-nuclear and get started right away?
    0 0
  41. Further to my post #339 here is my reply on BNC to quokka on this matter (I'm posting these here because it may be informative for some):

    quokka said:
    It is inconceivable that nuclear power could be introduced without a regulatory and safety environment that does not at least meet IAEA recommendations.

    I totally agree and I have never said anything that should be taken to mean I disagree with this statement.

    All the other countries abide by the IAEA requirements and nuclear is a lot cheaper in some of those countries than in USA, Canada, UK, and European countries. I want to run with the low cost way of doing it, not the high cost way.

    I also want to advocate to get the other big nuclear countries to stop agitating in the IAEA for ever higher safety regulations. I want these countries to start agitating to back off to a level that is consistent with the requirements on other industries. France is trying to ramp up the requirement to try to make its EPR monster competitive. That is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing if we want nuclear to be rolled out in the developing and underdeveloped countries (I am thinking of the poorest countries in Africa, for example). If they do not have the option of cheap nuclear they will use fossil fuel generation.

    Australia will have to abide by whatever the IAEA dictates. But we can take a minimalist approach and I think we should – for the benefit of the whole world!!!
    0 0
  42. By the way JMurphy, you got this wrong:
    "(Total - 67.8, i.e. Nuclear contributes 41%)"

    You didn't understand what you've added. Try again (but read and understand first).

    The percentage is 56% nuclear.

    However, as most in the business know, it will be much higher than that because the renewables canmnot and will not be able to make much of a contibution. The polasn C is good because it gets to many people and is politically correct. The suggested starting point is to keep all those happy who are hoping and praying for renewables to bea bale to paly a significant role. I'd suggest the end result will be similar to where France is now.

    You can havng onto your dream. Time will tell. But waht is im,portant is that we need to ramp up nuclwear now. We need to remove the prohibitions. We need to remove the impediments. We need to remove the over the top requirements.

    So, instead of raising arguments to try to keep nuclear prohibited, why don't you put your effort into getting ACF, Greenpeace, WWF, FOE and the Greens to change their anti-nuclear policy.
    0 0
  43. Peter Lang wrote : "So, instead of raising arguments to try to keep nuclear prohibited, why don't you put your effort into getting ACF, Greenpeace, WWF, FOE and the Greens to change their anti-nuclear policy."


    Like the majority, I am in between the extremists on both sides, i.e. you on one side and extreme Greens on the other. You deserve each other but, in the meantime, the real world (and the people who inhabit the real world) will find the solutions that work - not the solutions the ideologues or the conspiracy-theorists want. Sorry.
    0 0
  44. "Except that it's impossible to do it properly, or come up with a "Plan C" or Plan E for NZ, because they, like Australia, forbid nuclear."

    Um. We do? We ban nuclear weapons but as far as I know, no banning nuclear power. Last time I heard a government minister on the subject, nuclear was off table on economic grounds. So far we generate 70%+ electricity from renewables with plenty of remaining capacity for wind (no subsidies for power generation here) and some for geothermal. Replacing our transport fuels are another story however. I would guess NZ to be reasonably unique though (perhaps like Iceland) with small population and abundant renewables including lots of wind. About 50% of our CO2e is farm-related, mostly methane.


    The genesis of one part of my institute (the "N" of GNS Science) was to provide research for expected future nuclear power. A long time ago however.
    0 0
  45. HI scaddenp, @5 (or perhaps #346 of numbers are fixed)

    We do? We ban nuclear weapons but as far as I know, no banning nuclear power. Last time I heard a government minister on the subject, nuclear was off table on economic grounds. So far we generate 70%+ electricity from renewables with plenty of remaining capacity for wind (no subsidies for power generation here) and some for geothermal. Replacing our transport fuels are another story however. I would guess NZ to be reasonably unique though (perhaps like Iceland) with small population and abundant renewables including lots of wind. About 50% of our CO2e is farm-related, mostly methane.


    I agree with all you say here - for New Zealand. But does that apply for your West Island (i.e. Australia for foreigners)?

    We have very little additional, viable hydro capacity (we could develop some pumped hydro and I gave a link to an example in a previous post)

    We have some limited wind resource mainly along the southern coast of Australia. However, this is unreliable and can go for days at a time without generating power (across all the NEM's wind farms spread over 1200km east-west by 800km north-south). The National Electricity Market draws about 600 GWh per day, so the amount of energy storage that would be required to make wind power dispatchable would be enormous.

    We do not have any volcanic areas like New Zealand, Iceland and other places located on the ring of fire and mid Atlantc ridge.

    Hot Dry Rock and Hot Fractured Rock geothermal is another unproven technology that suffers from similar limitations to solar - i.e a diffuse source of energy.

    Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a pipe dream propogated by the coal mining industry to delay action for as long as possible. It will sequester some CO2 but the contribution will be insignificant and at huge cost.

    Wind power, when backed up by fossil fuels as would be the case in Australia, displaces negligible amounts of CO2 emissions (so I understand, I can be corrected on this if someone has access to studies based on measurement data). Much less than the wind industry claims. Wind power has not closed down fossil fuel power stations anywhere. So why would it in Australia?

    Solar thermal. The technology does not exist to enable it to provide baseload power. The costs for what it can provide are huge. See "Zero Carbon Australia - Stationary Energy Plan - Critique"

    Therefore, I suggest:

    1. Australia's only realistic option for cutting emissions massively, over the long term, with a sustainable trend of reducing emissions by 50% or more by 2050, is to go nuclear in a big way. I agree there will be some renewables and so there should. But we need to unblock the log jam that is prohibiting nuclear and has been for the past 40 years.

    2. Allow whatever technology is best able to meet the requirement at the time. Do not prohibit any. Do not stack the cards for or against any technology. Do not provide massive subsidies for renewables, coal, gas, CCS while providing none for nuclear (as we do in Australia). Do not mandate renewables. If we want to mandate anything it should be "clean energy" no "renewable energy". Mandating "Renewable energy" as we do now is a demonstration of policy based on ideology.

    3. New Zealand doesn't need nuclear. You mentioned it was not economically viable. That is the case in Australia too, at the moment and based on the assumption of a regulatory regime as applied in the other western democracies. We, and I expect NZ, are looking at the cost of nculear under a regulatory regime which makes them uneconomic. I argue we have the option of high cost nuclear or low cost nuclear. High cost nuclear is nuclear in the USA, Canada, UK, EU. Low cost nuclear is in Russia, China, India, Korea. The plants all meet the IAEA requirements. We do not need high cost nuclear. There is little difference in the safety (if any) and all are far safer than what we have now, and accept nbow as sufficient. So any move to nuclear of any type will have a major improvement in health and safety and cut CO2 emissions. So we should go for least cost nuclear.

    4. There are many advantages of going least cost, as I've said in previous posts. Low cost electricity will displace fossil fuels for heat and transport faster then if the cost is higher. I gave the comparison of France and Germany to demonstrate this. Also we need to develop low cost clean low emissions electricity in the west so it will be chosen in preference to fossil fuel generators in the developing nations. That is where the really big emissions cuts (or avoidance) will have to be achieved. I provided a post with much more detail a few pages back.

    5. Stop the blkocks. Stop the ideologically based policies. Stop the extremesism (only renewables).
    0 0
  46. The simple reality is that countries all over the world are going forward with major wind and solar developments. This inherently belies all arguments that they have no significant contribution to make. There are many places where they are already making a significant contribution and that is set to become a worldwide reality in the next couple of decades. Arguments that something which has already happened, renewable power providing significant power generation on local and national scales, CANNOT happen are pure denial. By definition.
    0 0
  47. Peter Lang wrote : "By the way JMurphy, you got this wrong:
    "(Total - 67.8, i.e. Nuclear contributes 41%)"

    You didn't understand what you've added. Try again (but read and understand first).

    The percentage is 56% nuclear."



    I thought I knew enough maths to understand that a projected 28kWh per day per person average energy contribution by nuclear, amounted to 41% of a total of 67.8kWh per day per person projected for total average energy requirements. But I'm obviously wrong...
    0 0
  48. OK, getting away from all the political posturing/accusations, I will continue to give the renewables side a proper hearing :


    Renewable energy could provide up to 635 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generating capacity [in the USA] by 2025 – a substantial contribution and potentially more than the nation’s need for new capacity.

    Renewable Energy Projections as Published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the European Member States

    The 450 Scenario is achievable – but very challenging. It assumes a hybrid policy approach, comprising a plausible combination of cap-and-trade systems, sectoral agreements and national measures, with countries subject to common but differentiated responsibilities.
    End-use efficiency is the largest contributor to CO2 emissions abatement in 2030 compared with the Reference Scenario, accounting for more than half of total savings.
    Early retirement of old, inefficient coal plants and their replacement by more efficient coal or gas fired power plants, mainly in China and in the United States, accounts for an
    additional 5% of the global emissions reduction. The increased deployment of renewables accounts for 20% of CO2 savings, while increased use of biofuels in the transport sector accounts for 3%. Finally, additional carbon capture and storage (CCS) and nuclear each represents 10% of the savings in 2030, relative to the Reference Scenario.
    International Energy Agency
    0 0
  49. HI scaddenp, @5 (or perhaps #346 of numbers are fixed)

    We do? We ban nuclear weapons but as far as I know, no banning nuclear power. Last time I heard a government minister on the subject, nuclear was off table on economic grounds. So far we generate 70%+ electricity from renewables with plenty of remaining capacity for wind (no subsidies for power generation here) and some for geothermal. Replacing our transport fuels are another story however. I would guess NZ to be reasonably unique though (perhaps like Iceland) with small population and abundant renewables including lots of wind. About 50% of our CO2e is farm-related, mostly methane.


    I agree with all you say here - for New Zealand. But does that apply for your West Island (i.e. Australia for foreigners)?

    We have very little additional, viable hydro capacity (we could develop some pumped hydro and I gave a link to an example in a previous post)

    We have some limited wind resource mainly along the southern coast of Australia. However, this is unreliable and can go for days at a time without generating power (across all the NEM's wind farms spread over 1200km east-west by 800km north-south). The National Electricity Market draws about 600 GWh per day, so the amount of energy storage that would be required to make wind power dispatchable would be enormous.

    We do not have any volcanic areas like New Zealand, Iceland and other places located on the ring of fire and mid Atlantc ridge.

    Hot Dry Rock and Hot Fractured Rock geothermal is another unproven technology that suffers from similar limitations to solar - i.e a diffuse source of energy.

    Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a pipe dream propogated by the coal mining industry to delay action for as long as possible. It will sequester some CO2 but the contribution will be insignificant and at huge cost.

    Wind power, when backed up by fossil fuels as would be the case in Australia, displaces negligible amounts of CO2 emissions (so I understand, I can be corrected on this if someone has access to studies based on measurement data). Much less than the wind industry claims. Wind power has not closed down fossil fuel power stations anywhere. So why would it in Australia?

    Solar thermal. The technology does not exist to enable it to provide baseload power. The costs for what it can provide are huge. See "Zero Carbon Australia - Stationary Energy Plan - Critique"

    Therefore, I suggest:

    1. Australia's only realistic option for cutting emissions massively, over the long term, with a sustainable trend of reducing emissions by 50% or more by 2050, is to go nuclear in a big way. I agree there will be some renewables and so there should. But we need to unblock the log jam that is prohibiting nuclear and has been for the past 40 years.

    2. Allow whatever technology is best able to meet the requirement at the time. Do not prohibit any. Do not stack the cards for or against any technology. Do not provide massive subsidies for renewables, coal, gas, CCS while providing none for nuclear (as we do in Australia). Do not mandate renewables. If we want to mandate anything it should be "clean energy" no "renewable energy". Mandating "Renewable energy" as we do now is a demonstration of policy based on ideology.

    3. New Zealand doesn't need nuclear. You mentioned it was not economically viable. That is the case in Australia too, at the moment and based on the assumption of a regulatory regime as applied in the other western democracies. We, and I expect NZ, are looking at the cost of nculear under a regulatory regime which makes them uneconomic. I argue we have the option of high cost nuclear or low cost nuclear. High cost nuclear is nuclear in the USA, Canada, UK, EU. Low cost nuclear is in Russia, China, India, Korea. The plants all meet the IAEA requirements. We do not need high cost nuclear. There is little difference in the safety (if any) and all are far safer than what we have now, and accept nbow as sufficient. So any move to nuclear of any type will have a major improvement in health and safety and cut CO2 emissions. So we should go for least cost nuclear.

    4. There are many advantages of going least cost, as I've said in previous posts. Low cost electricity will displace fossil fuels for heat and transport faster then if the cost is higher. I gave the comparison of France and Germany to demonstrate this. Also we need to develop low cost clean low emissions electricity in the west so it will be chosen in preference to fossil fuel generators in the developing nations. That is where the really big emissions cuts (or avoidance) will have to be achieved. I provided a post with much more detail a few pages back.

    5. Stop the blkocks. Stop the ideologically based policies. Stop the extremesism (only renewables).
    0 0
  50. CB Dunkerson @346

    "The simple reality is that countries all over the world are going forward with major wind and solar developments."

    They are being massively subsidised. 100% to 150% for wind power and in the order of 1000% for solar. Don't you read anything I post, or do you simply ignore what doesn't fit with your ideological beliefs?

    Why don't you advocate the same treatment for nuclear if you are genuinely more concerned about cutting CO2 emissions than about your ideological beliefs?

    "This inherently belies all arguments that they have no significant contribution to make."

    What do you mean by "significant"? Put some figures on it and put it in context as to how much CO2 emissions they can avoid compared with what we need to avoid, and the cost of avoidance compared with the cost of avoidance using nuclear. If you simply use adjectives and don't quantify any of your statements, then we cannot hold an intelligent discussion. - Did you mention that previously? a few times? :)

    There are many places where they are already making a significant contribution and that is set to become a worldwide reality in the next couple of decades."

    What do you mean by "significant"?

    Do you believe that renewables can/will cut emissions more than nuclear and at less cost? If so why. Layout your arguments, your figures, and authoritative sources. If Greenpeace and the like is your source, we can't have an intelligent conversation!!!

    The point is that you are the extremist. You want to block nuclear. I don't want to block renewables, I just want the least cost solution. Not a solution where one technology is blocked because of ideological beliefs.

    I say let's have a level playing field. If we do then I expect nuclear will be the dominant supplier of electricity and non-hydro renewables will have a small role. I presented the case as to why. Here is one of them (built on others that are cited in the document).
    Emissions cuts realities

    This shows just how impossiblly costly it would be for renewables to provide a predominant proportion of our electricity supply:
    Zero carbon Australia – Stationary energy plan - Critique
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