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France can’t meet its own power demand

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Energy Transition

As expected, France was heavily dependent on power imports during the first cold spell of this winter. Yet, most of the country’s reactors are back online. The US is now also investigating 17 reactors with parts from France that could also be defective. Craig Morris has the details.

A cold snap in France and nuclear shutdowns

A cold snap in France and nuclear shutdowns

In the fall of 2016, 20 of France’s 58 reactors were offline, largely for inspections. As of mid-January, most of these reactors were back online, however. The fleet’s total generation capacity is 63 GW, and RTE’s website shows an ouput level approaching 55 GW, which is near the maximum (power plants generally do not run far above 90% so they can still provide grid services, such as reactive power). EDF’s list of production by plant (zip) on January 11 seems to show that 7 reactors are still offline, which is not an especially high number (only 15 percent of the fleet).

The risk is that France gets a lot of its space heat from electric units, so a cold spell poses a challenge, as we saw in 2012, when Germany helped prevent a blackout in France.

A chart showing the level of power used for heat (red) relative to the other demand for power (blue) in France. Electric heaters can double power demand in France, as happened in 2012

A chart showing the level of power used for heat (red) relative to the other demand for power (blue) in France. Electric heaters can double power demand in France, as happened in 2012

Europe got its first cold spell this winter in the first week of January. During that week, France was only a net exporter of power for three brief periods, each at around 4 am, when demand in France and neighboring countries is lowest. Otherwise, France was a net power importer, peaking at 8 GW (roughly 10 percent of around 8 am on Friday, January 6), as shown by the grey area at the top of the chart below. France has a total import capacity of 12,200 MW (in German) from all of its neighbors, so there is room for greater power imports, but four megawatts is not much relative to the potential for twenty gigawatts of greater demand to reach the record level during the 2012 cold spell.

craig2-1

 

France only has 3,007 MW of coal installed, so it’s coal fleet was also running practically full blast, along with gas, listed at 10,909 MW, just above the 9,181 MW the chart indicates above. The oil-fired capacity is much greater than the 1,100 MW generated, however, at 8,645 MW – so clearly, France has lots more generation capacity, but imports are cheaper than domestic production from oil.

Price comparison

The chart below shows the price difference between Germany and France in the first week of the year, as shown above. The gap is most striking on Wednesday for peak power, with France paying 7.2 cents and Germany 3.8 for a kilowatt-hour.

france

The chart below shows the power trading situation for that week situation with all countries bording France. Belgium and Germany are unfortunately now lumped together (they were reported separately until last year), thereby making it impossible to say how much came from which country. But clearly, France is reliant on its neighbors during cold spells – initially, because imports are cheaper than power from oil. But the French don’t have that much reserve capacity left if the reactors cannot stay online, and the French nuclear watchdog ASN says it wants to investigate further.

craig3-1

The US is now also reviewing the safety of 17 reactors of 99 in operation in the country with parts from Areva, the manufacturer of the defective equipment made at the Le Creusot facility. Areva is to receive a “capital injection” to the tune of 4.5 billion euros from the French state; the EU approved the deal as compliant with state aid guidelines on Tuesday.

Craig Morris (@PPchef) is the lead author of Global Energy Transition. He is co-author of Energy Democracy, the first history of Germany’s Energiewende, and is currently Senior Fellow at the IASS.

Source: Energy Transition. Reproduced with permission.  

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  • Catprog

    but four megawatts is not much relative to the potential for twenty gigawatts?

    is it meant to be giga and giga?

  • Chris Anderson

    Note that France and Switzerland are in a long drought, with less hydro available than usual, and that one of the two 1 GW cables between UK and France is out of action

  • Biff

    The key here is that France is wasteful with the electricity it produces, using it on inefficient heating as the article points out. More efficient homes and some district heating initiatives would help.

    This article isn’t too bad, but there is certainly an anti-nuclear bias in many articles about the nuclear industry. We really need to reduce greenhouse gases, and for that alone nuclear is fantastic. If nuclear power stations are up and running, then we should be squeezing as much life from them as we can. Why Germany shut down perfectly serviceable reactors is beyond me.

    • onesecond

      Because they are very bad at being flexible complementary to the renewable generation, so they clog the grid and lead to negative prices and grid stability issues especially when they shut down unexpectedly due to some kind of fault which happens every now and then. Renewables and nuclear don’t make a good match, and since it is not feasible to power the whole world with nuclear (which would be crazy expensive anyway), the best way forward to decarbonize the world’s energy system is to expand the renewable energy portion as fast as possible and to shut down nuclear accordingly.

      • tedk

        Literally every sentence in that post is wrong.

        Amazing

        • onesecond

          No, every one is just right, but your post contains no meaning at all. Amazing.

          • Sam Gilman

            Negative pricing is a phenomenon in particular caused by higher proportions of intermittent sources on the grid. You’ve mentioned working in Germany: this is a particular issue for them in recent years.

            Are you familiar with the terms “intermittent” and “dispatchable”? I feel I need to check.

          • Brian

            No it’s not. Negative pricing is cause by inflexible nuclear and cola plants paying so they don’t have to throttle. Solar and wind can stop within a single cycle. With no damage. They will NEVER pay you to take their energy.

          • Sam Gilman

            It’s probably a good idea to check your claims before you make them.

            http://fortune.com/2016/05/11/germany-excess-power/

            On Sunday, May 8 Germany produced so much electric power that prices were actually negative. As in, customers got paid to use the electrical system.

            The crazy high energy production was due to an especially sunny windy day in the European nation, meaning that wind farms and solar panels were able to make even more renewable power than usual, reports Quartz.

            Whoops.

      • Michael Mann

        Actually nuclear power plants are good at being flexible and supporting minor changes in demand, with power automatically changes with steam demand, part of the design is a negative reactivity coefficient of temperature. Nuclear power plants can be extremely reliable, the capacity factor for US nuclear plants has been over 90% for more than a decade, that couldn’t happen if they were unreliable. Nuclear power is just as “renewable” as solar and wind, without being weather dependent.

        • onesecond

          Oh, look, I found the last six members of the nuclear fan club on the internet. I am really not impressed at all, same old, long disproved nuclear myths, which I won’t waste my time on disproving again. We will all see the nuclear beast, which was an abomination to begin with, wither and die within the next decades while renewable energy will become standard. As you can see there is really no need for us to have a discussion, so I just say goodby. Greet the other fan club members on my behalf.

          • Michael Mann

            LOL, onesecond, You seem even less impressive, a true victim of Dunning – Kruger effect. Unable to understand the science, instead you chose to mock those who do…kind of sad really.

          • onesecond

            Sigh. I have a Ph.D. in physics and know exactly what I am talking about and I know exactly when I waste my time like right now.

          • Michael Mann

            A PHD in physics has little to do with nuclear engineering. Study more!

          • onesecond

            I was even offered a job to supervise the nuclear plants in Hessen (Hessia? Hassia?), which I turned down because they get closed soon anyway and I didn’t want to clean up somebody’s else unnecessary mess. Please stop messaging me, I really don’t want to read your self-obsessed messages in my feed.

          • Michael Mann

            I understand you are not interested in learning and seem to have a superiority complex. You need to get over yourself, it is fascinating how someone may have such a high opinion of themselves that they stop being open to learning. A PHD in semiconductor theory really doesn’t qualify you to dismiss the entire fields of nuclear engineering, risk analysis, health physics etc. Thank you for your valuable time.

          • onesecond

            Lol, with a background in nuclear engineering you feel entitled to dismiss all renewables and with them basic physics and yet you write such a comment! Goodbye!!!

          • Michael Mann

            Who dismissed all renewables? I’m not sure if you’re attempting to build a strawman or just jumping to conclusions. It seems you have a reading comprehension problem as well. All my posts are available for review, you will not see anywhere that I dismissed all renewables, especially since I consider nuclear energy a “renewable” energy source. The only one dismissing an entire branch of energy production out of hand is you! Maybe English is your second language and you are having trouble with the nuances, try re-reading the comments paying particular attention to whom is saying what. There are many forms of nuclear power and many new plant designs, your failure to recognize that simple fact because of your preconceived anti-nuclear leanings is not my fault.

          • onesecond

            Sigh, okay, that’s it, three warnings is enough. You spread so much misinformation about nuclear energy and renewable energy in your comments (yes I acutally clicked on your profile) that I actually jumped to the conclusion that you dismiss all renewable energy, my bad, but once you actually wrote that nuclear energy (I assume you don’t mean fusion energy from the sun harvested by PV but rather fission energy used in the most expensive way to boil water) is the best way to power the whole world! That is an extraoridarily delusional statment on cost, reliability and environmental issues, it is just astounding. As I expressed several times before I have no wish to continue a discussion with you. Feel free to spread your misinformation on disqus in your own comments, but please leave me alone. Congratulations, you are the first person that I have to block ever, a rather sad achievement and maybe a wake-up call to seek psychological help.

          • Michael Mann

            Thank you!

          • DS

            As you dismiss basic math and common sense, after evidence to the contrary. You sir, are not a scientist (PhD or not), and “god forbid” you’re in a classroom somewhere spreading your close-minded views.

          • onesecond

            Oh I see, spreading alternative facts really is a thing now as can be seen in your comment.

          • Michael Mann

            By the way, I’m not “messaging” you, I am replying on a public forum which is part of DISQUS and it seems the way you have your defaults set, you get notified by e-mail if someone replies to your comments, surly you can understand the difference, after all you do have a PHD, don’t you?

          • onesecond

            My disqus feed, you wrong-again know-it-all. Looks like I seriously have to block you.

          • Michael Mann

            So, you are saying this “reply” on a comment to this forum is a message to you and not just another comment which anyone who is following the comment thread or reading the article can access? Maybe you’re right, if so, I’m wasting my time replying, because I’m trying to provide information to people with an open mind, correcting misinformation and sharing my experience.

          • Starviking

            What field of physics, and what was the subject of your thesis?

          • onesecond

            My later specialisation is semiconductor physics and my thesis is about FET-Transistor construction, but in my base studies I covered many nuclear courses and I was even offered a job to supervise the nuclear plants in Hessen, which I turned down because because they get closed soon anyway and I didn’t want to clean up somebody’s else unnecessary mess.

          • Brian

            See? nuclear is too complicated for you to understand you poor fools. Trust me I know. What a superciliously fool.

        • Brian

          In practice France does not throttle their reactor. Present commercial reactors do NOT have a negative temp coefficient. The high nuclear capacity factor if caused by shortchanging maintenance and inspect, doing safety testing by taking safety systems OFFLINE while the reactor is running and running the reactor beyond design capacity.

          French reactors have a 65% capacity factor. Solar and wind can throttle without a problem faster than any other power source.

          You just read an article about the French nuclear system failing, and you still deny it.

          amazing.

          • DS

            Oh, well, will you look at that. French nuclear is providing coal burning Germany with 3,000 MW of power. So much for the entire premise of this article.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5094c3824088f74e5dc1e8899e3cf5e4dceaed73f102952644f68041f890e30b.png

          • Brian

            Like I said., France needs to export it’s baseload to countries that have load following and peak reserve generators because baseload hates to throttle. French reactors have a 65% capacity factor. France is going renewable. You can’t spin this into a good thing for nuclear.

      • DS

        Yep every last sentence here is wrong, as “tedk” pointed out.

        Consumer demand is not flexible. Reliability is a requirement of the consumer. “Flexible” only works when you have control over it. “Flexible” without control is not flexible at all.

        Nuclear is the most reliable generation source there is. When has a nuke ever lead to negative prices. Only “excess” RE achieves that.

        Nuclear and renewables make a great match. Just ask Sweden. Nuclear, hydro, and a bit of wind. Norway manages to do well on just hydro alone, and they are blessed in this regard.

        See current European power demands here and tell me how well the flexible German resources are doing:

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/440838f1fb4dfecb7ac257107d158671f03130d1d402fb2765f3cfda301160f2.gif

        https://electricitymap.tmrow.co/

        Nuclear is the ONLY no-pollution, no-carbon source of energy capable of powering the ENTIRE planet RELIABLY, and it is FAR cheaper than the unREliables. See graphics below for PROOF.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fcc7fcdce47d88bd1ff36ab991d076f20cc06fb3ee4dcf3c915a2f47493445cd.png

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d2a1ee17d952e018a7a45818b2dcecc5d49293fc358670f8227cb8562e8b4b96.png

        • Mike Shackleton

          No pollution… please. I’ve worked on the environmental rehabilitation of Ranger uranium mine and I can state categorically that nuclear power pollutes.

          • Michael Mann

            You are correct, nuclear power is not pollution free, but I believe if you look at the amount of pollution per unit energy produced, it is less than the pollution from solar or wind power and orders of magnitude less than any fossil fueled power generation. Nothing is pollution free, but shouldn’t we chose the least polluting?

          • Mike Shackleton

            Just searching the internet, it’s hard to find anything that quantifies the pollution comparison but most Nuclear power assessments do not include the cost of decommissioning a power plant at the end of its life. There is a lot of radioactive waste that comes out of a reactor core apart from the spent fuel rods. I agree though that existing assets should be used as long as possible, early decommissioning is a waste of resources.

            Wind power, turbines can be refurbished and recycled if they are completely unserviceable. Solar, over 90% of a panel can be recycled and even if the lifespan of a panel is labelled as 20 years, many are still working fine, albeit at a reduced output after that point. A mate of mine working in life cycle analysis has suggested to me that solar panels probably have a longer life span that the structures they are mounted on, and most grid scale facilities would just leave legacy equipment in place, replace broken units and augment with new capacity rather than ripping them all out. Same goes for rooftop solar, when the inverter goes, add a few panels and get a bigger inverter.

            We have swimming pools full of nuclear waste all over the world that nobody has worked out what to do with.

          • Michael Mann

            Actually, in the USA decommissioning is required to be accounted for up front, unlike other methods of producing electricity. The fuel from a nuclear power plant still contains over 90% of its potential energy, this is generally not accounted for in the estimates. The volume of once used nuclear fuel is relatively tiny compared to the amount of energy it produced even if it is not recycled.

          • Brian

            It assumes discount rate that mean any cost after 15 years are zero, even though the waste is deadly for a million years. The fund assume a perfect investment record for a million years. It’s a joke.

          • Michael Mann

            I work at the longest running nuclear power plant in the USA (not the oldest) it is safer and more reliable than when it was started in 1969, EPRI has been investigating and so far have found no show-stoppers which would prevent operating safely through 2049. Dry cask storage has proven to be safe and effective.

          • Sam Gilman

            What’s your unit of comparison for pollution from different energy sources? There’s probably stuff out there if you specify the measurement.

          • Joffan

            For a lifecycle analysis across generation options, the ExternE study is good. http://www.externe.info/externe_2006/expolwp6.pdf

            Page 17 has a good summary chart. System costs of coping with intermittency are not included, so this is generous to wind and solar. Even so the outcome is to put hydro, nuclear and wind at a similar level, with solar not quite as good, all significantly ahead of any fossil fuel option.

          • Brian

            It does not include mining and radioactive wastes, and it smear solar and wind with co2 emission from coal. Standard pro nuclear/fossil nonsense.

          • Michael Mann

            Excellent reference detailing the analysis and basis!

          • Brian

            2M tons per year mining waste per reactors.

            You can’t find it, because you deny it.

          • Brian

            You always leave out mining wastes. it’s no 27 tons per reactors, it’s 2 Million tons of mining wastes, not much better than coal.

          • Sparafucile

            Less than all other types of power production. Yes, ALL others.

          • Brian

            No, more than all renewable sources. More.

          • Sparafucile

            Wrong yet again, lying moron.

          • Brian

            Nuclear emits more CO2 than all other renewable sources as well.

            http://www.nirs.org/climate/background/sovacool_nuclear_ghg.pdf

          • Sparafucile

            Falsr, and irrelevant.

          • DS

            First off, mining is not nuclear power. It’s not run by the same companies.

            As far ‘pollution’ from Uranium mines, what were the consequences of stated ‘pollution’? Whom did it harm?

            Chernobyl only affected a few thousand people.
            http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/en/

            Radiation from Fukushima is not expected to affect a single person. http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/a_e/fukushima/faqs-fukushima/en/

            Meanwhile air pollution is estimated to kill 7.3 Million people EVERY year.
            http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/en/

            Now, tell me again, where the pollution problem is.

          • Mike Shackleton

            You can’t look at nuclear power without considering the impact of the mining of its fuel source and all the components that go into the construction of the power stations themselves. That is the current best practice and it applies to all methods of power generation.

            Take Ranger Uranium Mine in Australia, which I have worked at. All the mining trucks run on diesel, the process plant runs on power generated by diesel generators. There are carbon emissions baked into every kilo of Uranium Oxide that rolls out of that mine. Then add all the millions of litres of diesel that will be burnt to rehab the site back to original survey levels as per the conditions of the mining lease.

            To say Nuclear power has zero emissions is incorrect.

          • Michael Mann

            You are correct, it is not really zero emissions, but it is less emissions than solar or wind power per unit of power produced. Does that mean we should stop using solar and wind power? I don’t think so!

          • Brian

            It’s not less than solar and wind which are zero. LCA is nonsense that blames solar and wind for coal outputs. Nuclear emits more ghg than solar and wind, but you have to include mining and million years waste storage which you pro nuclear folks always forget. I guess nuclear power effect memory.

          • DS

            Nothing is zero, not even wind and solar. Taking full life-cycle into account, nuclear is on par with wind and is better than solar, just ask the IPCC.

            Million years, strange criteria. Solar folks keep saying “just wait, the solar tech will get better”, but why doesn’t the same principle apply to our knowledge and ability to deal with nuclear waste? We can use the waste in modern reactors and cut down on it immensely, and it would then only last 300 years or so.

            What do we do with all the toxic waste from solar?

            AND, since solar and wind are only able to operate 10-30% of the time (location dependent), they REQUIRE something else to operate the other 70-90% of the time, or MASSIVE overbuild and storage. Storage comes with its own carbon footprint and toxic processing and waste.

          • Brian

            I bet if you repeat your nonsense enough times, lots of other paid trolls will fav you. Solar and wind are winning. Solar and wind are 60% of new power. Nuclear is dying. Notice the unicorn solution to nuclear waste. There is no such tech. Period.

            Solar is recyclable. it’s over 90% glass and aluminum. OMG!!!!!

            Event he solar cells are recycled to better performance., and plastic are converted to gas fuels for energy.

            AND, since NUCLEAR are only able to operate 20-50% of the time they REQUIRE something else to operate the other 50% of the time, They cannot be overbuilt and they have always needed pumped Huron storage. Storage comes with its own carbon footprint and toxic processing and waste. Nuclear needs reserve hydrocarbon generators and pumped hydro. Solar and wind need the very same reserve generators, don’ need pumped hydro and can be overbuilt to reduce the reserve need to 20%.

            True life cycle for nuclear shows’ it’ energy negative and the waste till plague our descendants for a million years. That’s the NRC limit, not mine. The spent fuel will still be millions of times more radioactive than the human body.

          • Sam Gilman

            True – but the overall emissions are still about the lowest one can get, along with wind power. Have you seen the IPCC meta analysis on this?

          • Brian

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA uranium is not nuclear, that hilarious!

            The nuclear lie is very clever. The pro nuclear pr IAEA and the DOE, and the UN all agree on what cancer can possibly be traced ONLY to a nuclear disaster. They admit that’s not possible, then claim no deaths. It’s a lawyers argument.

            These independent studies instead look at the exposure, and calculate the increase cancers that will result.

            http://llrc.org/fukushima/subtopic/fukushimariskcalc.pdf 200,000 people will die from the 400,000 cancer they will get.

            Over a million deaths from Chernobyl:

            http://www.strahlentelex.de/Yablokov_Chernobyl_book.pdf Chernobyl

            Consequences of the Catastrophe for

            People and the Environment is a translation of a 2007 Russian publication by Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily B. published at one time by The New York Academy of Sciences

          • DS

            Where did i say “uranium is not nuclear”? You have a reading comprehension problem.

            I did say that *mining* is not nuclear power.

            Your 2nd paragraph makes no sense.

            So you’re saying the largest health organization in the world, the World Health Organization, chartered by the United Nations, made up of scientists from around the globe, is in on a huge global conspiracy to protect nuclear power? Get real.

          • Brian

            “I did say that *mining* is not nuclear power.” 7 cents per comment for your soul? wow.

            I’m saying the IAEA is a UN funded pro nuclear propaganda agency that has vetting power over all UN nuclear related radiation related matters. It’s a well know fact i’m sure you pro nuclear power would rather we did knot know.

          • DS

            Your words, a couple posts up:
            “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA uranium is not nuclear, that hilarious!”

            You’re not making one bit of sense. Grasping at straws when you’ve clearly lost the argument. UN in bed with IAEA, blah blah blah. Well known ‘alternative fact’, you sound like Kellyanne Conway now.

          • Brian

            HAHAHAHAHAH!

        • Brian

          Demand changes 2 to one. Nuclear does not.

          OMG what now? oh I know, reserve generators. The very same generators solar and wind use for gap filling.

          It’s nuclear that HAS driven negative prices, wow, you folks live in opposite world! Solar and wind can throttle withing a cycle with no damage, nuclear can’t.

          https://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2013/Agora_Negative_Electricity_Prices_Web.pdf

          Negative Electricity Prices:

          Causes and Effects

          “Negative electricity prices are not caused by an excess of renewable energies, but rather are a result of the lack of flexibility of nuclear power plants, lignite power plants and CHP plants. ”

          The German nuclear power plants and lignite power plants respond flexibly to the occurrence of negative prices to a limited extent. However, even in periods with negative prices, the nuclear power plants always produced electricity with at least 65 per cent of their available capacity; for lignite power plants, this value was 40 to 50 per cent. The flexible range of aggregate infeed corresponds roughly with the expected technologically flexible range of these types of power plants before a complete shutdown.

          Heat-driven mode of operation for combined heating and power plants (resulting in inflexible electricity generation)

          • DS

            Solar and wind cannot “throttle”, we have no control over them. They’re mother nature’s bounty. Sometimes she gives, sometimes she withholds. With wind and solar, she only gives 10-30% of the time and withholds 70-90% of the time.

            Quoting anything published by the Energiewende is automatic disqualification. They’re nothing but a renewable energy PR machine, with either no basic understanding of how the grid works or are hoping they can convince people with blatant lies. They haven’t moved the needle on their emissions, after spending god awful sums of money on renewables. It’s time for them to admit failure, pull the plug on their failed renewable experiment, and re-open their safe, reliable nuclear plants.

          • Brian

            Solar and wind can throttle instantly faster than any other source but batteries.
            https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/PV-Plants-Can-Rival-Frequency-Response-Services-From-Natural-Gas-Peakers

            It’s baseload nuclear and coal that can’t go up nor down. Get it?????

            It’s the fossils and nuclear companies that have gotten caught with tie pants down on paying for deniers and anti wind, and anti solar propgrandas.

            Nuclear: super expensive, super unsafe, super dirty, short of fuel in ten years.

            Solar provided power during the day, which is where twice as much as demand is, so you you don’t understand capacity factor at all. That about 60% of demand from solar pv in most places for most people around the world.

          • DS

            Think of it this way. The generating source that is ALWAYS on (Nuclear), with no fluctuation, acts to reduce system demand by that amount. For instance, running Diablo Canyon is like taking 2.2 GW off the 20-30 GW CA grid demand.

          • Brian

            Think of it this way: baseload nuclear is a care without a throttle running full throttle all the time and we all have to get out of the way. Baseload cannot provide more than 50% of the demand without storage of a place to dump the electric as a result.

            Baseload is inflexible, demand varies.

          • DS

            I don’t think you even know what ‘baseload’ is. It’s the 24-hour low demand of the grid. Where does your 50% come from? You need to go read a book or 20 and come back when you have something relevant to contribute.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/46a4f483c0f0b0a952e6f71e56b2081507ef7dc1e3cdb4d5c072741c59563704.png

          • Brian

            Baseload is a description of type of generator that hates to throttle. What you present is the theory for why baseload is ok. Notice baseload is limited to minimum demand. Solar and wind are not.

      • Enigma

        Hey Onesecond, give yourself one second to think about this. So if nuclear can’t power the world do you seriously think intermittent renewables (IRE) can? According to Jacobson’s WWS plan, here’s what 100% would take JUST FOR THE USA! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5110db5ce95696419146ac5ac80b1f650fbab9571002f7ace9dac1ff73b59945.png

        Now consider what it would take for nuclear. The USA has roughly 1 TW installed capacity and 4000 TWh annual production. Growth rate has been about 1% to 1.5% annually for at least the last seven years. (CF is dropping somewhat from 50% to about 45% I expect because of increased amounts of IRE in production.) Now let’s assume everything is to be replaced in 20-30 years — similar to the 100% RE Jacobson plan for the USA. What would it take? Well some demand variations, say as much as 50% so hourly production varying from 400 GW to 600GW. Assuming another 10% to allow for some nukes being offline (i.e. CF af about 90%) max capacity would need to be about 660 GW. Of course SMR nukes would up the number but the whole USA could be powered with about 660 1GW nukes.

        Compare that to the hodge-podge of renewables listed in the above slide to do the same thing. Sorry but there’s simply no comparison. Nuclear can clearly get done, not so much for the hodge-podge renewables that would be needed. And that’s not even considering the comparative grid stability — or lack thereof. I’d hate to be a power engineer attempting to deal with the grid instabilities posed by that collection of intermittent power producers. It would be simply chaos!

        • Brian

          No problem, Solar and wind are cheaper. You think big numbers are scary. There are no material limits to solar of wind. Nuclear on the other hand is short of uranium in ten years at just 2% of the world’s energy for only 50 years. What a laugh.

          Solar will provide about 60% total energy without storage We already use most of our energy during the day. Wind 20% . Fuels from waste remaining 20%, plus chemicals and long haul. Some hydro.

          Solar and wind have doubled every 1.8 and 3.2 years over the past ten years. From 200GWp and 400 GWp in 2015, it’s only 15 years till solar and wind are producing more energy than the world uses now, not just electricity. Solar and wind are now the majority of all new power installs globally. (note solar and wind make electricity, which has 2-3 times the end use value as thermal energy and fuels).

          https://www.lazard.com/media/438038/levelized-cost-of-energy-v100.pdf

          Utility solar and wind are available cheaper than fossils and 4 times cheaper than nuclear before gov breaks.

      • Joffan

        I hear this quite often: “Renewables and nuclear don’t make a good match” like it’s an argument against nuclear, but it seems to me more of an argument against renewables, in particular wind and solar. There is currently no way to push wind and solar supply (combined) past 50% of the electricity requirement for a given electricity system, whereas nuclear has been supplying about 80% of France’s requirements for decades.

        • onesecond

          There is absolutely no technical problem to push wind and solar past 50% of the electricity requirement for a given electricity system.

          • Joffan

            Sure there is a technical problem. If you want 50% of your electricity from wind and solar your peak production would be at least twice your peak demand and there would be need to either massive storage or massive undergeneration (load shedding). That’s a huge technical problem and a huge economic problem, arising directly from intermittency and low capacity availability.

          • onesecond

            The problem of intermittency is technically already easily solved with the measures you described in your comment and deployment is already picking up pace at a great rate.

          • Joffan

            Intermittency isn’t “technically solved”, or even close to it. There is no massive grid-scale long-duration storage and wind/solar generators will lose money – or be even more massively subsidized – if they are required to shut down generation during inevitable generation gluts. These are serious limits, and you are not taking climate change seriously if you wave these away.

          • Brian

            It’s completely solved, and Germany and Denmark and many other places prove it.

            Solar and wind are available 4 times cheaper than nuclear so they can install 200% and still be half the cost of nuclear.

          • Joffan

            Since Germany proves that wind and solar power do nothing to reduce carbon emissions, you need to pick a new champion. Denmark of course is just a small stub on the Scandinavian grid with its massive hydro backup; they can play with eccentric systems as much as they like (and have the money to lose), without breaking their grid.

          • Brian

            You really do believe that repeating the same false statements will make them magically become true, don’t you? Notice how you have to explain away all the successes of renewable?

          • Brian
          • DS

            Then how is it that German electric rates are the highest (or nearly highest) in Europe? And what caused their increase in the last 5 or so years…hmm. And why haven’t their emissions been reduced?

            German grid:
            https://www.energy-charts.de/energy.htm

            All of Europe:
            http://www.electricitymap.org/

          • heinbloed

            Germans can read and write, DS.

            This is what taxes are used for. They have homes they can heat and ventilate, not like the cheap-trick-states like France …

            2015:

            http://www.la-croix.com/Actualite/France/Mal-logement-une-situation-qui-s-aggrave-2015-12-17-1394137

            2016 it was getting worse:

            http://www.fondation-abbe-pierre.fr/22e-rapport-etat-mal-logement-en-france-2017

            12 Million French are called, named “energy paupers”:

            https://www.franceinter.fr/sciences/quand-le-soleil-fait-baisser-la-facture-d-electricite

            The atom clowns over the channel vis-a-vis are right-out killers:

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/fuel-poverty-killed-15000-people-last-winter-10217215.html

            Ask you parents why you had not been educated with empathy, it wasn’t your fault you were born after all …..

            http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/54-million-europeans-must-choose-between-eating-and-heating/

          • Brian

            Gee, why is price not the same as cost? these are old deceptions you need new material. It’s fees and taxes. Germany has a low COST of wholesale electricity, and the world’s most reliable grid.

          • DS

            German solar operates 11% of the time (Capacity Factor of 11%). If this was an employee in a workplace that worked 11% of the time, would you keep them? If this was an automobile, would you trust or depend on it to get you to the hospital? If this was your computer, would you send it back to the manufacturer? If this was a policeman or fireman or paramedic that showed up to 11% of their calls, would that be acceptable?

            I could keep going, but I think you should get the point…

          • Brian

            You know what should be funny? the folks who scream solar and wind azure slam part of the grid power, then scream that because they are a small part they don’t count. Hilarious., huh? No matter how many times you explain that they work just fine with the very same reserve generators baseload needs, they still play games. They are gaslighting us.

            When that nuclear power plant shuts down for months to refuel, hoe ill you poor hospitals folks cope?

          • Brian

            No, solar and wind just throttle., They stop at 100%. It’s not excess it’s reserve. In fact it acts to stabilize the grid. It’s nuclear that can’t be built up over about 50% because it hates to throttle. You pro nuclear folks really love opposite world, huh?

          • Joffan

            I hope you enjoying writing those words, because they were of zero value, literally meaningless, to anyone else.

          • Sam Gilman

            Perhaps Brian thinks he can turn the wind up and down with the power of his mind.

          • Brian

            You mean you didn’t understand. I know that.

          • Sam Gilman

            Well, if you assume it’s windy all the time everywhere without variation and the daytime is 23 hours long and never cloudy, this is true. But that’s a hell of an assumption.

            When the NREL looked at the US, 50% was pretty much the upper limit for wind and solar based on highly optimistic estimates of storage.

          • Brian

            NREL said that because they refused to allowe the possibility of removing the baseload plants. Really. It’s a bogus study.

          • Sam Gilman

            No, they didn’t refuse. They worked out how much dispatchable was needed to fill out where intermittents couldn’t.

            It would really be a good idea to read the NREL study first before saying what is in it.

          • Brian

            No, I read it. You didn’t. Solar and wind could not, in their option, go over 50% without storage because of existing baseload contract and generators. It was a political hit piece on solar and wind. It had nothing to do with dispatch.

          • Sam Gilman

            No, they couldn’t go over 30%, not 50% without storage. 50% with storage.

            You haven’t read it, Brian.

          • Brian

            Go ahead, link to the doc and quote the text. They started with the assumption that baseload could not be removed.

          • Sam Gilman

            No, you have to read the document yourself Brian. I’m not going to do your homework for you. No wonder you had to drop out of university.

          • Brian

            Link to the doc. go ahead, prove it.

          • Sam Gilman

            In another comment you linked to the document that you think says wind and solar don’t need storage up to 50% penetration.

            It’s entitled “Energy Storage Requirements for Achieving 50% Solar Photovoltaic Energy Penetration in California”

            You didn’t even read the title. It had a big clue in it.

            Still, it’s nice for you to have someone to talk to, isn’t it?

          • Brian

            Yes, the title, because you can always tell a book by it’s title. I proved it’s a falsehood, I quoted it. are you dense. They assume you can’t remove baseload. Did you know liars never lie in the title, it s a thing, it really is.

          • Sam Gilman

            If you think the people who wrote the article are liars, who do you think publishing today on energy is not a liar?

          • DS

            So you admit your opinions are based on someone’s lies, and yet your too dense to see it. Did they sell you a bridge and invisible pajamas while they were at it? (I hope so)

          • Sam Gilman

            Was this comment meant for me?

          • DS

            No, I don’t know how that got put there…sorry.

            Dense these two are, huh?

          • Sam Gilman

            Well, as with climate change deniers, there’s a level at which the anti-nuclear movement needs to depart from reality. Either they do that through dishonesty or studied ignorance.

            Brian is both weird and ultimately incredibly tedious. He’ll go on and on about an old report stating that uranium reserves will run out. When it’s pointed out to him that a newer report from the same organisation reports new findings and much higher estimates, he’ll smear the organisation as telling lies. He’ll go through a document and pick out a single sentence that he thinks backs him up. When you present him with the rest of the document which flatly contradicts him, he’ll describe it as industry lies.

            He’s kind of a sad case, too. You can find him writing endless replies to himself on comment threads, trying to smother out anyone else’s comments by sheer volume.

            As for onesecond, I’ve not had much interaction that I can recall, but this is the usual studied ignorance of grid decarbonisation modelling. There are an increasing number of studies showing how wind and solar will only decarbonise part of the grid. The reasons should be obvious to anyone who comes to the problem objectively. Alas, objectivity is not where these people are coming from.

          • Brian

            Yes I do think they are politics and corruption. Lazard. I already explained why. They are paid for good analysis and predictions.

            NREL is not.

            You realize you continue to advocate appeals to authority. You want daddy.

            NREL is the best of the USA gov, but they are under the DOE, which is made from part of the Atomic Energy Commission and still 90% nuclear work. There data is often good, but the conclusion are political, as are the choices of topic.

            The anti renewable industries have spent a lot of money programming folks and shutting down dissent. That what this is. It’s gaslighting.

          • Sam Gilman

            So you think that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, whose work is cited everywhere by decarbonisation researchers, is part of the “anti-renewables industries”. And all because they say things that contradict what goes on in your mind.

            When your mother refused you a second cookie, did you used to accuse her of stealing you from your real parents? I’m trying to work out how deep this cognitive pattern runs.

          • Brian

            Who’s your daddy? that’s the game you want to play. It’s called appeal to authority, and it’s a logical fallacy for the weak minded who can’t make a technical argument.

            You believe politicians. Really? type it out, so we all see it.

          • Sam Gilman

            So if Lazard were on the government payroll, you would dismiss their findings?

          • Brian

            Yes. You believe politicians or not? not theoretically, these politicians.

          • Sam Gilman
          • Brian

            Cool, the Treasury was smart enough to have Lazard act as their financial agent for a narrow set of assets. It was quite a find, thank you. They were hired for: “The Financial Agent shall provide certain services to the Treasury, as described below, relating
            to the management and disposition of certain of its assets under the Automotive Industry
            Financing Program (“AIFP”), acquired pursuant to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“Act”).”

            Great find, and as I said, thank you, but it doesn’t change anything.

          • Sam Gilman

            That’s on the government payroll. Do you think the government would be so dumb as to openly pay Lazard to fake stuff? After all, there’s no documents telling the NREL to fake stuff.

            I think you’re being a hypocrite here, Brian.

          • Brian

            i think not. Lazard was a contractor to the USA, they were in no way owned. DOE and NREL are under political control. There is no relationship between the job they did and the reports they write. The reality in the form of actual avialable cost support Lazard’s numbers and contradict DOE and NREL numbers. DOE was claiming 8$ per Wp when I could buy them for 4. DOE claimed solar would go up in price and nuclear would magically get super cheap. If you bothered to read their old projections it was obvious they were plans, not projections.

          • Sam Gilman

            https://newrepublic.com/article/120967/wall-street-pays-bankers-work-government-and-wants-it-secret

            “The handouts recently received attention when Antonio Weiss, the former investment banker at Lazard now serving as counselor to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, acknowledged in financial disclosures that he would be paid $21 million in unvested income and deferred compensation upon exiting the company for a job in government. Weiss withdrew from consideration to become the undersecretary for domestic finance under pressure from financial reformers, but the counselor position—which does not require congressional confirmation—probably still entitles him to the $21 million. The terms of the award are part of a Lazard employee agreement that nobody has seen. ”

            Why are you covering for Wall St. bankers, Brian?

          • Brian

            Gosh, I guess Lazard’s true really frightened the fossil ad nuclear pro folks. Go ahead and do your same due diligence on the fossils and nuclear industry. Wait don’t bother. anybody can search Fossil fraud anti solar anti wind.

          • Sam Gilman

            That’s not an answer.

          • Brian

            Oh, and if Lazard was compromised by their gov contract, don’t you think Lazard’s numbers would have supported the DOE/NREL numbers???

          • Sam Gilman

            No, because I’m not promoting an idiotic conspiracy theory. I’m investigating yours and how you rationalise it.

          • Brian

            Conspiracy? Like IEA was founded to protect oil supplies? is that a conspiracy? Or that the IAEA charter is to promote nuclear? did I make that up? OR how about that the DOE is made from parts of the Atomic Energy Commissions and still about 90& nuclear work? Is that another conspiracy?

            Is it a conspiracy that the IEA and DOE projection for solar and wind are low by order of magnitude and they reported current costs are high by several times?

            I presented real installations even lower than the Lazard prices. Meanwhile the industry and political agencies predict the solar and wind prices will be higher in 10 years!

            When trillions of dollar are at stakes, the industries spend billions on pr, influence, buying politician, setting up fake think tanks, researchers, commentators and web sites.

            But some people are really naive. They tend to believe “official” sources no matter how obviously wrong they are.

          • Sam Gilman

            Fascinating. You’ve just admitted that you think all sources are corrupted and I think you’ve just claimed that I’m a paid agent.

          • Brian

            Fascinating you deny the facts. What did I say that was not factual. GO ahead. I need laugh. Tell us how you believe politicians and industry pr folks too. Did you just admit you are a paid agent? I said they exist. You deliberately misread it, or perhaps you have a guilty conscience? You do use very pr type arguments. you know that right?

          • Sam Gilman

            Are you accusing me of being a paid agent, Brian?

          • Brian

            You quack like one.

          • Sam Gilman

            The thing is, I know I’m not, and thus know that you’re engaged in a weird fantasy.

          • Brian

            You think you know you aren’t.

          • Sam Gilman

            Brian, seriously, you appear to be having a psychotic episode. You have been going through my feed replying to all my comments to various different people in different pages, and have been fantasising that I am some kind of secret agent.

          • Brian

            Seriously. you seem to be freaking out. You follow me to all sorts of web sites, and I search for nuclear power all the time.

            You have completely capitulated. all you have now is fear that you cannot escape the people who disagree with you. You will not be allowed to make your false statements without other people contradicting you. Lots of us search nuclear power.

            Here’s my standard google search nuclear -weapon -Iran -weapons disqus

            Everyday.

          • Brian

            Me? no. Are you?

          • Brian

            Even more, I did say, they were a respected independent investment research and advisment group, and you actually proved that. Thanks. Saved.

          • Sam Gilman

            “Independent”? When there’s a revolving door between Lazard and government?

            How about industry independence?

            https://www.thestreet.com/amp/story/13621673/1/solarcity-forms-committee-to-consider-tesla-bid.html?client=safari

            SolarCity (SCTY) late Monday announced the formation of a special committee to consider a bid from Tesla Motors (TSLA) , a week after the automaker went public with a $2.8 billion bid.

            “San Mateo, Calif.-based Solar City said that directors Donald R. Kendall, Jr. and Nancy E. Pfund have been granted exclusive authority to evaluate SolarCity’s long-term business plan and standalone strategy against a range of strategic alternatives. The committee will be advised by Lazard and attorneys with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. The Skadden team includes Thomas Ivey and Kenton King, The Deal, a sister publication of TheStreet, has learned. Lazard’s Vice Chairman of Investment Banking George W. Bilicic is advising SolarCity.”

            Oh dear, Brian. Bye bye Lazard?

          • Brian

            It’s what Lazard does. Somehow THAT is a conspiracy, but not that political agencies charted to promote fossils and nuclear.

          • Sam Gilman

            The conspiracy theories are all in your own brain, Brian.

          • Brian

            So you deny facts?

          • Sam Gilman

            I’m observing your mental wellbeing.

          • Brian

            So you are denying facts.

          • Brian

            If Lazard advises the gov, I’m thrilled. You confuse hired by with corrupted by.

          • Sam Gilman

            Ooh, is the National Renewable Energy Laboratory part of the big illuminati conspiracy against renewable energy?

            Of course they are, Brian.

          • Brian

            No, they are just another political agency, and I already explained the details of why their doc is nonsense. But the four anti renewable trolls are in total agreement. Ain’t that fossil and nuclear money great? They assumed baseload could not be removed. fact.

          • Sam Gilman

            You haven’t even read their documents, Brian. You tried to bluff, but got their main finding wrong.

          • Brian

            Still waiting for the link or the quotes.

          • DS

            They didn’t “assume”. They KNOW baseload can’t be removed. They’re realistic enough to cop to that.

            Get your unicorn to bring you back from fairytale land.

          • Brian

            So you agree, it has nothing to do with if solar, wind and waste to fuels or hydro can supply 100% of our energy, 24/7, forever.

            Good.

          • Brian

            You lose. NREL doc is a hit piece on solar and wind to make the baseload owners happy.

            The NREL paper assumed that baseload generators COULD NOT BE REMOVED. They are around 50%. so guess what? solar and wind can’t exceed 50%. gee, that’s profound.

            From the doc. To model the impact of varying grid flexibility, we start with a base 2030 scenario and a conservative set of grid operational assumptions, including a system-wide minimum generation level of 15 GW.
            Because certain plant types cannot be started and stopped quickly, they are forced to remain operating at or above this minimum generation level. In addition, many generators have
            long-term contracts that create institutional limits to plant cycling{.

            Baseload is the problem.

            Renewable DON’T need storage at all. Zero. They need reserve generators and the complete removal of base load plants.

            http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/66595.pdf

          • Sam Gilman

            You said

            Renewable DON’T need storage at all. Zero.

            To support this you cite a document entitled “Energy Storage Requirements for Achieving 50% Solar Photovoltaic Energy Penetration in California”

            What is one to do with someone this incompetent?

          • Brian

            Yes, because you are so gullible, you believe titles. how did you get so gullible. Hm? Did you miss the quotes that prove the assume no removal of baseload? are you 5? Seriously. BUT IT SAYS SO IN THE TITLE!!!!!! wow.

          • Sam Gilman

            Now, now, Brian, no need to get so angry. Cognitive dissonance can cause stress, but there’s no need to cause other people unpleasantness because of it.

            The title is a clue to the contents of the paper. A competent reader would see that and think – hold on, I think this paper might be saying there are storage needs for solar at these levels. A competent reader would then, and brace yourself for this, read the paper. Where they might find such passages as this:

            The rapidly increasing amount of storage needed at penetrations beyond 40% PV suggests the need to examine both the feasibility of large-scale energy storage deployment and the optimal mix of low-carbon generation resources.

            But that’s how a competent reader would proceed. I’m interested in how you yourself made the journey, Brian. At what point did you realise that every sentence that undermined your case was written by an evil cabal, and every sentence you could extract from context that might not undermine you was written by Jesus?

          • DS

            You’re finally on to something here…maybe the light bulb is flickering after all. You’ve proven yourself wrong and I doubt you even know it.

            The capacity factor of wind and solar are in the 10-30% range. Grid penetrations exceeding their Capacity Factor can only work in conjunction with storage, make them too expensive to integrate.

          • DS

            Reserve generators to operate 70-90% of the time…guess what, that’s not reserve, that’s primary generation. Wind and solar without overbuild and storage can never be primary sources of energy. They can only act to reduce “baseload” sources.

          • Brian

            Baseload is a generator limitation. Demand varies 2 to one.

        • Brian

          Nuclear is short of fuel in ten years at 2% and cannot be scaled up. Solar and wind already exceed nuclear will never have a fuel shortage. Denmark went over 140% wind with no glitches, and then back to zero later, still no problem. Germany went to 100%. no problem, worlds most reliable grids too. It’s baseload that can go over 50% because it hates to throttle so runs full blast, a car with it’s throttle stuck. You just read an article on France needing external help, and you still deny it. that’s pig headed. wow.

          Solar and wind can supply about 80% of the world energy, not just electricity, and waste to fuel will back it up in the existing reserve generators the grid already has because nuclear needs them for load following and peak.

    • Brian

      The facts about nuclear power are bad, you see reality as biased.

      Nuclear’s short of fuel ten years IAEA Pub1104_scr.pdf for 2% world’s energy for 50 years. Costs 4 times available solar and wind BEFORE GOV BREAKS Lazard(energy version 9), In the 12 years it takes to install a reactor, solar and wind will be available for 16 times less and already producing more energy than the world needs.

      GHG are not the only poisons: Nuclear power plant per year: 27 tons spent fuel rod waste. deadly for a million years, 30 billion dollars dry casks for 100,000 years, 2M tons of toxic mining wastes.

      Inflexible base load forces solar and wind off the grid and needs pumped hydro nighttime storage.

      • DS

        Describing renewables as ‘flexible’ implies control. While it is true we have control over hydro and geothermal, we don’t have control over wind or solar. The grid has operated for how many years and the issue of “inflexibility” never existed until wind and solar came along? If you knew anything about manufacturing you’d know that the most efficient supply chain is the ‘just-in-time’ model, where minimal inventory is kept and things are made as they’re needed. It’s called “lean manufacturing” and it’s how the grid has operated (flexibly) for decades. Now that we’re introducing LESS FLEXIBLE (un-scheduled, uncontrollable) wind and solar, we’re in a quandary, and we have to figure out new ways to run the grid, including storage to hold the solar and wind over from when it was produced to when we want to use it.

        • Brian

          Describing renewable as ‘flexible’ implies control. https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/PV-Plants-Can-Rival-Frequency-Response-Services-From-Natural-Gas-Peakers

          No, we have no control over the sun or the wind, but we DO have control over the OUTPUT of solar pv and wind generators. And we can predict solar and wind hours ahead with great precision.

          Are you really not getting it? Solar and wind are predictable, and if you have excess solar and won capacity, they act like reserve generators.

          But so many of you folks have no idea how the grid works.

          BASELOAD is LESS flexible than solar and wind. LESS. Get it????? Baseload can neither go up or down effectively.
          Solar and wind can go DOWN in a cycle. From 100% to 0, from 0 to 100%, in one cycle.

          Get it?

  • For these cold snaps, fossil fuels are critical in Europe, see Germany electricity grid operations from last week. An article on how Germany heats their home, natural gas declining, but still majority https://www.bmwi-energiewende.de/EWD/Redaktion/EN/Newsletter/2015/09/Meldung/infografik-heizsysteme.html https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6b1a2170099499b19e4d39ab6bd77373242694145a382bf28fff2b03b40ab491.jpg

    • Brian

      Actually, hydrocarbons are critical. Not fossils. Cold snap normally in the winter. Solar probably. 25% of the summer output. Not great. Wind Might be working well, it does better in the winter. But we have to be ready for neither. That’s where hydro, geothermal and waste to fuels fill in depending on location. It’s not for base load that we need hydrocarbons, it’s for gap filling of solar and wind. I see your graphs and think, wow, look at all the hydrocarbon fuels than can be saved with solar and wind.

      As detractors LOVE to point out, solar and wind are a fraction of our power so far. So look at when they produce. Imagine we increase them from 2 and 5% to 150%, still cheaper than fossils or nuclear. Doesn’t the picture change? Go vertical down from the edge of the solar and wind right to the bottom. Notice how a 20x increase in wind, would virtually eliminate ALL the other energy sources. That’s the grey.

      Add 20 times or so more solar, and the day time winter goes to zero. It can even recharge the pumped hydro.

      Where there are humans there is ample waste to convert to fuel to power the reserve hydrocarbon generators when needed. which should be about 10-20% of the total energy , not just electrify. The hydrocarbons are needed anyway for chemical feed stock and long rang transport.

    • heinbloed

      You did not forget to click onto the “import balance” by purpose, didn’t you?

      Not a single second in week 3/2017 Germany was a net-importer, the French system operator RTE depended on Germany’s fossil fuel power plants the entire week.

      https://www.energy-charts.de/power_de.htm

      And the Swiss as well where 49 % of the atom power capacity was dead:

      http://www.reuters.com/article/switzerland-nuclear-idUSL5N1EZ1XO

      Is Breitbart tapping into new funds?

      • What was solar’s best output in week 3, maybe 10GW and their capacity is 40.4GW, Wind’s best output was 6.4GW and its capacity is 48GW. So, at its best output moments in week three, German solar capacity was about 80% dead and wind was 85% dead. Back to my original statement about the tremendous dependency on reliable sources of electricity generation at times like this. https://www.energy-charts.de/power_inst.htm

      • Brian

        Notice the cherry picking and straw man arguments? For the week that France could not provide it’s own electricity, Germany provided some.

        “The chart below shows the power trading situation for that week situation with all countries bording France. Belgium and Germany are unfortunately now lumped together (they were reported separately until last year), thereby making it impossible to say how much came from which country. But clearly, France is reliant on its neighbors during cold spells – initially, because imports are cheaper than power from oil. ” from the article.

        But FACTS. silly me.

        • DS

          The author of the article is not reporting facts, he’s reporting the Energiewende’s spin. The only cherry picking going on here is the author and yours. France happened to need imports for a brief moment and an entire article gets written about it. France is generally a net exporter of energy and probably had contracts to other nations to provide a certain amount of power, leaving not enough in reserve for itself during inclement weather, and then needed to buy power from Germany to make up the difference.

          • Brian

            Base load needs someplace to dump is power because it hates to throttle. You like political and industry sources, I think you have made that quite clear.

      • DS

        Just because Germany was exporting, doesn’t mean France was taking it all. And now look at what’s happening…just the opposite. France is providing Germany with 3,000 MW of clean nuclear power. France’s grid is currently operating at 79 g / kWh, while Germany is at 522 g / kWh.
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5094c3824088f74e5dc1e8899e3cf5e4dceaed73f102952644f68041f890e30b.png

  • Michael Mann

    Nuclear power plants actually work better with cooler cooling water temperatures, they operate more efficiently in cold weather. In the New England area of the USA heating demands more natural gas, making gas fired generation less desirable.

    • Brian

      Nuclear power plants actually fail in the heat. peak electrical demand in most of the world is summer AC.

      • DS

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/94869193ccc2ec6b6be6b35109728588f80f5df093d01e0a47442ea4882ec010.png The largest power plant, of any type, in the US, is a nuclear power plant. And guess where it’s located…just outside Phoenix, AZ. It’s called Palo Verde, and it’s located here:

        https://www.google.com/maps/place/Palo+Verde+Nuclear+Generating+Station/@33.3885734,-112.8486419,13.84z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xbb05e464d7e88ab0!8m2!3d33.3868942!4d-112.8626347

        It produces approximately 30 TWh (aka 30,000 GWh, aka 30,000,000 MWh) every year. See for yourself:

        http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/plant/6008?freq=A&ctype=linechart&ltype=pin&maptype=0&pin=&linechart=ELEC.PLANT.GEN.6008-ALL-ALL.A&columnchart=ELEC.PLANT.GEN.6008-ALL-ALL.A

        So, tell us more about how nuclear power plants fail in the heat.

        The (now 2nd) largest Solar PV farm, Topaz in CA, only produces 1.3 TWh, occupies about 9 square miles, cost $2.5B to build, and only operates about 27% of the time.

        The largest solar thermal farm, Ivanpah in CA, only produces about 0.65 TWh, occupies 5.5 square miles, cost $2.2B to build, only operates about 19.7% of the time, and the kicker: it burns lots of natural gas.

        The largest molten salt solar thermal plant, Crescent Dunes in Tonopah, NV, only produces about 130 GWh, occupies 2.6 square miles, cost almost $1B to build, and only operates about 16% of the time.

        Compared to say Diablo Canyon, which produces 18 TWh, occupies about 1/4 square mile, cost somewhere around $8B to build and operates 90+% of the time. The 10% or so that it does not operate is primarily for planned outages to replace 1/3 of the fuel, which happens every 18-20 months. Generating the same annual output as Diablo from each of the solar plants above would take:
        14 Topaz Farms
        27 Ivanpah Facilities (27 of all 3 fields, aka 81 fields)
        ~120 Crescent Dunes Facilities

        Let’s see what those look like next to one another.
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fcc7fcdce47d88bd1ff36ab991d076f20cc06fb3ee4dcf3c915a2f47493445cd.png
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce15611d4a009811784914b213c24478a3a4772a1760784e5d21de543c23b6f8.png

        • DS

          Not sure how the previous post got out of wack, Crescent Dunes image was supposed to be at the end, and not sure why Google map is at the bottom when the link was up above.

          • Brian

            And you are are compensating for something small in your life, how? how is a big central nuclear power plant a good idea?

          • DS

            No, but apparently that’s something you’re self conscious about.

            How is a much bigger central solar plant a good idea? I’ve clearly demonstrated it’s not. Huge land and material use, unreliable, and ungodly expensive.

          • Brian

            Not for the grid. But solar is cheaper, safer, cleaner with free fuel forever. So it’s way better than nuclear or fossils.

        • Brian

          Yeah, and your point? it needs 100% server generators backup, PLUS peak and load following. and love to have pumped hydro.

          Ain’t it hilarious the pro nuclear folks shout energy density and giant plants, then accuse solar and wind of needing grid updates.

          HAHAHAHAHAHAH!

          • DS

            What about solar? It needs 300% reserve on a DAILY BASIS! 25% Capacity Factor leaves a 75% shortfall. Where the hell does that energy come from?

            Congratulations, you’ve disproved your own point.

          • Brian

            We never need more than 100% reserve. Ever. Solar, wind waster to fuels and hydro. works, plenty of energy, cheaper.

          • DS

            Solar energy in Germany has a capacity factor of 11%, meaning something else has to operate the other 89% of the time. It’s got an 809% shortfall, on a DAILY freaking BASIS. Your ignorance astounds.

          • Brian

            Solar has no shortfall, they just haven’t installed enough. It’s funny how you turn around the point out that they have only installed a small mount too. Look at the time of day that solar is available and extend it straight down to 100% of demand, then tell us what percent solar pv can supply. Then add Wind, hydro and waste to fuels, and it’s plenty of energy. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/89f73a6496cdf0963ec898cdbc7cb8df2d39dcd27fa0f2b0dfcfaf6a21db5682.png

    • Brian

      ya know what’s funny? Mann has blinders on. He volunteered for them. He can’t see me.

  • DS

    “(power plants generally do not run far above 90% so they can still provide grid services, such as reactive power)”

    France’s plants may only run about 90% capacity so that they have reserve available, but I doubt it.

    US nuclear plants don’t do this. They typically run full-tilt until they need re-fueling. Kind of like a race car on a track. They go as many laps as they can until they need fuel.

    US plants have a Capacity Factor of 90+%, which may be what the author is referring to. In this case, the <10% reduction from 100% CF is almost solely due to the need to re-fuel every 18-20 months, which takes about 1 month to complete.

    Refueling outages are scheduled for spring or fall, when power demands are at their lowest. Grid operators do not want their largest, most reliable generating sources unavailable in the winter or summer, when demands are highest.

    • Sparafucile

      The author wrote lots of things that are just plain ignorant. This was the first thing to catch my eye, too.

      • Brian

        Yeah, notice the nuclear pr gaslighting?

    • Brian

      French reactors have a 65% capacity factor. Germany has a much more reliable grid than France. These reactor shut down were not planned. France reactor fail in heat waves too.

  • Simon

    Nuclear power seems to be the most “brittle” generation source we have in that one problem in one plant can result in many other plants being taken offline at short notice without having to have demonstrated that the same problem exists.

    For example – the situation illustrated above in France where over one-third of the nation’s nuclear power plants had to be shut down due to unforseen safety inspections.

    And need I mention the obvious – Japan – where the majority of the nation’s fleet have been offline since 2011 regardless of what anyone may want to blame that on.

    This is certainly not what might be described as “secure”.

    Craig Morris generally provides very good coverage of the transition currently underway in the energy sphere.

    • Brian

      Nuclear plants are also apt to go offline with grid fluctuations and that has cause blackouts to cascade.

  • heinbloed
  • DS

    French nuclear is providing coal burning Germany with 3,000 MW of power. So much for the entire premise of this article.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5094c3824088f74e5dc1e8899e3cf5e4dceaed73f102952644f68041f890e30b.png