Carbon crash, solar dawn: Deutsche Bank on why solar has already won | RenewEconomy

Carbon crash, solar dawn: Deutsche Bank on why solar has already won

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Deutsche Bank says solar market is massive, will generate $5 trillion in revenue by 2030. It describes solar plus storage as next the killer app, and says even in India will be 25% solar by 2022.

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Deutsche Bank says solar market is massive, will generate $5 trillion in revenue by 2030. It describes solar plus storage as next the killer app, and says even in India there will be 25% solar by 2022.

india_solar_1

Deutsche Bank has produced another major report that suggests solar will become the dominant electricity source around the world as it beats conventional fuels, generates $5 trillion in revenue over the next 15 years, and displaces large amounts of fossil fuels.

In a detailed, 175-page report, the Deutsche analysts led by Vishal Shah say the market potential for solar is massive. Even now, with 130GW of solar installed, it accounts for just 1 per cent of the 6,000GW, or $2 trillion electricity market (that is an annual figure).

But by 2030, the solar market will increase 10-fold, as more than 100 million customers are added, and solar’s share of the electricity market jumps to 10 per cent. By 2050, it suggests, solar’s share will be 30 per cent of the market, and developing markets will see the greatest growth.

“Over the next 5-10 years, we expect new business models to generate a significant amount of economic and shareholder value,” the analysts write in the report. Within three years, the economics of solar will take over from policy drivers (subsidies),

Their predictions are underpinned by several observations. The first is that solar is at grid parity in more than half of all countries, and within two years will be at parity in around 80 per cent of countries. And at a cost of just 8c/kWh to 13c/kWh, it is up to 40 per cent below the retail price of electricity in many markets. In some countries, such as Australia, it is less than half the retail price.

The case for solar will be boosted by the emergence of cost-competitive storage, which Deutsche describes as the “next killer app” because it will overcome difficulties in either accessing the grid or net metering policies. “We believe reduction(a) in solar storage costs could act as a significant catalyst for global solar adoption, particularly in high electricity markets such as Europe,” it writes.

“As we look out over the next 5 years, we believe the industry is set to experience the final piece of cost reduction – customer acquisition costs for distributed generation are set to decline by more than half as customer awareness increases, soft costs come down and more supportive policies are announced.

“While the outlook for small scale distributed solar generation looks promising, we remain equally optimistic over the prospects of commercial and utility scale solar markets.

At utility scale, parity is also drawing near. Just four years ago, the ratio of coal-based wholesale electricity to solar electricity cost was 7:1. Now, says Deutsche Bank, this ratio is now less than 2:1 and it could likely approach 1:1 over the next 12-18 months. In some markets, it already is cheaper. And in India, that ratio could fall to 1:1 this year, with major ramifications for coal projects such as those in the Galilee Basin.

deutsche solar rise

“We believe utility-scale solar demand is set to accelerate in both the US and emerging markets due to a combination of supportive policies and ongoing solar electricity cost reduction. We remain particularly optimistic over growth prospects in China, India, Middle East, South Africa and South America.”

The Deutsche Bank report follows recent reports such as that by Agora Energiewende, which found that solar could fall below 2c/kWh by 2050. This week, the Abu Dhabi National Bank said that based on recent solar prices, even an oil price of $US10/barrel could not compete with the technology.

Gas needed a price of less than $5mmmbtu to compete, and that wasn’t happening anywhere. Last month, fossil fuel consultancy Wood McKenzie said solar farms were cheaper and displacing planned gas-fired generators in the US, despite the low cost of gas in that country.

Still, Deutsche Bank reported that while it is becoming increasingly clear that solar is now competitive with conventional electricity generation in many global markets, there is still some policy uncertainty that could impact investor sentiment and overall supply/demand fundamentals.

“That said, we believe the dependence on subsidies has decreased significantly compared to a few years ago and demand drivers are also increasingly more diverse as well as sustainable.

“We expect solar sector’s dependence on subsidies to gradually decrease over time, policy outlook to become more supportive and economics to take over politics over the next 3 years.”

Deutsche Bank said that despite the 30 per cent compound annual growth over the past 20 years, the solar industry is still roughly 1 per cent of the 6,000GW or $2 trillion electricity market.

“Over the next 20 years, we expect the electricity market to double to $US4 trillion and expect the solar industry to increase by a factor of 10. During this timeframe, the solar industry is expected to generate $5 trillion of cumulative revenue.

“By the year 2050, we expect global solar penetration rates to increase to 30%. We also see solar penetration rates increasing more rapidly in developing economies. India for example has recently announced targets to reach 100GW of solar capacity by 2022.”

If that occurred, solar would account for 25 per cent of total capacity in India. “We believe the opportunity would be even bigger if companies start adding services to the solar PV offering and venture into adjacent markets such as wind and hydro.”

Another two of the big markets are in the Middle East and central and south America. There, solar is already at grid parity in the wholesale market, And in areas where there is no grid, then solar is the obvious option.

“Even today, (with about) 20% of the world’s population does not have access to grid electricity,” it notes. “Due to declining costs and ability to deploy the technology without really developing the grid, we expect policy makers in developing countries to proactively promote solar .”

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241 Comments
  1. john 5 years ago

    This report underlines a governments responsibility to ensure that it fosters the best outcomes for the constituents.
    Any government that looses sight of the underlying duty to be able to foster the best outcomes looses the confidence of the voters.
    Without a doubt RE is going to be the growth industry going forward just like sail was replace by steam and steam is going to be replace by the ultimate energy source of both sail and steam, we are witness to a change in the energy mix.
    As with any change in structure there will be those who prosper and those who hold on to the bitter end and ultimately suffer a painful demise.
    This need not happen with foresight and good planning both the old and the emerging can be guided and helped to make the transition with benefits to all.
    No amount of sloganeering will detract from the fact that a new age of energy is on its way.
    I hope our leaders can grasp this and lead us to a good outcome without needless harm to companies and to the constituents in general.

  2. Ian 5 years ago

    7.3 billion people, 6000GW market for electricity, that’s only 820 W per person! A lot of work needs to be done, a lot of work.

    • John Klein 5 years ago

      What’s wrong with 820W/person? That’s enough to power a computer (200W), cell phone, lighting (20W), and a household of 5 people can use their spare wattage to power refrigeration and cooking.
      820W comes from roughly 3 solar panels these days (255W each).

      • Sparafucile 5 years ago

        No — 820W is the 24 hr average, which requires 18 of those solar panels you describe, to generate the needed power.

      • georgemitchell2015 5 years ago

        You should try it and see if it is possible.
        You will find your panels will produce their peak amount for only a few hours per day and only on sunny days.
        I do encourage you to try even a small solar panel and see what you can power. Also buy a small battery to store the peak power.
        It is quite educational and will give you a feel for the reality of solar in your area.
        Cheers

        • John Klein 5 years ago

          I am trying it. I’ll have stats on the Internet.
          I’m from Regina, which is in the top 5 cities in the world for solar potential.

    • TCFlood 5 years ago

      Average electric power consumption in the US is close to 1.45 kW per person.

    • John Saint-Smith 5 years ago

      Most of the power currently used by people in the developed world, (US 1.45kw per person) is wasted on inefficient technologies. 820w would be 100 times as much as many people have today. Rather than base our assumptions on what the existing ‘wealthy and wasteful’ nations blessed with cheap polluting energy have done in the past, lets look at how much more we could do with a lot less in the future.
      We have a planet to save!

    • Jan Veselý 5 years ago

      820 W whole year = 7.2 MWh. That is huge consumption.

  3. Dr. A. Cannara 5 years ago

    Too bad solar panels don’t deliver “utility scale” power — they need about (1-capacity-factor) backup, via something else — usually gas or coal (as in Germany). Thus, trying to fib about solar ‘farming’ is not nice. An inconvenient truth.

    Local solar is great, so is nuclear, since they are the closest the being truly ‘renewable’.

    • patb2009 5 years ago

      Dr A Cannara leaves off one critical measure. Cost.
      Each Reactor at Hinckley will cost over 8 billion pounds. That’s over 5 pounds/watt. $7.50/watt. The PPA is locking in at 150 pounds/ MWH.

      Wind in Scotland is coming in at 33% that cost. That’s what’s killing nukes and coal. Cheap renewables.

      • Andrew Woodroffe 5 years ago

        He also leaves off the impact of mining uranium and, of course, disposal of radioactive material. Replacing the pumping of CO2 into the atmosphere with the piling up of radioactive waste, somewhere, is hardly progress. As for windfarms, while they do tend to need a lot of room, their actual footprint is tiny and the land between them tends to be used as before, running sheep, dairy cows, wheat, barley, whatever.

        Nuclear also needs back up. Finally, how is uranium renewable?

        • Michael Mann 5 years ago

          Except the huge amounts of CO2 and pollutants are spewed into the environment, while the small volume of radioactive waste is contained and monitored. I would say that is a vast improvement.

        • georgemitchell2015 5 years ago

          The amount of Uranium and Thorium on Earth could power all of humanity for tens of thousands of years. For me that is pretty good. But yes, you are technically correct. it is not “renewable” (eye roll)

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            Thorium reactors? How much for a 100MW thorium reactor and when can you install and have operational by? You realise climate scientist Micheal Mann is now saying we will tip 2ºC of warming in 2036. Further more if you take away the 50% cooling to warming of aerosols coal plants are presently spewing out that takes us back to 2018 for 2ºC of warming. Can you have it done by say 2020. Potsdam Institute says Australia and USA and other historically high emitters need to be at less than zero net emissions by 2020 — the critical decade it was called before we got into it.

      • Dr. A. Cannara 5 years ago

        Took the bait! The Hinkley plant, at $0.10/kWHr customer charge will generate >$2.5 billion/year revenue. It costs ~$100,000,000/year to operate each reactor. So revenues, at 1/3 the German citizens’ electric rate, will be >$2B/year. Hinckley will pay itself off in a few years and then run for decades, 24/7, pumping out thousands of Benjamins of clean electricity per hour.

        Same for the other fave anti-nukes’ whippping boy — the Finnish reactors coming on in 2017.

        No need for gas/coal backup of PatB’s windmills about 1/3 the time or more. No need for all that coal needed to build all those windmills (you do know how steel is made, eh PatB?). No need to waste beautiful Scottish scenery or birds (an inconvenient truth, I know).

        Wind, as the weakest form of energy, shows itself in the pic attached — what Germany got in last years (the spikes) for all it spent (top line), with the light blue ‘sea’ in between being filled by coal, lignite, garbage burning — all those things that forced Germany above its original emissions agreements.

        Reality for windmills is becoming more stark every day…
        http://notrickszone.com/2015/03/02/swept-area-of-annihilation-new-study-confirms-wind-turbines-barotraumatic-mayhem-on-bats/#sthash.bTvaBciA.6eju0owv.dpbs
        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/world/europe-unlikely-to-meet-climate-goal-study-finds.html?ref=world&_r=1
        http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/accidents.pdf (deaths & injuries)
        http://tinyurl.com/kqce99w
        http://notrickszone.com/2015/03/02/swept-area-of-annihilation-new-study-confirms-wind-turbines-barotraumatic-mayhem-on-bats/#sthash.bTvaBciA.6eju0owv.dpbs
        http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-30665364 (Ireland)
        http://l.facebook.com/l/4AQFK5uhm/www.archipelagofiles.com/2014/03/this-photo-of-two-engineers-hugging.html
        (hard to watch)

        But those subsidies from the many to the few make it all worthwhile, eh PatB? Love that overpriced PPA, eh?
        ;]
        Never met a wind supporter who’s a true environmentalist.

        • Giles 5 years ago

          Er, you took the ball and ran straight into a brick wall.
          The contract for Hinkley is 14c/kWh in its first year, not 10c/kwh, rising with inflation each year till it gets to around 45c/kWh. That is a wholesale price. The german wholesale price is less than 4c/kWh. You are comparing apples with cement mixers by comparing retail and wholesale rates.
          And ff, as you say, it will make so much money and pay itself off within a few years, why does it need a contract that requires this tariff for 35 years? Why are they still yet to commit. Why did the only publicly owned firm, Centrica, withdraw because it said nuclear was too costly and too risky? Answer, because your calculations are nonsense.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            Ouch. One more nuclear salesman with a big name and no blankets bites the dust.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            Also those Finish reactors the Cannara talks about are over time and over budget by double. We wouldn’t even have time to launch a nuclear industry in this country even if it were economical and as safe as RE.

            Studies and experience in Germany and Denmark have shown that up to 40% penetration of national grid by RE can occur before significant changes to the grid infrastructure are required. SolarCST and other forms of storage can provide all the frequency harmonisation we need without FF to do it.

          • Dr. A. Cannara 5 years ago

            Alastair, I used the over-budget numbers for the Finn nukes, remember?
            ;]

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            Yes ok, so that leaves nukes too expensive and too slow to deploy to have any meaning impact on Australia’s emissions problem. Agreed?

          • georgemitchell2015 5 years ago

            Why are nukes slow to deploy?
            Is there some rule that dictates that only one plant can be built at a time?
            France managed to decarbonize their electricity production in about a decade. Ontario Canada managed to shut all their coal plants by using nuclear. It is possible.
            Are Australians less intelligent than the French?
            Less industrious?
            I think Australia could follow France’s example if they wanted. Except for the giant coal lobby.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            Interesting you mention France, they are not decarbonised they import coal powered energy from Germany. That’s actually where some of the unabbated coal generation in Germany is being used. Also their current leadership is looking to replace nuclear power plants with solar and want an EU wide solar consortium to drop the prices to less than half current module price and up the volume by a factors of ten. Regain the market that Germany once led in back from China is their thinking. The French nuclear plants will need replacing as they reach end of life and who knows how popular it will remain in France amongst population if accidents continue to plague nuclear power. The decommissioning will be a big cost on it’s own without the massive cost of new nuclear plants. Nuclear is not a good match for grids with high penetrations of renewables which need ramping/dispatch power not 60% capacity factor with long ramps.

          • greenthinker2012 5 years ago

            Hi Alastair
            France may import some power from Germany but the relevant metric is the CO2 emissions of each country. France puts out only one fifth the CO2 as Germany.
            I would be interested to have you answer George’s questions.
            Why is nuclear too slow to deploy?
            Is there a rule that requires only one plant to be built at one time, or can a country build multiple plants in parallel?
            I agree that the unpredictability of renewables presents large challenges to grid stability.
            If the only way to compensate for this unpredictability is to burn natural gas then I would advocate abolishing renewables instead of twisting the logic to somehow blame nuclear power for renewables’ shortcomings.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            No greenthinker2012 (so called) no rules that say that. It’s just that the nuclear industry has continually over promised and under delivered on it’s potential to solve mankind’s energy needs. Pro-nuclear advocates love to point the stick at Greenies as if they have slowed it’s progress, but France’s commitment to 100% nuclear power supplying all her energy needs right back in the 70s till now is proof of the fact that even with the political will it’s just not up to the task. These days French people are 50/50 on nuclear power and most support the reduction of dependance on nuclear for electricity generation.

            http://energytransition.de/2015/03/french-nuclear-power-history/

            You are wrong, wind and solar, while being variable sources of energy, are very predicable. But most national grids can handle up to 40% of penetration by RE sources with little major infrastructure spending on the grids. As per Germany and South Australia both pushing past 30%. In fact imagine what Australia’s gold plating would be like without solarPV eating the midday demand peak!

            Wind and solar are also quite complimentary —wind peaks at night and I don’t need to tell you when solar peaks. SolarCST with storage, chemical storage and pumped hydro (off river) are all good solutions for frequency harmonisation and network scale storage. Greater energy independence by consumers will also reduce the peaks. Smart grids and EE will also play a role.

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            France is not abandoning nuclear power. You heard that from a propaganda site. They are interested in changing the balance to include more renewables – which is great. They have the luxury of altering their low CO2 mix. But their long-term plan is 50% nuclear. Segolene Royale has called for further nuclear plant construction.

            http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL6N0US1P320150113?irpc=932

            To make this about nuclear versus renewables is silly. Your argument about the difficulty of matching intermittents to nuclear is based on the presumption that we cannot solve the storage problem. If intermittents continue to be so spiky (which is what large scale storage would solve), then they’re not going to be scalable to the extent that we need. We can’t build hydro everywhere to manage them.

            Decarbonisation is a more difficult problem than you are treating it as.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            Sam you are putting words in my mouth to make an overblown argument for nuclear power. I appreciate your passion, but don’t misrepresent what I am saying, please. Furthermore you making some baseless assertions about the potential grid penetration for renewables both with and without storage.

            I didn’t say France is abandoning nukes although I wouldn’t bet against that happening inside the next decade as RE deployment continues its extraordinary slide down the respective cost curves and storage breakthroughs continue to emerge. Some are saying 2c/kWh for solar and not much more for wind.

            Your link to comments by the French Energy Minister is the first assertion from the French government of a future for nuclear power beyond current deployment. It even says so in the first line of your article! Counter that with his President wanting an EU wide ‘Airbus’ style solarPV consortium to increase production to compete with SE Asian factories and so reduce costs by multiple halvings (Swanston’s Law) and increase cell efficiencies: http://bit.ly/1aUsJ2Z for rooftop and CPV cells.

            Also it’s clear the French PM François Hollande would like to do more transitioning away from nuclear than 75%—>50% but is hamstrung by France over-dependance on it as an electrical supplier and the political and economic levers the industry is capable of pulling in self-defence. Have a read of these two articles:

            http://k1project.org/france-a-study-of-french-nuclear-policy-after-fukushima/
            http://energytransition.de/2015/03/french-nuclear-power-history/

            The second link is particularly interesting and the comment which cites the 2012 data for total energy (not just electrical generation) supply by nuclear for France at just 17% with 75% of the energy industry, while RE in Germany in the same year already at 12.4% of total energy consumption.

            I don’t know why you say my point regarding the mismatch of variable (but predictable) renewable generation to inflexible nuclear generation is silly. Much smarter people than me have explained why this is so. Nuclear is very slow to ramp up and down so as ‘network storage’ and in frequency harmonising it’s not particularly useful.

            “Apart from the risks associated with this technology, nuclear power plants cannot be readily ramped up and down. As a result, they are not suitable as standby power plants for backing up renewables.”
            http://sie.ag/1AS1iM8

            Much more suitable for dispatch energy in a 100% RE scenario is CST with storage, at present molten salts storage has the most deployment, but perhaps advances in super-critical steam by CSIRO will bare fruit as steam can also be stored under pressure.

            Variability of wind and solar does present challenges but oft times they are overstated by proponents of nukes. Many national grids can take up to 40% RE without major grid restructuring as has been found in Germany and South Australia. One state in Germany is running at 150% RE (mainly wind) so is exporting to Scandinavia which can supply storage because Norway has a lot of hydro which can become pumped hydro if required (the cheapest storage option by far for utility scale storage today). Solar CST with storage is also sailing down the cost curve the more it is deployed and in Chile is going in on price performance alone without any government support whatsoever. In USA it’s bidding into the profitable evening shoulder market for Las Vegas. Australia and Antarctica are the only contents on Earth without CST with storage being built. Against that nukes need a wealth of long term government support in UK just to build two plants.

            There have been no fewer than three detail studies into what a 100% RE grid looks like in Australia and none of them present engineering challenges that are not overcome with off-the-shelf current day RE and Energy Efficiency technologies. The latest was by the ultra-conservative AEMO who keep the lights on 99.98% of the time in most of Australia managing the wholesale bidding market. In the future we will no doubt see rapid improvements in chemical storage also to perform frequency harmonising and load balancing, plus the emergence of smart networks and community networks. Old school centralised nukes have even bigger problems in this world. I’m confident we will never see nuclear power in it’s current form built in Australia. It would need to get down to a container sized plant or smaller and have costs cheaper than solarPV with storage which are still falling rapidly to even have a hope.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            It’s also interesting that you interpret the end-of-life for 33% of France’s nuclear plant assets as an endorsement of nuclear. Given how dependant they are on nuclear power to meet electrical demand, it more closely resembles abandoning their long stated goal of ‘100% electricity — 100% nuclear’ for newer, safer, superior technologies. But hey, glass half full, right?!

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            Alastair, you appear to have deliberately chosen to falsify my position. Please don’t do that.

            My position is that decarbonisation is the primary goal. (I’m not convinced that yours is) Nowhere have I ever said anything about nuclear being the only acceptable technology – you’re making things up even to imply that.

            If France has already largely decarbonised I frankly don’t give a flying intercourse if they want to alter their mix of low carbon energies.

            On the other hand, if you want to point to France and say “look, that’s evidence we can drop fossil fuels without nuclear”, then pointing out your logic is wrong is not some huge nuclear marketing gambit. I have zero personal interests in anything to do with this topic. It’s just facing the facts.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            Where did I point to France and say “you can drop FF without nuclear because France”?!

            I’m saying France is turning it’s back on nuclear even with pressing climate action needs. So presumably, despite their national investment in nuclear technology and the lock-in effect such choices tend to have on a body politic (c.f. the power of the Coalocracy in Australia) Frances sees renewables as more cost effective and publicly acceptable. The poster child for nuclear is turning her back on the industry despite how hard that will be politically and economically. Must make a nuclear fan-boy weep.

            You enthusiasm for new-build nuclear is entirely irrational, however understandable our loyalties to dreams and technological ideals are. I’m agnostic, if wave power becomes cost competitive in remote locations then build it, other wise just fund pilot studies until we can decide if can reach potential or not. If geo-thermal gets it’s costs down considerably then lets look at it. IF solarPV with storage is cheaper at scale than CST with salts or steam storage then favour that. Same for any other RE tech. Till then lots of wind, lots distributed solarPV, lots of solarPV & solarCST with storage and more utility scale storage/harmonising when we get to RE saturation point on the grid.

            Forget nuclear, it’s yesterdays nightmare.

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            To a rational person, a country planning to use substantial amounts of technology X in the future is not a sign that the country has “turned its back” on technology X.

            The point here is not to say “isn’t nuclear great!” The point here is how a rational discussion of future energy policy is incredibly difficult with people who are prepared to say that day is night if it is demanded by their ideology.

          • Peter Thomson 5 years ago

            Running at 80% capacity factor (generous – UK nuclear plants have historically achieved ~62%), Hinkley C will generate 22,425,600 MWh per year. Using $0.10/kWh generates revenues of $2.25Bn/yr, or £1.15Bn/yr. This barely covers the the interest on the construction costs of £24.5Bn, never mind ‘paying off the construction cost in a few years’, or even providing a return to investors.

            That £24.5Bn construction cost is only an estimate prior to construction start by the way – the same EPR technology plant under construction in Finland (Olkiluoto Unit 3) is currently eight years late and nearly three times over budget, while the one in France (Flamanville Unit 3) is five years late and 2.5x over budget.

            The actual agreed strike price contract for Hinkley C is £92.5/MWh, index-linked to rise in line with inflation over the whole of the 35 year contract. And the price is index-linked during construction too, so the actual price paid for the first electricity delivered in 2023 will likely be much higher than this. Liberium Capital said that the strike price was ‘economically insane’, making Hinkley C ‘the most expensive power station in the world’.

            Meanwhile, strike prices for onshore wind and solar projects in the recent CfD awards are already lower than for Hinkley C. They will remain flat for the life of the projects, and will be lower still for future projects. Quite simply, nuclear power never has, and still does not, live up to its oft-touted image as a cheap energy source.

          • Dr. A. Cannara 5 years ago

            Peter, it’s really not nice to fib to the unsuspecting. Are you an engineer of any kind>? DO you know what Capacity factor means for any energy sources? Do you know what wind’s CF has been in the best EURO regions?

            Apparently not, because you’d then have to add in the grid-management and backup-power costs & emissions from the fact that wind in the region falls far short of even your worst estimates for Hinckley.

            At least the Germans have been honest about why their wind and why Irish wind, etc. forces other sources from nuclear through coal to be depended upon on short notice. The pics are German reporting on how tgheir grid-manageent costs have increased exponentially as their wind has rolled out (or rolled over) and how little of their investment in capacity has actually been realized in delivered energy (graph is 2014).

            In any case, your attempts to decry nuclear, which generates clean power at far higher capacity factors than wind or solar, and for decades longer, while receiving no carbon or rate subsidies, is silly. Germans would like their nukes back, & there’s already a market in Germany to buy Swiss nuke power.
            http://www.thelocal.de/20141212/german-consumers-still-hot-for-nuclear-power

            So, it seems you’re a wind salesman. I’ve yet to meet a wind promoter who’s a real environmentalist.

            The inconvenient truth for folks like you is that more and more real environmentalists are advocating increased nuke power…
            http://tinyurl.com/kn22qcn
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2486894/Scientists-urge-climate-groups-nuclear-power-warn-wind-solar-fulfil-worlds-energy-needs.html
            http://decarbonisesa.com/2014/06/30/another-climate-scientist-joins-calls-for-nuclear/
            http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/scientists-tell-greenies-embrace-nuclear-save-plan/2502717/
            http://thoriumforum.com/open-letter-those-influencing-environmental-policy-opposed-nuclear-power
            http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/03/world/nuclear-energy-climate-change-scientists/?hpt=hp_t3 or http://tinyurl.com/m5qp8vf
            http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/more-views-on-nuclear-power-waste-safety-and-cost/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1
            http://www.slideshare.net/Revkin/dot-nuclear-1-2214-lettersigned-by-4-nuclear-scientists-and-engineers
            https://www.facebook.com/download/823098194404759/An-Open-Letter-to-Environmentalists.pdf
            http://tinyurl.com/82o6etd (Dalai Lama!)
            Former Aussie anti-nuke…

            So go thll folks like Jaim Hansen or Nobellists like Richter, Blix, Rubbia, Helm… they’re dumb, Peter.

            Don’t bother with me, I’ve no connection to the nuclear “industry”, whatever that is. I’m just an engineer & statistician & educator who happens to be an honest environmentalist.
            ;]

          • Peter Thomson 5 years ago

            Hi Dr. A,
            Wow! So many questions! Ok, let’s go…

            “Peter, it’s really not nice to fib to the unsuspecting.”
            So what’s my fib? Where am I lying? Can you be specific please? If I am
            incorrect anywhere I am more than happy to admit my error and correct
            it.

            Hmm fibbing – like suggesting Hinkley C can produce electricity at A$0.10c/kWh – suggesting that Hinkley C cab ‘pay itself off in a few years’ when it most patently cannot? Can I suggest you examine the log in your own eye, etc, etc?

            “Are you an
            engineer of any kind>?”
            Yes, I’m an electrical/electronic engineer with a masters in sustainable energy.

            “DO you know what Capacity factor means for
            any energy sources?”
            Yes.

            “Do you know what wind’s CF has been in the best
            EURO regions?”
            Well the best in Europe is Burradale Windfarm in the Shetland Isles. It has achieved an average CF of 52% per year since commissioning in 2000. It was 57.9% in 2005, but that’s a world record – I think you’re more interested in the typical CF’s for inshore wind which range around 21-25% best-case. For offshore, the southern end of the North Sea is supposed to be best (offshore winds are more consistent and stronger than onshore) but has not been exploited so far. That will change in the next few years with the East Anglia offshore farm now scheduled for construction.

            “So, it seems you’re a wind salesman.”
            No, I am not a wind salesman. I don’t work in the renewables industry. I have formally studied it though, so I do know something about wind power, as well as solar, solar thermal, geothermal, wave, tidal, geothermal, biomass, biofuel, etc. Why did study it? Concern about the future our children and grandchildren are facing, and a desire to try to influence the direction of world events.

            “The inconvenient truth for folks like you is that more and more real environmentalists are advocating increased nuke power…”
            …All your links, thank you…

            Yes, I am quite aware of this view. I also have the book ‘Powering the future’ by Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin, where he strongly advocates nuclear as a major part of the post-FF energy supply. Some parts of his book I agree with, some I don’t (such as burning all the animal dung to generate energy – much better to use it as fertiliser for food production).

            I am also aware of the work of Prof. Derek Abbott at Adelaide University however, who showed that nuclear power does not scale to supply global energy needs. My personal view is that nuclear is an important part of the energy mix, but I would prefer to see thorium reactors developed as the fuel of choice. Governments don’t though, because they can’t get their nuclear weapons material from them.

            ” I’ve yet to meet a wind promoter who’s a real environmentalist.”
            Not sure what you mean – how do you define a ‘real environmentalist’?

          • georgemitchell2015 5 years ago

            Your bias is showing.
            Why do you pick low capacity factors from the oldest plants and then call it generous? In the USA nuclear plants regularly run at capacity factors around 95%.
            You then say that for nuclear costs will continue to rise, even though first of a kind plants like in Finland historically show that the first is expensive and the next plant built is cheaper and the next cheaper.
            You then assume that wind projects will become cheaper.
            Why do you skew the playing field?

          • Peter Thomson 5 years ago

            Hi George,
            Capacity Factors: I take your point, US reactors have indeed been doing much better than UK, with annual capacity factors running around 90%:
            http://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/US-Nuclear-Power-Plants/US-Nuclear-Capacity-Factors

            So I really should be using best-practice here. So as not to quibble over numbers, if I recalculate Hinkley C using 100% Capacity Factor and the A$0.10/kWh as proposed by Dr. A., we get annual revenue of A$2,804,800,000/yr, or £1,431,020,408/yr with today’s rate on xe.com.

            But whether you are making £1.15Bn/yr or £1.43Bn/yr doesn’t change my point – this income barely covers the cost of the interest on the £24.5Bn construction costs, it certainly doesn’t ‘pay off the cost of construction in a few years’ as Dr. A asserts.

            Nuclear Costs: I didn’t say nuclear [construction] costs would rise, I said that the ‘price of electricity’ from Hinkley would rise. This is because under the contract for difference PPA agreed with the UK Government, the strike price will rise in line with inflation – it is index-linked. This is the ‘economically insane’ part:
            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/30/hinkley-point-nuclear-power-plant-uk-government-edf-underwrite
            The £24.5Bn construction cost estimate is not mine either BTW:
            http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1093_en.htm
            Some interesting background on nuclear costs vs. budgets here too, including for EPR:
            http://www.worldnuclearreport.org/The-World-Nuclear-Industry-Status.html#ctpcor

            Wind Projects Costs: I’m not assuming that wind projects will become cheaper, it is a well understood and recognised trend in the industry. NREL predict LCOE for wind to fall by ~25% between 2012 and 2030:
            http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/54526.pdf

            Hope this helps.

          • georgemitchell2015 5 years ago

            If we refuse to use a proven, scaleable, low-CO2 power source like nuclear to help stop climate change because we are not making enough interest on the loans, we as a species are too stupid to deserve survival.

          • Peter Thomson 5 years ago

            Scalability – that is part of the problem actually. Nuclear doesn’t scale to meet global energy needs, as demonstrated by Prof Abbott in his paper: “Keeping the energy debate clean: How do we supply the world’s energy needs?”; Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 98, no. 1, Jan 2010, pp. 42-66.

            I am not anti-nuclear, it has it’s place and its uses; but it is not the low-cost panacea to all our energy problems that nuclear proponents like to claim it is. I just happen to believe we can build a zero-carbon post-fossil fuel energy supply system with renewable technology that does scale to meet future global energy needs, without resorting to very large-scale nuclear and all its attendant risks.

            Species stupidity? How stupid are we to spend forty years denying that we are having a detrimental effect on the atmosphere, so some people can make very large profits out of fossil fuels? How stupid are we to continue relying on finite FF energy supplies, that are going to run out just when we need them most – when population peaks at the end off this century – just so that some people can continue making very, very large profits out of fossil fuels? How stupid are we to subsidise the fossil fuel industry to the tune of US$500Bn a year to locate new fossil fuel reserves that we know we can’t afford to burn?
            Maybe we are too stupid to deserve survival.

          • Matthew 5 years ago

            If we act like the only alternative to CO2 is nukes, which create problems that money can’t pay our way out of, instead of the cheaper both long and short term actual renewables, we will deserve only to trade oil and gas problems for nuke problems. And not to survive.

          • greenthinker2012 5 years ago

            The climate crisis needs swift action to reduce our CO2 emissions.
            Acting like we can omit a major tool like nuclear power and use only wind and solar because of fears stoked by exaggerated perceived problems with nuclear power is foolish.
            We need to use all tools at our disposal to fight climate change.
            We also need to make rational decisions based on facts not myths or romantic notions.
            Overcoming these entrenched inaccurate beliefs about wind, solar and nuclear power will be an immense challenge.

          • Matthew 5 years ago

            Nobody’s saying “only wind and solar” – except you right there. It’s the nukes absolutists who say “only nukes”, which is far from reality.

            Among the many real – and usually downplayed, as you are trying here – problems with nukes is how long it takes to build a plant. Not to mention how long it takes to dismantle one, and the pollution both processes create, plus the pollution from the ongoing mining and processing the fuel. Building them even as safe as they are now take many times as long as building alternatives like wind and solar.

            We have plenty of ways to slow and perhaps eventually reverse climate change that don’t increase the many other problems that nukes have brought. The “romantic notions” are the fallacies like you invoke to promote nukes.

          • greenthinker2012 5 years ago

            What I actually said is we need to use all tools at our disposal to fight climate change.
            Who said only nukes?
            The fallacy you promote is this idea that nuclear power takes too long to build. Is there some rule that dictates we only build one plant at a time? It seems that the sensible thing would be to build many plants at the same time.
            Your last paragraph seems to show it is you who is saying “only wind and solar”.
            What other ways do you propose that can make a significant impact on CO2 emissions?

            France decarbonized their electricity sector using nuclear power. Ontario shut all its coal plants by using nuclear. These are real world examples that show it can be done.
            I think climate change is urgent enough that we should not dismiss these real world examples of successfully reducing CO2 emissions.

          • Matthew 5 years ago

            Nukes absolutists say “only nukes”. It’s very common.

            Nuke plants each take far longer to build than sustainable alternatives. It also takes far longer to demolish them, and causes a lot more mess. In the time to build them more wind and solar could be using more of the precious time left better.

            “Plenty of ways” doesn’t mean “only wind and solar”. Wind and solar are great ways, but there’s also geothermal, wind and water. To say nothing of efficiency, which in NYC is already planned to cut 80% of 2005 emissions by 2050, and is on track to cut over 40% by 2030.

            France and Ontario replaced GHGs with nukes a long time ago, when there wasn’t as little time to lose. Now time is running out, and alternatives to nukes are even cheaper – even cheaper than investing in new oil/gas exploration and production. I didn’t say it couldn’t be done with nukes, just that it shouldn’t.

            I have used not a single fallacy. Yet every point you are making is a fallacy, primarly the straw man, but also including the fallacious excluded middle.

            The time, money and effort to cut Greenhouse pollution using nukes would cut a lot more using alternatives to nukes.

          • greenthinker2012 5 years ago

            I don’t agree that if we use one technology that it stops us from using another as well.
            If time is short we should use all technologies available. All technologies deployed as fast as possible is the fastest route.

          • Matthew 5 years ago

            I didn’t say using one tech stops us from using another as well. More fallacies from you.

            Since time is short we should deploy what gets us off of polluting fastest. Wasting time building a gigawatt of nukes instead of building multiple gigawatts solar and wind is wrong, just for Greenhouse purposes – nevermind the other costs and liabilities of nukes.

          • greenthinker2012 5 years ago

            Here are two fallacies of yours…

            1) You say “Nuke plants each take far longer to build than sustainable alternatives.”
            2) You say nuclear power is too expensive.

            Let’s examine the largest wind farm in the USA….The Alta Wind Energy Center and compare it to nuclear power.

            The Alta Wind Energy Center consists of the following wind turbines:

            100 X 1.5 MW (Alta I)
            50 X 3 MW (Alta II)
            50 X 3 MW (Alta III)
            34 X 3 MW (Alta IV)
            56 X 3 MW (Alta V)
            50 X 3 MW (Alta VI)
            56 X 3 MW (Pinyon Pines I)
            50 X 3 MW (Alta VIII)
            44 X 3 MW (Pinyon Pines II)

            TIME TO BUILD>>>>>>
            The first five phases of the wind farm took about a year to construct and have a combined nameplate capacity of 650 MWatts. Their capacity factor is around 30% for an average output of 195 MWatts.

            If we wanted to expand this 195 MWatts to a typical nuclear power plant equivalent of 1200 MWatts it would take 6 years to put up this many turbines.

            Modern nuclear power plants are planned for construction in five years or less (42 months for CANDU ACR-1000, 60 months from order to operation for an AP1000, 48 months from first concrete to operation for an EPR and 45 months for an ESBWR)

            Even if we add a few years for construction delays we are still in the same ballpark as the wind farm.

            COST>>>>>
            Here is a wind energy association website that discusses the cost of the latest units at the Alta Wind Energy Center.

            http://www.power-technology.com/projects/alta-wind-energy-center-awec-california/

            $1.2bn for units II to V (550 Mwatts x 30% capacity factor = 165 MWatts average)

            Let’s compare this with nuclear power…
            A typical nuclear plant puts out 1200 MWatts. (7 times as much power)

            The equivalent Alta Wind Energy Centre cost to supply this power would be $8.7 billion.
            This is for the wind turbines alone and does not including the storage costs or the costs of the back up gas generators to make the wind farm power reliable.

            The costs for nuclear power differ depending on the region in which they are built .

            The IEA-NEA Nuclear Energy Roadmap 2015 estimates China’s average overnight costs of approximately USD 3,500/kW are more than a third less than that in the EU of USD 5,500/kW. Costs in the US are about 10% lower than the EU, but still 30% higher than in China and India, and 25% above South Korea.

            Let’s use the USA figure of $5 per MWatt. x 1200 MWatts = $6 Billion per 1.2 GigaWatt reactor.
            Even if we add a 40% cost overrun, we are still in the ball park of your “bare bones” no-backup Alta Wind Farm.

            So you see that even though you claim it is silly to consider nuclear power because of cost and time, the fact is that nuclear power compares favourably with the USA’s largest wind farm.
            Perhaps you can argue that some instances of wind will be cheaper or faster or that some instances of nuclear will be slower or more expensive, but the point is these low-CO2 power sources are both in the same ballpark.

            This is why I advocate using all available low-CO2 power sources such as wind and nuclear power to stop climate change.

          • Matthew 5 years ago

            The cost to build a nuke plant is considerably more per watt than the cost to build a solar plant; the gap is even bigger compared to building a wind farm. The ongoing costs for nukes are multiples of that for wind and solar, especially counting variable costs. And that’s not even counting the extra cost of loan interest because nuke plants cost so much at once, the insurance that’s subsidized by the government carrying it because no private bank will, the costs of security, the externalized subsidies of R&D and cleanup, and the costs of catastrophe.
            http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/capitalcost/xls/table1.xls

            After you’ve gone on about how we don’t have to wait to do things one at a time, you’re now pretending that we’d have to build solar or wind farms a piece at a time instead of simultaneously to equal the same capacity in a nuke plant. There you’re trying the fallacy of having it both ways when it’s convenient to your argument.

            Also, even if I were factually wrong it wouldn’t be a fallacy, logically invalid. You’re using a word you evidently don’t understand, especially since you’re engaging in fallacies while baselessly accusing me of it. It’s one thing to be factually wrong. But you’re posting fallacies in every post, invalid logic that is insulting after a while. And you’re accusing me of that kind of irresponsible debate when I’m not. And you’re getting worse.

            That’s enough. Goodbye.

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            Why, if you’re using EIA figures, are you not simply citing the LCOE figures? These are the ones that are used for making comparisons, and they clearly don’t make nuclear this stunningly expensive option in the way that you do.

            http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

            The cost issue bothers me less than the feasibility issue of foregoing nuclear while holding decarbonisation as our genuine and urgent priority, but if we’re going to talk costs, we should at least use the right numbers.

          • greenthinker2012 5 years ago

            Maybe I am misunderstanding what you are saying.
            Here is a simple question for me to try and understand what you are saying.
            Which is the fastest way to decarbonize?
            1) using only solar, wind, tidal, geothermal.

            2) using only nuclear power.

            3) using all of the above.

          • Giles 5 years ago

            This is garbage. You start off with capital costs per capacity, convert capacity to output in case of wind, and then take this as inflated capital cost per capacity. The installed cost of wind capacity is about one firth that of nuclear. Their output is about one third per installed capacity. Wind is still way ahead on costs of energy delivered.

          • greenthinker2012 5 years ago

            Hi Giles, No it is not garbage.

            It was a calculation to show the cost for actual power produced for wind vs nuclear.

            My ballpark calculation showed the costs were similar for wind and nuclear.

            The EIA costs also show these power sources are in the same ballpark for levelized cost per output.

            http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

            Nuclear costs $96 per MWHr
            Wind costs $80 per MWHr

            So not as you say “way ahead” and definitely not so different that there is any reason to dismiss either of these low-CO2 energy sources in our fight against climate change.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            You think that on a large wind farm they would not install more rapidly than on a small project? You think there’s a rule saying only one crane per wind farm install? Furthermore wind can be integrated into the grid in stages, unlike any nuclear power plant I’ve read about.

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            Matthew, what you are saying – that pretty much all of those who think we should use nuclear power want only to use nuclear power – is simply wrong. It’s false, nonsense, horse****, rubbish, a fairy tale, a load of baloney, not true.

            The position of people like James Hansen – who I think we can safely say is one of the most knowledgably concerned people regarding climate change on the planet – is that cutting GHG emissions cannot be cut rapidly enough without also using nuclear power. He’s all in favour of solar – he’s not only fit panels on his house, but on those of his children – but he’s also numerate. He can do the maths.

            To say “let’s use all the technology we can to cut GHGs. Oh, except nuclear” is to make a mixture of mistakes:
            1. You don’t take global warming seriously. We have time to work out mass storage (read the report – they’re talking about tiny amounts of storage in grid terms), we have time to transform the whole of modern society to a post energy idyll, we have time, time, time…and anyway it’s just a bit warmer, what could that possibly do to the biosphere?
            2. You think it will be really, really easy to replace all our fossil fuels with renewables everywhere really quickly. If you look into Germany’s figures, you’ll see that just under half of all their renewables growth has been biomass and hydro, which are going to struggle to expand further for simple physical limits. Solar investment has declined year on year since 2011. The only space for large gains right now appears to be wind.
            3. You think nuclear is a lot more dangerous than it actually is. I live in Japan. I am pretty well versed in what the risks are, and what the risks of building more would be.

            I am advocating a mix. The maths don’t add up if we decide to exclude nuclear power as a source of reliable low emissions baseload. It can depend partly on one’s geography, but to rule out nuclear everywhere is to put one’s head firmly in the sand about the seriousness of climate change.

            Matthew – and this is a rhetorical question – are you in denial about climate change?

          • Matthew 5 years ago

            Well, if that were what I said it might be wrong. But I didn’t. I said “nuke absolutists”. There are proponents of nukes who are not absolutists. But there are many who are absolutists.

            James Hansen we can safely say is one of the knowledgably concerned people regarding climate change. He is not however one of the most knowledgably concerned regarding nukes. It’s completely understandable that he’s right about climate change but wrong about nukes. Likewise I don’t rely on nuclear physicists to tell me about climate science.

            I take global warming seriously. I left the finance industry to dedicate my career to energy efficiency to slow and maybe reverse climate change, at a cut in pay and in class. It’s faster to deploy watts of solar and wind than watts of nukes, for each megawatt and more in parallel than single centralized nuke plants.

            I don’t think it will be “really, really easy” to replace our fossil fuels with renewables everywhere really quickly. That’s your strawman, not my words. It’s quicker to replace fossil fuel kilowatts with wind and solar than with nukes. The physical limits on wind and solar aren’t a problem for the amounts we need for our generation, not with the available deserts, rooftops and plenty of other areas for it all around the world.

            I think nukes are a lot more dangerous than solar and wind. How much more dangerous doesn’t really matter, since the danger is just more cost and liability atop the other reasons wind and solar are better than nukes. BTW, living in the country that let its nuke industry nuke the country without heads rolling, and is now going for more nukes doesn’t really lend you credibility. It’s a losing argument to authority fallacy.

            Finally, what’s the point of your last rhetorical insult? I’ve put more on the line personally, and done a lot more to help professionally, to slow or reverse climate change than you have I expect.

            Look, you’re blurting out fallacies and insults. You’re wrong on the facts too. You’ve demonstrated you’re not a serious person. Goodbye.

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            That’s an incredibly defensive response to a non-abusive comment.

            You offer an either nuclear or wind/solar choice – so yes, you are indeed painting those who think we should also deploy more nuclear as nuclear absolutists.

            As for the dangers: per TWh of electricity produced, several studies have found that nuclear is easily on a par with wind and solar when it comes to human safety. The non-GHG environmental impact of deploying nuclear is clearly less than solar and wind, given that one needs a smaller quantity of materials and land. By taking advantage of the features of all three of these energy sources to me makes sense.

            It’s great that you’ve taken these career steps. It would be better if you would drop an absolutist position regarding nuclear power. Your objections don’t appear strongly based in the data.

          • Matthew 5 years ago

            OK, you’re offensive enough that I’m taking back my polite “goodbye”.

            You closed your comment with “Matthew – and this is a rhetorical question – are you in denial about climate change?”. And now you’re attacking me for being “defensive” in response to a “non-abusive comment”. Do you know that asking an explicitly rhetorical question whether someone is in denial is abusive? Mine is not a rhetorical question. Do you?

            Further, I do not offer an either/or choice between nuclear and wind/solar. Moreover, even if I were, your assertion that it means I’m thereby saying “more nukes equals nuclear absolutists” is nonsense. It doesn’t even make sense.

            The dangers of nukes include Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima, Hanford, and hundreds of other poisoned sites around the world. The dangers include nuclear weapons proliferation, major dangers that have caused actual harm in response already in Libya and Iran, during the Cuban missile crisis, every few years (but really every day) in India/Pakistan, and elsewhere. The dangers include the toxic mess where the fuel is mined, and the serious risk put off every day for another day where the waste is stored – especially in places like Fukushima, which are many.

            The Greenhouse damage of nukes, owing to the huge infrastructure required to build, operate, fuel and decommission them, plus all the fuel and infrastructure to secure them and their supply lines, makes them much worse than solar or wind in comparison.

            There’s not going to be a devastating wind spill, or an arms race from top-secret PV tech leaked to a rogue state or terrorist gang. Nukes have already given us several of those, causing large scale damage.

            I don’t even have an absolutist position on nukes. I think we should simply deprecate them, stop building new ones, and use the existing plants’ energy to help power their replacements. And then spend decades cleaning up after them with the power from their replacements.

            My objections are based in the actual data. Yours are fallacies and patronizing. You owe me an apology for the kinds of insults, whether to my seriousness about global warming or just as rhetorical stunts, or just throwing these fallacies around without even acknowledging it when I call them out.

            From your track record here I don’t expect to get anything but doubling down on them.

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            Rhetorical here clearly means not that you are in denial, but that your desire to tackle climate change is being compromised quite seriously by your opposition to nuclear power.

            You claim that the physical infrastructure for nuclear is necessarily hugely greater than solar and wind. This is patently false. Nuclear is incredibly energy dense. That’s the point of the whole technology. You need far more cement, for example, to build the equivalent output amount of wind power. There are loads of studies looking at the GHG output of various sources of energy, and nuclear comes in at the low end. Clearly.

            The connection between civilian nuclear power and nuclear armaments was broken decades ago. If a country wants nuclear weapons it builds nuclear weapons, not civilian power. It is not an opportunistic policy that comes out of civilian nuclear. Seriously, read the academic literature on this. It’s a subject of much study.

            Regarding Fukushima: for such a horrendous radiological disaster, the expected health effects from the radiation are considered to be incredibly low. If you have any questions about this, I’m happy to go into detail. It’s something, given where I live I’m quite up on.

            Your hostility to bring challenged on your beliefs is noted.

          • Billey Bangle 5 years ago

            Sam, scientific beliefs are conditional and subject to discussion. Religious beliefs are not. If you join the catholic church and state “I don’t believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ”, you will be excommunicated. Similarly, if you join the green church and state “Nuclear energy is a good idea”, you will be excommunicated.
            If you challenge a christian/muslim/jewish fundamentalist they get angry. And if you challenge a green fundamentalist like Matthew they get angry.
            Arguing with Matthew isn’t going to change his mind, but it might change the mind of some people not yet committed. There are striking similarities in the conspiracy theories of the anti-nuclear and climate-change denialists

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            Billey, I appreciate the support, but I fundamentally disagree with this:

            if you join the green church and state “Nuclear energy is a good idea”, you will be excommunicated.

            People who are ideologically anti-nuclear are anti-nuclear before anything else. Proper environmentalists put the environment first. Many of us who grew wise to the tricks of climate change deniers in misrepresenting science now realise the same problem is going on within the environmental movement regarding nuclear power (and a few other issues).

            I’m sure a respectable fact-based anti-nuclear position could be put together (not that I would agree with it necessarily, but I could respect it). It’s just that that’s not how the anti-nuclear movement is constituted, and the mindset of indifference to inconvenient evidence is endangering the relevance of the movement in general.

          • Billey Bangle 5 years ago

            Sam, I guess you’re saying that only the anti-nuclear ideologues join the green party. I don’t think it’s wrong to say that anyone who joined the green party who didn’t accept doctrine would be excommunicated.
            Your other point I’ve actually made earlier. The core belief is anti-nuclear. This requires the secondary belief that renewables can do it.
            I started out anti-nuclear but I went the scientific route and could not create a scientific case against nuclear. It’s quite clear Barry Brook & Ben Heard have done the same.
            Matthew describes Fukushima as “a horrendous radiological disaster”. I only need a pen, the back of an envelope, and publicly available figures to conclude that Fukushima released radioactivity = 1/30000th of the natural radioactivity in the oceans and 1/25000000th of the natural radioactivity in the earth’s crust. Scientific argument disappears.

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            I came to my position ironically by having my eyes opened to the nature of the anti-nuclear movement during the Fukushima crisis. People were understandably freaked out by something “going wrong at a nuclear power station” – and the anti-nuclear movement embarked upon an absolutely huge and exploitative public health scare campaign. These weren’t fringe elements, but major figures spouting utter nonsense with the sole aim of scaring the Bejesus out of everyone. It was utterly disgraceful, without any concern whatsoever for the welfare of the people here. They seemed addicted to telling everyone that tens of thousands were going to die, regardless of what scientific opinion was. They wanted people to be dropping dead. The situation around Fukushima Daiichi is a mess, but what these people were claiming was not only nuts, it was directly harming the post-tsunami recovery.

            It was pretty clear that the anti-nuclear movement was as crazy as the climate-change denial movement. I then started noticing their paws in the renewables-only movement…

            I don’t see why we should surrender the “green” label to these people.

          • Billey Bangle 5 years ago

            So Matthew, James Hansen isn’t a serious person? Or the Dalai Lama?
            I don’t consider the debate to be a nuclear vs renewable absolutist. I can’t remember a pro-nuclear person who’s said that renewable energy should not be considered.
            But the pro-renewable groups demand that nuclear not be considered.
            The increasing concern with climate change has created a dilemma for the anti-nuclear ideologue. They either have to
            1. Admit they were wrong about nuclear energy, or
            2. Prove somehow, that renewable energy is a 100% certain winner.
            Richard Feymann said “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”
            I really think you’re fooling yourself Matthew.
            You aren’t really pro-renewable at all, you are anti-nuclear, and your assessment of renewable energy is coloured by your desperate need to believe that “nuclear is bad”
            I am skeptical that anyone other than the anti-nuclear ideologues believe that renewable energy is 100% of the answer. Less ideological people like Geoff Russell or Ben Heard simply abandoned the anti-nuclear stance when they looked at the facts closely.
            I challenge you to name ONE person who believes the 100% renewable message who isn’t an anti-nuke.

          • Matthew 5 years ago

            I didn’t say they’re not serious people. You did.

            I said they’re not experts in nuclear energy concerns.

            However, your attempt to force that strawman fallacy, among other strawmen, as my position in this debate shows that you’re not a serious person.

          • Billey Bangle 5 years ago

            It really would help you Matthew to look at this representation.
            https://www.scribd.com/doc/256538137/Dot
            I note you have avoided my challenge.

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            Renewables only fundamentalism is to the anti-nuclear movement what intelligent design is to creationism. It puts a sciencey gloss on what is a non-negotiable ideology.

          • Michael Mann 5 years ago

            I do know a lot about nuclear power, and I know how safe and clean it is, I’m not an expert in wind and solar, but I know nuclear energy has a better safety record over the last decade. I know solar and wind power generation has been around a lot longer and has a larger environmental footprint than nuclear energy and still produces a fraction of the electricity..Solar and wind power makes sense for some situations and should be used in those situations, but nuclear has a much better record at displacing fossil fueled generation..Is there room for improvement in nuclear and solar and wind generation? Yes definitely! We need to stop spewing combustion products into our atmosphere it’s the only one we have.

          • Michael Mann 5 years ago

            The volume mining per unit energy produced is less for nuclear than for solar PV or wind.. so does that mean they are not clean or green either?

          • Michael Mann 5 years ago

            The longest running (not the oldest) nuclear power plant in the USA had a capacity factor of 96% in 2014, and has been over 95% for the last decade, Why would you think a brand new plant would run less reliably than a 45 year old plant?

          • Peter Thomson 5 years ago

            Hi Michael,
            I think I’ve already answered your point in the posts below, if you take a look through them.

            George thought I was introducing deliberate bias in favour of wind because I used (better than) published UK performance figures, rather than world best-practice for capacity factor. So I recalculated using 100% capacity factor, to show it makes no material difference to the revenue situation that Dr. A had claimed.

            Disputing capacity factors just distracts from this point, so I took them out of the equation altogether. (But if I tried to offer any investor a revenue model LCOE based on 100% capacity I would be laughed out of the room!)

          • Dr. A. Cannara 5 years ago

            Actually, Giles, I used $0.10 to illustrate the payoff time at a low sales price. You missed that, apparently. So your figures simply shorten the payoff time.

            And, you miss that Germany subsidizes many businesses to the low electricity cost you mention by charging average Germans >$0.30/kWHr.

            Despite the subsidy, firms like BASF are choosing to expand operations outside Germany, not trusting future German power costs. Maybe a German minister can inform you?… http://notrickszone.com/2015/01/27/former-german-minister-of-economics-calls-energiewende-a-disaster-careened-completely-out-of-control/#sthash.V6vn4Vw3.a0niptvi.dpbs

            Then too, imagine if something rational were done, like Hinckley getting carbon credits, remember how much coal it takes to make 1 windmill?

            Maybe take a little flight into reality, instead of misleading yourself and others here, Giles…

            ;]

          • JonathanMaddox 5 years ago

            BASF is a chemical manufacturing business whose main energy costs are in the form of precursor chemicals including petroleum and natural gas, not for electricity. Some of its facilities actually generate their own power (very cheaply, if the feedstocks are cheap) on-site by burning byproducts. Gas is very expensive in Europe which has everything to do with geography and international relations but nothing to do with Germany’s renewable energy policy.

            Industries which really do depend on large amounts of electric energy, aluminium smelting for instance, are happy to expand in Germany (both Trimet and Norsk Hydro have recently announced expansions), while operators in neighbouring countries (Aldel in Delfzijl, across the river Ems from Germany) are actually asking to be connected directly to the German power network:

            http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL6N0T33F720141113

            Forward-thinking aluminium smelters are also happy to become part of the solution when it comes to intermittent energy integration:

            http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-11-26/germanys-trimet-aluminium-turns-smelting-tanks-into-batteries

          • michael 5 years ago

            would it be a problem if it did need a tariff for 35years? isn’t that a major basis for all the current drops in RE PPA’s, the ability to sign 20-30 year PPA’s and the associated drop in finance costs

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            The UK is only giving 10 year tariffs to Wind and they are not indexed to inflation. Big difference in the contracts for difference. The question it begs is why? Why bet on the much more expensive and risky centralised generation technology and force the taxpayers into absorbing so much risk.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            stand corrected 15 years flat vs 35 years indexed and with billions of dollars of no-excess insurance thrown for good measure. And payouts if for any reason the plant has to be closed down. Great deal huh?

        • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

          From you unsourced data at http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/accidents.pdf

          “1,500 birds are estimated to be killed per year by the MacArthur wind farm in Australia, 500 of which
          are raptors.”…& “Data in the detailed table is by no means fully comprehensive – CWIF believe that it may only be the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of numbers of accidents and their frequency”

          500 raptors a year in that one location killed, must have been a raptor conference on that year and every subsequent year. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg… Your referencing to data is laughable. Crawl back into hole Dr Cannara.

          • Dr. A. Cannara 5 years ago

            Guess your birds don’t mind dying by the hundreds for your coffee maker, Alastair.
            ;]
            Oh, but that;s only if the wind is blowing when you want the coffee, — those birds are safe when Aussie hydro, coal, etc. is making up for no wind, eh mate?

            Pic is what the Germans actually diocument as their wind harvest in 2014 — citizens paid for the upper blue line, they got the spikes, and the remaining blue space was filled by whatever they had to burn — coal, garbage, lignite… and Swiss/French nuclear.

            See, as an engineer, Alistair, my oath is to facts. so, I support local solar PV/hot-water because it uses no land, hurts no species and lessens power-transmission loss (an “oops” for windmills). and I support EVs, efficient storage and nuclear. The reason for the latter is exemplified in the remaining pics …

            You do understand the importance of capacity factor, safety, power density and EROI, right Alistair? No need to kill any birds, bats or people with windmills…
            http://tinyurl.com/kqce99w
            http://notrickszone.com/2015/03/02/swept-area-of-annihilation-new-study-confirms-wind-turbines-barotraumatic-mayhem-on-bats/#sthash.bTvaBciA.6eju0owv.dpbs
            ;]

          • Bart_R 5 years ago

            I’m not anti-nuke. I went to a university with a reactor on campus — indeed, turned down an offer from MIT because of the opportunity to study at a school with a reactor on campus — and finished first in Physics as a freshman in a course led by the professor who ran that reactor. I contributed as a sophomore to advancing the programming of lasers for a fusion experiment. However, my background in Industrial Hygiene and my experience as a technical business analyst tell me that nuclear is not the panacea many claim, and is not likely to be more than a minor player in the world energy sector going forward due simple economics.

            Some have heard of Swanson’s Law of solar power, which is no more than a special application of the Law of Economies of Scale. There’s a similar principle for wind energy: as more is built out, the cost per unit energy drops dramatically. Since so little of either is built out yet compared to their capacity, the price per unit energy of solar and wind is inevitably due to fall, in the case of solar by orders of magnitude in the long run, by the time it reaches optimum scale. These two are right now, given the problems of storage, better as peak load power supply, or ‘negative draw’ supply. Capacity factor issues are overcome by the very large size of grids due Ultra High Voltage DC distribution, smart grid technology, and that means any fossil fuel is right now more expensive as a new installation than wind or solar in over 75% of the market.

            And storage is improving. In the case of pumped hydro, storage is already there. As a tool of improved water management infrastructure, hybrid dams for irrigation, flood control, drought mitigation and tailings ponds can pump water uphill whenever peak production exceeds demand then almost instantly answer peak demand by letting the water flow downhill. Economies of scale are calculated to show this approach will continue to drop in price until twenty to forty times the present world deployment is reached. And it’s fully dispatchable over 95% of the time, seasonally.

            Even better, geothermal electric is much cheaper, a third less expensive than the cheapest fossil power, right now, at less than 1/10,000th of its optimal deployment, and it can service about 50% of the world, easily outperforming nuclear’s ability to meet power needs.

            Likewise, biomass-based energy is rapidly advancing with drop-in replacements for fossil gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, and while it will be some time before they beat the $5/barrel cost to a Saudi prince of pumping light sweet crude, it is already competitive with the $45/barrel price of heavy crude, fracking mess, and the triple that cost of tarsand dilbit.

            That is why nuke is not necessary, and just too expensive. It’s already past its optimal deployment for economy of scale, much less safe than its proponents acknowledge, much more expensive to improve, and with six decades of being only six decades from the next breakthrough, not credible.

            By the way, the bird and bat killing claims about wind are becoming decreasingly relevant year by year, as technology and practice improve and reduce avian mortality by order of magnitude every generation of wind technology. And when this argument was first put out, wind was the number thirteen most deadly contributor to avian mortality, a good ten places below fossil.

          • Dr. A. Cannara 5 years ago

            It’s truly amazing that someone in ophysics, or industrial health would say something like “nuke is not necessary, and just too expensive”, when the actual evidence of decades of use make absolutely clear it’s a) the safest form of generation; and b) cheaper than any but,perhaps, future solar PV/hot-water on structures.

            So, Bart (thanks for a real name), why are 70+ reactors now under construction worldwide? And why are all these folks ‘wrong’ about nuclear safety?…
            http://tinyurl.com/42wvr9l (1998)
            http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/pressrels/2013/unisinf475.html (2013)
            http://cen.acs.org/articles/91/web/2013/04/Nuclear-Power-Prevents-Deaths-Causes.html
            http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html
            http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/
            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-human-cost-of-energy
            http://www.wano.info//article.cfm?id=the-human-cost-of-energy
            http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928053.600-fossil-fuels-are-far-deadlier-than-nuclear-power.html#.VK4ftS7CaSq
            http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113309931/be-more-afraid-of-fossil-fuels-than-nuclear-power-scientist-says-010715/

            And why are all these scientists ‘wrong’ in saying nuclear is necessary in large amount?…
            http://tinyurl.com/kn22qcn
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2486894/Scientists-urge-climate-groups-nuclear-power-warn-wind-solar-fulfil-worlds-energy-needs.html
            http://decarbonisesa.com/2014/06/30/another-climate-scientist-joins-calls-for-nuclear/
            http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/scientists-tell-greenies-embrace-nuclear-save-plan/2502717/
            http://thoriumforum.com/open-letter-those-influencing-environmental-policy-opposed-nuclear-power
            http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/03/world/nuclear-energy-climate-change-scientists/?hpt=hp_t3 or http://tinyurl.com/m5qp8vf
            http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/more-views-on-nuclear-power-waste-safety-and-cost/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1
            http://www.slideshare.net/Revkin/dot-nuclear-1-2214-lettersigned-by-4-nuclear-scientists-and-engineers
            https://www.facebook.com/download/823098194404759/An-Open-Letter-to-Environmentalists.pdf
            http://tinyurl.com/82o6etd

            And why is it that established nukes produce electricity for 2GWe, 24/7. That’s >$1.9B/year @$0.10/kWHr. It costs about $100M to operate each reactor for a year, so the Finns will see payback of $15B in 9+ years. If they displace German electricity, they’ll pay back in 3+ years, and run for decades, generating >$1.5B/year, without carbon credits, while undercutting German, etc. ‘renewables’ by a factor of 3.

            As I’ve said here and elsewhere many times, solar PV/hot-water on structures is great and has likely a doubling of efficiency to go in next generations. Evs & efficient storage are on the way. And present nuclear is safest, least environmentally intrusive, with next generation designs able to achieve thermal properties & efficiencies to meet most any needs via clean, 24/7 power. Mush of that will be needed for ocean-chemistry rotection…

            How easily wind/solar ‘farm’ promoters miss/hide that CF 90% of the pinky is recyclable to present or next-generation nuclear.

            Anyone interested in further discussion, feel free to come to Calif in June: http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com

          • Giles 5 years ago

            It’s truly amazing that someone talking about energy markets so know so little about energy markets. It doesn’t matter what scientists prognosticate about costs, the reality is different.
            The price paid for Hinkley C has been described as economic insanity, and as we have pointed out here, will be the most expensive power station in the world. http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/n
            France has cheap electricity, because the state wrote off the debt. Now it is wondering where the hell it is going to get the 55 billion euros it needs for its fleet maintenance.

          • Mike Carey 5 years ago

            As the moderator, are you still blocking Dr. Cannara’s comments?
            Cheers.

          • Bart_R 5 years ago

            As you’re truly amazed, it’s good you asked your questions with an open mind and willingness to consider more than just the opinions of people who are not Physicists on matters nuclear or Industrial Hygienists on matters of public safety. Because while it’s important to consider what Forbes thinks is safe and what The Daily Mail thinks is science, a balanced perspective includes all the evidence and all the expertise, instead of mere argument by link.

            BART R isn’t a name. It’s an acronym for Bayesian Additive Regression Trees in R, a toolset for decision support capable of balancing prior probabilities from observed data. Thanks for providing attitude and ad hom where reason is needed.

            Pointedly, a) claiming nuclear is the ‘safest’ based on lethal accidents on generation sites only compared to power generated is ludicrous, as it cuts out and discounts the very real damages and dangers intrinsic in the nuclear industry prorated over the thousands of years some of those dangers will linger unproductively; b) uh what?

            Why are nuclear generation facilities planned or being built, or over schedule, or lingering in mothballs or being proposed (to actually hit 70+ ‘under construction’)?

            There are a lot of nuclear technology companies in the world with a lot of sunk capital; when all you have is a trillion dollar hammer, you better hope you can convince people to use billion dollar nails. There is a world of lobbying and marketing, and very long lead times and very slow changing mentality about energy options. The nuclear decision, a decade ago, was likely the right one for the time. People still using ten-year-old information are making the right call, if it was ten years ago, about the lead time for the fastest of political decisions to go nuclear from beginning to flipping the switch.

            But it isn’t ten years ago. Right now, today, we’re seeing the first practical graphene polymers hit the market, with space-elevator-based power almost a technical reality and far more promising and near to hand than the fusion power that has been under development for over six decades fruitlessly.

            Right now, today, over three quarters of new peak energy installations are cheaper if based on solar or on wind — and if you remember your combinatorics, that means 94% of the time you should be seeing one of these selected for peak power over any alternative.

            Right now, today, geothermal electric is a third less expensive than the cheapest fossil (and 80% less costly than nuclear) in the half the world least suited to nuclear for reasons of tectonic risk for dispatchable baseload power. Mixed hydro averages 5% less than the cheapest fossil alternative in roughly sixty percent of the world for 95% of the year or more; in North America, these coverage zones are complementary, so there is nowhere in the USA where it is the right fiscal decision to go with fossil or nuclear, period.

            So why are bad decisions still carrying forward?

            Well, in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve, is why. You want lower taxes, go with lower costs; you want lower costs, go with geothermal (which with hot rock technology could provide storage for solar and wind), hydro (which with pumped hydro and arbitrage provides storage for solar and wind), solar, wind and biomass infrastructure, smart grids, biomass for liquid fuel synthesis and to dispose of organic wastes, and hold nuclear only for medical purposes. That’s why.

            Thanks for asking.

          • Billey Bangle 5 years ago

            You maybe right Bart, but some of your claims seem to come right out of the anti-nuclear doctrine book. I refer in particular to your claim that nuclear energy is too expensive.
            Anti-nuclear groups like greenpeace, physicians for social irresponsibility, the nuclear disinformation and rubbish service, all produce reports saying nuclear is too expensive. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE ELSE DOES.
            A search on sciencedirect.com shows dozens of peer-reviewed articles on nuclear costs, none of which say it’s too expensive.
            France has cheap electricity, it’s cheap in Ontario
            http://www.ontarionuclear.com/affordable-stable-prices/
            If you really believe that nuclear is too expensive, you’ve never looked outside the closed world of the anti-nuclear websites.
            The price of storage may go down, put so may the price of nuclear.
            What we need is a technology neutral market based system.

          • Giles 5 years ago

            Billey, as usual you cite academic papers but ignore reality. The price paid for Hinkley C has been described as economic insanity, and as we have pointed out here, will be the most expensive power station in the world. http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/news/hinkley-point-c-the-most-expensive-power-station-in-the-world/938262
            France has cheap electricity, because the state wrote off the debt. Now it is wondering where the hell it is going to get the 55 billion euros it needs for its fleet maintenance.

          • Sam Gilman 5 years ago

            Giles, what really bothers me about you saying

            as usual you cite academic papers but ignore reality.

            is that it doesn’t seem to register with you what kind of person has been using that rhetoric about environmental issues for years and years.

          • Bart_R 5 years ago

            I have to disabuse you of the wrong notions you hold based on assumptions about my reading habits.

            Have you read the audit report of Hanford? Do you know how much Chernobyl costs every year as a fraction of the Ukraine economy (which the Ukraine agreed to pay for even though the incident was engineered entirely from Moscow, by the way)? Do you think the accounting for the shut down of all of Japan’s nuclear has been disclosed yet?

            Typical reports from those favorable to any particular options are exclusive of full costing; nuclear is not the only malefactor in this way: fossil fails to account for the over $2 trillion in subsidies annually it receives worldwide — and indeed vociferously denies them by every means available to marketing and propaganda — or what should be the Free Market price of fossil waste disposal (by the law of Supply and Demand, floating to the point of diminishing returns to sellers) while yes, every alternative has drawbacks that ought be accounted for, too.

            The problem of true costing isn’t that difficult, even for all the persiflage, bafflegab, hidden agenda and confirmation bias by the persuaded, the compromised and the well-meaning. It’s rather plain.

            We know fixed resources are depleted with use, thereby scale more poorly than renewable resources, and are subject to problems of economy of scale soonest.

            We know these fixed resources will continue to grow more valuable into the far future as they become rarer — 23% of fossil resources are used even today for non-emitting ends like plastics, paints, binders, metallurgy feedstock, pharmaceuticals, lubricants, industrial chemicals and construction materials, and those options are lost forever by burning.

            We know from Moore’s Law that technology becomes better as more is spent on it. Therefore we know it’s just never going to balance in any set of books for us to choose fixed depletable resources over renewable.

            The fine details, they come out if you flip over enough rocks and look hard for what’s been hidden or ignored.

            That’s 5% of the Ukraine economy every year, in terms of GNP, by the way. Nuclear in Japan appears to be costing in the range of 3% GNP annually due the earthquake and tsunami damage. Nuclear is staggeringly expensive on a full costing basis.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            Well ever heard of Citi Group Billey? They say the same thing and they have institutional investors for clients so they don’t do propaganda so much as analysis. Check out their Energy Darwinism: The Evolution of Energy 100pp report. It says clearly that coal, nuclear and oil are being undercut by renewable energy such that present day upstream investments in those industries are at risk of devaluation and becoming stranded assets. That’s any new play in those industries with a big question mark over it including railways, ports and mines themselves. Compare with the multi-trillion dollar market solar is expected to grow to in a couple of decades.

          • Billee Bangle 5 years ago

            Yes, Alastair, I have heard of Citigroup, and you have missed my point.

            Giles obviously does not like my opinions, he has banned me.

            I do not form an opinion on the basis of one report. I read reports from a variety of sources and find the middle ground.

            I am not qualified to make a judgement on the basis of the economics, but I can pick denialist behaviour a mile off.

            If you Google or search sciencedirect for nuclear + costs, you certainly find a wide variety of opinions. There are a number that say nuclear is too expensive, and many others that say it’s quite definitely not.

            There are many opinions that renewable energy is too expensive, and many others that say it’s not.

            So without a definite consensus (like there probably is with climate-change), I would like to keep both nuclear and renewable energy as options.

            I will be writing a submission to Kevin Scarce, where I will offer the opinion that an appropriate market-based mechanism should be in place to help choose between the alternatives.

            But I will also be offering the following observations:-

            1. There is a larger number of reports which suggest nuclear is less expensive, than those suggesting it is more expensive, and that there are very, very few “nuclear is too expensive” reports, except those that come from the anti-nuclear movement.

            2. I am pro-renewable energy, but I am also pro-nuclear, and I this it would be a potentially catastrophic decision not to explore both options at this time.

            3. There are a large number of people out there who claim to be pro-renewable, but their core ideology is anti-nuclear. I would include you, Giles P, Bart_R and Matthew in this group. A sensible and reasonable pro-renewable person is also pro-nuclear.

            The anti-nuclear fanatics believe that:-

            1. The UN is involved in some sort of conspiracy in regard to the nuclear industry (just like the climate-change-deniers)

            2. When such people evaluate renewable energy they find a 100% certainty that this is the only answer. Virtually no one else believes this.

            3. And when such people evaluate nuclear energy they find it too expensive. Virtually no one else believes this.

            4. There is a striking correlation of 2&3 with ideology and I conclude that the belief is based on ideology and not on any rational assessment of the facts.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            You think the The Union of Concerned Scientists are “anti-nuclear” fanatics?

            I for one am happy for Giles to ban the nukes brigands from RenewEconomy if they continue to talk absolute ideological rubbish like what’s on display on this page in total oblivion to the facts. Like Micheal Mann (not the climatologist) here pretending the insurance market and nukes industry is covering 100% of the risk of accidents and risk of loss of contract for whatever political/technical reasons when it’s a blatant lie if we examine history of accidents and the contracts.

          • Michael Mann 5 years ago

            No, just the UCS leadership are anti-nuclear fanatics…and I believe you are calling some things “subsidies” which are nothing of the kind.. would you call Price Anderson a subsidy? It is not…

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            I’d call the rest of the re-insurance for catastrophic accidents that falls to the taxpayers a subsidy what ever the country, USA included. Fukushima may end up costing half a trillion dollars and that’s not including the cost of powering down all the other plants in days following the meltdowns. Are any plants insured to that level of payout? And the decommissioning subsidies? And the waste disposal if it ever happens? (Fukushima reactor was storing their spent rods in the attic when it blew) And the commercial risk subsidies built into HInckley C contracts if it gets turned off for whatever technical or political reason? And the decades of research subsidies.

            Just face it nuclear power has been the fig-leaf for cold-war nuclear weapons research for decades. And now it doesn’t even have that to it’s name. If France can target 100% nuclear power in the 70s and not get there by 2015 then there’s no hope of nuclear power saving us from CC inside the critical decade (2010-20) even if we started in 2010 is there? The fact that you argue so uncompromisingly for nuclear suggests to me CC action is not your main concern here by a long shot.

          • Michael Mann 5 years ago

            Price Anderson is new, right, it’s only been in effect since 1957, it hasn’t paid out a dime in taxpayer money yet… how long should we wait to see if it’s effective? That is the thing anti-nukes hate the most, Price Anderson works…

          • Michael Mann 5 years ago

            Please show me the quote you are referring to, I don’t recall saying that, I simply pointed out that you have no understanding of Price Anderson act and attempt to misrepresent it at any opportunity and I put the actual NRC explanation of Price Anderson in a comment. I guess showing people the truth is bad form? Why not let people read it themselves and decide?

          • Giles 5 years ago

            Anti-nuclear? I make the point that nuclear is ridiculously expensive, that is all, and renewable energy technologies do the job at a fraction of the cost. A view which is shared by many in the energy industry, and most energy analysts. Cost is something that you and other pro-nuclear people cannot address. You, Billy, Billey, and Billee, are a troll. You repeat the same nonsense ad nauseum, often unpleasantly so. Which is why you have been banned, 18 times by my account. But you clearly have the resources to bounce back with new IP addresses, and new email addresses. Interesting that the latest has a russian email address. Although you still got some way to catch up with some of your other nuclear trolls!

          • Bart_R 5 years ago

            Wow. Jaw dropping.

            If you want nuclear, that’s great. Go for it. Just pay for it with your own cash and leave the public purse out of it.

            If you can make a go of it, and can set enough aside to clean up what it will impose on others and redress the harms it does them — are these preconditions a hardship for you? — then that’s no more than a reasonable person might ask of a participant in a free and fair market.

            For myself, I see no reason to pay the far higher price of nuclear electricity living in the heart of a hydroelectric wonderland as I do, atop a world of geothermal potential, while the sun shines and the wind blows.

            Perhaps you’re someplace that has no geothermal potential within 800 km. If so, that’s great, because with lack of geothermal potential generally comes the tectonic stability that lowers the risk of nuclear facilities.

            Maybe you’re someplace hydroelectric is impossible within 800 km. That’s good, too, because such places are prone to flood in some narrow regions, so it’s likely if you can find a reliable water source for cooling your reactor core (or if the air cooled technologies ever live up to their very, very immense PR campaigns) you’ll likely be more stable than 78% of reactors on the planet to date.

            If you’ve got political stability, if you can dispose of your wastes in a meaningfully permanent way that satisfies the health profession, if you can make it work economically without imposing burdens on those who have no role in the decision, that’s awesome.

            Go ahead. That’d be great.

            I’m not anti-nuke. I’m pro-capitalist.

          • Michael Mann 5 years ago

            I’m glad you mention hydro electric, please name one major dam project not backed by a government. The free market has a major flaw, it cares not about the greater good, it wants immediate satisfaction, it is run by CEO’s with very short term agendas. Any project which is heavy with up front investment for long term gain is not attractive.

          • Bart_R 5 years ago

            Major project? Who’s talking about major projects?

            Major projects are hardly all there is to hydro. Most of the untapped hydro potential in the world is small cap. Most of the large cap hydro projects in the world are unnecessary and overly expensive.

            The free market is a construct of economics specifically designed to obtain the greatest good at the lowest cost; you appear to be confusing free market capitalism with unregulated corporatism.

          • Michael Mann 5 years ago

            Really, specifically designed? How does it account for projects with great return on investment, only decades down the road? Please explain how free market capitalism accounts for the time lag… Please be specific and use small words as I am just a blue collar technician…

          • Bart_R 5 years ago

            They call it a loan.

          • Alastair Leith 5 years ago

            Oh so count google citations by the nuclear lobby as a way to measure LCOE costs. Excellent methodology. You can crawl back into your hole too BIllee/bily/billy-boy

          • Bart_R 5 years ago

            Seem to?

            No idea is responsible for the people who hold it.

            If there are people you don’t like capable of looking at an account audit and understand it, that doesn’t make the account audit wrong. If there are people you do like who refuse to accept the audit of their accounts is not in order, that doesn’t make them right.

            Most of us learn the principles behind that understanding by the age of five, when our mothers ask us if our friends jumped off a bridge, would we do it too?

            It appears by your shouty all caps conviction that fair and balanced full accounting of the cost of nuclear is ipso facto the product of anti-nuclear groups that you are resorting to fallacy to establish an ad hom argument.

            Ontario has the most expensive electricity in Canada, despite having some of the country’s best hydroelectric potential, in no small part due the enormous overages and write-offs and write-downs of its very failed nuclear infrastructure. Citing Ontario’s ‘cheap’ electricity is footshootingly enormously wrongheaded.

            I say this having direct experience of the Ontario situation, not because of some website or pamphlet as you allege.

            Perhaps if you dropped your personal attacks, you might be.. uh nah. Nevermind. If you dropped your personal attacks, there’d be so little left of you as to cave in and blow away like dust.

          • Michael Mann 5 years ago

            Have you ever worked at a commercial nuclear power plant? Have you ever done a probable risk assessment? What safety analysis protocol did you use to determine that it’s not as safe as people who do detailed safety analysis daily think it is? Upon what data did you make your determination that “It’s already past its optimal deployment for economy of scale,”? Thank you!

          • Bart_R 5 years ago

            Wow, you have a lot of pre-conditions on who can or cannot hold valid opinions on a topic.

            Gee, not just a nuclear power plant, but also it has to be a commercial one?

            Done probable risk assessments? Are you asking if I subscribe to FAIR, or USAR?

            Buddy, I pioneered development of systems for risk assessment, hazmat and IH decision support.

            One of my classmates and longtime friends was a lead responder to Chernobyl. Dozens of my past colleagues have multiple PhDs across the sciences. I am not some outsider or know-nothing spouting propaganda. My statements are not representative of the minority, nor are they ill-informed. If you’re trying to impeach my views because you think only people with tee shirts reading, “I am a nuclear technician — If you see me running, try to keep up,” have something valid to say, you’ve been drinking from the wrong tap.

            The way to determine if something is past the optimum point for economies of scale is to look at whether more money spent produces more efficiency or less. Well, there’s a ton more money being spent, and no more efficiency has come about from the technology in decades. Nuclear is past optimum deployment scale. Period.

          • Michael Mann 5 years ago

            So you think there is no room for a step change improvement over 1950’s nuclear technology? You completely miss Small Modular Reactors as being a paradigm shift? You completely ignore MSR’s and LFTR’s which could be game changers? Maybe you’re not as smart as you think you are? Yup, I’m just a blue collar technician with over 30 years experience, I could’t possibly have a valid opinion.. yes one of my friends was a lead responder to Fukushima does that make my points more valid? I have a few colleges with PHD’s does that in any way enhance my position?