South Australia hits 100% renewables - for a whole working day | RenewEconomy

South Australia hits 100% renewables – for a whole working day

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Wind energy provided more than 100% of electricity for South Australia during working day last Tuesday. And that didn’t include rooftop solar.

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There have been several instances in recent months when wind energy has accounted for all, or nearly all, electricity demand in South Australia. Last Tuesday, however, set a new benchmark – the combination of wind energy and rooftop solar provided more than 100 per cent of the state’s electricity needs, for a whole working day between 9.30am and 6pm.

The data comes from Hugh Saddler, at consultants Pitt & Sherry, and is part of his monthly overview of electricity market, emissions and pricing trends in Australia.

Saddler notes there were several periods in South Australia from Saturday September 27, and over the following days, when wind generation was greater than total state NEM demand. (South Australia has nearly half the country’s wind capacity with around 1.5GW of wind energy).

It occurred briefly on Saturday afternoon, for much of Sunday, and again, most strikingly, between about 9.30am and 6.00pm on Tuesday, September 30, a normal working day.

In reality, renewables contributed well over 100 per cent because they were generating and consuming their own electricity from rooftop solar – the state has 550MW of rooftop solar, with nearly one in four houses with rooftop modules.

That meant that “true” demand by consumers on that day, i.e. the amount of electricity being used by consumers, including rooftop solar, was in fact considerably higher than NEM demand — up to 20 per cent according to the Australian Photovoltaic Institute — because of the contribution of rooftop PV to total electricity supply.

Here are the two key graphs. The first shows wind generation (blueish line) exceeds total demand (green line) at several points, but particularly for large periods on September 30, the Tuesday.

a windy


The second graph (below) shows the contribution of rooftop solar, peaking at just over 20 per cent near noon. As we have reported, in previous weeks, the contribution of rooftop solar has been as much as 25 per cent for large parts of the working day.

sa solar

The impact on the rest of the generation fleet was considerable. Saddler notes that during this period all of the thermal power stations in SA were shut down, with the exception of the two units at the coal fired Northern Power station, each of which ran at about 60 per cent of full load, and one of the four units at the gas fired Torrens Island B station, which was running at about 25 per cent of full load.

Interestingly, the South Australia government has already exceeded its target of generating 33 per cent of the state’s electricity needs from renewables (over a full year), and has now set a 50 per cent target by 2025. In reality, it will likely reach that mark well before that, particularly if the Ceres wind farm and the Hornsdale wind farm are built. It could even be the first mainland state towards 100 per cent renewables over the whole year.

Considerable volumes of electricity were exported to Victoria. “In simple arithmetic terms, though not of course in how the grid actually operated, the state’s electricity supply was 100 per cent renewable while coal and gas fired electricity was exported,” he says.

Those two graphs show the wind generation and its impact on pool prices in SA and Victoria from the Saturday to the Wednesday. Saddler writes: “The inverse relationship between wind generation and pool prices is very clear — the more wind generation, the lower the price, on average.”


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  1. Sir-Rene Baur 6 years ago

    Wow… I’m so impressed! Congratulations South Oz.

  2. Rob G 6 years ago

    This is a living nightmare for Abbott and his coal buddies. There’s going to be many more nights of sleep lost as these stories continue to grow. Victoria, will shortly join the renewable onslaught.

    • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

      Actually, the coal buddies love it. The unreliables will assure that no viable base-load alternative is ever used. And just so you know, having the unreliables swing so much just makes sure that the coal that backs the unreliables up is used in the LEAST efficient manner. Thus MORE is burned per unit energy produced. You really need to find out how much coal is ACTUALLY saved by these unreliables before you crow so loudly.

      • Rob G 6 years ago

        What mine are you working at?

        • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

          I’m neither stupid enough to work at a coal mine not stupid enough to support the unreliables.

          At what institution are you an environ-mental-patient?

          • Rob G 6 years ago

            We’ll if you come onto this site to proclaim, to this educated audience, that renewable energy is unreliable then that sounds pretty stupid to me. Clearly you are out of your depth on this topic. You might be advised to hang out with less educated types that might actually believe you (like the Liberal party or the coal lobby).

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            Not ALL renewable energy sources, just the unreliable ones; wind, solar, and on the longer term, hydro.

            I wonder if you can actually read that graph in the article that shows that wind power dropped of to near ZERO several times during that short stint. THAT is unreliability in all its shamefulness.

          • Rob G 6 years ago

            Sun keeps shinning, wind keeps blowing sounds pretty reliable to me. What you seem unable to understand here is that there are already a number of ways these energies can be stored. In fact 100MW storage is already possible with Lithium Ion batteries. What also seems to have slipped you by is that peak energy use happens in the middle of the day when the sun shines most. Oh, and then we have smart grids on the horizon, making energy ‘sharing’ possible. There really is no way other energy can compete with this. Remember sunlight and wind are free so other energies cannot compete with cost in the long run. Coal (unlike gas) needs to run 24/7 whatever the demand may be – this is like burning money up for nothing (and wrecking the climate). Humble rooftop solar is destroying coal fire power – especially in Queensland. The reliable sunshine state sun doesn’t let’s residents down.

            My advise to you is stop listening to Abbott. And start looking at solar and wind more closely, as I said before your knowledge on these energies comes across a poor when you dismiss them. The IEA which typically favour fossil fuels over renewables believe in the coming years that solar will be the leading source of energy.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            “Sun keeps shining” except when this pesky planet (and its moon) get in the way. Or when those pesky clouds block it. Or when dust dims it or hail or diving ducks crack it… Sorry, sound too UNreliable to me.
            “wind keeps blowing”… HAAWW haw ha ha ha, HEE haw ha ha ha. HO haw ha he haw. Gasp. Chortle. Good one!

            As Bill Gates pointed out, ALL the batteries in the world today can store maybe 5 minutes of the world demand. So we would need maybe 2000 times as much to cover current demand while keeping the third world in abject poverty. That is not very nice, RobG.

            The fuel for the intermittant wind and solar are “free” but the collectors and procesors are far from free. And I would bet they only seem like a good idea because you are grid tied and can steal from your neighbors.

            Who is “Abbot”? Any relation to Costello?

          • Rob G 6 years ago

            Feeble. The kind of argument I expect from someone with very little knowledge on the topic. I’ve said it before you’re out of your depth here. Your whole argument resembles that of the coal lobby.

            As for the Bill Gates quote (if it is that at all) it is just funny. I wonder what Elon Musk would think, he have a good laugh at that no doubt. If you believe that supposed Gates line then you are even more out of your depth than i first thought. And yes, sure enough here comes the rant about world poverty, my, my you true colours are clear now. Are you sure you don’t work in a mine?

            As for your maths and reading comprehension, it needs some work. Wind & sunlight are free, I said nothing of the turbines and panels being free. But since you are struggling I’ll lay it out for you. Coal costs money to extract, to transport and to burn. It uses vast amounts of water to cool it’s turbines and pollutes sky and water. Coal is also very low in efficiency per weight – so you need a whole lot of the stuff to get not much.
            Any of this sinking in? Coal also requires a lot of expensive infrastructure, various diggers, trains/ships to transport and then a whopping big power station that must run 24/7 irrelevant of demand. A reliable disaster.

            Now back to solar and wind. Here in Australia, the sun shines for at least 10 hours everyday (winter and summer), clouds in the centre of Australia are rare (but even with clouds solar works a treat as it’s both light and heat that make power). Dust and hail? what nonsense! The coast line is constantly windy, its what happens near the sea and it happens almost everyday – they’re called trade winds.
            Now the cost of solar and wind – well that’s a no brainer. Already, here in Australia rooftop solar is cheaper than retail coal fire power (and that’s including the fact that coal doesn’t need to be imported and is heavily subsidised). Utility solar is even cheaper, it can be built next to towns, on buildings in deserts, wherever – and doesn’t require resources like transported fuel (the sunlight comes from above). It can be built faster than any fossil fuel power station.
            Now onto wind power, well if you bother reading the reports you’ll know that this year wind will overtake nuclear in global power generation (currently it just below, but nuclear had a 40+ year head start) Wind turbines and infrastructure is regarded as the cheapest of all the renewable options and is already on par with subsided EU coal (the cheapest power source in Europe). Again, like solar, once it is built it is near free to run (except for a few maintenance costs). An average wind turbine will power about 2,000 homes.

            On storage, your understanding of this is quite remarkable, clearly this is way over your head. I’d suggest you take a look at a nissan leaf, charge it up (with solar) and enjoy the 250km drive that your roof made for far less than any oils or gas could do. In fact the cost will be about 1/10 of what you’d pay for fossil fuel power. That’s a lightweight battery. Now think Tesla S and think 500km on 1 charge and they are closing in on 700km on a single charge. Battery technology is advancing quicker that MB computer storage did.

            I hope you have enjoyed the lesson (you certainly needed it) and in future think before you write, because such ranting attempts to belittle renewables have no place around a renewable knowledgable audience, you just come across as an ignorant troll.

            Lastly, Abbott is the prime minister of Australia. He is a right winger who struggles with climate change science and is a supporter big coal. But I DO like your reference to Costello and to that I’d say it is something we can agree on.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            “Feeble” is all that is needed when the rational look on the data. The data on the unreliables is so obviously bad that is all it takes.

            The Bill Gates paraphrase is what it is. Elon Musk may try to change it, but his efforts are pointed mainly toward his cars. But evn so, I hope he does start making a dent on the storage issue. Storage helps nuclear most. It turns AALL loads into base loads and NOTHING does baseload better than nuclear.

            Only a complete moron thinks “wind and solar” are free. The “fuel” for wind and solar are “free”, but the machinery to collect and convert that “fuel” is bloody expensive. AND, even if it becomes cheap, the machanisms to back it up so that it is actually useful are also blood expensive. In the mean while, the fuel for nuclear plants is also effectively “free”. But the machinery to collect and convert it into reliable energy is also fairly cheap. So as baseload energy, it is the cheapest scaleable energy around.

            So you demand that people be able to afford a large roof, a solar panel to put on said roof AND a Nissan Leaf to be able to enjoy electricity? Rather elitist of you. I prefer to provide clean, safe, scaleable, sustainable, RELIABLE electricity via a source that anyone can afford. Nuclear fits that description. Nothing else does.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            The best way to take in all costs is to look at the selling price. The selling price covers overnight, financing, fuel and other operating costs

            In the US:

            New wind, without subsidies, is selling for just under $0.04/kWh.

            New solar, without subsidies, is selling for $0.07 to $0.09/kWh, depending on where it is located.

            New nuclear, when/if it comes on line will sell, with some subsidies, for at least $0.11/kWh.

            Wind and solar will become even cheaper with solar likely to beat out wind. Very bright people have been working for half a century or more to make nuclear cheap and have failed.

            Nuclear fails the “safe” test. Need I point out examples?

            You can rail all you wish about “unreliables” but let’s face it. Nuclear is a dead man walking. The future grid doesn’t need “always on” generation. The future grid will use inexpensive wind and solar, then fill in around them with storage, dispatchable generation, and load shifting.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            New wind and new solar HAVE subsidies, significant tax subsidies as well as significant purchase mandate subsidies and then there are the direct subsidies. They also shead the costs for reliable service onto other sources. Wind and solar would not survive without the direct and indirect subsidies and ability to externalize massive costs. The fact that nuclear power, with 100% internalized costs and effectively no subsidies can be that low is quite astounding. But the fact that it isn’t down in the 5¢ range is due to needless over-regulation by beFUDdled politicians.

          • Giles 6 years ago

            You’re joking Kiteman. Quite the nuclear shill aren’t we. You say: “The fact that nuclear power, with 100% internalized costs and effectively no subsidies can be that low is quite astounding.” Nuclear is the most heavily subsidised energy source of any – no investor, insurer, constructor, producer will put money in without a government guarantee. The 3.3GW Hinckley plant is going to cost $45 billion, with most of this coming from subsidies, not including the $12 billion needed to provide back up power specifically for this plant. The French government has decided that investing in renewables is cheaper than just maintaining its current nuclear fleet, let alone building new ones to replace these ageing assets,

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            I don’t know. Are you a nuclear shill? I am not, so “we” aren’t.

            Oh good, a parrot of anti-nuclear lies. The US Energy Information Agency has published a report that shows that “renewables” get about 4 times the subsidies for about 1/2 the energy produced as nuclear. And the nuclear subsidies are almost all for research on reactors no-one uses. So CURRENT nuclear power receives almost NO subsidies.

            Your statement about no investor … is just plain wrong. Vogtle 3 & 4 and Summer 2 & 3 both went to production without loan guarentees using only investor / utility money. So that was a lie.

            The French failed at their attempt to make the EU government see reason and change their 20-2020 policy to say “zero-carbon” rather than “renewables”. As a result, the will have to reduce their current ~80% nuclear (zero carbon) in order to intall 20% “renewables” with abut 30% carbon fueled back-up. That is par for the idiotic “green” course.

          • Giles 6 years ago

            Say what? Vogtle is costing $16 billion and is receiving half of that through a DoE loan guarantee. Here it is on the nuclear industry’s website.
            The rest of the money comes from a tariff imposed on consumers – which they are paying now. Neither Southern Power, nor any other private investors, put in a single dollar. The French are very happy with the EU target, it was written under their watch – they now have a 30% renewable target, over and above the EU requirements.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            Actually, the unit went into production (i.e., the unit was being built) without any loan guarantees. Only after a smll partner had to pull out for other reasons did Vogtle accept any loan guarantees. But loan guarentees only compensate for federal policy uncertinty, not for tehnical or business uncertainty.

            A “tariff”, i.e., a “price for product”, i.e., profits they make. How is this different from Walmart building a new store from profits on sales from existing stores? How is this “subsidy”?

            The French attempted to get the 20-2020 follow on policy to include the term “zero carbon” (IIRC) in stead of the current “renewables”. The technical working group made that recommendation. The politicians didn’t di it, so the French (and others) failed. As a result, the CIPK of the EU will go UP, not down. You heard it here first.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            First you tell us that Vogtle didn’t use federal loan guarantees and then you say they did.

            You try to tell us that the loan guarantees cover only changes in federal regulation and not build failure, which is a pile of bull. The loan guarantee protects lenders against non-completion on the part of builders.

            Walmart pays tax on their profits. They do not get tax credits for selling product.

            We’ve heard a lot from you. Pretty much all inaccurate.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            Bob_W: Are you really that incapable of reading simple English? The Southern Company and their partners started construction of Vogtle 3 & 4 without any load guarentees. Only after several years of construction, when one of the partners had to withdraw for other reasons did the Southern Company avail themselves of a loan guarentee.

            Of course, the Southern Company is a VERY substantial company with negligible probability of defaulting on the loan, so the guarentee is at little risk. This is quite different from the NUMEROUS defaultings of loan guarentees by wind, solar, and other “alternative” energy companies. The taxpayer paid out the nose for all those failures. They will not pay anything on a default by the Southern Company on Vogtle 3 & 4.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            Southern Company applied for federal loan guarantees in 2008 but balked at the terms offered by the DOE. They spent the next five years lobbying about $13 million) to get more favorable terms. In all, they extended their loan guarantee request five times. When they were able to arrive at a deal that minimized risk to their company capital they went forward with the guarantee.

            Southern Company received its federal loan guarantee earlier this year. Construction was started less than a year earlier on March 12, 2013. There have been no “several years of construction.

            Wind and solar are not offered government loan guarantees

            BTW, there has already been one meeting to discuss abandoning the Vogtle reactors as their output is not needed, Georgia is over supplied with electricity. They were planned with the expectation that demand would continue to grow but that is not happening. Demand is shrinking thanks to efficiency and end-user solar.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            Yes they did, BUT they went ahead without it. That PROVES that they can go without it. It also shows that they aren’t crazy and will benefit from it if they can.

            Nuclear power has some interesting terms. They can’t ACTUALLY begin “construction” until certain paperwork is signed, sealed, and delivered. But they can do one heck of a lot of PRE-Construction, which looks like construction, sounds like construction, pays like construction, and COSTS like construction. To actually believe that it is not construction is really just a white lie amongst reguators (read “politicians”).

            “Not offered loan guarentees”. Tell that to Solyndra and some dozens of other alternative energy companies that bit the dust taking their loan guarentees with them. Besides, wind and solar are provided with a number of DIRECT and INDIRECT subsidies and purchase mandates that are costing US Taxpayers some $14B for 3% of the nation’s electricity while nuclear loan guarentees might cost as much as $0.2B.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            Nuclear builds can get a pre-construction permit to do site preparation. That’s grading, installing temporary roads and power lines. Nothing major. Southern Company can do that sort of stuff out of their coffee fund.

            Solyndra is a unique case. No other solar or wind manufacturer has received loan guarantees. No wind or solar farms receive loan guarantees.

            You cherry-pick your subsidy data. Over the lifetimes of the various industries nuclear has received many multiples of what wind and solar have received.

            Over the first 15 years of these energy sources’ subsidies, oil and gas got 5 times what renewables got (in 2010 dollars) and nuclear energy got 10 times as much. (Most of the renewable subsidies went to corn farms for ethanol, not wind, solar and other renewable electricity technologies.)

            Between 1918 and 2009 oil and gas received average annual subsidies of $4.86 billion. (92 x $4.86 billion = $447 billion)

            Between 1947 and 1999 nuclear received average annual subsidies of $3.50 billion. (53 x $3.50 billion = $185.6 billion)

            Between 1980 and 2009 biofuel received average annual subsidies of $1.08 billion. (29 x $1.08 billion = $31 billion)

            Between 1994 and 2009 renewables received average annual subsidies of $0.37 billion. (15 x $0.37 = $5.6 billion)


            Wind and solar received 92% less per year than oil and gas, 89% less than nuclear and 76% less than biofuels. And for many fewer years.

            How have those subsidies paid off? In the last 30 or so years the cost of wind-electricity has dropped from $0.38/kWh to $0.04/kWh. More than a 6x drop. The price of solar panels has fallen from around $100/watt to just above $0.50/watt. Almost a 200x drop.

            As we all know the price of fossil fuels and nuclear just keeps going up. (Aside from a short term drop in the price of natural gas.)

            I really wish you wouldn’t try to mislead people. Please just go off by yourself, wallow in your love of nuclear energy and leave reasonable people alone.

          • Clee 6 years ago

            “Solyndra is a unique case. No other solar or wind manufacturer has received loan guarantees. No wind or solar farms receive loan guarantees.”

            Then what is this list of solar and wind in the 1705 loan guarantee program? Of the 15 solar and wind farms listed, all but two are currently generating electricity.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            You’re right. I wasn’t thinking hard about what had happened with the stimulus money. I was thinking about ongoing DOE subsidy programs. The 1705 program ended three years ago.

            Nuclear receives loan guarantees under ongoing DOE programs, wind and solar do not.

            And I was not including solar thermal when talking about solar, rather intending PV solar.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            “Solyndra is a unique case…” REALLY? Do tell. So that $1.6billion loan guarantee for Ivanpah doesn’t count? How bout Evergreen Solar. A123 batteries. etc. Ad nauseum.

            Bob, you don’t bother to cherry pick. You just lie outright. Shame on you.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            Currently US wind and solar are receiving more subsidy money than is nuclear, for one very good reason.

            New wind, solar and nuclear are eligible for tax credits (reduced taxes) when they produce electricity. Wind and solar have new capacity on line. Nuclear does not. That is why wind and solar are receiving tax credits and nuclear is not.

            Now let’s look at another subsidy, taxpayer provided liability insurance. Even 45 year old US nuclear plants don’t have to pay for full liability coverage. They have to cover what would be only an insignificant amount of the cost were there to be a major meltdown. Taxpayers are on the hook for most of the cost

            Wind and solar do not get taxpayer provided liabiity coverage. They have to pay the full price of their insurance from their selling price.

            Now, let’s look at history.

            Over its first 15 years of development nuclear received 10x as much public assistance as did wind and solar over their first 15 years.

            Between 1947 and 1999 nuclear received average annual subsidies of $3.50 billion. (53 x $3.50 billion = $185.6 billion)

            Between 1994 and 2009 renewables received average annual subsidies of $0.37 billion. (15 x $0.37 = $5.6 billion)

            What isn’t counted in the above numbers are the billions and billions of dollars which were spent by the military in nuclear research, some of which was fed back into the public nuclear program, thus forming another subsidy.

            And we’ve never seen an accounting for the money spent on securing reactors from terrorist attacks, including having fighters on standby in the event a large airplane heads toward one.

            If one cherry picks data and take it out of context, as you have done, the story told is what we generously call a falsehood.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            ” Vogtle 3 & 4 and Summer 2 & 3 both went to production without loan guarentees using only investor / utility money. So that was a lie.”


            Vogtle 3&4 are still under construction. They have not gone to production.

            The V 3&4 reactors received a zero interest loan from the DOE for their first year while the federal loan guarantee application was being finished and reviewed.

            France is reducing their nuclear fleet simply because nuclear has become too expensive for them. The French government recently reported that the cost of operating their paid off reactors was running

            It’s currently costing France EUR 59.8/MWh, about $0.08/kWh to produce electricity from their reactors.


            France has looked at the cost of renovating their aging out reactors in order to get another 20 years out of them and has determined that it makes more economic sense to install renewables.

            Don’t know where you get your information, but were I you I’d abandon those sources. They’re feeding your BS.

          • Harry Verberne 6 years ago

            Giles, I would not tolerate those who engage in personal attacks;there are those who cannot be reasonable and refuse to engage in reasoned argument without abuse, nasty sarcasm and denigration.
            They do not deserve the privilege of commenting on this very good and informative site.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            We need the regulations that are in place in order to minimize the numbers of TMIs, Chernobyls, and Fukushimas that we have to endure.

            Nuclear, even with fewer regulations, was too expensive. The US nuclear industry died due to high costs before Three Mild Island melted down.

            Thankfully we now have safe and much cheaper ways to generate the electricity we need. We no longer need to endue to risk of nuclear energy.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            Well, since the “endurance” required is predominantly to survive the fear, not the radiation, the regulation might want to include making fear-mongers liable for their lies.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            That’s a wonderful piece of word salad.

            Nuclear energy is dangerous. Only an idiot would claim else wise. One would have to totally ignore Chernobyl, Fukushima and all the other meltdowns in order claim nuclear energy safe.

            It takes regulations, enforced regulations, to help keep us safe from the Homers who build and run reactors.

            TMI melted because the operators weren’t adequately trained. Training regulations had to be installed.

            Humboldt Bay was build on an active earthquake fault and in a tsunami zone. Siting regulations had to be created.

            I would imagine more regulations were put in place after the doofus crawled through Browns Ferry with a lit candle and set it on fire. And after Davis Bessie’s reactor was almost eaten through by a corrosive leak that went on for years.

            Now, after Fukushima melted, we have new regs that require backup generators be located in safe areas. And we’ll likely have some new regs concerning hydrogen explosions after watching some of their buildings go pow!

          • Harry Verberne 6 years ago

            There are those willing and able to engage in civil debate and then there are the trolls who only aim is to disrupt, divert discussion and provoke an emotional and angry response.

            They are impervious to reason and facts.

          • Harry Verberne 6 years ago

            I have notices increased denier and trolling activity on this site of late. Must be that renewables are a threat.

          • Rob G 6 years ago

            I agree, I’m guessing the main troll here is an Australian politician who is actively roadblocking the renewable march forward.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            My guess is that the true enemies of reaching your goal are those who reject the marvelous solution that is nuclear power in general and Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors in specific.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            Thisis SSOOO typical of the watermelons. They never attack the message, they attack the messanger. “Denier”… “troll”… how about you are just wrong heade in your solutions and they want to actually REACH the goal of no more CO2 emissions and realize that your stated path WON’T GET THERE!
            Dude, you are walking towrds a cliff. AND, you are dragging me with you! If telling you that you should turn makes me a “troll” then please, tell me how I can be a more effective troll!

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            So, does that mean the “one who disagrees with you” = “troll”? Then I hope you get a lot of such trolls since the general tenor of the posts around here need people to bring the corrected information.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            Nuclear power is LESS dangerous that any other power source. It COULD be dangerous, but is well enough treated that it is the LEAST dangerous. Thems the data. Only a maroon would claim otherwise.
            I suspect that B.W. has no real idea what happened at any of those places but is ready, willing and able to parrot the anti-nuke lies.
            Add up ALL the deaths from ALL nuclear power plant accidents, incidents, operations, and issues and you will have about TWO days of the deaths from coal. Somehow, 2 major accidents in 60 years vs two days of normal operation… I choose life. I choose nuclear!

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            Nuclear is safer than coal. What a great argument.

            I’m sure that will carry nuclear a long way in the future.

            Face facts, SA. The price of renewables has dropped so low that it is simply foolish to build nuclear (or coal) plants.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            Wow, BobW, you really can’t read worth darn, can you. Nuclear is safer than EVERYTHING else, wind (~4x), solar PV (~11x), hydro (~150X), petrothane (~400X) and ridiculously safer than its only realistic alternative, coal. It is also way cheaper than whatever reliable system you can put together with scaleable unreliables. So, yes, that will carry it a long way.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            We don’t have a database that tells us how many people were killed constructing nuclear reactors over the year. I’m not sure why nuclear construction would be safer than any other large construction.

            If you’re limiting nuclear deaths to fatalities caused by radiation, the energy source, then you need to compare that to the number of wind and solar workers who have been killed by the wind and sunshine.

            New nuclear in the US would be more than 11 cents per kWh. (Citigroup’s LCOE calculation for the Vogtle reactors.)

            New non-subsidized wind is now under 4 cents. New non-subsidized solar is now 6.5 to 8.5 cents and will be close to the cost of wind by the time new nuclear plants could be constructed.

            40% wind directly used + 30% solar directly used + 30% stored wind/solar, stored at 10 cents per kWh would cost 7 cents per kWh. (0.4 * 4 + 0.3 * 5 + 0.3 * 14 = 7.5)

            The cost of storing using pump-up hydro is around 5 cents. It’s looking like we’ll have battery storage for considerably less.

            At 5 cents for storage the renewable package drops to 6 cents, less than half the cost of new nuclear.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            Apples vs aardvarks? LCOE by Citibank vs “non-subsidized”… I will continue to look to those companies that use both and know what they cost the company, apples to apples. So far, there is little competition.

          • Clee 6 years ago

            There is an Energy Related Severe Accident Database (ENSAD) though it doesn’t count all fatalities. That may skew the data. I don’t know that it deals well with low-frequency accidents with extreme consequences and latent deaths that occur years later.

            This paper curiously shows fatalities/kWh for EPR reactors that haven’t yet been commissioned.
            Figure 4 of

            It shows current nuclear reactors as having higher Fatalities/kWh than Si-PV, Solar Thermal, Geothermal, or Onshore Wind (Germany). I can’t say I’ve read the whole paper to see exactly how they reached those numbers.

            Figure 6 is also interesting since it includes latent deaths from Chernobyl.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            I honestly don’t know if building a nuclear reactor today would result in more or fewer worker injuries than building a new wind or solar farm. I don’t know if operating a reactor is more or less dangerous than operating wind and solar farms.

            What bothers me is that anti-renewable/pro-nuclear people often talk about the safety of reactors compared to wind and solar. Every statement I’ve seen compares radiation caused deaths with construction/operation deaths for the wind and solar industries. There will be claims that nuclear has killed no one.

            That can quickly be rolled back to no one in the US. And further back to no one since the early research days. And further back to radiation caused deaths as we’ve had workers scaled to death, and workers killed by falls. Then we hit the ‘no data’ wall for construction/operation deaths for the nuclear industry. (I’ll take a look at your paper and see what might be there.)

            Then there’s the wind database that is generally used to talk about wind-related deaths. The threshold for counting a fatality as related to the wind and solar industries is amazingly low.

            A snowmobiller ran into a wind farm fence. Someone trespassed on a wind farm and committed suicide. A couple of people died in auto accidents near wind farms – they must have been distracted by looking at the turbines and crashed. Some Chinese bigwigs were killed when part of a prop for a wind presentation fell on them. A novice skydiver flew into a turbine. A three year old playing on her father’s tower which was laying on the ground when it rolled over on her.

            Should we count homeowners installing their own roofs and falling off in the process against commercial solar?

            Should we include the deaths from the first years of wind turbine experimentation when we leave out the same sort of deaths for nuclear?

            Those like the wind-related deaths above (and that’s only part of the low-threshold deaths in the database) lead to claims such as “Nuclear is safer than EVERYTHING else, wind (~4x), solar PV (~11x)”.

            If one is going to count homeowners falling off their own roofs why are all the Soviet submariners killed in nuclear accidents excluded? What about the man killed recently in an explosion at the French nuclear waste plant?

            I bristle at the dishonesty.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            Here’s the mortality chart from the Hirschberg, et al. paper.

            Clearly fossil fuels are responsible for more deaths per kWh. And while Chinese PV solar deaths are somewhat higher than Chinese nuclear deaths, the extreme claims of some cannot be supported. There’s no “11x” in those numbers.

          • Clee 6 years ago

            Huh. Apparently there have been 3 deaths so far during the construction of Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor


          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            I don’t know what you mean by “Huh”.

            But you support the point that there are deaths involved with nuclear plant construction and operation. We simply do not have adequate data to tell us if nuclear or renewables are significantly more risky per MWh aside from fuel/waste differences.

            That said, nuclear energy is dangerous. Anyone who argues otherwise is being dishonest. A large portion of the cost of nuclear energy is keeping the energy source contained both during extraction (mining), use, and disposal. And we are not always successful in our efforts.

            A disastrous spill of sunshine, however ….

          • Clee 6 years ago

            The “Huh” expresses my surprise that there have been that many deaths during the construction of Flamanville-3. Being an American reading mostly US-centric news, I was totally unaware of even one death during the construction of Gen III nuclear reactors in Europe until you mentioned one here. None of those would show up in the ENSAD database though. I wonder why they put the minimum at 5 deaths per incident.

            But I had been wondering how they could have fatality/kWh for a plant not yet in operation. Consider the Flamanville reactor has a net output of 1,650 MW or 1,650,000 kW. If it operates for 40 years that’s 578 billion kWh. Three fatalities per 578 billion kWh is 5 x 10^-12 fatalities/kWh. That’s higher than all the renewables in Figure 4 of

            I don’t know how many fatalities there have been at Olkiluto-3, but if there were none, that would cut the fatality rate for the two reactors combined down to 2.5 x 10-12 fatalilties/kWh, which is still higher than shown for all the renewables in Figure 4.

          • Rob G 6 years ago

            I’m sure you’ve turned your brain on. Did you even bother to read my response or is the endless rant of idiocracy your purpose in life. Wind and sunlight are free, why is that so hard to understand for you. At no point have I said anything about converting them being free. Try reading my previous response and start you learning today!

            An please stop beating the nuclear drum. That is one industry that gets more expensive by the year. You nuclear knowledge is also quite poor as many of the bloggers here have pointed out. You really are the kitten amongst the tigers. Let’s make it simple, if the world switched to nuclear (I shutter at this horrible thought) we’d us up all uranium within 30 years. It’s not like coal, that’s abundant, and most of the worlds uranium is in Canada and Australia – so it’s rare or non-existent anywhere else in the world.

            Now go home and do some more research, lightweight! Your endless rambling is wasting everybody’s time. Apparently, despite my efforts to help you I think it’s best to leave you wallowing in your empty thoughts. Got luck with you solar installation.

          • SA Kiteman 6 years ago

            Rob G: Did you read my response? Are you truly so stupid as to think “wind and solar are free”? What, does the solar stork and wind fairy bring them? Then why are they the most subsidized energy around?

            Whoever told you that there was only 30 years of uranium available to the US filled your head full of shite. Even with no more mining, there are several hundred years worth sitting in tanks and on dry-cask pads around the nation. And with a very small increase in final electrical cost we have tens on thousands of years worth available in the oceans. And that doesn’t even BEGIN to mention thorium which is so common we would NEVER have to mine it since it is a waste product from pretty much every other mining operation in the nation. Heck, the ASH from coal has about 3 times the energy content in uranium and 11 times the energy content in thorium as it did in carbon. So, just in coal you have 14 times the energy content with nuclear power. Jeez, dude, LEARN something!

          • Harry Verberne 6 years ago

            Here’s a comment for free: stop ad hominem attacks on those who disagree with you. You have a perfect right to your views as do I but personal attacks do you no credit. On other sites moderators are active and will ban you.

          • Cocopahf 6 years ago

            Price of the input is irrelevant, the total cost is what matters. Wind and Solar are indeed intrinsically unreliable and that can’t be fixed as the level of sun and wind can’t be controlled. Geothermal however is truly inexhaustible, it is cost effective in many applications and it is constant. For that reason Geothermal makes sense at the household level, and the next generation breeder reactors for the national level.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            “the total cost is what matters.”

            Correct. Wind and solar are “unreliable”, as you put it, but they are cheap. Building a grid around cheap wind and solar with appropriate fill-in power is cheaper than building a grid around expensive coal or nuclear with appropriate fill-in.

            Geothermal is, site specific, exhaustible. Over time geothermal sites tend to lose their oomph. It is more cost effective than coal and nuclear, but it’s site limited.

            Nexgen nuclear. The dream never dies….

          • Cocopahf 6 years ago

            As I showed in my references, the cheapness is offset by the unreliability and


            I would point out that banks LOVE to finance nuclear, do you imagine this to be because they are stupid? I would note that they love it to the tune of nearly 217 BILLION dollars per YEAR. This trumps investment in solar/wind by far. In fact it trumps the entire investment in renewable energy on a yearly basis.


            Also note, the amount invested is falling as returns are not being met and that 43.6% of this amount is invested in Hydro electric not the “greener” alternatives.

            IN the end, the idea that sporadic infusions of solar and wind can meet the demands of a 24/7 grid is silly, the excess can’t be stored and the “fill-in” is more polluting than continuous operation.

            Additionally, “next generation” reactors such as Generation 3 have existed for quite sometime, they are being approved in the US as we speak, 5 already with 5 more pending. The generation AFTER that would be Gen 4 which is in the experimental phase, which will mean it could only be implemented by an increasingly desperate nation like China in the 10+ year range.

          • Giles 6 years ago

            Ah, a favoured tactic of nuclear shills. Provide some links, and then on the assumption that people too busy to check, make up numbers. So the conclusion of the first link says total financing is $200 billion SINCE 2000. The conclusion of the second is that ANNUAL financing for renewables is more than $200 billion. With solar at over $100 billion. And that is down, the report makes very clear, because the cost of solar is falling so quickly.
            Keep trying.

          • Cocopahf 6 years ago

            The second is also written in favor of renewables. I simply looked at their data points as I felt it would reflect the least bias.

            You should note that the “fall in prices” is largely attributable to the switching of manufacturing from the west to the east.



            And although the tech is advancing – the cheapest cells are not progressing in efficiency as quickly.


            —-In regards to your first point.

            you should note the previous discussion was on wind and solar rather than renewables in general. As well as that, hydro accounts for over 43% of renewables. When this is discounted you should also subtract subsidies. After which the picture is hardly the same. If we consider Nuclear vs. Wind and Solar (hydro is clearly cost effective, though I shudder at the environmental costs).

            I would also point out that there are more sources of financing than banks namely the current oil companies-


            Who are curtailing investment in renewables (or at least only in it because their own stock is doing poorly).


            I should also point out that economic evidence concurs with the statement that when subsidies are excluded (and the costs of nuclear decommissioning and fuel storage are accounted for) nuclear is the way to go. You are right in pointing out that I incorrectly skimmed the data, however I fail to see where my conclusions fall apart.

          • Bob_Wallace 6 years ago

            One of the least expensive suppliers of solar panels is First Solar. A US company.

            The price decrease of solar has been unlike anything we’ve witnessed before.

            Investment in wind and solar fell somewhat. One reason is because Congress is jerking the wind industry around. The other is that it costs less to install wind and solar these days so we are getting more installation while spending less money.

            Even subsidized, new nuclear is more expensive than non-subsidized new wind and non-subsidized new solar.

          • Cocopahf 6 years ago


            This graph fails to note the lying and duplicity of the Chinese gov’t as they give both direct and indirect subsidies through preferential lending, tax rebates, regulatory impunity, and lying to foreign customers. This enables below bottom prices which you note are “unlike” anything including reality.


            As you can see the surges do not reflect economic reality and the regulatory impositions will harm the overall market as the price stays high due to gov’t intervention. If renewables like solar were truly the cheapest then businesses would be switching to it NOW rather than waiting for the tariffs to kick in. This failure shows that the technology is, for whatever reason, not economically viable. I would expect US Solar to benefit from the price floors which might be imposed, and the prices will begin to rise – further reducing the competitiveness of it.