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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 10 2019 10:52pm
by cricketo
billvon wrote:
Jan 10 2019 10:38pm
3) Yes nuclear has some risk - but so does every form of power. Nuclear is one of the lowest. The failures are scarier, but they occur so infrequently that the overall risk is very low.
4) Nuclear isn't happening in many countries regardless of the statistical arguments you can pull off at this time. Might as well move on to figuring out how to work around the technical limitations of other scary-deadly energy sources such as rooftop solar :)

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 10 2019 11:15pm
by billvon
cricketo wrote:
Jan 10 2019 10:52pm
4) Nuclear isn't happening in many countries regardless of the statistical arguments you can pull off at this time.
Yep. And that may have to change if we ever get serious about reducing carbon emissions.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 1:57am
by Hillhater
Numbers and averages can be deceptive.
You may well already have 60% power from RE .."Averaged over the year" ..
But there are many periods when wind and solar are contributing almost nothing., and the 100% thermal back up plants have to save the day.
No matter how many wind turbines and Solar Farms you install, there will always be periods when they are totally ineffective.
You still have to have sufficient back up generation..Gas, Coal, Nuclear, etc, that is available at short notice to keep the econonmy working when Wind and solar fail.
Hopefully Nuclear technology will progress and provide systems that can respond fast enough, ..
....but then if you have that capacity available, why bother with wind and solar ?
Wind and solar are the wrong solutions to a problem that doesnt exist. !

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 8:43am
by Cephalotus
billvon wrote:
Jan 10 2019 10:38pm

2) Fuel isn't really an issue with modern designs. CANDU reactors can run on natural (unenriched) uranium and we have hundreds of years of that. There are a great many breeder reactor designs that run on fertile material (like thorium and existing nuclear waste) that we have thousands of years of supply for. And even if we stick to existing designs, we can reprocess fuel.
Do you know any breeders that are able to produce energy / fuel at an acceptable cost?. All I know are military facilities.

CANDU is mainly used in Canda (their Technology) and India. India used them to make Plutonium to build their nuclear bombs, despited they declared otherwise when buying them.

You also have the plutonium problem. Even 3rd world pakistan was able to build its nukes with plutonium. It's just a mater of time until they are used in regional wars or obtained by terrorists.
3) Yes nuclear has some risk - but so does every form of power. Nuclear is one of the lowest. The failures are scarier, but they occur so infrequently that the overall risk is very low.
One major accident in Germany is able to "consume" more area than al wind and solar power plants combined and this is not area we are able to chose from ourselves.
The cost is potentially horrendous. Imho nuclear is only accepatbale if their is a global insurance fonds with several trillion USD of capaital that is able to pay in case of an accident.
All nuclear power plants world wide should pay into that fund.

Than you have to ask about cost of production. New nujes in Europa cost around 10-15€ct/kWh. Add to that the (unknown) cost for waste management and add to that the cost for true insurance.
Solar and wind cost around 5-7€ct/kWh each. No additional cost except for grid integration.
There's no way to get around having some form of baseline reliable, conventional electrical power supply (nuclear, coal, natural gas etc) for most of the world, even with renewables supplying most of our energy. And of the choices, nuclear is the least deadly.
Up to 80% solar and wind simple (natural) gas power plants will provide that. With a stronger European grid eben 90% solar+wind is possible with the remaining to come from hydro, storage and gas. Gas can be natural gas, Biogas or gas from Power2Gas Systems.

At 80% solar+wind you have maybe 2000-2500 hours per year where you need other ways of power, at 90% solar+wind maybe 1000-1500 hours. It doesn't Sound wise to use nuclear for that.
If you build a new nuclear power plant now you expect it to run 40 years, maybe even longer. If you plan it now in 2019 it will start production in 2030 and should run to 2070.

Nuclear may be an option for some countries or could be used to produced liquid hydrogen for export or energy for water desalination, but obviously it is not an option for us. At least not the technology that is available today.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 9:10am
by Cephalotus
Hillhater wrote:
Jan 11 2019 1:57am
Numbers and averages can be deceptive.
You may well already have 60% power from RE .."Averaged over the year" ..
But there are many periods when wind and solar are contributing almost nothing., and the 100% thermal back up plants have to save the day...
Where is the problem?

At the end of the year the amount of fossil fuesl you burn is what counts (besides the cost of electricity).

If I burn 1 million tons instead of 3 million tons (fictive numbers obviosuly) per year I reduced consumption by 2/3rds and reduced CO2 emissions by 2/3rds, too. If I still need 90% or 100% gas power during some hours of a year, who cares? Gas peakers are super cheap to build. Building capacity with gas peakers is no significant problem at all.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 12:02pm
by billvon
Cephalotus wrote:
Jan 11 2019 8:43am
Do you know any breeders that are able to produce energy / fuel at an acceptable cost?. All I know are military facilities.
Terrapower is the one I was thinking of.
CANDU is mainly used in Canda (their Technology) and India. India used them to make Plutonium to build their nuclear bombs, despited they declared otherwise when buying them.

You also have the plutonium problem. Even 3rd world pakistan was able to build its nukes with plutonium. It's just a mater of time until they are used in regional wars or obtained by terrorists.
Enriched uranium, to me, is the dangerous material. A gun-type weapon is easy for almost anyone to build given enriched enough uranium - and if you can enrich uranium a little you can enrich it a lot.

It is a LOT harder to get fissile plutonium out of spent nuclear fuel at the purities needed for a weapon. Even 10% Pu-240 makes a Pu-239 weapon core unusable.
One major accident in Germany is able to "consume" more area than al wind and solar power plants combined and this is not area we are able to chose from ourselves.
The cost is potentially horrendous. Imho nuclear is only acceptable if their is a global insurance fonds with several trillion USD of capaital that is able to pay in case of an accident.
Agreed. One major incident every 100 years could be horrendous and could kill thousands. Compare that to 7500 deaths every YEAR in the US due to coal, and ~200 deaths a year due to natural gas (explosions, pollution.) Here are the worldwide mortality rates for each form of power per pwhr:

Coal (global) 100,000
Oil 36,000
Biofuel/biomass 24,000
Natural Gas 4,000
Hydro (global) 1,400
Solar – rooftop 440
Wind 150
Nuclear (global) 90

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_accidents

US numbers are much smaller in all categories.
All nuclear power plants world wide should pay into that fund.
OK.
Than you have to ask about cost of production. New nujes in Europa cost around 10-15€ct/kWh. Add to that the (unknown) cost for waste management and add to that the cost for true insurance.
Yes, cost is definitely the biggest problem there.
Solar and wind cost around 5-7€ct/kWh each. No additional cost except for grid integration.
At low penetration levels, yes.

At high penetration levels you have to pair it with storage, which triples the price.
Up to 80% solar and wind simple (natural) gas power plants will provide that.
As long as you are OK with the CO2 that natural gas produces and the millions of deaths that will result from it.
At 80% solar+wind you have maybe 2000-2500 hours per year where you need other ways of power, at 90% solar+wind maybe 1000-1500 hours. It doesn't Sound wise to use nuclear for that.
You will always need baseload power. That's what nuclear is best at.
If you build a new nuclear power plant now you expect it to run 40 years, maybe even longer. If you plan it now in 2019 it will start production in 2030 and should run to 2070.
Best get started now, then.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 2:15pm
by cricketo
billvon wrote:
Jan 11 2019 12:02pm
Coal (global) 100,000
Oil 36,000
Biofuel/biomass 24,000
Natural Gas 4,000
Hydro (global) 1,400
Solar – rooftop 440
Wind 150
Nuclear (global) 90
Oh yes, the misleading comparison again. Kind of like comparing fireplaces / chimneys (do we count tree cutting accidents or chimney cleaning accidents ?) to central heating systems powered by coal plants :)

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 2:18pm
by billvon
cricketo wrote:
Jan 11 2019 2:15pm
Oh yes, the misleading comparison again. Kind of like comparing fireplaces / chimneys (do we count tree cutting accidents or chimney cleaning accidents ?) to central heating systems powered by coal plants
Why would that be a bad comparison? If central heating coal plants were cleaner than chimneys per calorie of heat (for residential/commercial heating) then going to centralized coal plants could result in a cleaner environment overall. Of course they could both be incredibly dirty.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 2:48pm
by cricketo
billvon wrote:
Jan 11 2019 2:18pm
Why would that be a bad comparison? If central heating coal plants were cleaner than chimneys per calorie of heat (for residential/commercial heating) then going to centralized coal plants could result in a cleaner environment overall. Of course they could both be incredibly dirty.
Because the hypothetical comparison I am suggesting is not based on pollution per calorie, but based on accidents that can be roped in even if they're not inherent to the particular energy source. Like clay mining accidents, because you know, the bricks for the chimney are made out of clay :)

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 3:17pm
by billvon
cricketo wrote:
Jan 11 2019 2:48pm
Because the hypothetical comparison I am suggesting is not based on pollution per calorie, but based on accidents that can be roped in even if they're not inherent to the particular energy source. Like clay mining accidents, because you know, the bricks for the chimney are made out of clay :)
Ah. Well, that's the difference. I was quoting 'pollution per calorie' (or to be specific, deaths per petawatt-hour.)

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 3:31pm
by cricketo
billvon wrote:
Jan 11 2019 3:17pm
Ah. Well, that's the difference. I was quoting 'pollution per calorie' (or to be specific, deaths per petawatt-hour.)
And that's the thing. Those stats represent both correlation and causation intermixed. In order to draw reasonable conclusions though they need to be separated.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 5:47pm
by Hillhater
Cephalotus wrote:
Jan 11 2019 9:10am
Hillhater wrote:
Jan 11 2019 1:57am
Numbers and averages can be deceptive.
You may well already have 60% power from RE .."Averaged over the year" ..
But there are many periods when wind and solar are contributing almost nothing., and the 100% thermal back up plants have to save the day...
Where is the problem?

At the end of the year the amount of fossil fuesl you burn is what counts (besides the cost of electricity).

If I burn 1 million tons instead of 3 million tons (fictive numbers obviosuly) per year I reduced consumption by 2/3rds and reduced CO2 emissions by 2/3rds, too. If I still need 90% or 100% gas power during some hours of a year, who cares? Gas peakers are super cheap to build. Building capacity with gas peakers is no significant problem at all.
The problem is costs, and wasted resources.
Building 60-80 GW of thermal back up is certainly cheaper than building 300-400gW of Wind /solar, but no nation can build all of that without some impact on their economy.
The ammount of fossil fuels burned is only a problem if you have been sucked into the AGW fiasco....
...and anyway, even with Germanys huge investment in RE generation, (a 40+% contribution), it has had a minimal effect on CO2 emmissions.
The whole RE scheme could be ineffective for CO2 reduction ! :o

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 6:58pm
by cricketo
Hillhater wrote:
Jan 11 2019 5:47pm
The whole RE scheme could be ineffective for CO2 reduction ! :o
Is it already morning in Moscow ? :mrgreen:

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 11 2019 7:36pm
by cricketo
In the WOMBAT project, researchers are pursuing the idea of combining the electricity and gas network. The intention is to utilise surplus electricity from renewable sources for generating hydrogen. This is synthesised with carbon dioxide in biogas plants to form methane, which is the main component of natural gas. This makes it possible to utilise the complex infrastructure for the gas industry, ranging from the transport to the storage.
https://forschung-energiespeicher.info/ ... as_Anlage/

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 13 2019 8:18am
by sendler2112
Did I post the Jeremy Rifkin lecture here yet? Watch it on 1.5 speed to save time. He outlines the infrastrucure shifts needed worldwide for a new, more efficient society.
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https://youtu.be/QX3M8Ka9vUA
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Very optimistic and inspiring. But he only briefly alluded to the relationship of energy and economy by stating that a crash is coming when oil prices go over $120 and skipped past it.
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I agree that we need to move to an internet of things sharing economy world wide. But it takes energy to make the transition so we need to stop all superfluous human activities and focus our remaining fossil fuel wealth to get as much done as possible before oil starts to slip away. It will leave us before we are ready to leave it. Along with many other peaking non renewable resources.
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He also (deliberately?) leaves out any concept of scale and density of rebuildable solar and wind compared to the amount of energy we are using now.
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So I agree we should strive for his vision with full dedication of remaining resources but also be ready with a simpler "Plan B" for the times when the techno solution falters over the inevitable speed bumps.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 13 2019 11:34am
by billvon
sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 13 2019 8:18am
Very optimistic and inspiring. But he only briefly alluded to the relationship of energy and economy by stating that a crash is coming when oil prices go over $120 and skipped past it.
In June 2008 oil hit $145 a barrel.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 13 2019 11:55am
by sendler2112
billvon wrote:
Jan 13 2019 11:34am
sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 13 2019 8:18am
Very optimistic and inspiring. But he only briefly alluded to the relationship of energy and economy by stating that a crash is coming when oil prices go over $120 and skipped past it.
In June 2008 oil hit $145 a barrel.
Exacerbating the crash. But only briefly. Deflation brought it back down as everything stopped for a year while we cranked up the money machine via near 0% government loans and deficit stimulus spending worldwide . And the high price of oil encouraged mass entry into fracking startups. Which is where we are today with low prices from over production running at a loss as the world sucks increasingly energetically remote non renewable resources from a bigger straw. Once oil goes above $150 for good in 20 years, nothing that we are doing in growth/ debt based globalized mass consumption, and factory mega farming, will add up economically with the current system.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 13 2019 12:16pm
by billvon
sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 13 2019 11:55am
Exacerbating the crash. But only briefly. Deflation brought it back down as everything stopped for a year while we cranked up the money machine via near 0% government loans and deficit stimulus spending worldwide . And the high price of oil encouraged mass entry into fracking startups. Which is where we are today with low prices from over production running at a loss as the world sucks increasingly energetically remote non renewable resources from a bigger straw. Once oil goes above $150 for good in 20 years, nothing that we are doing in growth/ debt based globalized mass consumption, and factory mega farming, will add up economically with the current system.
Well:

1) First off that's $98 a barrel in today's money, and oil has been above that frequently over the past 40 years.

2) Despite claims that oil demand is inelastic, it has shown significant elasticity during times of high price and low economic output (recessions.) And as time goes on and there are more alternatives (primarily EV's) it will become even more elastic. That means as demand drops so will the price.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 13 2019 12:37pm
by sendler2112
billvon wrote:
Jan 13 2019 12:16pm
1) First off that's $98 a barrel in today's money, and oil has been above that frequently over the past 40 years.

2) Despite claims that oil demand is inelastic, it has shown significant elasticity during times of high price and low economic output (recessions.) And as time goes on and there are more alternatives (primarily EV's) it will become even more elastic. That means as demand drops so will the price.
The historical trend average corrected oil price up until 2000 was $20. Our economy is not built on $100 oil.
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But that is our best hope for a softer economic correction spread out over multiple decades. To choose a new way forward with a much more efficient sharing economy and to build out as much nonfossil energy and electrification of transportation, heat, and industrial processes as possible to keep demand reducing at a faster rate than supply. The free market will not respond ahead of time and must be steered with wise stimulus and progressive taxation. Worldwide (somehow), to make it fair.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 13 2019 4:54pm
by billvon
sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 13 2019 12:37pm
The historical trend average corrected oil price up until 2000 was $20. Our economy is not built on $100 oil.
Agreed. What those prices demonstrated was that our economy could at least _cope_ with $100 oil.
But that is our best hope for a softer economic correction spread out over multiple decades. To choose a new way forward with a much more efficient sharing economy and to build out as much nonfossil energy and electrification of transportation, heat, and industrial processes as possible to keep demand reducing at a faster rate than supply. The free market will not respond ahead of time and must be steered with wise stimulus and progressive taxation. Worldwide (somehow), to make it fair.
Also agreed. Those things are coming, although currently they are coming far too slowly.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 13 2019 11:54pm
by Dauntless

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 14 2019 5:51am
by Hillhater
^^^^^
I wonder how much power is used in those "accellerators" ...
..IE what is the energy conversion efficiency of the system ?

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 14 2019 7:35am
by sendler2112
The video stated that an independent review found his process to be 70% more efficient than current ethanol production. I assume that was in comparison to a USA corn source. Brazil sugar cane is much higher.
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I stumbled on this interesting report on ER/EI.
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https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 1513003856
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Declining ER/EI of oil production is the big issue we have coming at us which translates to a smaller societal surplus. What should we spend any remaining surplus on? NFL and Disneyland? 200 year solar panels and electric trains and ground based heat pumps?
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Image
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Image
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 14 2019 11:04am
by Cephalotus
billvon wrote:
Jan 11 2019 12:02pm
Agreed. One major incident every 100 years could be horrendous and could kill thousands. Compare that to 7500 deaths every YEAR in the US due to coal, and ~200 deaths a year due to natural gas (explosions, pollution.) Here are the worldwide mortality rates for each form of power per pwhr:
Countries or regions have to decide for themselves.

People want to tell me how expensive it is to build 80% solar+ wind and 20% gas peakers. I say this is quite cheap, cheaper than nuclear power plants.

On the other Hand I visited Chernobyl some years ago when the finished containment #2. I walked through Chernobyl and Prybjat for some days and I have seen the economic effects over there.
A accident like that with Germany would destroy trillions of Euro, not even counting the psychological effects.

Japanese was Ultra lucky that the wind was blowing in the right direction after the Fuskushima explosions. They have been also super lucky that the shut down reactor 4 didn't expsose its hot rods to the Environment. Still Fukushima is super expensive for Japan, much more expensive than everything Germ,any has paied for solar and wind, but Fukushima + a wind blowing the rediocative stuff to the Tokio Region would have more or less "destroyed" the Country / Society.

Obviously it an avacuation of the Tokio region is simply impossible, so People would have been told to live their at higher radioactivity.

If it is my decission if I prefer the risc to live in an unhealthy environment with significantly higher risc to get cancer or if I prefer to pay 10ct/kWh extra for living in a healthy enivorment I prefer the higher electricity price any day. You get the bonus that you leave the planet in a more or less healthy state.
I do not like it when People are camping and after that you have cut down trees, destroyed vegetation, litter and some toxic waste like your old Motor oil hidden in the soil. Because of the same reason I don't want to go leaving a planet with destroyed ecosystems, heatet and with toxic wastes burried everywhere. Radioactive wastelands like Chernobyl are alsonot something I(!) would prefer...

If you decide otherwise, fine for you.

Thankfully we are not neighbours, so our opinions can both survive in our daily life. If a nuclear power plant explodes in China or US it doesn't harm me. Your decission.
If a nuclear reactor explodes in France and the wind brings the radioactive shit to us I expect the French to pay for that and this could become an ultra expensive bill.

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Posted: Jan 14 2019 11:16am
by Cephalotus
Hillhater wrote:
Jan 11 2019 5:47pm

Building 60-80 GW of thermal back up is certainly cheaper than building 300-400gW of Wind /solar, but no nation can build all of that without some impact on their economy.
Our economy is fine. Privatley for me energy prices are perfectly fine. I could very easy pay twice or three times per kWh for electricity, heating and fuel. If needed I could even pay 10 times (would not like to do that), but this is not even likely.

For examaple I would like if flights would cost at least twice as much as today. many short flights could be done by train or not at all (Video conference for example), but often the short flight is cheaper than the train, which is just stupid...
The ammount of fossil fuels burned is only a problem if you have been sucked into the AGW fiasco....
...and anyway, even with Germanys huge investment in RE generation, (a 40+% contribution), it has had a minimal effect on CO2 emmissions.
The whole RE scheme could be ineffective for CO2 reduction ! :o
In Germany the strategy is to remove the nukes first and coal second.

Obviously this does not give you a huge CO2 reduction at the start. the large CO2 reductions will come when we replace most of our electricity production from coal power plants in the 2020s. In the same time frame electric cars will replace many ICE vehicles which will also lower CO2 emissions significantly.