"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Links - 15th May 2019 (1) (Nuclear Energy)

Fukushima – the reacton from nuclear engineering communities - "what transpired in Japan isn’t really seen as a failure of modern nuclear technology at all; rather, an unfortunate combination of obsolete designs and too-cosy state capitalist operation. The operating company, TEPCO, had a long history of poor safety enforcement and maintenance. On top of which it failed to follow its own advice in a 2004 report, which recommended a higher seawall that could have kept Fukushima’s generators dry. On the technology side, the Fukushima reactors which failed were General Electric BWR/3 models, designed in the late 1960s and installed in Japan in 1971 – that is, more than 15 years before the Chernobyl disaster. Failsafe procedures and general reactor configuration have moved on so much since BWR/3 that this kind of cooling failure is not possible in more modern reactors. One example, the Canadian CANDU reactor, is designed so that a failure of cooling causes the vessel to deform in a way that separates the fuel elements, preventing a meltdown."

Nuclear power kills fewer people than solar per unit of electricity, says University College London Professor Tim Stone - "With solar, people fall off roofs installing panels — the health and safety standards are not the same.”... Studies based on World Health Organisation data and other sources found that globally, about 100 people die for each terawatt-hour of electricity produced by coal, 36 from oil, four from natural gas, 0.44 for rooftop solar and 0.04 from nuclear."

Nuclear Cheaper than Solar Now and in the Future - "while solar appears cheaper than nuclear, intermittency (the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day) means solar plants operate at 20 to 30 per cent of capacity. This is lower than the 90 per cent average for a nuclear plant.They estimated a 1 GW nuclear plant could produce 7,889 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually. But you would need a 3.6 GW solar plant to produce the same amount of power.“By that measure, nuclear is more than competitive,” Durning wrote.“In 2014, one of the cheapest utility scale solar plants in the US had an expected installed price of $2,000 per kilowatt. But since US solar plants operate at only about 25 per cent capacity factor, the cost per capacity-adjusted kilowatt is $8,000.”This doesn’t include the cost of providing backup energy for solar. Most jurisdictions use fossil fuel generation to provide this backup, thereby driving up greenhouse gas emissions."

Europe is burning our forests for “renewable” energy. Wait, what? - "the E.U. adopted climate and energy goals for 2010 to 2020. The 27 member countries set a goal of reducing carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020 and increasing renewables to 20 percent of their energy portfolio. Unfortunately, they underestimated the carbon intensity of burning wood (a.k.a. “biomass”) for electricity, and they categorized wood as a renewable fuel.The result: E.U. countries with smaller renewable sectors turned to wood to replace coal. Governments provided incentives for energy utilities to make that switch. Now, with a bunch of new European wood-burning power plants having come online, Europeans need wood to feed the beast. But most European countries don’t have a lot of available forest left to cut down. So they’re importing our forests, especially from the South... Wood accounts for a majority of renewable energy generation in Poland and Finland, and nearly 40 percent in Germany... The Economist calls this policy “environmental lunacy,” observing dryly: “After years in which European governments have boasted about their high-tech, low-carbon energy revolution, the main beneficiary seems to be the favored fuel of pre-industrial societies.”"
Environmentalism - bringing us backwards!

Wood: The Lethal Renewable Energy Swindle - "A new report revealing that using wood pellets to generate electricity can actually speed up global warming should be the final nail in the coffin for the flawed policy of biomass subsidies. Policies designed to incentivise green energy use are not only having a dubious effect on climate change, they are destroying biodiversity and even killing many thousands of people... The EU now gets 65 per cent of its renewable energy from biomass. The effects on biodiversity of this practice are also troubling. Environmentalists point out that some manufacturers harvest whole trees — including hardwoods from bottomland areas — that can take a long time to regrow. A European Commission report found that the policy risks from transatlantic wood energy trade include ‘biodiversity loss, deforestation and forest degradation’ in the U.S... In Prague, 27 per cent of the dangerous air pollution in winter today comes from wood smoke; in southern Germany it can reach 59 per cent. In London, it constitutes more than ten per cent... Smoke from wood fires now constitutes 10-30 per cent of the total outdoor air pollution in Europe, meaning it conservatively claims 40,000 lives each year, and possibly many more. These are deaths from renewable energy. To put this into perspective, 26,000 people die each year in traffic accidents in the EU... During the Paris climate summit, former Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed that fossil fuels cause 19,000 deaths each day. He was far off. Around 3,900 deaths every 24 hours can be attributed to fossil fuels, whereas 11,000 deaths daily are caused by our reliance on biomass. The problem comes from a governmental desire to transition to renewables before they are ready. We use biomass to cover for inefficient solar and wind, which need backup power when it isn’t windy or sunny."

Germany’s green energy shift is more fizzle than sizzle - "Despite spending about €150 billion and years of political effort to scrap nuclear and fossil fuels and switch to renewables like wind and solar, Germany is expected to fall short on pretty much all its national and EU emission reduction and clean energy targets for 2020... while renewables grew in the power sector, they didn't make major strides in transport or heating, so they account for just over 13 percent of energy use... “Germany, as far as energy policy is concerned, is the biggest fraud globally,” said an EU official. “The public image of German energy policy is very green, but if you check the data, it’s a different story.”... Many households grapple with ever more expensive electricity prices, bearing the cost of shuttering nuclear power plants early and building up renewables."Many consumers can't get rid of the feeling, 'I support the Energiewende and pay a lot for it, but climate protection isn't really advancing,'" Klaus Mueller, head of the German consumer lobby Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband told German radio earlier this month."An average four-person household has to pay more than double for power in 2017 compared to 2000," Mueller said, adding that retail customers feel they're bearing the brunt of the cost of transformation, which is added to their power bills, while big industrial users get off much more lightly... Despite the billions spent on wind and solar, the country is still hooked on coal, relying on it for almost 40 percent of its electricity. Coal provides the backup power needed when the wind doesn't blow and the sun isn't shining, something that will become even more crucial when the last nuclear plants close in 2022."

The Reason Renewables Can't Power Modern Civilization Is Because They Were Never Meant To - "opposition to renewables is growing in the German countryside.“The politicians fear citizen resistance” Der Spiegel reports. “There is hardly a wind energy project that is not fought.”In response, politicians sometimes order “electrical lines be buried underground but that is many times more expensive and takes years longer.”As a result, the deployment of renewables and related transmission lines is slowing rapidly... Der Spiegel cites a recent estimate that it would cost Germany “€3.4 trillion ($3.8 trillion),” or seven times more than it spent from 2000 to 2025, to increase solar and wind three to five-fold by 2050.Between 2000 and 2019, Germany grew renewables from 7% to 35% of its electricity. And as much of Germany's renewable electricity comes from biomass, which scientists view as polluting and environmentally degrading, as from solar... Meanwhile, the 20-year subsidies granted to wind, solar, and biogas since 2000 will start coming to an end next year. “The wind power boom is over,” Der Spiegel concludes.All of which raises a question: if renewables can’t cheaply power Germany, one of the richest and most technologically advanced countries in the world, how could a developing nation like Kenya ever expect them to allow it to “leapfrog” fossil fuels?... Heidegger condemned the view of nature as a mere resource for human consumption... The solution, Heidegger argued, was to yoke human society and its economy to unreliable energy flows. He even condemned hydro-electric dams, for dominating the natural environment, and praised windmills because they “do not unlock energy in order to store it.”... In the US, Heidegger’s views were picked up by renewable energy advocates. Barry Commoner in 1969 argued that a transition to renewables was needed to bring modern civilization "into harmony with the ecosphere."The goal of renewables was to turn modern industrial societies back into agrarian ones, argued Murray Bookchin in his 1962 book, Our Synthetic Environment... Solar farms take 450 times more land than nuclear plants, and wind farms take 700 times more land than natural gas wells, to produce the same amount of energy.Efforts to export the Energiewende to developing nations may prove even more devastating.The new wind farm in Kenya, inspired and financed by Germany and other well-meaning Western nations, is located on a major flight path of migratory birds. Scientists say it will kill hundreds of endangered eagles... Heidegger, like much of the conservation movement, would have hated what the Energiewende has become: an excuse for the destruction of natural landscapes and local communities.Opposition to renewables comes from the country peoples that Heidegger idolized as more authentic and “grounded” than urbane cosmopolitan elites who fetishize their solar roofs and Teslas as signs of virtue."

UK Must Use Diesel Generators to Back-Up Wind Turbines - "By the mid-2020s, the UK wants to end renewable energy subsidies because of the energy tax added to the bills of British homeowners to pay for the more expensive renewable energy. Because of the “green energy tax”, 38 percent of British households are cutting back on essential purchases, such as food, to pay for their high energy bills. Another 59 percent of British homeowners are worried about how they are going to pay for their energy bills in the future... To avoid blackouts and brownouts, the UK has turned to mini-diesel generators (under 50 megawatts) to back-up their unreliable wind and solar power or to provide electricity when there is a rapid surge in demand—in other words, the government is providing insurance to keep the lights from going out. The need for these diesel generators has come about because old coal and nuclear power stations have been shuttered and fewer than expected new gas-fired plants have been built."
So much for the myth of base load
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes