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  1. Seriously, is anyone surprised at this?

    Rod – Did you read his bio?

    Arne Mogren, Programme Director, Power

    Arne is a Swedish national and holds a M. Sc. Degree in Mechanical engineering and a B.A. in Philosophy, Mathematics and Economics. During the 1980s he researched energy futures at the Swedish Defence Research Institute. In 1989, he started as a policy analyst with Vattenfall in their strategic planning department. Arne established Vattenfall’s Brussels office in 1992 and headed their Brussels activities until 1995. Arne then worked until 2000 handling energy policy issues such as deregulation, nuclear phase out and energy taxation in Sweden. From 2001-2006 Arne was responsible for Public Affairs, and led work on climate change policy, including publication of Vattenfall’s books such as the influential Curbing Climate Change (January 2006), the Global Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost Curve (January 2007), and A One Tonne Future: A Guide to the Low-Carbon Century (June 2009).

    Can anyone point me to a single, influential “climate foundation” that vigorously promotes nuclear power?

    All of these “climate foundation” people are either crazy, hopelessly naive, corrupt, or some combination of these three.

    1. Brian,
      I don’t think the climate foundations’ purpose is to promote solutions to AGW. If it was then things like the recent UN publications would have more discussion about it. I also do not think that it is about preserving the environment as the solutions the propose are very destructive, insanely expensive and woefully inadequate.

      Their objective has to be something other than the stated objective in order to have some form of consistency. If there is not consistency then they represent white noise. So for the time being let’s assume they are reasoning from a consistent ideological base. Through the AGW debate and now into the sustainability debate the consistent aim has been to make energy production very expensive and inadequate to meet industrial needs. As the energy supply provides the power needed to make the economy function, I think these groups are attacking the fundamental nature of the modern economy.

      Invested capital is brought into productivity through the consumption of exergy, thus by attacking the energy supply they are attacking the productivity of capital. This fundamental approach of attacking the productivity of capital was laid out by Marx and Engles. By making capital less productive, the marginal rate of substitution of labor to capital goes up. Unfortunately, this approach lowers the marginal utility of labor, making labor less productive and the overall economy less efficient.

      If you have any other insight into this I’d love to hear it. Of course another option is to take them to be nothing more than random noise and avoid attribution of some overall goal of societal deconstruction.

      1. Cal – I really don’t have anything to add right now. If I think of something, I’ll be sure to offer it.

        You’ve just stated explicitly some of the things that I’ve been hinting at for quite a while.

        1. I second that.

          Cal, it’s probably both. There are those with good intentions who are primarily motivated by fear, this is probably the white noise. But there are others who, I feel, have the very intentions that you laid out. Fear is the new opiate of the masses and those who seek power will use it. Sometimes I wonder if followers are just too naive to realize they will most likely be the peasants threshing the wheat, or are so prideful that they believe they will be one of the elites in charge. I can’t help but recall images from Animal Farm.

          There is no arguing against the ability of cheap and abundant energy to lift nations and people groups out of poverty. Nuclear has the ability to do this now and for the duration of humanity, while being cleaner and safer than any alternative (barring a substantial and unexpected development from some other energy source).

      2. Cal,

        Yep, the goal is not climate preservation. They are piggy backing on the real concerns of people and using “consensus” science to drive a political goal. I have understood the political goal for some time. I guess I really got my dander up the day I was with a group training for emergency response in a poor Asian country. Good people, and a friend of mine was presenting. We had a resource person come from a closely associated group. The resource person talked about global warming and in front of these people struggling with poverty basically told them that every single type of technology that would be helpful for them was “bad” for the climate. I really got upset at the presenter saying that fertilizer was a green house gas. This tendency to nip at the edges of what they say is the problem while raising the cost of energy, and food just reinforces my conviction that CO2 is an excuse not a focus.

        Nuclear energy fixes this problem by replacing Coal and Diesel in ships. Bingo, problem solved.

  2. Well, I think you should look at the European context with different eyes from those you use for the US. In Europe, Green group are mighty lobbies. And they have an agenda which is not using more fossil fuels, even if it is the consequence they get.

    No, their platform is basically no to nuclear, no to GMOs, put on the energy hair shirt, use the energy sources we like (wind, solar, biomass — but only from organic farms, mind you). Gas is useful for them as the less dirty fossil fuel.

    If you read the interview with open eyes, Mr Mogren is telling us his plan is not working. First, gas is not taking the place of coal. Because — guess what? — wind and solar are ruining the business case of gas plants. Gas has the 2d worst place in the merit order after fuel oil in the EU. So it’s pushed out by fatal sources like wind & solar. This is very real: I read here in France that some CCGTs are near brankrupcy because of this. German newspapers say this openly too! Consequence: governments are now ready to subsidize gas plants in large numbers to ensure network stability [example: Germany] and to wait till coal gets forbidden by other environmental regulations. So the short term economics of the transition plan is botched. We have to pay for renewables and then to have gas plant stay here waiting to become profitable again. And for the grid expansion.

    Today, champions of renewables have the highest consumer prices for electricity, but have only disappointing results on the GHG front compared to Sweden, Switzerland & France. He says it openly when he says a big part of the electricity prices is tax: it’s only true of renewables champions. Here in France, I’m paying as much for the grid as for the production! And the tax to fund the renewables is taking an increasing part of the bill.

    Transmission is a spot which is not blind at all. I do not know if you have read the 100% renewables plans that are published — sometimes with governmental approval. If you don’t, you should, it would give a sense of how crazy this is. You can start with the page of the german environment ministry:
    http://www.bmu.de/energiewende/szenarien_und_prognosen/doc/47897.php

    So to put things into context, final electricity consumption is forecast to decrease in absolute terms. So Mogren is misleading here: electricity will grow only as a share of final consumption. That’s what I call the ‘put on the hait shirt’ argument: everything has to come from efficiency and rationning.
    But even with that, the grid must expand because of renewables. The magnitude of the expansion is crazy. Just look at this scenario:
    http://www.umweltrat.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/EN/02_Special_Reports/2011_10_Special_Report_Pathways_renewables.pdf?__blob=publicationFile
    The main scenario proposes between 45GW and 70GW of transmission capacity between Norway and Germany. And p139 it gets worse: with a grid including North Africa, values go even higher. To put things in perspective, since 1994, an expansion of the transmission capacity between France and Spain has been planned. It will open in 2014 and put the transmission capacity to 4GW. So in a nutshell, high voltage lines are among the most difficult things to build because of popular opposition. All full renewables scenarios are like this because they have to produce when conditions are favorable, and store for bad days. In the end, you have to have a grid made for a 200GW consumption when real consumption by people never gets above 100GW. And you have to allow some juice to pass through your territory so that needy countries can satisfy their demand.

    To summarize, you don’t need to think of green european NGOs as puppets of fossil fuels lobbies. They have a momentum of their own. But their ideology is apparent if you start scratching the surface. And opposition to nuclear is central. But they have to make proposal that appear to be technically serious. Hence the 100% renewables scenarios with crazy grids.

    1. I’m not sure that the Europeans green aren’t in effect quite acting a puppet of fossil fuels lobbies. It’s true that some of the gas plans failed, but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

      Some things to consider :
      – After former German chancellor Schröder signed a bill to stop all Nuclear in Germany, he next leaved the government to become the chairman of the board of the Nord Stream AG gas pipeline
      – Than plan more or less failed since lignite is winning the electricity generation war in Germany currently, but still in cold winter Russia has more clients for it’s gas in Germany than it can supply. Heating in Germany is almost all gas, and is facing strictly no risk of being replaced by electricity at the current price
      – Both the green presidential candidate and the green party leader adamantly said during the last French presidential election that they favored, and were personally using, gas for heating rather than electricity. They swallowed hook, line, and sinker the memo saying that electric heating generates more CO2 than gas, even in 80% nuclear France.
      – Who wrote that memo ? I found an early 2008 document where the French gas association writes exactly that, and pretends gas is the way to reduce CO2 emission by 4. What they say there, is word for word what the French green have been repeating since there.
      – The mechanisms that resulted into the new French construction regulation RT2012 favoring so much gas over electricity than more than 60% of newly build house now use gas, in a complete reversal of what was the case before where almost all new construction was electric and gas was slowly losing ground, are still not clear to me.
      But it’s completely in line with the attitude of the greens of stumblingly accusing electric heating to be fully responsible of the winter demand spike, and demanding the use of fossil power for heating instead.

  3. The ECF has published a new study.
    http://www.energyunionchoices.eu/cleanersmartercheaper/Report.pdf

    Some things at a glance:
    – recommends premature closure of 20 GW of European nuclear power plants.
    – recommends construction of 22GW of open cycle natural gas to replace the lost capacity
    – claims lower cost than reference scenario despite a net increase(!) of 90.000 jobs.
    – Achieves a mere 55% reduction in pwoer sector co2 emissions, leaving 45% reduction left to achieve.
    – Says nothing about how to achieve that remaining 45% reduction, which is noteworthy given the difficulty of achieving additional co2 cuts after locking-in the extreme natural gas supported VRE regime recommended by the ECF.