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  1. The problem is that unsubsidized renewable will bring whole sale prices even further down in next decade, as shown in this video:

    So subsidies for nuclear will have to become bigger and bigger, becoming so high that nearly no NPP will be operating at the end of next decade.

    It seems unlikely, but just compare the present situation with that of 10years ago.
    Then the idea that wind & solar would deliver substantial part of the electricity supply seemed ridiculous.
    The idea that P2G and battery storage would play a role ludicrous.

    1. Bas, while you are correct in your general point about the improvements in old technology such as wind, solar, and battery storage, the larger point is that this proposal is designed to help meet clean air standards using already-available technology and infrastructure that has many years of useful life left. While renewables may approach 30% of supply for an advanced economy demand, that still leaves a gap of 70%. This proposal helps assure that a large portion of that demand will be supplied by non-polluting sources. It may cost a few pennies in the short term, but compared to the dollars per kwhr subsidies already afforded renewable technologies in this country, it is a pretty good bargain.

  2. Suggest you view the full video and try to understand the impact of the S-curve with which disruptive technologies develop: https://youtu.be/Kxryv2XrnqM
    Or stated otherwise; with which a paradigm change occurs.

    The issue is not the technical life span, but the short economic life span of classic central power plants. Especially base load plants.

    Demonstrated by Germany’s major utilities who try to get rid of their base load plants asap. By:
    – selling (E.on split them off, etc).
    – replacing them by flexible cheaper plants, such as the new lignite plants.
    – offering them for free. They offered all NPP’s for free to government.
    Central base load power plants are a burden in Germany now.
    Same will occur in USA in next decade (US is ~ a decade behind).

    Your gap of 70% will be filled fast by decentralized (renewable) generators such as rooftop solar; once the cost price of those (incl storage) become substantially below 8cnt/KWh. A point that is expected in next decade.

    Germans recently implemented measures (again) in order to reduce the speed towards renewable back to the scheduled speed of 1.5%/a. Despite several previous actions, reducing FiT’s etc, the speed increased again. In 2015 it was even 3times faster; 5.2% delivering a share of 32.7% for renewable.
    Now ~50% of the new small rooftop solar installations also contain a battery.

    1. Right now viewing an anti-nuclear video is not my highest priority and would likely be a TL/DNR situation in any case. If the issue truly is economic lifetime and not technical then nuclear plants can far, far exceed any “renewable” power systems. In New York State they are talking about pennies on the dollar in terms of sustaining capacity that has a 95% capacity factor and runs day and night, not dependent on weather, requires no expensive and dangerous storage batteries, works with existing infrastructure, and keeps up with demand without load shedding (i.e., “demand management’) or juggling fast-start generators to make up for unreliable capacity that can’t carry the load. Compare those pennies on the dollar to tens of dollars on the dollar to sustain unreliable generators. In my state we recently had an army of lobbyists descend on the legislature to squawk about subsidies for unreliable (in this case wind) generation expiring, and of how that would “ruin” the wind industry. Of course, the legislators caved in to the demand of the lobbyists and big wind/solar developers (who were foreign companies, by and large).

      1. It’s not an anti-nuclear video. It demonstrates how extreme fast changes go once the underlying conditions are met.

        The renewable subsidies which you state, help to increase market volume and so decrease renewable cost prices greatly. History shows a decrease of on av. ~10%/a for wind+solar+storage, which implies a factor 3 in 10 years, which implies that the price will be below the cost price of most utilities.

        What if de-central generation incl. storage is cheaper than the grid costs (to be expected at the end of next decade)? Than even fusion producing electricity for $1/MWh will be useless, as it’s cheaper to go off-grid…

        1. I’ll be blunt: wind turbines, in addition to technical problems, are huge and ugly, and don’t fit the scale of any landscape near human habitation, as well as harming birds. Same for solar.

          What’s your problem with nuclear, particularly the promise of Gen IV’s compact, modular design, power-dense and safe, breeds its own fuel while ‘consuming’ most nuclear waste. These can be underground – not monsters flailing over miles of land. Can wind turbines or solar farms desalinate with waste heat? Can they produce medical isotopes?

          Soba may have his theories worked out, but IMO he’s missing important points about nuclear’s potential. What a waste of brain power.

    2. By “subsidized” do you mean all costs are internalized?

      I think that’s all that anyone wants.

      So, wind and solar should no longer enjoy preferential grid access, should pay for any extra grid infrastructure needed to accommodate them, any balancing and back up costs.

      Only when that happens are they “unsubsidized”.

      1. That’s true. As long as the costs of transmission of power generated by home systems is paid for by generators, as well as costs for things like backup generators on the grid and costs associated with baseload cycling, those will remain socialized, or subsidized costs.

        The only way to be truly unsubsidized is to do two things: refuse any and all cash payments and/or tax breaks associated with purchasing and installing your system, and then cut the connection from your system (and home) to the grid, now and forever. That means never, ever accept a single electron from a grid-based source. I know there are people out there who have done that (or at last claim they have), but they have developed survival skills and a lifestyle that 99.999999999999999999999% of the people in a technologically advanced society do not have and would reject out of hand.

        1. Your depiction of people living off the grid is not accurate. I know plenty of people, living rurally that are not the kind of survivalist frontier stock you want to make them out to be. They simply live in a areas that are not connected to the grid, therefore they rely on solar and battery systems. I suppose you think people with water wells are in the same boat? All survivalist hippies, hicks, and hillbillies? The people I know, living off the grid, are just like anyone else I know. Its just thay they live in areas not serviced by grid power.

          1. Poa, Agree.
            This winter (for us in NL) I cycled two months through New Zealand. We met a physician, a girl of ~30years, who bought a new house outside Auckland (their biggest city, she works there in a hospital).

            The utility wanted to charge her ~$7,000 to install a line to connect her new house to the grid. She then calculated that it was cheaper to go off-grid with solar panels and a battery.

            Later on she bought a small petrol fueled generator for few hundred dollar, in case everything would go wrong. Which didn’t occur in the 3 years she lived there.

          2. No need to get nasty, poa. You generally have good points to make and it would be nice if you could make them in a less confrontational and belligerent manner. This is a good example. You are correct to point out that I may have committed an error in logic by inappropriate generalization, but I don’t “want to make them out to be” anything. Its just that a good portion (maybe not the majority) of the off-grid population have developed skills and a point of view that the vast majority of the population do not have, and have chosen a lifestyle that would be difficult or certainly inconvenient for a majority of the US population to adopt. It isn’t “hillbilly” or “survivalist”, its just a manner of living that most have no concept of. That said, I know that a lot of the off-grid population likely live in a manner similar to those who enjoy the benefits of grid-based power, they simply either have no access to it or it is not economically preferable to off-grid.

            FTR, I lived for years on a farm that had well water and an underground tank for heating oil. It did have sanitation and an electrical connection to run the well pump and power the furnace for forced air circulation. Back in ’77 when a blizzard came through we managed with fireplaces and bottled water brought in by snowmobile. I don’t think we could have gone much further than a week or so before the place would have been closed up and the residents evacuated.

            It isn’t my intention to rehash all the grid-offgrid debates we’ve had here. The reality is that we have an advanced society that for the most part needs reliable electrical energy at affordable cost. We have developed over the decades a system that does that. In fact, it has done miraculous things, unimaginable by most people in this country as recently as a century ago. There is an old saying in the Navy, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. I see no reason for tearing down and bad-mouthing a workable system that provides clean and reliable power at reasonable cost.

          3. As a kid, I spent several summers and falls at my dad’s hunting lodge/ranch smack dab jn the middle of the Selway Bitteroot Federal Wilderness. It was an original homestead, a 9.6 acre island of private land surrounded by federally managed wilderness. No forms of mechanized power are allowed in a wilderness area, so to get to the lodge was either a hike, a horseback ride, or a ride in a bush plane, for we had a small triple x’ed landing strip on the property. Our power, to service the main lodge, and the cabins, was a generator, that was only used during the times we had paying customers, fisherman or hunters. And even then, only used during early evenings and early mornings. It was simply too burdensome bringing in fuel. All our cooking and heating was done with wood. I can only imagine what the energy system for that facility would look like today, realizing the technologies now available to facilities with such unusual circumstances. Rod is fond of pointing out the great utility that could be served by modular reactors in serving small rural outlying communities. But so too can the “unreliables”, (as so many of you have labeled them), serve as energy systems of benefit to such communities. The complaint seems to be that sometimes the sun don’t shine, and the wind don’t blow. Well, so what? Because of that fact, we are to ignore those times the sun DOES shine, and the wind DOES blow? Frankly, I think this “our technology versus their technology” mentality is self defeating, and a huge reason why NE has fallen from favor. You should be wooing the environmentalist movements, not maligning them.

          4. I’d be more favorably inclined to wooing the environmentalist movement if they were less antagonistic and downright nasty and hostile to me, not only personally, but to my colleagues and associates who have dedicated their professional lives to a calling that is no less noble and beneficent than professions like medical practice or law enforcement or public safety. I’d be a rich man if I had a penny for every time I was labelled a liar or an industry shill simply for expressing a pro-nuclear opinion, or even one that counters the acceptable meme.

            And it isn’t so much an argument of our technology versus theirs as it is making a rational decision as to what is the best fit for a solution to a complex problem that has many, often conflicting, aspects and approaches. Engineers are generally trained to look at a problem from the viewpoint of the most reliable, cost-effective, low risk, economic, and practical solution given the overall requirements. Nuclear scores well on all, of those. Other solutions also have their merits. All we can do is run the numbers and see where they come out. With a few minor adjustments, nuclear will be okay on the one vulnerability it has, which is (unfair) competition in the marketplace.

      2. benj,
        Expect that most people (90%?) which have a roof big enough to cover their needs, will then go off-grid.
        They don’t need the technical skills to manage the installation as that will be done by the computer in the inverter/battery combination, which is also managed remotely by a virtual power plant.

        One of the first, still simple, combinations: http://goo.gl/EpbYbS
        An example of a still simple virtual power plant (better prices than classic utilities in Germany): https://www.next-kraftwerke.com/

  3. I realize there is some major animous towards Bas by many of the regulars here. Frankly, most discussions involving Bas are technically above my scope of knowledge, so I have no idea who is presenting facts, and who is presenting propaganda. I tend to trust Rod, and his periodic irritation with Bas’s assertions definitely steers me towards a conclusion. However, I don’t understand why the decision of individual homeowners to install solar, or even small wind turbines, is contested so often here. Seems to me that Bas is on the right track with this issue. Being a tradesman that is regularly involved in new home construction, as well as remodeling, I have watched the evolution of home solar systems. The have come a long way, and will no doubt continue to evolve as they become more commonplace and affordable. It would not suprise me to see the much maligned homeowner systems become such that a new home need not ever attach to the grid. And why is that a bad thing? If you NE advocates are so enamored of the environment, you should be celebrating such a future.

    1. FTR I have no personal animus towards Bas. He has experienced a lot of personal tragedy and for that reason I feel some sense of solidarity with him. That said, I disagree with his viewpoints on the value of electricity generated and distributed in bulk by clean and efficient generators.

    2. I don’t understand why the decision of individual homeowners to install solar, or even small wind turbines, is contested so often here.

      Perhaps an example from my local media will help clarify matters.

      The previous issue of Northern Express has a letter from a writer complaining about the Cherryland Electric Cooperative changing its net metering policy.  Precisely what are they complaining about?  “[T]hey want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources.”  (Presumably this is what’s fed back to Cherryland, after all local demand has been satisfied.)

      Why wouldn’t Cherryland’s cooperative members want to pay full retail, or even wholesale, for power sent back to the co-op?  A bunch of reasons, including:

      1.  The power is not there when needed.  Cherryland has to pay for power to be available.  Peak demand hours in the area go until 5 PM; solar is usually well past its peak by 3 PM.  Power that cuts off before the need does simply isn’t worth very much.
      2.  The PV back-feeders are already under-paying for grid services such as reactive power and line maintenance which are rolled into the per-kWh fee, and generally aren’t paying demand fees either.  If they get a sweet deal, the other members of the cooperative get a raw deal.

      The PV owners are often getting large tax write-offs from the Feds, and maybe others.  They shouldn’t be complaining about getting a low price for power that comes to them at zero marginal cost; after all, that’s the whole argument for “renewables”, that “the fuel is free”.

  4. Three hours ago, Rod tweeted the following:

    #saveNYnuclear Three commissioners voted in favor of staff proposal. One concurred with action but explained reason. Motion passed.

    This is historic.

    1. Good news. I guess now we’ll see if Exelon will take “yes” for an answer (unlike previous actions).

      1. Sorry, I guess it is Entergy for the Fitzpatrick plant that has to take “yes” for answer. Exelon would be for NMP1&2.

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