Rod Adams is Managing Partner of Nucleation Capital, a venture fund that invests in advanced nuclear, which provides affordable access to this clean energy sector to pronuclear and impact investors. Rod, a former submarine Engineer Officer and founder of Adams Atomic Engines, Inc., which was one of the earliest advanced nuclear ventures, is an atomic energy expert with small nuclear plant operating and design experience. He has engaged in technical, strategic, political, historic and financial analysis of the nuclear industry, its technology, regulation, and policies for several decades through Atomic Insights, both as its primary blogger and as host of The Atomic Show Podcast. Please click here to subscribe to the Atomic Show RSS feed. To join Rod's pronuclear network and receive his occasional newsletter, click here.
I suspect professional commodity traders would prefer natural gas to nuclear. More opportunity for the traders to make money.
Not surprising as German Banks are so heavily involved in Gazprom.
Deutsche Bank LTD 20% holder ( http://ir.gazprom-neft.com/share-data/share-data/?tx_eepcollect_pi1%5Bprozess%5D=add&tx_eepcollect_pi1%5Bpid%5D=50&tx_eepcollect_pi1%5Bctrl%5D=1371521136&cHash=efaa381affd313983a82e84786c6902d )
Deutsche Offers Gazprom Derivatives 2004 ( http://neftegaz.ru/en/press/view/490 )
Germany’s Dresdner To Buy Into Gazprom’s Bank – 2005( http://www.sptimes.ru/story/16334 )
Deutsche Bank, KfW and Gazprom in talks over gas pipeline loan – 2004 ( http://www.gasandoil.com/news/2006/06/cnr62586 )
World: Europe Germany plans to scrap nuclear power- Monday, December 14, 1998
Negotiations to phase out Germany’s nuclear power stations will start in January, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has said. ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/234949.stm )
Schroeder Accepts Russian Pipeline Job – 2005 ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/09/AR2005120901755.html )
Schröder appointed independent director at Russian TNK-BP – 2009
Schröder is also chairman of the Nord Stream pipeline company, having been appointed to the post back in 2006, only weeks after he left office as chancellor following the defeat of the Social Democrats in the 2005 autumn elections in Germany.( http://www.icis.com/heren/articles/2009/01/30/9309453/schrder-appointed-independent-director-at-russian-tnk-bp.html )
This analyst is a traitor to his country, like Gerhard Schröder (and Ed Markey, who prefers imported LNG to both domestic nuclear and domestic fracked gas…)
While I don’t generally favor republicans these days, because I believe they hate the middle class, Markey is running for the senate, and it might be worthwhile to make a donation to his opponent, Gabriel E. Gomez.
As today’s republicans go, he actually seems fairly moderate.
It would have been even better to support Markey’s oppenent in the race for the Democrat nomination.
I live in Massachusetts and consider myself a die hard working class democrat and I WILL NOT vote for Markey because of his views on energy.
Well, then send some money to Gomez. Keeping Markey out of the senate should be one of our primary goals. We sure as heck don’t need another Reid in the Senate.
This will sound naive and simplistic, but in black and white, just what IS Germany’s actual specific stated _reason_ for dumping nuclear (despite fossil’s infamous scoreboard)?
I don’t know, but I think the stated reason is something along the lines of:
I now return you to someone who might have an informative answer….
NPP’s miss the flexibility that is needed to operate in a modern grid that has a lot of wind and solar connected.
E.g. regulate the output up- & down between 100% and 10% within 15 minutes.
Furthermore within 20years they cannot compete at all in the German grid.
As by that time wind + solar have a capacity >4times the max. needed.
So by then the NPP can deliver full power only <2000 hours a year.
A period becoming smaller and smaller…
In other words, a “modern grid” with “a lot of wind and solar connected” is heavily dependent upon fossil-fired generators to buffer the rapid variations from the former. It is thus polluting and unsustainable.
Both France and Ontario have proven that modern grids with lots of nuclear but without the unreliables can slash FF dependence to sustainable levels. The problem is not with nuclear.
That’s actually a lie. NPP both in France and in Germany have been optimized to be able to follow load more efficiently than most any gas and coal unit.
When you lower the load of a combined cycle gas unit, you heightens the pollutants and rise consumption, which makes it at low load definitively less efficient than a nuclear plant to follow load. In fact, there’s a point where the NOx rate rises above the allowed limit, and you can not lower the load further. You need to stop the unit, but restarting it will waste a very significant amount of gas, which means it’s uneconomic if not done for several hours.
Whilst Siemens is proud of what it manages to do with it’s newest CCGT unit, reading carefully the documentation shows those problems :
The trouble for a nuclear plant is that you’ll never be able to recover your construction costs if running constantly at low load.
But when the units has already been built and amortized, that’s not relevant.
A last point is that when you get a look at German generation, despite the renewable level, there’s at the moment constantly at least 10GW of lignite coal running, and most of the time around 15GW, even now at start of summer. That could be nuclear running as base-load instead.
Chernobyl fear is my best guess now. I think that is what facilitated it.
I wonder why Chernobyl fear is so much stronger in Germany than in countries closer to Chernobyl? After all, the Lithuanians are quite a bit nearer, and were still gutted when the EU forced them to close down their RBMK reactor.
Maybe it’s the connection between anti-nuclear-power activism and anti-nuclear-weapons activism? “A tactical nuclear weapon is one which lands on Germany…”
“Maybe it’s the connection between anti-nuclear-power activism and anti-nuclear-weapons activism? “A tactical nuclear weapon is one which lands on Germany…””
I think this is it. Towards the end of the cold war, Germany was getting really angry about being the favored battle ground in the super powers’ plans. There was a lot of resentment. Now that the cold war is over, the resentment and activism seems to have refocused on civilian electricity generation, much in the same way that the USA Vietnam activists, deprived of a cause, decided to hate nuclear electricity generation to give their pathetic lives meaning.
Yes, I think that this is the most likely explanation.
Let’s not forget that, not only was Germany the likely battleground between the two Superpowers, but it was split in two during the entire Cold War. That kind of treatment tends to create a lot of resentment, and it was the Atomic Bomb that kicked off the Cold War, in addition to being the largest perceived threat throughout that era.
Yea Jeff/Brian If there was one way to resist superpower influence and display any semblance of nationalism it was the anti nuclear weapons movement. It was a ready made platform of intense mistrust, perceived moral superiority and national identity. Chernobyl was like throwing a match into a tinderbox. Never mind it was a poorly designed, communist weapons factory with little in common with modern power reactors, it became a holy narrative symbolic of all injustice.
( http://www.chernobylcongress.org/partners.html )
( http://www.robinwood.de/ )
On a time-line I think it originated shortly after Chernobyl to about the mid nineties and was incorporated into political platforms and corporate PR/long range planning because of pressure from activists. For example in early applied pressure : ( http://www.chernobylcongress.org/print/speakers/artikel/83fbc606f9fba57c1f35f8dc6c306a97/henrik-paulitz.html )
Also note this 2003 ref:
( https://www.db.com/csr/en/docs/eng_csr-bericht_2003.pdf )Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2003 Deutsche Bank – Pg 15 –
During a six-month stay in Hungary in 1991, Michael went on a trip to the
Ukraine. It was there that he met children afflicted by the Chernobyl
nuclear reactor accident. That changed my view of the world, he
recalls. I knew there were terrible things that happened in the world, but
this made it very personal. I knew that I had to do something.
And if you want to see the utterly bizarre future vision :
Desertec ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertec )
Medgrid ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medgrid )
Shareholders of the Dii are ABB, ABENGOA Solar, Cevital, DESERTEC Foundation, Deutsche Bank, E.ON, HSH Nordbank, MAN Solar Millennium, Munich Re, M+W Zander, RWE, SCHOTT Solar and Siemens. In the near future further companies from different countries will join the Dii as shareholders or partners to ensure broad-based support from the EUMENA society. Dii headquarters will be located in Munich. ( http://www.desertec.org/en/press/press-releases/091030-01-formation-dii-gmbh/ )
God that’s kooky. You couldn’t make that up. Can you imagine the environmental destruction and maintenance costs, not to mention the lack of existing technology to make it possible.
The Die Energiewende final solution. Why Germany, why?!!?
The rising yields and falling costs of PV panels, make these projects obsolete.
Furthermore the transport capacity to Europe is not much (5GW).
Germany and Italy together already have 50GW of PV panels installed now.
How much will those PV panels produce at 3 AM on New Year’s Day with clear skies, when heat demand is near maximum?
Your vision is only a bit less grandiose than Desertec, and less practical.
You should also note that the countries who are intended to host the solar plants in the Desertec scheme reads like a who’s who of the arab spring.
Is there any reason to believe type of project, were it a sincere project rather than an attempt to raid the public till, would not perpetuate the disgusting politics of middle eastern oil?
“The Die Energiewende final solution. Why Germany, why?!!?”
If you pick a language and stick with it, it just sounds better.
‘Die Endlösung der energiefrage’ or ‘final solution to the energy problem’ perhaps.
The comparison is not altoghether specious either. The cult-like insanity of it all, and the intent that this really should be a final solution and there should be no new energy sources that are more compact, reliable or cheaper.
Emotional and rational reasons are needed for a country in order to develop scenario’s (for ~$200million) and run such a huge and long (50yrs) undertaking.
Basically it is the German mentality to do all things well and correct. So:
After the first NPP’s, Germany concluded (correct) that they needed a breeder and decided to build one in Kalkar. That was near big cities and the breeder was a fast breeder! But authorities said it was safe.
Some people calculated the expansion speeds (of the power in the core) in case of disturbances and concluded undeniable correct to a huge explosion within some minutes…
They also calculated that the chance for that explosion would be substantial.
This sparked the huge (green) movement and mistrust regarding nuclear.
Kalkar was completed for ~10billion. But got a quite different licence!
Around 1990 everybody realised that the continued fighting delivered little. In a 10 year dialog, they compromised to the present transition scenario; for the greens not fast enough, for the big energy companies far to fast.
As the transition scenario showed to be well manageable and reality turned out as ~predicted during ~12 years now, everybody supports it.
Merkl (their prime-minister) tried to postpone the closure of some NPP’s but lost so much popularity that she inversed. So now the NPP closure scheme is firmly-embedded.
The transition scenario predicts that the costs for the economy compared with continueing the old technologies, are about zero.
The Energiewende generates extra export, employment (Germany has very low unemployment), less fuel import, and a future in which Germany is independent regarding its (electric) energy.
It also turns citizens/voters (~2% now) into electricity producers defending the transition Of course big electricity & energy companies are against.
Yes … two failed world wars in the twentieth century are enough testament to that. Sarcasm aside, however, I agree that they are a very consistent, but not at doing “all things well and correct.”
If the “German mentality” would have included keeping and supporting their Jewish scientists, for example, then they probably would have been the first to create the nuclear bomb, which makes their popular abhorrence of all things nuclear all that more ironic.
As for their ability to project scenarios, I should point out that even France was not stupid enough to invade Russia twice. You’d think that they would have learned the first time. Stupid Germans.
I guarantee you that Gazprom is not against this transition. Now history has done a 180-degree turn. It’s the Russians who are invading Germany, economically at least.
The irony is just too sweet to ignore.
Not all the nuclear scientists who left Europe were Jewish, and many of them would have refused to work for an aggressive, militaristic Germany even if it wasn’t anti-semitic.
Anyway, Hitler never assigned a high priority to developing an atomic bomb because he believed it couldn’t be built early enough to affect the outcome of the war. And he was right — the United States (with resources at its disposal that the Germans could only dream of) still failed to develop an atomic bomb in time to use it against Germany.
It wasn’t that the French were smarter, more that that as far as European conquest was concerned they’d shot their wad under Napoleon I. Birth rates in 19th century France were much lower than in other European countries, which is why France was reduced to a second-rate power by the 20th century.
Anyway, the Germans actually won on the Eastern Front in World War I, only to lose the next year on the Western Front.
I’ve always been fascinated by this “bridge fuel” theory.
What on earth will displace an established profitable infrastructure once environmentalists decide we’ve reached the end of the “bridge”? Are we really expecting German gas industrialists to voluntarily step aside for some newer, cleaner technology?
“…expecting German gas industrialists to voluntarily step aside…
Yes. They already complain that their gas powered plants cannot compete and want to close them.
This bears a strong resemblance to the PC/MC “culture of critique”. Everything that exists is wrong, and is derided as unworthy of existence, but no alternative is offered. The criticism IS the program.
We need to tell these people “fine, YOU freeze in the dark. We want better.”
Gas and coal are not the only winners in the European “renewable” revolution :
Exportation of wood pellets from North America to Europe reached a new record of 3.2 million tons in 2012
Demand for wood pellets in Europe has gone up dramatically the past few years as power companies on the continent have switched from using fossil fuels to renewable energy alternatives. Importation of pellets from North America increased over 60% ( http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=176149#.UcQ9r85jgdo )
Sounds wonderful right ? Well beyond arguments about lag time and recycling in composite building materials – guess what old growth/rainforests are made of?
Colleman invests $16.6M in Brazilian wood pellet plant – 2012
The firm’s idea is to export production to Europe and Asia. The project can directly compete with the one held by the Brazilian pulp and paper producer Suzano, which involves a biomass pellet mill to be built in Brazil to supply European countries. ( http://www.forestbusinessnetwork.com/15602/colleman-invests-16-6m-in-brazilian-wood-pellet-plant/ )
Re: “…guess what old growth/rainforests are made of?”
Isn’t it just AMAZING what the greens and antis’ sheer BLIND HATE of nuclear is willing to overlook??
O Where have all old true naturalists gone??
James I wish I could say there are limits and they care more about the environment than fostering their own bias. But I cant now. I dont want to think about what they have, would and probably will do.
So both US and Russia keep their nuclear arsenal and the rest of the world trembles in fear, buying anything but nuclear. It seems Nuclear Weaponry is still geopolotically useful in maintaining fossil market dominance (now ng). Germany does not need their own nuclear sheild because we “protect” them with our warheads in their country. Why Europe does not follow France elludes me. they are a needed military and energy counterbalance. There is complexity here. Somebody explain this angle please. There has to be a reason US is keeping it’s arsenal that affects energy relations. Europe lets Russia do all the dirty fracking and burns the “clean” carbon with impunity. Bridge will fail eventually.
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