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  1. Rod asked; “What are the immovable obstacles that prevent success?”. I don’t see any technical “immovable obstacles”, but it seems obvious there must be something immovable at our country’s leadership level; either in vision or backbone. Also thirty-five years ago, if anybody asked “If we build plants without HPI Pumps, can they be turned off?”, e.g. SMRs. But then, that would have threatened $100B in capitol invested. That doesn’t change the answer, NR plants don’t have them, and they have a passive fail-safe Emergency Core Cooling System. mjd

  2. This sounds like a rather excellent suggestion. Is there any way to distill this and package it up as an Op-Ed piece and shop-it around to major publications? You are preaching to the choir here (with the exception of the odd troll) – there must be other channels to get this modest proposal out there?!

    As for immovable obstacles, I humbly suggest THE obstacle is U.S. gov’t policy intent on throttling the development of nuclear energy (based on the well-worn hypothesis that this policy is a consequence of the self-serving power of Big Oil, the Military-Industrial-Complex and its billionaire patrons in Wall St. and in Washington).

    The only way to put some cracks in that wall is through a sea-change in public opinion.

    Outreach, education and formation of a new public consensus. Shouldn’t be too hard… LOL.

  3. Further to the above, I gave some thought as to the key constituencies that could form the foundations of a movement for a new consensus:

    – Scientific community re global climate change (Hansen et. al. are doing a bang-up job here)

    – Environmental community (continue the process of raising the profile of new eco-pragmatist Greens al-la Pandora’s Promise: thank you Mr. Robert Stone!)

    – National Security community. Nuclear power is under full renaissance mode in many places around the world, with something like 70+ reactors under construction NOW. China is going full-tilt toward advanced nuclear including next gen systems (fast reactors, molten salt reactors, high-temp. gas reactors, etc.). If the U.S. continues to deny the reality of eventual dominance of nuclear energy in supplying world energy, it will lose the ability to influence this new world energy reality. If the U.S. loses technology advantage, and China succeeds in making mass-produced nuclear power systems cheaper than coal and adapts them across the Chinese economy, then U.S. will be in economic trouble in a world of progressively more expensive fossil fuels, which has clear implications for national security

    – Industrial / Manufacturing community: we need press the case for the potential cost savings using nuclear heat and nuclear electricity instead of fossil fuels (assuming things change on the regulatory frontier). Heavy industry uses tremendous amounts of power. Contrary to the assertions of the popular press, natural gas will only get more expensive (fracking is actually an expensive process and current wells are producing at a loss due to a temporary glut caused by over-drilling) as will the cost of oil rise. Chemicals, manufacturing, mining (heat, light, power for remote sites without flying / shipping drum after drum of diesel), ore processing, smelting, aluminum production, and, ironically, oil upgrading (requiring hydrogen) and steam generation for unconventional oil production. I’m sure there are many more. These are Big Business enterprises on the losing side of the expensive fossil-fuel equation. They should be natural allies!

    Are there more communities that should be encouraged to join and press the case for a new general consensus re atomic energy?

    1. Right now the dominant argument from the NRRDC (Natural Resource Revenue Defense Council) is that Nuclear Energy is too darn expensive. The best counter, I believe, and seems to work in face to face conversation, is to convince each person that at the *end of the day* nuclear energy will be the dominate energy source of every happy, well fed, actualization population. Under any circumstance, and no matter what we do, we MUST keep the end in mind. Nuclear Energy will win out in the end.

      The very argument of “too expensive” should trigger the response: “At the end of the day Fission will be the major energy source of every thriving population.”

      1. Why wait? Simply tell France to stop importing fossil fuels tomorrow and observe the “thriving population” in action (chaos).

        Remember France? Poor France doesn’t get much mention around here anymore…I guess its a nuclear “has been”

        1. Actually France seems to get mentioned a lot.

          I do like you suggestion though. We could do the same for those countries that Bas claims are 100% renewable and we would see the same “thriving population” in action (chaos).

          Nuclear, just like wind, solar and hydro, presently doesn’t support transportation to any great extent. So no modern country can get by without fossil fuels.

          But you know everything I just said and being a troll you ignored it so you could make what you thought was a witty comment. Sorry to tell you it was witty, it was sad and pathetic with just a bit of humor at your expense.

          1. Steve Aplin has gone on at length about the Toronto subway and how it is nearly carbon-free due to Ontario’s reliance on nuclear power.  France’s TGV is the same.

            If we are only talking transport on roads, it hasn’t been de-carbonized much… but PHEVs, BEVs and Siemens’ overhead wire power system could electrify most of that also.  That makes it as clean as your electric supply is.

      2. John
        The very argument of “too expensive” should trigger the response: “At the end of the day Fission will be the major energy source of every thriving population.”
        That sounds rather desperate. Even worse than the cry of the European incumbent utility CEO’s towards Brussels in October.
        Won’t convince anyone, as you show no path.

        As costs decrease of solar will continue with ~8%/a at least until ~$30/MWh, a price range far beyond reach of even fission developments such as SMR and LFTR:

        Why not join the future and support fusion?
        As that may bring solutions in a price range of $1/MWh, which we need for next jumps forward for mankind.

        1. Do you have a source for this 30/MWh nonsense? The EiA has solar at 140+ with a 20%+ CF and $2 a watt installed cost. Unless you actually believe installed costs will drop to like fifteen cents a watt. Pure fantasy.

          Again, this COMPLETELY neglects storage costs… Just like you can’t make a Babie in one month with nine women you can’t use solar power when the sun doesn’t shine without storage. And storage costs 20-30 cents per KWh unless you live in an area geographically suited to pumped storage. Large scale economic storage is farther away than nuclear fusion.

          1. storage costs 20-30 cents per KWh

            So why do you consider this to be prohibitive … peak energy rates never rise above 20 or 30 cents/kWh?

            Inclusive of wholesale off-peak energy costs, what if these costs at this point in time were lower than you have described?

            http://www.sandia.gov/ess/publications/SAND2013-5131.pdf

            CAES and PHS: roughly $100 – 200 MWh (p. 36 and 40).
            NAS batteries: $260 – $290 MWh.

            And dropping each year. Ambri has a liquid metal battery that it will be prototype testing next year, and with a LCOE energy cost target of below $100 MWh.

          2. In more expensive places they get that high at the retail level for households. With REs you’d need that at the WHOLESALE level ON TOP of the actual cost of generation and distribution! Industry pays about 7c for power and commercial 10c here in the US. That would be a good way to chase away youre entire wealth producing industries very fast.

            So there is some vaporware that maybe can store energy for twice the price of wholesale electricity… Does nothing for industrial and commercial interests who are responsible for the majority of electricity demand and ALL of a countries production of real wealth.

          3. @Zachf
            source for this 30/MWh nonsense? The EiA has solar at 140+ with a 20%+ CF and $2 a watt installed cost.
            Last 35years solar went down with ~8%/a, because cell yield & efficiency went up, etc.
            Strong confirmation that this trend will continue. May even accelerate (last years price went down with ~20%/a).

            This Recent facts about PV document of the leading German Fraunhofer institute explains:
            Price developments (-15%/a). How much solar is subsidized compared to other (nuclear, fossil, etc). That it will end at 52GW installed. Balanced combination solar+wind. Energy scenarios. Grid expansion. Whether tenants are subsidizing home owners. Planned vs actual production of solar. Etc.

            This study regarding increasing the connections between the nordic and central W-European energy markets, shows that such grid expansion may bring substantial savings as necessary storage & stand-in power requirements can be lower. Primarily because wind does not fail at all places at the same time.

            vaporware that maybe can store energy for twice the price of wholesale electricity… Does nothing for industrial and commercial interests
            Those consume during the day. And then solar produces! So solar takes the peak load off! And please check the link as that shows that storage costs less.

            Btw.
            I noticed that wind in USA is slightly cheaper than here, just as expected (lower salary costs and taxes in USA).

            That makes me more puzzled about the reason that rooftop solar costs twice as much in USA than here?

          4. @Zachf

            Along same lines, Eos says it’s at $160/kWh for their zinc air battery for renewable energy integration and grid level storage (10,000 cycles, 30 year operation). Pilot project with Con Ed of New York to debut next year. Other development partners include NRG Energy, Enel, GDF Suez, National Grid, and Public Service Company of New Mexico.

          5. Eos says it’s at $160/kWh for their zinc air battery for renewable energy integration and grid level storage (10,000 cycles, 30 year operation).

            10k cycles/10950 days = ~1 cycle/day.  In other words, their economics are based on charging from real base load, not fickle RE.  Quelle surprise.

          6. What’s more storage works much more efficiently with nuclear than with renewable. Relatively non-expensive, large scale storage would be surprising, but anyway a lot more effective with nuclear than with renewables.

            Here a nuclear plant can load the battery at night for peak use in the day, similar to the way nuclear and pumped hydro work together in many situation, like between France and Switzerland, or like in Belgium the Coo-Trois-Ponts pumped station together with the Tihange nuclear plant, an earlier nuclear plant that could not efficiently follow load so was built together with pumped storage.

            1. @jmdesp

              One of my favorite places to visit and play is Smith Mountain Lake, a 20,000 acre, pumped storage lake located less than an hour from my central Virginia home.

              http://www.energystorageexchange.org/projects/238

              It was created to take advantage of the steady power available from local nuclear and coal stations so that it can be maintained at a reasonably steady level (+-1.5 feet) while still helping to provide peak power production when needed. It has a generating capacity of 560 MWe, but that reasonably constant level has enabled the owner to create some valuable lakefront property as well as provide useful electricity.

          7. That battery only has a 75% round trip efficiency. Pretty low. Add in the transmission losses from traversing the grid twice and you’re going to still need serious overbuilding to provide baseload energy with RE.

            Their PDF still has the LCOE storage rate per MWh at about $150 over the lifetime (page 15). Again, triple the cost of wholesale electricity.

            Might be pretty interesting tech for EVs though.

            But, if I had a dollar for every battery technology I’ve read about that was supposed to revolutionize energy storage, I wouldn’t be posting here but drinking margaritas on the beach of my Caribbean mansion and getting fanned by bikini-clad blondes.

          8. But, if I had a dollar for every battery technology I’ve read about that was supposed to revolutionize energy storage

            And it’s not just battery technology. I recall reading an article in Discover magazine two decades ago about how all of our electric cars would be run by ultra-fast, advanced-ceramic fly wheels by now. No batteries necessary.

            This stuff is rather seductive the first time you hear it. However, the luster wears off very quickly for those who are paying attention.

          9. I recall reading an article in Discover magazine two decades ago about how all of our electric cars would be run by ultra-fast, advanced-ceramic fly wheels by now.

            Not really:

            http://discovermagazine.com/1996/aug/reinventingthewh842#.UoqjTyj4138

            Article seems pretty clear it’s a long shot, and nobody is really working on it (except as an assist to the gasoline powered vehicle).

            Article seems to be written in the same spirit of your critique: kooky inventors think up kooky ideas. Let’s take a look at one of them.

            Do you seriously think author was describing a technology roadmap to the future of the automobile, or just one of many ventures (and a curious one at that)? We might have to look more closely at your reading comprehension skills.

          10. Not really: …

            EL – Except that, as I indicated, the article that I recalled reading was from 1992 or 1993, at the time that the first patents were granted for the technology. I’m very sure about that. The article that year was much more optimistic. I guess Discover went back four years later to see how bad things had become.

            But, yes, even the earlier article was very much “pie-in-the-sky,” but it’s not much different than what the electric-car/battery boosters are saying today. That’s was my entire point. Sorry you missed it. Can’t say that I’m surprised.

          11. it’s not much different than what the electric-car/battery boosters are saying today

            Wow, the future’s going to leave you behind if you don’t get your head out of the sand. Who are you hoping to sell power too (as a supporter of a dense power generating technology)?

            Ford has an in-house battery research division of 60 engineers and an EV engineering staff of 1,000. Ford anticipates “all-electric cars will account for as much as 25 percent of its new vehicles sales by 2020.” I’d say that is very different.

          12. Anticipated Grid/Utility and End User Applications listed on p. 19. Among the list, “renewable energy integration support via supply firming and time shift.”

            That $.12-.17/kWh storage cost (p. 16) is going to hit hard, especially if the RE is receiving a feed-in tariff.  So’s the cost of gas-turbine backup for when the RE is having an off-day… or season.  RE is very peaky, with PV in particular having its excess available for less than EOS’ claimed 6-hour recharge time.  Daily cycling will push cost down toward the bottom end, and overnight charging with sub-5¢ off-peak nuclear will undercut the cost of gas per the rightmost bar while having enough time to reach full charge each night.

            A 1 MW module could support peak demands of several hundred households, plus 3 Tesla Superchargers going at once.  Maybe the Teslas could just switch to ZAFC’s for long legs, eliminating the Superchargers entirely.

          13. California is moving forward with “viable and cost effective” 1.325 GW ESS goal by 2020 for investor owned utilities in the State (here and here). Most to come from sources other than large scale PHS (which is capped at 50 MW).

            If this was vaporware … someone forgot to tell the California Public Utilities Commission (who approved the procurement targets on unanimous basis). Projects such as 8 MW/32MWh Tehachapit Wind Energy Storage Project (also a DOE demonstration project) are the types of projects envisioned by the program.

          14. Looking at the EOS pdf data on page 16 the total system cost for those zinc air batteries is $1.7 per watt for a 6 hour charge… That means one days worth of storage for one gigawatt of electricity would cost $6.8 billion dollars(!)… and with a round-trip efficiency of only 75% you’re going to need 1.333 GWd to deliver that 1GWd when you want it.

            Considering the US uses 4,300 TWh per year and there are 8760 hours in a year that means average US power consumption is roughly 500 GW.

            500 x $6.8 billion = $3.4 trillion. lol. For one *day* worth of grid storage. With only one day you’d still likely need lots of backup for an RE only system. You’d need multiple days of storage, and 667 GW at least of generation to account for the cycling losses.

            You could build 500GW of brand new nuclear for less money at $5-6/watt. And they’d last 60 years, not 30.

            …And this is the cheapest energy storage has to offer.

          15. @EL

            I really wish my state would stop wasting money. Unfortunately a lot of the people here in California seem to have be drinking the Kool-Aid.

          16. Now lets compare an RE+storage system with a nuclear one for the US. You’re going to want at *least* 3 days worth of storage, but even with that you’re going to *still* need backup. 3 days of backup: = 3x500x$6.8 = $10.2 Trillion.

            Now, lets say you want a 50-50 solar wind mixup. We’ll put all the solar in the SW and most of the wind in the Midwest. This will need thousands of Gigawatts of HVDC covering thousands of miles. The HVDC line in Texas designed to transport a few tens of GWs a few hundred miles cost $7 billion, so $1 Trillion for a nationwide Multi Terawatt HVDC system is not out of the question.

            Now 50/50 wind solar means 250GW adjusted for CF for each. However since there is a 25% loss when put into batteries we need to multiply this by 1.3333. Now it’s 333 GW/adj. But wait, there is also a ~10% loss for all that HVDC interstate transportation. Now we’re up to 367GW(adj) each.

            Lets be generous and assume a 34% CF for wind and a 23% CF for solar.

            367/.34 = 1,079 GW wind
            367/.23 = 1,596 GW solar.

            Lets now assume a $2.5/watt installed cost for Wind and $2/watt for solar:

            1,079 x $2.5 = $2,697 billion for wind turbines
            1,596 x $2.0 = $3,192 billion for solar panels

            Now, added all up we have:

            $1,000 billion- Interstate HVDC grid
            $10,200 billion – 3 days storage
            $2,697 billion- 1079GW Windmills
            $3,192 billion- 1,596GW solar panels
            =
            $17,089 billion

            Now, in order to compare this to a nuclear reactor, lets figure out the 60 year numbers for that. Windmills have a hard time lasting more than 15 years, but I’ll be generous and give them 20 years, so they’ll have to be replaced 3 times. Solar panels last 20-25 years, but I’ll be generous and give them 30.

            So, now:

            $1,000 billion- Interstate HVDC grid
            $20,400 billion- 3 days storage (30 yr life)
            $8,091 billion- 1079GW wind replaced twice
            $6,384 billion- 1596GW solar replaced once
            =

            $35,875 billion(!!!!!!)

            A completely ridiculous sum. That’s why RE pumpers have there head in the sands as to the scale of the problem. They never put their ideas to paper and do basic math.

            And the funniest part? Even with all that you would STILL need backup.

            Now, how much for 500 GW of Nuclear power? At $5-6 a watt, a number that could easily come down with a large build out?

            500GW x $5-$6 = $2,500 billion to $3,000 billion.

            Its math like this which makes renewable energy such a joke. There is a reason why Denmark and Germany pay the highest prices in the developed world for electricity.

          17. “California is moving forward with “viable and cost effective” 1.325 GW ESS goal by 2020 for investor owned utilities in the State”

            ….yeah, and the California legislature is so hip to the electric industry that they can’t even differentiate between the units for power and energy. oops.

          18. You’d need multiple days of storage

            @ZachF

            You seem pretty confused. Energy storage is not a generation resource, and I’m not sure why you are treating it as one. Cost of energy isn’t the only game in town, it’s the price spread between on-peak and off-peak wholesale costs where you make your money (on bulk energy services). With spreads as high as 20 or 30 cents/kWh, there is plenty of room for ESS to be lucrative and viable at $160/kWh storage cost (and 30 year operating life). Getting it to $50/kWh (without geographic limits) would be a game changer. Adding flexibility to the grid also lowers costs by minimizing new capacity and some transmission additions.

            Have we given up on adequate resource and capacity planning to handle seasonal demand and resource variability. Why would we be building multiple days of storage? I don’t get why you think this is important, or how you think this would be cost effective?

          19. Zachf:  very good BOTE analysis there.  I may re-post that (with cites) if you don’t mind.

            The ZAB works far better as a time-shifter for base-load power generated at a very low cost.  For instance, take a 1 GW(e) nuclear plant and 0.3 GW (1.8 GWh) of these ZABs.  The nuclear plant costs $6e9, the ZABs cost $1.8e9.  Overnight, the ZABs charge for 6 hours at 0.4 GW, reducing net output to 0.6 GW.  At peak, the ZABs add 0.3 GW to the nuclear plant’s output, increasing the total to 1.3 GW.

            The peak/base ratio exceeds 2.
            The average output is (0.6*6+1.0*12+1.3*6)/24=0.975 GW
            Overnight cost is $8000/kW(avg), $6000/kW(peak)
            Air emissions are zero.
            “Fuel cost” for peaking is 4¢/kWh if off-peak electricity is valued at 3¢; there’s huge gross arbitrage profit.
            The battery component can be de-centralized to off-load transmission lines.

            I see nothing not to like here.

          20. @ZachF
            A completely ridiculous sum. That’s why RE pumpers have there head in the sands as to the scale of the problem.
            Indeed, a ridiculous sum.
            With your method Denmark, Germany, etc. would never have decided to go for RE. They are not stupid. They planned the scenario until 2050 rather detailed in 2000.

            Please remind that Germany spent $200million in the nineties on studies regarding the best methods and costs to reach 80% renewable in 2050.
            Still they have institutes (e.g. Fraunhofer) and research/project groups looking for possible adaptations; more/less grid/storage, solar/wind, how fast and where, lowest costs, etc..
            Check e.g: http://www.agora-energiewende.org/ (English)

        2. Who says we don’t support fusion? We’re just saying we should either help go forward with fission, or keep out of the way. Fusion is fine science. I’m also sure there’s some fun engineering problems to solve with wind and solar too.

          All I’m saying is at the end of the day, Fission will be the physics that keeps the planet from overheating, and be the root of the technology that will provide fresh water for cities and farms. Heck, we may even be able to scrub C02 from the oceans. Dr. Hargraves pointed us to a great video about work being done to use C02 and Hydrolyzed water to make naval jet fuel.

          Already the aquifers in central India are being contaminated from over use. Here in the USA, we’re rapidly depleting the Ogallala Aquifer, that was created during the last ice age. Wind and solar, Fusion and DiLithium Crystals will do nothing to replenish or replace these aquifers.

          You might pretend Fusion is an option, but it is obviously another excuse to do nothing. When I die, if I have to stand before God and speak for the species, I’ll be most embarrassed that we allowed a billion people to live in poverty. In addition, I’ll be also sheepishly embarrassed that we were given a double planet, yet only saw fit to live on the “big easy” one and so ignore the “little tough” one.

          We need to move forward, and to do so we must not allow those that provision energy at the micro-Economic level to restrict all their competition at the macro-Economic level. The people that help them restrict clean energy through skewed government policy should be ashamed IMHO.

          1. synthetic fuel from huge industrial platforms on the ocean is a pipedream. nuclear power means electrification…and trains.

  4. I liked to see the NAVY lead the way in producing synfuels from seawater using floating nuclear reactors– since they’ve already invented a technology that can do that.

    It would be the ultimate game changer for the nuclear industry and for the world that could eventually allow commercial companies to ship carbon neutral methanol to any coastal city in the world for electricity production or for conversion into gasoline. Floating nuclear reactors could also produce diesel fuel and jet fuel.

    But the international oil and gas companies might not be too happy about it:-)

    Marcel F. Williams

  5. I agree with Rod fully on this. The problem IS that there is no political will to create a power generation system that would compete with the dominant carbon fuelled systems owned by those with friends in high places. With mass produced SMRs, spread around the country, a more robust system is produced, insofar as it would be much more difficult for any potential enemy or natural event to disrupt the electricity supply, surely a national security consideration. The worry about proliferation from someone gaining access to the spent fuel would be all but eliminated if each unit were to be operated on a military style basis, with plant operators also having sufficient training to respond to potential attempts at theft of such materials. But, even that problem is eliminated if you go with designs that need no on-site refuelling for 30 years or so, when the core is removed and shipped away for overhaul.
    This large (20 meg) pdf file is about as comprehensive as you are likely to find on the subject, and includes floating systems too.
    Search for:
    “Status of Small Reactor Designs Without On-Site Refuelling”

  6. As a person that was happy to live in a state with a Nuclear Plant right in my “backyard”, Crystal River and one under construction, Levy County I was proud to pay that small few $ a month line item on my bill for the construction.

    Alas, things have changed. Progress Energy messed up a repair on CR3 and Levy County is all but stalled because it’s “too expensive” and gas is so much cheaper.

    As I watched Pandora’s Promise it struck me as interesting the portion where Clinton shut down the EBR-II project against Republican protests. Yes, Republicans wanted to build Nukes… I think someone even talked about CO2. I was also shocked to hear the coal is still the fastest growing method of energy generation.

    Well, it seems to me the Nuclear should be a technology that brings the GOP and DEMs together. The DEMs want to combat climate change. The GOP still denies this science… but they like Nuclear to get away from dependence on Foreign oil.

    But, who is the leader that will bring these two sides together? Nukes are GREEN, Nukes are good for big business (granted not most Texas businesses). Nukes reduce dependence on foreign oil.

    The longer I read this blog the more I know that nuclear power is the answer to our energy needs and our climate change issues. However, the longer I read the blog the more I fear the ignorance and fear of radiation and nuclear weapons has crippled our country.

    China takes the lead again. ARGH!

    BOb

    1. “The DEMs want to combat climate change.”

      I see no evidence that the democrats actually want to combat climate change. Every action to date, which has been justified with cries of “climate change” has ignored real world results and mandated technologies which will never contribute one wit to reducing climate change.

      Those are not the actions of a group which is actually serious about combating climate change.

      1. I notice they’re against the “red state” pipeline. They like “blue state” gas though.

  7. In his 2013 speech on climate change, President Obama said in part:
    ————————————————————
    “So the plan I’m announcing today will help us double again our energy from wind and sun. Today, I’m directing the Interior Department to green light enough private, renewable energy capacity on public lands to power more than 6 million homes by 2020.

    The Department of Defense — the biggest energy consumer in America — will install 3 gigawatts of renewable power on its bases, generating about the same amount of electricity each year as you’d get from burning 3 million tons of coal.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-25/-we-need-to-act-transcript-of-obama-s-climate-change-speech.html
    ————————————————————-

    So the administration wants US military bases powered from renewable energy sources. This was an opportunity lost. As Rod suggests, the military could develop SMRs to power all of the bases, and even sell some power to the local utilities. The SMRs would be much more reliable in the remote possibility of some future attack on those bases. I don’t want the security of the United States reliant on whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing at the time. A wind/solar farm could also be taken out of service by an enemy much easier than an SMR inside of a hardened bunker.

    1. @Pete51 – While I agree that deploying SMRs to military bases would be a good way to promote the technology, I don’t see many within the DoD being that supportive of the idea. One BIG reason for this is that “nuclear” is one of those words that can get you fired very quickly in the military. A base commander with a hundred acres of PV panels doesn’t have to worry about failing an inspection because they didn’t adequately protect the panels. That commander also doesn’t have to worry about hundreds of protesters showing up outside the gate demonstrating against those panels.

    2. @Pete51
      Seems to me that military bases are the first targets an enemy wants to attack. And such single point of failure seems to me an high priority target, especially since it is also easy using a few nice penetrating bombs or rockets.
      Nice side effect is the massive radiation it may spread, which make the whole base and its surroundings uninhabitable!

      Compare that with the distributed energy generation of solar, wind, storage and some additional…

      What would you choose being the military commander of the base?

      1. Hmmm.

        A single easily defended hardened target that is difficult to damage and that supplies reliable power under all weather conditions. Or a widely dispersed easily damaged collection of targets that only supply power when the conditions are right.

        I know what any sane military commander of the base would chose.

        1. Cmon man don’t you know renewables are better AND they use less space? Bas says so! I’m sure the US navy is only months away from converting it’s carriers and submarines to RE power. The carrier deck will be covered with pv panels and the periscopes of SSNs will hoist up windmills, and both will be able to operate at speeds of over 2 knots!

          On a more serious note, and to Rod’s original blog point, with this horrible disaster in the Philippines, which is one of the first large scale relief operations? The nuclear powered USS George Washington. A US CVN always has enough gas in the tank to provide relief anywhere on earth at any time.

  8. Here’s a talk by Heather Willauer of Naval Research Labs on literally making jet fuel out of seawater; it works.

    https://vimeo.com/76830055

    It’s a reason to move the locus of advanced nuclear power development from DOE to the Navy. However this still won’t solve the issue with the sloth-like NRC. The root cause is that the administration opposes nuclear power.

    1. Great, all everyone needs is an ocean in their backyard. And a brand new fleet of aircraft carriers to protect your investment.

      So plentiful uranium thus becomes irrelevant because it only works if you have access to lots of water. Controlling the oceans becomes the new game. Even fracking is better (other chemicals, recycling). Nothing changes at all from the present status quo.

      1. @Starvinglion

        About 70% of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of the ocean. More than 2/3 of the Earth’s surface area is ocean. Many parts of that ocean are several miles deep.

        Access to water should not be a big limitation preventing nuclear from capturing a substantial portion of the world’s power market.

        1. Of course it is a big problem. If capturing sunlight in “sunny” Germany is a big waste of time (and it is) then why would midland USA give a crap about barges full of nuclear reactors.

      2. And this completely ignores GEN IV designs that have the potential to use air cooling.

    2. The root cause is that uranium is not nearly as valuable as are the components of natural gas. Our bankrupt (and now captured by oligarchs) governments farted away decade after decade on fanciful nuclear (fusion or fission) dreams in the heads of egghead academics in the universities.

      Now the non-club members haven’t got a clue as to what can be done.

  9. German Industry Calls for Power-Subsidy Waivers Amid Planned Cut

    under pressure to cut power costs for household consumers and answer EU concerns that the support may be illegal.

    Germany’s chemical industry is “existentially dependent” on the aid, Manfred Ritz, a spokesman for the VCI chemical lobby, said today by phone. Large plants run by companies including Dow Chemical Co. in northern Germany, BASF SE (BAS) in Ludwighshafen and Wacker Chemie AG in Munich “sustain a large number of jobs and are dependent on the exemptions,” he said. ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-12/german-industry-calls-for-power-subsidy-waivers-amid-planned-cut.html )

    Its sounds like they are saying these industries cannot survive in Germany without these subsidies. Meanwhile the consumer gets stuck with the bill. What a complete disaster.

    1. Also :

      Germany Power Consumers to Pay Record Green Surcharges

      The four grid companies set the fee paid through power bills at 6.24 euro cents (8.42 U.S. cents) a kilowatt-hour next year from 5.28 euro cents now, according to a statement on the website of TransnetBW. The charge has more than quintupled since 2009, helping to make German household power bills the third-highest in the European Union. Big industrial users are largely exempt from the fee. ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-15/germany-increases-fee-to-fund-renewable-energy-to-record.html )

      If they were actually cutting pollution it would perhaps be arguably worth it. If they also made industry pay. But they are doing neither.

      1. I wonder how long it takes for the *surcharge* to cost more than the retail cost of household electricity here in the US. What a disaster… Meanwhile emissions reductions are statistically negligible over the last 10 years…

          1. This BS again? Germany is reaching it’s Kyoto targets because it’s 1990 emissions include some of the dirtiest coal plants on earth in the former DDR which were shut down almost immediately after reunification.

            Germany’s CO2 emissions per KWh are still in the high 400s, where they were ten years ago. Hundreds of billions of euros later… Statistically meaningless by any measure. If this is success for you RE puppets I’d hate to see what failure looks like.

          2. They have INCREASED CO2 releases for three years running in electricity generation. At least try to be honest here.

            Not to mention they are burning WOOD and calling it green.

          3. @Zachf
            Whatever buzz, Germany is about the only country that already reached the agreed CO2 target! While most countries, such as NL, will not reach that target at all (20% less in 2020 compared to 1990).

            You talk about CO2 per KWh.
            As saving electricity is as much part of the Energiewende as solar+wind, that is a wrong measure! Especially as they succeeded saving a lot of electricity!

            Try to see their long term development.
            Now 23% renewable, in 2020 35%; in 2030 50% renewable.
            So even if they then would produce all non-renewable electricity (=50%) with brown coal, then they still will have significant less CO2.

            Btw.
            The earth is getting colder in the last decade. Very cold spring this year in Germany. That has lot influence.

            What are US committed CO2 targets? Important as US produces much more CO2 (twice?) than any other country!

          4. ” Whatever buzz, Germany is about the only country that already reached the agreed CO2 target! While most countries, such as NL, will not reach that target at all (20% less in 2020 compared to 1990).”

            Germany has a flat/shrinking population and a favorable starting base thanks to dirty commy coal plants. The whole Kyoto goals is pretty stupid anyway. It would make more sense to use a hard CO2/capita target or CO2 per $ of GDP-PPP.

            “You talk about CO2 per KWh.
            As saving electricity is as much part of the Energiewende as solar+wind, that is a wrong measure! Especially as they succeeded saving a lot of electricity!”

            C02 per KWh is the best measure to use if you want to gauge decarbonization for the electric grid. Germany is in the high 400s, France is in the 60s. Therefore the German electric industry emits roughly as much CO2 IN ONE MONTH as France does in an entire year. The US now emits less CO2 per KWh than Germany does, and we didn’t need a half trillion Euro Energywende to do it, just for gas prices to be slightly cheaper than coal prices.

            Putting a glass ceiling on energy consumption is a path to certain future failure. Here is a graph of energy use compared to GDP-PPP per catpita… notice a trend?

            http://jtorresbutet.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/post_20120824__age-of-energy_imagen31.png

            Energy use correlates strongly with every social characteristic you’d consider positive. Putting a glass ceiling on energy use puts a glass ceiling on those as well. What does energy use correlate with? Educational achievement, R&D spending, Wealth, Lifespan, etc. Energy efficiency cant save it all because those options will also be available to those who consume more…. and they get an even greater benefit.

            “Try to see their long term development.
            Now 23% renewable, in 2020 35%; in 2030 50% renewable.
            So even if they then would produce all non-renewable electricity (=50%) with brown coal, then they still will have significant less CO2.”

            We have yet to see if they’ll even get there… I bet Germany’s Wind/Solar sector will stall out a 20% and stay there…. no even quasi-economical energy storage options exist. The politicians will go “good enough” and forget about the whole thing.

            “What are US committed CO2 targets? Important as US produces much more CO2 (twice?) than any other country!”

            The US emits less CO2 for every KWh it generates than Germany does now. Japan also leapfrogged above us when they closed down their Nuke plants.

            Hell, if you’re going by CO2 per KWh, Germany is the DIRTIEST country in the G7 now!

            PS. China emits more CO2 than we do now, by a good margin.

          5. More to my points about a policy limiting energy/electricity consumption being a path to failure; look at the website Gapminder, which allows you to plot various social/economic/energy statistics.

            Here is a graph of electricity consumption vs. mean years of schooling, press play:

            http://www.bit.ly/17BusSG

            You’ll notice that as electricity consumption increases, so does mean years of schooling. Its quite simply because our machines (power by energy) free us up time to increase our knowledge base, something that would not be possible with manual labor. Here is some more:

            Electricity consumption vs broadband users:
            http://www.bit.ly/17BtdCT

            Electricity use vs Infant mortality:
            http://www.bit.ly/17BuQAC

            Electricity vs personal computers:
            http://www.bit.ly/17Bv7Uf

            Electricity vs GDP-PPP per head:
            http://www.bit.ly/17BvfmJ

            etc, etc, etc.

            Energy is the great lever and equalizer that can educate the masses and lift out of poverty and dispair.

          6. The US emits less CO2 for every KWh it generates than Germany does now.

            And it’s not just limited to electricity generation. When it comes to carbon-dioxide emissions per unit of Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES), Germany is currently about equal to the “dirty” US. They were doing better than the US, but then they closed a bunch of nuclear plants in 2011.

          7. ZachF
            1991 German GDP-PPP per capita was about 84% of the US level, now it’s about 77%
            So German life expectancy grew twice as fast! Now higher than USA.
            1990 in USA 75.9yrs, Germany 75.2
            2010 in USA 78,5yrs, Germany 80,4
            While Germany spent 11% and USA spent 16% of their GDP for health care.

            You touch a strange phenomenon that also applies for NL:

            While US GDP, Productivity, etc grew almost all years more, l experienced that USA became much cheaper (compared with the eighties)! Other Dutch people have similar experience. Asked my US business partners; they told that NW-Europe became much more expensive.

            This is confirmed at holidays. Two years ago I did not see any US tourist, while Canadian, EU countries, Japanese tourists in Chile & Argentina.
            Last year July 26, in Mesa Verde National Park (CO) the local guide asked the group (~40) where everybody came from. Only a small minority came from US, most from EU countries.
            Number of US tourists here and Switzerland seem to have gone down a lot.

            May be someone has a good explanation???
            Is currency value a better indication (€ raised ~35% compared to $)?
            But your comparison was all in $, so that cannot explain?

          8. ZachF
            Your theory regarding Germany versus Club med countries, is loved in those countries. But there is no evidence.
            Those Club med countries had high inflation, devaluations and defaults before the euro.

            We should have refused to help Greece. So default (as in the past). Then serious crisis involving all Club med countries (raised interests) and some of our banks. But all would have been solved in ~2 years. Then interest rates for those countries would again reflect the risk that those countries do not pay back.

            Now we are stuck with a Greece that is ‘forever’ asking additional billions (which we probably won’t get back). And artificial low interest rates (do not reflect the risk) for those Club med countries. That implies that we in NL, Germany, etc. pay the insurance premium of that risk for the Club med countries. We should stop that sick situation.

            Politics in those countries is about the politician himself. So raising salaries so much that the country becomes uncompetitive is fine if that helps him for the elections this year.

            Uncompetitive is the real problem.
            Even now, after 3years restructuring, Greece holiday resorts cannot compete against Turkey. It shows Greece promised a lot to get our money, but did little…

            The latest theory is that Germans should spend more, so Club med countries can sell more to Germany. Forgetting that:
            – Germans now spend more than ever;
            – They continue to face competition from other countries (e.g. our Dutch gardeners competed Italian tomatoes out of the German and even Austrian market, now making in-rods in N-Italy);
            – Most German export goes outside the EU. So substantial salary increase imply that German economy will go down, hence less consumption, so less import into Germany and a Germany that is less capable to help.

            PS
            Thank you for the links to Hans Rosling’s great video about statistics!

          9. Brian,
            Always possible to find something in which you are better and declare that to be the most important…

            The only agreed CO2 target is Kyoto, and even that not all countries signed!
            So its sense is questionable.
            Especially since the by far biggest polluter per person, USA, did not sign.

            So German priorities (1. nuclear out, 2.democracy, 3.renewable, 4.CO2) are quite rational. Especially the democracy target, as that ensures that the process will become a success! Hence the fourth target will be secured too.

          10. While US GDP, Productivity, etc grew almost all years more, I experienced that USA became much cheaper (compared with the eighties)!

            Bas – Please look up and learn what “PPP” means.

            And by the way, you were the one who brought up how proud the Germans are at meeting their Kyoto targets. If you don’t want me to explain how worthless that is, then perhaps you shouldn’t bring it up again, especially since you’ve made it abundantly clear that you couldn’t care less about carbon-dioxide emissions.

          11. Brian,
            That is why I ask:”… a strange phenomenon …”
            As other data and experience does not support your statement that the purchase power of the av. German progressed less than that of US.
            But the opposite!

          12. Bas – GDP is not a measure of the purchasing power of the average citizen. It’s a measure of the strength of the national economy. It is usually adjusted by PPP when making comparisons between countries to account for additional factors like exchange rates and costs of common goods. Essentially, it’s taking a quantity expressed in currency and changing it to something expressed in equivalent goods.

            To get a feel for the purchasing power of the average citizen, one would need to look at statistics on income — say, GDI adjusted for cost of living and the local price of common goods — and perhaps account for personal wealth.

            Since we’re talking about the production of electricity, an industrial process, the strength economic activity should be the focus of any intelligent discussion. Personal income is largely irrelevant. For example, Greece has been very generous to its government employees and pensioners, but its economy is in the toilet.

            This is becoming tiresome. I think that I shall have to start charging you tuition.

          13. “Your theory regarding Germany versus Club med countries, is loved in those countries. But there is no evidence.
            Those Club med countries had high inflation, devaluations and defaults before the euro.”

            Its not a theory, it what has happened… It has happened in other currency unions as well, or pseudo currency unions. Creating a currency union with countries that have such differing macroeconomic conditions was doomed to fail. Just like Bretton woods and every other currency union in the dustbin of history.

            “We should have refused to help Greece. So default (as in the past). Then serious crisis involving all Club med countries (raised interests) and some of our banks. But all would have been solved in ~2 years. Then interest rates for those countries would again reflect the risk that those countries do not pay back.

            Now we are stuck with a Greece that is ‘forever’ asking additional billions (which we probably won’t get back). And artificial low interest rates (do not reflect the risk) for those Club med countries. That implies that we in NL, Germany, etc. pay the insurance premium of that risk for the Club med countries. We should stop that sick situation.”

            You should have never gone into a currency union in the first place. You have countries in Southern Europe with inflation rates 2-3% higher than the Northern countries, but only one central bank. The central bank biased rates towards the Northern end, creating below-inflation (negative) real interest rates in the southern tier and inevitably credit bubbles. Credit bubbles then feed inflation and the problem becomes worse.

            Meanwhile, years and years of divergent inflation rates eventually lead to southern economies becoming uncompetitive. A country that had unit labor cost levels after 5-8 years of 2% higher inflation now costs 10-20% more. Capacity moves to more competitive northern tier. Then bubble bursts, and southern tier enters deflationary depression. Germany’s outperformance is entirely a fiction of international accounting.

            The trend will reverse one day. After a while of deflation in the southern tier Germany will have the same problem the south has, and overpriced energy will only make it worse. If the southern countries had their own currencies, their currencies would just drop 2-3% per year vs. the German mark to offset those inflation differences, but now you have an entire sclerotic basket case economy all tied together with a central bank that sets rates for whatever’s best for Germany.

            “Politics in those countries is about the politician himself. So raising salaries so
            The latest theory is that Germans should spend more, so Club med countries can sell more to Germany. Forgetting that:
            – Germans now spend more than ever;”

            Not really, the Germany current account balance, because of the conditions I outlined above, has risen to some of it’s highest levels ever.

            “PS
            Thank you for the links to Hans Rosling’s great video about statistics!”

            They are great vids, everybody should watch his stuff.

    2. John,
      Meanwhile the consumer gets stuck with the bill. What a complete disaster.
      And that consumer whipped FDP out of parliament losing ~70% of its voters, as FDP was held responsible for the decision to postpone the closure of all nuclear in 2010 with some years (FDP has been in parliament since its start ~60years ago).

      And a growing part of German consumers support the Energiewende (since its start in 2000)! Now even 85%. Never seen such support for nuclear. Not even near.

      How can you call that a disaster?
      Only if you are non-democratic like the old communist governments that ignored the will of the people because they knew what is best for the people.

      But realize that by far the most democratic country in this world, Switzerland where all people vote about every proposal/decision by referendum (~4times a year regarding several proposals), is also one of the most healthy (people live 4years longer than in US) with excellent medical care for all, happiest and richest countries.
      Not because of their banking as that is a minor while their famous bank secret has eroded, but because of excellent industry (pharmaceuticals, machines) and tourism.
      And excellent stability, as anybody that wants a change can bring up a referendum if he arranges some supporters for his change!

      Btw.
      Switzerland decided to phase-out all nuclear and implement renewable.

      You should be glad with the high energy prices in Germany, as those will accelerate the transition to renewable. Hence less CO2!
      In NL government has imposed a special energy tax in order to stimulate citizens!

      1. And despite you continued attempts you CAN”T tie the lose of voters for the FDP to their stance on closure of the nuclear plants. You just have no proof that that was the sole or even the major reason for why they lost votes. You know proof, that thing that people here keep asking you for and you usually ignore.

      2. You should be glad with the high energy prices in Germany, as those will accelerate the transition to renewable. Hence less CO2!

        still waiting to see that.

      3. Well, I wouldn’t call it a disaster, people are getting what they’ve voted for, which are high prices. Elections have consequences, and Germany probably will “live in interesting times” as a consequence of their democratic choices.

        I’m guessing that if they stick with their final solution to the energy problem, the “Energiewende,” the result will burn more trees than anywhere else on the planet. Maybe they can cut down the Amazon rainforest to fire their boilers. There will likely be a smattering of PV panels and wind turbines, but the heavy lifting will be likely done by the traditional method of burning stuff to boil water..

        That is, unless they chicken out and burn natural gas or coal instead. Probably gss. Some things just go together like Germans and gas.

        I hate to admit it, but, I”m looking forward to see what will happen with the public when they learn that they can’t run an industrial nation on wind and solar pv alone and these plans crash head on into reality. It should be amusing.

        Bottom line: a democracy cannot make 2+2=5 by popular vote. They.sure can try though.

        1. Dave
          So at what stage of the Energiewende scenario do you estimate their plans will crash??
          Why do you think to know better than all those researchers that study and discuss the optimal path further forward?

          Those deliver detailed studies such as that supply reliability could also be reached with grid expansion (no wind here, imply wind elsewhere) which would be cheaper than storage expansion.

          All based on the initial scenario developed in the nineties spending ~$200million studying many alternatives.

        2. “I hate to admit it, but, I”m looking forward to see what will happen with the public when they learn that they can’t run an industrial nation on wind and solar pv alone and these plans crash head on into reality. It should be amusing.”

          I predict that the public will never learn that. Energy decisions will be quietly taken out of the public eye, and political spotlight. Whatever is necessary to provide adequate electrical power will be done. The media will stop writing articles about CO2 emissions and energy policy. And everyone will quietly stick their heads in the sand on the topic.

          1. Jeff
            Energy decisions will be quietly taken out of the public eye, and political spotlight.
            That is true in most countries, but not in Germany. There is high public involvement. The public is quite aware of the levy they pay for the Energiewende, etc.

            In Switzerland such decisions by government+parliament, such as a new NPP etc., need approval from the public via ‘Abstimming’, a referendum.

      4. @Bas

        Switzerland decided to phase-out all nuclear and implement renewable.

        Sweden made a similar political announcement in 1980. They shut down a single, two unit facility. In 2010, the government repealed the phaseout law. The ten existing reactors may get life extensions to 60 years. They also pay a special tax of 0.67 euro cents per kilowatt hour.

        http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-O-S/Sweden/

        Last time I checked Sweden had decided to build new plants to replace their aging ones.

        Many people believe Sweden is just as democratic as Switzerland.

        1. @Rod,
          Interesting about Sweden. For Sweden renewable is more difficult due to its high latitude (little sun, somewhat similar as Finland. Finland also has little wind).
          Sweden is just a democracy as the Netherlands or Belgium.

          Switzerland is a real democracy, also called direct democracy.
          The role of government and parliament is restricted to ‘routine’ decisions and to agree on proposals & laws that the population may (or may not) approve.
          Similar occurs at state level and at town level.

          They had several national votes about nuclear. In May 2012 agreed to phase-out the last NPP by 2034 (=end NPP’s at end of extended lifetime). At the end of 2012 a Greenpeace lead group generated >100K signatures for a binding referendum to maximize operating life of NPP’s to 45 years = last NPP stops in 2029.
          I think Greenpeace lost that referendum, in line with Swiss focus on money, as I know it.

          Btw.
          I found a diagram, sheet 6 in the linked presentation (English), which shows that the Germans will not lower CO2 much until all nuclear is closed. Sheet 14 shows scheduled extra payments due to the Energiewende (will be some more as installation rate in 2011/’12 was twice).
          http://www.platts.com/IM.Platts.Content/ProductsServices/ConferenceandEvents/2013/pc372/presentations/Wolfgang_Denk.pdf

        2. Seems Prime Minister Abe in Japan may not have the support he anticipated (within his own party) regarding nuclear re-starts.

          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-12/japan-ex-premier-koizumi-to-speak-against-abe-s-nuclear-policy.html

          Within LDP:

          “‘I think it’s divided half-and-half between those who want to get rid of it [nuclear] and those who think it’s necessary,’ he said. ‘If Prime Minister Abe decided we should abolish it, no one could oppose that.’”

          This is turning out to be a heavy lift for any country (and perhaps especially those constrained by high debt and recent upheaval in financial markets, and emerging disruptive challenges in energy markets). The evolution of a “local investment model” may make all of this a moot point (especially if the cost of alternatives drops as broadly anticipated).

    3. @John
      Meanwhile the consumer gets stuck with the bill. What a complete disaster.
      Meanwhile German consumers consume more than ever!
      While the economy goes better than in almost all EU countries!
      Very low unemployment rates!

      Germany and small Estonia are the only 2 euro countries (out of 15) which scored well regarding the government budget for 2014, according to Brussels!
      Almost no budget deficit. Check:
      http://www.nasdaq.com/article/german-budget-deficit-forecast-improves-20131002-00085

      Compare that with the nuclear oriented countries…

      1. While the economy goes better than in almost all EU countries! … Compare that with the nuclear oriented countries

        Yes … let’s compare. Let’s take France.

        The economies of France and Germany, in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), are rather similar. Germany’s a larger country when it comes to population, so naturally its GDP is higher, but the GDP per capita of the countries has been roughly equivalent in the last two decades since 1990 — the year that is used as the reference for the Kyoto Protocol — with Germany’s number being only slightly higher. In over half of those years, the difference between the two countries was less than 3% of Germany’s per capita GDP. So it’s fair enough to say that the two countries are economically similar.

        In terms of energy use, France has used more electricity per capita than Germany during most of this period (5.5% more on average), but the trend of electricity use in the two countries has been similar — increasing through the late nineties and early years of the new millennium, then levelling off around 2006. In terms of total energy, however, (expressed as Total Primary Energy Supply per capita), the two countries are roughly the same, with France being slightly lower than Germany on average.

        There are important differences, however. France’s population has been steadily increasing over this period (up by 12% since 1990), whereas Germany’s population has been largely stagnant (up only 3% over the same period) and has actually been decreasing in recent years. If the German energy policy is to conserve energy by having less people, then they’re slowly getting there. 🙂

        When it comes to carbon-dioxide emissions, the difference could not be more stark. For all of their crowing about meeting rigged Kyoto protocols, the Germans have not yet reached France’s per capita carbon-dioxide emissions of 1990, the Kyoto reference year. Who cares how much below their 1990 emissions the Germans are? They still haven’t caught up with France’s place at the starting line, and they still have a long way to go!

        The same holds true when considering GDP. Germany’s lowest emissions per GDP are 8.7% higher than France’s highest emissions per GDP during the time period since 1990. Returning to the per capita emissions mentioned above, Germany’s record lowest is a whopping 38.2% higher than France’s highest. Germany had better turn off all of their lights and leave them off if they ever hope to catch France with Germany’s current stupid energy policy.

        And don’t let the German bullScheisse about emissions reductions fool you. France has reduced its emissions too. From 1990 to 2011, Germany reduced its per capita carbon-dioxide emissions by 24.8%. That sounds impressive until you realize that France reduced its per capita carbon-dioxide emissions by 22.6% over that same period.

        The Germans are special in only one way — the year that was cherry-picked as the reference year for the Kyoto Protocol. If 1992 had been chosen instead, then the per capita reductions for Germany and France would have been 18.1% and 19.7%. That’s right, France could claim the larger reduction.

        This is what Zachf has been talking about in the comments on this blog. Germany completely rigged the Kyoto game. The deal was made in 1997, several years after Germany had closed down the old, dirty, inefficient East German fossil plants. They knew exactly what they were doing.

        [The figures referenced above are based on statistics published by the International Energy Agency for the years 1990-2011.]

        1. Brian Mays wrote: “the GDP per capita of the countries has been roughly equivalent”

          They aren’t “roughly” the same?

          http://www.indexmundi.com/factbook/compare/france.germany/economy

          GDP per capita is about 10% larger in Germany. Germany has more than double the GDP growth rate of France (over last three years). While France has a larger service economy, Germany has a larger industrial sector (with industry making up 54% more of GDP than in France). Germany has fewer people below poverty line, and lower unemployment (by percentage). Germany has a higher industrial growth rate: by 330%. Germany has among the world’s “most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics …” and more. Public debt as share of GDP is lower in Germany (10% lower). France has a negative account balance (and Germany is positive). Taxes are lower in Germany, and a balanced budget in 2012 (France ran a deficit).

          By nearly every measure Germany has the stronger economy. Care to explain?

          1. They aren’t “roughly” the same?

            EL – Is that a question or a typo?

            France, with a larger service economy, as you point out, has been hit harder by the recent economic recession that has occurred over the past half decade. So, yes, if you cherry-pick the last two or three years, it appears that Germany is stronger.

            When comparing carbon-dioxide emissions relative to the Kyoto Protocol and trying to judge progress according to that measure, the time frame begins in 1990, and that is what the statistics that I refer to are concerned with. Historically, over that period, they are roughly the same.

            When you look at the big picture, the recent economic indicators are a (possibly short-lived) anomaly. None of the trends there would be considered statistically significant under any of the standard models. (Although France recently elected its first Socialist President since the early 1980’s, so it could end up wrecking its economy after all.)

            Nothing that you bring up explains Germany’s complete and utter failure to reduce its carbon emissions to French levels. It’s just yet another demonstration of the desperation that apologists for failed energy policies like Germany’s must feel that they have to resort to citing such meaningless statistics.

            But thanks for trying.

          2. Brian Mays wrote: “When you look at the big picture, the recent economic indicators are a (possibly short-lived) anomaly.

            And your evidence for this is what, exactly? Germany very clearly has the stronger economy (on basically every measure). You have an odd way of looking at available facts, and making entirely unsupported comments to the contrary.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22516099

            Three decades later, this rough balance between Germany and France no longer exists. Germany’s population is now a quarter larger than that of France, the German economy is 38% bigger. And while the German economy grew at an admittedly weak 0.9% in 2012, the French economy did not grow at all …

            Eight out of 10 French people say unemployment is a very big problem compared with less than three out of 10 Germans. More than two-thirds of the French think inflation is a major issue, less than a third of Germans are similarly worried about rising prices. And 71% of the French are very troubled about public debt. Only 37% of the Germans share such concern …

            Roughly one in five French people say they could not afford food, health care or clothing at some point in the past year. And only 11% of the French think their economy will improve over the next 12 months. This makes the French among the most pessimistic of Europeans. Just 9% think their children will be better off financially than their parents, by far the gloomiest forecast for the next generation of the eight countries surveyed …

            The socialist got elected in France for reason. People in the country feel insecure (the main gist of article), and they are looking for a little bit of help. Germany is bailing out the rest of Europe, and France is falling behind (weak service economy, they aren’t building anything, rising debt, they continue to grow food, but beyond that there are few bright spots).

            Brian Mays wrote: “Nothing that you bring up explains Germany’s complete and utter failure to reduce its carbon emissions to French levels.”

            Germany hasn’t promised to match French carbon emissions levels on a time frame you are suggesting. They’ve met their current targets, and their economy is stealing the show. In fact, so much so, the French are taking modest steps to copy it.

          3. Germany has a stronger economy, yes, but being one of the strongest in Europe nowadays is like being the tallest midget.

            The German economy the last 8 years or so has benefitted from a de-facto beggar-thy-neighbor trade policy by having a currency union that only prices interest rates to fit Germany vs the currency union as a whole. This led to bubbles in the Club med countries (who bought German goods with their borrowing) from low interest rates priced to the German market and lower German inflation rates led to a growing disparity in unit labor costs (German inflation at 1-2% per year vs. 3-5% in club med). This led to capacity being moved to Germany as the spread grew wider. Now you have those club med countries in huge deflationary depressions (ie Italian industrial production is now at the lowest level since the late 70s) who will have to work out those unit labor cost disparities the long, hard way (through deflation depression) since the ECB still has an interest rate bias to German conditions. In the old days those countries’ would just lower the value of their currencies. One day the trend will flip, and when it does Germany is going to get clobbered hard, especially with it’s uncompetitive energy prices.

            Still, Germany’s economy only grew about 0.5% last year and doesn’t look much better this year. Europe’s basket-case economy as a whole is basically unchanged since 2006. Europe has been the world laggard for the last 20 years. Western European GDP-PPP per head is now at the lowest relative level to the US since the 1960s.

            In 1991 German GDP-PPP per capita was about 84% of the US level, now it’s about 77%.

          4. The German economy the last 8 years or so has benefitted from a de-facto beggar-thy-neighbor trade policy … the ECB still has an interest rate bias to German conditions

            @ZachF

            I don’t think so … France’s economic decline has been very long in the making, and cannot be faulted to Germany (or a common currency). It’s industries aren’t globally competitive, and the bleeding has been extensive in recent years (and over the last decade).

            http://nationalinterest.org/article/les-misérables-9274

            More than one thousand factories have closed in France since 2009. And not a week goes by without another announcement of relocations to Eastern Europe or Asia. Rates of new business formation today remain 13.3 percent lower than at the end of 2009, while business failures are 7 percent higher … Unemployment rolls have grown without interruption, recently averaging some 10.5 percent of the nation’s workforce. Youth unemployment averages over 26 percent. Real wages in France, having stagnated for some time, have declined for the last four consecutive quarters. The country’s balance of international payments continues to sink deeper into the red, with the shortfall of exports to imports almost doubling in just the past year to almost 3 percent of GDP. Government finances, too, continue in deficit, far exceeding the EU’s mandated maximum of 3 percent of the economy. Budget shortfalls over the years have brought public debt outstanding to fully 90 percent of France’s GDP.

            France has the greater debt. Low interest rates should be benefitting France more than Germany. Germany has been recommending to ECB that rates should be increased (for many of the reasons you mention). France has simply made too many bad choices for too many years (and waited too long to take any corrective action). “Government in France now constitutes some 57 percent of the entire economy …” The solution to France’s economic problems is not to reduce the value of it’s currency, but put people back to work and start building something that other people want (does anybody hear renewable energy). According to most folks on this site, low cost of energy should be helping them do this (and hurting Germans). This is short sighted. With government monopolies in energy and other sectors in the country (and limited opportunities for private sector competition), this may be hurting them far more than it may be helping. As the article suggests, “there is scant evidence that France will rouse itself from its socialist sickbed. Or that it even wants to.”

          5. Germany has a stronger economy, yes, but being one of the strongest in Europe nowadays is like being the tallest midget.

            That’s what I was going do say, but I doubt I would have said it that well. 😉

            In 1991 German GDP-PPP per capita was about 84% of the US level, now it’s about 77%.

            To put this in perspective for the France/Germany discussion, France’s economy has a GDP-PPP per capita that is about 87% of the German level (statistic for 2011).

          6. “I don’t think so … France’s economic decline has been very long in the making, and cannot be faulted to Germany (or a common currency). It’s industries aren’t globally competitive, and the bleeding has been extensive in recent years (and over the last decade). ”

            If you’re looking for a defense of France’s (especially under F.Hollande) economic policies you wont find it from me. Yes, they have a bloated public sector, a rigid labor market, and an over regulation problem. The only bright light they have is low energy prices… how many more French industrial outfits would have gone out of business if they were paying German rates for electricity? That would be an extra $7 billion dollar cost right out of the margin(French industry consumes about 130 TWh pa)… on the flip side, how much more competitive would German firms be if they paid $0.10 per KWh instead of $0.16? At 230Twh per year of Industrial Consumption, it would save them about $13 billion per year. $13 billion that could be used on product R&D, capital expenditures, or pricing power. Lowering input costs is always positive.

            But even with all that, my point was more against the notion of Germany being some huge outperformer rather than of French economic superiority. They’ve done well vs. the rest of Europe, but again that’s not saying much… Just 10 years ago they were the seeming sick man of Europe.

            German GDP-PPP per head as a percentage of the US level has fallen since the early 90s from about 84% of the US level to 77% now. France has also fallen from 78% to 69%. But then again so has Britain, Italy, Spain, and Japan….
            Germany has gone from 107% of France in the early 90s to 111% now, not a huge outperformance, but French population growth has been faster, and so has total economic growth.

            GDP-PPP in 2012 dollars:
            2012 1990 Percentage increase.
            $16,019.16 $9.369.75 +71.0% USA
            $4,731.75 $4,127.58 +14.6% Japan
            $3,263.62 $2,480.13 +31.6% Germany
            $2,346.80 $1,565.70 +49.9% UK
            $2,328.00 $1,692.62 +37.5% France
            $1,837.60 $1,564.27 +17.5% Italy

            If France is in economic decline, so is Germany.

          7. They’ve done well vs. the rest of Europe, but again that’s not saying much… Just 10 years ago they were the seeming sick man of Europe.

            To go from being the “sick man” of Europe to an outperformer in 10 years (holding together a fragile economic union of 28 countries, many of them in dire shape) “isn’t saying much.”

            What does it take to get a little respect around here?

            According to some, Germany and US have exchanged roles:

            In 1975, manufacturing accounted for about 20% of the United States’ economic output, or gross domestic product, about the same as in Germany today. Since then, U.S. manufacturing’s share of GDP has slid to about 12%.

            In 1975, the U.S. budget deficit was a manageable 1% of the economy, about the same as Germany’s now. Last year, the U.S. deficit was about 10%.

            American families in the 1970s and early ’80s typically saved about 10% of their take-home pay, about the same as in Germany today. The U.S. savings rate these days is in the low single digits.

            Germany has a very strong industrial economy. There really isn’t much dispute about this. I really don’t know what else you are claiming here, other than confirming what I have said, and also saying the US has a pretty good economy too (and has done well after 2009 recession … in global comparison). France, on the other hand, is in deep trouble.

        2. Brian,
          Germany is also much colder, hence more heating, etc.

          Furthermore Germans drive faster in bigger cars along their highways!
          I have lot of experience in Germany, France, etc. In Germany often no speed limit on the highway, so they pass you in the night with 220km/h (I know as I sometimes drive 180km/h; sorry, no good).

          1. Bas – Ah … I see … it’s all the fault of space heating and the Autobahn.

            In Germany often no speed limit on the highway, so they pass you in the night with 220km/h …

            Yeah, sure … an occasional Porche, what about commercial traffic and the typical driver? I’m not an idiot, Bas; I’ve driven on the Autobahn too, and I’ve driven in France, and I know what it’s like. By the way, there are places in the US that have no speed limit too. I not stupid enough to blame the US’s carbon-dioxide emissions on these speed limits, however.

            As for “bigger cars,” I can only say that the cars that I saw when I lived in France were as large as the SUV’s that are typical in the US.

        3. Brian
          In 1991 German GDP-PPP per capita was about 84% of the US level, now it’s about 77%.
          Check my post in response to ZachF.

          While your statement suggests US progressed more regarding wealth compared to Germany, it is far more likely that the opposite is true!

          1. While your statement suggests US progressed more regarding wealth compared to Germany, it is far more likely that the opposite is true!

            Bas – Suggests?! Those are the actual numbers. Here, I’ll make it even more clear.

            If we compare the first five years of the 1990’s (1990-1994) to five recent years (2007-2011), the GDP-PPP per capita in the US rose by 32%. In Germany, it increased by only 25%. Since you have demonstrated again and again that you are chronically innumerate, I suppose that I should point out that 32 is more than 25.

            That doesn’t “suggest,” it confirms. You can sit around like an idiot all day and guess what your senseless mind thinks is “more likely.” These numbers are what is.

          2. Yes Brian,
            That is the reason I asked an explanation about the strange phenomenon that reality does not to fit with these figures, but seem to be the opposite!

          3. ” Since you have demonstrated again and again that you are chronically innumerate, I suppose that I should point out that 32 is more than 25.”

            …considering that the US economic growth at around 2% like last year, and Germany 0.5-1.0%, it’s likely the gap is another even larger now.

          4. it’s likely the gap is another even larger now

            You can’t sneeze at the German economy (particularly when measured against the French). I’m not sure exactly why you and Brian think these comparisons are meaningful?

            There are many measures on which German economic performance rivals or exceeds that of the US: lower unemployment, industrial production growth rate twice as high as US, exports (larger than US in 2011), trade surplus, balanced budget, industrial production as share of GDP, stable banking rules and regulations, GDP growth rate (which beat US 2 out of the last 3 years), household savings rate, etc.

            If we’re interested in industrial processes and growth in manufacturing sectors (one where the industrial production of energy plays a decisive role) Germany is the clear winner. Overall US has the largest economy in the world, and also currently has the benchmark currency for the rest of the world.

            Yes … we can all read these statistics. But what do you wish to say about them (and what conclusions do you wish to make)? That Germany one of the strongest industrial sectors outside of China, the French are passing their time, and the US likes to tinker with the banking system. Ok. Now what?

          5. “There are many measures on which German economic performance rivals or exceeds that of the US: lower unemployment,”

            Yeah, true.

            “industrial production growth rate twice as high as US,”

            Not since 2011. 2012-2013 has US industry growing at 3-4% pa, Germany is flatish. German industrial growth was higher in the post 08 rebound, but it also had a steeper fall too. But again, much of the recent German outperformance is because of currency-union silliness.

            “exports (larger than US in 2011),”

            True, but it can export a lot higher percentage of it’s economy thanks to close proximity to large markets. The US has two economies about 1/10th our size each and two oceans separating us from the rest… also currency union.

            “trade surplus,”

            again, because of the Euro situation. It’s been like a de-facto currency devaluation against it’s largest trading partners to the benefit of Germany, an artificial condition that will not persist.

            “balanced budget,”

            Yeah, we have an idiot in the WH who likes to spend other people’s money like it’s going out of style here, lol.

            “industrial production as share of GDP”

            meh. Our GDP per head being 30% higher counterbalances that.

            “stable banking rules and regulations,”

            Deutsche Bank is one of the most levered banks in the world (very high leverage ratio). Most European banks have much higher leverage than US banks (little known fact)

            “GDP growth rate (which beat US 2 out of the last 3 years)”

            Germany also shrank more in 2009 (-4.7% vs -2.3% in USA). Last year Germany only grew 0.5% and this year looks to be about the same, compared with 2-2.5% US growth.

            “household savings rate, etc.”

            yeah, but again it’s artificially high from large German current account surplus from currency union silliness.

            “If we’re interested in industrial processes and growth in manufacturing sectors (one where the industrial production of energy plays a decisive role) Germany is the clear winner.”

            …Which makes it’s policies increasing the price of energy such a bad move on it’s part. You know why so many of this industries located themselves in Germany so long ago? because Germany was Western Europe’s energy (coal) superpower.

          6. “That Germany one of the strongest industrial sectors outside of China, the French are passing their time, and the US likes to tinker with the banking system. Ok. Now what?”

            Actually, the past few years the strongest major industrial growth outside China is the US:

            http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?querytype=view&queryname=90

            2010-2013 The only countries that have outgrown the US in industrial production are Estonia and Poland… The US is even outperforming Brazil, Russia, and *India*!

            German industrial production is flat/declining since 2011.

          7. There are many measures on which German economic performance rivals or exceeds that of the US: lower unemployment, …

            EL – Well, the former Soviet Union was able to claim (officially) zero unemployment. That did not necessarily result in a more successful or stable economy, did it?

            … industrial production growth rate twice as high as US, …

            Your statistics are for only one year!! I guess that you’re too caught up in your own warm fuzzy feelings about German policy to notice that we were talking about the last two decades.

            … exports (larger than US in 2011), …

            Yes, I agree. Germany is more dependent than the US on exports to drive its economy. That’s a double-edged sword, however. Sometimes it’s good, but sometimes it can come back to bite you. There are serious risks in binding your economy too closely to what is happening elsewhere in the world, over which you have very little control.

            … trade surplus, balanced budget, industrial production as share of GDP, stable banking rules and regulations, GDP growth rate (which beat US 2 out of the last 3 years), household savings rate, etc.

            Once again, this is all based on recent statistics, whereas I was talking about the last two decades. I’ll repeat that again: this is all based on recent statistics, whereas I was talking about the last two decades. Apparently, it requires about a half-dozen times of repetition for anything to sink into your incredibly thick skull, EL.

            Look … nobody (certainly not me) is denying that Germany is recovering from the recent, prolonged economic recession faster than the US. Your statistics demonstrate that, so do mine. But we were talking about nuclear energy. The latest short-term differences (since 2008) are due to many factors, and energy policy operates on time scales that are simply too long to have had much of an influence over these few years. Personally, I think that a comparison of the education, experience, IQ, and … frankly … competence of the current chief executives of the two countries (de facto CE in the case of Germany) is more than enough to explain the difference.

            If France is in economic decline, so is Germany.

            ZachF – You forgot to add that the reasons for this have nothing at all to do with nuclear power.

  10. “If they were actually cutting pollution it would perhaps be arguably worth it. If they also made industry pay. But they are doing neither.”

    Whichever form of generation is used, it is kind of annoying that Industrial consumers are subsidised by residential customers, as they only pay about half of the residential rate. If China can build much cheaper nuclear, and gives their industrial users such a deal, then the USA and many other countries are at an even greater manufacturing disadvantage than they are now.

  11. The Navy or any other govt organization will be useful for initial research and validation of a new design but not as sustained operation. It is time for such an effort on IFR, MSR or even better the IFR based on fast MSR. In US, the DOE could take it up as the SNF disposal scheme, with funds collected for SNF disposal. Yucca and nearby DOE lands should be devoted to the task under Federal authority, as an R&D project under a new authority or a national laboratory free from NRC restrictions. The designs and MSR fuel can be used for further revenues.

    1. More laboratories…more new designs…more billion dollar studies…

      At least the useless renewables industry has something to show for it….fake jobs….stock bubbles for fraudsters…land cluttered with eyesores to generate a tiny amount of electricity.

      But you nuclear educated people just live in your labs chanting “Give us another 40 years and we’ll do better!”

      1. @starvinglion

        800 billion kilowatt hours per year is not exactly nothing. If ave nuclear unit employs 500 full time and averages another 500 FTE in support, that comes out to 100,000 direct employees.

        If we had not been artificially constrained for 35 years…

  12. @ Rod

    Your idea has some merit but it fails to deliver on the major cost issues of nuclear power.

    If the USA really wants to have lots of nuclear power like France or China(in the future), then all nuclear power plant design, construction and operation should be taken over by the NR or some other government agency. This removes the for profit motive of nuclear power.

    France did not build up its nuclear capability with rinky-dink private enterprise fighting over which supplier gets to sell their reactor, which contractor gets to build the plant, and which utility pays the bills and runs the plant. In France it was a government run program from start to finish.

    1. And the fatal flaw with this scheme is that you can’t run a prosperous country on electricity alone. Watch Frances new energy law to be in place by end of 2014. I bet nuclear is in question by then.
      Renewables are simply a cover of modernity for countries that are actually going backwards in energy evolution; that is, they are pursuing the dirtiest and cheapest possible resource extraction of in situ methods. Coal gasification, etc.

      DOE is pumping 8 billion into fossil fuel technologies.

      Nuclear doesn’t create jobs. It only creates lots of universities. Look at Britain. Outsourced nuclear to EDF and china. EDF will bail on Nuclear now that fossil fuel giant China has taken over the subsidizing of nuclear projects.

    2. France has really become more well known for financial derivatives than anything industrial.

    3. I don’t see how you can have such faith in the government. This seems like a recipe for massive cronyism. The US government can’t even get a website set up for health care exchanges. The US federal government is such a corrupt body that this scheme would be plagued with massive inefficiencies at every step of the way as everyone tried to get a piece of the pie. Energy prices would skyrocket or taxes would.

      Want to make nuclear cheaper? Reduce the role government plays in the proliferation of nuclear power.

      1. “Reduce the role government plays in the proliferation of nuclear power.”

        But thats the main problem with nuclear peoples. They are almost all marxists at heart. They have spent their entire lives on the gov teat. Working in the national laboratory is the dream, not efficient industry.

        1. I wouldn’t say that per se. Nuclear professionals tend to believe in the incredible power fission gives to the human race more than anything else.

          The problem is from day one the US government has co-op’d the nuclear industry. It is hard to be a nuclear professional without taking government funds. But this is because it is almost impossible to get around it with the current state of regulations. I want to see more private industry get into nuclear without government support. I know that the free market would move towards nuclear if it were allowed to develop without all of the artificial constraints that have been placed on it by government. Small fast reactors, nuclear batteries, etc. are products that hold immense value.

          There are no more socialist/marxist/whatever label you want to put on it big government types here than in any other energy industry. And I understand where all come from. I am personally cautious about involving government especially if it requires tax payers (some of which are strongly against nuclear power) to support the projects.

          1. You need COMMERCIAL industry…not national laboratories and universities full of plotting marxists. Is it any coincidence that marxists from that garbage school located in Massachusetts has totally destroyed this “country”?

          2. @Smilin
            free market would move towards nuclear if it were allowed to develop without all of the artificial constraints
            So the huge liability subsidies (government & citizens absorbing the damage of major accidents; grand-, grand-children absorbing the long term radio-active waste storage costs) should then also taken away.

            In that situation no private enterprise will invest a dime in any NPP, and utilities will try to get rid of existing NPP’s.

        2. Now fossil companies getting sweetheart deals on extensive extractions from publicly held lands – thats pure capitalism.

      2. @Smilin
        Without massive government support nuclear electricity would have ended long ago!
        Just think about the massive insurance premium needed (liability regarding accidents and waste). That would have destroyed the business case for all NPP’s.

        In addition, private industry would never have supported / paid the massive research in government labs.

        Those massive subsidies became possible thanks to nuclear scientists working at government positions.

        1. Wrong. Heavy engineering plants to make the reactor components do not require *massive* government support because tiny countries such as Japan and Britain are fully capable of doing the job. A private firm in the UK wanted a “whopping” 80 million from the government to build a new forging press. Of course they didn’t get it…the parasite hedge funds probably needed some cash for hookers or something.

          Meanwhile, coal rich North America cannot do so even with government support because the idiotic culture of design innovation (aka hordes of fraudulent consultants sucking away taxpayer money) has determined that such “menial” tasks as heavy forgings are “low value” in the supply chain. And all your buddy phds in Germany from the universities can’t tie their own shoe laces. Your energy miracle is a complete FRAUD.

        2. Bas, please do not speak like you know how nuclear power would have developed if governments hadn’t taken over the industry from its earliest days.

        3. Just think about the massive insurance premium needed

          Nuclear power plant operators already pay massive insurance premiums.

          In addition, private industry would never have supported / paid the massive research in government labs.

          So … frigging … what?!

          The Internet was developed by research paid for by the US government, much of it in the early days by the US military. The fledgling Internet of 30 years ago and its predecessor were possible only because they connected various research institutions, most of them either government labs or research universities, which receive plenty of government grant money. Directly or indirectly, government funded the network.

          While some successful, high-profile Internet companies have been the result of a college kid playing around in his dorm room, that is the exception. Many of these companies, particularly the important ones in the early days (e.g., Google) were the result of researchers trying to commercialize the work that they were doing in academia, which was undoubtedly supported by research grants from the US government.

          The very browser technology that you are using to read this was first developed and realized at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which is largely funded by the US National Science Foundation. The core technology that it was based on was developed a CERN, a huge multi-national government research facility.

          Bas – You don’t seem to mind using the Internet. Without this government support for massive research there would be no Internet, no World Wide Web, and no place for you to publish your stupid nonsense. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that Internet companies are filled with closet Marxists.

          The hypocrisy and stupidity that some people choose to exhibit here is just staggering.

          1. It’s hilarious to see RE pumpers talk about government help for nuclear power… When there is a whiff of a rumor that the PTC might stop here in the US renewable installations collapse. Wind installations are down 85% here in the US because the PTC *might* have been cancelled.

            The amount of subsidies, tax breaks, accelerated depreciation, and purchase mandates being thrown at the solar and wind industry at every level of production and consumption is mind boggling. The
            biggest markets for solar and wind aren’t where the best resources are but the most generous subsidies can be squeezed out of taxpayers. Germany has been about 40% of the worlds solar market for the last few years… Germany is an aaawwwwful place to put solar panels.

            The price of PV has dropped heavily the last three years because subsidized Chinese makers running on negative profit margins are flooding the market. Pumpers act as if this trend will continue forever. I’m going to laugh when the solar industry consolidates and prices begin bottoming or increasing, like what happened to the wind industry in 2004. Remember they said the price of wind was supposed to go down forever? Well since 2004 wind installation prices have almost doubled and they look to increase further as the industry switches to direct drive designs because gearbox designs are proving to be laughably unreliable.

          2. Brian
            I am afraid that your interpretation of ‘massive’ falls short compared to what is needed, if the protection of the law regarding nuclear liabilities is taken away!

            Insurance should cover the possible damage of ~$3trillion (loss of property if exclusion zone includes a big city, such as NYC with Indian Point. etc. etc.).
            Now 12000 reactor years, 4 reactors exploded, so chance is once in 3,000 years.
            That implies an insurance premium for accidents of $3trillion/3000 = $1000million per year per reactor. Assume US reactors are twice as safe (thanks to the NRC), so the necessary premium will be $500million per reactor.
            For the new ones some less, for the old ones more.
            For the ones far away (>100mile) from cities somewhat less.

            Calculation of the reservation needed for the waste storage is more complex. That deliver ~$100million/a per reactor.

            I estimate that (almost) all NPP’s will then follow the example of Vermont Yankee!!

            Btw.
            The World Wide Web (http:\\www) was invented by the Englishman Tim-Berners Lee, who worked at the CERN in Geneva.

          3. I am afraid that your interpretation of ‘massive’ falls short compared to what is needed, …

            Bas – Only in your tiny mind.

            … if the protection of the law regarding nuclear liabilities is taken away!

            The same limited liability that is offered to nuclear operators in the US is also offered to manufacturers to vaccines. Do you have a problem with vaccinations?

            Please don’t tell me that you’re also one of those anti-vaccine people, in addition to all of the other idiotic conspiracy theories that you believe in. That would just be too much.

            The World Wide Web (http:\www) was invented by the Englishman Tim-Berners Lee, who worked at the CERN in Geneva.

            Yes. As I stated above, “the core technology that [browser technology] was based on was developed a CERN” (see above). Your reading comprehension is apparently no better than any of your other faculties.

            If you bother to reply to this, then please, please explain to me why you continue to embarrass yourself here with such utterly stupid nonsense?!!

            Geez … your latest “point” is repeating what I just wrote. Are you drunk? Are you high? Please seek help for whatever the problem is.

          4. “Insurance should cover the possible damage of ~$3trillion”

            lol, why not go ahead and make it a kajillion bajillion dollars.

        4. Bas, would you be so kind as to provide us with some reliable (neutral, scholarly) sources to quantify the supposed “massive” accident and waste insurance subsidies that you claim nuclear receives?

          Until we can quantify these alleged subsidies, we can’t describe them as “massive”.

          Thanks in advance for sharing your reliable sources with us. I eagerly await them.

          1. Dave,
            Sorry, read your question after posting my answer to Brian November 16, 2013 at 5:34 PM (2 posts above). You find answers in that post.

  13. Anyone think that… In our lifetime, that a cruise ship line, perhaps Disney or Royal Carribean might have their next cruise ship with a nuclear reactor? RC might call it “energy of the seas” or something like that. They might get the nuclear power but not make a big deal of it.

    1. Unless there is huge financial benefits I can’t see a cruise line submitting themselves to the whims of a body like the NRC voluntarily.

    2. World shipping uses a tremendous amount of Bunker C oil, filthy stuff that it is, but the price is right as it is pretty well a waste product as far as the oil companies are concerned. An interesting item I read was about gasoline, and how before the advent of the gasoline powered autombile, it too was classed as an unwanted by-product of refining, as all they were after was home heating oil. The gasoline was dumped into the rivers that emptied into the Gulf of Alaska!

  14. Rod,
    innovation and change in business models, regulations, and legal constraints can be just as important as inventing a new material.
    Those will do something for you, but cannot bridge the increasing gap in the overall costs between renewable and fission.

    Yes regarding the present situation. But you should look into next 40years.
    Fundamentally the costs of solar continue to go down ~8%/a. So when your idea enters the market in 2023, cost price of solar is already in the <$60/MWh range and is installed at consumer sites everywhere. Factories will then also realize that within 10 years they can buy solar for ~$30/MWh (name plate capacity of ~400W/m2).
    And for solar they don't need the laborious steam/turbine/generator cycle, and have no safety problems, and can simply lower the power output by switching some panels/sheets off.

    New forms of electricity generation will only have a chance, if they do not have that steam/turbine/generator cycle. Now you see those new forms of electricity generation coming up. Even organic ones: Just put a cable in the swamp like ground below specific plant varieties, and you get enough electricity.

    So fusion also has a long way to go with necessary additional inventions that can turn the heat (gamma, etc) radiation inside the torus (~100million degrees Celsius) immediately into electricity (e.g. new types of PV-panels in the wall, or via Electro-Magnetic waves). But then it may result in real cheap electricity.

    From a market point of view, just look at the average whole sale prices. On average they go down in Europe too. Did so during many years (now ~€45/MWh). No indication when/if that trend will reverse. It may well go into the €30/MWh range. That is the picture that scare the incumbent utility CEO's so much that they did that cry to Brussels.
    I do not see how an improved naval reactor can be profitable with those prices. The present major liabilities subsidies will not be enough.

  15. Steag Starts Coal-Fired Power Plant in Germany

    It marks the start of Germany’s biggest new-build program for hard coal stations since its liberalization in 1998. Ten new hard-coal power stations, or 7,985 megawatts, are scheduled to start producing electricity in the next two years, according to information from German grid regulator Bundesnetzagentur and operators. ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-15/steag-starts-germany-s-first-coal-fired-power-plant-in-8-years.html )

    If you think this sounds familiar its because they just opened new brown coal units at Neurath in the last year. European Greens should be ashamed. They are peddling Europe backwards.

    1. John,
      European Greens should be ashamed. They are peddling Europe backwards.
      Just inform yourself.
      First priority; nuclear out. Done in 2023.

      Second; democratize energy. So lots of rooftop solar, farmers with wind turbines, villages and small towns that are 100% renewable running their own utility (cooperations), etc.

      Share of renewable in German electricity growing with ~1.5%/year. From 23% now to 35% in 2020, 40% in 2030, 65% in 2040, 80% in 205.

      Then less CO2. And that will happen with the growing share of renewable, especially after nuclear is out.
      ___
      The new (brown) coal plants are much cheaper than gas and can also burn renewable waste & biomass, while having same flexibility. So they have more future.

      The low whole sale electricity prices in Germany imply that burning gas delivers big losses. Even in NL, so Swedish Vattenfall sold all removable parts (turbine, etc) of a just finished new gas power plant in NL to the far east.

      Btw.
      The world became colder during the last 12 years.
      A change no climate scientist predicted!
      Worse they even now cannot explain why!
      Which shows that that science is still in its infancy.

        1. @Rod,
          Antinuclear
          We all should support fusion! As that may deliver the next jump into the future.
          Furthermore I find it unacceptable that fission gets such huge subsidies; liability regarding accidents and wast storage; loan guarantees; investments paid by a levy on the consumers rate so investment becomes risk free; etc.
          As that technology (especially LWR/PWR) did not really improve the last half century.
          So those subsidies do not create significant better or cheaper technology. Worse the technology continued to become more expensive, while still not delivering a generation 4 reactor and not solving anything regarding the waste issues (only same stories as 40 years back. Now less credible taking into account failures such as Monju).

          Anti capitalist
          That depends on how you define that. I’m against unnecessary concentration of power and wealth in the hands of few company boardrooms. I strongly favor that citizens take matters in their own hands, as possible with solar, etc.

          Further I support that wealth is distributed somewhat equally, as social studies showed that that creates more competition and more progress:
          If the top is not far away, the poor think they can reach the top if they do their best. And the top feels that the poor may take over, so they work harder too.

          Btw.
          A poor welfare family consumes ~3000KWh/a in NL and Germany. With the Energiewende levy of 5ct/KWh, that imply they pay €13/month more. ~1% of the welfare benefit the family gets!

          Pro lignite
          I don’t like lignite, but it is a fact that German utilities use it in the fierce competition battle, which deliver ever lower whole sale prices.

          It is useless to battle that unless you want to change the competition system.
          USA imported the idea of competition in this field (as well as telecommunications). I’m not sure whether that is a good idea as I experienced the change from the state owned PTT, without competition, towards commercial KPN. Did see efficiency improvements, but those were more than compensated by marketing costs.

          climate change denier
          Observe that temperature did not rise in the last decade, does not imply that I do not believe in climate change. I do. Only size is not clear at all.

          So I stated here also that an important benefit of wind+solar is that those do not add any warmth to the earth, even not the consumption of their produced electricity.
          While a 1GW NPP adds ~3GW warmth to the earth (the heat + consumed electricity).
          I do not know, how that warmth should be compared / converted with CO2.
          If any body can help with that?

          1. Fusion has been receiving massive subsidies since the 1950’s, and hasn’t put a single joule of energy onto the grid yet.

          2. Engineer-poet,
            Compared to the task & promise ahead, fusion got not enough.
            That lack of money seriously hampers further progress.

          3. That lack of money seriously hampers further progress.

            From the first controlled nuclear chain reaction to criticality in the first commercial fission power station (Shippingport) was 15 years to the day.  Commercial-scale controlled nuclear fusion has been 20 years away for the last 50-something years.

          4. Engineer-poet,
            Commercial-scale controlled nuclear fusion has been 20 years away for the last 50-something years.
            Even a sustained fusion process, a fusion process that we can manage to continue, was never promised to be 20years away. Well, may be by some fools.

            My estimation is that we will reach that stage with the next reactor after ITER ~60years away. It goes so slowly because of little money.
            The first commercial reactor may then take another 40years.
            Estimation based on the torus designs, such as that of ITER.
            (some change that another technology deliver sooner results. E.g. compressing the hydrogen gas with laser beams)

            So all in all commercial exploitation is a century, or more, away.
            But then we leave our grand- grand-children something for which they can/will be grateful (assume it develops well).
            Far better than the nuclear waste of fission!

      1. I recently read a really good article about solar pv in Germany (probably the best one I’ve read yet). It’s called…

        Should Other Nations Follow Germany’s Lead On Promoting Solar Power?
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/10/04/should-other-nations-follow-germanys-lead-on-promoting-solar-power/

        Here are some quotes from it that I thought were interesting.

        The government has engineered a well-intentioned but harmful redistribution system where everyone without solar panels is giving money to people who have them. This is a tax on anyone who doesn’t have a south-facing roof, or who can’t afford the up-front cost, or rents their residence, etc. People on fixed incomes (eg welfare recipients and the elderly) have been hardest hit because the government has made a negligible effort to increase payments to compensate for skyrocketing energy prices. The poor are literally living in the dark to try to keep their energy bills low. Energiewende is clearly bad for social equality. But Germany’s politicians seem to have a gentleman’s agreement to avoid criticizing it in public, particularly since Merkel did an about-face on nuclear power in 2011. [17]

        The Fukushima meltdown was pretty much a “worst case scenario” — one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded, the largest tsunami to ever hit Japan, seven reactor meltdowns and three hydrogen explosions — and not a single person has died from radiation poisoning. [24] The expected lifetime increase in cancer rates due to the released radiation is somewhere between zero and a number too small to measure. [25] Even spectacular nuclear disasters are barely harmful to the public. Studies are now showing that the stress from the evacuation has killed more people than would have been killed by radiation if everyone had just stayed in place. [26,27]

        In comparison, coal power kills about a million people per year, fills the oceans with mercury and arsenic, releases more carbon dioxide than any other human activity, and is arguably one of the greatest environmental evils of the industrialized world. [23]

        The category for “biomass” power you see in all these charts is actually firewood being burned in coal plants. 38% of Germany’s “renewable energy” comes from chopping down forests and importing wood from other countries. [28] Effing firewood, like we’re back in the Middle Ages or something. Due to overzealous renewables targets, and a quirk in the EU carbon pricing system that considers firewood carbon-neutral, Europe is chopping down forests at an alarming rate to burn them as “renewable biomass.” The environmental movement has spent most of the last 200 years of industrialization trying to fight deforestation, and that noble goal has been reversed in an instant by bogus carbon emission calculations.

        1. I cant get over the wood thing EZ. You can see the writing on the wall where that disaster will go in the developing world. Especially the tropics.

          1. @John,
            I do not favor that too.
            But the climate people have declared that to be renewable, as it doesn’t add CO2 into the atmosphere (same amount put in the air as the amount taken out of the air during the growth of the tree)…

          2. @Bas
            In what way is Germany’s use of wood renewable? You realize that living things aren’t just made of carbon don’t you? Trees take up nutrients from the soil and when you take those trees away you’re also taking the nutrients away. It’s not like people are going to take the trouble to return the wood ash, and even if they wanted to it wouldn’t be a good idea after it has been contaminated with coal ash.

            Nothing is really renewable anyway. In case you didn’t know it the sun in running off a finite supply of nuclear fuel. Personally I think renewable is the wrong word. A much better word would be uncontrollable. We can’t control when the sun shines or the wind blows.

            Wood isn’t really renewable or uncontrollable. We can’t really control how fast trees grow, but we can certain control how fast we cut them down, and unfortunately the wood isn’t nearly as abundant an energy source as Uranium and Thorium hence Germany need to import wood from other countries. Germany is setting a really dangerous example by saying burning wood for electricity is ok. You better be careful or someday we may wake up to find out our forests have gone from Green to brown.

          3. @EZ
            … wood renewable? … Trees take up nutrients … Wood isn’t really renewable …
            Don’t worry.
            With few exceptions all woods in W-Europe are ‘cultivated’, ‘production’ woods. For most areas that is the situation for centuries already, here sometimes since 1600. Your worry is a non issue as long as the wood farmer follows certain rules. If he follows those rules the wood get the renewable certificate and can be burned as biomass. There is are separate organizations that check.

            …We can’t really control how fast trees grow, …
            Talk with a wood farmer. He will fully disagree and explain how he controls the grow…

          4. @John
            I can’t get over the wood thing either.

            @Bas
            Bas the nutrients being removed from the soil have to be replaced eventually (I guess they can use fertilizer), but even if you want to ignore that burning trees puts co2 into the air. This is a problem as it takes time for new trees to grow which means that in the meantime the co2 released will be contributing to global warming. It would be better to leave the trees standing, or to use the wood to do things like build houses.

            Also of note:

            the photosynthetic efficiency of mature forest stands has been calculated to be between 2.2 and 3.5 percent.

            http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2820035?uid=3739560&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21102948333907

            Keep that in mind while reading this PDF that talks about power density.
            http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/book/tex/cft.pdf

            Wood is not a suitable fuel for the modern world. No industrial society should be using wood to produce a substantial amount of their electricity.

          5. EZ
            Kyoto consider it to be renewable. So if you want to change that, try to convince the majority of the climate boys.

          6. Kyoto was a political treaty, negotiated and voted on by politicians for political reasons. But even so, determining the carbon balance sheet for a given energy source isn’t a job for ‘the climate boys’ as it isn’t climate science. It is a combination of chemistry and biology.

          7. @dddpalmer
            We agree wood burning is not fine. It may vanish as it cannot compete in the coming decades against solar and wind.

            @EZ
            Thank you for the nice links.
            I liked the book of McKay. Lots of nice info, though outdated and sometimes wrong when it becomes technical, e.g. regarding PV-panels and nuclear radiation, it delivers some understanding regarding the prejudices that led to the squander Hinckley C decision.

            But the story about biking (page 123) compensated a lot. I hope UK will take that advice as it is terrible to bike in the UK.
            UK authorities are anti-bike. They even destroyed an EU financed (a sign told that) new bike lane by putting a terrible surface on it and ridiculous barriers difficult to pass with a fully packed bike (we have tent, cooking gear, etc. with us). Again a waste of EU money.
            Money was not the issue, as there was an expensive nice statue every mile in the water along the bike lane (in East-Anglia)!

            He gives a nice example of the (unmanageable) human control problem regarding nuclear:

            The THORP reprocessing facility at Sellafield … had a growing leak from a broken pipe from August 2004 to April 2005. Over eight months, the leak let 85000 litres of uranium-rich fluid flow into a sump which was equipped with safety systems that were designed to detect immediately any leak of as little as 15 litres. But the leak went undetected because the operators hadn’t completed the checks …; and the operators were in the habit of
            ignoring safety alarms anyway.

          8. @Bas
            What do you mean we agree about wood burning? Where did I say anything about wood burning?

            If you decided to use some of your extremely valuable time to respond, why didn’t you actually respond to what I wrote rather than to some delusional fantasy comment that you imagined?

          9. @ddpalmer
            Sorry for my reaction, remembered wrongly you expressed neg. opinion regarding wood burning.

            Kyoto was a political treaty …by politicians … determining the carbon balance sheet … is a combination of chemistry and biology“.
            Happily, Kyoto was by politicians. Otherwise it would have been a dead treaty. We need politicians as they have the influence to change public opinion and national laws.

            And of course those politicians need the specialists to tell them the real facts, and propose changes.
            Cannot judge about the know how of the climate boys. Thought most have such chemist & biologic background.

          10. @Bas
            Sorry that you continue to ignore what other commentors write. It must be nice to have such selective vision along with your belief in your own infalibility.

            “Cannot judge about the know how of the climate boys. Thought most have such chemist & biologic background.”

            First, most of them have climate backgrounds, that is why they are called climate scientists.

            Second, why can’t you judge their know how? You seem to have no problem judging the know how of all sorts of scientists. Why has your ability failed you when it comes to climate scientists?

        2. @EZ
          Your cited statements:

          harmful redistribution system where everyone without solar panels is giving money to people who have them … or who can’t afford the up-front cost, or rents their residence, etc.
          That ‘harm’ is ~1% of the income of the lowest income group (welfare recipients even get compensation for price increase).
          Everybody can install rooftop PV-panels, as you can get a loan based on the planned installation production (except ‘criminals’).

          I do not understand what is harmful here?
          Intended emotion generating statements as:”poor are literally living in the dark to try to keep their energy bills low” are nonsense. You have those everywhere. In NL without any renewable program too. That has nothing to do with electricity price.

          Germany’s politicians seem to have a gentleman’s agreement to avoid criticizing it in public
          No. They will lose all voters (well; ~70% as last elections showed with FDP) if they attack e.g. the speed of the Energiewende (well; not if you try to speed up as the greens want).

          Fukushima meltdown was pretty much a “worst case scenario”
          An attack at Indian Point while stable winds towards NYC (with e.g. a good freight plane) will deliver more than 10times higher damage!
          Lucky Fukushima had minimal damage as the wind took ~97% towards the ocean!

          … the largest tsunami to ever hit Japan …
          Japan had much bigger tsunami’s than the Fukushima one, as well as far bigger earthquakes.
          Both surpassing the design resistance of Japanese NPP’s by far (one reason the restart of existing NPP’s is difficult. Japanese “NRC” woke up).

          not a single person has died from radiation poisoning … etc.
          Creating a false picture. Estimates are that the low level radiation of Fukushima will create ~20,000 death despite 97% going towards the ocean (after the latency of 20-50 years just as with smoking, asbestos, micro-particles, etc).

          Discussion about Chernobyl number of death is ongoing. The worst estimate ~1million before 2004 already while almost all then still had to come (due to the 20-50yrs latency), the most optimistic (IAEA/WHO) ~4000. My estimate ~1million total (in period until 2100).

          38% of Germany’s “renewable energy” … from chopping down forests …
          In 2012 biomass delivered ~36TWh being 26% of the 136TWh renewable (article: Oct.2013).
          Only wood from replanted / sustained forests is allowed.

          Many other biased statements such as the claim about the millions death by coal power (copied from the biased Hansen study that is not taken serious).

          1. @Bas

            That ‘harm’ is ~1% of the income of the lowest income group (welfare recipients even get compensation for price increase).

            Energy is different than most commodities. Every single product need energy in order to be produced so an increase in the cost of energy effects the cost of everything. So pardon me if I’m a bit sceptical of your ~1%.

            Everybody can install rooftop PV-panels, as you can get a loan based on the planned installation production (except ‘criminals’).

            I’m also sceptical about your statement that everyone can install rooftop PV-panels.

            A quick google search found me this page.
            http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Housing_statistics

            From it I got.

            In 2011, 41.5 % of the EU-27 population lived in flats, just over one third (34.4 %) in detached houses and 23.3 % in semi-detached houses.

            Can everyone who lives in a flat install rooftop solar?

            more than one quarter of the population in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg and Austria lived in rented dwellings with a market price rent

            Can everyone who lives in a rented dwelling install rooftop solar?

            I do not understand what is harmful here?

            Here’s what the problem is. If people want to have 24/7 electricity than the costs for everything that is needed to make that happen has to get paid. Usually those costs are divided up among all the customers, but when some people are rewarded for installing solar by extreme reductions in their electric bill then other people have to pay their share of the costs. In other words some people aren’t paying their fair share of the costs for the 24/7 electricity they enjoy.

            statements as:”poor are literally living in the dark to try to keep their energy bills low” are nonsense. You have those everywhere. In NL without any renewable program too. That has nothing to do with electricity price.’

            Electric prices have nothing to do with people’s ability to afford electricity? What a ridiculous statement.

            An attack at Indian Point while stable winds towards NYC (with e.g. a good freight plane) will deliver more than 10times higher damage!
            Lucky Fukushima had minimal damage as the wind took ~97% towards the ocean!

            Prove it. Emotion generating statements like yours don’t constitute evidence of a credible threat. If you are making a statement about reality (especially when it concerns millions of people) then the burden of proof is on you.

            In 2012 biomass delivered ~36TWh being 26% of the 136TWh renewable (article: Oct.2013).
            Only wood from replanted / sustained forests is allowed.

            See my comment above about burning wood.

            Many other biased statements such as the claim about the millions death by coal power (copied from the biased Hansen study that is not taken serious).

            So now you’ve become a coal apologist? lol. As a result of burning coal all kinds of nasty stuff gets dug up from the ground and released into the air. This includes Uranium and Thorium which as you know are radioactive. I guess you only care when the N word is involved.

          2. @EZ
            Can everyone who lives in a flat install rooftop solar?
            Inhabitant of flats have to form a cooperative society by law. Some of those did decide already to place PV-panels on the roof of the flat, and share the benefits.

            Can everyone who lives in a rented dwelling install rooftop solar?
            You find tenants that make an agreement with the owner. If the tenant moves on within x years, than the owner pays him e.g. (10-x)/investment amount back. So both get a share of the benefit.
            If the tenant moves on, the owner can ask more to the new tenant, as he has lower electricity bill.

            …people are rewarded for installing solar by extreme reductions in their electric bill …
            The German Feed-in-tariff’s are based on cost-price plus a profit of 6-7%. Those are now ~50% of the rate that this consumer pays for the electricity he consumes from the grid (Rate ~26ct, FiT 14ct/KWh, going down each month with ~1%).

            … Indian Point … Prove it.
            Months ago we had a long discussion here about this. Just a short illustration.
            The EPR has a double dome in order to withstand an unarmed F16.
            The European stress test is restricted to a light sports-plane flying with cruise speed (after long discussion which delayed the whole test).
            So all indication a real Boeing will create something like Fukushima.

            Little doubt that the radio-active fall-out will create an exclusion zone incl. NYC with the right wind. Realize that at Fukushima the wind was towards the ocean and they still have exclusion zones ~50km away!

            So now you’ve become a coal apologist?
            Just heard the CEO of Southern Company (the one that builds 2 new NPP’s) explain in a NYT video discussion that coal does not generate more CO2 than gas if burned using circulating fluidized bed technology (same technology that those new power plants in Germany use):
            http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/room-for-agreement-on-next-steps-for-nuclear-power/

            Anyway I do not like it and I do not believe him (it was also said that Germany got it’s electricity from nuclear France! Note that France is a net importer from Germany!), but it is better than nuclear as it is far less dangerous and doesn’t parasite on the taxpayer.

            1. @Bas

              Anyway I do not like it and I do not believe him (it was also said that Germany got it’s electricity from nuclear France! Note that France is a net importer from Germany!), but it is better than nuclear as it is far less dangerous and doesn’t parasite on the taxpayer.

              I wonder what the electricity trade balance between France and Germany would look like on a monetary basis, instead of on a kilowatt-hour basis. My theory is that the unreliable kilowatt hours that Germany pushes to its neighbors when the wind happens to be blowing are sold at a substantially lower price than the steady kilowatt-hours that it purchases from its neighbors during times of higher demand when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.

              Please do no attempt to propagate the falsehood that German coal “doesn’t parasite on the taxpayer”. Not only are all breathing individuals burdened by helping to dispose of the waste products of coal combustion, but the German coal mining industry receives direct subsidy payments.

              http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/5f1fa75e-047c-11e0-a99c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2l4xtAL00

              According to the article, the subsidies amount to more than three billion euros each year. They were supposed to end in 2010, but were extended then until 2018. I suspect there will be continuing pressure for additional extensions; the nature of direct subsidies is that a constituency develops that is dependent on their continuation.

          3. @Bas

            “… Indian Point … Prove it. ”
            Months ago we had a long discussion here about this. Just a short illustration.
            The EPR has a double dome in order to withstand an unarmed F16.
            The European stress test is restricted to a light sports-plane flying with cruise speed (after long discussion which delayed the whole test).
            So all indication a real Boeing will create something like Fukushima.
            Little doubt that the radio-active fall-out will create an exclusion zone incl. NYC with the right wind. Realize that at Fukushima the wind was towards the ocean and they still have exclusion zones ~50km away!

            Yes, this was talked about before. I didn’t agree with you then, and I still don’t. The lack of a test being done is not evidence of anything. You get real evidence by actually doing a test. You don’t even have a computer simulation. All you have is your naked assertions, yet you want people to base how they live their lives of it like it is an established fact. This is not a rational way of thinking, and it is this kind of crap that makes it really hard for me to trust anything you say.

            Also, I question how likely another plane attack is now that security measures are in place, and if another plane attack happens I question whether they would choose a nuclear power plant as their target. Terrorists seems to like to attack civilians directly, and also they seem to prefer targets that symbolize the western world like the World Trade Center. Nuclear power plants are are not symbolic of the west or highly populated with civilians. Also, while you seem utterly convinced that such an attack would succeed it is not likely that terrorists would share your strong bias against nuclear power. Terrorists who went to all the trouble to hijack a plane, and who are now going to kill themselves for their cause, are going to want to pick a target that they can be sure of.

            “…people are rewarded for installing solar by extreme reductions in their electric bill …”
            The German Feed-in-tariff’s are based on cost-price plus a profit of 6-7%. Those are now ~50% of the rate that this consumer pays for the electricity he consumes from the grid (Rate ~26ct, FiT 14ct/KWh, going down each month with ~1%).

            The question seems to be, what price is fair? As you can imagine utilities and solar power supporters disagree about this (at least they do where I live), and a lot of different arguments go back and forth. Here are my thoughts.

            The price being paid shouldn’t result in a price increase or a price decrease for other customers. In other words one person’s choice to buy solar should be allowed to affect other people. If there is uncertainty on what that price should be then it is better
            to error in favor of the non solar customers because some people have an advantage when it comes to getting solar. You mention that people in flats can only do it if their cooperative society agrees, and they only get a small piece of it. Also, you mentioned that renters need to reach an agreement with their landlord. Some people probably find that impossible. It seems fair to say that some people are at an advantage.

            So what is a fair price in my opinion? First lets consider what people are paying for when they are paying for electricity. Here’s a list of what I could come up with.

            Capital Assets (Power plants, power lines, land etc)
            Operating Expenses (overhead, fuel costs, wages etc)
            Profit (Whatever profit is necessary in order to keep people making the needed investments)

            So…

            Cost of electricity = Capital Assets + Operating Expenses + Profit

            If the goal is for customers who use solar panels not to be a burden to other customers, but still receive a fair price for their excess electricity, then then the cost of electricity should shouldn’t be changed by the amount the receive. In other words amount of money they receive should be based on how the electricity they sell back effects the costs of the three things I’ve listed.

            So lets consider each of those three things individually.

            Capital Asset
            The electricity customers with solar pv sell back has no real effect on what capital assets are needed. This is because there are times of the year when almost no solar energy is generated.

            Check out January
            http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/downloads-englisch/pdf-files-englisch/news/electricity-production-from-solar-and-wind-in-germany-in-2013.pdf

            So all the capital assets are still needed to service those times.

            Operating Expenses
            The electricity customers with solar pv sell back should have some effect on Operating Expenses.

            Profit
            If you want people to keep making the necessary investments then you have to leave some meat on the bones. I don’t see how the electricity customers with solar pv sell back changes that fact.

            So basical customers with solar pv should only receive compensation equal to the reduction in operating expenses caused by the electricity they sell back. Anything else is just unfairly using the power of government to shift the costs onto other customers. Remember that in the end someone’s got to pay it. How that happens should be decided fairly.

          4. Oops I accidently said…
            In other words one person’s choice to buy solar should be allowed to affect other people.

            When what I meant was…
            In other words one person’s choice to buy solar shouldn’t be allowed to affect other people.

            I’m alway messing up suffixes for some reason. Maybe because of my dyslexia.

          5. @EZ
            Your post is about two subjects:
            – Chance NYC has to be evacuated permanently, due to plane attack on Indian Point.
            I agree not to consider a more sophisticated terror attack, as the plane is enough.

            – Correct FiT prices

            As this thread is already long, which makes reading and reacting more difficult, I will deliver answers at the end of this blog.

            PS
            I have same problem. Again reading after posting seeing stupid typo’s, while I read it before posting and didn’t see them 🙁 .

          6. @Rod,

            electricity trade balance … on a monetary basis
            Indeed the net financial balance may be the other way around.
            NL builds two new interconnections to Germany so we can import more cheap electricity, hoping it will decrease our wholesale prices to German levels, meeting competition complaints of our industry.

            The German-France financial balance may change this year as France had some trouble this spring due to the unexpected cold wave (a factor in the CO2 rise of Germany), and Germany exports more than ever.

            Coal
            Note that the subsidy involves coal.
            Here in Rotterdam we import big amounts of US coal for Germany.
            German coal mines cannot compete against that US coal. So they need subsidy to allow for a neat closure (we closed our mines long ago; but unions are stronger in Germany).

            Coal and lignite economy are totally different.
            The lignite economic picture is hard to beat. Those mines have a big digging machine at the surface, which drops it on a conveyor belt which brings the lignite to the power plant. So if all runs well, only a few men can supply a 1GW power plant with all the fuel.
            This is now the standard, and competes coal further off.

            I believe German power plants now use lignite (biggest) and more US coal than German coal.

            Btw.
            This S.-Company utility CEO is an excellent sales man. He delivers an incredible future picture and then connect that to the plans of his utility, telling that his new coal (lignite!) plant has a carbon footprint less than natural gas. Another nice statement:“The CO2 is not a waste it has tremendous value”. Also explains that they did a magnificent job as the new NPP was predicted to create a 12% price increase, which is now estimated to be only a 6-8% price increase… (good for your wallet!)
            Taken together with the statements of Georgia’s governor, it resembles the Italian culture.

          7. Bas: “Note that France is a net importer from Germany!”

            Bas – Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on which year you are looking at.

            Rod: “I wonder what the electricity trade balance between France and Germany would look like on a monetary basis, instead of on a kilowatt-hour basis.”

            Rod – You are right to wonder. Your instincts have served you well:

            Germany subsidises cheap electricity for its neighbours

            Note that, as the article states, the three recipients of the largest amount of German electricity are (in order, beginning with the largest): the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland. While France imports less than these countries, it also exports large amounts of electricity to Germany. The net amount is very small compared to the total amount that both France and Germany export over a year. The net direction depends on the year.

            Bas: “The German-France financial balance may change this year … and Germany exports more than ever.”

            Not true. German exports of electricity have been steadily decreasing since 2006. (Source: IEA statistics)

          8. Rod – You are right to wonder. Your instincts have served you well:

            Not so fast!

            http://www.renewablesinternational.net/german-power-exports-more-valuable-than-imports/150/537/61663/

            Running these numbers is a fine exercise. Germany exports electricity at a higher value than it imports. Other studies suggest the same: “it is in fact France, not Germany, that exports power at low prices at times of low power demand – so that its large fleet of nuclear plants do not have to be ramped down. Germany is the country that exports more power as demand in neighboring countries rises.”

            Counter intuitive … nope. We have the numbers, and it also makes sense. Not that hard to figure out!

            1. @EL

              Thank you for the link and the explanation. There are some interesting comments on the article that provide some conflicting interpretation. In addition, I suspect that your source has a strong vested interest in promoting unreliable energy sources. That does not make the information incorrect, but it does indicate that there is value in finding corroboration and in following the issue as circumstances change.

              One circumstance that is scheduled to change soon is the fact that German nuclear plants are still providing a rather significant portion of the country’s base load power needs. I’m pretty sure that all of the plants that were not immediately shutdown in the summer of 2011 are still chugging away. It will be interesting to see how that affects the import/export balance, measured in both kilowatt hours and euros.

          9. @Bas

            Chance NYC has to be evacuated permanently, due to plane attack on Indian Point.
            I agree not to consider a more sophisticated terror attack, as the plane is enough.

            Your repeated claims without giving evidence of a credible threat is unethical.

            – Correct FiT prices

            In Germany solar is nothing more than a fuel saver so paying customers for more than the cost of the fuel saved by the solar energy they put on the grid does nothing but shift the costs of running the grid onto other consumers. This is also unethical.

          10. EL – While your skills at googling are quite impressive, your link is far less impressive for several reasons:

            (1) The source is dodgy. A blogger for Renewables International? Really? That’s the best that you can do? Such a source is obviously biased and has no genuine credibility that I am aware of.

            (2) The numbers are dodgy. Not only is it not clear where this unsigned article’s numbers came from, but these numbers disagree with more reputable sources, such as the EIA (US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency). The blog claims 66.6 TWh of electricity exports, whereas the EIA says 66.8 TWh and the Reuters article claims 67.3 TWh for 2012, so I assume that the blog is talking about last year, but it never explicitly states that.

            Meanwhile, the blog claims that Germany had 43.8 TWh of imports, while the EIA says 46.3 TWh and the Reuters article says 42.8 TWh. Obviously, there’s some disagreement in the numbers depending on who you ask. This gives an uncertainty in the figures of roughly ±6%, which makes the 0.35 euro cents/kWh difference, which is the entire point of the article, totally irrelevant. Even if we assume that the 3.7 billion EUR and 2.3 billion EUR figures are correct (and god only knows where they came from), this difference well within the uncertainty in the import/export figures, which means that blog’s claim that “German power exports [are] more valuable than its imports” is completely unsubstantiated.

            (3) Nothing has been established about the value of imports and exports between Germany and France. The crude, dodgy calculation that the blog makes such a big deal about considers all of Germany’s imports and exports; France is involved in only a small fraction of these transfers. Therefore, it is simply foolish to assume that this ridiculous, possibly incorrect estimate applies to France as presented.

            One interesting point that should be noted is that electricity exports to the Netherlands increased over three-fold between 2011 and 2012. Just this increase of about 17 TWh is more than the entire amount electricity exported to France in 2012. If the article is correct that Germany’s exports are more valuable than its imports, a more likely explanation, given the price of electricity in the countries considered, is that the Dutch have been buying the “expensive” electricity exported from Germany (since it’s cheaper than running their natural gas plants), but it’s not possible to say for sure, without more information.

            The only thing that you provide to support your case, EL, is an indirect quote from a “study” by the German Institute of Applied Ecology (I noticed that you avoided mentioning the source). Really?! Since when are they an expert on electricity markets?! Do you really expect me to take the word of these renewable apologists over Ecofys (a renewable energy consultancy) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who are quoted in the Reuters article?

          11. (2) The numbers are dodgy. Not only is it not clear where this unsigned article’s numbers came from, but these numbers disagree with more reputable sources, such as the EIA (US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency).

            Dodgy? They come from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany.

            EIA has their own data sets for these things. Statistics of this kind don’t always agree.

            And what’s wrong with the German Institute for Applied Ecology. I take it you don’t think the IASS is any better.

            I did a quick look of scientific literature for any peer reviewed sources on EU spot markets and value of imports/exports from Germany and France. Nothing stood out from a quick look. I can keep looking. As you point out, there is a lot of recent variability in these markets, and many factors at play (from seasonal shifts to policy changes). The general observation seems sound to me. If you export electricity at peak rates (when your solar panels are producing) and buy it back off-peak … you’re going to be exporting electricity at a higher value. In your experience … is this what France is doing. It seems to me they are doing the opposite (exporting when local demand is low, and importing at peak rates when local demand is high). What else would be going on to make French exports sell at a higher price than imports. Unless the French electricity market is broken (yes, we know they are selling at local tariff rates that don’t cover cost of energy), it just doesn’t make any sense. There is a lot about the French that we can’t really explain with objective reason and rational calculation.

          12. Statistics of this kind don’t always agree.

            EL – Thank you. That’s exactly my point. So you admit that the claim that “German power exports [are] more valuable than its imports” has no real substance to back it up.

            The main problem with your “logic” is that you’re assuming that the peak production of solar panels and wind turbines generally coincides with peak rates. Sorry, but you’re not making a very convincing argument. It all comes off as biased and somewhat naive speculation.

            yes, we know they are selling at local tariff rates that don’t cover cost of energy

            And that’s “bad,” right? Just like Germany’s Feed-In Tariffs for “renewables.” I understand what you mean.

            Here is the problem that you need to explain. If the utilities operating in Germany are making boatloads of money from the differences in the prices of imported and exported electricity, then given the differences that customers pay for electricity in these various countries, the Germans are not subsidizing cheap electricity for their neighbors, as the Reuters article claims. Rather, they are subsidizing the utility companies!

            Any way you look at it, German energy policy comes off looking bad for the German consumer. Is Energiewende the German word for “bend over”?

          13. So you admit that the claim that “German power exports [are] more valuable than its imports” has no real substance to back it up.

            @Brian Mays.

            No I don’t. Because if you run the Reuters, EIA, or the German Statistics Office numbers, in each case you get higher priced exports than imports. This sounds like substance to me!

            The Reuters article contrasts the retail price of electricity in Germany with low cost of wholesale electricity for export, and says Germans are subsidizing exports. When actually it is getting a better deal selling this energy at peak rates than importing it during times of low demand. Why is this so confusing to you? France appears to be doing the opposite (and dumping electricity when demand is low, and importing it at a higher cost).

            The main problem with your “logic” is that you’re assuming that the peak production of solar panels and wind turbines generally coincides with peak rates.

            Why is this a problem. Solar panels in Germany produce at peak loads during the day. Were you not aware of this? “The peak in exports and the peak in solar power is more or less identical. So, when the sun comes up German power prices go down (relative to its neighbors) and it starts exporting power. When it goes down German power prices go up (relatively speaking) and Germany starts importing power again” (here). The characteristics of wind production in Germany are variable, typically stronger at night and during winter. They typically offset solar production (and often add to it).

            You should look at your Reuters article more closely, and these numbers. You appear to be missing a great deal of the relevance and substance of them.

          14. No I don’t. Because if you run the Reuters, EIA, or the German Statistics Office numbers, in each case you get higher priced exports than imports. This sounds like substance to me!

            EL – Then please, by all means, run them. Show me! It doesn’t sound like substance to me unless I see the actual figures. I want numbers, not bull-Scheisse.

            Currently, all you have are some dodgy figures, which were thrown together by a “renewables” booster and which I demonstrated has at least a ±6% uncertainty when compared to other sources, which is more than enough uncertainty to undermine any claims of substance.

            We’re waiting …

          15. EL – Then please, by all means, run them. Show me! It doesn’t sound like substance to me unless I see the actual figures. I want numbers, not bull-Scheisse.

            German Statistical Agency: 3.7 billion euros for exports and 2.3 billion euros for imports.

            German Statistical Agency:
            66.6 TWh exports: 5.56/kWh (euro cents/kWh)
            43.8 TWh imports: 5.25/kWh

            Reuters:
            67.3 TWh exports: 5.5/kWh
            42.8 TWh imports: 5.37/kWh

            EIA:
            66.8 TWh exports: 5.54/kWh
            46.3 TWh imports: 5.37/kWh

          16. EL – Thank you, but … significant digits! Didn’t anyone ever teach you about significant digits?

            The correct values, given the numbers you cite are

            GSA: exports 5.6 cents/kWh – imports 5.3 cents/kWh

            Reuters: exports 5.5 cents/kWh – imports 5.4 cents/kWh

            EIA: exports 5.5 cents/kWh – imports 5.0 cents/kWh

            The differences between exports and imports are

            GSA: 0.3 cents/kWh

            Reuters: 0.1 cents/kWh (within roundoff error)

            EIA: 0.5 cents/kWh

            So, the difference between Reuters numbers is within the roundoff error in the calculation, but I guess that two out of three ain’t bad, eh EL?

            France appears to be doing the opposite (and dumping electricity when demand is low, and importing it at a higher cost).

            And what is your evidence for this? If you are using the numbers above to make that case, then you are guilty of the fallacy of division. I note that your link to the GSA indicates that wind-heavy Denmark was Germany’s second largest source of electricity imports. Denmark, being a much smaller country than France, managed to export over half as much electricity as France did.

            Are you sure that you’re talking about France or Denmark?

            (Note: your GSA link also indicates that Germany was a net importer of electricity from France in 2012, contrary to Bas’s claim.)

          17. And what is your evidence for this?

            Common sense.

            France used to have significant exports that exceeded imports by a large margin (and recent gains estimated in the range of $3 billion from this trade ). This does not mean on a cost/kWh basis that exports exceed those of imports. I’ve searched the RTE site (in French and in English), and elsewhere, and these numbers are either very hard to find, or are unavailable. Do you have them? If so, please share them with us. I would love to see them.

            Frankly, what you are suggesting makes absolutely no sense. You know this as well as me. If not, please consult IEA’s most recent country review on French energy markets and policies. France has a structural imbalance. It has only increased in recent years. Lots of peak demand (especially from heating loads in winter), and lots of baseload. “France mostly exports baseload electricity, while its imports mainly occur during peak periods” (p. 109). If you can figure out how to sell electricity at periods of low demand above those of peak periods, please let us know. That would be some serious proprietary stuff indeed, and perhaps of great benefit to consumers and energy developers worldwide. A revolution, perhaps!

            Or more easily, you could just find these numbers and report them here. I can’t. And I never presumed to do so in my comments. I am happy to be proven incorrect.

          18. EL – No no. You don’t understand. Where is your evidence that France is doing the “opposite” of what Germany is doing? “Common sense” is not evidence.

            France used to have significant exports that exceeded imports by a large margin …

            France still has significant exports that exceed imports by a large margin. In recent years (since about 2008) that margin has been smaller than usual — which was not helped by a strike in 2009, which disrupted operations at EdF’s nuclear plants — but things appear to be returning to normal. As I mention above, France was a net exporter to Germany in 2012, contrary to the nonsensical claim of Bas Gresnigt.

            Germany’s record is not so clear. It has become a consistent net exporter of electricity only in recent years (since about 2005), and it is well reported that, during this time, it has been dumping excess electricity produced by wind on its neighbors at very low prices, which has had serious implications for grid stability in some countries. The problem has become so bad that the Czechs and the Poles are threatening to block Germany’s access to their grids.

            But my main point is that you have failed to substantiate your claims. You are relying on data for only one year, a year in which Germany’s exports increased substantially, but most, if not all, of that increase went to the Netherlands. How can you draw any conclusions about France from that?

            Not satisfied with this fallacy of division, however, you’ve also decided to double down. So you hit me with an appeal to common sense and an appeal to ignorance as your latest fallacious arguments. Please spare me. Sorry, but it’s not my burden to prove you incorrect. You first need to provide something more than “common sense” to demonstrate that your assertion is correct to begin with, which you have not yet done.

            But as you point out, the necessary data just are not easily available in the public arena. Thus, it’s probably better to just drop this stupid discussion now. I know that I’m completely tired of it.

          19. France was a net exporter to Germany in 2012

            Don’t tell that to RTE.

            “For the first time ever, France was a net importer from Germany every month of last year, added RTE, a subsidiary of former power monopoly EDF.”

            The problem has become so bad that the Czechs and the Poles are threatening to block Germany’s access to their grids.

            It’s a little more complicated than that. Poland has a stake in protecting it’s coal industry. German-Austrian common market hasn’t brought equal benefits to neighbors. And grid needs a lot of overdue re-enformcement (which is not a surprise). Let’s not speak of the Euro, nationalism rears it’s fierce will in energy debates as well.

          20. EL – You need to get your links in order. The link that you reference above from the German Statistical Agency claims that Germany imported 13.2 TWh from France in 2012, and that the three countries that imported the most electricity from Germany were the Netherlands (22.6 TWh), Austria (15.9 TWh), and Switzerland (12.7 TWh), which implies that France imported less than 12.7 TWh of electricity from Germany.

            Your Reuters article tells a different story. Since they are both your links, perhaps you can explain this discrepancy?

            Poland has a stake in protecting it’s coal industry.

            Yes. Poland is the second largest consumer of coal in Europe behind … Germany. I hardly think that Poland’s coal industry is threatened by Germany’s energy policy. Do you have any idea how much coal Germany imports from Poland each year to run its coal plants?

            Geez, EL … you’ve got to stop drinking the “renewable” kool-aid. It’s rotting your brain.

          21. Since they are both your links, perhaps you can explain this discrepancy?

            Good catch. Definitely opens a kettle of worms. You’re not the first person to have noticed it.

            According to German grid expert Bruno Burger, who produces this highly recommended slideshow of the German power grid, Germany is actually a transit country for power that France sells to Switzerland and Italy. In all likelihood, the French are therefore counting actual sales, whereas the Germans are counting power flows irrespective of who ends up buying the electricity.

            If this assessment is correct, it looks like we don’t have the cost data to asses Germany energy export and import costs with any precision (and the French data doesn’t seem to be available either). But we do have reliable trade volume data based on contract sales. From RTE’s own assessment (via google translation): “The year 2012 showed an increase of imports from Germany. For the first time, every month of the year have an average net importer balance vis-à-vis Germany” (pg. 29). They cite a number of factors: rising gas prices, falling coal prices, low CO2 price, recession, sharp demand spikes in February, and transmission bottlenecks (which are in need of upgrading).

            Are you still in the camp of France as net exporter to Germany in 2012, or do you think something else is going on with these numbers?

          22. Are you still in the camp of France as net exporter to Germany in 2012, or do you think something else is going on with these numbers?

            On the contrary, I had assumed that the net exports were going from Germany to France in 2012 until I saw the numbers in the link that you provided, which I assumed were accurate.

            Yes, I’m aware of the difficulties in accounting for exactly where the electricity is going on the interconnected European grids. While contracts determine who produces and who pays, the actual flow of power is governed by the laws of physics. Thus, it is not uncommon for electricity to be credited with passing into and then out of a country’s grid, which shows up in some reports of import/exports, but not others. This is why I’m often (but not always, I admit) skeptical of figures reporting power flowing from country A to country B. The only consistently reliable statistics are net imports/exports for a single country.

            “According to German grid expert Bruno Burger, who produces this highly recommended slideshow of the German power grid, Germany is actually a transit country for power that France sells to Switzerland and Italy.”

            I’m surprised to learn that Germany is a transit country for electricity passing from France to Italy — especially since France shares a border with Italy, while Germany does not. 😉 Even more bizarre is that most of France’s nuclear power plant in the eastern part of the country are located in the south, along the Rhone valley, which is much closer to Italy than to Germany. France has only two nuclear power plants that are located close to the German border. In fact, the example that is often used to explain how the greater European interconnected grid works is a scenario of electricity generated in Germany and consumed in Italy that is transmitted through France’s southeast grid, thereby passing around the Alps.

            In any case, I agree completely that there is not enough reliable information to go on here.

      2. Btw

        Incorrect and because it resembles other recent mistaken claims I can also say its incorrectly stated as well.

        Since we’ve already have many recent references on these matters let me add something more fro you to deny before we address it all again:

        Ocean Acidification
        Summary for Policymakers
        Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World

        During the last 20 years, it has been established that the pH of
        the world’s oceans is decreasing as a result of anthropogenic CO2
        emissions to the atmosphere.

        The ocean continues to acidify at an unprecedented rate in Earth’s history.
        Latest research indicates the rate of change may be faster than at any time in the last 300 million years.
        ( http://igbp.sv.internetborder.se/download/18.30566fc6142425d6c91140a/1384420272253/OA_spm2-FULL-lorez.pdf )

        Im sure the European greens will deny this as well as it probably interferes with their political aspirations.

  16. Bas- Do you read your own links? This one- http://www.platts.com/IM.Platts.Content/ProductsServices/ConferenceandEvents/2013/pc372/presentations/Wolfgang_Denk.pdf
    is the most concise demolition of the Energiewende/ nuclear phase-out that I’ve seen.
    ‘The world became colder during the last 12 years.’ The last twelve years included eleven of the hottest years on record. (1998 was third hottest ). And that was in spite of ninety percent of added heat going into the ocean, and in spite of all the extra coal particulate pollution in the atmosphere partly counteracting higher greenhouse gas levels.

    1. I’m not sure on what basis Denk assumes wind and solar “are not predictable over the long term.” They are intermittent, but not necessarily unreliable. Wind forecasts are highly predictable on a 24h or 48h schedule. To within 95-98% of power dispatch for a single wind farm, and 90-92% of power dispatch on a regional basis (24h ahead).

      http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2011.10.103

      Energy storage, grid enhancements, advanced software and newer power management approaches … no difference? He doesn’t seem aware Germany has a 5 MWh battery project in the works (since he only references a 500 kW device). They also introduced a residential energy storage program last May (with subsidies to cover 30% the installed costs of equipment). The economics of energy storage in EU are detailed here. ESS capacity needs in Germany here.

      1. Wind forecasts are highly predictable on a 24h or 48h schedule.

        So does the National Weather Service budget count as a government subsidy of wind power?

        If we were talking about a nuclear plant, instead of a wind farm, I know what EL’s answer would be to this type of question.

          1. I believe it’s the wind farms that will be subsidizing National Weather Service and NOAA in this instance (and not the other way around).

            EL – Then you are an idiot. Tell me, do these wind farms have satellites? Computers to run the modern weather models? Anything other than a couple of local weather observations that could be done by anybody? I’d say the quid pro quo is rather one-sided here.

            Rather than referring to this small gesture as “subsidizing NWS,” I’d call it paying penance for screwing up NWS radar. The wind farms owe them at least something for that. Apparently NOAA is satisfied with only a tiny trickle of weather observational data. Aren’t they kind?

          2. Brian Mays wrote: “EL – Then you are an idiot.”

            Nope. Despite your bad temper and personal shortcomings, you still have it backwards.

            Is NOAA building equipment to service wind farms? They are running routine climate and forecast models regardless of the existence of wind farms (consistent with broad public mission to meet the needs of a changing country and share knowledge and information with others). There is no information that they are sharing with wind farms (or ISOs) that they are not also sharing with other diverse private and public stakeholders. Wind farms are supplying data that makes NOAA’s existing climate and forecast models more accurate (particularly at altitudes “not routinely observed”).

            What else do you want to charge to wind: cost of a pre-school education, trash collection that keeps the roadways clean, the US justice system (defending a high profile intellectual property case that will benefit all technology developers in the US). Don’t worry. They have this covered. They pay taxes too.

          3. Despite your bad temper and personal shortcomings …

            EL – Bad temper? Moi?

            Wow, you’re still too dense to understand. While I’m disappointed, I’m not surprised. Far from being angry, I’m laughing at you.

            FYI, I was mocking you, and you were stupid enough to take me seriously! I find this whole thing hilarious. Really, EL, you need to get out more. That’s the problem with far-left-wing, renewable boosters like you: you have no sense of humor and absolutely no sense of irony.

            Is NOAA building equipment to service wind farms?

            When the DOE is researching methods for producing medical isotopes or studying how to irradiate food and other non-food items to sanitize them, are they building equipment to service nuclear reactors? Yet, people like you are all to willing to lump anything tagged “nuclear” into the same boat (it all usually falls under the “nuclear” budget item) and claim that any such government support is a subsidy for nuclear power.

          4. @EL

            Sounds to me like the jury is out on who receives the most benefit and pays the majority of the cost – NOAA or the wind farms.

            From your link:

            NOAA will use these weather observations in operational model forecasts produced by NOAA’s National Weather Service. Wind data at these heights are not routinely observed and are of great interest to many industries and researchers involved in renewable energy, aviation, and air quality.

            While the observations are business-sensitive and will not be redistributed outside of NOAA, the agency’s scientists will use the data to validate and improve weather models at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory and at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

            “NextEra Energy recognizes that a better NOAA weather forecast will ultimately improve our operational decisions and our bottom line,” said Mark Ahlstrom, CEO for WindLogics, a NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary that also contributed data to NOAA. “Sharing data with NOAA makes sense because it helps NOAA deliver better forecasts for use by our company and the general public.”

          5. Brian Mays wrote: “That’s the problem with far-left-wing, renewable boosters like you: you have no sense of humor and absolutely no sense of irony.”

            Oh yes. “You’re an idiot” … ha, ha. Good one!

            Why would you mock someone for being correct in their assessment. That makes no sense?

            @Rod

            Indeed … wind operators are providing data that improves weather models, and benefits wind operators (and the general public). Should wind operators somehow be treated separately from other private and public stakeholders utilizing this same information?

            I guess you think it is somehow more cost effective for each public and private stakeholder utilizing this information to develop their own means to generate reliable weather forecasts: news agencies, freight movers, coast guard, yacht clubs, botanical gardens, construction contractors, public works departments, soccer moms attending a game, dads playing catch with their sons, mountaineers, etc.

            I know you’re not a fan of efficiency (especially when dense power systems are available), but that sounds rather ridiculous to me (I think even Brian might agree)?

          6. Hi Brian:
            I couldn’t help interjecting because you mentioned laughter, mockery, and irony.

            I was wondering if you changed your stance on AGW or are “warmers” or “warmists” hippie treehugging Chardonnay communists perhaps in secret cahoots with Teddy Kacyzinski who are plotting to deimdustrialize the world, fluoridate your water, and turn the Washington Monument into a giant bong, for good measure?

            I was wondering because it seems that at the present time there isn’t much of a case for nuclear without a price on carbon or maybe cap and trade. Scana and Southern Co. seen to disagree, but I suspect they are building the plants because of sunk costs or perhaps the goodness of their hearts. Plants are also going out of business because of screwed up maintenance or renewable influence on the power market that might have stayed open if there was a price or a cap on carbon that would have positively affected their bottom line.

            In fact, with gas at it’s current price, it seems there isn’t much short term future for nuclear. Now Rod might argue the long term and I might agree, but it seems folks like John Rowe don’t, and they place the orders.

            So, absent a price on carbon or other regulation thereof, what do you see as the short and medium term future of nuclear in the US?

          7. John, thanks for the EIA link.

            What’s been drilled into my head in my studies of energy is that it’s all about costs of competing technologies, both capital and O&M; the overall least cost technology wins.

            That said, I would love to see that EIA analysis with gas at $12 to $15/MMBtu or even beyond as I suspect that current methane prices are “introductory” and are below the actual cost of production (The market is in a glut caused by either irrational exuberance of drillers in the Marcellus or conscious design by firms like Chesapeake to capture market share) so I don’t think the prices will last simply because people can’t sell.at a loss forever.

            On the other hand, hydrocarbon extraction is an extraordinarily innovative, technology driven, competitive, agile industry and cost of production from shale deposits along with rate of recovery will likely fall given time.

            But we don’t know the future. If gas prices go up or theres a price on carbon, nuclear will be more competitive. Hopefully this will occur soon.

          8. In addition to your remarks Dave,

            These 2013 EIA figures (John Tuckers link) are meaningless considering new nuclear. Because a new NPP will start earliest at 2023, and has to run at least until 2050.
            So the market conditions in that period should be considered.

            So consider 2030/2040.
            At that time PV panels investment produce for ~$40/MWh going down further.
            Wind (now $100/MWh) investment then will produce for ~$60?/MWh.
            Expanded grid will minimize storage issues.
            Electricity-to-fuel/gas conversion is taking off (remember the BMW car producer that already has a 2MW plant running for car fuel!).

            How do you think that a new NPP can deliver deliver profit in that climate, in which need for power is fluctuating greatly (no base load needed)??

            Especially since storage systems then are also more common.
            Deutsche Bank produced an overview of those:
            http://www.dbresearch.com/PROD/DBR_INTERNET_EN-PROD/PROD0000000000286166/State-of-the-%20art+electricity+storage+systems%3A+Indispensable+elements+of+the+energy+r%20evolution.pdf

          9. I was wondering if you changed your stance on AGW or are warmers or warmists hippie treehugging Chardonnay communists perhaps in secret cahoots with …

            Dave – Nah … I leave the conspiracy theory stuff to the Chicken-Little alarmists. They’re much better at it than me.

            It’s my opinion that if the nuclear industry can’t get it’s act together and provide a viable option without having to depend on artificial market manipulations from policies set by a fickle (and sometimes schizophrenic) government that is beholden to powerful special interests, then it’s pretty much game over. Time to throw in the towel.

            Look at it this way. In the last five years we’ve seen the consequences of deliberate regulatory ratcheting by government bodies like the EPA. In just four years, King Coal has gone from producing 47% of the country’s electricity in 2008 to producing 37% of the country’s electricity in 2012. Meanwhile, natural gas went from 23% to 30%. (Source: EIA)

            This is without any price on carbon and any realistic expectation of a price on carbon in the near future. What do you think is going to happen when carbon emissions become regulated? It’s going to be a total boon for natural gas. Coal plants will be shut down tomorrow, and replacement power will be needed the next day after that, not five or ten years in the future. As I’ve been pointing out for years now, the US has more natural gas capacity on the books than both coal and nuclear combined. Utilities will fire up the old inefficient ones first and then quickly build new, more efficient ones to take their place. It doesn’t take long.

            If you ever want to see natural gas leave nuclear in the dust, just put a price on carbon with the situation as it is today and watch.

            Therefore, I advocate that the nuclear sector get its own house in order first, before charging off on a crusade with a bunch of rather dodgy allies who, as history has shown (e.g., Sierra Club), would stick a knife in your back at the first shift in the political winds. I don’t like fool’s errands. If they want the help us for free, then fine. I’ll take the help gratefully, but that’s their choice, not mine.

            If that makes me a poor cheerleader, then so be it. My legs were never pretty enough for cheerleading anyway.

          10. Brian, I appreciate your realist perspective and understand where you’re coming from.

            In any event, I don’t care too much about AGW any more. What’s going to happen will happen, Pespecially post Fukushima. We can’t contain the Chinese coal use and growth and perhaps we shouldn’t. Less resentment when folks finally have to face facts and make difficult choices.

            I think it will be rather difficult for LWR new build to compete in the present economic, power market, regulatory and political environment, unfortunately. If this is the case, then perhaps it’s time to face facts. Though I have no love for John Rowe, he was correct when he stated that “nuclear is a business, not a religion”.

            Undoubtedly nuclear will have a part in the future as uranium is such a plentiful and powerful fuel. But in the short run, I suspect that the technology is headed for several decades in the wilderness. Hopefully it will still be ready when we really need it.

            It will be an interesting future.

            1. @Dave

              Welcome back. It’s been a long time since you’ve commented here.

              I tend to disagree with you about both the importance of making changes and the inevitability of damaging effects if we do not make changes.

              However, we can agree to disagree and I’ll keep making as strong an effort as I can to encourage action.

          11. Rod, thanks for the comment, it has been a while.

            I do care about AGW, it’s just that I’m fatalistic. Eventually, things will get difficult, and appropriate measures will be taken

          12. Rod, thanks for the comment, it has been a while.

            I do care about AGW, it’s just that I’m realistic. US has failed to take action on carbon besides building some intermittent renewables in places along with some regulations on new thermal power plants. It is a very poor effort by the US. Without credible US action, international action by major non European emitters is hard. On top of this, Fukushima just put one of the, if not the, key technologies for decarbonization, in jeopardy throughout the world and likely held it up by decades in much of the world.

            Further, I don’t subscribe to the cult of solar and wind, they’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic especially since large scale storage of the type needed remains vaporware at the present.

            As such, I don’t see how anything credible can now stop or slow the trends underway. So, the inevitable cometh…

            Eventually will get difficult, and appropriate measures will be taken. It’ll be harder then than now, but it will work. The question will be how much irreversible damage is done. Hopefully not too much.

            I don’t consider myself an environmentalist, but some of the likely damage will be tragic to humanity, like the potential loss of most of the Amazon.

    2. @John,
      Thanks for reading the whole!
      I indicated the few sheets only (e.g. sheet 14 showing predictions regarding future Energiewende levy), I fell for.

      Yes. The presenter, Wolfgang Denk, is the boss of nuclear in Switzerland. So he did his best. E.g. neglecting solar as that is better predictable and does peak shaving, etc.
      But being Swiss, he didn’t present wrong or fantasized facts, as you see often with pro-nuclear.

      climate
      Yes the last decade was warmest. But av. temperature would increase after 1998. That didn’t happen, if anything it decreased.

      The problem is that they have no good explanation, even now. Especially if you consider that CO2 continued to rise. That implies that our climate science basically is not much further than extrapolating trend lines in statistics.

      Stories about heat that went into the ocean, etc. are nice. But the sea level rose only a small fraction of the prediction (hot water expands).
      This all sounds a little like the boy who doesn’t know the answer and then scraps all options together in the hope it will satisfy his audience.

      Hence we should deliver them more honest and intelligent scientist, as the subject is very important. And hope it will bring good results (before 2050?).

      In the meantime some efforts to minimize new heat, as it seems to me sure that that warms the earth, as well as CO2 production.
      Starting with a tax or ~€10/liter on car fuel and ~€4/liter on plane fuel
      Primarily also because those bring massive amounts of killing micro-particles in the air (having no good filters).

  17. The wind super hero Denmark has about the same population as Alabama. It has a installed wind capacity of 4,162 MW. Denmark has a Peak Load of around 6.600 MW. It is around 60 percent district heating (Germany is around 14 percent ). Around 80 percent of that is heat/electricity co generation. Beyond skewing electricity numbers as countries with separate heating have a whole other column of energy use, in winter its rather hard to turn that co generation off.

    So again all that excess wind energy goes into the “export” column while the fossil plants continue to burn. They are just converting those to forest pellets ( Denmark is the number one importer of wood pellets in the world ) and opening additional gas fields (including Fracking) .

    Its a numbers game. Some green electricity but mostly green fraud. Save a few island nations Denmark has the HIGHEST electricity prices on the planet. (it also has the highest cancer rate – related mostly to genetics, lifestyle and early detection but also possibly some to air quality of that low lying region I believe)

    1. @John
      I made two biking tours through Denmark; east- north- west-coasts and some inland crossing (a man has to do something to stay healthy).
      I found the air there quite clear, even in Copenhagen. Quiet traffic, and bikers seem to have priority above cars! Also at traffic lights, those go on green to allow the passing biker (on red for the cars).
      Better than in e.g. NL or France or the valleys in Switzerland (in the mountains it is better), or the east and west coast of USA, etc.
      Utah, last year I was in the south only, also had clean air but may be the weather played a role as I spent there only a few days (camping in Goblin valley state-park, etc).

      1. Like I said im not sure of the situation in cities there. What I am sure of is, unlike low dose radiation there is a growing body of real study and evidence linking fine particulate matter to disease. Especially combustion products.

        1. @John,
          real study and evidence linking fine particulate matter to disease. Especially combustion products.
          We agree! So the tax for care fuel should be raised towards €10/liter and plane fuel towards €4/liter (~$50/gallon and ~$20/gallon) and general tax lowered accordingly.

          Denmark
          You speculated about the cause of the low life-expectancy in Denmark (in 2010 78.8 years, only 3 months more than USA and 3 months less than Cuba). This is interesting as neighbor Sweden had 81.4 in 2010, and those countries are genetically somewhat mingled.

          Even more interesting is that Denmark (together with Sweden and NL) ranked at the top regarding life-expectancy in the fifties and sixties. And that Sweden maintained a relative high life-expectancy rank despite the import of many people from under developed countries, while Denmark allowed hardly any import.

          I speculated that Danish people are not exactly easy going, so may be higher stress levels?

          Studies found that the higher levels of smoking and alcohol explain most of the differences (alcohol cost a fortune in Sweden). In addition the Danish have a higher BMI and do less physical activity at leisure time. This chapter gives a nice overview: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12945&page=385

          So one may conclude that real high taxes on alcohol and tobacco make sense.
          May be healthy if we increase those taxes in NL much further towards Swedish levels.

  18. @EZ
    Indian point
    Seems we both agree that a Fukushima like development at Indian Point, combined with the right wind, will evacuate NYC permanently (at least for next 50years; so all property becomes worthless).

    So the issue is whether a 200ton (freight) jet airliner can do that job.
    It seems such attack at Indian Point was discussed for 9/11 by Bin Laden a.o. targets. They rejected because they doubted whether their ample trained pilots could score a real hit.

    Arriva/EDF did simulation studies regarding plane collisions. They decided to build the EPR with two separated domes, so they now guarantee that EPR can withstand an unarmed F-16 (considering the results of the UK license request, AP-1000 probably cannot).
    This also implies that it is very dubious whether Indian Point can withstand an unarmed F-16!

    Arriva/EDF was asked whether they could tell/guarantee something regarding collision with any substantial airliner. They refused.

    An F-16 weights max. 16ton, length 15m. A 200ton plane has 12.5 times the mass and ~4times the length. Both are mainly build from alloy’s of alu. That implies that the force of the impact is on average twice that of the F16, and the destruction power ~4-10times.
    Taking the refusal of Arriva/EDF, it is questionable whether EPR can withstand that.
    But little doubt regarding Indian Point. The destruction will damage pipes and pumps (helped by the kerosene fire) such that all cooling is lost. So a melt down with radio-active clouds coming out of the damaged dome (the damage in the dome will be worse than the damage the water wave generated at Fukushima). Etc. Etc.

    Of course one can argue such attack may fail. But even a 30% chance is unacceptable.

    The pilot can be someone whose family was killed by US forces when he was young, and then took an oath of honor to revenge. So he went to study, succeeded to change nationality and became a regular pilot flying around in USA. So now he can cripple US, by attacking with the right stable wind. Preferable attacking with a heavy loaded big freight plane…

  19. @EZ
    Correct FiT: “In Germany solar is nothing more than a fuel saver so paying customers for more than the cost of the fuel saved by the solar energy they put on the grid does nothing but shift the costs of running the grid onto other consumers. This is also unethical. “

    A PV-panel operating citizen has different roles:

    First he is consumer. As such he is handled just as any other consumer. He pays the same rate (~26cnt/KWh) for the electricity he consumes.

    Second he is an entrepreneur, he invests money, time/labor, and takes some risk in order to make a reasonable profit.
    A citizen who operates a small utility that produces and sells electricity for profit, is just as (un)ethical as a big utility that does the same. Both exploit the customer / citizen.
    Both become less ethical if the profit becomes big (e.g. 30%).

    It’s agreed in Germany that 6-7% profit is reasonable (low risk investment). So Government authority calculates the FiT in line with that (and some other agreed rules). No discussion about that in Germany.

    The simple fact that only a small minority installs those panels, shows that it is not such a high profit business. There is no waiting queue, so anybody can start his ‘utility’. If he has no roof, he can borrow some money, rent land and use it for PV-panels (and some people do that).

    If you install a bigger solar installation, e.g. 2MW, the FiT becomes lower as your costs are lower (volume discounts, etc). So up to 10KW installations the FiT is ~14.0cent/KWh now and for over 1MW the FiT is ~9.7cent/KWh now. Both guaranteed for 20years, so your risk is failure to produce enough (so you clean the panels, etc.), vandalism, break down, huge storm, or so.

    Both FiT’s go down with a degression rate of 1.4% per month for new installations as the investment becomes lower and the installed total amount should stay at ~3GW/year as otherwise problems with the grid, and the Energiewende levy may become to big. Politically it is not smart to have a big levy (now ~4cent/KWh, rising towards ~5cent next year).

    In January the degression rate for the 3 months thereafter will be calculated based on the installation rate in the past three months, etc. They have a scheme for adapting the degression rate. If the installation rate in the past 3 months was less than the 2.5GW/year rate, then the degression rate becomes zero. So then FiT for new installations stay the same for next three months.

    This seems to me a very reasonable system.

    Your opinion that the FiT should be such that the ‘(personal) utility’ only gets the saved fuel, is based on some wrong ideas:

    Solar panels save far more than fuel as reality and scenario studies show. The idea that all solar capacity should have a backup is wrong. Germany doesn’t do that as it is not needed.
    Scenario studies show that the combination with wind imply that a backup capacity in the range of ~30% is enough. Most will be utilized only some hours. So low capital capacity can be used for that.

    Your criterion of cost minimizing only, is against the democratic chosen policy. The Germans choose for 80% renewable in 2050 and are well aware that that implies some extra costs.

  20. @EZ
    The price being paid shouldn’t result in a price increase or a price decrease for other customers.
    Those other customers benefit from the upgraded quality of the product (clean, more reliable electricity) that solar+wind produce.

    They benefit from:
    Less risks for themselves and grand-grandchildren comparing with nuclear
    Less CO2 compared with fossil.
    More reliability as solar+wind is more distributed and predictable. So those delivers more reliable supply as Germany shows.

    That implies other customers should pay more as the product (electricity) is upgraded thanks to the solar utility. And many customers choose to do that in Germany (and NL) as shown by the growth of utilities that deliver only 100% renewable electricity.

    1. @Bas

      Only a hopelessly delusional person can use the term “more reliable electricity” when talking about inherently weather dependent wind or solar energy. Please see someone soon for help.

      1. Nice reaction 🙂 !
        I understand the contradiction. But I think it is true (just as the German reliability figures show)!

        Just check this site:
        http://www.nauticlink.com/nieuws/knmi/windverwachting.html
        (sorry for the Dutch, but the wind symbols are international)

        It shows wind predictions based on a subset of the available observations.
        I used it during many years to decide where to go for nice wind surfing.
        So I needed wind predictions for the next 4 hours.
        My multi year experience show that they do that job quite accurate!

        More:
        Our state owned grid company, TenneT, also operates important part of the German grid including the wind turbines along the north coast (until Lübeck). So a stretch of ~700km with wind turbines scattered all over the place.
        So their management center sees a dip in the wind go along their area as a wave during many hours.

        This implies that they can predict production within a percent for the next ~8 hours. So hardly any spinning reserve needed (well, still they need those because of the 1GW power plants, which can fail within seconds and stay out for months)!

        If the wind suddenly fails they have time enough to raise the output of one or more circulating fluidized bed plants, or even start a gas plant. In emergency cases they can use (pumped) hydro from Norway, etc.
        This may also be a reason that pumped storage in Germany has a hard time!

        Compare that with a grid nourished by ten 1.5GW power plants. Those sometimes fail within a second. So you need significant spinning reserve and even then, if two suddenly fail… So may be even higher capacity grid needed. Only different configuration.

  21. Mr. Adams,

    I ran across this post while researching for my master’s thesis, which coincidentially is pointing to a similar conclusion of the SMR/nuclear industry needing greater collaboration with Naval Reactors. This was a godsend as I’ve encountered difficulty in finding relevant information on this topic and also encountered doubts from my peers. Needless to say, I’ve very excited about the ideas presented here. Your cheerleading squad just gained another member.

    My research centers on innovation drivers and mechanisms that have enabled nuclear attack submarines to successfully evolve while keeping costs stabilized (like on the Virginia class subs), and how these can be harnessed by SMR vendors in their efforts to bring a new nuclear product to market. My paper is still a work in progress, but preliminary results suggest that SMR would benefit from cooperation with NR, Electric Boat, and the Newport News Shipyard, as well as the national laboratories. (There are other conclusions in the works, but at this point they’re merely “raw” ideas that require more refining). Actually the benefits could go both ways, as the submarine industry is struggling to stay afloat (haha) at times due to reduced orders for subs (no more Soviets to worry about), and there are substantial “spillover” effects with technology between the two industries. Expertise, labor, smaller component innovations could be shared between the two that could be mutually supportive. An example of a lesser innovation is in HVDC and HVAC power cables used on subs that can also be applied to barge-mounted SMRs. (http://www.navigantresearch.com/research/submarine-electricity-transmission)

    What else is interesting is that I had a conversation about SMR with the Chief Operations Officer for nuclear energy at GE-Hitachi and he was of the opinion that light water SMR would have a very hard time achieving the necessary learning rates to maximize cost reductions unless the units could be manufactured without being attached to a site. Unless the industry gets a massive order book to get these plants off the ground (which will be difficult because first-movers face the disadvantage of paying higher prices for first-of-a-kind plants) the industry can’t amass materials and expertise to maximize the effects of economies of mass production. How exactly this can be accomplished is beyond my creativity at this point. NRC regulation changes can take a decade or more. I have heard the ANS argue for the modification to a Manufacturing License approach through the NRC, but I haven’t researched that enough yet to understand how that works.

    Finally, as a bit of background on myself, I am also a veteran of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. I was a MM2 with the nuclear designation on the USS Enterprise, so I have a professional interest in both nuclear and naval industries. I also worked for Fuelcell Energy as a plant technician, but now I’m pursuing a career in policy. I’m presently a master’s candidate at the Tufts Fletcher School, focusing on International Environment and Resource Policy (read: energy policy) and International Security Studies.

    Again, great post! Looking forward to hearing more from you on this subject in the future!

  22. Back to the original topic of NR leading the way. You would think in these days of decreasing defense budgets that NR might see a lot of benefit for allowing commercial production of similar plants to submarines at their submarine building facilities to help maintain the facility’s capabilities, while sharing the cost.

    1. @EdP

      That is a big part of my continuing pitch. Sharing the infrastructure costs and obtaining the benefits associated with an increased rate of production will result in substantially lower costs. There are additional related benefits associated with increasing the talent pool and providing post-service jobs for veterans.

  23. I also note that Electric Boat was working with Westinghouse et. al., and would continue assuming Westinghouse/Ameren/Missouri continue without the DOE funding.

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