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Large scale renewable energy - possible consequences?


 
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#1 Kantervo

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:06 AM

I am not a pessimist, though I always look for negative sides of different decisions. Currently, I look for negative effects of high-end and state-of-the-art technologies, including power equipment.

Certainly, shift to renewable energy sources is an essential step towards the salvation of our planet. Especially, in the areas where greenhouse effect and depletion of ozone layer are most evident, as in case of the Arctic. For example – Iceland, which is one of the most ecologically stable countries. Its government decided to use geothermal energy to power civilian infrastructure AND also aluminium industry. But Iceland's geothermal areas are globally rare, very beautiful and scientifically interesting. They are characterized by colorful striking landscapes, hot springs, lavas and glaciers, and are biologically and geologically endemic to the country. Irreversible disturbance to these wild areas for power plants includes roads, powerlines, heavy lorries and loud drilling equipment. So we can see different sides of the same coin – on one hand, Iceland’s economy needs to develop both aluminium industry and geothermal stations, but on the other – the more it develops industry the more energy is needed, and as a consequence – more geothermal sources are going to be used as power plants.
What other areas in the world can face same problems due to the usage of renewable energy sources? What types of issues can occur (economic, social, political)?

#2 Kantervo

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:15 AM

For example -
"Iceland's industrial megaprojects include three aluminium plants, one ferro-silicon factory and the power stations and transmission lines required to facilitate them...The 210 MW power-plant at Búrfellsvirkjun in South Iceland was built to provide the necessary energy (now 270 MW). In relative terms this was a megaproject of similar importance to the national economy as the Kárahnjúkar power plant (690 MW) and Alcoa Fjarðaál in East Iceland...Furthermore a ferro-silicon factory which will use 65 MW of energy will be built in the Sudurnes peninsula. In respect of future energy use potentials the export of electricity, via sub-sea cable, to the European continent has even been discussed...." (Journal of Nordregio no 2, 2011).

#3 Kantervo

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:53 AM

the more we use, the more it comes -
Iceland's three aluminium smelters - Alcoa in Reyðarfjörður, Norðurál in Grundartangi, and Alcan in Straumsvík - consume approximately 13 terawatt hours of electricity. The entire capacity of Iceland's electrical output is 17 terawatt hours. Furthermore, Straumsvík - the smallest smelter in the country - uses 3.6 terawatt hours. The combined total energy consumption of every home and business in Iceland (apart from the smelters) equals only 2.3 terawatt hours.

#4 yoder

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:17 PM

There are consequenses to anything and everything we do.  Wind farms take up space and can be dangerous to birds, solar farms take up space and use water.

One possible way around it would be to have every home be its own power generator, but even then you will have downsides.

The answer is not perfection, but rather to make things better.  As long as we move in the direction of better, we are winning.

#5 Eclipse

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:01 AM

The consequences would be that we waste a stack of money and still end up addicted to fossil fuels for baseload reliable power.

Dr James Hansen, the grandfather of modern climate science, says nuclear power is the only way we'll solve climate change. He says believing in renewables alone is akin to "believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy."
http://bravenewclima...nergy-kool-aid/

I'm happy to see far more renewables being built, but only if we don't ask them to do something they cannot do: provide reliable baseload power to a modern grid. That reliable part of the grid, say the base 60%, will have to be nuclear. The rest can be renewable.

And in case you still believe the top 3 myths about nuclear power, then here's some good news.

TODAY'S NUKES
The 3 biggest myths about nuclear power are that it is dangerous, expensive, and leaves waste forever. Instead, the reality is that nuclear power is already one of the SAFEST sources of large scale power in the world. It is the *only* AFFORDABLE way for most nations to cut carbon emissions, and therefore is ESSENTIAL to solve global warming. Not only this, but nuclear 'waste' is not a problem to store forever, but is a fuel that we can burn forever. Nuclear 'waste' is the FOREVER FUEL. (For several hundred million years at least).

1: SAFE

SAFEST YESTERDAY: Even with yesteryear's old reactors have *already* demonstrated that nuclear power has the best safety record of any large scale energy system! As George Monbiot says: "Coal kills more people when it goes right than nuclear power does when it goes wrong. In fact coal kills more people every week than nuclear power has in the entire history of its deployment."
http://www.monbiot.c...-of-the-matter/

SAFER TECHNOLOGIES TODAY: Today's Gen3.5 reactors would have *easily* survived the Japanese tsunami that took out their external cooling pumps. They not only have far better cooling systems, but even if all of those are destroyed in some freak accident, the reactor cores themselves have 'passive physics' built in so that they cool themselves down. For example, let's look at Neutron Leak. Neutron Leak turns the reactor fuel rods into a last-ditch safety feature. If ALL the 'external' cooling systems failed (and this would be remarkable!), the fuel rods would normally start to over heat, risking a reaction. But today's fuel rod technology means they can be designed to expand as they over heat. As the metal rods expand they leak the neutrons essential to keeping the reaction going. Neutron Leak means the reaction fizzle's out, and the reactor self cools. Even Homer Simpson couldn't break it!

SAFER TOMORROW: And as we move into Gen4 reactors there are more safety systems coming. Basically, Corporations realise that a melt down costs a lot of MONEY. They'd rather avoid all that, thank you very much!

SAFER SITES: Nuclear Energy Parks could be cheaply* built out in the Australian outback safely away from any population areas. If some weird disastrous fluke managed to take one of these out, new reactors would be built 500 kilometres upwind and we'd quarantine a tiny fraction of our VAST deserts for a few hundred years. We'd hardly notice it. EG: I haven't been inconvenienced by the Woomera Testing Facility being off-limits, and it is twice the size of Tasmania!
(*Power lines to a desert Nuclear Park would still be vastly cheaper than the power lines for a Renewable grid. Wind and Solar require a continent wide super-grid to bring the power from our coasts and deserts to where we live).

Basically, banning SAFE modern nukes because of Chernobyl or Fukushima is like banning modern aviation because of the Hindenburg.

2: AFFORDABLE AND ESSENTIAL
There are only a few places on earth like Greenland and Tasmania with enough geothermal or hydro to run reliable Renewables. The rest of the world has abundant wind and solar Renewables, but these should be called Unreliables because of their daily and seasonal variations. We need reliable base load power generation because *nothing* can store Unreliables cheaply enough!

Dr James Hansen, the grandfather of modern climate science, says nuclear power is the only way we'll solve climate change. He says believing in renewables alone is akin to "believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy."
http://bravenewclima...nergy-kool-aid/

If we listen to him on the problem of Global Warming, why not also on the solution?According to his peer-reviewed network 'The Science Council for Global Initiatives' (SCGI) the unreliable nature of renewable technology is not solved by any storage system as they are all far, far too expensive. They are hypothetically possible but economically impossible. Instead of Renewables they should be called Unreliables.
http://www.thescienc...mes-hansen.html

Tom Blees (President of the SCGI) has made his book freely available in PDF form.
http://www.thescienc...pdfs/P4TP4U.pdf

IF something better comes along we can shift to it then. But we have to act now to prevent a climate catastrophe. We cannot let wishful thinking daydream our way to disaster. Renewables are too expensive. They're only cheap if ignore the coal-fired grid backing our systems. EG: If you stick some Solar PV on your roof and over 30 years measure the cost / output, it's wonderful. But that ignores the fact that the Solar PV is only giving you a third of your power each day. The rest relies on a coal-fired power grid. Then there's seasonal fluctuations where the solar input is really low on dark wintery days. Read Professor Barry Brook on the cost of trying to make solar and wind 'base load', that is, reliable 24/7. Unreliables might be technically feasible but they are economically impossible. Dreams and good intentions with renewables are not going to solve the Global Warming crisis. Only hard nosed, tried and true engineering solutions can save us.
http://bravenewclima...newable-limits/


3: FOREVER FUEL
Tomorrows reactor's will eat nuclear waste! Generation IV nukes are based on known physics from over 300 Reactor Years running Breeder Reactors. We have demonstrated the physics in reactors like the EBR 2. We know the physics and the engineering. We've already done this!
http://en.wikipedia....eder_Reactor_II
(The EBR2 was one of the world's first Integral Fast Reactors, see below).

GenIV reactors are slowly being commercialised. The only delays are in commercialising some cheaper systems and materials.
http://en.wikipedia....tion_IV_reactor

General Electric's S-PRISM is being designed small and modular so that components can be put on a production line. This will become an assembly line, mass produced nuclear reactor! The components are then be trucked to site for fast assembly. Putting nukes on the production line will raise safety standards and sink costs!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-PRISM

The S-PRISM is just one example of a whole category of GenIV reactors called the Integral Fast Reactor
http://en.wikipedia....al_Fast_Reactor

Integral Fast Reactor's convert today's nuclear 'waste' into fuel. Instead of being a problem, nuclear waste is THE solution! Some countries already have enough 'waste' (unused fuel) to run them for 500 years!

Nuclear power AND renewables can do the job. If we let nukes just have the majority of the base load share (say 60% or 70% of the daily requirements of energy on the grid) then renewables can probably handle the rest. Anything higher puts stress on the grid.

Gen4 nukes are the forever machine!
A/ We can extract uranium from seawater at $300 a kilogram.
B/ This is about the size of a golf ball and could power your entire life, cradle to grave, on just $300 fuel! (Nukes themselves are the expensive bit, the fuel is dirt cheap).
C/ As mountains rise and continents move the weather grinds uranium dust back down into the ocean faster than we could use it. This is how Gen4 nukes could run the world for a few hundred million years on the uranium in sea-water.

#6 Shortpoet-GTD

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:09 AM

No thanks. I'll stick with solar and wind turbines. They don't make us glow in the dark if something happens.

And who will be guarding those spent fuel rod stockpiles, 500-1000 years from now?
Rust conquers all.

#7 Eclipse

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

View PostShortpoet-GTD, on 21 January 2013 - 05:09 AM, said:

No thanks. I'll stick with solar and wind turbines. They don't make us glow in the dark if something happens.
Then you're condemning millions, maybe even billions, to die from climate catastrophe. For make no mistake, without nuclear power there simply is no solution to global warming. Today's world cannot run on renewables alone, period. Not without some sci-fi like super-cheap super-battery being invented! That's the technically informed opinion of both Dr James Hansen and Dr Barry Brook.

Quote

And who will be guarding those spent fuel rod stockpiles, 500-1000 years from now?
Rust conquers all.
I don't think you even read my post above.


Today's waste will have to be 'bred' in the breeder reactors. They'll not just be sitting in tanks, but in active use, for the next 500 years. In fact, if that's your view of storing uranium, what I'm proposing then becomes the only solution to nuclear waste. If you thinks it's too hard to store for 500 to 1000 years, how are we going to store it for 100,000 years? Come on, try to be consistent and think about what you are proposing!

Instead, the fuel will be reprocessed on site in a concrete bunker. Nukes can even be built underground. They can be built in distant deserts. They can be built near water sources for cooling, or with huge dry cooling towers (at a bit more cost) if water is not available. And they are SAFE! I say again, today's reactors would have EASILY survived the Fukushima tsunami.

'Glow in the dark' is nothing, NOTHING, compared to global warming. Who died from Fukushima? Please, share it with us all!? What percentage of Japan's land mass was abandoned? I'm really interested to see if you know this.

Also, how's the wildlife doing around Chernobyl, an accident 20 times worse than Fukushima's natrual disaster?

'Glow in the dark' is about as informed a fear as worrying about Chemtrails, UFO abduction, or the moon landing being faked.

#8 E3 wise

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:15 PM

Hi Eclipse

First let me say that I do feel we will have to  have some nuclear power and if that is true, then Integral Fast reactors is a much better solution to use nuclear waste.  let me interject four ideas which I believe as
An energy integrator here in the United States and Europe.

. 1 until the Unitd States adopts using nuclear waste for Generation IV reactors I cannot support nuclear power in the United States.  The  rest of the World is looking at this issue logically led by countries like Canada nuclear power structure it is choosing a more logical nuclear power generation model.  However the fear of radioactive waste falling into the hands of terrorist has crippled United States action.  If they would change I could support the IV Nuclear Generation model.

2.  Right now all nuclear waste in they United States is stored on site at the reactors that created them, most just like Fukishemia is stored either above or next to the reactors, much of it is not encased in concrete  and is at risk of repeating exactly what happened at Fukishemia.  I live 30 miles from the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant owned by Florida Power and Light.  It is one of the 3 nuclear power plants here in Florida. 1 of those the Progress Energy Power Plant in Crystal River Florida has been offline since 2009 due to cracks in the containment dome, it has been repaired now 4 times, yet will not hold and now is slated for decommission entirely if the new owner fails in its last repair attempt going on now.  waste and possible radioactive disaster Re the two great problems with nuclear energy in its current for here in the United States.

3.  If hydrogen technology were incorporated into nuclear power production, a United States Department of Energy decade long study found, could in essence double the amount of energy generation and therefore allow 2 times more energy without building 1 more reactor.  this would not only be cheaper, but does so while maintaining the amounts of nuclear material to be kept a the same levels as today with no additional pollution,besides the waste already being generated.  Now I know what you are going to say, it was the explosion of hydrogen that caused the Fukishemia disaster.  If they had ran that hydrogen through fuel cells to provide power for the cooling pumps the disaster would have never happened, because the radioactive hydrogen would have returned to a heavy water component that would have refilled the reservoirs in the cooling tanks.  Why do I know this, because my company Environmental Power & Water Generation pioneered just such a design for Florida Power and Light, 11 years ago. Since that time they have pigeon holed the proposal for future implementation and are now trying to convince the Public Utility that the need a new nuclear power plant, instead of following the DOE Study and our cheaper cost recommendations.

4.  Lastly I respectfully disagree with Professor Hansen on the Nuclear Power position, he bases his view on the variability of alternative energy and his view that it is to intermediate.  I have helped design 14 wind energy facilities, 9 solar facilities, and 2 hybrid wind and solar facilities in the United Sates along with 3 generation facilities in Germany, 1 in France, 2 in Spain, and 2 in Brazil.  All these sites together are producing a full 4276 MW of energy as of today, in other words the equivalent of 5 to 8 average sized nuclear power plants.  All without any nuclear waste, all providing energy, all saving huge amounts of water, all with no risk of nuclear accidents.  Storage will need to be advanced with battery, hydrogen, and hydro all being parts of the storage equation.

A new study has found that renewables could power all of the United States with the need for non renewables being used 5% of the time to back up renewables during critical peak loads, pmeaning that we could eliminate every nuclear and coal fired power plant, and using biofuel and waste power methane, eliminate all fossil fuel production for energy generation.  So even though I feel he is correct in his climate views, I feel Dr. Hansen needs to stay within his field of expertise and leave the energy generation to people like me.  he has his doctorate in climate science, I have mine in Environmental Energy Production, Design and Integration, I would never assume I could model climate forecasts anywhere near his expertise, but likewise he needs to stop thinking he can model energy generation anywhere near my expertise, we both advise the Federal government, contribute to peer review in our fields and as I have said have advanced doctorates.

I am not trying to be snotty or say that I am anywhere near perfect, all I am saying is that each of us needs to stick to their expertise, his is climate change, mine is energy and water generation and production and I respectfully submit he is wrong on the nuclear energy production needs, I honestly believe time will prove he was right on about climate change, and I was right about renewable energy production.

With that said for the next 50 years we will need some nuclear generation whether  we like it or not, however through renewables, biofuels, and hydrogen technologies that need should remain as minimal as possible until the United States adopts a true new regiment of IV Reactor technology to use current waste and stop production of any additional nuclear waste. That my opinion.

In closing I want to thank you for bringing up this issue because I honestly believe it is critical to discuss these options and because it generates and fosters understanding of the multi dimensional aspects we face in our energy and water generation needs and forces us to make informed choices to meet the needs of our future.

Lois Moore
President Environmental Power & Water Generation
E3 Wise is a joint educational and informational format provided by Lois K. & Jeff Moore.

#9 Phil

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:15 PM

I also  agree renewables combined with hydrogen grid batteries could power the entire country, with perhaps natural gas as back up.

There is no such thing as 100% safe, in nuclear plants or anything else.  Accidents will always happen.   God knows what real lasting damage Fukajima and Chernobyl will do to the environment long term.

I think the optimum energy policy would be solar panels on rooftops, customer owned, wind farms, and decommissioned coal plates converted to hydrogen grid batteries.  Where I live we have an abundance of hydro, (84%), that is also a great non polluting source.

#10 DaS Energy

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:47 AM

There is no such thing as nuclear power, there is only nuclear heat, inclusive of explosions. Both nuclear reaction and burning coal produce heat for converting water into Steam. You cant get much less efficient than Steam, it needs +550*C heating just to produce 175 bar of force.   Contrast that with Carbon Dioxide and you have 10,000 bar of force at +100*C.  However one must not forget that  when you have two different thing that will do exactly the same job one must always go with that which costs the most and does the most damage otherwise people may think its all just to easy too make electricity. Especialy when you consider so long as you can find a spot where the temperature is above -10*C you can have all the electricity you want and all you need is a tank and a hydro turbine, nothing more and the turbine just keeps going round and around, all for free, nobody wants that now do they!

#11 yoder

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:02 AM

I don't see the future as resting on the one question of nuke or no nuke.  Nuke power is one piece of the puzzle and it is not necessarily the biggest or most important piece.

#12 eds

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

Joe Holden, Inventor of the first afterburner for Jet Engines at Rolls Royce,
. . . applies his knowledge to Sustainable Energy, and
. . . shows us a Min Hydro Plant that uses his
. . . proprietary "Compression Tube" technology
. . . that can make a meter squared hydro plant to power 100 homes.

#13 Shortpoet-GTD

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

View PostEclipse, on 21 January 2013 - 02:22 PM, said:

Then you're condemning millions, maybe even billions, to die from climate catastrophe. For make no mistake, without nuclear power there simply is no solution to global warming.
If you want to believe that I am condemning billions to death because I'm not pro nukes; so be it.
Nukes are not safe, period.
Why?
Because they are built by short sighted people and often are located on fault lines.
And I remain unconvinced that we can deal with the waste.

To err is human, and we err every single day.

#14 eds

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

Lowest Cost Electricity on the Planet!


This remarkable technology will work wherever there is a
. . . flow of water at an incline anywhere in the world.

#15 DaS Energy

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

Lowest Cost Electricity on the Planet!  The third turbine Joe is looking for is Impact. Joe increased turbine efficiency from 82% to 100%. However gas/hydro turbine now surpasses 100% efficiency by the exploiting of equal opposite force. Which in laymens terms is not unlike a piston receiving a force to its downward stroke, but its upward stroke as well. This occuring without any extra energy being inputted. Open Technology.

#16 Eclipse

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

View PostE3 wise, on 21 January 2013 - 07:15 PM, said:

Hi Eclipse

First let me say that I do feel we will have to  have some nuclear power and if that is true, then Integral Fast reactors is a much better solution to use nuclear waste.  let me interject four ideas which I believe as
An energy integrator here in the United States and Europe.

. 1 until the Unitd States adopts using nuclear waste for Generation IV reactors I cannot support nuclear power in the United States.  The  rest of the World is looking at this issue logically led by countries like Canada nuclear power structure it is choosing a more logical nuclear power generation model.  However the fear of radioactive waste falling into the hands of terrorist has crippled United States action.  If they would change I could support the IV Nuclear Generation model.

2.  Right now all nuclear waste in they United States is stored on site at the reactors that created them, most just like Fukishemia is stored either above or next to the reactors, much of it is not encased in concrete  and is at risk of repeating exactly what happened at Fukishemia.  I live 30 miles from the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant owned by Florida Power and Light.  It is one of the 3 nuclear power plants here in Florida. 1 of those the Progress Energy Power Plant in Crystal River Florida has been offline since 2009 due to cracks in the containment dome, it has been repaired now 4 times, yet will not hold and now is slated for decommission entirely if the new owner fails in its last repair attempt going on now.  waste and possible radioactive disaster Re the two great problems with nuclear energy in its current for here in the United States.

3.  If hydrogen technology were incorporated into nuclear power production, a United States Department of Energy decade long study found, could in essence double the amount of energy generation and therefore allow 2 times more energy without building 1 more reactor.  this would not only be cheaper, but does so while maintaining the amounts of nuclear material to be kept a the same levels as today with no additional pollution,besides the waste already being generated.  Now I know what you are going to say, it was the explosion of hydrogen that caused the Fukishemia disaster.  If they had ran that hydrogen through fuel cells to provide power for the cooling pumps the disaster would have never happened, because the radioactive hydrogen would have returned to a heavy water component that would have refilled the reservoirs in the cooling tanks.  Why do I know this, because my company Environmental Power & Water Generation pioneered just such a design for Florida Power and Light, 11 years ago. Since that time they have pigeon holed the proposal for future implementation and are now trying to convince the Public Utility that the need a new nuclear power plant, instead of following the DOE Study and our cheaper cost recommendations.

4.  Lastly I respectfully disagree with Professor Hansen on the Nuclear Power position, he bases his view on the variability of alternative energy and his view that it is to intermediate.  I have helped design 14 wind energy facilities, 9 solar facilities, and 2 hybrid wind and solar facilities in the United Sates along with 3 generation facilities in Germany, 1 in France, 2 in Spain, and 2 in Brazil.  All these sites together are producing a full 4276 MW of energy as of today, in other words the equivalent of 5 to 8 average sized nuclear power plants.  All without any nuclear waste, all providing energy, all saving huge amounts of water, all with no risk of nuclear accidents.  Storage will need to be advanced with battery, hydrogen, and hydro all being parts of the storage equation.

A new study has found that renewables could power all of the United States with the need for non renewables being used 5% of the time to back up renewables during critical peak loads, pmeaning that we could eliminate every nuclear and coal fired power plant, and using biofuel and waste power methane, eliminate all fossil fuel production for energy generation.  So even though I feel he is correct in his climate views, I feel Dr. Hansen needs to stay within his field of expertise and leave the energy generation to people like me.  he has his doctorate in climate science, I have mine in Environmental Energy Production, Design and Integration, I would never assume I could model climate forecasts anywhere near his expertise, but likewise he needs to stop thinking he can model energy generation anywhere near my expertise, we both advise the Federal government, contribute to peer review in our fields and as I have said have advanced doctorates.

I am not trying to be snotty or say that I am anywhere near perfect, all I am saying is that each of us needs to stick to their expertise, his is climate change, mine is energy and water generation and production and I respectfully submit he is wrong on the nuclear energy production needs, I honestly believe time will prove he was right on about climate change, and I was right about renewable energy production.

With that said for the next 50 years we will need some nuclear generation whether  we like it or not, however through renewables, biofuels, and hydrogen technologies that need should remain as minimal as possible until the United States adopts a true new regiment of IV Reactor technology to use current waste and stop production of any additional nuclear waste. That my opinion.

In closing I want to thank you for bringing up this issue because I honestly believe it is critical to discuss these options and because it generates and fosters understanding of the multi dimensional aspects we face in our energy and water generation needs and forces us to make informed choices to meet the needs of our future.

Lois Moore
President Environmental Power & Water Generation
E3 Wise is a joint educational and informational format provided by Lois K. & Jeff Moore.

Hi Lois,
I respect your Phd and have no claim to even doing High School science, let alone an engineering degree. My brain is wired into the humanities, and the poor thing gets stressed and starts to melt down if you show me a page of equations!

Nevertheless, when people I respect like Hansen and Brook both say a renewable grid would simply cost too much money to back up, what am I to conclude? When they have countless papers that demonstrate this, what am I to conclude? When even renewable advocates just come out and say it cannot be done at any cost we can bear without exponentially more powerful and cheaper batteries, what am I to conclude? When I read heaps of reports about trouble integrating Danish wind into the grid, what am I to conclude? As Barry Brook always highlights:

2 Countries started a 20 year effort to get off fossil fuels.

France went nuclear, Denmark went renewable.

Denmark remains at 650g Co2 / kwh while France is at 90g Co2 / kwh.

It's nuclear power or it's climate change.

http://bravenewclima...03/24/np-or-cc/


#17 E3 wise

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:19 PM

Ok well see, I must say that I never ment to imply that I do not deeply admire Dr. Hansen

Here's to the next 20 years.

#18 Eclipse

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

But what I'm asking is did the reports you saw indicate the physical possibility of a renewable grid, or the economic viability? Brook admits the physical possibility, but the cost just makes it economically impossible. That's his argument. It's all about the costs. For example;
  • the costs of an Australian wide super-grid full of state-of-the art HVDC lines to bring the power from where it's generated to where we use it
  • the costs of over-build of capacity because of seasonal fluctions
  • the costs of over-build of daily capacity because of daily fluctuations
  • finally the costs of building the actual storage systems themselves, whether batteries of sea-water hydro dams (because new freshwater river hydro dams are pretty much unthinkable given threats to ecologies and fisheries)
I actually want to be wrong on this. While I think the 'threats' from nuclear power are totally exaggerated in the minds of many, and that the 'dangers' of nuclear power can be prevented by clever new technologies and clever siting in distant wildernesses (which still would not require a fraction of the HVDC of a renewable grid!), I just love the idea of renewables. Power from the wind and sun. Who doesn't love that? I was, until a few years ago, anti-nuclear. But The Simpler Way work of Professor Ted Trainer also convinced me that renewables cannot sustain a modern civilisation. Not alone.

But maybe, with IFR's backing the grid, they can cope with 50%? Who knows? I'm just putting forward the argument that the concerns for nuclear power are exaggerated, as are the concerns that renewables cannot do the job. They can, if coupled with fast-tracking of nuclear power as well. Electricity demand is expected to double by 2030. As peak oil hits and we move to trains, trams, trolley buses and EV's, I think electricity demand could more than double. There's plenty of room for renewables to take up all that extra demand if we plug nukes in to clean up the old coal. That's my position so far.

But I'd really love to be wrong on the nukes. I'd love to know, deep down in my bones, that renewables alone could do the job. The history so far of Denmark V France doesn't indicate this, nor do the reasonable questions put to renewable advocates by Professor Barry Brook.

Lastly, I just wanted to comment that my reading of IFR's is that we'd already have them burning our waste if it wasn't for a political stuff-up that saw Clinton ban them.

Quote


With the election of President Bill Clinton in 1992, and the appointment of Hazel O'Leary as the Secretary of Energy, there was pressure from the top to cancel the IFR. Sen. John Kerry (D, MA) and O'Leary led the opposition to the reactor, arguing that it would be a threat to non-proliferation efforts, and that it was a continuation of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project that had been canceled by Congress.[21]
http://en.wikipedia....Reactor#History

#19 eds

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

Here's another Joe Holden video, where he talks about his turbine.
. . . It is just a mechanical turbine and does not contain any electrical parts of any kind.

Source: planetcpr

#20 Phil

Phil

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  • Veteran Shifter
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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:01 PM

Generate hydrogen with excess solar/wind power then burn it at night/cloudy days.  Solar is competitive with coal when you hit $1/watt installed.  Self installing today you can get down to $1.09.  Even without federal incentives it is competitive.  With my state incentive it's cheaper than even hydro, (15 cents/KWH production credit).

Expense is not an issue with solar!   According to the DOE, it became cheaper than nuclear a couple of years ago.

Nuclear on the other had has a huge government subsidy, no insurance company will underwrite it so the government has to.  That means tax payers are on the hook for whatever happens.

Incidentally my 10KW system has only been on line a little over a year and it's generated 15 MW!

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