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Set aside fears and Build reactors not windmills
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 2:06 pm    Post subject: Set aside fears and Build reactors not windmills Reply with quote

Times, 9th May 2011
Quote:
Set aside fears and Build reactors not windmills, says climate watchdogBen Webster Environment Editor
Britain must build 14 new nuclear plants, setting aside fears over radiation leaks, because that is the cheapest way of meeting compulsory carbon reduction targets, according to the Government's climate change watchdog.

The number of offshore windmills planned for 2020 should be cut by up to third, because they are too expensive. The Committee on Climate Change says heavy reliance on offshore wind could result in unacceptable increases in fuel bills.

The committee today delivers recommendations on how to meet Britain's EU obligation to increase the share of energy from renewable sources from 3 per cent to 15 per cent by 2020. It will also dismiss concerns over safety raised by the leaks from the tsunami-hit Fukushima reactors in Japan.

It says nuclear power, which produces no carbon dioxide, should play a central role in meeting its recommended target of cutting emissions by 60 per cent by 2030. The cost of meeting the target is expected to add at least £50 to the average household's annual energy bills in the next ten years.

The watchdog's intervention comes amid nuclear industry fears that Japan's disaster could result in a delay in the approval of new reactors and an escalation in the cost of safety systems.

Dr Mike Weightman, the Health and Safety Executive's chief nuclear inspector, is due to deliver an interim report commissioned to review safety in the wake of the Fukushima leaks.

The committee expects him to concur with its own conclusion that "the likelihood of natural disasters of this type and scale occurring in the UK is extremely small". It adds that the reactor designs proposed in Britain "have benefited from considerable technological improvement since the 1960s Boiling Water Reactors used at Fukushima, including the incorporation of secondary backup and passive cooling facilities".

The committee's report, which was requested last year by Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, says that nuclear "should play a major role in decarbonisation", It recommends that nuclear should provide 40 per cent of Britain's electricity by 2030, up from 18 per cent now. Renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydropower should provide another 40 cent, with gas-fired power stations supplying most of the remaining 20%. David Kennedy, the committee's chief executive, said: "Nuclear looks like if will be the lowest cost for the next decade or two. Renewables look like they will be expensive for the foreseeable future."

Mr Kennedy said that offshore windmills were likely to continue to need a subsidy at least until 2025. The Government should reduce by "several gigawatts" its target of 13 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity.

Before the Fukushima disaster, the Government and nuclear industry had been planning to build 12 new reactors on seven sites by 2025. The committee recommends that all these reactors should be built without delay and that sites should be found for at least two more reactors by 2030.

It says the extra reactors could either be built on the site of the existing Hartlepool nuclear power station or at one of the other seven sites approved by the Government for new nuclear plants.

The committee raises the possibility of Britain emulating France's rapid reactor construction in the 1970s, which resulted in nuclear power accounting for 80 per cent of its electricity.

The committee's endorsement of new nuclear reactors comes as a new opinion poll shows the Fukushima disaster has made little difference to public attitudes to nuclear power in Britain. About two-thirds (65 per cent) of Britons polled by Populus saw a role for nuclear in the UK's energy mix, a level of support seen since 2007 when the company started tracking the issue.

It polled 2000 people and found 42 per cent were in favour of a new generation of nuclear power plants and 31 per cent opposed.
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goslow



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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

but it says nuclear 40%, renewables 40%, so still lots of "windmills". The report is less keen on offshore wind, as being more expensive than onshore wind.
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt if we have enough grain to need the equivalent of 14 nukes worth of windmills Wink.
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

goslow wrote:
but it says nuclear 40%, renewables 40%, so still lots of "windmills". The report is less keen on offshore wind, as being more expensive than onshore wind.


Ah yes, but the 40 % windmills will never happen. More like 40 % nukes, 50 % gas (dirt cheap, low emissions) and 10 % windmills (if any of them are still going by then).
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
Ah yes, but the 40 % windmills will never happen. More like 40 % nukes, 50 % gas (dirt cheap, low emissions) and 10 % windmills (if any of them are still going by then).

Is that a different sort of gas to what we heat houses with, where the wholesale price has just gone up 25%?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13331606
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DominicJ



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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still considerably cheaper than wind.....
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
build 12 new reactors on seven sites by 2025


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzokqf830Jk

Shame it can't be embedded.
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goslow



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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The report is suggesting about 30% wind (onshore and offshore) in this 40% scenario. As you know some other countries have managed 20% or more in onshore wind alone. We also have multiple other renewables to add into the mix.

I suppose the 40% nuke is also feasible, though after events in Japan there may be more opposition to new nukes.

We can count on electricity demand being stable, or even higher with more EVs. So the % cannot be increased by energy conservation as such.

what about this bit page 18

– Onshore wind has a comparable cost to nuclear and is therefore also likely to be cost-competitive with gas CCGT by 2020.

http://www.theccc.org.uk/reports/renewable-energy-review

since most of us are taking climate change seriously, then gas should be costed appropriately and with CCS would certainly be more expensive than renewables. Never mind the energy security aspect, nearly all gas to be imported within a few years.
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt there's any chance of nukes or onshore windmills being anywhere near as cheap as gas*. Building CCGTs comes in at about £500-700,000/MW installed. There's loads of gas, now that gas from shale is on. And even building gas alone (with no carbon capture) would cut emissions sufficiently to meet our European requirements. We don't have the sites, nor the fabrication plant, to build that quantity of onshore wind. And even if you could, how are you going to operate a grid with 40 % nuke, 40 % wind and 20 % gas, because since the capacity credit for wind is below 10 % (is it, in fact, 0%?), you'll have to cover the wind plant with the equivalent thermal plant to secure the grid.

* An early comment I have seen on this report questions their figures for onshore wind costs, noting that they have made inadequate cost provision for intermittency (i.e. low capacity credit) and security of supply.
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since we will be importing that vast majority of our fossil fuels by 2030, and we won't have the hard cash in anything like the quantities we have now (Our unpayable debt levels will mean Sterling will have been heavily devalued) I am certain that our 'demand' for electricity will be a lot less than it is now. Because our economy will be a lot smaller than it is now.

If we spend the next 15 years building windmills, they will meet a larger percentage of demand than even the most optimistic forecast predicts.

The same could be said of nuclear, but I expect we could never build even one plant before we reach the point where our economy will not support the capital investment costs. Even if the government passed laws today removing all legal and planning objections, we would still go broke first.
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
There's loads of gas, now that gas from shale is on. .


Please provide detailed reserve estimates with full costings, for UK reserves of shale gas. I haven't seen one.

Spot price has been above 55p/therm for the last 5 months now. Not going down any time soon.

[edit]

Here is one

Quote:
17. If the prospective shale area of UK shale gas potential did prove to be as prolific as the analogous basins in the US, it could be of the order of 150 bcm of gas (900 million barrels of oil equivalent). To put this in context, this compares with the UK’s overall remaining conventional oil and gas reserves of some 20 billion barrels (including offshore).


http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmenergy/writev/shale/sg01.htm

UK gas consumption is 95bcm a year.


Last edited by PS_RalphW on Mon May 09, 2011 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously other people's countries are going to let us have the gas on the cheap, out of the goodness of their hearts Twisted Evil

Yes there's some unconventional gas lurking under Lancashire, but not much, and not at the same super-duper low Carbon cost as the gas we know and love either.

It's still not obvious how the costs of nuclear can be calculated to any accuracy given that the cost, or even the method, of waste disposal, is yet to be completely specified.

And the costs of any form of capacity, wind included, are dependent on commodity prices. It's all a good argument for letting people get on with building what's easy to build at any given time, and at the moment that appears to be gas, and wind farms. With a spot of AD for the agriculture sector.
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://knowledgeproblem.com/2011/05/06/matt-ridley-writing-up-the-shale-gas-shock/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12245633

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/6299291/Energy-crisis-is-postponed-as-new-gas-rescues-the-world.html

http://energy.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1450483/?UserKey=

give a flavour of future gas supplies.

Sorry, I don't see why we can't make sensible estimates for both waste disposal and thus nuclear costs.

And yes, fuel prices may move, but this again can be handled as confidence limits - it's what's been done for yeras in the energy markets.
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2 As and a B



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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/6299291/Energy-crisis-is-postponed-as-new-gas-rescues-the-world.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/globalbusiness/8386829/World-energy-crunch-as-nuclear-and-oil-both-go-wrong.html
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal wrote:
Quote:
build 12 new reactors on seven sites by 2025


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzokqf830Jk

Shame it can't be embedded.

As an Admin, Ken, surely you can add the BBCode for embedding video. It's very easy.
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