Every year human activity creates more than 30 billion tonnes of GHG waste and dumps it in the atmosphere. The IPCC estimates that if BAU continues the atmospheric CO2 concentration will be 900ppm by the year 2100 with average global temperatures rising 4 degrees plus.
It will be difficult for human civilisation to survive a climate change of this magnitude.
Germany Renewable numbers
In the 15 years to the end of 2013 Germany installed 70 GW of wind and solar energy collection capacity for a capital cost of about €190 billion.
In 2013 renewable energy produced 24% of German electricity output.
70GW of wind and solar collected 13% with capacity factors of 18% and 10% respectively.
11GW of hydro and biomass produced 11% with capacity factors of 50% and 75% respectively.
Renewable subsidies in 2013 total €23 billion with German electricity charges the second highest in Europe, after Denmark.
To provide power when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, a new fleet of coal burning power stations have been commissioned that are able to ‘load follow’ solar and wind intermittency.
The IEA 2013 Energy Statistics show that for 2011 German CO2 emissions were 9 tonnes per capita.
Since closing 8GW of nuclear in 2011, German GHG annual emissions increased at a rate similar to the global average.
It is of interest that in 2013, the remaining 12GW of nuclear capacity produced more electricity (15%) than 70GW of solar and wind due to a capacity factor of 90%.
French nuclear numbers.
In the 20 years to 1995 France installed 58GW of nuclear generation which now produces 80% of their electrical energy.
French CO2 emissions in 2011 are 5 tonnes per capita, the lowest of any large developed nation.
Energy Safety numbers
Three prominent nuclear accidents have occurred. At Three Mile Island there were no deaths. At Chernobyl, the United Nations UNSEAR Committee reported that after 25 years total deaths from radiation are 50 and their estimate for Fukushima is none are expected.
To put this in perspective, in 2011 about 50 people died eating contaminated organic bean sprouts in Germany. Global road deaths are 1.2 million annually.
In 2014 the United Nations identified that the world’s biggest health risk is indoor and outdoor air pollution caused by biomass and fossil fuel energy production with 8 million deaths in 2011.
The European Commissions’ ExternE Report shows that deaths per TWh of energy production for wind, solar, hydro and nuclear is less than 1 and for biomass, coal and oil it is greater than 12.
Nuclear waste numbers
After 60 years of commercial nuclear energy production, the globes stockpile of nuclear waste is 350,000 tonnes, which still contains 99% of its nuclear energy.
Using this waste as fuel, 24,000 GE Hitachi PRISM fast breeder reactors could potentially provide all the world’s energy requirements for the next hundred years. The volume of nuclear waste will be reduced 20 fold and only require safe storage for a few hundred years.
The prototype for the PRISM, the EBR11 operated for 30 years generating 2 billion kilowatts of electricity proving to be passively safe and very efficient until cancelled by the Clinton/Gore Administration as an unnecessary nuclear program in 1994. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_fast_reactor
If 20 years ago, the Clinton/Gore Administration and the global community had recognised that climate change is the inconvenient truth and that nuclear is the inconvenient solution there would be no pending climate crisis today.
No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power.http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf