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Author Topic: James Hansen loves nuclear power  (Read 56906 times)

DrTskoul

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #350 on: April 18, 2017, 12:50:39 PM »
Scotland seems on track to be the main British Isle producer of clean energy.

It's going to be interesting watching how nuclear develops in the UK.  It's fairly likely that no new reactors will be built.  If someone would toss another HVDC line in the water and hook into Portuguese/Spanish solar that could be the end of nuclear.

The seek to connect to Iceland and Norway via high voltage interconnects. Based on their current path, there are going to be times that they import a lot of energy. They used to have 100% redundancy..
“You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts.”
― Richard P. Feynman

rboyd

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #351 on: April 18, 2017, 06:31:01 PM »
Bob Wallace: "Germany may miss the 2020 CO2 target they set several years ago due to their decision to speed up reactor closure.  But they won't miss it by much and they still expect to be fossil fuel free by 2050"

German emissions look like they have flatlined from 2009 to 2017, looks like they will miss their 40% target - closer to 32% (currently at 27.6%). Very little of that improvement will have happened after 2009. With possibly no reduction in electricity emissions through 2022 (as the remaining nuclear is shut down) and government reluctance to close down coal, the onus will be on transport and buildings. A lot of challenges there:

https://energytransition.org/2017/03/germany-to-miss-2020-carbon-reduction-targets-by-a-mile/

https://www.ft.com/content/7f2f199a-0a5f-11e7-97d1-5e720a26771b

Bob Wallace

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #352 on: April 18, 2017, 07:18:12 PM »
With possibly no reduction in electricity emissions through 2022 (as the remaining nuclear is shut down)

Look at the Energy Industry portion of the graph you posted.  CO2 emissions moved up a small amount in the two years post the Fukushima disaster as Germany sped up reactor closing.  And then they fell following two years.  Electricity related CO2 was apparently up about 1% in 2016 due to increased demand.

It will take about five more years to close the remaining nuclear plants and we shouldn't be surprised if that keeps electricity related CO2 from significant falls.  Renewable installations will be used to offset reactor losses.

But post 2022 Germany should have no more reactors to close and further renewable installations can be used to eliminate fossil fuel use.  That's the story behind somewhat missing the 2020 target but still hitting the 2050 target.

Remember, Fukushima was a major disrupting even for Germany.  As a country that had lived through a nuclear disaster in their neighborhood they decided that they wanted to reduce the risk of experiencing another.

Look closely at the bars in your graph.  Electricity generation CO2 emissions have dropped slightly from 2009 to 2015.  You cherry-picked the lowest pre-Fukushima year out of the record.  Use change over a decade and you see a 13% decrease.  Not an extraordinary rate, but we're only short years into very affordable wind and solar.

Then look at the other sources of CO2.  Look at the non-electricity sectors which have increased.


rboyd

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #353 on: April 18, 2017, 09:33:31 PM »
Germany's emissions are down less than 10% since 2005 (12 years ago), the big reductions were in the 1990's due to the meltdown of the East German economy and the closure of their highly inefficient coal plants.

Germany's current plan calls for energy sector emissions to halve between 2020 and 2030; given the probable undershoot of reductions prior to then it will have to more than halve. With nuclear gone in 2022, that needs to be done in 8 years. At the same time Germany will certainly be pushing the envelope for wind+solar penetration.

Germany may have a vague plan, but that doesn't mean that it will happen - as shown by the failure to make the 2020 targets. Going to 12% wind and 6% solar in 2016 was the easiest part. Ramping that to replace the 13% nuclear in 5 years (31% wind + solar) will be a challenge. After that, we will truly start testing the viability of a highly-intermittent charged grid. I predict that things will slow down as the inevitable unforeseen (including political, economic and financial) consequences have to be dealt with.

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-energy-consumption-and-power-mix-charts

I wish I shared your optimism Bob, but I think that the transition will be considerably harder and longer than you think.

Bob Wallace

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #354 on: April 18, 2017, 09:59:29 PM »
Germany may have a vague plan, but that doesn't mean that it will happen - as shown by the failure to make the 2020 targets.

Again, lay the problem with Germany hitting its 2020 target at the feet of the idiots who built the Fukushima reactors where they did.

I'm getting really fed up with pro-nuke advocates who try to use Germany's CO2 emissions as an attack on renewables.  German citizens don't want potential nuclear disaster in their yards.  I lived downwind and not very far from one of the worst run nuclear reactors in the US.  I now live just downwind of a US reactor (now closed) that was built on an active faultline and in a tsunami zone.  I was only a few hundred miles away when Fukushima went sour.  I can appreciate their attitude.

Let it be.  Germans are very capable people.  They will solve their problems.

The transition to renewables gets easier and cheaper every year.  Turbines and solar panels become more efficient and less expensive.  We figure out better and cheaper ways to install.  For example, we've brought down the cost of single axis trackers so that the fixed mount panels that were giving us capacity factor numbers around 20% are now returning 30%.  A 50% increase in electricity produced for a modest increase in cost.  And a longer solar day which lowers the need for storage.

Over the next few years Germany will have to start deciding how much local storage to build and how much to rely on dispatchable hydro and pump-up hydro in the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland.  The price of batteries will continue to fall.  More battery "gigafactories" will be built.  Germany will be able to order up as many containers of 'plug and go' storage as they want and transmission lines can be beefed up to carry more power to and from Germany and the more mountainous European countries.

The thing that needs to happen right now in Germany is to break the back of the coal industry.  Get it's political strength reduced so that it can't screw with renewable installation rates via legislative shenanigans.

rboyd

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #355 on: April 18, 2017, 10:42:26 PM »
No lover of nukes, but Germany has placed itself in a difficult place by shutting them down instead of coal/lignite. Given my admiration for German engineering and regulations I have to assume that they were probably some of the best run nukes in the world, and not near any major natural hazards.

I am not such an techno-optimist, so I see a lot of difficulties in ramping up their wind+solar past the still relatively small penetration levels. Time will tell ...

Bob Wallace

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #356 on: April 18, 2017, 11:25:05 PM »
Germany didn't place itself in a difficult position.  It just rearranged its priority list.

Worry about the countries that aren't really working on their fossil fuel problem.  Here's where Germany got its electricity in 2016.




11.9% from wind.
 5.9% from solar.
29% total from renewables.

See how many countries you can find that get more of their electricity from wind and solar.  The US just cracked the 1% threshold for solar and is about 5% for wind.

rboyd

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #357 on: April 19, 2017, 01:27:34 AM »
Going to keep any further comments on Germany on the Germany thread ....

Seumas

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #358 on: April 20, 2017, 03:33:36 PM »
The seek to connect to Iceland and Norway via high voltage interconnects. Based on their current path, there are going to be times that they import a lot of energy. They used to have 100% redundancy..

Will you please stop this ignorant crap about Scotland? We have gone from importing coal to run Longannet, to having the capability to import hydroelectric from Norway. I have no idea what bizarre mental contortions you're going through to make that sound like a bad thing.

When exactly are you predicting this doom and gloom for Scottish energy production will start? Because otherwise you're just spouting denier bollocks about how renewables can't *possibly* work, in direct contradiction to the reality of their use.