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Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 09, 2018, 11:33:14 PM »
I think we are all agreed that reducing CO2 emissions as quickly as possible to stop climate change is a good idea.
Germany and France provide annual data that detail the effectiveness of different technologies to reduce electricity emissions to less than 100g/kWh.
Germany is globally acknowledged as the world climate leader because it has installed 100GW of renewables in just 18 years to generate low carbon electricity, mainly wind and solar giving a total at the end of 2017 of 111GW.

In 2017 the share of gross German electricity production was;

80GW of coal, gas and other provided 56%.
98GW of wind and solar provided 22%.

11GW of nuclear provided 12%.

13GW of biomass and hydro provided 10%.

As a result German electricity CO2 emission intensity is 500g/kWh.

Page 26 in

To put this in persective the low carbon electricity league table in 2016, ranks the top 33 countries generating 100TWh of electricity or more annually.  Germany is 18th.

It is of interest that the top three with lowest CO2 emissions, Norway, Sweden and France all use hydro or nuclear or both.

While France receives no recognition as a climate leader, for the past 25 years it has continually provided low carbon electricity with an emissions intensity of 100g/kWh or less after installing 63 GW of nuclear between 1975 and 1995.

In 2017 French electricity CO2 emissions intensity was 77g/kWh, 6 times lower than Germany.

It is also of interest that the three countries (States) with the most expensive retail electricity have high penetration of renewables.  These are South Australia, Denmark and Germany.  Prices in A$.

Note that the electricity prices of the three countries with the lowest CO2 emissions Norway, Sweden and France are lower the the EU average. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 05, 2018, 12:42:58 AM »
Another good year for the climate from nuclear France just 77g/kWh electricity CO2 emissions.

Before 1975 French electricity CO2 emissions were about 500g/kWh similar to Germany today.

Between 1975 and 1995 France installed 63GW of nuclear capacity REPLACING most of its fossil fuel capacity and since 1992 has consistently provided electricity with emissions of 100g/kWh or less.

No wonder the climate and James Hansen loves nuclear power!

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 26, 2017, 05:40:22 AM »
The Danish Energy Agency maintains a data base of wind turbines containing valuable service life information.
Their Excel data show that as of the end of November 2017, Denmark have built and operated 9,310 wind turbines, of which 3219, or 35% have been decommissioned.

Of those decommissioned, the mean service life is 17.9 years.
Twenty-nine of the decommissioned wind turbines operated less than two years, five never operated at all, and 114 operated for less than 10 years. 
The longest service life was 36 years, with 18 lasting more than 30 years.

Of the 6,091 turbines still operating there are 106 with service life longer than 30 years, the longest is 39.5 years with a mean age of 14 years.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: December 19, 2017, 11:12:51 AM »
Odd that Quebec is not on the map. It's almost all hydro, plus a bit of wind. It hasn't had a thermal plant in years -- and that was a nuclear plant.

My state Western Australia was not on the map either so I sent an email with the map link to the Western Australian Conservation Council who were delighted and advised me they would pass the map link onto an energy group they liaise with.  About a month later Western Australia was on the map so I assumed they successfully added our State data from the AEMO by clicking on the "adding a territory" link.

It would be great if communities from all countries (and States) arranged to add their emissions data to this map to enable the global community to make better decisions with respect to successful emissions reduction. 

This will give us the best chance of success.   

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: December 18, 2017, 11:08:10 AM »
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he would not follow Germany's example by phasing out nuclear energy in France because his priority was to cut carbon emissions and shut down polluting coal-fired production.

"Nuclear is not bad for carbon emissions, it's even the most carbon-free way to produce electricity with renewables," Macron said.

It gives me some hope for the future that some world leaders are starting to use scientific evidence and data to drive CO2 emission reduction decision making.   

France has had one of the lowest electricity grid emissions for 30 years thanks to nuclear power.   Norway, Sweden and France all use nuclear or hydro or both to head the low carbon emissions league table.

Any time this electricity emissions map is accessed it consistently shows Norway, Sweden and France as green along with the State of Ontario in Canada showing low electricity emissions.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: November 09, 2017, 05:37:37 AM »
Emmanuel Macron the French President committed to a reduction of nuclear from 75% to 50% of electricity generation by 2025.

RTE, the EDF's electricity transmission system operator has advised that a too rapid decrease of the nuclear fleet would force it to keep the four French coal plants open and to build twenty new gas plants to balance intermittent renewables.

"I prefer realism and sincerity to the hoax, " Nicolas Hulot announced on Tuesday, November 7.  The reduction date to bring nuclear power to 50% has been deferred as it will be detriment to French climate goals.
Currently French electricity CO2 emissions at 25 million tonnes, are just 5% of total French emissions and the lowest of any G20 country and a demonstration model for the world to follow.

Unfortunately for the climate Germany has not been sincere or realistic and has successfully maintained the hoax.  It has installed 100GW of intermittent renewables, closed half its nuclear capacity, installing 10GW of gas to balance renewables while maintaining its coal capacity at 49GW.

As a result German CO2 emissions are unchanged at just over 300 million tonnes compared to French emissions of just 25 million tonnes.

See page 49 for German CO2 emissions.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: July 14, 2017, 03:47:34 AM »
An open letter to French president Emmanuel Macron from environmentalists led by Jim Hansen warned that closing nuclear power plants would be a step backward for France.

Key points from the letter include.

Nobody has done more for advancing clean energy on the grid than France. In light of this knowledge, we are writing to express our alarm at your decision to move France away from clean nuclear power.

Any reduction in France's nuclear generation will increase fossil fuel generation and pollution given the low capacity factors and intermittency of solar and wind.

Whereas France has some of the cheapest and cleanest electricity in Europe, Germany has some of the most expensive and dirtiest.

The French nuclear program has historically been the envy of the world.  It demonstrated in the 1970s and 80s that the decarbonization of an industrialized country's electricity sector is in fact possible.

For France, the next necessary step to help combat climate change and improve air quality is to increase clean electricity from all non-fossil sources and massively reduce fossil fuels used in heating and the transportation sector.  Nuclear power must play a central role in this.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: June 24, 2017, 03:11:23 AM »
The world map showing electricity emissions has been updated with some new countries and states including my own state of Western Australia.

I regularly check emissions of the various countries and notice that economies with high penetration of firm low carbon capacity like hydro, nuclear and biomass are consistently green with CO2 emissions less than 100g/kWh, and very often below 50g/kWh.
By comparison countries with high penetration of intermittent low carbon capacity like wind and solar backed by fossil fuel capacity are nearly always yellow or brown with CO2 emissions much higher, usually about 300g/kWh to 500g/kWh.

This is not surprising as the UK report below  shows that to achieve CO2 emissions less than 100g/kWh using intermittent low carbon capacity like wind and solar requires the backing of firm low carbon capacity sources like hydro and nuclear.

This is the reason why since 2005 the UK has a bipartisan agreement with the major political parties to include nuclear as part of their long term CO2 emissions reduction strategy.   

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: May 25, 2017, 08:38:33 AM »
“Over the last decade, Germany has emerged as a clear leader in the fight against climate change” said Jungjohann, an advisor to the German Green Party, at a clean energy discussion in Ottawa, Ontario last week hosted by National Observer and the German embassy.

German electricity CO2 emissions in 2016 were 472g/kWh.

Divide electricity CO2 emissions of 306 million tonnes on page 49 by electricity generation of 648TWh on page 14 to get 472g/kWh.

Ontario’s electricity CO2 emissions are consistently less than 20g/kWh or 20 times less.

With anti-science, political beliefs like this dominating the CO2 emissions mitigation debate it is not surprising that CO2 atmospheric concentrations have risen from 350ppm 30 years ago, to over 400ppm today. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: May 19, 2017, 01:38:29 AM »
German energy capacity factors (CF) for non-carbon energy sources for 2016 are calculated from the data in the link below.

40.3 GW of solar has a capacity factor of just 11%, producing 38.3 TWh of electricty (mean CF last 10 years is 10%) 

49.6 GW of wind has a capacity factor of just 18%,producing 79.8 TWh of electricity (mean CF for past 10 years is 18%)

5.6 GW of hydro produced 21.5 TWh of electricity for a capacity factor of 44%.

7.1 GW of biomass produced 51.7 TWh of electricity for a capacity factor of 83%.

10.8 GW of nuclear produced 84.9 TWh of electricity for a capacity factor of 90% (mean CF for past 10 years is 84%).

In 2016 total electricity CO2 emissions were 306 million tonnes, just 20 million tonnes less than 2000.   For total electricity generation of 648 TWh this gives CO2 emissions of 472g/kWh or 6 times higher than nuclear France.

Lessons learned

Nuclear is still the largest source of non carbon electricity.

Intermittent generation sources like wind and solar produce very little electricity, just 18% of total generation in 2016, requiring backup most of the time when the wind and sun are not, or only partially available.

Where this backup is fossil fuel, CO2 emissions are not significantly reduced.  This is the reason why the UK, with bipartisan agreement, is expanding its nuclear capacity.

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power!

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: May 12, 2017, 01:29:51 AM »
This article from Energy Matters calculates the size of the task to reduce annual global carbon emissions from 10GtC to 6GtC by 2050.

A summary of the findings are.

Business as usual (BAU) will result in about 500 ppm CO2 by 2050.

A cut of 4GtC per annum by 2050 will reduce CO2 by about 30 ppm relative to BAU.

To achieve 4 GtC cuts by deploying wind turbines ,will require about 3 million 3 MW turbines deployed at a rate of 156,000 a year by 2050 compared with 21,000 in 2015 or a 7.5 fold increase in production.

To achieve 4 GtC cuts by deploying nuclear fission reactors will require a total fleet of about 2 thousand 1.4 GW reactors deployed at a rate of 60 new reactors per year, also a 7.5 fold increase in production. 

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: April 30, 2017, 03:03:02 AM »
I couldn't find the North American breakdown by province or state. Did I simply miss something or is the data not there.



There is an updated map now with just a few States from Canada and the USA as a whole, plus some States in Australia and New Zealand.

This fantastic resource  shows which countries are successfully reducing emissions and exposes those which are just playing political games (like my country Australia).

The map is produced by Olivier Corradi who with the help of other contributors is adding more and more countries and States and says. "It is now used in class rooms, lectures and in many debates online. It is pushing Holland to open up its data, was mentioned by more than 50 news articles, and got attention from e.g. WWF, UNFCCC and Greenpeace".

I encourage all who are really concerned about climate change to publicize this map link widely as successful CO2 mitigation decision making must be made using scientific data and not political ideology.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: April 26, 2017, 07:44:34 AM »
Attached is a map of Europe with real time CO2 emissions and when ranked also includes other countries and states in the world.

Note that consistently the greenest countries, the ones with the lowest CO2 emissions (less than 100g/kWh) are Norway,  Sweden, Ontario (Canada), New Zealand and France.

All use nuclear or hydro or a combination of both.  (New Zealand also has thermal power).

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: April 17, 2017, 10:50:03 AM »
Yes the objective is to reduce CO2 emissions. Should a country trying to reduce its emissions build lots of new nuclear plants, or lots of solar and wind with overcapacity and storage? For many countries (if not all) I believe the answer is the latter, because of economic, risk-management and deployment-speed reasons.

Where is there a real world example of a reduction in emissions using lots of solar and wind with overcapacity and storage that has resulted in grid electricity emissions below 100g/kWh?

To effectively reduce CO2 emissions every country must decrease CO2 emissions to less that 100g/kWh and increase electricity capacity 4 fold to allow the electrification of transport and industrial heat.

Currently the only real world examples that have achieved emissions this low are hydro and nuclear.

I agree with James Hansen, the most important task is to  reduce CO2 emissions ASAP and will support any technology that achieves this aim.   

France constructed 63GW of nuclear replacing its fossil fuel capacity in just 20 years and today's has CO2 emissions of less than 100g/kWh so has a proven record.

Today they are 29g/kWh.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: April 14, 2017, 01:48:57 AM »
Ontario's nuclear fleet is wonderfully low carbon but has been an extremely expensive burden.

So you would prefer a intermittent renewable system like Germany, very expensive with CO2 emissions 10 times higher than France?

I thought the objective was to reduce CO2 emissions.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: April 12, 2017, 03:03:01 PM »
This is an example of what a successful low CO2 emissions electricity grid looks like and is a blueprint for the world to follow.

The State of Ontario in Canada regularly achieves less than 30g/kWh (today it was 7g/kWh) using low carbon nuclear to do the heavy lifting as base load generation, with some intermittent wind and solar plus hydro and gas to balance peak loads and renewable intermittency.

Below is a commercial from Bruce Power highlighting the great job done by nuclear.

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power!

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: April 10, 2017, 10:52:58 AM »
Dr James Hansen on intermittent renewables.

Real world engineering shows that reducing CO2 emissions gets harder with more deployment of renewables due to the intermittency factor.

Germany has increased solar and wind generation capacity from 35GW in 2009 to 85GW in 2016 but German annual CO2 emissions have remained unchanged at about 900 million tonnes.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: April 03, 2017, 10:23:37 AM »
Great visual map of CO2 emissions in Europe.

Note that Norway (hydro), Sweden (nuclear and hydro) and France (nuclear) are "green clean " countries with emissions less than 100g/kWh.

By contrast countries like Germany that have invested heavily in intermittent renewable energy generation sources like solar and wind are classified as "brown" countries with emissions above 500g/kWh.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: March 06, 2017, 01:24:18 AM »

A very interesting video where Paul Howarth, CEO of the National Nuclear Laboratory in the UK talks about the UK Government journey towards achieving 60% emissions reduction by 2050 and 80% by 2080.

Initially the Government’s (Labour) ideological position was this could be achieved with renewables until Government scientists developed an emissions reduction computer model.  When the model was run it showed that it is not possible to achieve the emissions reductions required until nuclear was included in the mix.

Based on science and not political ideology the UK Government with bipartisan agreement is now moving towards their emissions reduction goal by developing a nuclear energy industry that will also include a closed nuclear waste cycle by mid century. 

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: February 05, 2017, 02:08:07 AM »
If you close firm generation capacity nuclear you need to replace it with alternative firm generation capacity like coal, gas, oil or hydro.

Japan is turning to coal power to help it transition the country away from nuclear power.

The only casualty will be the climate but for anti nuclear supporters this is a small price to pay.   

The facts are simple, just four large economies Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and France have near-zero-emission electricity, all use hydroelectricity and/or nuclear power.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: January 30, 2017, 08:42:38 AM »
Using nuclear to power large cargo ships could save significant CO2 emissions.

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: January 30, 2017, 07:56:36 AM »
John Kerry who terminated the USA fast breeder reactor program which uses nuclear waste as nuclear fuel has also realised how wrong he was to oppose nuclear reactors and is now telling us all to "go for it".

Unfortunately for the climate it is 33 years too late.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: January 18, 2017, 09:22:46 AM »

Is the objective of climate change policy the installation of renewables or CO2 emissions reduction?

Germany is seen as the world leader on climate action because it installed 95GW of renewables in just 16 years giving a total of 105GW.

Yet German renewables produce just 30% of their electricity, most is provided by fossil fuels when wind and solar is not available.

CO2 emissions have been reduced by just 20 million tonnes in 16 years to 306 million tonnes, giving a CO2 intensity of 473g/kWh, well short of the climate target of 100g/kWh or less.

(In German however from the graphs for 2016 dividing 306 million tonnes of CO2 by 648TWh gives 473g/kWh.)

Annual renewables subsidies are €25 billion giving German domestic electricity prices of €0.30/kWh.

By contrast France installed 63GW of nuclear capacity in just 20 years replacing most of their fossil fuel capacity.

French nuclear produces 75% of their electricity.

French electricity CO2 intensity is just 73g/kWh or 6 times less than Germany.

French domestic electricity prices are €0.16/kWh or half those of Germany.

Yet another year of real world evidence continues to show that while renewables enjoy popular political support they do not significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: October 22, 2016, 06:39:04 AM »

'Last Gasp of Dying Industry': Nuclear Experts Decry First New US Reactor in 20 Years

Watts Bar's launch is "a symbolic gesture. It's very sad that this is the last gasp of the industry because it looks like such an extraordinarily dumb one"

As the late Professor David McKay said “Humanity really does needs to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics – we need a plan that adds up.”

Real world evidence shows that in 20 years Germany DUPLICATED 77GW of fossil fuel generation with 87GW of wind and solar at a cost of 200 billion euros.  In 2015 Germany produced just 19% of power from solar and wind and 55% from fossil fuels because most of the time sun and wind are unavailable giving CO2 emissions of 484g/kWh.

In fact total electricity CO2 emissions dropped from 326 million tonnes to 313 millon tonnes annually in 15 years a drop of just 13 million tonnes.  See page 41 below.
For 2015 divide 313million tonnes on p41 by 647TWh on p13 gives 484gms/kWh.

By comparison France REPLACED nearly all its fossil fuel generation with 63GW nuclear in 20 years and today has CO2 emissions of 44g/kWh or 10 times less than Germany.

Nuclear may seem dumb to anti science political ideologists but looks pretty smart to scientists like James Hansen who can crunch numbers and knows that climate change is a serious issue for humanity.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: October 05, 2016, 01:25:46 AM »
Interesting report from the United Nations on radiation.

On page 13 it states:

 "By far the largest collective (radiation) dose to workers per unit
of electricity generated was found in the solar power cycle, followed by the wind
power cycle. The reason for this is that these technologies require large amounts of
rare earth metals, and the mining of low-grade ore exposes workers to natural
radionuclides during mining."


"The total collective (radiation) dose per unit of electricity generated in the coal cycle
(i.e., the dose to the global public and all exposed workers combined) was larger
than that found in the nuclear fuel cycle."

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: August 09, 2016, 02:54:21 PM »
I have a look at the NASA Sea Level Change Page now and again and I think the Global Mean Sea Level has moved up from 3.4 to 3.5

The most interesting change is the doubling of annual sea level rise in the second decade of this century.  In the last five years (since January 2011) sea level rise has averaged 6mm per year reflecting the rapid acceleration of polar sheet ice melt.

Sea level was +40mm in January 2011 and is +73mm in April 2016, giving a rise of 33mm in 5.4 years or 6mm per year.  Raw data found at;

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: August 05, 2016, 12:27:28 PM »
Nuclear energy is to expensive. Green energy such as wind and solar have it beat now..

The bottom line for James Hansen is reduction in CO2 emissions.

Real world data shows that four economies, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and France have the lowest CO2 emissions for electricity generation (less than 50g/kWh) by using either hydro or nuclear or a combination of both. 

All have emissions at least 10 times less than Germany or Denmark which invested heavily in a DUPLICATE intermittent renewable system while retaining their fossil fuel capacity so that power can be generated when the sun and wind are unavailable.

My post shows that Germany has installed 80GW of renewables in just 15 years, yet total CO2 emissions have fallen by just 13 million tonnes to 313 million tonnes annually. 

See page 41

With subsidy payments for renewables near €23 billion annually this seems a poor investment, if reduction of CO2 emissions is the goal.

It is also interesting to note that the State with the lowest CO2 emissions from electricity generation in North America is Ontario which uses nuclear and hydro and also has CO2 emissions less than 50g/kWh.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: August 04, 2016, 06:50:33 AM »
James Hansen supports a win for the climate.

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has formally approved a Clean Energy Standard (CES) that explicitly recognises the zero-carbon contribution of nuclear power plants and will help ensure their continued operation as it strives to reach ambitious clean energy goals.

Climate scientist James Hansen, of Columbia University, was among those who endorsed the PSC's decision, describing it as "an important victory" to protect New York's nuclear power plants. "Doing the right thing is sometimes controversial, and that was the case here," he said, adding that Cuomo and the PSC's commission was "an act of courage, putting the common good ahead of public expediency". "California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio and other states around the nation should take notice of what real climate action looks like," he said.

The rest / Re: Posts that have been censored on other sites...
« on: April 20, 2016, 12:54:39 AM »
I seem to have been banned from commenting on Robertscribblers site as none of my posts now appear.

My "crime" appears to be providing data that shows that nuclear is required if we are to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and I always provided data to back any assertions that I made.  I am a big fan of David MacKay and his book Sustainable energy without the hot air.  His passing is a great loss.

I think the trigger for my banishment was when I defended Australian scientist Barry Brook and his website Bravenewclimate.  Barry is very concerned about climate change and has concluded that it is so serious that nuclear is required and actively supports this position by continually providing objective evidence, often quoting David MacKay.

I was shocked that Robert would ban such a Climate Change champion and said so.

I am now quite old and have watched the greenie denier debate with increasing dismay for over 40 years as each side becomes more firmly entrenched in their ideological  positions and CO2 emissions continue to climb.

Until both sides decide to have a "grown up conversation" (quoting David MacKay) I do not see any chance of any meaningful emissions reduction this century. 

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: April 15, 2016, 10:46:07 PM »
With “friends” like Greenpeace, the climate does not need any enemies. 

Canada's Federal Court of Appeal has unanimously dismissed a lawsuit brought by groups led by Greenpeace Canada for the Darlington Nuclear plant refurbishment.

At less than 50gms/kWh Ontario has one of the lowest CO2 emissions for electricity generation in the world because nuclear and hydro produces near 90% of their electricity.

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power.

Policy and solutions / Re: RIP David J C MacKay
« on: April 15, 2016, 02:49:35 PM »
Thanks Jim for posting this RIP.

I was really sad to see the passing of David McKay at just 48.  His work on emissions mitigation was groundbreaking.  The UK and the world has lost a true climate change/emissions mitigation champion.

His brilliant book is free and is on line and is a must read for anyone truly interested in climate change/emissions mitigation.

Some of David's quotes

"We need a plan that adds up. We need to stop shouting and start talking, and if we can have a grown-up conversation, make a plan that adds up and get building, maybe this low-carbon revolution will actually be fun. "

"We just need to understand the numbers. I'm absolutely not anti-renewables. I love renewables. But I'm also pro-arithmetic."

Also a short simple video by David

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: April 15, 2016, 08:47:50 AM »
James Hansen Condemns Bernie Sanders' Fear-Mongering Against Indian Point Nuclear Plant

"Now, Bernie Sanders says he wants to shut down the plant. If that happened, it would be replaced in substantial part by fracked natural gas that would create the equivalent carbon emissions of adding roughly 1.4 million new cars to the road."

This is exactly what happened to Vermont Yankee.

Extreme anti science political ideology from both the political left and political right will continue to successfully slow any meaningful emissions mitigation. 


Consequences / Re: Hansen et al paper: 3+ meters SLR by 2100
« on: April 15, 2016, 07:42:51 AM »

Do you have a legend for the "Fingerprint Effect" of SLR contributions from ice sheets.

I assume that dark blue is the negative extreme (reduction in SLR) and red is the positive extreme (increase in SLR).


Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: March 28, 2016, 06:40:39 AM »
Some electricity energy numbers for 2015.

Quotes from this article.

Wind and solar, plus a little geothermal and biomass is growing at a record pace with 118 gigawatts coming online.

Countries also added 22 gigawatts worth of large hydropower and 15 gigawatts of new nuclear.  If you include hydro, renewables now provide 22 percent of the world's electricity.  If you add in nuclear, the carbon-free electricity total rises to 33 percent.

But also last year, the world added 43 gigawatts worth of coal capacity, on net, and 40 gigawatts worth of natural gas capacity.  Because these coal and gas plants can run more often, they actually generated more electricity than all the new renewable facilities built in 2015.

Keep in mind, too, that this report mainly focuses on the electricity sector, which only accounts for 40 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions. If you really want to whip global warming, you'd also need to clean up transportation. Plus figure out what to do about cement, steel, and other industries.

Bottom line: There are some amazing things happening in renewable energy. Large sacks of money are being tossed around. Photovoltaic panels and wind turbines are going up at a frenetic pace. But we're still very far from solving this pesky climate change problem.

Consequences / Re: Hansen et al paper: 3+ meters SLR by 2100
« on: March 26, 2016, 12:29:58 AM »
Hansen has continually warned that land ice melt will not be linear and that abrupt sea level rise is possible later this century.

Plotting observations from NASA for global mean sea level rise from the site address below, shows that sea level rise has averaged 6mm per year for the past five years up to November 2015 (date of latest observation data).  This is twice the annual average for the previous 20 years (3mm) and suggests a large acceleration in sea level rise is currently under way.

See 'sea level' then ‘source files’ at

Any simple risk analysis for coastal infrastructure development should seriously consider this data and plan accordingly.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: March 25, 2016, 12:36:19 AM »
Ontario has closed all its coal burning power stations a big win for the climate and the environment!

How did they do it. 

They use mainly hydro and nuclear to generate their power resulting in an electricity grid emitting less than 50g/kWh of CO2 emissions!

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: March 24, 2016, 01:23:41 AM »
The following quote is from Robertscribbler, for he like Hansen realizes that the climate change impacts will be far greater, than the perceived risks from nuclear power.  He says;

"At this point we need rapid draw downs in global carbon emissions starting now — not in 2020, not in 2030. Hansen recommends a 6 percent annual reduction in carbon emissions. We’re not going to get that with current global policy so we need an outside push to make that happen. In the 1970s, 150 nuclear power plants were blocked due to a movement that fed on environmental concerns surrounding nuclear power. Well the coal and gas and oil will lock in impacts far, far worse than 150 nuclear power plants if we allow them to keep adding extraction, production, and transport infrastructure for their dangerous products. What we’ll see this Century, if we don’t stop them, is the start of a new hothouse extinction that will likely be worse than all the others. We simply cannot allow that to happen."

The United Nations UNSCEAR reports show the actual impacts of nuclear accidents.  Basically the panic response at both Chernobyl and Fukushima, together with anti science misinformation caused more issues than the radiation.

France produces most of it electricity from nuclear and has very low CO2 emissions of just 44g/kWh.

This is significantly less than countries with renewable only policies like Denmark 385g, Germany 512g, Italy 527g, Spain 455g and Australia 885g.


Consequences / Re: Venezuala SHUT DOWN for a Week--No Electricity
« on: March 17, 2016, 09:57:20 PM »
Venezuela to Shut Down for a Week to Cope With Electricity Crisis

As GW proceeds, we will see such things more and more, both because of drought depriving damns of the power that drives hydro, and because water sources will become too hot to cool nuclear power plants.

Yet another reason that these are not the best bets for major investments for our energy future.

These comments appear to be driven by political belief not objective evidence.

If we are serious about reducing CO2 emissions we need to use all the most effective low carbon technologies that are available.
In Table 3.5 attached, the IPCC has published the carbon dioxide intensities of fuels and electricity for regions and countries.

Note that countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and France which use nuclear or hydro or a combination of both, have the lowest emissions, all less than 100g/kWh.

Countries which promote a renewable energy only policy such as Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia have much higher emissions 385g/kWh to 885g/kWh.

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: February 25, 2016, 12:40:03 PM »
Sea level rise for the whole of the 20th century was about 140mm (5.5 inches). 
See chart at

NASA data shows that for the 21st century to November 2015 the sea level rise is already 64mm (2.5 inches) with 36mm (say 1.5 inches) occurring in just the past 5 years (since January 1st 2011) suggesting a large acceleration in sea level rise is currently under way.

See 'sea level' then ‘source files’ at

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: February 10, 2016, 02:02:10 PM »
If the self luminescent exit sign reported lost in Steamboat Springs, Colorado was broken and the tritium was dissolved into water, it would contaminate 940,000 litres of water to the “alarming” level of 8,000,000 pCi/litre that has Governor Cuomo in a tizzy about the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

This is an example of the anti science, anti nuclear political misinformation that Jim Hansen compares to climate denial as the biggest barriers to effective CO2 mitigation.

By installing 63GW of nuclear power France has reduced CO2 electricity emissions to just 44g/kWh.

By comparison Germany since 2000 has installed 80GW of renewable energy for almost unchanged CO2 emissions which at 484g/kWh are currently more than ten times higher than France.  Electricity CO2 emissions in 2015 were 313M tonnes (see page 41) and electricity production was 647TWh (see page 13).

My spreadsheet says that at the current CO2 emissions reduction rate Germany will fall to French CO2 emissions levels by 2164 providing they do not close any more nuclear reactors.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: January 19, 2016, 12:19:04 AM »
Some good news for the climate, French electricity CO2 emissions remain at very low levels for 2015 (44g/kWh) which are more than 10 times less than Germany (569g/kWh).

Unfortunately while Germany achieved record renewable electricity outputs for 2015, decarbonisation of the energy system is stagnating and unchanged since 2011 (see page 41 in the following report).

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: January 05, 2016, 01:58:58 PM »

At 4:20 minutes Kevin Anderson and Hugh Hunt give the scale of the fossil CO2 mitigation task, 5 tonnes of CO2 waste every year is emitted for every person on the planet. 

At 5:20 minutes for the richest 1% it is 300 tonnes of CO2 and for the richest 10% it is 25 to 30 tonnes of CO2.

The richest 10% emit 50% of global CO2 emissions.

Hansen is right we need every low carbon technology that is available if we are to have any chance of success.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: January 04, 2016, 11:24:42 AM »
At least you have a realistic Carbon Plan with goals out to 2050, here in Oz we only have rhetoric and minimal goals which are supported by the voting public.

To date your plan is heading in the right direction and as the climate issue becomes more urgent in the eyes of the voters it will become more and more important for Governments to meet the Carbon Plan commitments or pay the price at the ballot box.

If the global and UK community generally does not give support to such plans then our descendants will bear the consequences.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: January 04, 2016, 01:50:51 AM »
Paris Fails to Revive the Nuclear Dream
In Paris, in early December, the advocates of nuclear power made yet another appeal to world leaders to adopt their technology as central to saving the planet from dangerous climate change.

Yet analysis of the plans of 195 governments that signed up to the Paris agreement, each with their own individual schemes on how to reduce national carbon emissions, show that nearly all of them exclude nuclear power.

The bottom line as Hansen keeps pointing out is CO2 emissions from fossil fuel generation, particularly coal must be reduced to near zero by mid-century or just after if we are to avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming.

History tells us that the most significant emissions reductions have been achieved using nuclear power as demonstrated by France which in just 20 years replaced nearly all its fossil fuel electricity generation.

History also shows that no country has achieved the same scale of reductions using renewables, energy efficiency measures or fossil carbon capture and storage as indicated by most COP21 plans.

If we are serious about CO2 mitigation we must use every technology available to achieve the emission reductions required.

In my country, Australia both major political parties just use climate change and carbon mitigation issues for short term political gain while maintaining the status quo.  Until there is bipartisan agreement like the UK we will make no progress on emissions reduction.

The UK Climate Change Act established the world’s first legally binding climate change target.  It aims to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 baseline) by 2050.

This Act and the subsequent Carbon Plan, based on science not ideology has the support of the three major political parties in the UK.

The Carbon Plan can be found at;

A government video (unfortunately poor quality) detailing the Carbon Plan progress and future emission reduction goals can be found at;

The Carbon Plan uses every CO2 mitigation strategy that is available and if every global major economy had a similar plan, there would be real hope that emissions could be reduced sufficiently to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Note that Professor David McKay (I am not anti renewables, I am pro arithmetic, plans must add up!) had a big input into this Carbon Plan.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 29, 2015, 03:54:45 PM »

Sorry to hear about the floods in your area and hope you personally were not severely effected.

That is the issue with a changing climate and increased flooding events, flood mitigation measures need to be constantly upgraded. 

Before the increased flooding events actually occur it is very difficult to obtain any government funding for additional speculative flood mitigation measures.

In my case we have the opposite problem, the flood measures are now installed but the climate is drying out, 25% rainfall reduction over the past 40 years and it now seems unlikely they will ever be used.

Wildfires are now the biggest issue with houses lost on a regular basis.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 29, 2015, 08:35:30 AM »
The increased regular flooding in northern England is one example of the adaptation required to the changing climate caused by human activity.

Where human habitation occurs on floodplains it is necessary to control the flow of water by the construction of many small upstream reservoirs which capture the initial flood water then releases the water slowly through a small diameter pipe over say 4 or 5 days reducing the height of peak flooding.

The land on which the reservoirs are constructed can still be used for farming for most of the time and the water ponding for a few days causes little damage to the pasture.

I worked on a small project similar to this in Western Australia where I live.  The project took ten years to complete because while the sun was shining and there was no flooding it was always the first project to have its funding deferred.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: December 29, 2015, 03:24:33 AM »
China’s Trillion Dollar Nuclear Plan

"China is big on Five Year Plans, and its latest one, which covers 2016-2020, has the government investing $78 billion to build seven new reactors a year from 2016 for the next five years. According to the plan, the country will reach 88 gigawatts of nuclear power by the end of 2020. By 2030 China is expected to have 110 reactors in operation and by 2050, the country will need around $1 trillion to expand its atomic capacity by up to 250 gigawatts, which would account for a quarter of the world's nuclear power, according to the International Energy Agency."

Chinese annual electricity CO2 emissions are currently 3.5 billion tonnes (700g/kWh).

If this nuclear plan reduces emissions to French levels (40g/kWh), then this will be a significant win for CO2 mitigation and the climate.

If China only uses weather dependent renewable energy and achieves German levels (512g/kWh) the CO2 mitigation savings will be less than required as they will still be dependent on coal to provide electricity when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 28, 2015, 03:21:41 AM »

Is that including clean-up and storage of radioactive materials, because France is having problems with that (costing way much more money than anticipated, and money often is a proxy for energy use).

The nuclear waste total volumes are very small, just 2700 cubic metres of high-level waste (HLW) by 2010 and expected to be just 5,300 cubic metres by 2030.

Compared to the 350 million tonnes of CO2 emissions emitted by Germany annually from electricity generation (unchanged since 1999) this is a relatively simple waste capture and disposal task that will have little impact on the environment.
(scroll down to electricity and heat production)

Under current legislation, EdF is required to have made provision for its decommissioning and final waste management liabilities.  At the end of 2009, EdF was reported to have €11.4 billion in its dedicated back-end fund, compared with an estimated liability of €16.9 billion.

This seems a very cost effective way to mitigate CO2 compared to the German EEG surcharge of plus €20 billion annually for 80GW of weather dependent renewable energy generation that has not reduced total electricity CO2 emissions since 1999.

Note also the IPCC reports that “The life cycle GHG emissions per kWh from nuclear power plants are two orders of magnitude lower than those of fossil-fuelled electricity generation and comparable to most renewables.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 28, 2015, 12:03:50 AM »
Even France, which has the advantage of "dual use" for nuclear, is going to reduce nuclear in the near future.

Funny you should mention France.

There is no scientific CO2 mitigation data to support the move from nuclear to renewables by the French President just political ideology and desperation to hang on to power regardless of the cost to the climate.

Thank goodness wiser heads see the wisdom of retaining nuclear with reactor service life to be extended from 40 to 60 years.   

Note that French electricity CO2 emissions at 40g/kWh (I repeat 40g/kWh) are more than 10 times less than Germany, Japan, UK, USA, China, Korea, Russia and more than 20 times less than India and Australia (we have made nuclear power illegal!).

If humanity is to prevent climate change then decision making must be based on the available scientific data and evidence not political beliefs and ideology.

Jim Hansen discusses this issue in great detail in the following paper.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 25, 2015, 03:34:30 AM »
Germany opens another coal burning power station (1.6GW) and now unlikely to meet its 2020 carbon emission reduction goals due to excessive emissions from cars, houses and coal-fired power plants.

Pity they are phasing out non carbon nuclear power due to anti science political ideology they could have aimed for the same low electricity emissions as France of just 40g/kWh.


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