S.E. Cupp Attacks Climate Science and Climate Scientists on MSNBC

Fri, 2012-04-06 11:07Chris Mooney
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S.E. Cupp Attacks Climate Science and Climate Scientists on MSNBC

Yesterday, I appeared on MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner to talk about The Republican Brain. It was largely an interview about what’s going on with conservatives and science right now—why they distrust it so much–but S.E. Cupp, the conservative on the panel, called my argument “infuriating.”

Then, she proceeded to attack climate science and the researchers who produce it—doing a very good job of proving my point about conservatives and science! Brad Johnson has provided a transcript at Think Progress (video below it):

CUPP: There have been, to quote Rick Santorum, phony studies on climate change. East Anglia University I should mention!
WAGNER: And that study –
CUPP: Every time science has been corrupted by politics, everyone in the scientific community should be worried!

I deliberately didn’t answer Cupp’s point about “East Anglia University” on the air. But let me answer it now.

First, the “ClimateGate” issue at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Center was about stolen emails, not “phony studies.”

Second, conservatives did claim that the emails proved some sort of fraud or wrongdoing on the part of scientists. But the emails didn’t actually show that. Multiple investigations (see a discussion here and here) in the wake of “ClimateGate” vindicated the scientists whose emails had been exposed, showing that these charges weren’t valid.

Third and most important, the central conclusion of climate science—humans are causing global warming—was never at stake in “ClimateGate.” The case for human-caused global warming depends on multiple independent lines of evidence, and the conclusion has been ratified by a much broader body of scientists than those principally involved in the “ClimateGate.”

All of this has been said before, of course. And it isn’t, frankly, very interesting.

What is interesting is that S.E. Cupp made these assertions, which have been so convincingly refuted. Clearly, they still float around the conservative ether, where “ClimateGate” is still considered to be the ultimate rebuttal to all things global warming-related.

Rush Limbaugh has cited “ClimateGate” in essentially the same way. And it is no doubt what Rick Santorum too had in mind in talking about “phony studies.” So what’s up with this? Why cite bogus charges that were long since refuted, and that even if accurate, wouldn’t actually matter? Why seize on “ClimateGate,” even though in an intellectual sense, doing so gets you nowhere?

Here’s what I wrote back in June:

Remember what things were like before [“ClimateGate”] happened. We were coming off 2007, when Al Gore and the IPCC won the Nobel Peace Prize. We’d just elected President Obama, who was backing cap-and-trade legislation and a Copenhagen deal. The science—and the policy—of global warming had all the momentum behind them. If you didn’t believe that the problem was real and needed to be addressed, you were in a pretty difficult position.

ClimateGate was a true blessing in this regard for climate skeptics and deniers. It furnished a brand new excuse to dismiss it all. It was all a scam! …

So “ClimateGate” was seized upon—and then, to borrow a term from psychology, after “seizing” “freezing” may have occurred for some. Minds were made up, and no new evidence was admissible—because “ClimateGate” proved it was all a hoax. Thus, whenever global warming comes up, we now hear “ClimateGate” cited endlessly, as a way of shutting down further consideration—as a vindication, even. And it’s completely baffling, if you know (as we all do) that the science of climate is as strong as it ever was, the issue didn’t go away, and “ClimateGate” doesn’t really have any substantive significance.

In other words, the people citing “ClimateGate” in this way simply may not have performed a complete, thorough, or accuracy-motivated information search. Rather, they seized on just enough information to reaffirm their beliefs. That they’re nonetheless willing to make such grave and serious charges against scientific researchers—on such a weak basis–is why it is more than fair to point out that in the end, they are really just attacking and undermining science and scientists.

So thank you again, S.E. Cupp, for proving my point.

Comments

is a reliable source of such information.  In any case the Japanese government still restricts access to those portions still having 20+ mSv/yr.  Therefore the point is moot.

Again, I have no reason to trust any such estimates by Fairewinds.  Union of Concerned Scientists appears quite reliable on matters nuclear.

Since the UCS appeals more to your pro-nuke stance, David, you might just wanna read ‘em & weep.

Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable without Subsidies

Government subsidies to the nuclear power industry over the past fifty years have been so large in proportion to the value of the energy produced that in some cases it would have cost taxpayers less to simply buy kilowatts on the open market and give them away, according to a February 2011 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

While the exact value of these subsidies can be difficult to pin down, even conservative estimates add up to a substantial percentage of the value of the power nuclear plants produce—approaching or even exceeding 100 percent in the case of legacy subsidies and subsidies to new privately-owned reactors (see chart).

Nuclear subsidies effectively separate risk from reward, shifting the burden of possible losses onto the public and encouraging speculative investment. By masking the true cost of nuclear power, subsidies also allow the industry to exaggerate its economic competitiveness; consequently, they diminish or delay support for more economical and less risky alternatives like energy efficiency and renewable energy.

http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_and_global_warming/nuclear-power-subsidies-report.html

Most especially, the UCS recommendations to reduce taxpayer nuclear subsidies, to repeal nuclear tax breaks, to rollback nuclear construction-in-progress allowances, to eliminate nuclear cost-overruns paid by ratepayers, & to strip nuclear power from renewable energy standards.

Nuclear Power Subsidies: Report Recommendations

  • Reduce, not expand, subsidies to the nuclear power industry.
  • Award subsidies to low-carbon energy sources on the basis of a competitive bidding process across all competing technologies.
  • Repeal decommissioning tax breaks and ensure greater transparency of nuclear decommissioning trusts (NDTs). Eliminating existing tax breaks for NDTs would put nuclear power on a similar footing with other energy sources.
  • Roll back state construction-work-in-progress allowances and protect ratepayers against cost overruns by establishing clear limits on customer exposure.
  • Nuclear power should not be eligible for inclusion in a renewable portfolio standard. Nuclear power is an established, mature technology with a long history of government support. Furthermore, nuclear plants are unique in their potential to cause catastrophic damage (due to accidents, sabotage, or terrorism); to produce very long-lived radioactive wastes; and to exacerbate nuclear proliferation.

http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_and_global_warming/nuclear-power-subsidies-recommendations.html

Now that’s what we’re talkin’ about.

federal government has supported considerable portions of the electric power industry since at least the 1930s.  That is unlikely to soon change.

Of course, David, among other responsibilities to their citizens, the U.S.& Canadian & other progressive governments should provide public investment & incentivize private investment for new energy technologies & infrastructure.  However, once those industries have scaled up & become mature, government subsidies & special tax treatments should be scaled back & phased out, rather than continued or even increased as has been the case for nuclear & big oil.
 
The Historical Role of Federal Subsidies in Shaping America’s Energy Future
 
“In inflation-adjusted dollars, nuclear spending averaged $3.3 billion over the first 15 years of subsidy life, and O&G subsidies averaged $1.8 billion, while renewables averaged less than $0.4 billion.”
 
 http://www.dblinvestors.com/documents/What-Would-Jefferson-Do-Final-Version.pdf

 

Try telling that to all the 1.7 million Japanese men, women, & children whose lives and livelihoods were destroyed by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe for over a year now.

“The Japanese government and nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. [TEPCO] are struggling with the question of just how—and how much—to compensate the 1.7 million people whose lives and livelihoods were disrupted by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident more than a year ago.”

$5.9 billion so far & that’s just the beginning.

“Tepco already has paid ¥491.1 billion ($5.9 billion) to cover a quarter-million separate claims for evacuation costs, living expenses and lost income, among other things. Negotiations have just started on evaluating homes, farmland, fishing rights, and businesses that were damaged or rendered worthless.”

And try telling your moot point to all the Japanese taxpayers who will have to pick up the tab for most if not all of the estimated $54.5 billion by next March.

“A government panel estimates Tepco will have to pay ¥4.5 trillion in compensation by the accident’s second anniversary in March 2013. That figure could eventually grow by “several trillion yen,” according to Standard & Poor’s analyst Hiroki Shibata.”

And try telling your moot point to all the TEPCO ratepayers who will have to pay much higher electric bills because of this quadruple nuclear catastrophe.

“The looming claim decisions have significant business and financial implications. The size of the payouts could boost electricity rates for companies and households in the Tokyo area and, depending on how much comes from government subsidies, could worsen Japan’s fragile fiscal situation.”

And try telling your moot point to all the Japanese families who will suffer even more.

Japan Tallies Upheaval’s Toll http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304177104577311070878121072.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Your moot point brings your denial to new heights of insensitivity & arrogance, David, dispassionately speaking, of course.

My point, which appears not to have been made in a comprehensible manner, remains that the radiological risks from the Fukushima Dai-ichi situation are quite small.  It certainly is the case that it has highly disrupted Japan and its peoples.  [Not to mention bankrupted Tepco, except the government won’t let it fold.]

The aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake has had only a minor impact on plans for new NPPs in othr countries.  For example, Vietnam has a Russian NPP under construction and the civil works for a Japanese NPP (I suppose the AP1000) has begun.  Their third will be the South Korean design and then they’ll go on to have 7 more NPPs.  As another, India continues on their 44+ NPP plan.  Also, UAE continues to have the South Koreans build 4 NPPs there while Jordan is selecting a vendor for their first NPP.  Turkey is receiving a Russian NPP.  And so it goes. 

But in Japan there seems to be great resistance to turning back on their NPPs.  So instead they are running up a significant trade deficit buying additional coal and LNG.  Without the NPPs the forecast is for a 20% power shortfall this summer, which will bring even more hardship and to a large proportion of the Japanese.

Yes, David, once again you are wrong again on several, let’s make that many points.

You clearly have disinformed & desensitized notions of what constitutes major costs & major risks & major impacts on dislocated populations & disrupted national economies & industry plans going forward.  So allow us & the UCS – we know how much you like those guys – to put you on the logical & dispassionate path once again.

First, if not foremost, even after over 50 years of $300 billions of stateside taxpayer & ratepayer subsidies, nuclear power remains unviable in the present & more importantly in the future.

2.2. FIFTY YEARS OF SUBSIDIES (pp. 19 - 21)

“Industry advocates like to emphasize nuclear power’s low operating costs as an indication of the technology’s competitiveness. In addition to ignoring established subsidies to operating costs, the advocates also neglect to mention that building the existing reactor fleet has entailed massive capital costs and associated losses and write-downs. These costs—as much as $300 billion by some estimates (Schlissel et al. 2009)—have already been borne by investors and ratepayers for more than half a century.”

Yet some – we’ll logically include you – still insist that any nuclear subsides will be short-term. Fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, ain’t gonna happen.

“Some in the industry continue to claim that any subsidies for new nuclear power plants will be transitional. They argue that short-term subsidies will allow the industry to gain operational experience with new reactor designs, and that after these “first-of-a-kind” costs have been amortized, the industry will be cost-competitive. But the nuclear industry has been making the transitional-support argument since it rolled out the earliest civilian reactors.”

In a nutshell, the generous subsidies to the nuclear power industry of $300 billion, historically speaking, are still going strong after 50 some years.   So let’s break it down for you:

“• Accident liability - Federal caps on liability from nuclear accidents were put in place in 1957 on a “temporary” basis, but they have been renewed ever since.

Publicly funded research and development - Nuclear power captured almost 54 percent of all federal research dollars between 1948 and 2007 (Sissine 2008: 3) and nearly 40 percent of International Energy Agency (IEA) member-country energy research and development (R&D) between 1974 and 2007 (IEA 2009). While spending in the United States has begun to favor other energy technologies in recent years (spending through 1993, for example, was more than 60 percent—see Figure 1, p. 47), in aggregate the bulk of funding has gone to nuclear. At present, the sector remains the dominant recipient of government-financed R&D in many other countries as well …

Capital subsidies - Construction and financing costs have been a problem for nuclear reactors since their inception. The major waves of domestic reactor construction were heavily subsidized through a mix of public supports, which included investment tax credits, accelerated depreciation, ratebasing of reactor costs, and recovery of construction interest from ratepayers prior to a plant’s commencement of operations. At the back end, tax subsidies have reduced the cost of reactor decommissioning accruals.

Nationalization of waste-management risks - The technical and financial risks of managing reactor and other fuel-cycle wastes tend to make investors skittish. These risks were effectively nationalized in the United States by means of a small fee on nuclear-generated electricity, thereby protecting plants at the expense of taxpayers. The governments of many other countries have also stepped in to absorb these risks at or below cost.

Mining and enrichment - The U.S. government has managed uranium stockpiles since the industry’s inception, and through 1966 immediately purchased all uranium as soon as it was mined (PNL 1978: 117). By 1971, the stockpile had reached 100 million pounds of U3O8, at which point the government began to sell some of it onto the market. Imported uranium was banned through 1975, and partially restricted through 1983 (PNL 1978: 124). In enrichment, the federal government historically took on all financial risk for building up capacity, and for many years it sold the enriched fuel to commercial reactors below cost. Below-cost sales appear to be a continuing issue today for some of the foreign enrichment companies as well. The U.S. enrichment picture, via the privatized U.S. Enrichment Corporation, now has a more complicated mix of policies that seem primarily aimed at keeping a U.S. firm in the enrichment market rather than keeping low-enriched uranium (LEU) prices low. Government subsidies to the sector globally, however, appear to spur overcapacity, generating artificially low fuel costs.

Proliferation - Just as coal production generates carbon and other externalities that need to be integrated into pricing if economies are to make sound energy choices, the link between civilian nuclear power and nuclear weapons also cannot be ignored….”

Despite all this government largess with taxpayer & ratepayer money, nuclear power remains dispassionately uncompetitive to this very kilowatt-hour, what with all the cost-overruns, plant cancellations, & stranded assets down through the decades.

“Even with these subsidies, the nuclear industry has not been competitive. This fact is illustrated by the waves of very large write-offs of nuclear-related capital investment and the transfer of repayment liability away from investors. Reactor projects have been abandoned during construction in large numbers. Between 1972 and 1984, these cancellations cost $40 billion to $50 billion in today’s dollars, largely borne by ratepayers or taxpayers rather than the reactor owners (Schlissel et al. 2009: 11). An additional $150 billion in cost overruns on completed plants also were passed onto ratepayers. Yet, problems remained. When electricity markets were deregulated, nuclear assets were among the most common uneconomic, or “stranded,” assets. Nearly $110 billion (2007$) was transferred to ratepayers or taxpayers as charges independent of the nuclear power consumed (Seiple 1997). Stranded cost recovery for nuclear power brought the cost structure of the reactors down low enough for them to compete in deregulated power markets, largely by passing over-market generating-plant costs onto consumers in the form of transition charges.”

Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable without Subsidies http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/nuclear_power/nuclear_subsidies_report.pdf

As heard with higher frequency around the energy sector these days, it would’ve been cheaper to buy the electric power outright and give it away for free.

And we can ill-afford to make that same mistake again, for our children’s sake if not ours.

We have neither the time nor the disposition for any more denial & delay nonsense, while the fossil fuel extraction magnates rush to devastate our air & water & climate, & rape of our children’s health & heritage, all for the sake of short-sighted mega-billion-dollar profits.

And nuclear’s heydays are over, no small thanks to the exorbitant costs & risks of new plant construction & the devastating costs & risks of old plant catastrophic failures like the multiple explosions & three nuclear core meltdowns & spent fuel catastrophes at Fukushima Dai’ichi.

What we need are timely progressive policies to leverage our public investment & incentivize our private investment to rapidly deploy our renewable energy resources while accelerating the innovations & efficiencies of our renewable energy technologies, as Germany is already doing.

“German consumption of oil fell 3%, gas by 10.2%, lignite coal by 0.7% (although hard coal rose 3.7%), and nuclear by 22.9%. At the same time, use of renewable energy climbed by 4.1% and represented about 20% of the country’s electricity and 10.8% of total energy in 2011.”

German Energy Consumption Drops 4.8% in 2011, With Renewables Providing 20% of Electricity

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/12/20/393545/german-energy-consumption-drops-in-2011-renewables-energy/

“Just weeks after the solar industry installed the one millionth system in Germany, the country’s solar trade association announced that the technology accounted for 3% of total energy generation in 2011 — increasing 60% over 2010 to 18.6 terawatt-hours (18.6 billion kilowatt-hours.)

Even with changes to the feed-in tariff that have reduced solar photovoltaic installations compared with previous boom years, the sector was still the fastest growing among all other renewable energy sectors in 2011, according to preliminary figures.”

German Solar Output Increases by 60% in 2011

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/01/01/395922/german-solar-output-increases-2011/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climateprogress%2FlCrX+%28Climate+Progress%29

What would constitute a scientist engaging in a policy debate?

Scientists have testified before congressional committees, have contributed to many policy making bodies in the executive branch, have appeared on major news shows, regularly give talks to public audiences, and have even written a book or two.

I think that they have been very much engaged in the policy debate, though I would prefer to refer to it as policy formulation, as it doesn’t involve CNN moderators.

Sorry about the bad link (must be an old page). Here’s a page where the link works:

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/events_audio.htm

Ok, listened to the link (very bad audio). What am I supposed to be listening for? Can we cut to the chase? Where was the gasp moment?

 

I find Peter Huber’s ideas interesting and think some of his more controversial claims merit further investigation. It’s good to see two people with such differring veiws have such a civil debate. 

Umm… you are totally confused or ignorant or both.

First… if you want a Libertarian No government solution to this from a Republican Economist, watch this;

http://www.ted.com/talks/james_hansen_why_i_must_speak_out_about_climate_change.html

Second and most importantly.  I want discussion on this serious and real issue.  What deniers are engaged in, is the exact opposite.  (Hint:  I don’t care what the solution is.  I’m not freaking marxist.  I don’t want a mess for my kids to deal with.)

Geo engineering?  I’m listening… Thanks to people like you, yourself, personally, this isn’t even being discussed.  Let alone invested in.

Here’s another Green Freak for you to listen to… Bill Gates (hint: He’s not known for his green or marxist leanings.);

http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html

It seems to me that it is the alarmist that are freaking out over geoengineering ideas like that chapter in the Super Freakinomics book.  




 

“It seems to me that it is the alarmist that are freaking out over geoengineering ideas like that chapter in the Super Freakinomics book.  ”

Never read it, can you provide a summary? A lot of conservatives and libertarians get really excited about geo-engineering; A technological solution to global warming, that means no tax, or ETS.

So far to date, I haven’t seen anything that appears plausible  or safe enough to run with, except maybe CO2 sequestering. But things like mirrors in space, aerosols in the sky or iron on the sea, seem the carry too many unknown risks.

“Geo engineering?  I’m listening… Thanks to people like you, yourself, personally, this isn’t even being discussed.  Let alone invested in.”

Yes, it appears that while there is relatively only small investment in renewables, there is virtually none at all on geo-engineering. Deniers have done a good job in shutting down competition and convincing people there is no problem to begin with.

 

I read that chapter.

It was hard to read.  First it launches into myth after myth.  Short time line cooling, magazine predicting ice ages, etc.  Mostly it bragged about how smart these guys were, yet it was very obvious to me that they had little knowledge of global warming.  i.e. Glacial melt was specifically left out of the 2007 IPCC report because they knew at the time that the science wasn’t in on that.

Fast forward to today, and A) its all true, and B) its getting worse.

On the other hand, the solutions sounded promising.  Buuut… being an engineer I have to say they are pretty simple minded.  Sure you can probably put a dent in global warming, but you still haven’t solved ocean acidification.  More Geoengineering?

My gut feeling is that the solution lies somewhere in the middle.  Geoengineering\being green.

Didn’t they call this person “resident conservative”? About half way through the clip I thought MSNBC must have put her on to proove Chris’ point. It was just too good to be true … On the other hand, that would too subtle of a point for most in the audience. Unfortunate though because too few read this one or similar posts about the topic, which is why I agree that Chris should have said something, whatever short it would have been.

And, yes, even nuclear France is belatedly beginning its transition to renewable energy technologies.

“State-owned utility EDF in partnership with Alstom has won the bulk of France’s first offshore wind farm tender, which is designed to kick-start the sector in the country, Energy Minister Eric Besson said on Friday.

“The wind power projects would help France close a gap in renewable energy capacity behind other large European countries, as well as reduce its dependence on nuclear power.

“France launched the tender last July, for a maximum capacity of 3,000 MW, as part of a plan to increase its renewable power to meet 23 percent of energy demand by 2020.

“The country’s onshore wind power currently covers 2.5 percent of consumption with 7,000 MW installed, massively behind Germany, the European Union’s top wind producer with 28,000 MW.

“Even with the planned offshore wind projects, France has a lot of catching up to do, according to a European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) report published in November.

“The report showed that total installed offshore wind capacity in Europe in 2020 would be 40 gigawatts, compared with less than 3 GW at the end of 2010. Britain already has current and planned projects for 47 GW and Germany for 31 GW.

“The EWEA estimates that between 2021 and 2030, the annual market for offshore for wind turbines could grow from 7.8 GW to 13.7 GW in 2030.

“Europe’s offshore wind potential is enormous and able to meet Europe’s demand seven times over,” the body says on its website.”

Alstom win bulk of French wind farm tender

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/06/edf-idUSL6E8F60GH20120406

IANVS\Phil… Its about the insurance.  The insurance cap means that the public pays for all damages from a nuclear reactor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price%E2%80%93Anderson_Nuclear_Industries_Indemnity_Act

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/end-the-nuclear-threat/archive/what-we-do/nuclear_liability_compensation_act/

“The hidden subsidy to nuclear operators would range from 5.4 to 11.0 c/kWh.”

In short, the insurace cap alone saves nuclear as much as solar costs in total.   I believe this is the same world wide.

 

Liability caps, loan guarantees, & other government mega-subsidies are only part of the pro-nuclear program, amigo.  What’s driving utility companies & investors & nation states to abandon nuclear power are the economic costs & risks over the life of the investment compared to cheaper, less risky alternatives.

And back in the good old USA, nat gas is driving coal out of the business.

Greenpeace is not a reliable source of information.

I can’t find the link I saw 10 years ago and it was not Greenpeace then.

Think about the numbers David.  Name another industry that can lay waste to a city or nation in one moment.

If Fukashima was in the US, it would only cost them $400 million to destroy say, LA.  Can you replace LA for that price?  (There are 14 more identical reactors in the US.)

The insurance cap is the only thing that makes Nuclear viable.

Bhopal, India.

Also, please go check for hydropower dam failures.

David,

For someone who declares to have investigated all the alternatives – we’ll have to take your word for it – you’ve left a helluva lot of homework undone.

Nuclear power has for many decades enjoyed and continues to enjoy the extraordinary largess of federal government loans, loan guarantees, & mega-subsidies, along with the special advantages of immediate recovery of planning & financing costs through higher electric rates, even before the plants are constructed & produce a single kilowatt-hour for the ratepayer.

If you already knew that, we’ll have to assume you’ve conveniently ignored it.
 
Who Pays for New Nuclear?
 
“A number of tradition-oriented utility executives have persisted in pursuing nuclear plant licenses. Some have even begun to raise rates in the process, as Duke Energy did in 2009 in order to cover “pre-development” costs of its proposed Lee nuclear plant in South Carolina. Utility CEOs are well aware of the enormous risks and financial commitments of this business strategy. That is why those who are still considering new nuclear plants are seeking to shift costs to taxpayers through federal loans and loan guarantees, and to electricity consumers through state legislation allowing immediate recovery of planning and financing charges through electric rates. In normal circumstances, they would accumulate these costs and recover them in rates once plants are completed and actually producing electricity.”

Even with all that special taxpayer & ratepayer treatment, recent studies show costs of electric generation from new nukes would exceed 18 cents/KWH, & with transmission & distribution costs, 22 cents/KWH, or twice what North Carolinians now pay.  Certainly not a less expensive power source.

And when you add in the risks & costs of evacuation & dislocation of major population centers from a nuclear catastrophe like Fukushima or Chernobyl, the costs can be astronomical, if not devastating to the state & regional economy.

“Since capital costs represent some 80% of nuclear electricity’s generation costs, projected kilowatt-hour prices have skyrocketed accordingly. Studies which showed expected electricity costs of 7 cents per kilowatt-hour have been updated to show nuclear electricity costs exceeding 18 cents per kilowatt-hour. Transmission and distribution costs would raise the delivered costs to residential customers to 22 cents per kilowatt-hour. This is twice the price North Carolina residential customers now pay to the big utilities.”

http://www.ncwarn.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/NCW-SolarReport_final1.pdf

No amigo, currently available renewable energy technologies are a lot less expensive and much less risky than constructing & operating new nuclear power plants.

I think, is an owner in the newly starting construction of Vogtle 3&4, Westinghouse AP1000s.  Since the situation is quite similar to that of VC Summer, I suspect the LCOE is rather close to US$0.078/kWh.  Stated simply, that source is almost surely lying to you.  If you care to dig, the project justification documents are available from the state regulatory commision which approved the project.

There is little I can do [even less than the power engineers] to adjust the government’s role in the electric power industry.  In the current situation NPPs have a federal loan guarantee program [to cover investor risk of non-completion] but no federal loans.  Also just now there are tax incentives (quite sizable) for wind farms; these cause serious market distortions in the Pacific Northwest every spring.  Finally, there are various loans available to solar PV makers as well as feed-in tariffs in some localities.

So I look at the electric power industry as it is, not as I might wish it was.  In the current situation economically NPPs and wind have about the same LCOE.  For a reliable grid some wind can be accomadated with low carbon balancing agents; a small fraction of average generation can well be wind.  Solar PV, even if almost free, begins to impact reliablity and the econmics of the balancing agent at about 6% average power generation.

There it is.  There are no magic solutions in the forseeable future.  If you want a reliable, on demand, electricty from low carbon generators a few percent can be wind, a few percent can be solar PV and the rest from dispatchable sources such as NPPs and hydro.

re: “So I look at the electric power industry as it is, not as I might wish it was.”

With your approach, California & other forward looking regions would still be burning oil to make electricity.  If history teaches anything, it’s that new energy technologies supplant what came before, like coal & oil did wood & whale oil, like nuclear did some coal & oil, like nat gas did & does more coal & oil & nuclear, like renewable energy is doing coal & nuclear & eventually nat gas.

And, as you should be aware, government policies & subsidies helped each successive energy technology develop & deploy to scale so crossover could occur.  That’s the way the electric power industry was & is, however you might wish it not to be.

And while some may look out that rearview window with nostalgia for the 20th Century, progressive utilities like Duke Energy & other innovators are configuring, testing, & deploying the renewable energy technologies to power the clean energy economies of the 21st Century.

No doubt the projected costs for Vogtle & Sumner rely on taxpayer billions in the form of liability caps, loan guarantees, & other federal subsidies along with higher bills for ratepayers before & after construction completion, and do not disclose the costs of evacuation & dislocation from a major nuclear plant catastrophe.  No doubt that too will be left for the unwary taxpayer to clean up.

No magic solutions, amigo, just rapid deployment of innovative renewable energy solutions for the foreseeable future.

Solar is Ready Now: ‘Ferocious Cost Reductions’ Make Solar PV Competitive

“That 17 GW installed in 2010 is the equivalent of 17 nuclear power plants – manufactured, shipped and installed in one year. It can take decades just to install a nuclear plant.”

“We are considerably lower than natural gas peaker plants,” says Dinwoodie. We’re also coming in lower than new nuclear and becoming lower than new coal. Gigawatts of these plants are being developed in months – not years or decades.”

“In sunny markets like California, solar is becoming competitive with large combined-cycle natural gas plants as well. According to Dinwoodie, there have been 4 GW of contracts for solar PV plants in California signed below the Market Price Referent – the projected price of a 500-MW combined cycle natural gas plant.”

“So what does all this mean? It means that the notion that “solar is too expensive” doesn’t hold up anymore. When financing providers can offer a home or business owner solar electricity for less than the cost of their current services; when utilities start investing in solar themselves to reduce operating costs; and when the technology starts moving into the range of new nuclear and new coal, it’s impossible to ignore.”

“According to SunPower’s Tom Dinwoodie: “The cross-over has occurred.”

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/06/09/241120/solar-is-ready-now-%e2%80%9cferocious-cost-reductions-make-solar-pv-competitive/

So there it is, amigo, reliable, on demand, competitively-priced electricity from clean, renewable wind & solar & other renewables as configured & distributed in Germany & Denmark & Spain & elsewhere without the exorbitant costs of new nuclear plants with the risks & costs of nuclear plant catastrophes & long-lived radionuclide wastes.

Renewable Energy Solution of the Month - Wind

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llIbjC49Fjs

Renewable Energy Solution of the Month: Wind - Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO3V2uXTM6k

not reliable nor on demand when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine.

To repeat, both wind and solar require balancing agents.

Studies show that distributed wind and solar achieve a lot more balancing than you would expect. A DOE study last year looked at distributed industrial/commercial solar in the San Diego area, finding a lot of benefit, more than they expected, from distributing the PV generation.

As do nuclear & nat gas or any power plant technology.

The grid as a whole must have enough reserve to accomodate planned or unplanned outages of generators and even transmission lines.  A typical, old fashioned arrangement is to have a ready (sometimes called rolling) reserve equal in capacity to the largest single active generator.  Nowadays the reserve tends to be larger percentage of the total generation capacity.

That is distinct from the need to provide balancing agents for the unsteady generators, wind and solar.

No, amigo, Duke Energy does not own or operate any of the Vogtle Nuclear plants.  Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC) is the owner/operator with Georgia Power as part owner of some or all the plants.

Vogtle, Units 3 and 4 Application

http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col/vogtle.html

Duke Energy is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, operates several nuclear stations in the Southeast, and has applied to build Lee Nuclear Station in South Carolina with underestimated costs of $8 billion.  Duke is also attempting to merge with Progress Energy when the regulators okay it.

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/power_city/2012/02/duke-energy-spending-on-lee-nuclear.html?page=all

In recent years, Duke Energy has moved into renewables,

http://www.duke-energy.com/environment/renewable-energy.asp

while locals would prefer to have the choice to buy clean renewable power from competitors. Imagine that.

“Almost 87 percent of North Carolinians would support legislation that allowed them to buy electricity produced by clean renewable resource from power companies other than their local utilities, according to a new poll.”

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/power_city/2012/04/poll-nc-voters-want-choice-on.html?page=all

Yes, people’s preferences are not always entirely rational.

IANVS\Phil… Its about the insurance. The insurance cap means that the public pays for all damages from a nuclear reactor.”

Sounds similar to the fossil fuel problem. When there is a disaster, they only pick up part of the tab & leave the rest for the tax payer. 

 

The only reason for this highly subsidized [read unprofitable] venture is that France has to meet EU so-called renewable goals.

David,

You’re starting to chime in against renewable energy not unlike our resident chorus of delay & denial.

Of course, France will probably subsidize a new energy technology like offshore wind, but not nearly to the tune it did & does for existing nuclear plants & not even in the ballpark (or soccer stadium) of what it would have to do to construct & operate new nuclear.

Now ask yourself why France, a major western power that has relied primarily on nuclear power for the last half century, is rapidly deploying clean, reliably-configured & dispatched wind power. http://www.thewindpower.net/country_en_1_france.php

  • End 1997: 10 MW
  • End 1998: 21 MW (+110 %)
  • End 1999: 25 MW (+19.1 %)
  • End 2000: 68 MW (+172 %)
  • End 2001: 95 MW (+39.8 %)
  • End 2002: 148 MW (+55.8 %)
  • End 2003: 248 MW (+67.6 %)
  • End 2004: 386 MW (+55.7 %)
  • End 2005: 757 MW (+96.2 %)
  • End 2006: 1,567 MW (+107.1 %)
  • End 2007: 2,455 MW (+56.7 %)
  • End 2008: 3,404 MW (+38.7 %)
  • End 2009: 4,492 MW (+32 %)
  • End 2010: 5,970 MW (+33 %)
  • End 2011: 6,684 MW (+12 %)

And Britain: http://www.thewindpower.net/country_en_8_united-kingdom.php

  • End 1997: 319 MW
  • End 1998: 333 MW (+4.4 %)
  • End 1999: 347 MW (+4.3 %)
  • End 2000: 409 MW (+17.9 %)
  • End 2001: 474 MW (+15.9 %)
  • End 2002: 552 MW (+16.5 %)
  • End 2003: 684 MW (+24 %)
  • End 2004: 888 MW (+29.9 %)
  • End 2005: 1,353 MW (+52.4 %)
  • End 2006: 1,963 MW (+45.1 %)
  • End 2007: 2,389 MW (+21.8 %)
  • End 2008: 3,288 MW (+37.7 %)
  • End 2009: 4,051 MW (+23.3 %)
  • End 2010: 5,204 MW (+28.5 %)
  • End 2011: 6,540 MW (+25.7 %)

And Germany: http://www.thewindpower.net/country_en_2_germany.php

  • End 1997: 2,081 MW
  • End 1998: 2,875 MW (+38.2 %)
  • End 1999: 4,443 MW (+54.6 %)
  • End 2000: 6,095 MW (+37.2 %)
  • End 2001: 8,754 MW (+43.7 %)
  • End 2002: 12,001 MW (+37.1 %)
  • End 2003: 16,629 MW (+38.6 %)
  • End 2004: 18,428 MW (+10.9 %)
  • End 2005: 18,500 MW (+0.4 %)
  • End 2006: 20,622 MW (+11.5 %)
  • End 2007: 22,247 MW (+7.9 %)
  • End 2008: 23,903 MW (+7.5 %)
  • End 2009: 25,777 MW (+7.9 %)
  • End 2010: 27,191 MW (+5.5 %)
  • End 2011: 29,060 MW (+6.9 %)

And the rest of Europe: http://www.thewindpower.net/windfarms_europe_en.php

It ain’t because they don’t know how to build nukes, amigo.

an electricity grid can accomodate a modest proportion of wind power.

I don’t know the economics of electricity in France very well, but with almost 80% from NPPs their electric rates are the lowest in Europe or nearly so.  I don’t know the extent to which EDF is subsidized by taxpayers but EDF is now about half privately owned which tends to suggest unsubsidized.

The overbudget and delayed Areva EPR under construction will end up operating at a loss as a merchant owned NPP.  I suppose the taxpayers will somehow pick up the tab.  But the tab might be as much as one billion Euros.  However, the corresponding subsidies for the offshore wind will be 2.2 billion euros per annum.

I’ll point out that England is going to (at least) replace its NPP fleet with Gen IIIs (and maybe add a couple of Gen IVs).  The British fully realize they cannot have reliable electricity without most of it coming from dispatchable thermal generators.

I’ll also point out that Germany has the second highest electric rates in Europe; only Denmark, with greater wind penitration, has higher rates.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, as in Texas, when wind farms go in natgas generators are sure to follow.  Since it appears likely that natgas has, when all losses are factored in, has about as much global warming potential as coal.  Somehow I can’t see wind power as part of the solution.

 

re: “an electricity grid can [accommodate] a modest proportion of wind power.”

Well, David, the actual experience of wind generated electric power systems would belie your pro-nuclear propaganda.

“Large amounts of wind energy are already being reliably and cost-effectively integrated with the grid in the U.S. and around the world. In 2010, the Texas grid obtained 7.8% of its electricity from wind energy, with wind energy providing more than 25% of the grid’s electricity at one point. Roughly 20% of the electricity produced in Iowa now comes from wind energy. Similarly, European countries like Germany, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and Ireland now obtain more than 10% of their electricity from wind energy, with wind providing more than 45% of Spain’s electricity at one point.”

How Wind Energy is Reliably Integrated on the Grid

http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/upload/Wind-Reliability-Fact-Sheet_WP11.pdf

“European countries like Denmark, Spain, Ireland, and Germany have successfully integrated very large amounts of wind energy without having to install new energy storage resources. In the U.S., numerous peer-reviewed studies have concluded that wind energy can provide 20% or more of our electricity without any need for energy storage.”

http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/upload/Energy-Storage-Factsheet_WP11.pdf

Wind Energy Basics

http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/factsheets/factsheets_windenergybasics.cfm

As long as you hide or deny the exorbitant total costs & substantial risks of nuclear power, David, you’ll likely never acknowledge the clear cost advantages & substantially lower risks of renewable energy technologies like wind & solar. But rest assured, the cross-over to our clean energy economies will continue with or without you.

I replied to another of your comments.  Here I’ll just point out that a recent contract between a new wind farm an Idaho Power has an LCOE of US$0.091/kWh which Idaho Power pays to the wind farm operator.  The wind farm operator also collects the federal tax credit of US$0.021/kWh, thus a total of US$0.112/kWh.

Compare that to the nearest NPP: US$0.0275/kWh.  Or VC Summer which, if it doesn’t go over budget, has a lifertime LCOE of US$0.076/kWh.

As per your trustworthy Union of Concerned Scientists.

Addressing the Variability of Wind Power

“Dealing with the variability of wind on a large scale is by no means insurmountable for electric utilities. Grid operators must already adjust to constant changes in electricity demand, turning power plants on and off, and varying their output second-by-second as power use rises and falls. Operators always need to keep power plants in reserve to meet unexpected surges or drops in demand, as well as power plant and transmission line outages. As a result, operators do not need to respond to changes in wind output at each wind facility. In addition, the wind is always blowing somewhere, so distributing wind turbines across a broad geographic area helps smooth out the variability of the resource.”

Some utility systems generate upwards of 40% of their electricity from wind power with no reliability problems.

“In practice, many utilities are already demonstrating that wind can make a significant contribution to their electric supply without reliability problems. Xcel Energy, which serves nearly 3.5 million customers across eight Western and Midwestern states, currently obtains eight percent of its electricity from wind and plans to increase that to about 20 percent by 2020. There are also several areas in Europe where wind power already supplies more than 20 percent of the electricity with no adverse effects on system reliability. For instance, three states in Germany have wind electricity penetrations of at least 40 percent.”

And wind power can actually reduce the overall operating costs of a power grid.

“The challenge of integrating wind energy into the electric grid can increase costs, by not by much. Extensive engineering studies by utilities in several U.S. regions, as well as actual operating experience in Europe have found that even with up to 20 percent penetration, the grid integration costs add only up to about 10 percent of the wholesale cost of the wind generation. However, because wind has low variable costs, it can reduce overall system operating costs by displacing the output of units with higher operating costs (e.g., gas turbines).”

While increasing wind power can actually improve the reliability of an electric power system, even without additional power storage systems.

“Increasing our use of wind power can actually contribute to a more reliable electric system. Today’s modern wind turbines have sophisticated electronic controls that allow continual adjustment of their output, and can help grid operators stabilize the grid in response to unexpected operating conditions, like a power line or power plant outage. This gives grid operators greater flexibility to respond to such events. Promising developments in storage technology could also improve reliability in the future, though there is plenty of room to greatly expand wind use without storage for at least the next couple of decades.”

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-wind-energy-works.html#Addressing_the_Variability_of_Wind_Power

Who knew?

So you can see that the nuclear talking points you have been [un]consciously consuming & repeatedly regurgitating here are not fact-based, but rather pro-nuke, liability-capped, mega-subsidized, anti-renewable propaganda.  Being of the nuclear industry, we’ve heard it all before and then some.

stick to the subject dispassionately and without ascribing motive (about which you seem to have failed to read some of my earlier comments with any comprehension).

I stated UCS was good regarding matters nuclear.  That does not mean they understand the realities of wind generation very well.

(1) Times of greatest demand often occur when a blocking high settles over a wide area.  That means other types of generators must be able to take up the load.  ERCOT had a power emergency (rolling blackouts) on one such occasion; didn’t met reliability requirement.  Here in the Pacific Northwest a similar pattern lasted for about 6 weeks last autumn; all that happened was more water through the hydro generators and turning on the biomass burners a bit sooner than in most years.

(2) Wind absolutely requires balancing agents.  These are typically thermal generators, either coal or natgas.  With an average availability of say 27% one might think that saves the same amount of fuel; wrong.  Extra fuel is consumed when ramping so the savings are quite a bit smaaller and may even be negative as in the following studies.

Herbert Inhaber
Why wind power does not deliver the expected emissions reductions
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume 15, Issue 6, August 2011, Pages 2557-2562
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032111000864

Wind power on the Irish grid:
http://joewheatley.net/emissions-savings-from-wind-power/
http://www.clepair.net/IerlandUdo.html

Bentek Corporation: How less became more; Power and Unintended Consequences in the Colorado Energy Market.
 http://www.bentekenergy.com/WindCoalandGasStudy.aspx

Electricity in The Netherlands.
Wind turbines increase fossil fuel consumption & CO2 emission.
by C. le Pair
 http://www.clepair.net/windSchiphol.html

Electricity Costs: The folly of wind-power
by Ruth Lea
http://www.civitas.org.uk/economy/electricitycosts2012.pdf

Wind Energy Does Little to Reduce CO2 Emissions
 http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/64492/wind-energy-reduces-co2-emissions-few-percent

(3) A wind penitration of 40% has to be properly interpreted by multiplying by the availablity.  For example, BPA can act as balancing agent via all the hydro around here up to 20%.  But that is nameplate rating only.  The availabity is 26% so the averaged power from wind is but 5.4% of the total.  As I said, a modest amount of wind can be accomidated.

(4) Yes, wind helps stabilize an electric grid (at around the 1 second level) provided it is operated to do so (as in Spain) and not as a pure must-take generator (as in most places in the US).  Here is a thorough study of the situation in Europe.

IEA Wind Power Study
 http://www.vtt.fi/inf/pdf/tiedotteet/2009/T2493.pdf

(5) NPPs are about as risky as eating peanut butter, from

Professor Cohen’s “Understanding Risk”
 http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter8.html

and a study from Europe (so including Chernobyl) concludes that NPPs are, on actual deaths caused per TW-yr basis, the safest of all generators, safer than even hydro and wind. [I have an issue with the method employed, so discount the claims for solar PV and maybe wind also.]

(6) As I previously stated the realities of electricity generation together with a desire to minimize burning fossil carbon into CO2 has eventually led me to much the same conclusion as Barry Brook and George Monbiot.  Monbiot has recently written 3 excellent articles on this matter; I encourage you to read those.

I built a solar parking meter once, and we specified a battery and solar panel able to work in a place with the lowest amount of light.  (Panel and battery were huge.)

The issue is that we haven’t got storage capacity for any energy. This issue affects Nuclear, Fossil Fuel, Wind, and Solar.

We do not in any way build power grids to suit our average needs.  We build them to suit peak needs, or peak capacity.  For instance, 20 minutes after the Royal Couple were married, everyone in the UK turned on a pot of water for tea.  The demand spike was enormous.  You could argue that the UK built whole power plants so that everyone in the UK could turn on a pot of tea after a Royal Wedding.

What we really need is batteries to store up energy when demand is low, and release it when demand is high.  This will soften up all requirements for all fuel sources.

We currently only have enough batteries on the planet to run our entire civilization for 5 minutes.  What we need is like 1 day worth of battery time.

This is exactly why solar installations are different depending on where you are in the world.  Californians have more sun, so they need less panel capacity.  They probably need less battery capacity because they don’t have the same heating requirements as say, Calgary Alberta.  Solar here costs quite a bit more.

Geothermal hasn’t caught on in Alberta since A) it requires a lot more electricy to run pumps continuously, B) our electricity is coal generated.  Therefore Geothermal isn’t ‘green’ here.  In BC however they use a lot of Hydro power, so its ‘green’ to go Geothermal.

I have here the link for a segment similar to your “Royal Couple” demand scenario.

The video shows the operations center of National Grid in Britain and how they respond to the tea kettle spike at the end of every “East Enders” show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTM2Ck6XWHg

You are quite right that storage is the next breakthrough - it is necessary to get the majority of power from intermittent sources. There are all kinds of new developments in the works, from an MIT dirt battery, sodium batteries, pumped storage, compressed air, and flywheels.

So, for Alberta, there’s not a lot of hydro - is that since it is on the leeward side of the mountains and you don’t get the precipitation to fill reservoirs?

I mean… its flat here.  One dam would flood the whole place.

This is also a desert.  Prickly Pear cactuses live here.

batteries needed to store massive amount of energy are extremely expensive and only used in the electric power industry when absolutely necessary.

The best techniques I know of are CAES, which requires special topography only available in a few places and underground pumped hydro, which could be done almost anywhere but which is quite espensive.  For both techniques about the most that can profitably be stored is what can be obtained inexpensively overnight to be sold the following day (at high prices).

You Royal Marriage example is a good indicator of why variable pricing, rather than fixed pricing, would go a distance towards keeping the cost of electrcity under control.  This is just now being to become practiable around here; the first step is installing digital meters [which are read, wirelessly, every 5 minutes].

We dispassionately ascribe motive wherever displayed.

And it’s become very clear that you have allowed it to feed your denial of the exorbitant costs & extraordinary risks of nuclear power even as less costly, less risky renewable energy alternatives are rapidly embraced & deployed around the world.

Odd tube wear seen in both San Onofre reactors
 
“The indefinite shutdown of the reactors prompted the California Independent Systems Operator, which manages the state’s power grid, to develop contingency plans for electricity generation in case of an extended summer heat wave. The plans include possible reactivation of two power units at the AES power plant in Huntington Beach that had been shut down.”

http://www.ocregister.com/news/wear-348882-unit-steam.html#

Look to your own comments and the lack of knowledge based upon reason therein.  Earilier, in another comment, I gave examples which seem to indicate that NPPs are less costly than wind genrators.  Did you even bother to read it?

I also noted that some studies show NPPs are asssociated with fewer deaths per TW-yr than any other form of generation.  Did you bother to read that?

I also gave links to several studies in Europe and one in the US which suggest that wind generation saves no OO2 emmisions.  Did you bother to read those studies?

I go about this in as scholarly a manner as I can.  I do recommend an approach based upon reasoned judgement.  Ascribing motives and otherwise using emotive terms strongly suggests you have a fixed position y9ou are attempting to defend; your mind is made up and you don’t want to consider the facts.

Part of those facts are that every vendor industry is attempting to oversell the advantages of their product.  One balances that by looking to others to show the disadvantages [not to mention the overselling].

Might we suggest that instead of digging yourself deeper into that blackhole of can’t-do-denial, David, you learn how responsible, can-do engineers & dedicated energy planners are integrating renewable energy resources into our power grid systems for this decade & the next.

Let’s start with wind power, shall we?

Benefit of Regional Energy Balancing Service on Wind Integration in the Western Interconnection of the United States http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy11osti/49076.pdf

“This analysis indicates that the efficient dispatch toolkit proposed by the WECC stakeholders holds great potential to mitigate the operations impacts associated with integration of large amounts of wind generation. The EDT effectively pools variability across the interconnection, and although it does not result in coordinated unit commitment, energy variability, both from load and from wind, is reduced.”

Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study http://www.nrel.gov/wind/systemsintegration/pdfs/2010/ewits_executive_summary.pdf

“The Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS) is one of the largest regional wind integration studies to date. It was initiated in 2008 to examine the operational impact of up to 20-30% energy penetration of wind on the power system in the Eastern Interconnect of the United States (see study area map).”

“High penetrations of wind generation—20% to 30% of the electrical energy requirements of the Eastern Interconnection—are technically feasible with significant expansion of the transmission infrastructure.”

“Transmission helps reduce the impacts of the variability of the wind, which reduces wind integration costs, increases reliability of the electrical grid, and helps make more efficient use of the available generation resources.”

Integration Studies and Operational Impacts Projects http://www.nrel.gov/wind/systemsintegration/projects_impacts_studies.html

Of course, the bigger, more reliable wind power is right offshore.

Vestas 7.0 MW Wind Turbine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNm6heelceo

NRL is quite good, they do have a mission.  I prefer to look at the actual operational status of wind farms on actual grids to understand the problems which arise.

Irrespective of your risk assumptions (I have no idea how objective those are) actual experience shows that NPPs are, world wide. one of the safest generation methods.  For example, the US NPP fleet now averages but 0.03 injuries per 100,000 worker hours.  Please compare that to injuries during wind generator maintenance.

Around here the only new transmission in a long time is the Boardman, WA, to Hemingway, ID, intertie.  The main purpose is to wheel 450 MW from sources (including wind) around the Columiba Gorge to Idaho Power; its badly needed over there as Idaho Power is basically out of reserrves.  Another purpose is to wheel power from a new 800 MW [nameplate] wind farm down to Bonneville to put on the interties to CA; but this alone cannot pay the cost of new transmission while Idaho Power can.

Lets just say I have a variety of sources of information about the grid and power engineering.

So here is a challenge for you.  A simplified model grid requires 28 GW from 6 am to 11 pm and 20 GW from 11pm to 6 am.  Every day is exactly the same.  Find the least cost way to energize this grid using only low carbon generators assuming no hydro or geothermal is available.  To meet the reliability requirement you will find, at today’s prices, mostly NPPs with some solar PV will work best.

For example, the US NPP fleet now averages but 0.03 injuries per 100,000 worker hours.  Please compare that to injuries during wind generator maintenance.

From Desmogblog (share this quote)

Woo hoo, quoting works! Although a little slow, but hey its a step.

Edit/update: oops, no they don’t. Before i click save for the comment, it shows me the quotation marks & even here in the edit creen i see them. But once the comment is saved, the quote marks dissapear.

Anyways, back to the quote in question. David, that is what I mentioned above which i find incredible :

Clearly having trained, diligent and disciplined professionals such as in the military shows its a good source of power for shipping at least. I wouldn’t trust cost cutting private enterprise to it though.

From Desmogblog (share this quote)

While I admire the NPP fleet & marvel at how giant machines can be powered for years without refuelling, I realise that they are being operated by very well trained, disciplined professionals. There is no strikes, no unionism, no employers trying to undercut or save a few $$ by thinning the staff numbers or going cheap on materials or repairs. They don’t stuff around in the miltary. The same can’t be said about the private sector.

To be fair, even though I admire nuclear, only comparing wind installed by the military vs NPP operated by the military would be a fair comparison.

The private sector have issues. Drink or drug affected employees, staff equiped with 2nd rate safety or tools to work with, lack of supervision, deadlines to meet, the need to come in under quote to remain profitable.

 

I assure you that the nuclear US Navy has had its share of drink or drug affected employees.  The NRC does quite a decent job of overseeing the NPPs.  For example,

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-FPL_fined_for_violations_at_Turkey_Point-1104124.html

The figure I mentioned so for the civilian NPPs only, from

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C_US_nuclear_performance_figures_1104121.html

re: “I prefer …”

You’re still talking about the subsidized electricity rates for nuclear plants that were built 30 to 50 years ago with mega-billions of taxpayer & ratepayer subsidies but still do not cover the costs & risks to the general public from nuclear catastrophes like Fukushima.

We’re talking about the cost of electric power going forward for the next 30 to 50 years, without the costs & risks from nuclear plant catastrophes.

As the French are discovering, nuclear power continues to be heavily subsidized after all these years:

“In a review of the cost of nuclear power commission on May 17, 2011, the French Court of Auditors found that the cost of nuclear power in France is currently above the rate charged to consumers, confirming charges that France subsidizes its power sector. The wind sector has responded by pointing out that wind power is cheaper than new nuclear installations.”

And nuclear power will have to be even more heavily subsidized should new nukes be built:

“But going forward, next-generation nuclear plants will be much more costly, new safety requirements in the wake of the disaster at Fukushima will make revamped old plants much more expensive. The estimated costs for the second EPR plant currently under construction in Flamanville comes in at 3.7 million euros per megawatt; construction began in 2006 and was to be finished this year, but completion has been delayed until 2016, and costs have risen by more than 50 percent.”

So with all dispassion & logic, we find ourselves in complete accord with the French – & the Germans & the Danes, for that matter – that wind power fully integrated into a smart super-grid will reliably power progressive nation states many years sooner & much more economically than nuclear.

“The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) reacted to the study last month in its blog by pointing out that the cost of nuclear is set to skyrocket in France, partly because “22 [of France’s 58, ed.] reactors will reach theirs life limit by 2022.” By 2020, EWEA estimates that nuclear power will cost 102 euros per megawatt-hour, compared to only 58 euros for onshore wind and 75 for offshore.”

French court finds nuclear too expensive http://www.renewablesinternational.net/french-court-finds-nuclear-too-expensive/150/435/33367/

You see, David, unlike people who are so stuck in the last century – Shall we logically include you? – that they can’t see or acknowledge the renewable winds of change all about them, the progressive can-do electric utility companies we call customers are planning & deploying for your clean energy future.  You should thank them, as should your children.

Vive la France!

Vive la Canadienne! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QisM5juuqsA

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