Notices
Results 1 to 42 of 42
Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By skeptic
  • 1 Post By billvon
  • 1 Post By Harold14370

Thread: Germany - dirty lignite, not clean nuclear.

  1. #1 Germany - dirty lignite, not clean nuclear. 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    Reference : New Scientist, 19 April, page 8

    Germany, which prides itself on being clean and green, and environmentally responsible, is rejecting clean nuclear power. Their aim is to replace it with wind and solar. The problem is that both are intermittent. So how do you fill in the gaps? Logically, you keep supplying nuclear power, which does not emit greenhouse gases, but no. The Germans are running coal burning power stations, using dirty lignite coal. This is the absolute worst option in terms of greenhouse gases, and Germany is now emitting more carbon than it did before the turn to solar and wind, and started closing down nuclear plants.

    What is worse is that you cannot simply turn a lignite power station on at need and off when not needed. It takes 8 hours to get it started, and a long time to stop it. So they run their lignite power stations at 40% capacity 24/7.

    The experiment in Germany so far has failed.


    Harold14370 likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,008
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    What is worse is that you cannot simply turn a lignite power station on at need and off when not needed. It takes 8 hours to get it started, and a long time to stop it. So they run their lignite power stations at 40% capacity 24/7.
    This is even worse with nuclear, which cannot effectively be shut down and restarted on a daily basis. Fast response combined cycle natural gas plants are probably the best stopgap solution here, with storage technologies (including thermal storage) for the long term.


    dan hunter likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    That is true, billvon, but nuclear power stations do not emit copious quantities of CO2 as lignite powered ones do.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,046
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    What is worse is that you cannot simply turn a lignite power station on at need and off when not needed. It takes 8 hours to get it started, and a long time to stop it. So they run their lignite power stations at 40% capacity 24/7.
    This is even worse with nuclear, which cannot effectively be shut down and restarted on a daily basis. Fast response combined cycle natural gas plants are probably the best stopgap solution here, with storage technologies (including thermal storage) for the long term.
    Right. Except then they've got to buy their natural gas from Russia. And who really wants to have no choice but to deal with Russia?

    Once you buy the infrastructure you're committed, and you just have to look at Ukraine to see how Russia deals with customers who it knows it has on the hook.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%...e_gas_disputes

    You can end up losing more than just money. It can cost you your whole soveriegnty. Energy is a necessity, especially in Winter, and if Vladimir decides to shut you off just to remind you how much he thinks he owns you, you quickly find out that he's not wrong. He does own you.
    Last edited by kojax; April 30th, 2014 at 02:44 AM.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    Germany is a good example of what happens when your energy policy is driven by ideology and emotion instead of cold, hard analysis. (A lot like it is here in the US.) They built a ridiculous amount of solar PV, and spent tons of money on it, but they are totally at the wrong latitude for something like that. It generates over 10 times as much in the summer as the winter, which is when the demand peak occurs. It appears that they'll probably have to cut a deal with Norway to use Norway's hydroelectric as a buffer for their intermittent solar and wind generation. They won't do anything sensible like starting their nuclear plants back up.

    Norway Wants to Offer Hydroelectric Resources to Europe - SPIEGEL ONLINE
    Lynx_Fox likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,046
    And the worst part is, even hydro slightly prefers spring and summer, because that's when the Winter snows are melting.

    I suspect that Germany would be more eager to nuclearize if they had their own supply of Uranium. It comes down to the sovereignty issue again. America can remain addicted to fossil fuels so long as the international currency of fossil fuels remains the dollar and/or it has some fossil fuels left on its own soil. As for Uranium, that's mostly Canada and Australia (although the USA has its own fair supply).

    Ever since the whole debacle of the NSA spying on German leadership - I think they're right to distrust us.

    As you can see here, they have a domestic supply of coal. They might be using a back assward justification for it, but it makes sense to build reliance on resources you can't be deprived of.


    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/...rces-and-power
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,324
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I suspect that Germany would be more eager to nuclearize if they had their own supply of Uranium.
    They already have the nuc plants--at one point they provided nearly half of Germany's power. It's irrational fear driving their unwillingness to continue to use it--nothing else. They've made a poor choice to emit more CO2, install more toxic producing PV, and become more dependent on other nations, at far greater expense because of that irrational fear.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,008
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It appears that they'll probably have to cut a deal with Norway to use Norway's hydroelectric as a buffer for their intermittent solar and wind generation.
    Sounds sensible. Hydro is an excellent complement to solar.
    They won't do anything sensible . . .
    They just did.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,046
    I wonder why some small country doesn't decide to accept all of the world's nuclear waste, and then charge them for it? Just tell the guys in Germany, the USA, and etc who are trying to build these giant storage sheds underground or in the mountains to come build it on their land, and let the foreign companies/governments be the ones who manage them and everything.

    But charge a lot of money for it.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,151
    What we need is to buy the house right next door to kojax(or nuclear advocates), and then convert it into a nuclear waste dump site, and charge money, we could get rich! Build a tall structure so various types of hazarduous materials can be stored, at the top of which you have a rope anchoring a zepplin high above with a huge lighted sign "Nuclear and Toxic Waste Dump".

    I guess its the type of things that only sounds good when its the other people that are affected



    Another option as a complement to solar is one of the geothermal types (memory is fuzzy) that include a hydro-like storage mechanism
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,008
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    What we need is to buy the house right next door to kojax(or nuclear advocates), and then convert it into a nuclear waste dump site, and charge money, we could get rich!
    Or buy the land next to anti-nuclear protesters and put coal ash impoundment ponds there, surrounded by 50 foot tall dams. Maintained very carefully by the lowest bidder, of course.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,124
    1) How extensive are geothermal resources of Iceland? Could German companies invest in Iceland geopower?
    2) What about Thorium power plants? Are technologies still far away?
    3) Many city buses in Stockholm run on biogas. What about tax-free production of biogas in Germany?
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I wonder why some small country doesn't decide to accept all of the world's nuclear waste, and then charge them for it? Just tell the guys in Germany, the USA, and etc who are trying to build these giant storage sheds underground or in the mountains to come build it on their land, and let the foreign companies/governments be the ones who manage them and everything.

    But charge a lot of money for it.
    The trouble is the most dangerous waste is seen as a magnet for terrorist groups who might grab it and deliberately spread it across a populated area as an act of terror. Allowing this stuff to be transported across national lines and disposed of by what amounts to the lowest bidder is seen as a security risk. To be sure, there is a lot of low level waste that could be disposed of in this manner but one of the problems with the nuclear waste issue is that the anti-nuke folks consistently refuse to admit there are different sorts of waste with vastly different degrees of radioactivity.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,408
    One of the great ironies about nuclear power is it releases less radioactivity into the environment than burning fuels like coal does.
    Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste - Scientific American
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,408
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I suspect that Germany would be more eager to nuclearize if they had their own supply of Uranium.
    They already have the nuc plants--at one point they provided nearly half of Germany's power. It's irrational fear driving their unwillingness to continue to use it--nothing else. They've made a poor choice to emit more CO2, install more toxic producing PV, and become more dependent on other nations, at far greater expense because of that irrational fear.
    If you don't really believe pollution is a problem, or if you believe it can be controlled, then coal is actually a cheap power source. Lignite is cheaper than harder coals because it is not used for smelting. Germany has a lot of lignite that it can burn and not spend money buying.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,046
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    What we need is to buy the house right next door to kojax(or nuclear advocates), and then convert it into a nuclear waste dump site, and charge money, we could get rich! Build a tall structure so various types of hazarduous materials can be stored, at the top of which you have a rope anchoring a zepplin high above with a huge lighted sign "Nuclear and Toxic Waste Dump".

    I guess its the type of things that only sounds good when its the other people that are affected



    Another option as a complement to solar is one of the geothermal types (memory is fuzzy) that include a hydro-like storage mechanism
    If I get a substantial cut of the money, I'd be all for it.

    I'm happy to endure the things that cause irrational fear in other people and get paid for it.

    Anyone offering to pay me to sleep overnight in a "haunted house" also? Just make sure I have a comfortable bed, ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I wonder why some small country doesn't decide to accept all of the world's nuclear waste, and then charge them for it? Just tell the guys in Germany, the USA, and etc who are trying to build these giant storage sheds underground or in the mountains to come build it on their land, and let the foreign companies/governments be the ones who manage them and everything.

    But charge a lot of money for it.
    The trouble is the most dangerous waste is seen as a magnet for terrorist groups who might grab it and deliberately spread it across a populated area as an act of terror. Allowing this stuff to be transported across national lines and disposed of by what amounts to the lowest bidder is seen as a security risk. To be sure, there is a lot of low level waste that could be disposed of in this manner but one of the problems with the nuclear waste issue is that the anti-nuke folks consistently refuse to admit there are different sorts of waste with vastly different degrees of radioactivity.
    It would have to be done in a way where the country only provides the land and nothing else.

    All the rest is provided by the country that wants to dump waste there. So, if it's for the USA, the facility would be designed by American engineers, built by American workers, and staffed by American staff. The American military would guard it.

    The way I see it, that's a win/win for the local economy, because those Americans will be getting paid more than they would if they stayed in the USA (in order to entice them to relocate overseas), and spending that money in the local economy. Essentially they are tourists with money in their pockets.

    So long as they behave themselves and don't act abusive to the local population, I can't really see a downside.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It appears that they'll probably have to cut a deal with Norway to use Norway's hydroelectric as a buffer for their intermittent solar and wind generation.
    Sounds sensible. Hydro is an excellent complement to solar.
    They won't do anything sensible . . .
    They just did.
    They just did what?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    856
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Reference : New Scientist, 19 April, page 8

    Germany, which prides itself on being clean and green, and environmentally responsible, is rejecting clean nuclear power. Their aim is to replace it with wind and solar. The problem is that both are intermittent. So how do you fill in the gaps? Logically, you keep supplying nuclear power, which does not emit greenhouse gases, but no. The Germans are running coal burning power stations, using dirty lignite coal. This is the absolute worst option in terms of greenhouse gases, and Germany is now emitting more carbon than it did before the turn to solar and wind, and started closing down nuclear plants.

    What is worse is that you cannot simply turn a lignite power station on at need and off when not needed. It takes 8 hours to get it started, and a long time to stop it. So they run their lignite power stations at 40% capacity 24/7.

    The experiment in Germany so far has failed.
    In defense of Germany let me say this, on a recent Sunday Germany got 74% of its energy needs from solar and wind power. But it was a Sunday and most large businesses and factories would have been closed.
    Germany Sets New Record, Generating 74 Percent Of Power Needs From Renewable Energy | ThinkProgress


    But I think your 100% correct and nuclear power is the best way to eliminate CO2 emissions now. Our industrial, economical, and energy structure is already set up to use nuclear power.

    And nuclear power is safer than using coal. Coal power is responsible for 5x more worker deaths, 470x more civilian deaths, and 1,000x more serious illnesses than nuclear power.
    Nuclear power is safest way to make electricity, according to study - The Washington Post

    But from irrational fear and lack of knowledge the general public fears nuclear power.


    And many/most nuclear accidents happened because "the nuclear power plants in service today were conceptually designed and developed during the 1960s."
    THE NEXT GENERATION OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,008
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    1) How extensive are geothermal resources of Iceland? Could German companies invest in Iceland geopower?
    Well, it would be a bit tough to deliver the power. Probably better to move power-hungry industries (like aluminum smelting) to Iceland.
    2) What about Thorium power plants? Are technologies still far away?
    Thorium power is where nuclear (uranium fission) power was in the 1950's. "Power too cheap to meter," will solve all our energy problems, etc etc. The reality will, of course, be a bit different. But it's promising.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    720
    I think any upsurge in use of fossil fuels there will be shortlived. And Germany is not being impoverished by the less than ideal choices made to date.

    Ideology hasn't helped; free market anti-climate action ideology - which continues to get absolved of any responsibility by the proponents of nuclear - at least as much as anti-nuclear ideology. They bear much responsible, by diverting Conservative Right politics into supporting the belief that global warming is some kind of exaggeration and ideologically driven scam, with the essential message that low emissions energy is not necessary and that low cost (no climate or other extenal consequences and costs taken into account) fossil fuels are. They are willing to let the nuclear option be sacrificed to protect fossil fuels.

    If any kind of 'green' politics holds excessive sway it's because of the failure of mainstream politics to step up on climate/emissions/energy - on the contrary they step up to protect fossil fuels first and foremost, not nuclear and the energy choices Germany pursue almost certainly reflect the compromises they've made, that put fossil fuels ahead of nuclear.

    After all, if nuclear really is the only choice that can roll back the use of fossil fuels - which I don't believe - surely it is a greater threat to the established interests Conservatives feel so strongly obliged to defend than renewables.

    End climate science denial and climate action obstructionism within Conservative 'free' market politics and both nuclear and renewables will be advantaged.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    I think any upsurge in use of fossil fuels there will be shortlived.
    You think. Do you have any reason to think that?
    And Germany is not being impoverished by the less than ideal choices made to date.
    It certainly isn't helping.
    Ideology hasn't helped; free market anti-climate action ideology - which continues to get absolved of any responsibility by the proponents of nuclear - at least as much as anti-nuclear ideology.
    Which proponents of nuclear are you talking about?
    They bear much responsible, by diverting Conservative Right politics into supporting the belief that global warming is some kind of exaggeration and ideologically driven scam, with the essential message that low emissions energy is not necessary and that low cost (no climate or other extenal consequences and costs taken into account) fossil fuels are. They are willing to let the nuclear option be sacrificed to protect fossil fuels.

    If any kind of 'green' politics holds excessive sway it's because of the failure of mainstream politics to step up on climate/emissions/energy - on the contrary they step up to protect fossil fuels first and foremost, not nuclear and the energy choices Germany pursue almost certainly reflect the compromises they've made, that put fossil fuels ahead of nuclear.

    After all, if nuclear really is the only choice that can roll back the use of fossil fuels - which I don't believe - surely it is a greater threat to the established interests Conservatives feel so strongly obliged to defend than renewables.
    You aren't making any sense. How is nuclear a threat to Conservatism?
    End climate science denial and climate action obstructionism within Conservative 'free' market politics and both nuclear and renewables will be advantaged.
    End ideologically based faith in renewable power and we can start pursuing some sensible energy policies.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,324
    In the US fossil fuel industry is certainly behind a huge chunk of the conservative movement the robust and highly successful climate change disinformation campaign that's stalled even quite affordable and reasonable conservation (ironically) measures for decades.

    I don't think that's true in Europe and if somewhat true, certainly not as successful.

    I think it's mostly irrational fear of anything nuc often in alliance with the ideological environmentalist that's done that.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    720
    Harold, I don't think there is a problem with what I say not making sense, but I think there may be a problem with you choosing to misinterpret what I say. I never said nuclear was a threat to Conservatism, but that Conservative political priorities are making them willing to sacrifice the enormous opportunity for expansion of nuclear inherent in modern science based understanding of the links between emissions and climate. Conservative politics, by putting business as usual - denying, dodging and delaying on climate action to support the ongoing, unrestrained use of fossil fuels - ahead of any priority for climate action has serious consequences for developing and enacting rational energy policy.

    Nuclear energy isn't the core issue, climate and it's intersection with energy productions and emissions is the issue, but Conservatives are not out there being effective promoters of nuclear to solve the climate problem - they are too busy denying such a problem exists to do that in any credible way, by any means, least of all nuclear. It looks to me that they are using the failure of (a large part of) environmentalism to promote nuclear for that purpose as an argument to undermine the credibility of environmentalism and I don't see that they are doing so in order to better enable them to fix any climate problem; quite the contrary, I believe they want to discredit environmentalism in order to fix a political problem, ie the problem that Environmentalism has become strong and influential in calling for urgent action on climate and emissions. It was their own choice to not be strong and influential voices calling for urgent action on climate and emissions; it was never forced upon them by any unreasonable vocal minority. They chose to oppose and nuclear as solution saw it's strongest potential promoters diverted into defending fossil fuels.

    I've made these points before but you have consistently chosen not to address them; instead, you have tried to insinuate that there is no sense at all to them and suggest that they are somehow a consequence of an irrational, ideological anti-conservative and/or anti-nuclear politics on my part . Yet I very much want Conservatives to take the science on climate seriously. I very much want them to contribute constructively to policy directed at facing the climate problem head on. I believe that when they do so that would inevitably include stronger efforts in promoting nuclear as a major component of low emissions energy choices. I don't see how that can seriously be construed as anti-nuclear or inherently anti-conservative. I want Conservatism to be rational and responsible on this issue. As things stand they are not. Conservative politics is clearly not anti-nuclear - yet, in the process of promoting doubt, denial and delay on the climate problem, they have failed to promote nuclear as a climate solution in any credible way, being too engaged in preserving the 'rights' of fossil fuel users to not have to face up to the reality of the cumulative environmental and economic impacts of dumping their waste into the atmosphere.

    The anti-climate position of Conservative politics translates into an innate weakness of support for nuclear to replace fossil fuels; nuclear, within a framework that denies the significance of emissions may be allowed to exist and to compete but never on a playing field where those externalised impacts of fossil fuels are acknowledged and accounted for, never in a market that would inherently favour or advantage non fossil fuel energy like nuclear, or renewables.

    Climate action obstructionism and overt and covert support for climate science denial has had insidious impacts; in the hands of - because it's in the hands of - powerful mainstream political parties in major economies of the world, it has deeper and more profoundly distorting influence over energy policy than the largely uncontested views of a vocal minority who engage in anti-nuclear activism. A Conservative movement that really wants to fix the climate problem would fight for nuclear the way that a Conservative movement that doesn't currently fights for fossil fuels. I fully expect that would lead to greater use of nuclear energy, irrespective of my own optimism about renewables and reservations about nuclear. Even so I strongly urge science literate Conservatives to purge their party of climate science deniers and obstructors and, if that's what they really believe best, push hard for nuclear.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    Okay Ken. I think I got it. Conservatives support nuclear power. Liberals oppose it, and force nuclear plants to shut down, resulting in greater carbon dioxide emissions. So, the failure to replace fossil fuels with nuclear is the fault of ... conservatives. Makes perfect sense, in your world.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    720
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Okay Ken. I think I got it. Conservatives support nuclear power. Liberals oppose it, and force nuclear plants to shut down, resulting in greater carbon dioxide emissions. So, the failure to replace fossil fuels with nuclear is the fault of ... conservatives. Makes perfect sense, in your world.
    Harold, I don't believe you are really this obtuse but it's looking like I could be wrong.

    If there is no climate problem then there is no need to push for nuclear to fix the climate problem and certainly no need to promote it at the expense of fossil fuels - and this is the current Conservative position and it's not irrational to conclude that this results in weakness of support for putting nuclear ahead of fossil fuels. A preference for nuclear over renewables is not a preference for nuclear over fossil fuels and an unwavering opposition to action on climate is as inimical to a low emissions future built on nuclear as it is to one built on renewables; if it's true that nuclear is the best alternative, then it's a greater threat to fossil fuels than renewables. A commitment to low emissions by those who believe that nuclear is the best low emissions technology can reasonably be presumed to be result in greater commitment to nuclear. The converse is also the case; less commitment to low emissions by those that believe nuclear is the best results in less commitment to nuclear.

    The kinds of policies I support for addressing emissions are not technology specific - pricing emissions high enough to effect energy infrastructure choices in favor of low emissions options and restricting overall allowable emissions don't preferentially promote renewables ahead of nuclear - they promote renewables and nuclear ahead of fossil fuels, yet these kinds of policies are vigorously opposed by Conservatives.

    I don't see any evidence that Conservatives are genuinely seeking the replacement of fossil fuels with nuclear but plenty that are seeking to maintain the ascendance and economic advantages of fossil fuels in the face of overwhelming evidence that excessive emissions will have irrevocable and damaging consequences to, ecosystems, populations and economies.

    In your world that resistance to a transition to low emissions may have no implications for the strength of support for nuclear from Conservatives. I think it has had profound implications for support - at the highest levels within Conservatism - to nuclear. Nuclear can coexist with, but will not be promoted to replace fossil fuels.

    The best thing that could happen for nuclear as climate solution is for Conservatives to ditch their dangerously irrational position on climate and commit to solutions.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    Ken, you are presenting a false choice - either put a penalty on carbon emissions, or don't build any nuclear plants. With you, it's either "my way or the highway." This is clearly a false choice because in the past, nuclear plants have been built without any such carbon penalties. As a matter of fact, if you will notice the OP of this thread, Germany had nuclear plants and they SHUT THEM DOWN. And this was done by people like you, who are fully committed to reductions of carbon dioxide emissions. No amount of spinning on your part will change this fact.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    Harold

    I do not think you quite appreciate Ken's position yet.

    I agree with Ken, although I would not quite put all the blame on conservatives. I would tend to put more blame on stupid environmentalists, who exaggerate the imaginary dangers of nuclear power, thus forcing Germany back into fossil fuels, since such a large voter block in Germany is idiot green. The sad thing is that Germany had the nuclear power plants and is now shutting them down, and firing up more dirty lignite fuelled plants in response. This is most counter-productive.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,338
    I'd thought Germany was grooming itself as global supplier of wind and solar equipment. Thus the domestic installations. Kinda like France developing to become a nuclear reactor and fuel exporter.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    That's right Pong. They are the world's foremost experts on solar power, but when they need to power their grid, they burn lignite.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    720
    3 decades of insisting nothing should be done or need be done about the climate problem - aside from tireless efforts to undermine the public credibility of those advocating climate action - has had no consequences for public acceptance of the need for a serious remake of how we make energy? And this has had no significant implications for effectiveness of advocacy for nuclear? I don't believe that is even possible.

    Compare that to the alternative, where Conservatives took the science seriously early on and spent 3 decades making the climate issue their own, advocating ceaselessly and relentlessly to solve it with the technologies they think best, with more than 2 out those 3 decades being before the PR disaster for nuclear that was Fukushima, a time when hostility to nuclear was being much diminished because of concern over climate. ie climate is a proven powerful argument, one that Conservatives are not using to promote nuclear. Do people here really think the Conservative choice to frame climate as fringe and green in order to marginalise the issue - and it's failure - has had no significant influence on community acceptance of a need for nuclear energy?

    As things stand I think there are strong parallels between arguing a short term rise in emissions on the road to a low emissions economy is the end of the road for lowering emissions and arguing a short term slow down of global warming is the end of global warming; both are used primarily by the same political interests that seek to obstruct action on emissions. For hard core 'free' market ideologues I see no great difference between a willingness to sacrifice a significant sector of the economy - renewables - because they are more expensive than fossil fuels and a willingness to sacrifice another significant sector of the economy because they are more expensive than fossil fuels - nuclear. Both rely upon putting boundary conditions on how far we should go in pursuit of lower emissions; foremost that they not be significantly more expensive than the lowest cost energy - fossil fuels. Nuclear was built on government subsidies and interventions; it was never cheaper than lignite. In addition the calculation of relative cost of energy is constrained to a market price that excludes externalised and futurised environmental and economic costs. Lower emissions being a good thing as long as those boundaries are not exceeded is not support for solving the climate problem; it's support for not solving the climate problem.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    720
    Skeptic, I agree that the anti-nuclear choices many leading advocates for action on climate promote are significant but Conservative support for climate science denial and climate action obstructionism is also significant and, so far the focus here appears to be almost entirely one sided. I think opposition to climate action is a very serious impediment to every kind of policy or choice of technology to deal with global warming. The impacts on rational debate of such irrational rejection of science and unwavering obstructionism is insidious and should not be ignored. Sure, Germany would not be closing down nuclear if Greens supported nuclear but I still believe that if Conservatives had made the effort to make the climate issue their own, Greens would never have been in a position to close down nuclear.

    Harold, there are people here I am sure are very serious about climate as well as sincere in their advocacy of nuclear as a safe and superior means in addressing it. I'm struggling to believe that you are one of them. Expressing the view that lower emissions would be good - as you have, when pressed, in a previous round on this subject - is not sufficient if it is bounded by "must not be more expensive than low cost fossil fuels" and "the costs of fossil fuels to exclude the externalised climate consequences" provisions. Is your desire for lower emissions bounded in these way? That aspiration doesn't even necessarily indicate that you accept the mainstream science on climate. Do you accept the mainstream science on climate? I believe that being motivated does matter to the effectiveness of advocacy - to those advocating nuclear as well as those advocating non-nuclear solutions. Be forthcoming on how valid and important you think the climate problem is, please.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    3 decades of insisting nothing should be done or need be done about the climate problem - aside from tireless efforts to undermine the public credibility of those advocating climate action - has had no consequences for public acceptance of the need for a serious remake of how we make energy? And this has had no significant implications for effectiveness of advocacy for nuclear? I don't believe that is even possible.
    You are committing a "tu quoque" fallacy. Sure, the greens shut down the nuclear plants which led to an increase in fossil fuel usage. But the conservatives are so much worse, aren't they? That gets the greens off the hook, right?


    Compare that to the alternative, where Conservatives took the science seriously early on and spent 3 decades making the climate issue their own, advocating ceaselessly and relentlessly to solve it with the technologies they think best, with more than 2 out those 3 decades being before the PR disaster for nuclear that was Fukushima, a time when hostility to nuclear was being much diminished because of concern over climate. ie climate is a proven powerful argument, one that Conservatives are not using to promote nuclear. Do people here really think the Conservative choice to frame climate as fringe and green in order to marginalise the issue - and it's failure - has had no significant influence on community acceptance of a need for nuclear energy?
    Tu quoque.

    As things stand I think there are strong parallels between arguing a short term rise in emissions on the road to a low emissions economy is the end of the road for lowering emissions and arguing a short term slow down of global warming is the end of global warming; both are used primarily by the same political interests that seek to obstruct action on emissions. For hard core 'free' market ideologues I see no great difference between a willingness to sacrifice a significant sector of the economy - renewables - because they are more expensive than fossil fuels and a willingness to sacrifice another significant sector of the economy because they are more expensive than fossil fuels - nuclear.
    Renewables are NOT an alternative to fossil fuels, if you want to maintain a stable grid. The grid can only absorb a certain amount of that intermittent power. This is why Germany has to burn lignite. Do you think they want to do that? No, they just left themselves no other choice.
    Both rely upon putting boundary conditions on how far we should go in pursuit of lower emissions; foremost that they not be significantly more expensive than the lowest cost energy - fossil fuels. Nuclear was built on government subsidies and interventions; it was never cheaper than lignite. In addition the calculation of relative cost of energy is constrained to a market price that excludes externalised and futurised environmental and economic costs. Lower emissions being a good thing as long as those boundaries are not exceeded is not support for solving the climate problem; it's support for not solving the climate problem.
    You are supporting not solving the climate problem as well, by pinning your hopes on intermittent renewables. And you have totally ignored the original topic of this thread, by going right straight to the tu quoque gambit.
    Last edited by Harold14370; June 30th, 2014 at 02:15 AM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    Skeptic, I agree that the anti-nuclear choices many leading advocates for action on climate promote are significant but Conservative support for climate science denial and climate action obstructionism is also significant and, so far the focus here appears to be almost entirely one sided.
    We've had plenty of threads about climate change denial. This one happens to be about Germany and how they are burning lignite. Do all threads have to be about climate change denial?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,008
    Renewables are NOT an alternative to fossil fuels, if you want to maintain a stable grid. [/quote]
    They are indeed. Many countries now have a sizable fraction of their energy coming from renewables, and are maintaining a stable grid. Thus that statement is incorrect.

    You are supporting not solving the climate problem as well, by pinning your hopes on intermittent renewables.
    That would indeed solve a big chunk of the CO2 emissions problem.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  36. #35  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,324
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Renewables are NOT an alternative to fossil fuels, if you want to maintain a stable grid. They are indeed. Many countries now have a sizable fraction of their energy coming from renewables, and are maintaining a stable grid. Thus that statement is incorrect..
    Germany which has the largest intermittent renewable fraction by far, only just reached 13% of it's electrical consumption (no other nation comes close)--now has an increasingly redundant fossil fuel capacity because of the unwise nuclear decision and unable to get much past 20% with existing storage technology or infrastructure and still maintain a stable grid.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  37. #36  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    Renewables are great, but have the major disadvantage that they are intermittent. The wind does not always blow, and solar power is kinda useless at night. The usual argument against this inconvenient fact is that you should store that energy for when it is less available. Yes, but at great complication and great extra cost.

    Here is my suggestion. It requires at least 10% of a nation's power to come from hydro-electric. That requirement does, however, cover a large part of the world. Hydroelectricity can be increased or reduced very readily, and it is the best method of storing energy.

    Base load is nuclear. That is, nuclear supplies most of the power, and this is a steady output. Renewables make up the difference to 100%. But hydroelectric power is used as an intermittent source to increase or reduce power output for when the renewables are down. No burning of coal.

    For those nations where hydro-electricity is insufficient, natural gas is used as the fill in generator. The great thing about natural gas is that it is highly controllable. Power output can be turned up and down minute by minute to deal with the intermittency of renewables.

    Leave the coal in the ground.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  38. #37  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    All the reputable analyses I know about such as the one referred to below from the International Energy Agency, say that we need a lot more nuclear power plants. But a lot of self-styled "environmentalists" don't want to listen to the experts and are working actively to shut nuclear plants down. What would you call them? Grid stability deniers?

    The world must build more nuclear power plants to halt climate change | The Verge
    Nuclear power plants aren't being built fast enough for the world to hit important carbon emissions targets, according to the International Energy Agency. A lack of trust in nuclear technology, coupled with the global economic downturn that began in 2008, has resulted in a slowdown of construction and a plateau of the world's nuclear energy capacity.
    According to the "2DS" scenario presented by the International Energy Agency, the world must halve its energy- and process-related CO2 emissions from 2011 levels in order to ensure an 80 percent chance of limiting the global average temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.) In order to achieve that aim, 186 gigawatts of nuclear capacity must be added between now and 2025. At current rates of nuclear plant construction, the Earth's nuclear energy output will fall between 5 and 24 percent short of that target.
    Issue 6:- Nuclear energy?s rebirth is not robust enough to limit climate change

    A critical element of a low-carbon system
    The IEA flagship technology publication Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 features a scenario, the 2DS, that provides an 80% chance of attaining the 2°C target by more than halving energy- and process-related CO2 emissions from 2011 levels. No single technology can provide such reductions, but at 18% of the energy mix, nuclear power is a critical element of the proposed portfolio of technologies to achieve the 2DS by 2050.
    Despite those 72 reactors under construction, Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 estimates that installed nuclear capacity in
    2025 will be 7% to 25% below the 2DS target. With modern Generation III light-water reactors requiring close to 60 months just for construction, time is running short under the scenario.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  39. #38  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    720
    Harold, you are consistently and persistently missing the points I've been making; it's only been left to anti-nuclear environmentalists to lead on climate because anti-climate action Conservatives have so willfully worked to prevent action on climate. Until Conservative step up on the climate problem they are indeed denying the nuclear option the determined and consistent political backing it desperately needs to overcome it's unpopularity. The connections may not be so direct and obvious as anti-nuclear environmentalists being anti-nuclear but when nuclear's 'best friends' keep denying the seriousness of the climate problem they undermine the most compelling reason for the broader community to accept expanding the use of nuclear.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  40. #39  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    Ken, what makes you think I'm missing the point? It's the same point you've been making in every post you've ever made here. You're like a broken record. With you, the world is neatly divided between pro-nuclear climate change deniers, and anti-nuclear environmental activists. There's nothing in between. It never occurs to you that there could be pro-nuclear environmentalists. Why can't you see that your argument is a fallacy - the false choice, or excluded middle.

    You're a regular fallacy machine - false choice, tu quoque, and I'll throw in another one for the trifecta, the unsupported presumption. You presume that the situation in Germany is temporary. I asked why you presumed that, and got no reply.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  41. #40  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    720
    What makes me think you miss the point is that you never address my point. Conservative obstruction of climate action has no adverse consequences for nuclear as solution; the only thing that can save it is Environmentalists? Why is it up to Environmentalists at all, except that mainstream politics has gone AWOL on the issue? Or in the case of US and Australian Conservatives, been unwavering opponents to limiting emissions?

    I think there is a lot of scope yet for renewables to get a lot cheaper, and for large scale energy storage to get cheaper and actually be put into action. Back when Republicans in the USA and our Conservatives here in Australia chose to oppose they were a lot more expensive. A penetration of 12% over a couple of decades is not inconsequential, especially given that Germany's Energiewende really is deeply compromised - as are most attempts so far to tackle the energy/emissions. I put that down to lack of bipartisan commitment to do so.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  42. #41  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    What makes me think you miss the point is that you never address my point. Conservative obstruction of climate action has no adverse consequences for nuclear as solution; the only thing that can save it is Environmentalists?
    Where did I say that? All I said was that this thread is about the Germans burning lignite; it's not a generic thread about climate change.
    Why is it up to Environmentalists at all, except that mainstream politics has gone AWOL on the issue? Or in the case of US and Australian Conservatives, been unwavering opponents to limiting emissions?
    Isn't it up to everybody to do their part? There you go, dividing people into camps again. Blaming the problem on Conservatives does not get you out of the responsibility to learn the facts and pursue the best course of action.
    I think there is a lot of scope yet for renewables to get a lot cheaper, and for large scale energy storage to get cheaper and actually be put into action. Back when Republicans in the USA and our Conservatives here in Australia chose to oppose they were a lot more expensive.

    A penetration of 12% over a couple of decades is not inconsequential, especially given that Germany's Energiewende really is deeply compromised - as are most attempts so far to tackle the energy/emissions. I put that down to lack of bipartisan commitment to do so.
    All right, suppose renewables get a lot cheaper. How is that avoiding the need to run coal plants to fill in the gaps?
    Now you are saying the energiewende is deeply compromised. Have you changed you mind from when you said "any upsurge in use of fossil fuels there will be shortlived"?
    Are you claiming that Germany does not have a bipartisan commitment to tackle energy/emissions? I think that's a very warped view of the situation.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  43. #42  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    720
    Harold I do think you and others here are missing the point, persistently and I think in your case, I think, willfully. People here simply do not appear willing to examine the ways that climate action obstructionism by mainstream political movements/parties that are, on the face of it, pro-nuclear, impacts upon actual support and actual advancement for nuclear. Not merely do none of the advocates of nuclear here want to examine the ways climate science denial is significant to reasoned energy politics but, in your case, you appear to reject outright that such a link even exists. You even want to claim it's off-topic in discussion of how ideology impacts negatively on energy politics.

    Objections to generalisations such as that Environmentalism is predominately anti-nuclear or that Conservatism is the natural home of opposition to action on climate look like determination to look exclusively at the distortions of energy policy arising from anti-nuclear and is aimed at dodging discussion of those from climate science denial and obstructionism. Again and again the debate here swerves away from such examination into the same old rut - "nuclear is better than renewables" debate - which has, as witnessed in Germany and elsewhere - failed to win over the public to the support of nuclear energy. It looks like you/they choose to interpret my arguments that climate science denial hurts nuclear as some kind of peculiar manifestation of anti-nuclear political ideology, despite my genuine belief that Mainstream political movements/parties taking climate seriously would be an enormous boost to the promotion of nuclear. My optimism for renewables and the potential for effective energy storage technologies are really not relevant here and looks like an unnecessary diversion and distraction from that discussion. As long as proponents of nuclear refuse to give consideration of the impacts on support for nuclear from opposition to action on climate by their political 'friends' those impacts will continue to go unchallenged and unmitigate. Again - and again I keep saying it - Conservatives losing their opposition to action on climate will be good for nuclear (to replace fossil fuels). I want them to do that and want pro-nuclear environmentalists (and those who understand that it's an essential economic and security issue) to recognise the insidious harm climate science denial and obstructionism has been doing. Sure, I think Conservatives getting serious on climate will help renewables too, but, again, that is not the point; the point is that climate policy, across the board will be improved and be less subject to any loud minority.

    Stated policy of support for clean low emissions energy is not good enough if it's not backed by actual commitment, and can be no more than a convenient veneer, such as in the style of Australia's current Conservative government - which has a significant gap between what it says ( "we support action on climate") and policy choices that undermine actual action in virtually every conceivable way. And mention nuclear only as anti-Greens, anti- renewables rhetoric, with no commitment to nuclear intended, even if it's implied. So, perhaps cynically on my part, I don't think it's enough for Germany's Conservatives to say they support clean, low emissions energy if they are working behind the scenes to, say, prevent the regulations and force the compromises that would force electricity generators to operate more expensive gas plants in preference to dirtier but cheaper and more profitable lignite ones. Or prove willing to compromise on nuclear if it comes to a choice between cheapest lignite and not so cheap - and even more unpopular than lignite - nuclear. Economically (so long as the environmental, future economic and security costs of fossil fuels remain excluded) lignite probably has higher priority with German Conservatives than nuclear and their credibility as leaders on climate is probably as lacking as Conservatives in the USA or Australia. Voters don't believe them on climate.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green power push
    By Harold14370 in forum Environmental Issues
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: November 15th, 2013, 12:53 AM
  2. Dirty Money Study
    By STS in forum Biology
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: June 9th, 2012, 05:44 AM
  3. How Germany Phased Out Nuclear Power, Only to Get Mugged by Reality
    By Harold14370 in forum Environmental Issues
    Replies: 142
    Last Post: March 30th, 2012, 08:36 AM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: October 19th, 2011, 06:05 AM
  5. Dirty pans
    By crazyclimber in forum Physics
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: July 26th, 2007, 03:54 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •