nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

New York Times continues to ignore the renewable energy revolution, and talk up nuclear

you’d never know any of this big picture once-in-a-century transformation from reading the New York Times, which just continues to write article after article that misses the forest for the trees.

the clean energy revolution means other low-carbon or zero-carbon technologies that haven’t reached the point of exponential growth — and that are not experiencing learning curve improvements in cost and performance — are very likely to fall further and further behind. That is where nuclear power finds itself. As do hydrogen fuel cell cars.

It also means that the electric grid in particular will go through some growing pains as it starts to integrate renewables at a faster pace than anybody thought possible just a few years ago. The Times, bizarrely, has chosen to publish article after article over-emphasizing and indeed exaggerating those growing pains, while projecting a future for nuclear power that currently doesn’t exist

media-propagandaNuclear Power Advocates Claim Cheap Renewable Energy Is A Bad Thing, Climate Progress BY JOE ROMM JUL 28, 2016 Nuclear power advocates are trying a new line of attack on solar and wind energy — it’s too darn cheap!

In the real world, however, the unexpectedly rapid drop in the price of cleantech, especially renewable power and batteries, is a doubly miraculous game-changer that is already cutting greenhouse gas emissions globally and dramatically increasing the chances we can avoid catastrophic climate change.

As I detailed on Monday, the New York Times in particular keeps running slanted articles talking up nuclear and talking down renewables — articles that totally miss the forest for the trees. That culminated in a truly absurd piece last week, “How Renewable Energy Is Blowing Climate Change Efforts Off Course,” which is the exact opposite of reality, as Goldman Sachs has detailed in its recent reports on “The Low Carbon Economy.”

This post will focus primarily on the big picture, the forest. I will deal in later posts with a few of the more interesting trees, such as whether, the U.S. should consider give existing nukes some sort of short-term carbon credit so they are not shut down prematurely and replaced by natural gas.

The big picture reality of the clean energy revolution

The big picture reality is this: The world is finally starting to take some serious action to avoid catastrophic climate change, which means first the electric grid will decarbonize, and then the transportation system. That means global coal use peaks or plateaus first — and then oil does.

In fact, the nation and much of the world — including Europe and China — have already started with decarbonizing the grid, for various reasons. One reason grid decarbonization is coming first is that even big countries only have to begin replacing a few hundred (mostly coal) power plants to start decarbonizing the grid. Compare that to the transportation sector, which involves replacing tens of millions of vehicles and possibly building a vast new fueling infrastructure for a zero-carbon fuel.

Second, we have vastly more choices to slash CO2 emissions from the electric sector — efficiency, solar, wind, hydro, other renewables, nuclear, and (in the short term) replacing coal with natural gas. But, in truth, we’ve dawdled for so long, we really need to go as fast as possible to carbon-free power……

Really, the only two plausible options to fuel carbon-free vehicles are hydrogen and electricity — when both are made from carbon-free sources. And only electric vehicles can actually deliver carbon-free transport at lower lifecycle cost, and very possibly a lower first cost, than gasoline powered cars. That’s going to get even more obvious in the coming years, now that the sharp drop in battery costs have brought them well below the key price point needed for mass-market adoption.

So the future of transportation, especially urban transport, is electricity. And in fact, electric vehicle sales have exploded world-wide since 2010, with the very real possibility that within the decade they will have a comparable sale price to gasoline vehicles and a much lower operating and fuel cost, even running on carbon free power.

So that makes the rapid decarbonization of the grid even more important, so that the electric vehicles keep decarbonizing the transportation sector. Let’s take a deeper dive into the grid.

The transition to a carbon-free grid has begun and is unstoppable…….

Renewables, efficiency, and electrification of transport have emerged as the big winners in the race to find the most affordable, scalable, carbon-free sources for power generation and travel. Many core technologies are growing exponentially while cost and performance steadily improve.
Here is what Goldman Sachs expects to happen just over the next decade: [diagram on original]
The result of this revolution, they conclude, is that “On our wind and solar numbers, emissions in IEA scenarios could peak as early as c.2020, rather than 2030.”

Again, you’d never know any of this big picture once-in-a-century transformation from reading the New York Times, which just continues to write article after article that misses the forest for the trees.

Yes, it is true that this revolution is happening so fast that it is “transforming the competitive dynamics in industries like lighting, power generation and autos,” as Goldman Sachs noted. And that means there will be dislocations.

For instance, the clean energy revolution means other low-carbon or zero-carbon technologies that haven’t reached the point of exponential growth — and that are not experiencing learning curve improvements in cost and performance — are very likely to fall further and further behind. That is where nuclear power finds itself. As do hydrogen fuel cell cars.

It also means that the electric grid in particular will go through some growing pains as it starts to integrate renewables at a faster pace than anybody thought possible just a few years ago. The Times, bizarrely, has chosen to publish article after article over-emphasizing and indeed exaggerating those growing pains, while projecting a future for nuclear power that currently doesn’t exist……….http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/07/28/3802326/nuclear-power-renewables-cheap/

July 29, 2016 - Posted by | media, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: