nuclear-news

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

Greenpeace Rainbow Warrier aims to help workers to transition to renewable energy work

The Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior III ship is in Aberdeen Harbour as part of its Just Transition Tour. The campaign calls on government to train oil and gas workers for a smooth transition to renewable energy schemes. The 190-ft vessel will moor overnight in Aberdeen before heading for Wick with sights set on the 84-turbine Beatrice offshore windfarm sitting lying nine miles off the Caithness coast. The intrepid crew are keen to assess “the challenges and opportunities” facing the platforms’ workers.

Greenpeace UK’s oil campaign leader Mel Evans, head said offshore workers had their full support. He added: They have powered our economy through difficult times and they have plenty of transferable skills which will be vital to our transition to renewable energy. “Politicians must sit down with offshore workers and take urgent action to make the funds, retraining opportunities and jobs available to make Scotland’s clean energy transition a success.”

 Evening Express 18th July 2021

July 20, 2021 Posted by | employment, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK government’s pointless pursuit ofnuclear power, as renewable energy proving to be cheaper and faster.

Renewable energy, mainly wind and solar, is rising on the back of rapidly falling costs. So much so that the International Energy Agency, which has in the past been rather guarded about their potential, has switched over to seeing them as the main way ahead, supplying 90% of global electric power by 2050.

 Dave Elliott: No room for nuclear. As noted in an article in Regional Life, a local conservation e-magazine linked to a local anti nuclear group, the flat landscape of the Dengie peninsula in Essex is punctuated by a line of tall wind turbines, slowly turning and the massive grey-blue hulk of the
former Bradwell ‘A’ nuclear power station.

These two features it says graphically express the contrast between rise of renewable energy and the
demise of nuclear power, the past and the future of electricity generation.

Renewable energy, mainly wind and solar, is rising on the back of rapidly falling costs. So much so that the International Energy Agency, which has in the past been rather guarded about their potential, has switched over to seeing them as the main way ahead, supplying 90% of global electric power by 2050.

That is actually quite conservative compared to some projections for the UK: renewables are supplying over 43% of UK power at present and the Renewable Energy Association says that reaching 100% is possible by 2032 – indeed Scotland is already almost there.

All of which raises thequestion of why we are still pursuing nuclear power- which just about
everyone agrees is very much more expensive than wind and solar. The recent BBC TV documentary series on construction work at Hinkley Point C in Somerset made stunningly clear the massive scale and environmental footprint of nuclear projects like this. Especially notable was the vast amount of concrete that had to be poured- the production of which involves significant release of carbon dioxide gas.

That is one reason why nuclear plants are not zero carbon options, another being the fact that mining and processing uranium fuel are energy and carbon intensive activities.

By contrast, renewable energy systems like solar cells and wind turbines need no fuel to run, and, although energy is needed to make the materials used in their construction, the net carbon/energy lifetime debt is less than for nuclear- one study suggested nuclear produces on average 23 times more emissions than onshore wind per unit electricity generated.

The Government’s stated aim is to generate ‘enough electricity from offshore wind to power every home by 2030’. That means many more offshore wind farms, off the East coast and also elsewhere around the UK. With the other renewables also added in and more of them planned (we have 14 GW of solar capacity so far) it is hard to see what the nuclear plants are for – the 9 GW or so of old plants and the new 3.2 GW Hinkley Point C plant, much less any other proposed new ones.

The nuclear lobby sometimes argues we need more nuclear to replace nuclear plants that are being closed and also to back up renewables. It is hard to see how that could work, unless the new plants were flexible, and able to compensate for the variable output of the 30GW or so of wind and solar capacity we have at present. As yet there are no plans to run the Hinkley Point C plant that way, or for that matter, the proposed 3.2 GW Sizewell C.

In which case, adding more nuclear will mean that, at times of low demand, some cheap renewable output, or some low cost flexible gas plant output, would have to be curtailed. What a waste! All of this to keep the £22bn Hinkley Point, and any that follow, financially viable.

 Renew Extra 17th July 2021

 https://renewextraweekly.blogspot.com/2021/07/no-room-for-nuclear.html

July 19, 2021 Posted by | politics, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Japan’s government acknowledges that solar power will be cheaper than nuclear

Solar power eclipses nuclear energy in terms of costs, Asahi Shimbun, By SATOSHI SHINDEN/ Staff Writer, July 13, 2021   For businesses looking ahead to reduce costs, solar power would definitely seem to be the way to go. Households could possibly benefit as well.

A new estimate by the industry ministry on future costs of power generation found that solar power will eclipse nuclear energy in terms of costs as of 2030.

The finding, released July 12, is expected to have significant implications for the nation’s energy policy.

This is the first time for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to acknowledge that the cost to generate solar power will be lower than that for nuclear power.

The estimates were presented at a meeting of a working group of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy the same day.

Estimated costs for nuclear power came to close to the 12 yen level or more per kilowatt-hour as of 2030, about 1 yen higher than the previous estimate in 2015.

Costs for solar power ranged from the lower 8 yen level to close to 12 yen for businesses. The rate for homes was estimated at between the last half of the 9 yen level to the first half of the 14 yen level.

The government and electric utilities have continued to champion nuclear power generation even after the 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, citing cost efficiency over other energy sources.

However, the latest estimates would seem to call the legitimacy of that argument into question and will likely have an impact on the government’s Basic Energy Plan, for which officials are working to revise.

 The Basic Energy Plan is updated almost every three years.

The industry ministry has finally acknowledged it can no longer maintain the position that nuclear power is the most economical source of energy,” noted Kenichi Oshima, a professor of environmental economics at Ryukoku University who studies the nation’s nuclear policy, referring to the latest findings about costs.

The estimated costs for generating electricity with nuclear energy have risen each time calculations were made.

The ministry was forced to include ballooning costs for decommissioning of nuclear reactors and decontaminating crippled facilities in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster…..

solar energy is getting cheaper.

The latest estimate for solar power was down from the previous calculation in 2015 because the costs of installing solar panels are dropping.

Charges for generating electricity are calculated as follows: the total cost of building a new power facility, operating it for decades and finally dismantling it divided by the overall amount of power produced during the period……  https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14394069

July 15, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, politics, renewable | Leave a comment

Rapid growth of renewable energy: it’s the major energy source in Europe

Renewable energy capacity around the world grew by a record amount during 2020, even as China continued to build new fossil-fuel burning coal plants. Capacity of wind and solar power grew by 238GW globally – about 50pc larger
than any previous expansion, according to the latest annual review of world energy by oil and gas giant BP.

The jump in renewable output amounts to about seven times the total installed capacity in the UK, and came in a
year marked by a slump in energy use as the pandemic triggered a slowdown in global travel. The share of renewable power, including wind and solar, in the global power mix also rose from 10.3pc to 11.7pc. In Europe, that share reached 23.8pc, making it the first region where renewables are the main source of fuel, BP said.

 Telegraph 8th July 2021

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/07/08/wind-solar-power-surges-record-year/

July 10, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | 1 Comment

Even this conservative journal recognises renewables as the only meaningful future energy source – nuclear is irrelevant

Regardless of what the nuclear industry itself wants, the signs are that renewables may be defining themselves not only as the cheapest, but also as the only meaningful energy proposal for the future.

Let’s Leave Nuclear Power In The Past https://www.forbes.com/sites/enriquedans/2021/06/30/lets-leave-nuclear-power-in-thepast/?sh=4beadbb23864 Enrique Dans, Senior Contributor

It makes a lot of sense to start this article by linking to the old smiling sun badge that symbolizes the opposition to nuclear energy, to talk about the increasingly negative perceptions of nuclear power around the world, to the point where, with the exception of a few unconditional enthusiasts, it is beginning to be seen as a technology with less and less of a role in the world’s energy future.

During the 1950s, the term atomic age was widely used to describe a future where all energy would be based on nuclear fission, one in which energy would be so cheap and inexhaustible that it wouldn’t be worth metering it, to the point that it would be used not only to make weapons or provide energy, but even to power cars like the Ford Nucleon, to heat water in swimming pools, to keep artificial hearts beating and even for the mechanism of a ballpoint pen.

What happened? First, the obvious problem of safety: in a world with an increasingly unstable climate and more extreme weather phenomena, nuclear power plants are, as the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima accident on March 11 reminded us, a reckless option. Germany became the first major economy to commit to retiring its nuclear power plants by 2022, but China also seems to be losing interest in the technology due to cost and safety concerns, while nuclear power is relegated to a token role in the US energy map.

Large reactors cannot compete with low renewable energy prices. Many of them have already closed, and furthermore, due to their high cost, complexity and difficulties, it seems very unlikely that any new large plants will be built in the coming decades. Nuclear power has turned out to be a promise that never materializes, and looks increasingly remote as an answer to the climate emergency.

Some point to small modular reactors (SMRs) as the only option that could be implemented on a significant scale in the climate-critical period of the next few decades, but quite a few analyses suggest this is extremely unlikely to happen.

The option that seemed the most obvious can easily be sidelined as new technologies develop and undergo their own economies of scale. Nuclear power, which still generates around 10% of the world’s total energy, is now seen as too slow, too expensive and too dangerous, something no one wants to see being built near their home or town. Regardless of what the nuclear industry itself wants, the signs are that renewables may be defining themselves not only as the cheapest, but also as the only meaningful energy proposal for the future.

July 1, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Germany’s success in phasing out nuclear energy, and remarkable uptake of solar.

Germany’s nuclear phase out expected to be complete by 2022 as country
cuts capacity by over 60% last decade, says GlobalData. Between 2010 and
2020, installed nuclear capacity in Germany declined from 20.5GW to 8.1GW,
according to GlobalData, which estimates the country will reach 4.1GW by
the end of this year.

The leading data and analytics company notes that
this progression sets Germany on track to completely phase out nuclear by
2022. Rohit Ravetkar, Power Analyst at GlobalData says: “The German
Government has made steady progress towards the elimination of nuclear
power following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

Under the Energiewende policy, the country’s aim to fill its power generation void
with renewable power includes a planned increase of solar PV capacity to
100GW by 2030.

The expansion of solar PV systems has been the most
successful in Germany, increasing at an impressive compound annual growth
rate (CAGR) of 11.6% between 2010 and 2020.” Germany has been at the
forefront in the adoption of solar PV technology since 2000. The country
launched the 100,000 rooftop PV program way back in 1999, providing a
significant push to the solar PV technology.

 Global Data 29th June 2021

July 1, 2021 Posted by | Germany, politics, renewable | 1 Comment

New UK energy report – need for investment in wind and solar, no need for new nuclear.

The UK should grow its solar capacity to 210GW by 2050, unlocking a low
cost transition to net zero, a new report has found. Wind and solar will
need increased investment to grow to generate 98% of the electricity mix,
up from 27% in 2020, according to the report, published by energy provider
Good Energy with modelling from the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC).

 Solar Power Portal 22nd June 2021

This will require over 200GW of solar, as well as 150GW of wind and 100GW of
lithium-ion battery energy storage, the Renewable Nation: Pathways to a
Zero Carbon Britain report has said. A substantial amount of that growth is
possible by the end of this decade, with 100GW of solar and 70GW of wind
needed to produce 84% of the country’s electricity by 2030.

The report – which is the first to use the ESC’s Storage and Flexibility model,
which itself combines long-term investment planning with hour-by-hour grid
balancing – found that no new nuclear beyond that under construction
currently was needed for net zero.

https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/solar_should_grow_to_210gw_by_2050_for_net_zero_says_good_energy_report

June 24, 2021 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Renewable energy consumption grew in 2020 as fossil fuels and nuclear shrank.

Sunrise brief: Renewable energy consumption grew in 2020 as fossil fuels and nuclear shrank, PV Magazine , 17 June 21,

Also on the rise: Black & Veatch unit sets financing for 137 MW Texas project, Rockefeller Foundation partners to fund distributed renewable projects in Africa, and DroneBase closes a funding round as it expands its solar presence.JUNE 16, 2021 DAVID WAGMAN  Consumption of renewable energy grew for the fifth year in a row in 2020, reaching a record high of 11.6 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), or 12% of total U.S. energy consumption.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported the data and said that renewable energy was the only source that increased in 2020 from 2019; fossil fuel and nuclear consumption declined.

Hydroelectric power accounted for about 22% of U.S. renewable energy consumption. Consumption has remained relatively flat since the 1970s, but fluctuates with seasonal rainfall and drought conditions.

Financing set for Texas solar project

Black & Veatch unit Diode Ventures said it reached financial close on the Grizzly Ridge Solar Project, a 137.7 MW solar project located in Hamilton County, Texas, southwest of Fort Worth. The project was co-developed with RKB Energy. Details of the financing were not disclosed.

Once complete, Grizzly Ridge will provide energy to the ERCOT North Zone, a growing economy and power market where there is high demand for all forms of electricity.

The project has an executed interconnection agreement with Brazos Electric Cooperative, the transmission service provider. The area will undergo an upgrade from 69 kV to 138 kV. Diode also is in discussions to add an on-site battery energy storage system to the project.

Rockefeller Foundation partners to bolster renewables

The International Finance Corp., the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and The Rockefeller Foundation announced a partnership to deploy $150 million of capital in blended finance to leverage up to $2 billion of private sector investment in distributed renewable energy.

The two will prioritize countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions, where both organizations have identified immediate opportunities.

By blending philanthropic and private investment funding, the Rockefeller Foundation and IFC hope to de-risk capital investment in distributed renewable projects in emerging markets and help to address global energy access needs.

An initial “rapid deployment” phase will distribute $30 million in blended concessional finance and grant capital to leverage an active pipeline of distributed renewable energy projects developed by IFC. The funding will go toward IFC’s prototype scaling mini-grid program in addition to distributed renewable energy generation, battery energy storage, and other clean energy technologies to facilitate access………. https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2021/06/16/sunrise-brief-renewable-energy-consumption-grew-in-2020-as-fossil-fuels-and-nuclear-shrank/

June 19, 2021 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

We don’t need costly, slow, nuclear power: solar, wind, tidal and wave power can amply do the job

WHEN I visited Orkney in the 1970s, it was deeply involved in the North
Sea Oil boom. The Flotta oil terminal is still operating but renewable
energy – mainly wind and some tidal – generates up to 120 percent of the
electricity needed by Orkney’s 22,000 inhabitants.

The European Marine Energy Centre based in Stromness is trialling 48 tidal and wave power
projects. These include the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, Orbital
Marine Power’s O2 which from the air looks like a giant 250ft long rowing
boat off the isle of Eday. Its 2MW capacity means it could generate enough
clean, predictable electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 UK homes
and offset approximately 2,200 tonnes of CO2 production per year.

It is just one of countless schemes around the world testing the potential of
renewables other than wind and solar to power the world and save it from
climate change. At an earlier stage of development and planned for near
Liverpool is the £3billion TPGen24, the brainchild of engineer Stuart
Murphy. Its promotional video says: “There is more than enough energy in
the UK’s tidal waters to satisfy the entire needs of the country, if only
it could be captured.

Does Britain need nuclear power to turn us green?
Yes, says Professor Ian Fells, Technical Director of Penultimate Power UK
Ltd which builds compact nuclear High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor Energy
Hubs.

NO Says Dale Vince Eco-entrepreneur Energy independence from clean,
green renewables is a prize well worth having – and perfectly feasible. We
have enough wind and sun to power this country many times over. Throw in
other sources, such as geothermal – heat from deep under the ground – and
marine power and there should be no need for the UK to waste £50billion a
year and rising on importing oil and gas.

Nuclear has many problems. It is hugely expensive. Nuclear power stations take 10 years to design, 10 years
to build and another 10 years to pay back their carbon debt. We don’t
have time. And at three times the cost of renewables, we don’t need to
pay for that. We can power the grid entirely from renewable energy, at a
fraction of the price in a fraction of the time and have real carbon
reductions almost straight away.

 Express 14th June 2021

https://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/1449592/Green-Britain-tide-turning-renewable-energy

June 19, 2021 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Romania’s dilemma – nuclear power or clean energy

Nuclear vs renewable, the debate dividing Romania’s green transition, euronews. By Hans von der Brelie  11/06/2021 ”………………..Member States like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have plans to invest heavily in nuclear energy. But Austrian and German officials argue nuclear energy is not a way out of the climate crisis. They insist renewables are the way forward…….Member States like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have plans to invest heavily in nuclear energy. But Austrian and German officials argue nuclear energy is not a way out of the climate crisis. They insist renewables are the way forward.

……Romania now wants to build two more reactors there and upgrade the existing ones. That’s an investment of around six billion euros, according to Teodor Chirica, the chairman of the board and former President of FORATOM, a Brussels-based pro-nuclear organisation.

However, the European Commission is shortly expected to label nuclear energy as green or not, thereby putting future investments into the industry in question.

… Teodor Chirica   believes that if people don’t accept nuclear energy as a green one, then nuclear won’t have the same access to financing as other competitors. That in turn will “affect the economic part” of the project to increase the nuclear plants’ capacities.

The Anti-Nuclear movement

Lavinia Andrei is the President of Terra Mileniul III, a known figure within Romania’s still small anti-nuclear movement. She tells us that using public funds to invest in nuclear energy will have a negative impact on the development of renewables.

“If you allocate this money for nuclear power, that means that you disadvantage another sector, like renewables. The transport company of energy said that the capacity of the network is not enough for the nuclear power plant and for the renewables”, she explains.

Climate change and nuclear energy

There is one other problem. Climate change means that rivers have less water, water which is needed to cool nuclear plants. Even the Danube has been affected by this. Cernavoda had to close down once already in summer and such scenarios could happen more often in the future……….

Sorin Zamfir is the maintenance supervisor at the ENEL wind park in Dobrogea. He says that “harnessing wind energy implies using a new, modern, high-end technology”. He thinks it’s “very important to bring this kind of new technology to the local community”. It’s something that he feels brings them closer to Europe, “putting them on the map”.

ENEL tells us that for wind energy to fully develop, “the most important factor is the building of new transmission lines which are needed to bring the electricity from the wind/solar power plants to the customers”. A problem at the moment is that “the development speed of wind projects is much higher compared to the development of new transmission lines” and that represents a huge challenge to renewable energies.

Room for development

There is no doubt that Romania’s wind energy potential is not yet fully exploited. Many more turbines could be installed. Sorin believes that wind parks could expand and produce all of Romania’s energy needs.

Romania is also a sunny place, solar power could play a bigger role in the country’s future energy mix. Andrei Bucur is an elected board member of Cooperativa de Energie, Romania’s first 100 percent green energy supplier. The small cooperative has ambitious plans.

Bucur points out that solar energy has huge potential in Romania. He sees the 1.5 million square meters of warehouse roofs as a perfect place for solar panel installation………..

The European Commission must stay neutral regarding the energy sources member states choose to use, but labelling nuclear green or not will have a huge impact on investment decisions for years to come. https://www.euronews.com/2021/06/11/nuclear-vs-renewable-the-debate-dividing-romania-s-green-transition

June 14, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment

Only renewables — and not nuclear power — can deliver truly low-carbon energy

Two’s a crowd   https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/06/06/twos-a-crowd/

   June 6, 2021 by beyondnuclearinternationa

Nuclear and renewables don’t mix

Two’s a crowd — Beyond Nuclear International Only renewables — and not nuclear power — can deliver truly low-carbon energy
Note: The third in the new Beyond Nuclear series of Talking Pointsfeatures the work of Benjamin Sovacool, Andy Stirling and colleagues, comparing the efficacy of carbon reductions using nuclear power or renewable energy. As this article reflects, they concluded that renewable energy is not only the better choice but that a ‘do everything’ strategy that includes nuclear power tends to cancel out renewable energy.
By Neil Vowles

If countries want to lower emissions as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power.

That’s the finding of a new analysis of 123 countries over 25 years by the University of Sussex Business School and the ISM International School of Management which reveals that nuclear energy programs around the world tend not to deliver sufficient carbon emission reductions and so should not be considered an effective low carbon energy source.

Researchers found that unlike renewables, countries around the world with larger scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to show significantly lower carbon emissions — and in poorer countries nuclear programs actually tend to associate with relatively higher emissions.

Published in Nature Energy, the study reveals that nuclear and renewable energy programs do not tend to co-exist well together in national low-carbon energy systems but instead crowd each other out and limit effectiveness.

Published in Nature Energy, the study reveals that nuclear and renewable energy programs do not tend to co-exist well together in national low-carbon energy systems but instead crowd each other out and limit effectiveness.

These include the configuration of electricity transmission and distribution systems where a grid structure optimized for larger scale centralized power production such as conventional nuclear, will make it more challenging, time-consuming and costly to introduce small-scale distributed renewable power.

Similarly, finance markets, regulatory institutions and employment practices structured around large-scale, base-load, long-lead time construction projects for centralized thermal generating plants are not well designed to also facilitate a multiplicity of much smaller short-term distributed initiatives.

Andy Stirling, Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the University of Sussex Business School, said: “This paper exposes the irrationality of arguing for nuclear investment based on a ‘do everything’ argument. Our findings show not only that nuclear investments around the world tend on balance to be less effective than renewable investments at carbon emissions mitigation, but that tensions between these two strategies can further erode the effectiveness of averting climate disruption.”

The study found that in countries with a high GDP per capita, nuclear electricity production does associate with a small drop in CO2 emissions. But in comparative terms, this drop is smaller than that associated with investments in renewable energy.

And in countries with a low GDP per capita, nuclear electricity production clearly associates with CO2 emissions that tend to be higher.

Patrick Schmid, from the ISM International School of Management München, said: “While it is important to acknowledge the correlative nature of our data analysis, it is astonishing how clear and consistent the results are across different time frames and country sets. In certain large country samples the relationship between renewable electricity and CO2-emissions is up to seven times stronger than the corresponding relationship for nuclear.”

The above press release was released at the time of the report’s publication in Nature Energy on October 5, 2020. For more information, read and download Beyond Nuclear Talking Points #3: Does nuclear power effectively reduce carbon emissions?

June 7, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | 2 Comments

The transition to clean energy is held back by subsidies to the nuclear industry

Nuclear Subsidies May Be Slowing Transition to Clean Energy, Advocates Say, BY Leanna FirstAraiTruthout, 6 June 21,

The fight to define what counts as clean energy has grown more contentious as the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill takes shape. Many activists, scientists and lawmakers agree that nuclear energy — which provides one fifth of power in the U.S — is by definition not “clean” or renewable, given that spent fuel remains radioactive and dangerous for thousands of years…..  A group of staunch advocates say billions in state and federal subsidies that prop up the nuclear industry — payments that the Biden administration has signaled it may continue to support — may be slowing the transition to a truly clean energy economy……   Four days after Indian Point shuttered, on May 4, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a 20-year license renewal for two Dominion Energy reactors in Virginia, now slated to run until May 25, 2052. Half of the United States’ nuclear fleet of 93 remaining reactors will similarly be required to seek license extensions by 2040, or retire.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) supported the closure of Indian Point, Steve Clemmer, director of research and analysis for the organization’s climate and energy program, told Truthout, noting that other nuclear plants must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Based on data from a September 2019 presentation by a state task force, increases in energy efficiency and renewable generation spanning 2011-2021 were projected to not only replace but exceed Indian Point’s capacity. But Clemmer notes that according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), output by the shuttered reactor has ultimately been replaced by three new natural gas plants built over the past three years.


Clemmer said California is similarly projected to burn more natural gas when its last nuclear plant closes mid-decade, which would cumulatively raise global warming and air pollution emissions over the next 10 years. But, Clemmer added, it doesn’t have to be that way. “With sufficient planning and strong policies, existing nuclear plants like Diablo Canyon can be replaced with renewables and energy efficiency without allowing natural gas generation and heat-trapping emissions to increase,” he said. In the case of California, a February 2021 UCS analysis called for more rigorous emissions standards, and accelerating wind build-outs while slightly slowing solar and battery storage build-outs.

Elizabeth Moran, environmental policy director for the New York Public Interest Research Group characterized New York’s failure to replace Indian Point’s energy output with clean energy as “a total lack of planning.” Moran is among a group of clean energy advocates who have deemed New York’s ongoing reliance on both nuclear energy and natural gas as unnecessarily postponing the work required to achieve what’s laid out in the state’s climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. “These are bridges to nowhere,” Moran said. “They delay investment in what we truly need to be putting money towards, which is safe, clean, green renewable energy like solar, wind and geothermal.”

With Indian Point now closed, New York has four remaining nuclear reactors at three power stations upstate, all on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The plants — which are indirectly owned and operated by Exelon Corporation — receive millions in annual subsidy payments — a total of $7.6 billion to be paid from 2017 to 2029. That’s upwards of $1.6 million dollars per day, which Moran estimates shows up on ratepayers’ bills as about three dollars extra each payment period. New York residents pay among the highest rates for electricity in the U.S.

Under the subsidy system, which other states, including Maryland and Pennsylvania, have since considered and is currently under negotiation in Illinois, subsidies for “zero carbon” power, which the nuclear facilities qualify for, have far eclipsed financial support for wind and solar. According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s latest financial status report, the state’s nuclear facilities received over $500 million in 2020, where renewable energy facilities received only $5 million.

Clean energy advocates highlight that ratepayers’ dollars would stretch further if spent supporting the most affordable energy options. According to a 2020 analysis by the asset management firm Lazard, each megawatt hour of nuclear power generated without subsidy payments cost $129-$198 in comparison with the price of generating the same amount of energy via wind power, estimated at $26-$54, or community solar power, at $63-94. Amory Lovins, founder of energy think tank the Rocky Mountain Institute, explained in Forbes that curbing climate change requires saving the most carbon in the least amount of time, a calculus in which price plays a major role. “Costly options save less carbon per dollar than cheaper options. Slow options save less carbon per year than faster options. Thus, even a low- or no-carbon option that is too costly or too slow will reduce and retard achievable climate protection,” Lovins wrote.

Under the subsidy system, which other states, including Maryland and Pennsylvania, have since considered and is currently under negotiation in Illinois, subsidies for “zero carbon” power, which the nuclear facilities qualify for, have far eclipsed financial support for wind and solar. According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s latest financial status report, the state’s nuclear facilities received over $500 million in 2020, where renewable energy facilities received only $5 million.

Clean energy advocates highlight that ratepayers’ dollars would stretch further if spent supporting the most affordable energy options. According to a 2020 analysis by the asset management firm Lazard, each megawatt hour of nuclear power generated without subsidy payments cost $129-$198 in comparison with the price of generating the same amount of energy via wind power, estimated at $26-$54, or community solar power, at $63-94. Amory Lovins, founder of energy think tank the Rocky Mountain Institute, explained in Forbes that curbing climate change requires saving the most carbon in the least amount of time, a calculus in which price plays a major role. “Costly options save less carbon per dollar than cheaper options. Slow options save less carbon per year than faster options. Thus, even a low- or no-carbon option that is too costly or too slow will reduce and retard achievable climate protection,” Lovins wrote.

Energy policy analyst and activist Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear reinforced Lovins’s point. “Operating economically distressed and deteriorating nuclear power stations diverts critical resources and wastes what precious little time remains for deploying more carbon reduction quicker, more cost effectively,” he told Truthout. Gunter also suggested that replacing nuclear plants with efficiency upgrades to cut down on demand, and renewables, can be a one-to-three-year process. If the owners of the plants don’t give enough public notice about their closure, more natural gas may be burned, but that can be offset over the following years by other carbon-free substitutes, Gunter said.

Jessica Azulay is executive director of the nonprofit Alliance for a Green Economy. She told Truthout state regulators should find a way to end contracts with the nuclear plants earlier than planned, which would enable an accelerated phase-out and save consumers money. “We think that will be more advantageous than delaying the renewable energy transition until 2029 when the nuclear subsidies end.”

Energy policy analyst and activist Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear reinforced Lovins’s point. “Operating economically distressed and deteriorating nuclear power stations diverts critical resources and wastes what precious little time remains for deploying more carbon reduction quicker, more cost effectively,” he told Truthout. Gunter also suggested that replacing nuclear plants with efficiency upgrades to cut down on demand, and renewables, can be a one-to-three-year process. If the owners of the plants don’t give enough public notice about their closure, more natural gas may be burned, but that can be offset over the following years by other carbon-free substitutes, Gunter said.

Jessica Azulay is executive director of the nonprofit Alliance for a Green Economy. She told Truthout state regulators should find a way to end contracts with the nuclear plants earlier than planned, which would enable an accelerated phase-out and save consumers money. “We think that will be more advantageous than delaying the renewable energy transition until 2029 when the nuclear subsidies end.”

Activists who have dedicated decades to pushing for the closure of Indian Point, like Manna Jo Greene, environmental director of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, have said they are not aware of or planning efforts to shut down the state’s remaining nuclear plants ahead of schedule. Rather, helping to ensure a safe decommissioning process at Indian Point is already an all-hands-on-deck effort. “There’s a direct danger to the workers as they’re cutting equipment apart — radioactive dust and isotopes — and that can cause worker and community exposure,” Greene said.

Greene noted that activists are also pushing Congress to closely oversee the NRC, which she described as having a history of granting waivers and exemptions and not following their own safety regulations during decommissioning.

said, there’s still a lot of radioactive material to figure out what to do with. “That is the legacy of 40 years of generating electricity using nuclear power. It’s a very toxic and dangerous legacy with a lot of unanswered questions,” she said. “If we didn’t have all these other solutions, some of this risk might be worth undertaking, but we’ve got plenty of opportunity for renewable energy with storage and efficiency and that’s where we should be investing.” https://truthout.org/articles/nuclear-subsidies-may-be-slowing-transition-to-clean-energy-advocates-say/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=9c5e3c09-f9ca-446a-b9ad-869dd4d7b4c7

June 7, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries



As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries
Electric car batteries contain critical minerals like cobalt and lithium. We’ll need to recycle them unless we want to keep mining the earth for new ones.As electric vehicles take off, we’ll need to recycle their batteries

Electric car batteries contain critical minerals like cobalt and lithium. We’ll need to recycle them unless we want to keep mining the earth for new ones.
BY MADELEINE STONE, 29 May 21 , When Ford unveiled the F-150 Lightning last week — an all-electric version of the best- selling vehicle in the United States—it was a big moment in the short history of electric cars. The 530-horsepower, 6,500-pound truck’s sticker price of just under $40,000 ($32,474 with a federal tax credit) drew comparisons to Ford’s Model T, the vehicle credited with making cars accessible to the middle class. In the first 48 hours after the battery-powered behemoth debuted, Ford received close to 45,000 pre-orders for it, equivalent to nearly 20 percent of all EVs registered in the U.S. last year……… (subscribers only)

June 1, 2021 Posted by | energy storage, RARE EARTHS | Leave a comment

How decentralised energy will massively reduce grid costs

How decentralised energy will massively reduce grid costs,

100% Renewables 30th May 2021

There’s lots of information being pumped out by the anti-renewables lobby about how renewable energy causes great increases in the costs of upgrading electricity networks, but in fact there’s a lot of ways in which decentralised energy will actually REDUCE network costs. A recent study from California emphasizes how the cheapest path to clean energy is a mixture of large renewable energy projects and small decentralised renewables (mainly solar pv) linked to battery storage systems. Solar pv-battery systems can exist as a mixture of domestic systems and larger ground-mounted systems.

There isn’t yet a similar study for the UK (the big energy companies who fund these things won’t want the truth leaking out!), but there’s logic to suggest that much the same thing might be the case in the UK. Sure, the UK isn’t as sunny as California, although in winter there’s a lot of wind power. But in any case the untold secret of a decentralised solar-plus-battery system is that the batteries will soak up electricity produced from whatever sources so as to even out the pressures on the electricity network. By reducing pressure on the electricity network both transmission and distribution network costs can be reduced.

Of course the rub is that these battery systems which will reduce network costs are themselves made economic by being associated with the solar pv systems – and the same things works the other way around. The solar pv systems are made more economic by being alongside the batteries. Indeed these sorts of systems are so cheap that they are being installed already in the UK at two levels without even any incentives for the Government.

First, as reported in the trade press, companies like Gridserve are doing solar pv-battery systems. The batteries can soak up energy from the solar panels when there is a lot of electricity being generated and electricity prices are low and then sell it back to the grid at other times of the day or night when electricity prices are higher.

This sort of ‘arbitrage’ trading can now also be done at the second, domestic household, level. An even quieter revolution is taking place as ordinary households can now install solar pv plus battery systems for costs that would have been regarded as fancifully low five years ago. One company called ‘Growatt‘ is currently offering a system comprising 5.5 kW of solar pv and a 6.5 kWh battery for less than £9000 (note: five or so years ago you could have been doing well just to get the solar pv for that price!). This system works best with a supplier like Octopus who offers a time-of-use tariff so that you can charge the batteries when it is cheapest to do so whether from the grid or the solar panels. Solar pv is used when buying electricity from the network is expensive and stored in the battery when network prices are cheap. Then the batteries can power consumption when prices are higher and it isn’t sunny enough to generate much solar pv.

Of course there’s also a novel energy storage company, Sunamp, that is offering the possibility the use solar pv to heat and store water. As they say: ‘SunampPV stores excess electricity from a Solar PV
array as heat. This delivers high flow rate hot water on demand, so that your instant water heater or combi boiler can operate much less, saving you money’

So, you’d expect the Government to be shouting about all of this and giving this nascent new decentralised energy industry a boost? No way! The Government will be told what is needed by the big energy companies who definitely want to keep decentralised energy a secret – especially as it gets in the way of their incessant demands for featherbedding, whether it is for capacity payment subsidies for large power stations or massive handouts to nuclear power plant.

June 1, 2021 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Despite the Small Nuclear Reactor push from Bill Gates and the rest of the nuclear lobby, we already have the technologies to decarbonise our global economy.

Dave Elliott: The International Energy Institute’s new Global Energy
Roadmap sets a pathway to net zero carbon by 2050, with, by 2040, the
global electricity sector reaching net-zero emissions. It wants no
investment in new fossil fuel supply projects, and no further final
investment decisions for new unabated coal plants. And by 2035, it calls
for no sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars. Instead it
looks to ‘the immediate and massive deployment of all available clean and
efficient energy technologies, combined with a major global push to
accelerate innovation’.

For its part, on that issue, the IEA report
summary says ‘most of the global reductions in CO2 emissions between now
and 2030 in the net zero pathway come from technologies readily available
today. But in 2050, almost half the reductions come from technologies that
are currently only at the demonstration or prototype phase’. So it says
‘this demands that governments quickly increase and reprioritise their
spending on research and development – as well as on demonstrating and
deploying clean energy technologies – putting them at the core of energy
and climate policy.

. Progress in the areas of advanced batteries,
electrolysers for hydrogen, and direct air capture and storage can be
particularly impactful’. U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry had already
relayed the suggestion that ‘50 percent of the reductions we have to make
to get to net zero are going to come from technologies that we don’t yet
have.’ And Bill Gates had claimed that that solar, wind and batteries
were not enough, so we need ‘miracle technologies’ to decarbonize our
global economy.

Commenting on this issue, Prof Mark Jacobson from Stanford
University said it all depends on what you mean by ‘new’. Yes, we need
to improve wind, solar, storage and transmission systems, but what was
really being hinted at in these statements was that we need other
completely new technologies- such as Small Modular Reactors, Carbon Capture
systems and such like. He says we don’t need them: ‘we have 95% of the
technologies we need today and the know-how to get the rest’:

Renew Extra 29th May 2021

https://renewextraweekly.blogspot.com/2021/05/the-iea-set-out-way-ahead.html

May 31, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment