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China’s $2.5bn renewables investment in Inner Mongolia

November 23, 2019 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

In Germany , renewables replace nuclear and lower emissions simultaneously

Renewables replace nuclear and lower emissions simultaneously Energy Transmission, by Craig Morris, 20 Nov 2019

A myth is haunting the English-speaking world: Germany allegedly shows that emissions rise because renewables can’t replace nuclear – and that France is right to stick with nuclear. What do the data show? Craig Morris reports

It’s not just trolls: Cambridge professors are saying it, and top US journalists are saying it, and a US presidential candidate told it to the New York Times:

“Germany initially set out to close all of its nuclear reactors by 2022, but as a result, they are now likely to miss their emissions reduction targets. And France is now considering options to extend the life of many of its older nuclear power plants.”

— US presidential candidate Marianne Williamson in the New York Times

What’s worse, US policymakers are saying it. Five US states now subsidize nuclear to keep reactors from closing, and it’s possible that all of them have done so based on this incorrect assumption. It happened years ago in New York State with explicit reference to German emissions allegedly rising because of the phase-out, it then happened in Illinois, and as one press report from Ohio put it this year when the new nuclear subsidy was announced:

The experience of Germany was repeatedly used as an example of what might happen in Ohio. Germany decommissioned its nuclear plants in favor of an all-renewable strategy. Electricity prices spiked and carbon pollution spiked, in part because of the ramping up of fossil-fuel plants to compensate for when wind and solar faltered.

“If the studies are correct, the Germans must not know how to do this,” Mr. Randazzo [chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio] said.

“If the studies are correct” indeed: So do Germany and France show that climate change requires nuclear, as Williamson says? Let’s start with France………..

France’s concern is theoretical: they didn’t actually close any reactors and try to replace the power with renewables. Rather, the French left nuclear on, and renewables hardly grew; solar (1.9%) and wind (5.1%) made up a mere 7.5% of French power supply in 2018. (In Germany, solar alone covered 7.7% of demand in 2018, with wind adding another 18.7% for a total of 26.4%). But in Germany, replacing nuclear with renewables isn’t just a postponed political ambition; it’s happening. So what do we know?

Germany emissions during the nuclear phaseout

In 2011, eight of Germany’s 17 reactors were closed. From 2010-2017, emissions in the power sector fell by more than 15%. For 2018, the power sector numbers are not yet in, but emissions from the energy sector fell by nearly two percentage points. And to date in 2019, renewables have nearly reached 50% of power supply. Germany now has some 210 TWh of non-hydro renewable power, far more than the record level of 171 TWh in 2001 for nuclear. Since 2010, renewable power has grown nearly twice as fast as nuclear shrank. Some nine tenths of it is wind and solar alone. Clearly, Germany shows that renewables can reduce emissions during a nuclear phaseout.

At this point, I hear objections. The first: “but Germany is going to miss its 2020 climate target!” Yes, it is expected to reach a 32% emissions reduction, not 40% relative to 1990 (French emissions fell by 15% from 1990-2017 in comparison, albeit from a much lower level thanks to nuclear). But the Germans don’t see the power sector as the main problem. As Deutsche Bank recently put it, “So far, Germany’s efforts… have focused on the electricity sector. However, attention is increasingly shifting towards the transport sector and its steadily rising carbon emissions.” Former Environmental Minister and Christian Democrat Klaus Töpfer recently worded the German consensus well: “We have the highest taxes on electricity although we have reduced emissions there the most.” That’s right: Germany has performed best in the sector where it has removed nuclear and worse in sectors where nuclear plays little or no role: mobility, agriculture, and heat.

The second objection is generally: “Germany would have lowered emissions even more if it had phased out coal, not nuclear.” That’s a fine thing to discuss, but it only moves us from a falsehood (“German phaseout raised emissions”) to revisionist history – not to facts. The revisionist historians act as though renewables would have been built anyway if nuclear remained online. As I wrote in my 50-page paper entitled Can reactors react (2018), the Germans argued a decade ago that renewables were unlikely to be built if nuclear stayed online.

What do the French and German cases show about how much renewable energy gets added when nuclear stays online? The French are also failing to add new nuclear as quickly as its own power company closes old reactors it wishes to keep on. From 2010-2018, wind and solar grew by 27.4 TWh in France, while nuclear shrank by 14.7 TWh (and demand stayed flat). During the same timeframe in Germany, nuclear shrank by 64.6 TWh – but solar and wind alone grew by 91.8 TWh.

The current French situation suggests that, if you remain committed to nuclear, nuclear power nonetheless shrinks; to make matters worse, the growth of renewables struggles to close the gap. Germany suggests that, if you stick with renewables and phase out nuclear, renewables growth outstrips the drop in nuclear nearly twofold, and you reduce emissions by 2 percentage points annually in the power sector.

November 23, 2019 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

If You Can’t Do Nuclear, Try (Concentrating) Solar Power Instead

November 21, 2019 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear power allows climate change to speed up, while renewables are faster, cheaper, and more efficient

In sum, the nuclear industry seeks its own sales arrangements protected from competition, its own prices determined by political processes rather than markets, and diminished opportunities for its carbon-free competitors to express their value, reach their customers, and discover their own prices. This could be good for compliant legislators’ campaign contributions, but hardly in the national interest or helpful for climate protection.

If you haven’t heard this view before, it’s not because it wasn’t published in reputable venues over several decades, but rather because the nuclear industry, which holds the microphone, is eager that you not hear it. Many otherwise sensible analysts and journalists have not properly reported this issue. Few political leaders understand it either. But by the end of this article, I hope you will.

to protect the climate, we must save the most carbon at the least cost and in the least time, counting all three variables—carbon and cost and time. 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.

anti-market monkeybusiness cannot indefinitely forestall the victory of cheaper competitors, but it can delay and diminish climate protection while transferring tens of billions of unearned dollars from taxpayers and customers to nuclear owners.

Does Nuclear Power Slow Or Speed Climate Change? Forbes  Amory B. Lovins-18 Nov 19, Most U.S. nuclear power plants cost more to run than they earn. Globally, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2019 documents the nuclear enterprise’s slow-motion commercial collapse—dying of an incurable attack of market forces. Yet in America, strong views are held across the political spectrum on whether nuclear power is essential or merely helpful in protecting the Earth’s climate—and both those views are wrong.

 In fact, building new reactors, or operating most existing ones, makes climate change worse compared with spending the same money on more-climate-effective ways to deliver the same energy services.

November 18, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, renewable | Leave a comment

China General Nuclear Power Group to invest $2.5 billion into a huge solar project – plus 2 GW of wind turbines

China’s nuclear operator to develop 1 GW solar field

China General Nuclear Power Group is reportedly preparing to invest almost $2.5 billion into a huge solar project – plus 2 GW of wind turbines – in the autonomous province of Inner Mongolia. Local authorities say the massive project will be complete in 2021.

NOVEMBER 15, 2019 VINCENT SHAW Sources in Beijing have told pv magazine the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) is preparing to invest RMB17 billion ($2.43 billion) in renewables generation capacity in northern China, including 1 GW of solar panels.

The nuclear power company is also planning 2 GW of onshore wind capacity, with all the facilities to be built in the Inner Mongolian city of Ulanchabu.

The authorities in Ulanchabu say compliance reviews and administrative procedures will be carried out in the first half of next year with construction due to start on the massive renewables project by August, ready for completion in 2021.

Having been founded in 1994 in Guangdong province to operate China’s first nuclear power station – the Daya Bay plant – CGN has long since diversified into solar and wind power. The company claims to operate a 4.4 GW solar portfolio and 12.7 GW of wind facilities across all provinces of its homeland after funding more than 300 clean energy projects. The nuclear company also claims to have a 13.4 GW overseas renewable energy project pipeline.

The autonomous region of Inner Mongolia boasts excellent sunshine resources and the Inner Mongolia Solar Energy Industry Association said the construction of ultra-high voltage transmission lines in the province has enabled the authorities to set a curtailment target of near zero for solar electricity, and of 10% for wind power.

November 16, 2019 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

$2.7 Billion Renewables Project to revitalise Fukushima

Fukushima Starts $2.7 Billion Renewables Project By Isabel Reynolds    November 10, 2019, 

  •  600 megawatt wind and solar project to supply Tokyo area
  •  Development Bank of Japan, Mizuho to provide part of funding

Work is set to begin on a $2.7 billion renewable energy project in Japan’s Fukushima, the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, the Nikkei newspaper said Sunday.

The plan is for the wind and solar project to generate and transmit up to 600 megawatts of power, which will be supplied to Tokyo and the surrounding area, according to the paper.

Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank are among the institutions planning to provide the 300 billion yen in funds needed for the project by 2023, the paper said.

The project forms the main pillar of a government plan to help revive the region’s economy by generating energy in mountainous areas and on farmland that became unusable after the 2011 disaster, the Nikkei said.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

11 solar power plants and 10 wind power plants for Fukushima prefecture

Fukushima to be reborn as $2.7bn wind and solar power hub  

Twenty-one plants and new power grid to supply Tokyo metropolitan area SHIKO UEDA and SUGURU KURIMOTO, Nikkei staff writersNOVEMBER 10, 2019 TOKYO –– Japan’s northeastern prefecture of Fukushima, devastated during the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster, is looking to transform itself into a renewable energy hub, Nikkei has learned.

A plan is under way to develop 11 solar power plants and 10 wind power plants in the prefecture, on farmlands that cannot be cultivated anymore and mountainous areas from where population outflows continue.

The total cost is expected to be in the ballpark of 300 billion yen, or $2.75 billion, until the fiscal year ending in March 2024.

The government-owned Development Bank of Japan and private lender Mizuho Bank are among a group of financiers that have prepared a line of credit to support part of the construction cost.

The power generation available is estimated to be about 600 megawatts, or equivalent to two-thirds of a nuclear power plant. The produced electricity will be sent to the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The plan also envisions the construction of an 80-km wide grid within Fukushima to connect the generated power with the power transmission network of Tokyo Electric Power Co. That part of the project is expected to cost 29 billion yen.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, renewable | Leave a comment

In Tamil Nadu, Rooftop Solar Has the Potential to Outdo Nuclear Power 

In Tamil Nadu, Rooftop Solar Has the Potential to Outdo Nuclear Power  Poonkuzhali 8 Nov 19, 

Tamil Nadu has said its vision is to have an installed solar powergeneration capacity of 9,000 MW by 2023.

In September, India and Russia announced joint plans to set up 20 nuclear power units in the former over the next two decades.

India’s nuclear establishment believes that the use of nuclear energy can only be good for the country’s industrial development and prosperity. However, nuclear isn’t the only mode of power generation that can make such a claim.

Tamil Nadu is the only state in the country with two nuclear power plants: at Kalpakkam and Kudankulam.

The Kalpakkam complex, commissioned by 1986, has four operating units. Two of them are of 235 MW capacity and two of 600 MW capacity. The complex’s gross generation in 2017-2018 was 1,194 MU (at 64% availability; in 2015-2016, with an availability of 97%, it generated 1,861 MU).

The Kudankulam power plant is the single largest nuclear power station in India. It has two operational units of 932 MW (net) each. In 2018-2019, with an availability of 33%, it generated 2,797 MU.

Tamil Nadu isn’t the sole beneficiary of the power generated by these plants. In 2016, it required 100,319 MU. It received 99,691 MU from various sources, including state, central and private, and renewable and non-renewable. Of this, nuclear power plants supplied 4,999 MU.

As it turns out, it’s possible to generate this 4,999 MU from rooftop solar panels alone.

On March 31, 2017, Tamil Nadu had the highest installed capacity of grid-connected renewable power (10,562.39 MW), followed by a distant Maharashtra (7,647.60 MW), thanks to wind energy.

According to a 2014 book by S. Gandhi, former president of the Electrical Engineers’ Association of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, a 1-MW panel in Tamil Nadu produces 1.5 MU per year on average. This conversion accounts for various factors, including that power production happens only during the day and that production efficiency varies according to the season. Extrapolating from the book, to produce 4,999 MU, Tamil Nadu needs an installed capacity of 3,333 MW.

A 1-kW solar panel over 1,000 roofs can produce 1 MW, so to produce 3,333 MW, we need to install 1-kW solar panels over 3,333,000 roofs. A 1-kW rooftop panel requires about 100 sq. ft. According to state data, there are 2,392,457 buildings in town panchayats alone. Including the total area of all rooftops in Tamil Nadu’s urban centres, and assuming all roofs will generate 10 W/sq. ft., solar power should be easily able to provide the requisite 3,333 MW.

The Government of India and various state governments have consistently presented nuclear power as a safe, sustainable and preferable alternative to coal power. However, while nuclear power plants have very low carbon emissions and have historically caused the fewest fatalities, these advantages are substantially offset by the cost of disposing radioactive waste and an opaque administrative setup in India that has often disprivileged marginalised communities living around power generation complexes.

On the other hand, the biggest downsides of solar power generation are that solar panels lower the productivity of the land they’re setup on, and the batteries used to store power contain toxic materials whose extraction and processing has harmed people in other, often poorer, countries.

But both issues are quickly resolved in the current example. The question of land productivity doesn’t apply since the panels are to be installed on rooftops. Second, in its solar energy policy published in February 2019, the Tamil Nadu government declared it now has the technology to support grid-connected solar panels on a large scale. This means even domestic solar panels can be connected to the grid, obviating the need for power storage batteries.

According to its policy, the state government says its vision is to have an installed solar power generation capacity of 9,000 MW by 2023.

As of today, the Tamil Nadu government requires every new building erected in the state to be equipped with a rainwater harvesting system. If lawmakers issue a similar mandate vis-à-vis solar panels, at least for apartment complexes and non-residential buildings, Tamil Nadu could soon be self-sufficient about its energy needs, if not produce a surplus it can sell to its neighbours.

Poonkuzhali is a writer and activist based in Chennai.

November 9, 2019 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

Nuclear costs escalate as wind prices keeps falling,

WindEconomics: Nuclear escalates as wind prices keeps falling, WindPower monthly, 31 October 2019 by David Milborrow

Nuclear power is too expensive. That is the implicit conclusion of the UK government, which has issued a consultation document on possible ways of reducing the electricity price.

This would be possible if the government — which can borrow money cheaply –shouldered some of the risks and/or provided some finance.

The consultation focuses on “regulated asset base” models. The document describes these models as “typically used for funding UK monopoly infrastructure” and involving “an economic regulator who grants a licence to a company to charge a regulated price to users of the infrastructure”.

One of the advantages for developers is that charges can be levied before the project is completed.

The range of possible prices quoted in the consultation document, shown in the top below, bears out the maxim that “prices are what you want them to be”.

They range from a minimum of -£6/MWh, when the state shoulders all the risks and the rate of return for the government is 2%, to £137/MWh, when the investors demand a 12% rate of return and bear all the risks. In the first case, the cost to the taxpayer would be £18 billion.

The present contract for the under-construction Hinkley Point C power station, which has been widely criticised, is based on a 9% rate of return and an electricity price of £92.5/MWh (2012 prices). That is about £106/MWh (€119/MWh on 1 October) in 2019 prices.

It was announced on 25 September that the estimated cost of the project had risen by nearly 10% — to £21.5-22.5 billion.

The price of electricity to the consumer will not increase, but the profitability for developer EDF will be reduced. This gives a new benchmark price for nuclear of £6,750/kW, as the facility’s output will be 3.26GW.

The effects of moving away from state funding can be illustrated by looking back to the first public inquiry for Hinkley Point…..

November 2, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Sweden’s wind power to surpass nuclear this year

Sweden’s wind power to surpass nuclear this year: lobby, Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, STOCKHOLM (Reuters) 35 Oct 19, – Sweden is set to have more wind power capability

Hydropower is Sweden’s top source of electricity, but for decades nuclear has held second place.

“Sweden has a unique opportunity to take the leadership role in the fight against climate change through the wind power expansion,” Svensk Vindenergi CEO Charlotte Unger Larson said in a statement.

The association makes quarterly forecasts based on data it collects from turbine manufacturers and project developers.

Its latest forecast for 2 GW growth was down from 2.2 GW previously.

Investment decisions corresponding to 686 MW of new wind power were made in the third quarter, it said, up from 114 MW in the second quarter. by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos; editing by Jason Neely

October 26, 2019 Posted by | renewable, Sweden | Leave a comment

Nuclear power’s future is threatened by a mix of solar, wind and batteries

A mix of solar, wind and batteries threatens the future of nuclear power, Stars and Stripes By WILL WADE | Bloomberg  September 28, 2019

The natural gas boom is killing America’s nuclear industry. Wind and solar may finish the job…….

Battery prices have plunged 85% from 2010 through 2018, and huge storage plants are planned in California and Arizona. Meanwhile, science is advancing on new technology — including chemical alternatives to lithium-ion systems — with the potential to supply power for 100 hours straight, sun or no sun.

“All signs point to the acceleration of renewable energy that can out-compete nuclear and fossil fuels,” said Jodie Van Horn, director of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign, a group seeking a grid powered solely by renewables.

The drive for grids that are 100% emissions-free is being pushed by a growing number of U.S. states citing increasingly aggressive time frames. In July, New York mandated that 70% of the state’s power come from renewables by 2030, and 100% by 2040. Seven other states, including California, have similar mandates, and Virginia’s governor this month announced an executive order calling for 100% clean energy there by 2050. ….

By 2050, BNEF expects renewables to account for 48% of the U.S. power system, paired with multiple types of supplemental, peaking plants that can supply electricity when needed……  Meanwhile, over the same period, nuclear will wane, as high costs force most reactors to just shut down.

The U.S. isn’t the only place where the nuclear industry is struggling. Some nations that rely heavily on the technology, including France and Sweden, are reducing nuclear’s load as old reactors retire, and diversifying into cheaper solar and wind power. ……

The first modular nuclear reactors in the U.S. aren’t set to go into service until 2026, and the salt technologies are still largely in the research stage. At the same time, installed capacity of nuclear in the U.S. is forecast to fall to 6 gigawatts by 2050, down from 101 gigawatts now, according to BloombergNEF.  …….

September 30, 2019 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Ever cheaper wind energy a big threat to UK’s nuclear white elephants

Times 21st Sept 2019, Alistair Osborne: Who wouldn’t prefer clean energy from Dogger than, say, Hinkley Point C: the £20 billion nuclear disaster in leafy Somerset?

The latest round of offshore wind contracts is quite a moment. For the first time, it looks like being subsidy-free. Companies have agreed to build 5.5 gigawatts of new capacity, enough to power almost seven million homes, for a guaranteed price of as little as £39.65 per megawatt hour – in 2012 prices. Compare that to the price for when the turbines start whirring in 2023-24, also in 2012 money: £48.13/MWh. In short, clean energy without any extra cost to the consumer.

In just five years, wind has blown the competition away. It was only in 2014 that Dong Energy, now Orsted, signed up to build the 1,200MW Hornsea 1 project at a strike price of £140/MWh.
By September 2017, the guaranteed price for the 1,386MW Hornsea 2 was down to £57.50. And now it’s 30 per cent cheaper again: a dizzying drop that drives home two things.

First, that Britain, blessed with a nice bit of breeze, leads the world in offshore wind: by next year it’ll have 10GW of installed capacity. Second, that the more you build, the cheaper it gets.

If only the same thing could be said for nuclear power. The strike price for Hinkley Point, in the same 2012 money, is a rapacious £92.50/MWh: a socking bribe to get France’s EDF and its Chinese partner to build the thing. It’s set to rip off consumers for 35 years. Naturally, it’s at least eight years late: now shooting for operations in 2025, not 2017. Its French prototype in Flamanville, where building costs have more than trebled to €10.9 billion, is at least ten years late. Oh, and its welding’s dodgy, too.

And nuclear’s not even green: it comes with a vast clean-up bill. True, it brings baseload energy that wind can’t yet match. But storage technology is advancing all the time.

So why’s the government persisting with last century tech that comes at a radioactive price? Yes, offshorewind might endanger a seabird that’s forgotten its specs. But, luckily, it’s a bigger threat to another species: nuclear white elephants.

September 22, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Wind farm to take over former nuclear site in New Jersey

Former nuclear site in N.J. set to become key part of new offshore wind farm,, By Michael Sol Warren | NJ Advance Media for

When the Danish wind developer Orsted won its bid to build a massive wind farm in the ocean off of Atlantic City earlier this year, it immediately faced a new challenge: how to bring that future electricity to land.

Orsted found its solution in a shuttered nuclear power plant.

Last week
, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved Orsted’s purchase of interconnection rights at the former Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey Township from the plant’s owner, Exelon Generation. The purchase means that Oyster Creek could be used as a landing point for the electricity generated by the company’s Ocean Wind project. ……

The Oyster Creek site is appealing because it already has the infrastructure needed to feed power into the regional electric grid.

According to NJBPU documents, Orsted estimated that it would save $25 million by using an existing interconnection point with the grid, like Oyster Creek, instead of building a totally new one…….

Ocean Wind will be capable of producing 1,100 megawatts of electricity once it goes online; that’s enough to power about 500,000 homes. Orsted expects the project to be completed in 2024. The NJBPU gave its blessing to the Ocean Wind project in June. …..

September 19, 2019 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Study: Germany needs clean energy surge to replace coal, nuclear

September 17, 2019 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

China dominates worldwide solar and wind energy generation

Nikkei Asian Review 17th Aug 2019 China has come to dominate worldwide solar and wind energy generation, in
terms of both its own capacity and its companies’ share of global markets,
leaving previous powerhouses — particularly the U.S. and Japan — to play

August 20, 2019 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment