Blowout week 112

This week we are back to OPEC, which finally agreed to limit production in an attempt to stop the “downward spiral” in oil prices:

Al Arabiya:  OPEC powers agree to oil output freeze

Top oil officials from Saudi Arabia, Russia and several key OPEC members agreed on Tuesday to freeze oil output productions after a meeting in Doha to tackle a devastating supply glut. The talks in the Qatari capital Doha, which had been kept under wraps until recent days, involve powerful Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak, sources said, two figures who must reach an accord for any coordinated global action to hold any hope of success. They were joined by Venezuela’s Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino, who has in recent weeks been visiting major oil producers to rally support for the idea of “freezing” production at current levels in an effort to halt a downward spiral in prices, sources have said. Qatar, which holds the rotating presidency of OPEC this year, was also present as it played an important role in coordinating consultations among members and suggestions for extraordinary meetings of the group. The meeting came after more than 18 months of declining oil prices, knocking prices be-low $30 a barrel for the first time in over a decade. The slump has been longer and deeper than anyone predicted, and the mood may be shifting among producers which until now have been determined to defend market share rather then prices.

Only to have its plans torpedoed by Iran:

Wall Street Journal: Iran Balks at Committing to Capping Its Oil Production

Iran dented the efforts of other big oil exporters to limit production Wednesday by refusing to curb its own output, demonstrating the limits of OPEC’s power to boost prices amid rising tensions among its members. Iran’s oil minister Bijan Zanganeh’s decision threw into question the future of a plan brokered by Saudi Arabia and Russia this week for major oil producing countries to limit their output to last month’s levels. The efforts come as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries scrambles to find ways to prop up an oil market rocked by surging production that outpaces demand by more than one million barrels on any given day. Prices have fallen by two-thirds since June 2014, throwing global markets into turmoil and ravaging OPEC countries like Venezuela and Nigeria and nonmember Russia. “Iran is saying, ‘We are not playing with you,’ ” said John Hall, chairman of the London consultancy Alfa Energy and a longtime observer of OPEC. “If Iran is working outside OPEC, the group cannot move. OPEC cannot do anything without Iran.” The broken-down oil talks also added a new layer to the heightening tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, longtime rivals who are the Middle East’s dominant powers for the Sunni and Shiite strains of Islam, respectively.

More stories below, including nuclear in South Australia and South Africa, Tesla batteries in Hawaii, Scotland facing a power crisis, how EDF’s decision to keep Torness open undermines democracy, the impacts of Brexit on UK renewables, the world’s largest floating solar PV plant, National Grid signs up for “footroom”, the Gatwick Gusher, Patrick Moore’s $100,000 CO2 wager and what really happened to 150,000 Adelie penguins.

Reuters:  Oil down 4 percent as U.S. glut overshadows producer talks

Oil prices fell 4 percent on Friday, with Brent down a third straight week, as record high U.S. crude stockpiles intensified worries that a plan to freeze world output will do little or nothing to reduce massive oil supplies already in the market. A slide in the U.S. equity markets, which have for weeks been trading in tandem with oil, also weighed on crude, traders said. Brent crude settled $1.27, or 3.7 percent, lower at $33.01 a barrel. U.S. crude lost $1.13, also finishing 3.7 per-cent lower at $29.64. Even data from industry firm Baker Hughes showing the U.S. oil rig count at its lowest since December 2009 after nine straight weeks of declines failed to lift crude prices. Brent finished the week down 1 percent while U.S. crude ended flat after a particularly volatile week for oil, where prices fell and rose as much as 5 percent in a day.

Japan Times:  Global wind power capacity tops nuclear energy for first time

The capacity of wind power generation worldwide reached 432.42 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2015, up 17 percent from a year earlier and surpassing nuclear energy for the first time, according to data released by global industry bodies. The generation capacity of wind farms newly built in 2015 was a record 63.01 GW, corresponding to about 60 nuclear reactors, according to the Global Wind Energy Council based in Brussels. The global nuclear power generation capacity was 382.55 GW as of Jan. 1, 2016, the London-based World Nuclear Association said. Both wind power and nuclear energy are being touted as alternatives to fossil fuel power as they produce fewer greenhouse gases. Wind energy has captured renewed attention as technological innovation has considerably lowered its generation costs while nuclear power continues to suffer a backlash following the 2011 Fukushima meltdowns. Wind power is the leading energy source in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, the wind energy council said as it released the data last week.

Decarbonise SA:  Nuclear energy and climate change

In the margins of the Paris climate talks, a refreshing dialogue was taking place. Nuclear energy was being put forward for serious consideration by some of the very scientists responsible for putting climate change on the public agenda. The views of James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel, Ken Caldeira and Tom Wigley are summarised in this editorial. They have in effect thrown a gauntlet at the feet of the organisations and governments that claim to work towards preventing a greater than two-degree rise in average global temperatures. This is a gauntlet that sorely needed to be thrown. Among the country exhibitions at the talks, only the USA was brave enough to promote nuclear energy as a climate solution, and then partly in the context of advanced (i.e. not yet commercially available) technology. The depressing fact of the matter is that fear of the reaction against nuclear energy has become so great that countries would prefer not to openly acknowledge the CO2 reducing potential of the technology, even when the fate of the climate may, in part, rest upon it. This culture of silence from those who claim to represent our collective interests is deeply disturbing.

9 News:  South Australia to store nuclear waste?

A royal commission headed by former governor Kevin Scarce has tentatively found that SA could host a viable and highly profitable waste storage and disposal facility. The controversial proposal has been slammed by green groups, who have promised to campaign fiercely during a period of public consultation. While both major parties at a state and federal level are awaiting the royal commission’s final report before formally responding, neither have ruled out support for a waste dump. Labor’s national platform, which states that the party is “strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste” in Australia, had been seen as a major hurdle. But Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on Tuesday appeared to offer his qualified support, saying his views were aligned with SA Premier Jay Weatherill. “What we need to make sure if it’s going to be high levels of storage, getting into the international business of storing other people’s nuclear waste, is that there’s an economic benefit, that it meets all the environmental concerns, and that there is community support,” Mr Shorten said. Federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg said there was economic merit in waste storage as well as a need to dispel myths about the process. “If the South Australian people and the South Australian government want to go down the path of bringing in high-level waste, it would be a brave federal government that stood in its way,” he told the National Press Club.

AFR:  Wind and solar create headaches for South Australia

State governments may have to spend billions of dollars to duplicate the electricity network to cope with the unreliability of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, according to the national energy forecaster. As the Australian Energy Market Operator released a report that found there could be reliability issues for the South Australian market, which has embraced renewable technology, its chief executive, Matt Zema, said the rise of wind and solar could also create problems throughout the country. “It is becoming more and more of a challenge. We might need to build another interconnector to the South Australian market to improve reliability and in the longer term another bigger loop across the nation to be a back-up,” Mr Zema told The Australian Financial Review. Electricity prices spiked in South Australia late last year after problems with the Heywood interconnector to Victoria, effectively cutting off South Australia from the NEM. South Australia did not have enough of its own locally generated power to cope with demand, which significantly pushed up prices. A joint report between AEMO and South Australia’s electricity transmission company Electranet found there will be ongoing issues with controlling reliability in the state’s power network either during or following any future loss of the Heywood interconnector and the closure of coal-fired power stations.

EWN:  South Africa has to build nuclear power stations due to lack of water

Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson says South Africa has to build nuclear power stations because the country doesn’t have enough water. Joemat-Pettersson argued the case in Parliament during the second and final day of debate on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (Sona). “Koeberg [Nuclear Power Station] uses 22 billion litres of sea water, it does not use fresh water, and it recycles water. Twenty-two billion litres of sea water; nuclear energy also contributes to desalination and we are going to need it.” The mister says by contrast, coal-fired power stations consume billions of litres of water. “Medupi Power Station will use 17 billion litres of fresh water a year; 17 billion litres of water, which we will all be looking for because this drought is not going to stop tomorrow.” Joemat-Pettersson says renewable energy cannot provide sufficient baseload supplies to support the industrialisation of the country.

Fortune: SolarCity to Use Tesla Batteries for Project in Hawaii

Solar installer SolarCity announced on Tuesday that it plans to use batteries from electric car maker Tesla for a solar project that it has been working on in Hawaii. SolarCity’s Tesla collaboration will make up a solar and energy storage system across 50 acres just north of the Hawaiian city of Lihue. The company plans to install 13 megawatts, or 52 megawatt-hours, worth of Tesla batteries. While 13 megawatts is relatively small in terms of power generation, it’s actually quite large for a grid-connected battery project. The utility will use the batteries to generate power at night, when the sun goes down between the hours of 5pm to 10pm, and when the solar panels are no longer producing energy. The utility will pay SolarCity 14.5 cents per kilowatt hour over a 20-year contract for the combined solar and storage project.

NOAA:  Rapid, affordable energy transformation possible in US

The United States could slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production by up to 78 percent below 1990 levels within 15 years while meeting increased demand, according to a new study by NOAA and University of Colorado Boulder researchers. The study used a sophisticated mathematical model to evaluate future cost, demand, generation and transmission scenarios. It found that with improvements in transmission infrastructure, weather-driven renewable resources could supply most of the nation’s electricity at costs similar to today’s. The model allowed researchers to evaluate the affordability, reliability, and greenhouse gas emissions of various energy mixes, including coal. It showed that low-cost and low-emissions are not mutually exclusive.

BBC:  EDF to keep four UK nuclear plants open

French energy firm EDF will extend the life of four of its eight nuclear power plants in the UK. Heysham 1 and Hartlepool will have their life extended by five years until 2024, while Heysham 2 and Torness will see their closure dates pushed back by seven years to 2030. EDF said its deci-sion to extend the life of its plants followed “extensive technical and safety reviews”. Chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: “Our continuing investment, our expertise and the professional relationship we have with the safety regulator means we can safely prolong the operating life of our nuclear power stations. Their excellent output shows that reliability is improving whilst their safety and environmental performance is higher than ever.” The four nuclear plants employ about 2,000 permanent staff and 1,000 contractors. They provide electricity to about a quarter of the UK’s homes. The announcement comes amid concern about the amount of energy available to keep the lights on, due to the closure of many of Britain’s ageing power plants.

RT:  Scottish nuclear power plant’s lifespan extension ‘undermines democracy’, says Green party

The Scottish Green Party has accused energy film EDF of dictating government policy by extending the life of an East Lothian nuclear power station by seven years. EDF announced on Tuesday the decision to extend the operating life of Torness nuclear power plant, which will be 42 years old when it is retired in 2030. The Scottish Green’s infrastructure and investment spokeswoman said the move undermined democracy. “The announcement is bad news for East Lothian and bad for Scotland,” Sarah Beattie Smith said. “The fact that a private company can dictate energy policy for another seven years undermines democracy, both in the local community in East Lothian and nationally at a time when the Scottish government ought to be focused on our ambitious climate targets. Torness is almost 30 years old and we should be planning for its decommissioning. With Scotland’s abundant renewable energy resources and the need to focus on energy efficiency, we have no need for nuclear [power] and we should be investing in jobs and infrastructure that do not store up exorbitant costs for future generations.”

Utility Week:  National Grid to pay customers to use excess wind power

National Grid has signed up to the demand turn-up system, Footroom, which is an automated service that notifies connected businesses of an approaching increase in wind. Businesses can then increase demand and production while wind farm output is at its highest, receiving an additional payment from National Grid for doing so. This means National Grid can leave the wind generation running and avoid making controversial ‘constraint payments’, whereby wind farms are paid to close down when there is too much wind. National Grid said: “The purpose of demand turn-up is to increase demand on the system at times of high generation and low demand. Primarily it will be used overnight to balance wind and interconnector flows on top of nuclear baseload.” Flexitricity’s founder and chief strategy officer, Dr Alastair Martin, said: “Currently, when the wind is at its strongest, the grid turns large power stations down or off. But it can’t turn down all of them, so sometimes it has to turn off some of the wind farms. With Footroom, businesses can boost productivity for minimal extra cost and are incentivised to do so. In turn, the grid can increase the amount of electricity distributed to homes from clean, renewable energy sources.”

Standard:  EDF dodges Hinkley nuclear plant decision

The UK’s energy future was left up in the air after EDF dodged a decision on Hinkley Point C, the planned nuclear plant which will provide 7% of Britain’s electricity and employ 25,000 people by 2025. The French giant said the first phase of construction would launch “very soon”, but failed to commit to a timescale or confirm whether it had funding in place, casting doubt on the future of the project. EDF has already sold a 33.5% stake to China General Nuclear Power Corporation, but today’s dividend cut could ignite fears the energy giant lacks the firepower to execute the plan. Prime Minister David Cameron has been trying to smooth through the £18 billion construction costs of the plant in Somerset by wooing Chinese investors to back the project.

PV Tech:  Lightsource building largest floating PV project in Europe

Construction of Europe’s largest floating solar PV array is underway on London’s Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, where the installation will help Thames Water meet its target of self-generating a third of its own power by 2020. The 6.3MWp system will cover around a tenth of the reservoir, with the energy produced to be used to help power a nearby water treatment facility. Just over 23,000 solar panels will be installed to make use of the reservoir near Walton-on-Thames, which is surrounded by residential properties. The project is the result of an agreement between Thames Water, Ennoviga Solar and Lightsource, which will oversee deployment of more than 61,000 floats and 177 anchors to provide the floating platform for the solar array. The project marks the first time Lightsource, the UK’s largest PV developer, has worked on a floating solar installation as the company looks to build on its experience in the rooftop and ground-mounted sectors.

Express:  Scotland faces power crisis warns expert

Scotland will face serious electrical supply problems when Longannet coal-fired power station is closed next month, a leading energy expert has warned. Paul Younger, of the University of Glasgow, believes the country will no longer be able to produce enough power when the Fife facility shuts on March 31. The professor of energy engineering said he was “confident” that supplies will be hit by the closure and warned that renewable schemes would not be able to fulfil peak demand. He also warned that inadequate infrastructure means Scotland cannot rely on suppliers south of the Border to bail the country out. He said: “When we lose Longannet at the end of next month, we are going to start to see problems with voltage control – I am confident of that. It’s what we call ‘brown-out’ rather than ‘black-out’ in the first instance but the fact of the matter is, that from the start of April this year, Scotland is able to produce only 60 per cent of the peak demand for electricity on demand. So, there will be times when we are fortunate and the wind will be blowing at just the right second but our luck won’t always be in.

Telegraph:  Shares in UK oil explorer soar as flow from ‘Gatwick gusher’ beats expectations

Shares in UK Oil and Gas Investments soared by as much as 77pc after the Aim-listed developer announced that oil from its well near Gatwick Airport in Surrey flowed at a faster rate than expected. UK Oil and Gas (Ukog) has claimed that oil from the so called “Gatwick gusher” at Horse Hill flowed from 900m below ground level to the surface without extra help from operators, and at a better rate than expected of 463 barrels a day. The exploration company said the first ever flow test proves that “significant quantities” of Surrey oil can be brought to the surface “at excellent flow rates”. The well flowed for more than seven hours yesterday (Monday) and further flow tests will be carried out today. Ukog and its partners in Horse Hill have claimed that more than 9.2 billion barrels of oil lie under the 55 square kilometre licence area in the Weald Basin. However, some experts have questioned how much of this oil will be recoverable and the viability of large scale drilling ever taking place in the area.

Telegraph:  RWE’s shares slump after dividend is scrapped

Shares in German energy group RWE, the parent company of npower, plunged almost 14pc after it announced it was scrapping its dividend in a bid to preserve cash amid deteriorating market conditions. Chief executive Peter Terium said the decision to cancel the dividend for the 2015 financial year “did not come easily”, but was “necessary to strengthen our company” as the economic prospects for conventional power generators in RWE’s home German market have worsened. Germany wants to generate 80pc of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050 and has been subsidising green energy, such as wind and solar power, in recent years. This change in policy has flooded the market with state-subsidised renewable energy and coincided with a sharp global downturn in wholesale energy prices, heaping pressure on utility companies such as RWE and its rival Eon, which operate coal and gas-fired stations as well as nuclear plants. Energy companies also face a multi-billion pound nuclear clean up bill after the German government called for all nuclear plants to be shut days after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.

Telegraph:  Centrica warns of ‘looming gap’ in UK energy supplies

Britain faces a “looming gap” in its energy supplies because of a series of failures in the Government’s scheme to keep the lights on, British Gas owner Centrica has warned. Ministers must make “significant changes” to their capacity market, which pays power stations to guarantee their availability, in order to push the subsidy high enough to secure investment in new gas plants, it said. The current scheme overestimates how much wind power may be available, given there will be “zero” when the wind doesn’t blow, and procures insufficient reliable power plant capacity, the energy giant said. Centrica issued the warning as it reported annual results in line with expectations and reassured investors that it could “more than pay” for its dividend – which it cut by 30pc last year – even at current low commodity prices. Shares rose almost 7pc on the news.

Telegraph:  Dozens of dirty diesel generators to be built

Dozens of new highly polluting diesel generators are to be built in the UK after being handed consumer-funded subsidies worth £175m over 15 years. Companies proposing to build 650 megawatts of new small diesel engines won subsidies through the latest round of the Government’s capacity market scheme, which is designed to ensure there are enough power plants to keep the lights on in 2019-20. The scheme was originally intended to deliver big new efficient combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants to replace old polluting coal-fired power stations, but has so far failed to do so. Subsidies are awarded through a reverse auction to whichever companies can of-fer to provide capacity for the lowest possible price. Five proposed big new CCGT plants with a combined capacity of 4GW entered the auction, according to analysis by Cornwall Energy, but withdrew as the subsidy on offer fell to £18 per kilowatt – too low to be economically viable. In-stead, the capacity market, which will pay out more than £830m in consumer-funded subsidies in 2019-20, has primarily benefited existing gas, coal and nuclear plants – as well as sparking an unintended new industry constructing diesel plants.

Telegraph:  Low gas prices mean UK firms could see energy bills tumble by 20pc

British firms can expect to see their energy bills fall by between 10-20pc this summer as turmoil in the oil market pays dividends for customers. The wholesale cost of gas on the UK market has plummeted by more than 40pc in the last year due to a global oversupply and depressed oil prices. The weaker gas price has also caused wholesale electricity prices to slump by more than 30pc, because a large amount of the UK’s power network is gas fired. Although companies are unlikely to see their bills fall at the same rate once government levies and transport costs are included, cost savings are still likely to top those seen by domestic customers. Typically, firms are able to negotiate contracts with energy suppliers, meaning that the business-to-business market is more competitive than household supply.

Businessgreen:  Why leaving the EU would be a really bad idea for UK renewables

Spurred on by the EU Renewable Energy Directive and government action, private sector investment and innovation has driven an incredible surge in renewables across the UK (and the world). Between 2008 and 2015, the percentage of electricity from renewables in the UK grew from around five to over 20 per cent. The costs of solar power have fallen 75 per cent in the past five years and they continue to fall. Innovations such as Atlantis Resources’ tidal turbine project – predicted to produce enough power for 175,000 homes – are fast moving from pipedream to reality. The UK is also a world leader when it comes to collaborative scientific research. But all of this is threatened by short-sightedness of a very British kind. This year we will have a referendum on our membership of the EU. Take away the EU Renewable Energy Directive and a Brexit would likely see recent government attacks on renewables intensify. And as Bloomberg reports, the UK will lose out on billions of pounds of renewable investments – in wind farms and grid upgrades – if we leave and ditch our stake in the European Investment Bank. Furthermore, any post-Brexit move to curtail freedom of movement would see us cut off from large parts of the EU science programmes that have born us so much fruit. Despite our small population, UK scientists publish 16 per cent of the world’s most cited research papers. Our excellence sees the UK get a disproportionate amount of money from the EU: “For every £1 we contribute to the research pot, we get approximately £1.40 back,” says New Scientist.

International Business Times:  Obama’s Climate Envoy Warns Of ‘Diplomatic Consequences’ If US Reneges On Paris Accord

U.S. President Barack Obama’s top climate negotiator Todd Stern on Thursday warned of “diplomatic consequences” if a new president tried to back out on commitments under the Paris climate accord signed in December. The comments were made just days after the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily froze Obama’s ambitious Clean Power Plan, which seeks to cut pollution from power plants. Speaking to reporters in London Thursday, Stern said that the fallout would be similar to when former U.S. President George W. Bush pulled the U.S. out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. “There was a lot of blowback that the U.S. got generally diplomatically across the range of diplomatic concerns and I have no doubt that it would be very significant if the U.S. were to do that with regard to Paris, probably much, much more significant than what happened before,” Stern reportedly said. “There is a record there that you can look at to have a pretty good sense that there would be diplomatic consequences.”

Reuters:  U.N.’s climate chief to quit

The U.N.’s climate chief said on Friday she will step down in July, at the end of a six-year term. Christiana Figueres, a 59-year-old Costa Rican, said she would not accept any extension of her term as head of the Bonn-based U.N. Climate Change Secretariat after what she called the historic Paris Agreement. Figueres, a former Costa Rican climate negotiator, took over the U.N. job at a low point in 2010 after a summit in Copenhagen the year before collapsed in acrimony between rich and poor. She patiently worked to build trust among governments with radically different interests, ranging from the United States and China to small island states worried by rising seas or OPEC nations fearing a loss of export revenues. Nicholas Stern, of the London School of Economics who wrote a 2007 study about the economics of climate change, said Figueres had an “outstanding ability to see where we need to go as a world and to bring people together”. Her successor is likely to come from a developed nation.

CNS News:  Critics Challenge Climate Scientist’s Claim That Antarctic Iceberg Killed 150,000 Penguins

A scientific team led by Christopher Turney, a professor of climate science at Australia’s University of South Wales (UNSW), claims that a giant iceberg caused by the effects of global warming decimated a colony of Adelie penguins by blocking their way to feeding grounds off the eastern coast of Antarctica. But some critics are challenging that assertion, pointing out that the penguins may have just migrated to happier hunting grounds. “More than 150,000 Adelie penguins have perished in a single colony in Antarctica after the grounding of a giant iceberg” five years ago, Turney and fellow researchers from UNSW’s Climate Change Research Centre and New Zealand’s West Coast Penguin Trust wrote in an article published this month in the British peer-reviewed journal Antarctic Science. However, the study acknowledged that “abandoned Adelie penguin colony sites are common,” and stated that another penguin colony located about five miles away was “thriving”. Turney was the leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014 that went to Antarctica to update the scientific records compiled a century ago by Sir Douglas Mawson, including a census of the penguin population at Cape Denison.

PR Web:  Patrick Moore Offers $100,000 Wager on Global CO2 Emissions

Dr. Patrick Moore, PhD ecologist and President of Ecosense Environmental Inc. has offered a bet of US$100,000 that global CO2 emissions will be higher in the year 2025 than they were in 2015. His offer was made a month ago to his nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter (@EcoSenseNow) and was re-tweeted to tens of thousands more, yet no one has taken the wager. “The warmists claim that 97 percent of climate scientists believe that human CO2 emissions will cause dangerous climate change,” Dr. Moore stated. “The UN Paris climate summit was hailed as ‘an historic agreement that is our best chance save the planet’. If that is so then surely they believe CO2 emissions will come down during the next ten years, as pledged by all the countries attending the meeting. Yet no one seems willing to put their money where their rhetoric is.”

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51 Responses to Blowout week 112

  1. singletonengineer says:

    Re Item 8 Japan: “Global windpower tops nuclear for the first time.”


    Capacity factor for nuclear = 90%
    Capacity factor for wind <= 30%

    Therefore wind can currently generate no more than one third of the energy output of nuclear power plant.

    Comparing the global nameplate ratings of wind and nuclear power is no more useful than comparing the horsepower ratings of a racing car against that of a Mack truck. One is clearly going to do much more work, more reliably, in the long run.

    This type of nonsense is not news and is an insult to the intelligence of readers.

    • Willem post says:


      Wind energy is low-quality, variable, intermittent, not dispatchable energy, and needs support from other generators for peaking, filling-in, and balancing.

      It is blasphemous to compare wind energy with nuclear energy, which is high-quality, steady, dispatchable, load following as needed, 24/7/365.

      • guber says:

        stady yes,
        high quality – no dispatchable – not really.
        baselode – only power is also considered low quality power.

        • willem post says:


          Anything weather-related is not dispatchable, by definition.

          ERCOT which manages the Texas grid with over 15,000 MW of wind turbines, considers 8.7% of that capacity for LONG-TERM capacity-sufficiency planning.

          That has nothing to do with real-time, dispatch.

          Some of the nuclear plants in France are DESIGNED to be load following, one reason the CF of French nuclear is not as high as the 0.90 of US nuclear, which is DESIGNED to be base-loaded.

          Coal plants and gas plants can be designed to be load following and to perform peaking, filling-in and balancing, as Germany has proven with its newer plants.

          Wind and PV solar energy are weather-dependent, variable and intermittent, i.e., therefore are not steady, high-quality, dispatchable, 24/7/365 energy sources. In New England and Germany:
          – Wind energy is zero about 30% of the hours of the year (it takes a wind speed of about 7 mph to start the rotors), minimal most early mornings and most late afternoons. About 60% of all wind energy is generated at night.
          – PV Solar energy is zero about 65% of the hours of the year, minimal early mornings and late afternoons, minimal much of the winter, and near-zero with snow and ice on the panels. CSP with 10 hours of storage provides steady, high-quality, dispatachable, 24/7/365 energy.
          – During winter in New England, PV solar energy, on a monthly basis, is as low as 1/4 of what it is during the best month in summer; 1/6 in Germany. On a daily basis, the worst winter day is as low as 1/25 of the best summer day.
          – Often both, wind and PV solar, are simultaneously at near-zero levels during many hours of the year. See URL, click on Renewables. In the Fuel Mix Chart you see the instantaneous wind and PV solar %.

          – Germany has excellent public records for the past 12 years showing the variability and intermittency of wind and PV solar energy.

          That means, in New England, Germany, etc., without adequate and viable energy storage systems, almost ALL other existing generators must be kept in good running order, staffed, fueled, and ready to provide steady, high-quality, dispatachable, 24/7/365 energy. At higher wind energy percentages, a greater capacity of flexible generators would be required to operate at part load, and ramp up and down, which is inefficient (more Btu/kWh, more CO2/kWh*) to provide energy for peaking, filling-in and balancing the variable PV solar and wind energy.

          * The CO2 reduction effectiveness of wind energy in Ireland, with an island grid, is about 52.6% at 17% annual wind energy on the grid. Peaking, filling-in and balancing of the wind energy is mostly with gas-fired, combined-cycle, gas turbine generators, as it would be in New England, unless adequate capacity HVDC lines to Canada were built to enable Hydro-Quebec to perform this service with near-CO2-free hydro energy.

          The real and reactive power, and frequency and voltage of the energy of wind turbine plants are variable. These very short-term variations are due to a blade passing the mast*, about once per second, and the various wind speed velocities and directions entering the plane swept by the rotor. A plant with multiple wind turbines would have a “fuzzy”, low-quality, unsteady output. These short-term variations are separate from those due to the weather, and usually need to be reduced, such as by reactive power compensation with synchronous-condenser systems, before feeding into a grid, especially “weak” grids, to avoid excessive grid disturbances.

          * This passing creates a burst of audible and inaudible sound of various frequencies; inaudible sound, a.k.a. infrasound (less than 20 Hz), is the cause of adverse health impacts on nearby people and animals, including DNA damage to nearby pregnant women, fetuses, and new-born infants, and pregnant animals, fetuses and new-born offspring.

          • guber says:

            French nuclear has very limited load following qualities. There is a series of reactors which is designed for baseload, and a generation which is partly load following. A third generation was planned to be fully load following, but was abandoned. (to expensive / diffficult).
            Partly load following nuclear plants in germany can follow well between 75 and 100% of nameplate capacity, but with big difficulties to recover when oad goes below 75%.(the lower, the slower the possible change of output becomes)
            Which is why they prefere to pay for the energy they produce. insead of regulating down when supply is high and demand low.
            Coal and Gas are despatchable, beside some old lignite plant which limited regulation speed.
            Renewables (wind, PV, hydro, biogas) are fast despatchable, but only between zero and available power at the moment. But I did not say anything about them.
            How much power is availabe is the second topic, which depends on the power mix and the areas where the systems are located, and are just a fraction of nameplate capacity.
            Please tell me the date when wind was exactly zero in germany / new england.

          • robertok06 says:


            “A third generation was planned to be fully load following, but was abandoned.”

            The EPR is designed to do load following, if necessary, 100% of the time.
            EDF’s reactors do load following for the amount necessary… less during weekdays, more during weekends… look at any Friday night-Saturday afternoon-Sunday-Monday morning… they can swing by morethan 4 GW easily. This winter, with its very mild temperatures, is not the best moment to see it, since the result of electric heating in homes (2,4 GW of additional demand for each degree celsius less of temperature) has not materialized yet. If you go on the eco2mix website of RTE you can see that last year, or the winters before the reactors could modulate by more than the mentioned 4 GW. Of course they do not do load following when the load is the ridiculous intermittent renewables, with their rapid and unpredictable swings up and down…that’s left to hydro, much more reactive.

          • Do you have a link to those German stats? I have them for Britain, France, Canada, and on and on but I have never found them for Germany.

          • robertok06 says:


            “Do you have a link to those German stats? ”

            Fraunhofer’s web page:


            … or this one here:



          • @ robertok06

            Thanks. I can’t find any spreadsheets that provide output over time like everyone else. It feels like they are hiding the data.

          • robertok06 says:


            “Thanks. I can’t find any spreadsheets that provide output over time like everyone else. It feels like they are hiding the data.”

            Once I wrote to Mr. Burger at Fraunhofer, and ask him about sharing the data… he said the data are not for free, so it is not that they hide them, one simply should pay for them.


    • Unfortunately this kind of nonsense is news, and welcome news, to some people. It’s why we’re in the mess we’re in.

  2. Syndroma says:

    Am I reading this right? The UK closes nuclear plants to build more diesel generators?

  3. Gaznotprom says:

    Businessgreen – oh the irony!!
    Let’s hope the Scotland does have brown outs (sorry E) as this will be the trail balloon!
    Patrick Moore – great listen, plenty of logic – hence no airtime on Beeb!
    Hydrocarbons – the cheapest they’ve ever been – let’s stop using them and build night-time solar!

    Truly mad!!

  4. Dave Ward says:

    “Floating Solar Panels”

    Don’t most installations connect them in series strings producing anything up to 700 volts DC at the inverter inputs? Now combine that with an ample supply of conductive water – what could possibly go wrong? Hands up for volunteers to go out in a boat under cover of darkness to carry out fault finding…

  5. A C Osborn says:

    Here is an example of another great green “Renewables” dream dying on the vine.
    If you can’t do it in “Sunshine” Abu Dhabi where can you do it?

    • robertok06 says:

      … how about Sun Edison’s bid to build a large PV station in Hawaii… not completed and canceled by the Hawaiian electricity regulator?… and at the same time Sun Edison is closing factories in the USA and selling assets all over the place?…

  6. John Kunka says:

    Fields of noisy, smelly, dirty diesels – unbelievable.

  7. Alistair Buckoke says:

    Surplus rate switching and storage

    Reading your excerpt on Footroom above, and reflecting as ever on the problems of storage and system capacitance in relation to intermittent energy sources, one often tends to return to the idea of the user-end hot water tank, as many others have done, including Quiggin and Wakefield (2015). Is this not an energy storage device which is already present and well-established in the system? The caveat here is of course that they don’t store electricity. Perhaps though the idea of taking pressure off use of fossil and nuclear fuels and grid usage is a greater priority than always having to think in terms of direct grid contribution. Perhaps also, it places intermittent renewables in a more suitable role.

    Smart meters and digital communication networks offer the possibility for user end applications to make use of surplus grid capacity, and this can even be marketed as such. If hot water tank or heating tank (as used in biomass boiler installations) heating coils can be installed to operate whenever and only when there is any surplus capacity in the system, and charged separately as such at a preferential rate, then this is a convenient way of mopping up wind and solar supply peaks. Since, in effect, energy intensive water heating is taken out of continual grid supply, pressure is then taken off the grid in shorter deficit periods, though, inevitably, not in longer deficit periods. This idea might mean that the grid would have to be operated to allow surplus to accumulate, to some extent, and water heating in turn is a potential tool for grid operators as an alternative to curtailment. An increased grid voltage could be used as a communication tool to switch on surplus applications, subject to a time delay to ensure that short peaks were not perpetually causing switching. Grid experts may have many observations to make here.

    Since the user would become at least partly dependent on surplus capacity, especially if premises heating was done this way, then there would have to be an artificial surplus feeding into the system whenever natural surplus capacity had lapsed for more than, say, 8 hours. This would have to be done by rampable generation, to guarantee heating, and might be best done at night. Since also there would be grid implications for surplus usage kicking in to grid supply all at once, tending to cause voltage drops, premises meter communication would have to include a centralized enable/disable function, perhaps organized rotationally on a region or city basis. The grid operator would then progressively switch in geographical areas, depending on extent of surplus and when those areas last had supply.

    Heating tanks can of course be plumbed in to be heated for example from biomass or gas sources in addition to electrical heating coils, and since the tanks would be thermostatically controlled, grid electricity would always potentially compete with other energy sources. To work properly then, the surplus rate would have to be competitive with other forms of heating, on an equivalent basis. Ideas that government ministers might have of using parts of the system as a revenue raising opportunity would be immediately counterproductive. Free market surplus usage is of course contra the leftward authoritarian tone characteristic of Quiggin and Wakefield.

    The surplus rate is specifically linked to wind and solar generation, and is really the only way of using these resources more fully without causing massive problems in other areas. It is quite clear that lighting, equipment needs or domestic appliances, as examples, cannot store energy and require that baseload capacity is always available. The baseload minimum is likely to be certainly 50%, perhaps more reliably 60%. There has to be significant spare rampable capacity, which would be required to match the effective average capacity of intermittent renewables. This is of course expensive, and, linked to renewables costs, puts a limit on system dependence on renewables. Any capacity figure above 40% increasingly brings in problems in this respect. A figure of 30-35% is probably safer territory, and is perhaps as much as can be hoped for consistent with an aim of conserving increasingly scarce resources, rather than living under a delusion of renewables being a dependable part of the system.

    Surplus rate switching and storage does effectively take a large chunk of intermittent renewables output out of grid capacity, while still using the grid as a supply conduit. It doesn’t fill in the deficit gaps but contributes to reducing their impact, a form of demand-side management. However, a comprehensive rethink of how renewables are used is implied, and the switch-over in mindset is the first prerequisite.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      While I would welcome access to the spot electricity market via a smart meter, that is not what is going to happen. From what I can tell smart meters being rolled out in the UK are a useless waste of money.

      What’s so smart about smart meters?

      • Alistair Buckoke says:

        I’m quite sure you are right, alas. My only intention here was to show one way in which smart metering could be used. The user would gain completely optional use of cheaper electricity, with the caveat that the supply would not always be available. The grid operator would gain quite a lot, using a tool, like that available to industrial users, to use renewables surplus to take pressure off the rest of the grid operation. The grid operator would of course decide when those heating coils would be switched on, but the user could just decide to switch the application off if they chose to, and light the biomass boiler.

        The proof of the pudding is then in what the market can offer. If the market doesn’t work properly it is the grid operator who loses, in the end.

        • Dave Ward says:

          “Is this not an energy storage device which is already present and well-established in the system?”

          In older houses, maybe. But you’ll be unlikely to find a traditional “airing cupboard” and hot water cylinder in new builds – they will normally have a “Combi” boiler with only a miniscule amount of built in heat storage. As pressure for building land gets ever tighter, houses get smaller (and/or) the rooms themselves shrink. I can see huge problems (and public resistance) if, in a few years time, all the existing boilers have to be replaced along with the provision of a large capacity storage tank, and attendant pipe work.

          Even then the actual heat storage is going to be marginal – O.K. for domestic hot water with a large enough cylinder, but utterly inadequate for heating the house as well (except, possibly, in a “Zero Carbon” property). Euan & Roger have published many posts on the subject of how much energy is required to (theoretically) run a country during winter, when solar is next to useless, and wind can be becalmed for days. I would hazard a guess that even a well insulated cylinder is an order of magnitude worse than a typical battery storage system, as well as being extremely heavy. In some respects heat storage is worse than a battery, as you can only operate a water based system over a limited temperature range. People relying on overnight “Economy 7” electric heating will be familiar with the taps running luke warm later in the day, so you would be back to “boosting” the water cylinder at full price. Or will someone come up with an inline booster which provides just enough heat to bring the water up to a satisfactory temperature? How far do you go with increasing complexity (which will be an expensive nightmare to maintain?) Ask anyone in the heating trade how long a modern boiler is likely to last…

          As for the promised “Smart Grid” magically solving all our problems – can you name any major IT project in the UK which has come in on budget, on time and actually works as promised? It might stand a chance if there was only one supplier, but we already know that the multitude of companies operating here can’t agree on which equipment to use – which makes a mockery of government efforts to encourage customers to switch for the best deals. Then there are the security concerns about monitoring the real time consumption of every property, and transmitting this over wireless networks. I’ve already informed my supplier that his “free” smart meter is NOT welcome…

          • Alistair Buckoke says:

            I fully agree that nothing much is ideal here. We’ve got these things on our hillsides for the next 25 years and might as well try to find some more positive ways to use this awkward capacity, given that we can’t depend on them for essential, on-demand electricity uses. Personally, I find that my own Economy 7 water heating works perfectly well. Even a certain amount of pre-heating of water has got to be better than no pre-heating. I agree that things tend to get over-complicated, but this is where we are right now. I’ve tried to suggest as much simplification as possible, for example the use of any surplus capacity at any time of day and centralized organisation and control. Maybe traditional off-peak supply works pretty well and could be continued with, but it can’t respond to wind and solar resources combined. We have the example of industrial applications using surplus capacity going ahead now, so why not expand this into domestic and smaller commercial spheres? As an alternative to water heating, what about exploring new ways of using traditional storage heating? The large ceramic stoves one finds in old buildings in alpine regions might be worth thinking about. Heating elements in solid floors?

            Like all users of mobile phones and laptops, I can’t say that I’m filled with confidence about grid-scale batteries either, frankly. At least water tanks are already there.

          • Grant says:


            I think you will find that hot water storage may come back into fashion.


            Well the Combi concept is based on instant heat from Gas and the Gas fuel industry is threatened by the COP21 agreement and the UK Govt. commitment to abandon gas by 2030 or 2035 or whatever dream date they have in mind that fits the “carbon” reduction graph.

            If industrial use is curtailed I really cannot see domestic use surviving.

            Smart meters are really only applicable to electricity system controls anyway.

            Now if one could have some exceptionally efficient and well insulated storage heaters things might be different but in reality I can’t see that developing in a hurry.

        • gubelu says:

          Well, if you skip to try to do this by direct central control (people hate this) and allow the market to do this with flexible prices (people ued to control everything like in a traditional power station hate to do this) people are likely to find a lot more possibilities how they can shift demand or do something useful with cheap power at some times.
          If you order a homeowner to have a storage in house, he will not find a place for even the smallest storage. If you give them the possibility to save money without ordering anything, most (not all) of them will have Ideas over the years (we are talking here about decades) where to place a storage with some m³ at low costs and with thick insulation allosing a storage for a week or two. Being abls to shift demand by a week by todays pricing and price prediction for the next week makes life for grid operation a lot more easy.
          The same in Industry.

    • stone100 says:

      I’m torn by the idea that off peak wind power should be used for heating. Heat can be stored much more readily than electricity can but perhaps that means that seasonal heat storage from local solar thermal should be the way to get renewable year round hot water and space heating. It’s been shown to work in Drake Landing and they have very long cold winters

      • Alistair Buckoke says:

        Solar thermal heating in Scotland, or Norway, or Ireland ….. ?

      • Euan Mearns says:

        Stone, you are learning fast, but still a relative novice bound by some beliefs you once held that you have yet to allow proper science to shake off. Solar in the UK in winter is quite simply bonkers. Go spend 30 minutes scanning UK grid graphed to be convinced. This is non-negotiable. It’s simply idiotic.

        Storing surplus wind as low grade heat, on the other hand, makes a lot more sense. I’m not saying it makes sense, but that it makes more sense. Wind electricity via resistance heater to hot water will have near 100% efficiency. We can store vast quantities of hot water to heat the UK in winter.

        PS – I hope you enjoy your new-found commenting freedom 😉

        • stone100 says:

          I don’t want to loose my new found commenting freedom by saying yes but Drake Landing in Alberta uses summer sun to heat boreholes and stores that heat right through the winter. It sounds bonkers BUT they have it up and running. They may have sunnier summers than Scotland but they also have much longer and colder winters.

        • guber says:

          And if you use Heatpumps you can get a 400% heat output from the surplus elecricity.
          And if you use heavy and well insulated houses and hot water storages with 1000-2000l as used today for solar heat, it’s possible to store this excess power for about a week.
          Given about 30 Million buildings in UK, and 5kW Motorpower of heatpumps in average in each building, surplus peaks of 150 GW can be absorbed. 5kW electric motors and compressors are not really expensive. But it needs something to be done.

      • gweberbv says:


        for central Europe there is no need for seasonal storage. See the monthly production of wind and solar (for Germany) on this page:
        In a zeroth order approximation the poor perfomance of solar in th winter is compensated by higher wind production. Still one would need to store energy for maybe a month (which is as utopic as for half a year). But there is absolutely no need to store production in the summer for consumption in the winter or vice versa.

        • stone100 says:

          gweberby, I thought the benefit of the Drake Landing seasonal heat storage was that it avoids the 80% loss that comes from turning sun light into electricity. Much more of the solar energy can be gathered if it is collected and stored directly as heat. To me the key point is that Drake Landing is in existence and working. They have year round renewable heating and hot water somewhere where it is well below freezing for much of the year.

          • robertok06 says:

            “Much more of the solar energy can be gathered if it is collected and stored directly as heat.”

            True, but you can’t transform it back into electricity.
            Apart from Canada and its cold and long winters, who else needs lots of hot water for heating?… most of southern europe uses home heating for a couple of months at most during the year.
            Anyway, in 1000 liters of water heated up by 60C one can store 70 kWh… not much, a couple of day’s worth for heating a house in winter, if it’s not too cold.

          • gweberbv says:


            I am not disputing that the system in Canada works. But it is just an expensive toy (in case you are connected to an electricity grid).
            For roughly 15.000 Euros per home you can get a 100 m deep drilling for a heat pump together with the pump. Will be much cheaper if you do it for 50 buildings at once. With a heat pump, you will generate abot 4.5 kWh heat from one 1 kWh electrictiy. Even with German electrcity prices (up to 30 Eurocents per kWh for households) you will be able to heat your home for 60 to 100 Euros per month (assuming that it is insulated according to state-of-the-art standards). This is in the same ballpark as the rate the Drake Landing people have to pay. But the initial investment is roughly on order of magnitude smaller compared to the heat storage system.

        • guber says:

          Let’s take a short look about which amouts of electricity we’re talking here.
          Older heating thermostates keep the temperature of a house with +/-2°C, and people are happy with this. So it is reasonable to assume that nobody will notice if the temperature of buildings vary by about +/-1°C. A builfing for one family has roughly a weight of 360t, so giving a thermal capacity if insulation is on the outside of the building of 100kWh/°K. thermal energy.
          LEt’s add another 20kWh from the hot water storages, so we get a thermal demand potential which can be shifted of about 120kWh. With a heat pump and a average COP of 4 this is equivalent to 30kWh electric. This amount can be pushed into the buildings, and used as lower demand later, or withdrawn by reduced demand from the buildings, and recovered later.
          ^00kWh within a building of modern insulation which has a heat demand of about roughly 2kWh per day means it can run around 50 hours without heating when being1° above average before it reaches average, and another 50 hours before it reaches the lower end of the +/-1K Korridor for the temperatiure we assumed.
          What does this mean on european level, to get a rough number: with estimated 200 Million buildings this would mean 6TWh of electricity which can be pushed into the buildings when a peak supply happens, or 6TWh which can be drawn from the buildings as reduced demand within roughly 50 hours, so something like 120GW demand respnse in both directions. Or when coming from a peak and going into a shortage of supply for 100 hours a demand reduction of 120 GW or 200 hours with a demand reduction of 60 GW.
          So a possible part of a solution, enough to give people a incentive to participate in demand response with temperature differences they don’t notice or are willing to accept. (And yes this is just a rough calculation to see how many digits the number of demand response in this area has. Nobody knows exactly how makret will react, and what people will do to save money.
          If someone comes to the idea and fills his old 10.000l Oil tank with Na2SO4 solution, he can store 1000kWh thermal without problems for some weeks. Others might decide they don’t want to react at all to price signals.

    • robertok06 says:

      “then this is a convenient way of mopping up wind and solar supply peaks”

      Sorry, but that’s not gonna fly!… people need hot water IN WINTER, not in summer, when sunshine can create a surplus. In winter in countries like Germany and UK one cannot create any surplus, it is physically impossible.

  8. Graeme No.3 says:

    Wouldn’t it be better to use the ‘surplus’ energy to heat molten salts and then generate electricity from that during periods of higher demand and lower renewables supply?
    Money is no obstacle when it comes to weird ideas involving renewables.

    Another ‘storage’ idea might be to direct the ‘surplus’ electricity into heating sports fields, de-icing roads etc. but the drawback there is the wind drops in winter just when that heating is more wanted.

    Then there are people living in places where it isn’t heating that is wanted but cooling. That Drake Landing idea might be a possible solution to seasonal variation, but how would it go in sunny Morocco? Are there any figures for the cost of the Drake Landing scheme?

    • robertok06 says:

      “Wouldn’t it be better to use the ‘surplus’ energy to heat molten salts and then generate electricity from that during periods of higher demand and lower renewables supply?”

      Only if the surplus energy is NOT from PV… because in that case you heat the salts with X kWh of energy but then you can recover only ~ 1/3 under the form of electricity due to the Carnot efficiency… the cost of the kWh thus generated will be multiplied by more than 3 (omitting storage losses, that is).

      • Euan Mearns says:

        I’m sure Graeme meant to say molten ice 😉

      • Graeme No.3 says:

        Of course, quite right.
        But read my ‘qualifying line’ – Money is no obstacle when it comes to weird ideas involving renewables.
        I am well aware of Carnot, even if most greens aren’t.

        • robertok06 says:

          Money is no obstacle on in GreenPiss’s land…. for everybody else out here money IS an obstacle most of the time.
          I know plenty of people who have a really hard time paying their heating and electricity bills… were they to increase as per green dream, they would simply live in the cold and dark for months during winter, literally.

  9. JerryC says:

    Here’s an idea to use all that energy created by wind farms at inconvenient times. You could have a factory where excess wind power moves a series of grinding wheels. At the top, workers would feed a large amout of wheat grain into a hopper. As the excess wind power moves the grinding wheels, gravity forces the increasingly fine-grained powder down to the bottom of the factory, where the finely ground wheat can be collected and sold to people who could use it to make things like bread and cakes.

    I think this could be a big step in achieving our renewable dreams. The only issue is that it might be too “cutting edge” for some to grasp. You really have be a visionary futurist to understand what I’m getting at here.

  10. guber says:

    @ Robertoco – we were not talking about time, but about percentage of load.
    So you want to say that the EPR can regulate load from 0% to 100% and back again once per hour the whole design life? (100% of time) – please proof this.
    If EDF can regulate just 4 GW with 55GW of capacity, this would be very poor compared to the greman nuclear fleet, which can alt least 2,5-3GW out of 11GW very fast if neccesary. If average french design is similar, EDF should be able to regulate about 14 GW in a short time up and down.

    • robertok06 says:


      “@ Robertoco – we were not talking about time, but about percentage of load.”

      “@Robertoco”?? Are you responding to me?

      No, you were not saying that… don’t change your words now, it’s too late… you have written this…

      “A third generation was planned to be fully load following, but was abandoned.”

      … and this you should know pretty well that NEVER EVER the french nuclear engineers thought of designing a reactor capable of going from 0 to 100% and back… it simply doesn’t make any sense. Only hydro can do that, any other thermal source cannot.

      “So you want to say that the EPR can regulate load from 0% to 100% and back again once per hour the whole design life? (100% of time) – please proof this.”

      I said that the EPR is designed to do “load following”. What load following means is dictated by European codes agreed by most electric utilities… as a matter of fact only reactors which can comply with these regulations/specifications can be connected to the grid.
      You need to educate yourself a minimum before writing such silly statements, do you understand this or not?

      “If EDF can regulate just 4 GW with 55GW of capacity, ”

      Either you don’t get it (and it is a simple issue, believe me) or you intentionally pretend not to (and for this there’s nothing I could do to change you opinion)… EDF CAN do much better than that, if really necessary… it has load-followed by that amount on those times because this is what was needed at the time… I never said that 4 GW regulation was the best they can do… it was a simple example… chosen at random.

      “this would be very poor compared to the greman nuclear fleet, which can alt least 2,5-3GW out of 11GW very fast if neccesary. If average french design is similar, EDF should be able to regulate about 14 GW in a short time up and down.”

      EDF simply doesn’t need to do that, it would be stupid on their part. EDF is owner of a much larger (compared to Germany) share of hydro and pumped hydro, and therefore they regulate using those two sources… just look at the morning ramp every day… they decrease the export (which is mainly nuclear) and at the same time they ramp up the output from hydro and pumped hydro… just to make an example this morning they have ramped nuclear from 42 GW at 4:30 am to 54.3 GW at 10 am… 12.3 GW in 6 hours are not enough for you?… with 5 additional GW from hydro during the same time?

      Anyway, this document explains a bit the situation of nuclear and follow-up in several countries…

      … page 12 for France, graph showing peaks of 30% variation during a single day with respect to the total production, not only one or few reactors:

      “The average daily variation of nuclear generation in 2010 is about 6.7%. However, for some periods, the daily variation could be superior to 20%.”

      Table 2.1 shows the “manoeuvering capabilities” of the french fleet, all models included:

      Power excursions of 5% per minute is enough for you or not?

      How about “Capability for instant return to 100% Pr”… for the N4 reactor models?… “Full capability, no limits in the amplitude up to 85% of the fuel cycle”?

      Does that make you happy?


      • guber says:

        The 4 GW for France came from you so rant about yourself.
        I have been writing about fast reaction of nuclear power between 75 and 100%, and a reaction getting slower when getting below the 75%, which fits to the numbers you present.
        You said EPR can do load following all the time, not EPR can do load following as requested by Regulation. so rant about yourself.
        5% per minute is nice ompared to a lignit plant built 1955. It is poor compared to a lignite or hard coal plant built 2010, or comapred to a gas plant. It is below any discussieo e.g. for a Grid like El Hierro discussed in another thread, where fast reacting tecnologys are required.
        If you look at the load graphs of France and UK you can see how much demand can be shifted within a few decades if a incentive exists.
        you forgot to explain why France still uses gas and coal fired plants, if nuclear and hydro together are so ideal cheap and flexible.
        It seems there is some economical realsonable room to keep coal and gas fired plants to do the fast changes which hydro can not handle alone.
        “they decrease the export (which is mainly nuclear)” – which shows that france uses the neighboring grids as buffer for their nuclear fleet.

        • robertok06 says:


          The 4 GW for France came from you so rant about yourself.

          Listen, man… are you going to troll around much longer?
          Mine was AN EXAMPLE… do you know the meaning of this word?

          “I have been writing about fast reaction of nuclear power between 75 and 100%, and a reaction getting slower when getting below the 75%, which fits to the numbers you present.”

          “You said EPR can do load following all the time, not EPR can do load following as requested by Regulation. so rant about yourself.”

          Yes, I’ve written that, and it is correct. The one ranting and looking for excuses is you.
          Dunning-Kruger syndrome, in its purest form.

          “5% per minute is nice ompared to a lignit plant built 1955.”
          Yes, trollio… but 5% of 63 GW is ANOTHER thing… do you need a small sketch to understand this?

          “It is poor compared to a lignite or hard coal plant built 2010, or comapred to a gas plant. It is below any discussieo e.g. for a Grid like El Hierro discussed in another thread, where fast reacting tecnologys are required.”

          El Hierro needs load-balancig, not load-following, these are two DIFFERENT concepts, trollio!

          “If you look at the load graphs of France and UK you can see how much demand can be shifted within a few decades if a incentive exists.”
          Shifted were? Shifted how? What are you talking about?

          “you forgot to explain why France still uses gas and coal fired plants, if nuclear and hydro together are so ideal cheap and flexible.”

          Because most of the coal plants were built long time ago. Any other silly question needing answer?

          “It seems there is some economical realsonable room to keep coal and gas fired plants to do the fast changes which hydro can not handle alone.”

          Hydro can handle anything much faster than any other technology… what are you talking about???

          “they decrease the export (which is mainly nuclear)” – which shows that france uses the neighboring grids as buffer for their nuclear fleet.”

          No. Grids cannot be used as buffer… it is physically impossible to store electricity on the grid… the only workable way is via pumped hydro… and that’s exactly what they do during practically all nights of the year…. just look at the data!… this one of the grid used as a buffer is one of the main workhorses of anti-nuclear trolls who understand nothing about this matter.
          EDF simply sells a lot of electricity to neighbouring countries, like anti-nuclear Italy, and makes a very good profit out of it. In addition, it has the contractual right to withhold all of the exported electricity in case of need… that’s why they decrease the export every morning during the time of rising demand, from 6am to 12.

          I read on EDF site:

          “EDF est le premier producteur hydroélectrique de l’Union européenne, avec plus de 20 000 MW de puissance installée à travers 435 sites de production hydraulique, allant d’une dizaine de kW jusqu’à plusieurs centaines de MW.
          Aujourd’hui, 70 % du potentiel hydroélectrique français, estimé à 98 TWh/an, sont utilisés. ”

          Avec une réserve de 7,5 milliards de m3 d’eau et 20 GW de puissance installée, les retenues et les usines hydroélectriques peuvent ajuster en permanence la production aux variations de la demande de courant (par suite de grand froid, heures de pointe, incidents sur le réseau ou sur une autre centrale) et venir ainsi en appoint des parcs nucléaire et thermique à flamme”

          You need to study the matter first and then come back.

          • guber says:

            Since you obviously just troll around and have nothing to contribute, I will ignore your spam contributions. It would be nice of euan if he’d do the morderation he promises in the rules of the blog.
            Each try of me or others, as I could read, to correct your faults (or wrongly written senteces as you prefere to make examples out of your written numbers, or insist to misinterpret any sentences of others which do not praise your holy words as far as you can ) ends up with insults from your side. So bye, happy trolling to you.

  11. Rob says:

    Did anyone read this by environmentalist Tom Burke

    ‘Actually solar and wind are much more predictable, we know exactly when they are not going to work, what we are able to do with our electricity system now with modern infomatics is actually manage the whole of the generation capacity we have, much more efficiently, and get more out of it’

    Greens really want to push the premise that power stations not needed and wind and solar reliable

    • robertok06 says:

      He’s a greenie, anti-nuclear, and well connected in the right places… his biography doesn’t mention any academic degrees in technical/scientific subjects (at least I couldn’t find any)… he simply is a professional environmentalist… you can’t expect him to be fair or competent.

      • Rob says:

        Another green energy article that caught my attention

        Did anyone read carbon brief and interview with Lawrence Slade, chief executive of industry group Energy UK.

        Solar is expected to reach grid parity “in the next few years at residential level”, the report says. It adds: “Many [in the sector] believed…the combination of small-scale renewables and electricity storage could create a complete paradigm shift in how the power sector operates”

        Does anyone know who Energy UK they claim to be the industry trade body for the energy industry.
        Apparently the UK needs to copy Energiewende

    • @ Rob

      Ah yes the predictability argument. I always retort how useful is it to know that a lot of my capacity is about to go to zero? Usually that should be an emergency situation…

  12. guber says:

    @Biodiversitist – I do not have a URL in mind for things which I do have in memory, especially when I did read them on paper.
    From a paper from Kraftwrksunion/areva I have in mind that the systems are designed for about 15.000 load switches 100-80-100% (or 80-100-80%). Which would be in a 60 years life enough for one load switch in 2 out of 3 days. Or, when following morning and evening peak, enough for a design life of 20 years. So far the german fleet was running baseload without adoption most of the days, so the reluctance to adopt tp demand and accepting negative power prices seems unlogical. Because according to specification it should be cheaper to buy the power from market for negative prices and reduce output and saving a little bit on fuel.
    So there must be additional causes why they prefere to accept negative prices and don’t change output.

Comments are closed.