Tag Archives: nuclear

UK Electricity 2050 Part 4: Nuclear and renewables cost comparisons

Guest post by Energy Matters’ commentator Alex Terrell. Part 4 of the series on designing a renewable or nuclear electricity supply for the UK in 2050, where parts 1 to 3 were co-authored with Andy Dawson. Here costs of the renewable and nuclear options are compared. The forecast based on BEIS’ median 2030 scenarios for renewables (wind+solar) comes in at £143 / MWh and for nuclear at £84 / MWh, for wholesale costs. Both costs will be a lot lower if the respective technologies improve as their advocates hope. Continue reading

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The Changing Face of UK Power Supply

UK Grid Graphed provides a graphic summary of daily, monthly and annual UK electricity generation from 2012 to 2015 based on BM Reports as archived by Gridwatch. This post provides an overview of the UK Grid Graphed resource and the key observations to be made from the data. In summary, coal generation is in steep decline to be substituted by rising wind, solar, biomass and exports. Demand for electricity is also falling and government should be concerned about the extent that this is caused by rising electricity prices and policy. Continue reading

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The UK’s Fifth Carbon Budget – Without the Green Crap

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), under the chairmanship of Lord Deben, recently released its report entitled Power sector scenarios for the fifth carbon budget. The CCC report provides three scenarios under which a ~75% reduction in electricity sector emissions can be achieved by 2030 plus four other “alternative” scenarios that either exceed it or fall short. Continue reading

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CO2 Emissions Reductions – What History Teaches Us

Historical data show that if a country wishes to cut its CO2 emissions by a meaningful amount it has two options that can be guaranteed to work – expand nuclear or reduce energy consumption. There are as yet no clear instances of a country achieving significant CO2 reductions by expanding intermittent renewable energy. Continue reading

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Green Mythology and the High Price of European Electricity

The price of residential electricity in the EU is correlated with the level of renewable energy installed on a per capita basis. The data shows that more renewables leads to higher electricity bills. The notion that renewable energy is cheap is one of five Green energy myths discussed. Continue reading

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Decarbonizing UK Electricity Generation – Five Options That Will Work

Here I present five future energy options that employ nuclear, gas and variable amounts of wind to achieve large reductions in CO2 emissions while at the same time meeting UK demand in a typical winter month. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 78

This week’s Blowout features an intriguing new power generation concept – the offshore floating nuclear plant, which in the example shown below would generate five times as much electricity as the Swansea Bay tidal lagoons while taking up only 0.01% as much sea room: Continue reading

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Blowout week 74

The usual mix below the fold, including shale oil, the coal crisis in Germany, Austria now to sue the Czech Republic over nuclear, the doomed city of Hull, Exxon’s CEO speaks out on renewables, a solution to the energy storage problem, biofuels and water use, vanishing glaciers on Everest, an ice cream that increases climate change awareness and immediately following, are the EIA’s oil production numbers reliable? Continue reading

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The Failure of Green Energy Policies

It is important to recall that well over $1,700,000,000,000 ($1.7 trillion) has been spent on installing wind and solar devices in recent years with the sole objective of reducing global CO2 emissions. It transpires that since 1995 low carbon energy sources (nuclear, hydro and other renewables) share of global energy consumption has not changed at all (Figure 1). Continue reading

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The High Cost of Renewables

In this post I present “back of envelope” style calculations on the capital costs of renewables globally since 1998 and deduce that roughly $1.3 trillion has been spent installing wind turbines and solar panels. Is this a lot of money? Is it a wise investment? What else may we have we got for our money?

One perspective is that the same money would buy 50 Hinkley Point style pressurised water reactors. Continue reading

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Blowout week 33

The UK had some weather this week as the remnants of hurricane Bertha passed over. This caused flooding, and perhaps coincidentally, another major power cut took place during strong gusting winds. Continue reading

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Energy and Mankind part 3

If you look back at the history of Energy and Mankind, in 1950, nuclear power was the energy source of the future. The only power source that could not just rival FF but was superior to it. The future has not yet arrived and we need to hope that it has not been cancelled altogether. Continue reading

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The New Global Dictator

I wish to make clear at the outset that I am not against renewable energy per se but wish to draw attention to the fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch in the energy world. Renewables are all too often and naively presented as clean, green, free energy. In many cases the exact opposite is true. Continue reading

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Global Energy Trends – BP Statistical Review 2014

In 2003, FF accounted for 87% of global primary energy consumption. In 2013, FF accounted for 87% of global primary energy consumption. This is testimony to the absolute failure of energy policies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. Continue reading

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Blowout week 23 – bumper issue

In this bumper Blowout with 36 articles the main theme (if there is one) is Europe backtracking on failed policies and pursuing the America fracking dream while America decides to throw itself off the European energy cliff into the abyss of low carbon high cost electricity generation. Continue reading

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Blowout week 21

Gazprom’s chairman has describing Europe’s energy shortage as “scary” and ridiculed the EU’s push for wind and solar power as a shambles. Continue reading

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Germany: energiewende kaput?

The penetration of wind energy in 2012 was 3.4% and solar 2.1% of total energy consumed and I would judge that this is too low a level of penetration from which to draw any conclusion about the success or failure of the energiewende. This in itself is a problem. Huge investment and publicity so far has produced rather little in return. Continue reading

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Blowout week 19

I am still experimenting with how to present Blowout. Some weeks it is very difficult to make sense of the energy news. This week there is some sense and loads of nonsense as usual. You decide. Continue reading

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Blowout week 16 – Easter Weekend

Tension between Russia and Ukraine builds, blackouts in Scotland, coal in Germany, shale in Australia, even more oil in Russia, pipelines blown up in Iraq. Continue reading

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Blowout week 9

Ukraine, utilities, climate change and OPEC are all in a bumper edition of blowout with 28 stories from around the world. Continue reading

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