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"Green" energy is expensive, does not avert climate change.

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posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 05:36 AM
The above report could even be called somewhat misleading as wind does not generate electrical power all the time, as would other sources like fossil fuels, and Nuclear do. Of course, electrical demand does not disappear when the wind stops blowing.

Take a look at the Bonneville Power Administration for example...:


Wind Power in that region has been generating very little - no power for several days. Any guess what makes up for that? FOSSIL FUELS.. So again, adding solar and wind to the grid will cut CO2 emissions, but perhaps not by a whole lot. This can be verified in these two papers... here and here.

posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 05:47 AM
Why do you not like renewable energy sources?

Nuclear fuel is by definition a limited resource, just as Fossil Fuel is.

IT is true that Solar and wind are not as efficient as coal power, but consider how long we have been using and refining the process of coal power...

Solar thermal plants produce no CO2.

The statistics state that you use CO2 in their production, but that is only because we use Coal electricity to build them... this would not be the case in a Solar electric grid.

The materials used to create the solar plant DO release some CO2, during construction, but to claim that Coal plants do NOT, is naive.

More energy falls from the sky every hour, than the human race can use in a year.

Solar is the way of the future... Nuclear is a Dead end, unless you are speaking of Light Hydrogen Fusion.

Radioactive elements are a limited resource, unless you want to go about manufacturing supernova.


posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 05:52 AM
reply to post by C0bzz

The real weak link in alternative energies, IMO, is the storage of generated energy. I agree that wind generation is a poor substitute (at present) for conventional energy sources, however as a contributing source, they have the potential to fulfill many needs IF energy could be stored more efficiently.

Our house might be a microcosm of a much larger community: We've just finished installing a PV array here -- just in time for our two weeks of "winter". Now, normally the wind is consistently low for optimum wind generation, however when the sun is absent (at least here in the Caribbean), it is usually very windy.

It was a matter of pure personal economics -- we couldn't afford both, and sun is more reliable. The 1200W array should pay for itself in 3 1/2 years, and then continue saving. We have no subsidies nor incentives/rebates for such here, so it's all on us. Even a 500W wind generator would be useful to us at this moment with the nearly consistent 15knot wind.

My point remains that the weak link for us, is the battery storage. I wonder too, whether the energies required to produce the batteries, panels and associated electronics are truly efficient. I don't know. I know that we've sunk USD $11,000 in investing in ourselves, and at best case, our 16 batteries MIGHT last 8 years. Our new small refrigerator and freezer are both 24VDC and very very efficient, at least compared with the regular set-up.

It's a risk, and while technology is always changing, we couldn't wait any longer. Right now, I wish we could've afforded another coupla grand for a sizeable wind generator, tower, shipping (plus the home-fabricated ability to quickly take it down WHEN hurricanes threaten).

Good points you make. I think windpower has a place, but agree that it's a mistake to try to characterize it as a primary source within a system.

posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 06:55 AM
reply to post by cushycrux

The first and most obvious problem here is that green energy simply cannot sustain our needs. Texas, which produces the most amount of wind energy can only sustain a fraction of it's population on wind. this is in ideal conditions too. If we are to back off coal the only logical energy source is Nuclear energy. Do you have a better alternative to power 300 million people in America alone? Your little quake map is is a joke. The plain and simple fact is that reactors are designed to withstand earthquakes. We are not talking about meth cooks here. The same people who design reactors have family that could be killed by them if something went wrong. I'm not surtan what your stigma is here. Maybe you just hate the idea of the development of reasonable technology.

in closing...
Nuke the whales, amen.

[edit on 11-1-2010 by mosesgunner]

[edit on 11-1-2010 by mosesgunner]

[edit on 11-1-2010 by mosesgunner]

posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 08:35 AM

Originally posted by cushycrux
reply to post by C0bzz

Gramms CO2 per kWh electricity
Solar power, water power and wind power
10 - 40
Nuclear power plants
37 - 140
Combined heat and power in private houses
220 - 250
Gas buring plants
330 - 360
New coal burning plants
1'000 - 1'100

For low quality ores (less than 0.02% of U3O8 per tonne of ore), the CO2 produced by the full nuclear life cycle is EQUAL TO that produced by the equivalent gas-fired power station.

The study you linked has been extensively discredited. i.e. it is the definition of "BS".

Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Philip Smith = SLS

The Rossing mine has a lower Uranium concentration (0.03% vs 0.05% by weight) than Olympic Dam and the discrepancy is even larger in the case of Rossing. Here SLS predict Rossing should require 2.6 Giga-Watt-Years of energy for mining and milling. The total consumption of all forms of energy in the country of Namibia is equivalent to 1.5 GigaWatt-Years, much less than the prediction for the mine alone. Furthermore, yearly cost of supplying this energy is over 1 billion dollars, yet the value of the Uranium sold by Rossing was, until recently, less than 100 million dollars per year. Since Rossing reports it's yearly energy usage to be 0.03 GigaWatt-years, SLS overestimates the energy cost of the Rossing mine by a factor of 80.

They also use diffusion enrichment in the paper, whereas centrifuge methods are over an order of magnitude more efficient.

It is also at the odds with actual studies by the University of New South Whales, UK Sustainable Development Commission, University of Wisconsin, International Energy Agency.... I could probably find more.

Yes and a nuclear power plant and a earthquake is a safe thing:

Yes, why wouldn't it be?

Diablo Canyon is designed to withstand an earthquake of 7.5 on the Richter scale. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (KK) Nuclear Power Plant suffered no damage to critical systems after a significant earthquake. KK has seven nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 7965 megawatts. That's equivalent to over 6000 wind turbines with the wind blowing on them constantly.

The materials used to create the solar plant DO release some CO2, during construction, but to claim that Coal plants do NOT, is naive.

Make no mistake, coal is the worst of the worst. It pumps huge amounts of CO2 into the air, as well as SOx & NOx & flyash which caused respitory illness and death in tens of thousands of people worldwide. Coal power plants also release into the environment ten times more radiation than nuclear does.

Radioactive elements are a limited resource, unless you want to go about manufacturing supernova.

It is limited, however we still have large amounts of it left.
And if we change to more efficient Nuclear Reactors like the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR), it's many thousand years worth of electricity.

[edit on 11/1/2010 by C0bzz]

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 02:07 PM
From a UK perspective, and in light of the recent go ahead for a massive giant line of pylons across the remote Scottish Highlands and windfarms in some of the remotest, most unspoit, and stunningly beautiful corners of Britain, this makes sobering reading:


The latest electricity generation data, released on Friday, showed that as the temperatures dropped, 45% of output was being produced from coal, 37% from gas, 15% from nuclear power — and just 0.2% from wind.

That was Friday 8th January 2010 - the height of the recent cold spell in Britain, when we were worried about running out of gas .....

If we'd had 100,000 more turbines we would hardly have been producing any more energy. Because during the cold spell here there was no wind.

Worrying ......

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 11:07 PM
I am copying my own posts from 'U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid' thread, as they would suit this thread well.


I think green renewables such as wind and solar would of been the way to go had we of started about 200 years ago. We didn't. Instead we built our society on fossil fuels, which many liken to 'stored sunlight'. Realistically if we want an alternative to them, I don't think we can count on idealogical dreams that are expensive, and unreliable, but instead we need to count on existing reliable, proven, dense, efficient, and relatively cheap, sources of power. I don't see any other option to Nuclear. Natural Gas is half decent, although it still comes from places like Russia, emits 1/4 the CO2 of coal, and is a fossil fuel.

According to the Energy Information Administration, wind power capital cost is $1,923 per kilowatt for onshore wind, and $3,851 for offshore wind. These cost projections are extremely similar to the National Association of Manufacturers, and the American Council for Capital Formation. In 2008, wind generating capacity in the U.S. totaled 25,170 megawatts and generated 52.0 million megawatt hours. That's a capacity factor of 23.5% (abysmal - unreliable). Therefore, as the wind does not blow at maximum speed all the time, each kilowatt of actual average output is likely to be closer to be $8,174 a kilowatt (2007 dollars) for onshore wind. Offshore wind costs more per unit of capacity, yet has a much higher capacity factor therefore I suspect its economics are similar. None of this includes storage which is an attempt to make wind more reliable, nor does it include fossil fuel backups that are required with any form of wind. Also, remember the windmills take up room. So although the technology progresses we may have to site them at unideal locations which drives up the costs (e.g. transmission, low wind, offshore).

By comparison, Italy just ordered four Nuclear Reactors from AREVA. Each at 1650 megawatt at a cost of $6.45 billion dollars each, designed to last 60 years (possibly more). These four reactors will generate as much power as every single windmill in the United States in 2008. The reactors are designed to run at 92% capacity factor, therefore the actual cost per kilowatt of capacity is about $4300. That's not to say the reactors are perfect, however. The type (EPR), had to have expensive modifications on the first two reactors getting built in France and Finland to ensure containment vessel integrity in the case of a widebody airliner crash directly into the reactor (airliner full of fuel, also), and also to ensure the reactor backup instrumentation was completely independent from the normal instrumentation. One of the two first reactors is now over 50% over budget and many, many years behind schedule. This is one of the dangers of building a very very expensive, very very large, and very very high output reactor before it is certified by regulatory authorities, and it is also one of the dangers in building a brand new type of reactor. I suspect that after the first four reactors a built (1 in France, 1 in Finland, 2 in China), most of the bugs, teething problems if you will, will be worked out, hopefully allowing later projects like the ones in the UK, USA, & Italy to proceed on schedule and on cost. Areva expects to deliver 60 reactors of this type, or about 30% of the market till 2030.

By far the most successful of the generation 3+ reactor designs is the Westinghouse Electric ( 80% owned by Toshiba, 20% SHAW ) AP1000. China is currently building about four of them at $2,000 per kilowatt hour, and wants to have 100 of these reactors operating (or under construction) by 2020. At about 1250 megawatt of capacity each, you could probably run the entire nation of France on 100 of them with capacity to spare. The design is not some cheap "Chinese" knockoff, but a state of the art design already certified by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. About twelve of them are planned for the United States (so far), two at a proposed Nuclear plant in Levy County, Florida at a cost of 14 billion dollars ($6000 a kilowatt) (will open in mid-late next decade, closing down a coal plant nearby). As the US has not built a new Nuclear Plant in 20 years, it remains to be seen if it will conform to budget expectations, although the reactor type is already licensed AND it is not a first of a kind so it will likely not be as big of a disaster as the early EPR units.

Per unit of average /actual generating capacity Nuclear power will generally be cheaper than pretty much all forms of renewables, without any of its problems. Nuclear also has extremely low running costs as the majority of costs go to maintenance, rather than maintenance and fuel. i.e. A 10% increase in the price of Uranium will only increase the cost of electricity by 0.5%. However, Nuclear has some problems of its own, at the moment at least Nuclear Plants have not been constructed in the US in over a decade so there is some uncertainty, and Nuclear plants are usually only available in very large sizes. E.G. It is much harder for a utility to put down $14 billion dollars on an absolutely massive two gigawatt Nuclear plant, compared to a few windmills that are subsidized hugely, or some small natural gas plant for example. This is set to change with smaller, modular, massed produced units like the B&W mPOWER, & Hyperion Power Module, and also greater loan guarantees (think student loans). Other smaller problems include the incompetent NRC taking 4 -5 years to certify a new reactor design.

Spain have had wind turbines for years and only now the USA decides to 'give it go' of course there has to be a profit in it or it simply won't work.

In 2008 wind generating capacity in the United States totaled 25,170 megawatts (average of 23.5% capacity factor). Spain had 16,740 megawatts of capacity. So while Spain may get a higher proportion of its energy from wind, what you are saying is technically incorrect. Furthermore, it would also be wise to pay attention to the prices of electricity in both of these countries. If I am not mistaken energy in the US is a few cents cheaper than Spain...

Sure. Use it to run a couple of breeder reactors and regenerate about 45% of your used fuel. The rest is low level isotopes that can be used for things like X-ray machines . You can cut the waste by over 85% The drawback is that the left over 15% is mostly Plutonium.

I am most familiar with the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor.. aka Molten Salt Reactor. The LFTR will practically eliminate all plutonium and most of the waste will last for only 400 years. From what I understand, another reactor known as the Integral Fast Reactor will eliminate the majority of the waste that is fed into it, however it still has plutonium in the waste. The main issue with these reactors is simply a lack of experience with them (Russians excluded, they have BN800 reactor), although they are extremely promising.


More information on the limitations of renewables in my thread, here.

On particular windy days, wind power generation has surpassed all other electricity sources in Spain, including nuclear.[5] On November 8th 2009 wind power production reached its all-time maximum of 11,564 MW; a few hours earlier it had reached the highest percentage of electricity production, with wind farms covering 53% of the total demand.

At times, wind will generate lots of power. At other times it will not. In Spain, on average all the wind turbines combined ran at a power level of 4000 megawatts in 2009, providing about 13% of total power. It certainly is a big achievement, but am I impressed or surprised? No, it would take about two and a half EPR reactors to generate as much power as every single wind turbine in Spain.

You can view the power generation statistics and graphs in the Bonneville Power Administration website, here. At the time of posting, wind had been doing quiet well (for once).

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 11:09 PM
(This is regarding a wind study by Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It was about the cost and requirements of powering the east coast of the USA by 20% wind).


Big Boost in Wind Power Doable but Complicated in Eastern U.S. -- Study

The eastern United States could get 20 or even 30 percent of its electricity from wind by 2024, but it would cost up to $175 billion and wouldn't take a big bite out of greenhouse gas emissions without a price on carbon, according to a study by released today by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

U.S. says wind could power 20 percent of eastern grid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wind energy could generate 20 percent of the electricity needed by households and businesses in the eastern half of the United States by 2024, but it would require up to $90 billion in investment, according to a government report released on Wednesday.


Note how one source says one thing and the other says something else? And if you actually read the actual report, both of them are wrong.

You can read the actual report here. The ACTUAL findings were that increasing wind penetration from 6% (referance) to 20% would at minimum cost an extra 15 billion dollars each year till 2024. Or a total cost of about a quarter of a trillion dollars. At maximum, it was closer to 50 billion dollars per year, or 700 billion dollars till 2024 with 30% wind penetration.

The 90 billion dollar figure was costs for ONLY the transmission system for a mix of 20% wind and 80% conventional.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 01:00 AM

Originally posted by cushycrux
reply to post by mosesgunner

yes sure
- a bit bigger

The haul trucks get much better miles per ton then you car and put out a lot less CO2 per ton hauled then your car.

If you convert from mpg to mpt these haul trucks are comparable to a 200 mpg car.

This haul truck moves 327 tons per trip.
At most mines they seldom go over 5 miles per trip.
and they do between 5 to 8 trips per hour, at 5 trips per hour that's 1635 tons. and for 8 hours 13080 tons and they use about 60 gals of diesel to move that 13080 tons
You car uses what 1 gallon to move 175 pounds 40 miles.

By the way most uranium is mined underground by tunnels not open pit.

We have already mined and processed to run 200 nuclear reactors for 500 years if we reprocessed our spent fuel and used the right fuel cycle to use depleted uranium and old nuclear weapons pits to make reactor fuel.
We have enough fuel in the ground for another 1000 years un-mined with reprocessing and the right fuel cycle.

And don't talk about fusion power till they get one to work.
We have been trying to get a fusion reactor to work for 40+ years and they still don't have one even close to working.
Till then fusion is only a pipe dream.

Using reprocessing and pits we drop the amount of nuke weapons pits that could be turned back into weapons because we burn them for fuel. That is good for the world to get rid of them.

Putting depleted uranium to use as fuel is also good because it get rid of it and makes power.

Reprocessing reactor fuel till it is burned up instead of storing it is better for the world as it will create less nuclear waste and shorter lived waste.

Because they (the US)plan to bury spent fuel instead of reprocessing it we are burying 95 to 98% of our future power plant fuel energy.
this is total waste of a clean energy source.

This would be like filling your gas tank with 20 gals of gas then draining 19 1/2 gallons out onto the ground.

[edit on 23-1-2010 by ANNED]

posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 02:02 AM
reply to post by C0bzz

According to the Energy Information Administration, wind power capital cost is $1,923 per kilowatt for onshore wind, and $3,851 for offshore wind. These cost projections are extremely similar to the National Association of Manufacturers, and the American Council for Capital Formation. In 2008, wind generating capacity in the U.S. totaled 25,170 megawatts and generated 52.0 million megawatt hours. That's a capacity factor of 23.5% (abysmal - unreliable). Therefore, as the wind does not blow at maximum speed all the time, each kilowatt of actual average output is likely to be closer to be $8,174 a kilowatt (2007 dollars) for onshore wind.

It appears I have made a mistake. The US added 8,358 megawatts of wind capacity during 2008, half of which in the fourth quarter alone. I had assumed 25,170 megawatts was the average for the entire year - it wasn't, it was the capacity only at the emd of the year. As wind generated 52.0 million megawatt hours during 2008, the average capacity factor for wind should be about 30% leading to a average cost per kilowatt of about $6500, not including storage, or backups.

U.S. Energy Information Administration just published its 2016 Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources from its Annual Energy Outlook 2010. Please understand that this is cost per megawatt hour, as opposed to cost per megawatt of capacity.

Clustering large amounts of wind turbines together can become inefficient, as the leading edge of the wind turbines extract energy out of the wind which cannot be harvested by the turbines behind them, at the trailing edge. Wake effects at Horns Rev and their influence on energy production.

Please note that although wind might have an effect on the weather, I have found no studies regarding this, and even if it were true then most conventional power plants might have a similar effect. The steam coming out of most normal plants can sometimes be eliminated by changing the cooling cycle, or increasing plant efficiency.

UK new nuclear build will not get government subsidies

(NucNet) The British government will not use taxpayers’ money to subsidize the construction of new nuclear power plants, Philip Hunt, (right) minister of state at the Department of Energy and Climate Change said Jan 21.

In an online question and answer session with ‘The Guardian’ newspaper, Lord Hunt said the government had made it “absolutely clear” that the cost of new nuclear power plants must be met in full by the commercial companies themselves, including the cost of decommissioning and waste management.

“I can assure you that included in that will be safe, and secure interim storage of radioactive waste on site, followed by disposal in a geological facility,” Lord Hunt said.

He said the government expects the first new units to be up and running around 2018. “So far companies have said they aspire to up to 16GW,

Lord Hunt said the UK has been “keeping a very close eye on what has been happening in Finland” with construction of the Olkiluoto-3 Areva European pressurised water reactor. That's why the UK plans to ensure the reactor “is licensed before we start building it, rather than trying to license as it is being built.”


The sale of the Government’s interest in British Energy

"The Government sold its stake in British Energy when energy prices were at a peak, and got a good price. The biggest priority for the Government was, however, to ensure new nuclear power stations could be built from the earliest possible date and with no public subsidy. Whether it will achieve this remains to be seen. The Department of Energy and Climate Change now needs to make real progress on its contingency plans should EDF be unwilling to build new nuclear power stations."

While the Government no longer has a direct financial interest in British Energy, it remains responsible for funding any shortfall in the future cost of decommissioning British Energy’s existing nuclear power stations. The Shareholder Executive did not carry out a formal assessment of the impact of the sale on the risks that taxpayers might have to bear if, for example, the new owner operated British Energy’s power stations in a way that required earlier decommissioning.

UK - National Audit Office.

[edit on 24/1/2010 by C0bzz]

posted on Jan, 31 2010 @ 06:33 PM
Why don't we just nuke all the rain forests while we're at it? Then what? maybe the whales.


[edit on 31-1-2010 by Lophe]

posted on May, 5 2012 @ 06:44 PM
Not all new green energy costs are so expensive after ramp up. Consider the costs of a Thorium Plasma Battery that could power your entire home and all the appliances in it for $100 per year in total costs - or your car for $30 a year. Here's the link I just got from my RSS feed:

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