Too dependent on solar and wind?

Discussion in 'Energy' started by R P, Sep 21, 2021.

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  1. EU and UK are finding that out the hard way.
    Russia is now in the driver's seat.

    So why is this happening? A view from Canada.

    And is the US headed in the same direction now?

    Fortunately Canada is in much better shape, with our abundance of reliable hydro electricity and nat gas. That should allow us to transition to electric vehicles more easily without the challenges and disruptions facing other countries.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
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  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Russia has only one export, fossil fuels. To the extent they can, they will charge what they can get. This will stimulate competitive sources and alternative power.

    As for renewables, there is an energy storage, technical problem. A lot of projects are addressing this and I have confidence it is to a greater or lessor extent, solvable. For example, pumped storage both up surfaces where terrain supports it and deep mines. But my favorite day-dream are small, mass produced, molten salt reactors providing heat and electricity.

    The energy market is changing and what we see today won't be another 10 years. We see this in the USA Energy Information Administration data. So be calm and enjoy the coming future.

    Bob Wilson
  4. Molten salt reactors have been tried before with no success. And while research continues (for decades), still doesn't sound very promising.

    Seems to me that if we want cheap electricity and EVs, we will need to depend on nat gas for a while yet. The US is OK for now (compared to EU and UK), but if they kill nat gas exploration/development (old wells decline/dry up) and shut down production as promised by Biden and the Dems, that could have dire consequences for energy and EV adoption.
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    My understanding is the last was:

    The MSR program closed down in the early 1970s in favor of the liquid metal fast-breeder reactor (LMFBR), after which research stagnated in the United States. As of 2011, ARE and MSRE remained the only molten-salt reactors ever operated.

    I'm OK with Canada having special requirements. Just the Russians have been deploying, micro-reactors, for a number of years:

    Russia has the largest number of small nuclear reactors in the world.

    Good thing Russia has a different climate and science attitude than Canada:

    “Small modular reactor (SMR)-based plants, both floating and onshore, open up a great sustainable development opportunity for the whole world, ” said Nikita Mazein, Vice President of Rusatom Overseas, a subsidiary of the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom. He said that Rosatom has recently deployed the world’s first floating nuclear power plant (NPP) in the Arctic region.

    “It is home to 4 million people, half of whom live in Russia, while the region is heavily dependent on fossil fuels in its energy supply. Currently, they are mostly coal and oil, which has an extremely negative impact on the environment. Air and water pollution harms valuable ecosystems, which leads to a reduction in human life expectancy and a complete extinction of some species and living organisms. SMRs can help to mitigate the negative impact and, hopefully, put an end to it. With the help of small nuclear reactors, the Arctic can achieve net zero emissions as early as 2040. Most of the settlements in the far north are hard to reach and they are isolated ‘energy islands’ cut off from the national grid,” he said.


    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
  6. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

    I think there are groups of people that have a cultist mindset when it comes to wind and solar. Nuclear would be performing much better in the US if environmentalists didn't essentially half kill the industry with regulations and intentionally misleading bad PR. Nuscale has some promise and it will be interesting to see how that develops.
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  8. Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  9. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    There fixed it.

    Bob Wilson
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  12. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

    No. It literally is a religion though. These people will not accept any form of nuclear - even if it would solve the problem this decade. So why do you defend it? Are you incapable of criticizing anyone you view as a political ally?
  13. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Math, chemistry, and physics apparently have:

    ". . . And, she [Rachel Maddow rjw] said, in this election, “facts have a liberal bias,” which is a nice twist on Colbert’s famous line: “reality has a well-known liberal bias.”​

    No amount of right-wing sophism cures a distorted view of reality. Afraid of facts-and-data, some are lost to this reality.

    Bob Wilson

    ps. The PriusChat web site has two COVID-19 threads, 'political' and 'science'. When public policy is discussed, the sensible posters cover it under 'political.' However, we find the right-wingers like to post their fantasies in the 'science' thread to be promptly buried by facts and data. You are simply seeing a condensed version of what we've already discussed.
  14. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

    Seriously, the question wan't "tell me you are arrogant without saying it." The issue here is that mainstream environmentalists have done and are still doing everything they can to essentially ban the use of nuclear - a source of energy that could help meet current and future energy demands without any emissions. I don't care what someone claims is technically feasible; it doesn't make sense to restrict what sources of non-carbon energy are available purely on ideological grounds.

    No amount of facts and data suggest that this is a good idea, so why pretend like it isn't an issue? Are you incapable of saying something like this: "It is not good that there are environmentalists who are opposed to any and all forms of nuclear power".

    Research itself has become politicized; however, I know zero evidence presented would convince you of this.
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Discussing environmentalists reminds me of:

    "Let's kill all the lawyers" is a line from William Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2. The full quote is "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers".[1] It is among Shakespeare's most famous lines,[2] as well as one of his most controversial.[3] Shakespeare may be making a joke when character "Dick The Butcher" suggests one of the ways the band of pretenders to the throne can improve the country is to kill all the lawyers. …​

    Lazy thinking assigns one point of view to characterize a group. For example my belief that Republicans hate climate science, medical science, and empirical facts and data. It has been useful to identify a poster’s politics and reveal their associated Republican fantasies. But every now and then exceptions are found. The sad news is you often find they prefer to argue against their ‘strawman’ instead of discussing the facts and data. Of course there are trolls who post for an argument.

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  16. gooki

    gooki Well-Known Member

    Meh it's a dollars game now.

    What's cheaper today, and tomorrow?

    Nuclear with cost of materials and waste cleanup.
    Renewable and storage.
  17. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

    lol. You actually cannot admit that mainstream environmental groups are anit-nuclear. Then you accuse me of not engaging with facts and data. Unreal.
    "The Sierra Club remains unequivocally opposed to nuclear energy..... Nuclear is no solution to Climate Change and every dollar spent on nuclear is one less dollar spent on truly safe, affordable and renewable energy sources."
    The Sierra Club is one of, if not, the largest environmental advocacy group in the US.
    "Nuclear energy is diverting attention and investment from the sustainable energy solutions we need. It’s time to stop building new nuclear facilities, phase out the ones that exist, and focus on clean energy for the future."
    Also one of the largest environmental advocacy groups. Super anti nuclear.
    "As a low-carbon energy source, nuclear power of the future has been heralded as one of the few technologies that can help curb greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonize the economy, and combat climate change. However, new nuclear power plant designs are not demonstrated to be safe, reliable, or economically viable; thus they are not a near-term solution to the climate crisis. Government resources and policies should prioritize solar, wind, and energy efficiency technologies to address climate change."
    NRDC. This organization isn't explicitly an anti-nuclear organization, but it's clear that they have a bias against nuclear from their posts and what policies they support.
    Mike Shellenberger is probably one of the most well known pro nuclear environmentalist. He even accuses the mainstream environmental movement as being anti nuclear. His organization is not small, but it is nowhere close to the size of greenpeace or the sierra club. You can watch his little video on this too:
    Is he wrong?

    Lol. This reads like and admission. You are either a massive troll or you honestly don't realize that you are literally engaging in the exact lazy thinking you accuse me of doing.

    uh. What strawman? Can you even describe that much to me?
  18. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

    Hardly, it's literally illegal to build new nuclear plants in several states. How is this a fair competition?

    Secondly, there is no waste problem. Spent fuel rods can be recycled (or even be used as fuel in other reactor types), but environmental groups have lobbied and made it illegal to recycle nuclear waste.
  19. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Agree. The liquid salt reactors do onsite processing to remove the fission products, a small fraction of the fission fuel load. Being unstable, they soon decay to a smaller volume that is easily stored on site before burial. Best of all, no nuclear explosive material or high temperature, high pressure water outside of the generator loop. The higher temperatures also improve efficiency while reducing the cooling need. They also scale well.

    Bob Wilson
  20. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Naw, your question reveals not bright enough to understand. You're not the only bunny in the field.

    Bob Wilson
  21. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

    Or you're just blowing smoke. lol. You literally can not admit that mainstream environmentalists are anti-nuclear.
  22. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber


    Along with China's rapid advancement of electricity market reform, market-oriented policies in promoting renewable energy development and accommodation are foreseeing. Assessing the economics of renewable energy under electricity marketization is an important issue worthy of study. In this paper, we firstly employ merit order method to establish an electricity market clearing model of the electricity trading by modeling 48 hypothetical scenarios. Then we simulate the market clearing prices at 15-min intervals to discuss the economics of renewable energy in a benchmark feed-in tariff (FIT) scenario and a market-oriented scenario with the historical data of Guangdong, China. Further, the study exams the economic interrelationship between the outputs of wind and solar power in different load scenarios. The results demonstrate that the consumption of renewable energy is greatly improved in the market-oriented situation. However, in this scenario, renewable energy generation is unprofitable and uneconomic compared with in the benchmark FIT scenario. In the high-load scenarios, the changes in wind power output have a negative impact on the economics of solar power, while the mixed effects exist in the low-load scenarios. Based on these findings, conclusions and policy implications are drawn at the end of the paper.
    . . .
    LCOE is a common metric for comparing power generating technologies, which measures the economic lifetime electric production and cost. This metric allows comparing the generation costs of conventional plants with variable renewable sources like wind and solar PV, despite their different cost structures (Ueckerdt et al., 2013). The method used to evaluate the economic analysis of renewable energy is to calculate the net economic value of unit electric energy provided by the generation resources through the difference between the average electricity price and LCOE, which is shown in Equation (7).
    . . .
    The paper found that under market condition, it effectively promote accommodation of wind and solar energy, and significantly mitigate the serious problem of wind and solar curtailment. . . .
    . . .

    A long and detailed article, well worth reading. It supports my belief that economics will dictate the future of renewable energy even in China.

    Bob Wilson

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