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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:57 PM

Nuclear power and the French energy transition: It’s the economics, stupid!

Nuclear power and the French energy transition: It’s the economics, stupid!
Mycle Schneider
Abstract
France is at an energy crossroads. To meet future electricity needs, the country could extend the operating lives of nuclear power plants beyond 40 years, accepting the safety challenges and costs of such a move, or it could change its energy mix, moving away from nuclear power and toward energy-efficiency measures and other energy sources. Until recently, the French government had refused even to examine the possibility of reducing the country's reliance on nuclear power. But a study by independent French experts suggests that staying the nuclear course would be more expensive and less environmentally beneficial than authorities make it out to be. The difficult financial situation of two state-controlled firms involved in nuclear energy, EDF and Areva SA, will seriously affect the government's operating margins. Those financial difficulties, the aging reactor fleet, and public opinion - which is largely in favor of a nuclear phase-out - will force the government to make fundamental choices in the near future about its energy strategy.

<snip>

The hidden price tag
...The Court of Accounts provided its own estimates of electricity-generating costs for existing nuclear plants. Instead of the levelized cost (i.e., the electricity price needed to break even with the investment cost over the life- time of the plant) of 33.4 euros per mega- watt-hour used by the government and EDF in their amortization calculations, it calculated an average cost of 49.50 euros per megawatt-hour, which could go up to 54.20 euros in the coming years to cover the expenses of projected safety-related improvements ordered since the Fukushima disaster. This esti- mate does not include public research and development expenditures, which, if accounted for, would bring the cost up to 69 euros per megawatt-hour (Dessus, 2012). Also, the court warned about the high uncertainty of long- term decommissioning and waste- management costs and the impossibility of adequately reflecting the risk of a major accident in these kinds of cost estimates.

Despite nuclear power's historical popularity with the government, its actual contribution to the country's wealth has been rather limited. According to an assessment by PricewaterhouseCoopers commissioned by Areva, the nuclear sector contributed 0.71 percent of GDP in 2009, thus gener- ating a total value of 33.5 billion euros (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2011)... (pg20)


doi: 10.1177/0096340212471010
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists January/February 2013 vol. 69 no. 1 18-26
http://bos.sagepub.com/content/69/1/18.full.pdf

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Reply Nuclear power and the French energy transition: It’s the economics, stupid! (Original post)
kristopher Jan 2013 OP
kristopher Jan 2013 #1
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #5
kristopher Jan 2013 #6
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #7
kristopher Jan 2013 #9
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #37
kristopher Feb 2013 #40
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #41
kristopher Feb 2013 #42
XemaSab Jan 2013 #2
xchrom Jan 2013 #3
CRH Jan 2013 #4
kristopher Feb 2013 #36
joshcryer Jan 2013 #8
kristopher Jan 2013 #10
joshcryer Feb 2013 #11
kristopher Feb 2013 #12
joshcryer Feb 2013 #13
kristopher Feb 2013 #14
joshcryer Feb 2013 #15
kristopher Feb 2013 #17
joshcryer Feb 2013 #22
kristopher Feb 2013 #25
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #16
kristopher Feb 2013 #18
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #19
kristopher Feb 2013 #20
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #21
kristopher Feb 2013 #23
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #27
kristopher Feb 2013 #28
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #30
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #24
kristopher Feb 2013 #26
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #29
kristopher Feb 2013 #31
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #32
NNadir Feb 2013 #33
kristopher Feb 2013 #34
FBaggins Feb 2013 #35
wtmusic Feb 2013 #38
kristopher Feb 2013 #39
wtmusic Feb 2013 #43
kristopher Feb 2013 #44
wtmusic Feb 2013 #45
kristopher Feb 2013 #46
wtmusic Feb 2013 #47
kristopher Feb 2013 #48

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:10 PM

1. Exit economics: The relatively low cost of Germany's nuclear phase-out

Exit economics: The relatively low cost of Germany's nuclear phase-out
Felix Chr. Matthes Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 2012 68: 42 DOI: 10.1177/0096340212464360

Abstract
The decision of the German government, post-Fukushima, to phase out the country's nuclear power sector by 2022 builds on legislation in place since 2002. This earlier legislation was amended in 2010 to extend the lifetime of the nuclear plants, but the German parliament reversed this extension in the summer of 2011, slightly accelerating the original phase-out schedule; therefore, the market and the nuclear operators were prepared for the shutdown schedule. In this context, it is not surprising that the observed price impacts from the shutdown of 40 percent of the German nuclear power capacity in 2011 are smaller than some modeling exercises had projected. When empirical observation is analyzed in light of a range of economic models, the price effect of the nuclear phase-out can be expected to peak at 5 euros per megawatt-hour or less for a few years around 2020, a reasonably small increase compared with the uncertainties created by other fundamental determinants of Europe's electricity prices. The macroeconomic effects attributable to the complete shut- down of nuclear power also appear likely to be relatively small, peaking at perhaps 0.3 percent of gross domestic product or less a few years before 2030. In the end, the management of the German transition to an energy mix dominated by renewable energies - and not the use of the existing nuclear reactor fleet for a decade more or less - be the key determinant of whether that shift has larger or smaller effects on elec- tricity prices or on the German economy overall.

http://bos.sagepub.com/content/68/6/42.full.pdf+html

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Response to kristopher (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:49 AM

5. And part of the economics is that German lignite is cheap

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government says RWE AG (RWE)’s new power plant that can supply 3.4 million homes aids her plan to exit nuclear energy and switch to cleaner forms of generation. It’s fired with coal.

The startup of the 2,200-megawatt station near Cologne last week shows how Europe’s largest economy is relying more on the most-polluting fuel. Coal consumption has risen 4.9 percent since Merkel announced a plan to start shutting the country’s atomic reactors after last year’s Fukushima disaster in Japan.
...
“Angela Merkel’s policy has created an incentive structure which has the effect of partially replacing nuclear with coal, the dirtiest fuel that’s responsible for much of the growth in the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions since 1990,” Dieter Helm, an energy policy professor at the University of Oxford, said by phone Aug. 17. Building new coal stations means “locking them in for the next 30 years” as a type of generation, Helm said.
...
It can “step in immediately when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining,” Terium said. Like most power plants in Germany, BoA burns lignite, a soft coal that’s sourced from domestic open-cast strip mines and emits about 29 percent more carbon dioxide than hard coal when burned. Environmental groups are concerned about the growing use of the fuel.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-19/merkel-s-green-shift-forces-germany-to-burn-more-coal-energy.html

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 09:24 AM

6. Implication vs reality

"Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government says RWE AG (RWE)’s new power plant that can supply 3.4 million homes aids her plan to exit nuclear energy and switch to cleaner forms of generation. It’s fired with coal.

The startup of the 2,200-megawatt station near Cologne last week shows how Europe’s largest economy is relying more on the most-polluting fuel. Coal consumption has risen 4.9 percent since Merkel announced a plan to start shutting the country’s atomic reactors after last year’s Fukushima disaster in Japan.


The implication of the Bloomberg business article is that decisions taken in response to Fukushima have resulted in the existence of the 2.2GW coal plant near Cologne, wouldn't you agree?

However, the required time for planning and construction of such a plant make that an impossible proposition. In fact, the government of Merkel has long been dedicated to both nuclear and coal - they are oriented around industry and give ground on environmental issues only as much as is required to maintain their coalition.

The planning for this plant was part of a preFukushima strategy to improve their emissions profile by shutting down older, dirtier coal plants while bringing new, more efficient coal plants online. From your article:
The so-called BoA coal plant near Cologne shows how new fossil fuel plants, which are more efficient than their older models, “not only help to reduce carbon emissions but can also make an outstanding contribution to the success of the energy industry’s transformation,” Environment Minister Peter Altmaier, who was present at the plant’s opening last week, said in a statement distributed by RWE.


The actual, undeniable ramping up of renewable electricity is, in fact, dwarfing any increase in fossil consumption. More importantly, that increase in renewable generation coupled with the reduction of nuclear sets the country firmly on the path to a new economic structure for their energy sector. Again, from Bloomberg:
RWE says coal plants are key to ensuring supply security as Germany raises the market share of renewable generation to at least 35 percent by the end of the decade, and to 80 percent by 2050. BoA, which has an efficiency of 43 percent, can raise or lower output by 500 megawatts per unit within 15 minutes, Peter Terium, RWE’s CEO, told reporters in a call on Aug. 14.


This economic structure produces a spiral effect where the costs of electricity from large centralized plants steadily rises while the costs associated with wind and solar continue to decline. Note from the quote how their new coal plant is designed to rapidly reduce output:
It can “step in immediately when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining,”


While the ramping described probably does not mean any significant reduction in that plants coal consumption, it does mean that they will be selling a steadily decreasing amount of electricity; a fact that translates into a requirement for increased per unit costs to meet expenses.

That increased cost, of course, opens the market for renewables ever wider.

The actual issue with coal in Germany is actually not a bit different than it is here - coal mine owners and coal mine workers are a potent political force. Buying into the constant attempts to scapegoat renewables as the reason behind the forces pushing fossil fuels just plays into their hands.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:31 AM

7. German carbon emissions from electricity generation went up in 2011

Official figures from the Federal Environment Agency were released yesterday, showing total greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of 917 million tonnes for 2011, down by 20 million tonnes (2.2%) on the year before and about equal to 2009's low when manufacturing was hit by the financial crisis.

However, emissions from the electricity sector increased by 2-6% during 2011, the agency said, while Germany's energy situation was supported by a mild winter that reduced demand for heating by around 9% with significant drops in demand for gas and heating oil for this purpose.

The loss of eight reactors in mid-March had the impact of reducing nuclear generation from 133.0 TWh in 2010 to 102.3 TWh last year. This drop off of 30.7 TWh was offset to a certain extent by an annual increase in renewable production of 17.6 TWh. The vast majority of this came from wind and solar, according to figures from the Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/EE_Germany_escapes_emissions_rise_1304121.html


Because there isn't enough renewable capacity to make up for the loss of the nuclear. You're posting how marvellous it is that phasing out nuclear in Germany isn't costing that much; that's because cheap lignite is taking up a significant amount of the generation, and that is producing more CO2 than the nuclear generation did. This being the Environment and Energy group, greenhouse gas emissions should be of primary interest, not how much it costs.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:17 PM

9. "greenhouse gas emissions should be of primary interest"

Dealing with greenhouse emissions is a large, complex problem that requires the ability to see beyond the tip of one's nose. If you think near term statistics such as you've trotted out are indicative of whether or not we are achieving the most favorable trajectory towards the end goal, then I don't know what to tell you.
As for sneering at the import of economics on the GHG reduction goal, well, that is simply too naive to provoke anything more than a disbelieving head-shake.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:00 PM

37. Uh, no, the German electricity sector is becoming ever more dependent on coal

http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/germany_returns_to_coal
Utilities in Germany, the largest power market and economy in Europe, have increased their use of coal-fired power plants continuously since the beginning of the year, Reuters reports. Analysts now project annual coal-fired power generation in 2012 will increase to 130 million megawatt-hours (MWhs), an increase of 15.5 million MWhs or 13.5 percent over 2011 levels.

All that additional coal combustion means about 14 million metric tons of CO2, assuming utilities burn hard coal, according to estimates from Matteo Mazzoni, an energy and carbon analyst at Nomisma Energia. Emissions would be higher if German power plants turn to lignite, or brown coal, a dirtier variety with lower energy content that is plentiful in the country.

Even assuming utilities burn hard coal, the increased emissions would be the equivalent to about 6 percent of total German emissions in 2008, or the average annual emissions of 2.8 million U.S. cars.


It is not the associated fossil fuel costs which are increasing - it is the associated renewable subsidy and distribution costs which are increasing. After the elections this year they will settle down and figure out a plan, but the costs of paying the renewable subsidies are mounting very rapidly:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-environment-ministry-plans-to-cap-subsidies-for-renewables-a-880301.html

and:
http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?p=12278

Without amendments to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the costs for the German Energiewende could add up to a trillion Euros “by the end of the thirties of this century”, Federal Environment Peter Altmaier told the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

Feed-in tariffs in the amount of EUR 67 billion which had already been paid pursuant to the EEG, and another EUR 250 billion which will have to be paid until 2022 (as feed-in tariffs are granted for a 20 year period), equalled EUR 317 billion, Mr Altmaier explained. Another EUR 360 billion had to be added if the expansion of new renewable power plants continued unabated and nothing would be done to cut tariffs. This would lead to costs of EUR 680 billion by 2022, not including the costs for grid expansion, reserve capacity, R&D, electromobility and the energy-efficient renovation of buildings, he said.


more:
http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?p=12112


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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #37)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:38 PM

40. Your characterization of that information is untrue.

I've already dealt with it in post 6.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:15 PM

41. My "characterization" comes directly from the sources

Utilities in Germany, the largest power market and economy in Europe, have increased their use of coal-fired power plants continuously since the beginning of the year, Reuters reports. Analysts now project annual coal-fired power generation in 2012 will increase to 130 million megawatt-hours (MWhs), an increase of 15.5 million MWhs or 13.5 percent over 2011 levels.


German environmental groups are complaining and there are some lawsuits over some of these plants. Germany is having an argument over this, but the government has already accepted that they cannot change the situation unless they are prepared to subsidize the construction and operation of gas plants, which they are considering.

It doesn't have to work out this way in France. It is working out this way in Germany.

Here is an article with links to the German sources, conveniently summarized in English. You can say that what's happening isn't happening, but don't expect anyone to believe you who is interested and following the situation:
http://www.marklynas.org/2013/01/germanys-energiewende-the-story-so-far/

This is absolutely not the German PLAN, it's just how everything is working out. Wind generation actually fell in 2012. Maybe if they had hooked up the offshore wind farms. But now companies are planning on abandoning that, it seems.
http://www.marklynas.org/2013/01/germanys-energiewende-the-story-so-far/

The same thing is happening in the UK. There are multiple factors in each case, but the bottom line is that you have to have base power, the new-gen renewables aren't ever going to provide that, and in any case, someday when more storage is worked out they still have to make massive upgrades to the grid. In Germany that has been effectively stopped.

Instead of denying what is happening, Kristopher, perhaps we might discuss the roadblocks to a more effective transition? The Germans do not want this and it was not their intent. It is just the way it is working out. And the problem with the North Sea wind is becoming truly acute - companies are beginning to pull out:
http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?p=12232
Now maybe the situation is improving due to the Jan 1 offshore liability/cost transfer law:
http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?p=11949

But recent talk about taxing renewable subsidies isn't going to help, and every time one of these deals is made to transfer the costs to the consumer, the future becomes yet more uncertain. In the meantime, industrial companies in Germany are beginning to manufacture their own electricity, which makes the entire funding situation that much more problematic. One of the latest proposals is to impose the EEG surcharge on energy that is produced and consumed by the owner.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #41)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:59 PM

42. "the German electricity sector is becoming ever more dependent on coal"

That is not what those articles say. Again, I've dealt with your claims in post 6. As to the problems they are having it is perfectly obvious - they have an essentially conservative government being forced by a determined populace to herd a recalcitrant corporate energy culture away from BAU and onto a path that will strip them of most of their present economic and political clout.

Think of the tactics of the Republicans here and translate that into the economic realm over there.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:36 AM

2. Sup Kris

Last edited Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:01 AM - Edit history (1)

We wondered where you'd been. We thought about calling your house to see if you were dead.

Even though we're not BFFs or anything, when you vanish, we worry.

Also, this place has had a lot of trolls lately. We need help.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:20 AM

3. du rec. nt

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:36 AM

4. Welcome back, n/t

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Response to CRH (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:09 PM

36. Thank you. nt

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:48 AM

8. Coal is economical.

That's what we'll be telling our grandchildren when they ask us what we did to our planet.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:40 PM

10. Unfortunately it is.

Now what is your prescription for getting rid of it?

In 2011 renewable accounted for 20% of electricity consumption in Germany, and in 2012 renewables provided for 26% of consumption. With a further increase of 14% over the next 8 years left to overcome, they are easily on track to achieve their goal of 40% by 2020.

The increase in variable resource production resulted in precisely what we'd expect - a reduction in use of quick cycling generation that was being run for baseload, which was down 14% in 2012.

As the amount of variable generation increases, so too will the economic impact on existing fossil fuel plants, and, consequently, their attractiveness for use.

If you have a better plan I have not heard you express it. Carping isn't action.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:59 AM

11. A tax.

Simply "calling for" more renewables will not externalize the cost of coal.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:56 AM

12. "Externalize the cost of coal"??

You might want to re-examine your phrasing. It would make sense if you meant "internalize the full costs of coal" for that is what a tax would accomplish; it would account for the environmental damage from the coal.

As to the strategy - yes, sure, a carbon tax is a desirable policy that would help accelerate the process I've outlined above. However it faces the reality of getting past the political and economic strength of the fossil fuel interest groups.

What is happening now (with pressure to lower renewable costs by expanding manufacturing infrastructure) drives the same process that a carbon tax would.

Do you have a suggestion that can actually be implemented?

Here is what is happening with the tools we now have: the U.S. wind energy industry installed 13.124 GW of capacity in 2012 with more than 8.3 GW of that installed in the last 3 months of the year. We jumped from 50GW of total capacity in August of '12 to more than 60GW a mere 5 months later.

If you can figure out a way to get a carbon tax passed I'd bet you could land a job at the White House.



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Response to kristopher (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:00 AM

13. I should have said "address the external costs of coal."

I do not believe that what is happening now is driving the came process that a carbon tax would. I think that what is happening now with the failure of Rio+20, the desire to build coal export ports, and China and India's desire to build many more coal plants, as well as further unconventional oil exploration by the United States; I think all of those things indicate we aren't doing anything of substance. Yes the markets will still drive renewables as a niche, but until they become watt for watt cheaper (not capacity, delievered energy), and available on a wide basis that allows intellectual property sharing, coal will remain king.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:33 AM

14. Think about your "belief"

The process is the one I described where the economic structure comes to favor the operational characteristics of distributed renewables rather than centralized thermal.

That transition is accomplished in large part by removing the price differential. Whether that is accomplished by lowering the high price or raising the low price the process that ensues is essentially the same - with one important exception. If we accomplish it with an expanded renewable manufacturing base we get the added advantage of creating an economic paradigm that eliminates the dependence on emerging economies enacting a carbon tax. They will pursue the least cost option - which will be renewables.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:27 PM

15. You've been saying that for years.

Since neither of us can predict the future all we can do is making convincing arguments why we think things will pan out the way they have. My predictions, being more cynical, appear to be the route that the current governments of the world are taking. Only two, Mexico and the UK, have made commitments to emission reductions. Two. Out of 193 member states of the UN.

You question my beliefs despite that they're based on factual observations, while leaving me with "ifs" and "possibilities." An argumentative approach that is not too convincing to me at all. The nukers talk about "possibilities," as well. The thorium guys are all about that. I take their arguments with as much a grain of salt as I do yours. I support you both equally well (much to your disdain since I shouldn't support magical nuclear technology despite that a massive buildout of renewables is just as unlikely). It's just not how I see things panning out.

Answer me this, the US stands to make billions off of coal exports to China. Now the US may well reduce its emissions and it very likely will, actually, but the coal will still be produced. Is there a substantiative difference between the US burning that coal and China? I argue that there simply isn't.

A carbon tax is the only way that I can see that is remotely capable of actually forcing a sustainable economy because it assures that those exports come at the externalized cost that they bring. If you can convince me that in your future that the US won't be producing that coal, then you will have made a damn good argument. I simply don't see it, to be perfectly honest.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:13 PM

17. Why would people burn coal when it will cost less to use renewables?

It isn't complicated. Your objections have the same general construction as when climate deniers look at snowstorms as proof that AGW is a hoax.


Ikea to Double Renewable Energy Investment to $4 Billion by 2020
By Peter Levring, Bloomberg
January 23, 2013

COPENHAGEN -- Ikea Group, the world's biggest furniture retailer, will double its investment in renewable energy to $4 billion by 2020 as part of a drive to reduce costs as cash-strapped consumers become more price sensitive.

The additional spending on projects such as wind farms and solar parks will be needed to keep expenses down as the company maintains its pace of expansion, Chief Executive Officer and President Mikael Ohlsson said in an interview in Malmo, Sweden.

“I foresee we’ll continue to increase our investments in renewable energy,” said Ohlsson, who is due to step down this year after 3 1/2 years at the helm. “Looking at how quickly we’re expanding and our value chain, we will most likely have to double the investments once more after 2015.”

...
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/01/ikea-to-double-renewable-energy-investment-to-4-billion-by-2015?cmpid=SolarNL-Thursday-January24-2013

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Response to kristopher (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:48 PM

22. Well, sure, they wouldn't, if it did.

Does it? You have faith that it won't be economical in some future timeframe you have no evidence will or will not come to fruition. When every bit of evidence suggests that simply is not how things are playing out.

You cite Ikea Group. Probably the best in the world as far as it comes to actually wanting to achieve sustainability. Yet China supplies 22% of their stuff. Sure, they have IWAY and SEEP, but neither of those programs is truly audit-able in uber-capitalist China. Indeed, say "well we're buying renewable wind" and check a box somewhere and it's impossible to prove if the suppliers are providing things the "IKEA Way."

Give me some hard predictions. Show me some big results. Not one corporation doing OK.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:28 PM

25. Price trends are unequivocal.

There is simply no support for your position in either economic theory or the evidence. Let me repeat, your the structure of your argument is extremely similar to the climate deniers using a snowstorm or any other out of context snippet of a warming graph to deny AGW.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #10)


Response to GliderGuider (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:24 PM

18. "all the energy that is economical to use"

Since it is a scenario on the near horizon, what happens when sustainable energy resources are also the most economical?

Also, you appear to be placing too much emphasis on the "determinism" aspect of Harris' term. It is to be looked at in the light of a complex system with multiple feedbacks and influences.

Odum:
"The maximum power principle can be stated: During self-organization, system designs develop and prevail that maximize power intake, energy transformation, and those uses that reinforce production and efficiency."

There is a temporal aspect to Odum that you might want to consider. The fact that storage is an integrated element implies that gluttonous consumption has limits that the system recognizes and plans for.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #18)


Response to GliderGuider (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:27 PM

20. re: Harris

He states that the "strategic advantage of infrastructural determinism as opposed to structuralism and sociobiology is that recurrent limiting factors are variables that can be shown to exert their influence in measurably variable ways" this making it useful to explain both similarities as well as differences across cultures. When he refers to "the beginning of a causal chain" in the search for explanations of cultural phenomena he is further refining his use of the word "primacy".

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:22 PM

23. Your second clause is specifically rejected by Harris

In other writings he addresses criticisms of ID from those in other disciplines who attack CM with the precise point you are inserting. I don't recall exactly where that is but it is in CM somewhere.

In the meantime try rereading the section titled The Major Principles of Cultural Materialism (pg 55-56 my copy).

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:47 PM

28. I didn't think you were being critical

That was the context of Harris addressing the idea of placing too much emphasis on the idea of determinism.

I think I'll look over Odum's writings again. I might be guilty of not focusing sufficiently on the details.


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Response to kristopher (Reply #28)


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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:38 PM

26. "Increase efficiency when energy sources are limiting"

It is an implicit biological recognition of the necessity to regulate our energy use over time for survival.

The best definition of 'life' i've encountered is "matter organizing against entropy". Using that as a starting point and in light of above discussion, what do you think the ramifications might be?

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Response to kristopher (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 06:26 PM

31. That's odd, GG.

Care to explain?

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Response to kristopher (Reply #31)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 06:59 PM

32. I realized I wasn't ready to start discussing this yet, for a variety of reasons.

So I pulled my side of the conversation.

If that's the oddness you're referring to.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:03 PM

33. Well, we have to concede that anti-nuke ignorance, fear, and superstition HAVE

won the day.

Although commercial electricity in France, according to the EU, is the lowest in Europe, about half that of the gas and coal hellhole in Germany, the liars in the fig-leaf-for-the-gas-and-coal so called "renewable energy industry" keep insisting that the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free energy is "too expensive."

Why?

Because fig-leaf-for-the-gas-and-coal so called "renewable energy industry" membership requires that none of its members be able to do math.

Last year, 2012, was the second worst year ever recorded in human history for increases in the dangerous fossil fuel waste concentrations in the atmosphere, second only to 1998, when the shit-for-brains anti-nuke Joe Romm was running the climate office.

We are now into our 60th year of hearing from the shit-for-brains anti-nukes about how so called renewables will save us.

The failed effort, which has sucked hundreds of billions of dollars, euros, yen, yuan, etc out of government programs that might have provided for the educations of future engineers, decent sanitation for the 3 billion people who don't have it, real environmental protection and productive nuclear energy, can't even power the servers dedicated to telling us how wonderful solar energy, for example is.

After 60 years of hearing about how great solar energy is, the EIA figures show that the entire solar industry on the entire planet, despite having released some of the most potent climate forcing gases known, can't even produce a third of an exajoule of energy on a planet - again with 3 billion people living in squalor - that consumes 510 exajoules a year.

And of course, to repeat, 2012 was the second worst year for climate change gas increases ever recorded, not only for carbon dioxide, but also for the real fuel being pushed by the "renewables will save us" liars, methane, dangerous natural gas.

But let's face it: The anti-nukes are winning. One should never underestimate the power of ignorance.

Heckuva job anti-nuke:

You must be very...



...very...



...very...



...very...



proud.

Congratulations on your Pyrrhic - literally - victory.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:46 AM

34. "anti-nuke ignorance, fear, and superstition HAVE"...

"anti-nuke ignorance, fear, and superstition HAVE" nothing to do with the numerous problems that plague the nuclear industry. The recent massive cost overruns and years of delays in completing the Flamanville and Finish reactors occurred in the most favorable atmosphere possible for the nuclear industry.

The human failures that led to Chernobyl and Fukushima are ineradicable because they represent fundamental human nature itself and the role it plays in complex system failures. (Damages from Fukushima btw, cost more than the entire profits of the entire nuclear industry in Japan has produced in its existence.)

A bad idea is simply a bad idea - and nuclear power is a bad idea.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #34)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:25 PM

35. You can't admit that anti-nuke ignorance/fear/superstition EXIST

How would you be in a position to form an opinion on what the consequences of them are?

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:31 PM

38. Even after Fukushima, twice as many French support nuclear power as are against

Forty-percent of the French "are 'hesitant' about nuclear energy while a third are in favor and 17 percent are against

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_France

Facts suck (j/k, facts are wonderful).

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #38)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:37 PM

39. How many want to transition away from nuclear?

The survey was fielded in 12 of the 31 countries that currently operate nuclear power plants. In these countries, opinion is split as to how extensively nuclear power should be used. Just over one in five respondents (22%) agrees that “nuclear power is relatively safe and an important source of electricity, and we should build more nuclear power plants.

”Eight of these countries were also polled in 2005 by GlobeScan about their views, and the results suggest that there has been a sharp increase in opposition to nuclear power in five of them. The proportion opposing the building of new nuclear power stations has grown to near-unanimity in Germany (from 73% to 90%), but also increased significantly in Mexico (51% to 82%), Japan (76% to 84%), France (66% to 83%), and Russia (from 61% to 80%).1

In contrast, while still a minority view, support for building new nuclear plants has grown in the UK (from 33% to 37%), is stable in the USA (40% to 39%), and is also high in China (42%) and Pakistan (39%). These countries thus emerge as the most pro-nuclear of the countries surveyed with current nuclear plants, by some distance. Among the countries polled that do not have active nuclear plants, support for building them is highest in Nigeria (41%), Ghana (33%), and Egypt (31%).

The poll also indicates that the belief that conservation and renewable energy can fill the gap left, if there is a move away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy, is now the consensus view. Respondents were asked to say whether they thought that their country “could almost entirely replace coal and nuclear energy within 20 years by becoming highly energy-efficient and focusing on generating energy from the sun and wind,” and more than seven in ten (71%) agree that it could.
The results are drawn from a survey of 23,231 adult citizens across 23 countries. It was conducted for BBC World Service by the international polling firm GlobeScan.


http://www.globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2011/94-press-releases-2011/127-opposition-to-nuclear-energy-grows-global-poll.html

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:35 PM

43. I always thought the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was written by scientists

but it's not. The editor isn't even a scientist. Rather obvious from this article.

I wonder if they dress up in lab coats, for fun.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #43)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:37 PM

44. You ARE the person who was promoting the fictional...

...website about the relative safety of the various generation technologies, aren't you?

I distinctly remember you continuing to promote those garbage stats as your view of valid "science" long after you were shown with great specificity the way the author had created a table of totally false statistics. You continued for years, in fact.

And now you are trying to impugn the validity of the BAS and Schneider's credibility?

You are beyond being a joke.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #44)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:37 AM

45. You have distinct memories of that, do you?

I haven't the slightest idea what you're referring to, but you've always been full of remembrances of imaginary vindications to which time has mysteriously shorn of any reference.

What validity should I expect out of the Bulletin of the Non-Atomic Non-Scientists? I do give you credit for ferreting out groups with fancy sounding names which are wholly unrepresentative of their membership (it's a miracle they haven't been sued out of existence). What was the last thing they did that anyone outside your little incestuous circle paid attention to?

Wonder why Obama hasn't consulted them regarding his new, pro-nuke choice for Energy Secretary...must be an oversight.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #45)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:39 AM

46. That's a very convenient memory lapse

You were touting the propaganda of the nextbigfuture blog as if it were a milestone article in Science.

Here is my critique (that you pretended didn't exist) as a reminder of what You consider good science:
Solar: the stats are simply fabrications; numbers made up out of whole cloth by the author of the blog.

Wind: Cumulative deaths per TWh for wind isn't 0.15/TWh. Using the same source cited by the NBF blogger it is clearly 0.07/TWh and has been for several years. The author at nextbigfuture had to go back to the year 2000 to get the 0.15 number. That is simply lying.

Readers can download the spreadsheet themselves: http://wind-works.org/articles/DeathsDatabase.xls
The per TWh tab is labeled "deaths by year". It is also worth reading the "deathsdatabase" tab to see that the nature of the deaths includes everything that could possibly be related.

Similar gimmicks are used to under-report the deaths related to nuclear power. Again using the author's source, the Externe-E analysis. It's available at this link where it is the third graphic of the 4; just click any of them for a close up:
(link removed to deny advertising)

Note that the 0.04 quoted for nuclear is strictly "occupational fatalities" even though the more comprehensive number of "public fatalities", right next to it, is 0.65. The author uses a "piublic fatalities" number for wind - that is what Gipe tracks. He also goes to extra effort to use it for coal (see below). So what possible logic can justify choosing the far lower "occupational fatalities" only for nuclear except the deliberate intent to present fraudulent data?

Also, if you go to the Externe analysis and read it you'll find that Chernobyl is excluded from the total. To make up for that the author takes the most conservative estimate available - 50 deaths - and notes it as an aside. See study below for most recent independent study on Deaths to date from Chernobyl.

The source nextbigfuture post also makes available an estimate (from Externe E and others) for the coal fuel chain - the range is 0.04-0.23. In order to push that up the author goes to the trouble of finding and incorporating the deaths from particulate pollution associated with coal. It is a commendable effort but it begs the question of why such diligence wasn't applied across the board.

In short, this blog entry , and its continued use by nuclear industry proponents that know it is a deliberately crafted lie, is one of the reasons I turned against nuclear power in recent years. If you can't trust them on matters so easy to check, how in the hell can you trust them to promote the public welfare when they are shielded by the secrecy shrouding the technology itself?


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Response to kristopher (Reply #46)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:59 AM

47. And a scathing critique it is.

Carry on, kris.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #47)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:18 PM

48. You have to admit your standards of what constitute "science" are very subjective

The offering I just described is, according to you, an acceptable source of "science" while the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists fails to qualify.

I just think that it takes a staggering amount of hubris to behave that way.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
From Wikipedia

The cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has featured the famous Doomsday Clock since it debuted in 1947, when it was set at seven minutes to midnight.

Website www.thebulletin.org
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a nontechnical online magazine that covers global security and public policy issues, especially related to the dangers posed by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. It has been published continuously since 1945, when it was founded by former Manhattan Project physicists after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of Chicago. The Bulletin's primary aim is to inform the public about nuclear policy debates while advocating for the international control of nuclear weapons. It is currently published by SAGE Publications.

One of the driving forces behind the creation of the Bulletin was the amount of public interest surrounding atomic energy at the dawn of the atomic age. In 1945 the public interest in atomic warfare and weaponry inspired contributors to the Bulletin to attempt to inform those interested about the dangers and destruction that atomic war could bring about. To convey the particular peril posed by nuclear weapons, the Bulletin devised the Doomsday Clock in 1947. The original setting was seven minutes to midnight. The minute hand of the Clock first moved closer to midnight in response to changing world events in 1949, following the first Soviet nuclear test. The Clock is now recognized as a universal symbol of the nuclear age. In the 1950s, the Bulletin was involved in the formation of Pugwash, an annual conference of scientists concerned about nuclear proliferation, and, more broadly, the role of science in modern society.

The original founder and editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was biophysicist Eugene Rabinowitch (1901–1973). He founded the magazine alongside physicist Hyman Goldsmith. Rabinowitch was a professor of botany and biophysics at the University of Illinois and was also a founding member of the Continuing Committee for the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. In addition to Rabinowitch and Goldsmith, contributors have included: Morton Grodzins, Hans Bethe, Anatoli Blagonravov, Max Born, Harrison Brown, Stuart Chase, Brock Chisholm, E.U. Condon, Albert Einstein, E.K. Fedorov, Bernard T. Feld, James Franck, Ralph E. Lapp, Richard S. Leghorn, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Lord Boyd Orr, Michael Polanyi, Louis Ridenour, Bertrand Russell, Nikolay Semyonov, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller, A.V. Topchiev, Harold C. Urey, Paul Weiss, James L. Tuck, among many others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulletin_of_the_Atomic_Scientists


http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bulletin-of-the-Atomic-Scientists/105988006100020

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