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Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU
kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 04:52 PM
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19. Here is the relevant section; have at it...
4b. Carbon emissions due to opportunity cost from planning-to-operation delays

The investment in an energy technology with a long time between planning and operation increases carbon dioxide and air pollutant emissions relative to a technology with a short time between planning and operation. This occurs because the delay permits the longer operation of higher-carbon emitting existing power generation, such as natural gas peaker plants or coal-fired power plants, until their replacement occurs. In other words, the delay results in an opportunity cost in terms of climate- and air-pollution-relevant emissions. In the future, the power mix will likely become cleaner; thus, the opportunity-cost emissions will probably decrease over the long term. Ideally, we would model such changes over time. However, given that fossil-power construction continues to increase worldwide simultaneously with expansion of cleaner energy sources and the uncertainty of the rate of change, we estimate such emissions based on the current power mix.

The time between planning and operation of a technology includes the time to site, finance, permit, insure, construct, license, and connect the technology to the utility grid.

The time between planning and operation of a nuclear power plant includes the time to obtain a site and construction permit, the time between construction permit approval and issue, and the construction time of the plant. In March, 2007, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the first request for a site permit in 30 yr. This process took 3.5 yr. The time to review and approve a construction permit is another 2 yr and the time between the construction permit approval and issue is about 0.5 yr. Thus, the minimum time for preconstruction approvals (and financing) is 6 yr. We estimate the maximum time as 10 yr. The time to construct a nuclear reactor depends significantly on regulatory requirements and costs. Because of inflation in the 1970s and more stringent safety regulation on nuclear power plants placed shortly before and after the Three-Mile Island accident in 1979, US nuclear plant construction times increased from around 7 yr in 1971 to 12 yr in 1980.63 The median construction time for reactors in the US built since 1970 is 9 yr.64 US regulations have been streamlined somewhat, and nuclear power plant developers suggest that construction costs are now lower and construction times shorter than they have been historically. However, projected costs for new nuclear reactors have historically been underestimated64 and construction costs of all new energy facilities have recently risen. Nevertheless, based on the most optimistic future projections of nuclear power construction times of 45 yr65 and those times based on historic data,64 we assume future construction times due to nuclear power plants as 49 yr. Thus, the overall time between planning and operation of a nuclear power plant ranges from 1019 yr.

The time between planning and operation of a wind farm includes a development and construction period. The development period, which includes the time required to identify a site, purchase or lease the land, monitor winds, install transmission, negotiate a power-purchase agreement, and obtain permits, can take from 0.55 yr, with more typical times from 13 yr. The construction period for a small to medium wind farm (15 MW or less) is 1 year and for a large farm is 12 yr.66 Thus, the overall time between planning and operation of a large wind farm is 25 yr.

For geothermal power, the development time can, in extreme cases, take over a decade but with an average time of 2 yr.27 We use a range of 13 yr. Construction times for a cluster of geothermal plants of 250 MW or more are at least 2 yr.67 We use a range of 23 yr. Thus, the total planning-to-operation time for a large geothermal power plant is 36 yr.

For CSP, the construction time is similar to that of a wind farm. For example, Nevada Solar One required about 1.5 yr for construction. Similarly, an ethanol refinery requires about 1.5 yr to construct. We assume a range in both cases of 12 yr. We also assume the development time is the same as that for a wind farm, 13 yr. Thus, the overall planning-to-operation time for a CSP plant or ethanol refinery is 25 yr. We assume the same time range for tidal, wave, and solar-PV power plants.

The time to plan and construct a coal-fired power plant without CCS equipment is generally 58 yr. CCS technology would be added during this period. The development time is another 13 yr. Thus, the total planning-to-operation time for a standard coal plant with CCS is estimated to be 611 yr. If the coal-CCS plant is an IGCC plant, the time may be longer since none has been built to date.

Dams with hydroelectric power plants have varying construction times. Aswan Dam required 13 yr (18891902). Hoover Dam required 4 yr (1931 to 1935). Shasta Dam required 7 yr (19381945). Glen Canyon Dam required 10 yr (1956 to 1966). Gardiner Dam required 8 yr (19591967). Construction on Three Gorges Dam in China began on December 14, 1994 and is expected to be fully operation only in 2011, after 15 yr. Plans for the dam were submitted in the 1980s. Here, we assume a normal range of construction periods of 612 yr and a development period of 24 yr for a total planning-to-operation period of 816 yr.

We assume that after the first lifetime of any plant, the plant is refurbished or retrofitted, requiring a downtime of 24 yr for nuclear, 23 yr for coal-CCS, and 12 yr for all other technologies. We then calculate the CO2e emissions per kWh due to the total downtime for each technology over 100 yr of operation assuming emissions during downtime will be the average current emission of the power sector. Finally, we subtract such emissions for each technology from that of the technology with the least emissions to obtain the opportunity-cost CO2e emissions for the technology. The opportunity-cost emissions of the least-emitting technology is, by definition, zero. Solar-PV, CSP, and wind all had the lowest CO2e emissions due to planning-to-operation time, so any could be used to determine the opportunity cost of the other technologies.

We perform this analysis for only the electricity-generating technologies. For corn and cellulosic ethanol the CO2e emissions are already equal to or greater than those of gasoline, so the downtime of an ethanol refinery is unlikely to increase CO2e emissions relative to current transportation emissions.

Results of this analysis are summarized in Table 3. For solar-PV, CSP, and wind, the opportunity cost was zero since these all had the lowest CO2e emissions due to delays. Wave and tidal had an opportunity cost only because the lifetimes of these technologies are shorter than those of the other technologies due to the harsh conditions of being on the surface or under ocean water, so replacing wave and tidal devices will occur more frequently than replacing the other devices, increasing down time of the former. Although hydroelectric power plants have very long lifetimes, the time between their planning and initial operation is substantial, causing high opportunity cost CO2e emissions for them. The same problem arises with nuclear and coal-CCS plants. For nuclear, the opportunity CO2e is much larger than the lifecycle CO2e. Coal-CCS's opportunity-cost CO2e is much smaller than its lifecycle CO2e. In sum, the technologies that have moderate to long lifetimes and that can be planned and installed quickly are those with the lowest opportunity cost CO2e emissions.
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  -Nuclear and ethanol least effective climate change solutions kristopher  Dec-07-08 01:57 PM   #0 
  - how does nuclear power add to global warming?  QuestionAll   Dec-07-08 02:02 PM   #1 
  - Magic  Pigwidgeon   Dec-07-08 02:08 PM   #2 
  - The study looks not only at direct CO2e contributions, but  kristopher   Dec-07-08 02:19 PM   #3 
  - Nuclear is so expensive, that the relative benefit is much smaller per buck  greenman3610   Dec-07-08 02:22 PM   #5 
  - That's true, but  kristopher   Dec-07-08 02:26 PM   #6 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Dec-07-08 04:21 PM   #14 
     - Well, Stanford and MIT agree with me  greenman3610   Dec-07-08 07:25 PM   #29 
        - Actually he scores pretty low on IQ tests.  kristopher   Dec-07-08 07:36 PM   #30 
  - According to the paper...  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 02:57 PM   #8 
  - I have it on file in pdf via email.  kristopher   Dec-07-08 03:48 PM   #9 
     - I'm noting the exact opposite, actually.  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 03:57 PM   #10 
        - It's in the summary provided in the OP.  kristopher   Dec-07-08 04:02 PM   #11 
        - Thought so. nt  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 04:09 PM   #12 
           - Don't fib...  kristopher   Dec-07-08 04:25 PM   #16 
              - Well, as I said...  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 04:36 PM   # 
                 - What is there to respond to?  kristopher   Dec-07-08 04:44 PM   #18 
                 - Here is the relevant section; have at it...  kristopher   Dec-07-08 04:52 PM   #19 
                    - Which translates into figures thusly:  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 05:07 PM   #21 
                       - Here is the "supporting text"  kristopher   Dec-07-08 05:15 PM   #24 
                       - not artificially deflating would be a start.  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 07:10 PM   #27 
                          - So far you've provided exactly 0 valid criticisms.  kristopher   Dec-07-08 07:22 PM   #28 
                             - Sigh  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 07:43 PM   #31 
                             - Attacking the messenger isn't a valid criticism.  kristopher   Dec-07-08 07:55 PM   #32 
                                - Oh dear...  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 08:27 PM   #33 
                                   - That wasn't your assertion  kristopher   Dec-07-08 09:09 PM   #35 
                                      - You still seem be to be confused  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 09:59 PM   #41 
                                         - Back up a few more posts.  kristopher   Dec-07-08 10:14 PM   #44 
                                         - Are we talking about the same thread?  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 10:26 PM   #46 
                             - I'm more in agreement with the parrot.  Citizen Number 9   Dec-09-08 01:27 AM   #60 
                                - I don't see the basis for your claim  kristopher   Dec-09-08 01:54 AM   #61 
                                - Google the guy, he works with windmill venture capitalists.  joshcryer   Dec-11-08 04:24 PM   #88 
                       - " The opportunity-cost emissions of the least-emitting technology is, by definition, zero."  bananas   Dec-07-08 05:18 PM   #26 
                          - then why are the opportunity costs for 3 different technologies rated at zero?  QuestionAll   Dec-08-08 11:25 PM   #56 
                             - I wish he would explain the "adjusted for < 1.0" comment.  joshcryer   Dec-09-08 12:56 AM   #58 
                             - I take it that it is me you are misquoting?  kristopher   Dec-09-08 01:23 AM   #59 
                                - Sorry if you felt I misquoted you.  joshcryer   Dec-09-08 06:30 AM   #64 
                                   - So you reject the idea of opportunity cost?  kristopher   Dec-09-08 08:01 AM   #67 
                                   - No, I think it is unfair to cite three technologies as having equal (0) opportunity cost.  joshcryer   Dec-10-08 01:47 AM   #76 
                                      - Yeah, science is often called unfair by people with an agenda,  kristopher   Dec-10-08 07:00 AM   #79 
                                         - What is my agenda?  joshcryer   Dec-11-08 04:20 PM   #84 
                                   - The methodology for opportunity cost from delays is described in section 4b  bananas   Dec-09-08 06:22 PM   #74 
                                      - He makes assumptions about his CSP/Solar-PV/windfarm baseline.  joshcryer   Dec-10-08 02:00 AM   #78 
                                         - tell you what...  kristopher   Dec-10-08 07:22 AM   #80 
                                            - He doesn't have sources for 3 of the technologies listed.  joshcryer   Dec-11-08 04:18 PM   #83 
                                            - I don't need to insult you.  kristopher   Dec-11-08 04:20 PM   #85 
                                            - No, I think I'm being quite civilized compared to you guys.  joshcryer   Dec-11-08 04:23 PM   #87 
                             - Well, that's easy.  Dead_Parrot   Dec-09-08 03:53 AM   #62 
        - .  XemaSab   Dec-09-08 12:02 AM   #57 
           - But what if he wuz teh kitteh instead?  Gentle Giant   Dec-10-08 08:11 AM   #82 
  - Imagination. When you can't do real science, you make stuff up.  NNadir   Dec-07-08 04:18 PM   #13 
  - Jacobson has a lot of papers published in peer reviewed journals.  kristopher   Dec-07-08 04:24 PM   #15 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Dec-07-08 04:36 PM   #17 
     - NNadir is fluff - he's just a pretender.  bananas   Dec-07-08 05:09 PM   #22 
  - NNadir is an expert at making stuff up - he does it all the time.  bananas   Dec-07-08 05:14 PM   #23 
  - I love  kristopher   Dec-07-08 05:18 PM   #25 
  - The Charlatan NJ Molten Salt Breeder Reactor is "made up"  jpak   Dec-07-08 09:50 PM   #39 
  - If you have bad brain chemicals - make stuff up  jpak   Dec-12-08 08:51 AM   #91 
     - If you've exceeded your doctor prescribed limit of three thoughts per month,  Gentle Giant   Dec-17-08 09:15 PM   #100 
  - Complete lifecycle emissions include construction, mining, enrichment, etc  bananas   Dec-07-08 05:04 PM   #20 
  - why aren't those same costs applied to wind and solar...?  QuestionAll   Dec-07-08 08:49 PM   #34 
     - They are applied. Or can't you read.  kristopher   Dec-07-08 09:12 PM   #36 
        - i guess not- because i don't see anything in the op or bananas post to that effect...  QuestionAll   Dec-07-08 09:41 PM   #37 
           - Please forgive my snippy attitude  kristopher   Dec-07-08 09:49 PM   #38 
              - why do wind and solar have ZERO "Opportunity cost emissions due to delays" ?  QuestionAll   Dec-07-08 09:58 PM   #40 
                 - I retract the apology  kristopher   Dec-07-08 10:02 PM   #42 
                 - They have zero cost if you subtract the cost  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 10:08 PM   #43 
                 - Poor little feller just ain't right in the head....  kristopher   Dec-07-08 10:20 PM   #45 
                 - Since the nukenut is trying to cloud your understanding, here...  kristopher   Dec-07-08 10:35 PM   #47 
                 - Of course, you still haven't explained why.  Dead_Parrot   Dec-07-08 11:13 PM   #48 
                 - There is nothing to explain.  kristopher   Dec-07-08 11:23 PM   #49 
                 - It's OK, Kris...  Dead_Parrot   Dec-08-08 12:23 AM   #50 
                 - Hey, this is interesting...  Dead_Parrot   Dec-08-08 01:25 PM   #53 
                 - you're the one that seems wrong to me...  QuestionAll   Dec-09-08 10:55 AM   #71 
                    - Of coourse you have no basis for that conclusion...  kristopher   Dec-09-08 11:45 AM   #72 
                 - "Opportunity cost" is an economics term which is ALWAYS EXACTLY ZERO for the least-cost item  bananas   Dec-08-08 02:29 PM   #54 
                    - then why is more than one of the items rated at zero?  QuestionAll   Dec-08-08 11:24 PM   #55 
                    - If two or more items have the same delay, then they have the same cost of delay  bananas   Dec-09-08 06:03 PM   #73 
                       - Actually, PV, tidal, and wave are baselined on CSP.  joshcryer   Dec-10-08 01:52 AM   #77 
                          - Actually you don't know what you are talking about.  kristopher   Dec-10-08 07:24 AM   #81 
                             - Posting a page of text does not invalidate what I have said.  joshcryer   Dec-11-08 04:21 PM   #86 
                    - Let's be honest, he's being arbitrary.  joshcryer   Dec-09-08 06:44 AM   #65 
                       - No, he's being complete.  bananas   Dec-09-08 06:35 PM   #75 
  - It isn't included in this paper  kristopher   Dec-17-08 02:43 AM   #93 
     - Well, post it up when you find it  Dead_Parrot   Dec-17-08 03:19 AM   #94 
        - Sure, have at it  kristopher   Dec-17-08 01:37 PM   #95 
           - Awesome  Dead_Parrot   Dec-17-08 06:32 PM   #96 
              - I forgot, you're the person that only knows how to read investor brochures...  kristopher   Dec-17-08 07:15 PM   #97 
                 - lol  Dead_Parrot   Dec-17-08 08:11 PM   #98 
                    - All right, you've sucked me in.  kristopher   Dec-17-08 08:53 PM   #99 
                       - Err, dude...  Dead_Parrot   Dec-17-08 09:22 PM   #101 
                          - Er, Sean...  kristopher   Dec-17-08 11:57 PM   #102 
                             - Oh, for pity's sake.  Dead_Parrot   Dec-18-08 12:47 AM   #103 
                                - Oh for pity's sake Sean...  kristopher   Dec-18-08 01:01 AM   #104 
                                   - OK, there must be some rendering difference  Dead_Parrot   Dec-18-08 01:46 AM   #105 
  - ethanol based on Fungus is extraordinarily efficient, Rice straw can produce an equal weight in food  sam sarrha   Dec-07-08 02:20 PM   #4 
  - plant sugars distilled into gasoline....  madrchsod   Dec-07-08 02:29 PM   #7 
  - Not to mention the fact that geoagriculture is responsible for a lot of water loss.  joshcryer   Dec-12-08 04:14 AM   #90 
  - Abstract and Supplementary Information  bananas   Dec-08-08 02:15 AM   #51 
  - Thank you for posting this.  joshcryer   Dec-08-08 04:31 AM   #52 
  - mispost  joshcryer   Dec-09-08 06:28 AM   #63 
  - I thought nuclear's CO2 problem was with uranium mining  HamdenRice   Dec-09-08 07:47 AM   #66 
  - He isn't focused on opportunity cost.  kristopher   Dec-09-08 08:09 AM   #68 
     - Unless the CO2 emission required to mine and process uranium are a lot higher  HamdenRice   Dec-09-08 08:50 AM   #69 
        - Have you troubled yourself to read the paper?  kristopher   Dec-09-08 09:01 AM   #70 
  - So having read the paper 4 times over, consulted slides, I believe he's correct, politically...  joshcryer   Dec-12-08 04:12 AM   #89 
     - Thank you for the link to the slides. I hadn't seent them and they are informative.  kristopher   Dec-15-08 12:16 AM   #92 
        - Yeah, it's going to be great. I think nuclear is going the way of the dodo.  joshcryer   Dec-18-08 02:38 AM   #106 
 

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