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Sat May 5, 2018, 12:30 PM

Average Lifetime of Danish Wind Turbines, as of February 2018.

Last night, May 4, 2018, in a riff about the Dominion Energy people's plan to go "renewable" by building 8 new gas plants - the waste from which will be dumped directly into the atmosphere without restriction - I accessed the most updated version of Danish Energy Agency's Excel Spreadsheet constituting the "Master Data Register of Wind Turbines".

To directly download the Excel File Yourself Click:
"Master Data Register of Wind Turbines" and then open the file.

Some years back, on another website, in a piece dedicated to showing that the the term "Renewable Energy" as used in current parlance is an oxymoron, I wrote thusly:

The Danes and we will see that despite all the hoopla that has surrounded their wind program their actual energy production from wind energy is very small, even compared to wind capacity in other countries like the United States, Germany and China keep an exhaustive and very detailed database of every single wind turbine they built in the period between the 1978 and the present day.[29] If one downloads the Excel file available in the link for reference 29 one can show that the Danes, as of the end of March 2015, have built and operated 8,002 wind turbines of all sizes. Of these, 2727, or 34.1% of them have been decommissioned. Of those that were decommissioned, the mean lifetime was 16.94 years (16 years and 310 days). Twenty-one of the decommissioned wind turbines operated less than two years, two never operated at all, and 103 operated for less than 10 years. Among decommissioned turbines, the one that lasted the longest did so for 34 years and 210 days. Among all 2727 decommissioned wind turbines, 6 lasted more than 30 years.

Of course, over the years when referencing this data I've heard a lot of the kind of wishful thinking that characterizes this front for the gas industry stating that of course wind turbines will become more reliable in the future.

Almost three years have passed since I wrote that piece. Having accessed the database again, I thought to update the "survival time" of the decommissioned wind turbines, which as of last night had reacted 3,232, with 505 more having failed since then, a rate of about 168 per year.

I decided to play with the Excel functions to update the data.

I'm amused to report that the average lifetime of failed wind turbines has in fact, increased. It is now 17 years and 240 days. The longest lived turbine made it to 35 years and 240 days, a 22 kw unit commissioned on January 9 1981 and decommissioned on September 6, 2016.

Of the 3,232 decommissioned turbines, 3 others made it to 35 years, and 14 more than 30 years.

Of course, there are some that never operated at all, and 157 that operated ten or less years.

This data suggests that every 20 years or so, on average, the entire wind industry will need to be replaced. After half a century of cheering for it, wild eyed delusional cheering for it, cheering so loud that the entire planetary atmosphere was bet on it at the expense of all future generations should the bet not come in, the wind industry has yet to produce 10 of the 587 exajoules of energy humanity was consuming each year as of 2016, according to the IEA's World Energy Outlook.

IEA 2017 World Energy Outlook, Table 2.2 page 79 (I have converted MTOE in the original table to the SI unit exajoules in this text.)

This means however that the mean lifetime of wind turbines in Denmark has grown by 295 days in just 3 years, or 98 days per year on average.

This is wonderful.

The Surry nuclear station to which I referred to in my post last night, went on line in 1972 after being constructed in 4 years at a cost of $2.2 billion 2018 US dollars. The data showed that it is operating after 46 years at full capacity.

This suggests that at a constant improvement rate of 98 days per year for the lifetime of Danish wind turbines, that the mean lifetime of wind turbines will match the lifetime of the Surry Nuclear Station in 104 years, or "by 2122."

Our generation loves that "by 'such and such as date'" rhetoric when discussing so called "renewable energy." I personally regard it as contempt for future generations, a glib claim that they will do what we have been incompetent to do ourselves.

Of course, today our generation, with its well known selfishness and contempt for science and engineering cannot build reactors like the generation of the 1960s and 1970s did. We are clearly incompetent to do so, even though we have infinitely more computing power than they did. It's almost certain that the Surry reactor was built by engineers many of whom used slide rules.

But unlike them, we don't give a shit about future generations, do we?

Not only will our wind turbines be trash in 20-25 years and useless to them, but they will be required to clean up the mess.

Tonight I'll be heading out to listen to a performance of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," a requiem for a generation nearly destroyed by stupidity, the generation that lived through the first World War.

Young people will sing there. Someone should sing a requiem for them, for surely they will be destroyed not by themselves, but by their parent's generation.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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Reply Average Lifetime of Danish Wind Turbines, as of February 2018. (Original post)
NNadir May 2018 OP
procon May 2018 #1
NNadir May 2018 #2
procon May 2018 #3
hunter May 2018 #6
procon May 2018 #7
hunter May 2018 #9
procon May 2018 #10
Nitram May 2018 #4
mackdaddy May 2018 #5
NNadir May 2018 #12
GeorgeGist May 2018 #8
hunter May 2018 #11
NNadir May 2018 #16
NNadir May 2018 #13
Ghost Dog May 2018 #14
NNadir May 2018 #15
Finishline42 May 2018 #17
hunter May 2018 #18
Finishline42 May 2018 #19
hunter May 2018 #20

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2018, 12:51 PM

1. The increased use of wind and solar energy will drive innovation.

Who knows what R&D is in the works that will be a radical improvement on what's available today? Nothing remains static, and we are still at the infancy stage of this technology, so the future developments are unlimited.

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Response to procon (Reply #1)

Sat May 5, 2018, 01:20 PM

2. It will drive waste. The remark that this industry is in "infancy" is delusional.

I'm an old man, and I've been hearing this bullshit about how the so called "renewable energy" industry is in its infancy my whole adult life.

The first wind turbines were installed in Denmark in the 1970's. An infant born in 1980 will turn 38 years old today.

I spend about 10 or more hours a week in the primary scientific literature, with a significant portion devoted to reading scientific papers on the topic of energy.

I certainly have a decent awareness of what is going on in scientific research with respect to energy, and in fact, post about it here frequently. (You may check my Journal, if you doubt that.)

The idea that there is anything that is "unlimited" is an absurd consumerist fantasy that is expressed in contempt for both reality, and for every human being that will come after us.

We spent two trillion dollars on wind and solar in the last 20 years - more than the gross domestic product of India, a country with more than a billion and half human beings in it.


This low energy to mass future electronic waste doesn't produce combined 10 of the 570 exajoules humanity consumes.

There was a reason that humanity abandoned so called "renewable energy" early in the 19th century when the population was less than 1/7th of what it is today, and that reason was that most human beings lived short miserable lives of dire poverty, even more so than today. All the reactionary wishful thinking, hand waving and day dreaming won't change that fact.

This wishful thinking, now well into a half a century of uselessness and hype, is a crime against all future generations. It didn't work; it's not working, and it won't work.

Our atmosphere now has about 410 ppm of carbon dioxide in it, after being at roughly 387 ppm just ten years ago.

That, my friend, is the result of wishful thinking.

Have a nice evening.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #2)

Sat May 5, 2018, 02:30 PM

3. To do nothing is better?

There will always be the well meaning naysayers and doom and gloom crackpots trying to forestall change, but consumers, entrepreneurs, and developers won't be denied. Who knows what advances we will see a decade from now. Look at any start up industry that evolved from scratch, like computers, or the auto industry, they took decades to achieve acceptance and become prosperous since the first warehouse-sized computer and the horseless carriage.

I live a few miles away from the Mojave Wind Farm, the third largest onshore project in the world and the largest wind farm in the US. I can see them from my house and since they first went up in the 70s, the turbines keep evolving, getting more efficient with each new generation. In the opposite direction is a huge solar array, and they are continually expanding to meet demand.

We're still way behind the curve, but the alternative to wind and solar is not a viable option.

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Response to procon (Reply #1)

Sat May 5, 2018, 03:46 PM

6. Infancy stage??? Really?

That's like calling the misbehavior of some 30 or 40 year old Republican a "youthful indiscretion."

The Wright brothers made their first flight on December 17, 1903.

The Douglas DC-3 flew 32 years later. It's considered the first airliner that could make money by carrying passengers alone.

The first heavy water nuclear nuclear reactor was fired up on May 15th, 1944.

Canada was running 600 MWe CANDU heavy water reactors less than 30 years later.

I'm very familiar with early 1980's wind and solar technology. Wind and solar are no longer infant technologies.

Even with perfect hardware wind energy requires a substantial commitment to fossil fuel energy for no other reason that the wind doesn't always blow. A megawatt of wind turbine capacity requires a megawatt of "backup," usually natural gas, and it's not really backup power at all since most of the overall power generated by the combined system is likely to come from fossil fuels.

Without substantial and environmentally unacceptable inputs of fossil fuel energy, a wind and solar powered economy would look nothing like the economy many affluent people now enjoy.

Wind power enthusiasts often become inadvertent promoters of the natural gas industry.

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Response to hunter (Reply #6)

Sat May 5, 2018, 04:23 PM

7. Chronology is probably not the best comparison to offer.

The aerospace industry, just like the oil extraction biz, benefited from the generous and sustained support of the government that resulted in significant technological advancements that were uninterrupted by negative outside forces. On the other hand, in the US, wind and solar development has been under almost continual attacks by our government, the Republican Party, and competitors in the fossil fuel industry.

Progress and innovation was definitely impacted and advancements are slower than they could have been if the fledgling companies had enjoyed a similar relationship with government resources. Growth comes in fits and starts to the wind farms around me, and they have trouble attracting big investors who are leary about the next wave of government strikes against wind power.

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Response to procon (Reply #7)

Sat May 5, 2018, 08:49 PM

9. Even if wind turbines were perfect machines lasting 100 years without service...

... it still doesn't solve the problem of what to do when the wind is not blowing.

Natural gas, even with large inputs of supplemental wind power, is a dead end. Unfortunately there are huge "reserves" of natural gas, more than enough to destroy the earth's natural environment as we know it. The largest industrial projects on earth today involve the extraction and distribution of natural gas.

A purely wind, solar, and other "renewable" energy powered society would look nothing like the society many affluent people now enjoy. Wind power seemingly works in our affluent society because it displaces a limited amount of fossil fuels. It does not displace fossil fuels entirely, not even by half, and it can't, simply because the wind doesn't always blow.

I don't celebrate wind power because it entails the installation of equal natural gas or other environmentally pernicious capacity.

It seems unlikely that institutional or governmental hostility to wind and solar power in a few places is retarding technical progress in the industry. There are plenty of places where hybrid natural gas wind power schemes are celebrated for displacing coal, even places like Texas.

Unfortunately "better than coal" isn't good enough.

Personally, I think we ought to be paying people to experiment with lifestyles that have a very low environmental footprints. Maybe instead of a Tesla in every garage we have a society where most people don't need or want to own a car. Maybe we have a society where most people don't want to eat meat every day, every week or ever.

Unfortunately "economic productivity" as we now define it is a direct measure of the damage we are doing to the earth's natural environment and our own human spirit.

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Response to hunter (Reply #9)

Sat May 5, 2018, 09:27 PM

10. I mentioned innovation above because there is need

to develop better batteries or some new gizmo to store energy. There have been minor improvements, but we slower than other countries where they have embraced new energy ideas and the market share spurs growth that attracts investors.

The cultural changes you suggest need to follow, and while those ideas are spreading, the US for all the reason I mentioned above is woefully messed up. Without major public funding to build effective mass transit systems people can't give up cars, and you know the Republican response to those projects. Even with something that everyone should support like healthier eating habits would take a long PS campaign, something like a generation -- 25 years -- to establish a new cultural norm.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2018, 02:49 PM

4. "wind turbines will match the lifetime of the Surry Nuclear Station in 104 years"

And what are you going to do with the nuclear waste?

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2018, 03:40 PM

5. Not a complet and fair and complete comparison between Wind Turbines and Nuclear Plant.

Your article implies that the Nuclear plant is working continuously for decades is NOT true.

Every machine ever constructed requires regular periodic maintenance and will be off line and shut down during that maintenance, usually for weeks or months during that time. They have to completely shut down the reactors every couple of years to refuel the reactors. They also have to do repair and replace the steam driven turbines as they wear out. The high pressure, high heat piping and containment systems have to be examined and replaced as they corrode or even crack under the stresses. They may not be razing the plant to the ground, but there has been considerable down time and internal rebuilding over a multi-decade

Wind turbines also are massive mechanical devices that are exposed to great stresses and mechanical wear. They are manufactured, erected and commissioned, generate electrical energy from the wind, require maintenance, and will eventually fail and need to be decommissioned and removed and recycled.

The ultimate comparison is the Total Cost of Ownership over their lifespan, and how much energy was generated. ALL of the costs have to be looked at in each of these from design to disposal to make a fair comparison.

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Response to mackdaddy (Reply #5)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:36 AM

12. Nuclear power plants have had consistently the highest capacity utilization of energy systems...

Last edited Sun May 6, 2018, 08:46 AM - Edit history (1)

...in the United States for several decades.

You can look it up. The EIA has hundreds of data points on just about every power plant operating in the United States.

Here's a simple one, although many more advanced ones are available for anyone interested in actually finding stuff out as opposed to spewing nonsense: Nuclear Generation Summary Data, 1973-2017

On this page, one can find the data for any nuclear plant in the United States: EIA.gov, Nuclear and Uranium

In 2017 Surry 1 ran at 102% capacity, Surry 2 at 94% capacity.

In 2016 both Surry 1 and Surry 2 ran at 96% capacity.

In 2015, both reactors seem to have undergone refueling - light water reactors get refueled every two years or so - Surry 1 in April-May and Surry 2 in November, and still managed to have 77.2% capacity utilization and 83.4% capacity utilization.

Since 1999, the overall capacity utilization of nuclear plants has not fallen below 85% in any year, and since 1991 they have matched the plants with the next highest capacity utilization in the United States, coal plants, which typically have capacity utilization of 70%.

(Wind plants are most typically around 30%, solar, even in deserts, are lucky to hit 20%, most do far worse in temperate climates, which is why the representation of these plants in terms of their peak MW or kW is a fraudulent, if common, practice by purveyors of this industry who have no trouble making Trumpian scale misrepresentations.)

For most of the last 30 years nuclear power plants been cash cows, at least until the gas industry, under the cover of the great "renewable scam" came along.

Now, the difference between a gas plant and a nuclear plant, is that a nuclear plant is required to contain the products of its operations indefinitely, whereas a gas plant is free to dump its waste products directly into the atmosphere without restriction or any kind of delay.

This continuous bullshit about cost - defenders of the useless and extremely expensive so called "renewable energy" scam all turn into Ayn Rand flake free marketeers whenever their dishonest rhetoric about the "cost" of renewable energy comes up - relies on isolating the so called "renewable energy" from its external costs. The main external cost of the failed and extremely expensive "renewable energy" scam is that it requires two systems to do what one system can do. Since a wind farm is useless when the wind isn't blowing, it requires a gas plant at minimum to back it up. The external costs of gas plants (or petroleum plants that also can ratchet up as quickly as gas plants) include but are not limited to climate change and environmental destruction associated with obtaining these materials in annual quantities of billions of tons. Since these plants are necessary, fossil fuel external costs if one were to be honest - not that defenders of so called "renewable energy" are reluctant to be Trumpian - must accrue to the wind plants. Since the wind industry is trivial in any case, and has done zilch to arrest the use of dangerous fossil fuels, the biggest external cost of the wind industry is that it doesn't work, at least if the goal is to protect the environment. Finally, as I pointed out in my other thread, the wind industry uses significantly more steel, aluminum, glass, and (most problematically) lanthanides than nuclear plants, not to mention concrete. Steel is made with coal, aluminum with electricity (without checking I would not be surprised to learn that the so called "renewable energy" industry has never generated as much electricity as the aluminum industry requires).

Let's just focus on lanthanides:

If I replace a turbine connected to a generator that incurred an external cost in manufacturing the neodymium iron boride magnets and ran at 100% with two magnets, one that runs at 50%-60% (in a gas plant) and the other than runs at 30%-40%, a generous assessment of what wind plants do at best, I have increased the external costs of both, and required that twice the amount of neodymium be mined and isolated.

And let me be clear: I posted what goes into isolating neodymium from ores right here, not two weeks ago. It's filthy chemistry, particularly when practiced under wild cat circumstances: Some life cycle graphics on so called "rare earth elements," i.e. the lanthanides. Some life cycle graphics on so called "rare earth elements," i.e. the lanthanides.

In case you missed it here's the most important graphic again:

Since you are concerned about maintenance - a specious claim for nuclear plants since their capacity utilization is the highest of any form of energy in the United States - I might ask you whether it is simpler to drive to one plant and check the pipingor to go to thousands of turbines - driving around in heavy trucks spread over what was once virgin forest in many places, because the wind people have no problem building roads on mountain tops in national forests - to go to 6000 locations designed to cover what a single nuclear station can do. I note that the Danes have more than 6000 functional wind turbines and more than 3000 decommissioned wind turbines that slightly (by 42 MW of continuous average power in Jan and Feb of 2018) exceed what the Surrey nuclear plant does in two buildings.

And I'm not counting the gas plants they require to back them up.

Now the laws of thermodynamics require that when a gas plant shuts down because the wind is up for a few hours, it necessarily loses energy and efficiency. If you shut a boiler down for two hours, it will not boil immediately if you turn the gas back on. The alternative to this expense - which places wear and tear on turbines because of the need for acceleration and deceleration which induces mechanical strains and wear - is to keep the gas plant running, a practice known as "spinning reserve." This also clearly wastes energy.

Finally, when a wind turbine generates electricity and there's no one to use it, the price of electricity falls into negative regions. The result is the reduce the economic viability of all plants, sustainable ones like nuclear plants, and unsustainable trash like wind, solar, gas, oil and coal plants.

It happens that the defenders of this cockamamie scheme - returning to the early 19th century and requiring that all forms of energy depend on the weather, in the 21st century highly destabilized weather - aren't any better at economics, than they are at epidemiology, chemistry, physics, environmental science and/or engineering, and frankly, I very seldom encounter any examples of such people who are even remotely competent in any of these subjects.

The problem with our energy system is that external costs are isolated from internal costs. Health care in this country costs billions of dollars in direct medical treatment, which does not count the loss of human productivity, never mind moral costs. If we added the cost to human health to the cost of gas plants, and trivial the wind and solar plants they back up, both of them would outstrip the costs of nuclear power plants by orders of magnitude.

But we don't do that. We screw humanity. We lie. We misrepresent. We distort. And the result is this: We're at 410 ppm of the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide in the planetary atmosphere. Seven million people die each year from air pollution. Ancient aquifers are being permanently laced with chemicals of poorly understood toxicology, and toxic elements that were stable for millions, if not billions of years, are being mobilized into their waters.

Thanks for your lecture on "costs." Forgive me if I don't take it even remotely seriously.

Have a pleasant Sunday.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2018, 05:05 PM

8. I wonder why you cherry-picked one nuclear plant ...

as representative?

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #8)

Sat May 5, 2018, 09:55 PM

11. Presumably, more than 45 years later, we could build something more durable.

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Response to hunter (Reply #11)

Mon May 7, 2018, 09:46 PM

16. I'm not sure this is true, since the infrastructure has been destroyed by ignorance and greed.

The greed consists of the attitude of this generation which punts all costs to future generations.

If you build a nuclear plant designed to last 80-100 years, you will pay more than if you build a gas plant that will require future generations to bear all the costs, along with a series disgusting massive wind farms spread over hundreds and thousands of square kilometers as an advertising divergence for what's really powering the world.

Building a nuclear plant involves caring about the future.

We know infinitely more today about materials science than we did in the 1970's and we obviously know more about chemistry and we have very fast and powerful computers. The technology is there, but the manufacturing infrastructure and more importantly the moral infrastructure as been destroyed by mindless assholes complaining about broken concrete at Hanford, for example.

We don't have ethics as our ethical infrastructure has been destroyed. That's why we have assholes who insist on making nuclear power plants "expensive." If they cost $15 billion to build - there's no reason they should - when they used to cost $1 billion (or less, in the case of Oyster Creek near me) this would involve spending maybe $14 billion as a gift to our children, our grandchildren and our grandchildren's children.

Our attitude is "What's in it for us?"

Instead we build wind turbines that become landfill or "recycling exercises" (with poor people doing the "recycling" because we don't give a shit about their health and wouldn't want to dirty our bourgeois hands) that last 20 years, so that any benefit accrued comes to us and only to us.

If you do the numbers, the 49 year lifetime for Oyster Creek works out to about $10-15 million a year, for a plant that routinely and continuously puts out 640 MW for years at a time without much interruption.

Not so long ago, before we started shafting poor people by making them pay for solar junk "feed in" tariffs, electricity cost about 11c/kwh here. Thus the retail revenue from that reactor over its lifetime was roughly $30 billion, from one small building.

There's no way in hell our little delusional "renewable energy is cheap" airheads are going to invest in the future. Their interest in the future is blithely declaring that future generations will do what they have proved incompetent to do, produce 100 exajoules from solar and wind, or worse 600 exajoules. The attempt to do that would be a toxicological nightmare that would dwarf even dangerous fossil fuels.

If their wind turbines grind the avian population to hell, trash mountain tops with roads for giant trucks, leave flow back water oozing to the surface for generations, well tough shit for the kids. They were supposed to go 100% renewable. They didn't do it, that's their fucking tough luck. It's their fault if they don't have birds, mountain trails free of trucks, clean deserts, clean free flowing water. They won't have done what we told them to do, and we don't give a shit that it can't be done.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #8)

Sun May 6, 2018, 11:20 AM

13. This post originated with a comment on Dominion's decision to build gas plants to go "renewable."

That post is here: Dominion Energy Going "Renewable" and Therefore Is Building 8 New Gas Plants.

I chose a Dominion Plant in Virginia, more or less at random, however I am familiar with many nuclear plants that can produce more energy than all of the wind turbines in Denmark, as much, or nearly as much all 9,452 of them, 3,232 of which have been decommissioned. To be perfectly honest, I rather thought that the Surrey plant would be easily capable of producing more energy than all the wind turbines in Denmark, but dutifully reported that all the wind turbines in Denmark produced 42 MW of average continuous power as the two reactors at Surrey.

If I wanted to dig further into exposing why the wind industry is a disgrace, I could have easily calculated the "capacity utilization" of all the wind turbines in Denmark, but I didn't feel like it.

Personally, the nuclear plant closest to my heart is the one that will be closed in October of this year - thus killing people since nuclear plants save lives - the reactor at Oyster Creek.

This closure will have direct effects on the health of my family and every other family in New Jersey. It will close after 49 years of service and is the oldest reactor in the United States, having come on line in 1968. It had a license extension that would have allowed it to run longer, but Exelon went with gas. It cost well under $1 billion to build in 2018 dollars and has been a spectacular performer.

It's closure breaks my heart, but the reactor was a huge success.

It will be replaced by gas, Marcellus Shale Gas, drilled in such a way as to produce flowback water that is more radioactive than the sea outside of Fukushima.

I could have picked the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant - due to be closed in 2024 because of appeals by ignorant people to irrational fear - which produces more electricity than all the wind turbines in California in a single building.

California Electricity Generation

Speaking of cherry picking. We have had lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of posts here along the lines of "Renewable energy briefly produces 100% of Portugal's electricity." Usually they're talking about a period of a day or two when the wind is blowing and the sun is glaring. Unlike the vast majority of my posts, they usually get oodles of recommends.

These posts always include biomass - the second largest contributor to air pollution deaths - hydroelectric, wind, and solar - in the definition.

During droughts, when the reservoirs are empty, and hot days in the doldrums perhaps with cloud cover or heavy air pollution, no one posts "Portugal imports a record one day total of Algerian Natural gas!!!" posts.

I covered the overall performance of the US nuclear industry elsewhere in this post. Anybody who's interested in educating themselves, of course, could do what I do, look stuff up and offer specific criticisms.

An accusation of "cherry picking" is Trumpian in its hypocrisy, the equivalent of Donald Trump complaining about Hillary Clinton's ethics.

Now how come people cherry pick Fukushima and Chernobyl, neither of which killed even a tiny fraction of the number of lives nuclear reactors that nuclear operations have saved?

Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power (Pushker A. Kharecha* and James E. Hansen Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47 (9), pp 48894895)

How come everyone wants to talk about some guy who might have ten or twenty years shaved off of his life because of radiation exposure at Fukushima but nobody wants to talk about 7 million people dying each year from air pollution?

A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 19902010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (Lancet 2012, 380, 222460: For air pollution mortality figures see Table 3, page 2238 and the text on page 2240.)

Looking at these numbers, which is more dangerous, nuclear power or fossil fuels and biomass?

I post these links all the time, two of my favorites from the tens of thousands of papers relating to energy present on my computers.

Everyone has biases, and I have mine to be sure, but this said, I am fully confident that I can - and do - support my biases a lot better than the people who have been spewing pablum - disastrous pablum - about how so called "renewable energy" would save the day.

It hasn't; it isn't; it won't.

And I have to hear about "cherry picking?" Really?

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:48 PM

14. Should you not include the time and cost of safely decommissioning

nuclear power stations and storing spent fuel and other radioactive waste in your calculations, NNadir?

Not to mention time and costs involved in dealing with the occasional, inevitable, apparently, catastrophic "accident"?

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #14)

Mon May 7, 2018, 09:44 AM

15. The climate scientist Jim Hansen has done this...

quite capabably in one of the most widely read publications in one of the most important environmental journals in the world. I link it all the time in this space but apparently no one reads it because it doesn't say what they want to hear, which is that nuclear power is the most dangerous thing on earth.

This is nonsense.

Used nuclear fuel has been stored in this country for half a century. For once, just once it would be useful to hear from someone whining about it whether it's lead to a death toll even remotely approaching the 19,000 people who will die today from air pollution.

Personally, since I understand the chemistry and value of used nuclear fuels, I'm almost pleased about the delays in doing anything about it, since it earlier times the idea was to build waste dumps for it. That was a dopey idea in my opinion. The stuff is too valuable.

By the way, raising specious rote objections to nuclear power does not prove that wind power is great or worthwhile. It isn't. It's worthless. Hansen calculated that nuclear power prevented the dumping of more than 30 billion tons of CO2, this while facing very stupid criticism.

The wind industry hasn't.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2018, 06:28 AM

17. Incapable of seeing the forest for the trees...

One of the main reasons for the short life span of earlier windmills isn't that they are breaking down and not worth fixing but that as you double the diameter of the blades you cube the output. Simply put, bigger is better. But you can't just build bigger windmills - they have to be developed and it takes time to build, test and modified the design.

As I replied the last time you went on this rant, look up the data you posted a link to. Check the size of the windmills that were decommissioned. There were just over 3200 of them. What the average capacity? 210 kw in round numbers. Just quickly scanning the installed data I saw one 8000 kw and a batch of 6000 kw but a lot in the 2-3000 kw range. Economics govern the decision. At what point is the investment a new windmill with many times the output worth replacing an existing lower output model?

Once again you use numbers (3200 decommissioned windmills) to make a case that isn't there. What's missing from this data is what happened to those windmills. Did they get sent to the junkyard? Did a salvage company sell them to a church in some backwater province? Did Vestas offer a trade in and used them for spare parts? We don't know from the data that is provided.

But the truth is that with every windfarm that is brought on line there is less use for coal and nuclear. In Colorado because of abundant wind and sun, it's cheaper to build new wind and solar capacity than it is to OPERATE current coal and nuclear plants. Wind and solar get cheaper because of economies of scale and plus they don't have to pay for fuel.

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Response to Finishline42 (Reply #17)

Tue May 8, 2018, 12:33 PM

18. If wind turbines could be bought as seeds that you could plant like trees...

... and they grew into giant 100 meter wind power turbines that lived a hundred years or more, you still haven't solved the problem of the wind not always blowing.

If we cut our current natural gas consumption by half, that's still not good enough

It's especially not good enough if these hybrid gas-wind systems "pay for themselves" and use of them expands throughout the human population, all 7.3 billion of us and growing. In that case gas use expands and we are still toast.

Wind isn't the answer you are looking for.

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Response to hunter (Reply #18)

Tue May 8, 2018, 01:09 PM

19. The use of wind and solar increases the cost of coal and nat gas

When the wind blows and the sun shines and utility companies are using the electricity generated from windfarms and solar panels it decreases the use of coal, nuclear and nat gas. When you decrease the number of hours that those high cost plants are being used then the costs increase for when they are being used which will further widen the gap between the cost of operating them and building new wind and solar capacity. It's not the miracle solution you seem to expect but it does move us in the right direction.

Batteries are coming on line to fill need for unplanned interruption of coal and nuclear plants. Sure would be nice to know how much coal is being burned in standby plants not producing power right now but ready at a moments notice to do so.

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Response to Finishline42 (Reply #19)

Tue May 8, 2018, 02:21 PM

20. For grid applications battery capacity is measured in minutes.

Wind outages are measured in days and weeks.

And you missed my point entirely.

If you don't think everyone in the world deserves things like indoor plumbing, modern sewage treatment plants, and clean cooking appliances, just say so.

As it is, with or without wind turbines, the largest industrial projects on earth today involve the extraction and distribution of natural gas. And even so, the use of coal is expanding.

Wind power enthusiasts don't see the forest for the trees.

A society powered exclusively by wind, solar, and other "renewable" energy sources would look nothing like the consumer economy many affluent people now enjoy.

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