When I think of the time, money and institutional bandwidth dedicated to promoting this sunset technology in - compared to renewables - it's maddening.

Hitachi to pull plug on north Wales power station | Business | The Guardian

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The below picture explains in detail why closed nuclear power plants don't get replaced by renewables - they get replaced by fossil gas.


It's because any modern RE technology requires hundreds times more land than gas or nuclear (surface power density) so if you had a nuclear power plant that occupied say 1 kmΒ², replacing it by wind or PV means you suddenly need to occupy area of 70 kmΒ² to get the same nominal power.

There was recently a dispute in Kent precisely on that topic - is it really so "green" to occupy 400 ha of forest, moorlands and meadows with PV panels...


But then RE also has low capacity factor, so only gives power 30% of the time on average, which means you need energy storage of the capacity of the whole system (doesn't exist), or build... a nuclear or fossil gas plant to provide baseload.

The more I learn about these technologies, the more I feel we've been scammed by the fossil industry once again, as they tricked us to replace low-emission, clean nuclear power with fossil gas using FUD...

@kravietz @davidoclubb For nuclear you also need storage or some method to bring supply and demand together (markets, grid, ...). That is why the Guardian article is talking about producing H2 with the expensive nuclear power.

You can use the land between wind mills, you do not have to protect it against terrorism.

@VictorVenema @kravietz As someone who worked in the renewable energy industry for more than 15 years, from installation to project management to policy, I can assure you there's no sleight of hand.

It's cheap, *mostly* environmentally benign (certainly more so than fossil fuel) and a hell of a lot cheaper than both fossil and nuclear once you consider externalities.

@VictorVenema @davidoclubb

"Storage" is just a distraction really. This is precisely why we invented metrics such as surface power density or lifecycle CO2 emissions to account for respectively land use and emissions during the *whole* lifecycle of a technology.

Because, can you imagine, PV and wind mills are also made of steel, concrete and rare earth metals, that need to be mined, and then decommissioned.

Accounting for that, nuclear still has way lower emissions and land usage than RE.

@VictorVenema @davidoclubb

> you also need storage or some method to bring supply and demand together

You don't. Any nuclear power plant made after 1990 can do load following. You can run grid 100% on nuclear alone. You can't run grid on 100% RE.

@kravietz @VictorVenema I think we'll have to disagree on this. Maybe it's *possible* to load follow in the way you describe with the most modern technology, but I don't think it's the cheapest or most straightforward solution.

Renewables, with a strongly inter-connected electricity system spanning multiple countries, and elements of storage and demand management, is the right solution

@davidoclubb @VictorVenema

If you want cheapest, go for coal, won't you?

Nuclear plants do not load follow because they have the best ROI at 100% capacity *and* there are fossil gas plants where the loss of ROI is smaller. If you get rid of fossil fuels, then you just load follow on nuclear.

@davidoclubb @VictorVenema

If you factor environmental costs - especially land use and emissions - PV and wind are more expensive than nuclear.

@kravietz @VictorVenema Whole costs, including public subsidy and 'last resort' cleanup (in place of available insurance) make nuclear more expensive

@davidoclubb @VictorVenema

Yes, if you look from investor's perspective. But I was thinking we're after decarbonisation?

Because in this case nuclear power is the only technology that *actually* led to decarbonisation of energy sector. Germany made a lot of hype about their Energiewende and 10 years later they're at 5x CO2 emissions of France or Sweden, both largely nuclear.

@kravietz @davidoclubb

> Nuclear plants do not load follow because they have the best ROI at 100% capacity

Thank you for admitting that your previous talking point about nuclear being technically able to follow demand is irrelevant.

If nuclear is not used half the time, the power becomes twice as expensive. Nearly all costs are fixed costs. So in practise nuclear does not follow demand.

A country like France burdened with a lot of nuclear is subsidizing power for its European neighbours.

@VictorVenema @davidoclubb

> You can use the land between wind mills

You can use it for very small range of activities only like farming, nothing else. This is precisely why new on-shore wind farms are being blocked in Germany, France and even Norway, where they were causing massive migration of animals due to noise.

@davidoclubb @VictorVenema

In Norway it was specifically reindeer migration that caused the protests. In Wales the problem is solved by not having reindeer or anything else larger than small deers.

@kravietz @VictorVenema Well this is a new element to the discussion - specifically Norwegian - that doesn't account for the other countries you mentioned.

Look, you clearly have very personal reasons for supporting and that's fine. I don't share them, and I don't think this conversation is going to illuminate any further, so let's draw it to an elegant end here.

In case you're interested in the insurance question, there's some details in my paper from 2012.

@kravietz I see your time line is full of anti-green energy propaganda. I had hoped to be spared such people here in Mastodon. Would not have jumped in had I known this is your identity, thought you might have been a misinformed citizen.

Have a good day. @davidoclubb

@VictorVenema @davidoclubb

Renewable energy alone is not green, that's very simple fact that is clearly supported by the scientific data.

@davidoclubb @VictorVenema

You can report me anywhere you like. I'm not being offensive, I'm just quoting scientific data that you dislike.

The right solution in this case for you is to mute or block users at your will.

One of the reasons why the energy sector in Europe is increasingly dependent on fossil fuels, while we should be going the opposite way, is precisely because of people like you ignoring science and engineering.

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