Germany To Open Six More Coal Power Stations In 2013

By Paul Homewood

RWE’s new lignite power station opened in Neurath in 2012

Germany’s dash for coal continues apace. Following on the opening of two new coal power stations in 2012, six more are due to open this year, with a combined capacity of 5800MW, enough to provide 7% of Germany’s electricity needs.

Including the plants coming on stream this year, there are 12 coal fired stations due to open by 2020. Along with the two opened last year in Neurath and Boxberg, they will be capable of supplying 19% of the country’s power.

In addition, 27 gas fired stations are due on line, which should contribute a further 17% of Germany’s total electricity generation. (Based on 2011 statistics, total generation was 575 TwH).

It is worth noting that none of these coal or gas plants will be built with Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS), which is a legal requirement for coal generators in the UK, despite the fact that the technology does not yet exist on a commercial scale.

The UK government is so desperate to get out of the corner it has boxed itself into, that it wants to hand out huge sums to subsidise the cost of developing CCS technology. According to their “Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy” (Page 31), they want to support the cost of four commercial scale CCS projects.

But since the report was written in 2011, nothing much has happened, other than the announcement of two preferred bidders for the £1bn programme. One of these, the White Rose project  at Drax, won’t be submitting a planning application until next year, and a final government investment decision won’t be made until 2015.

In the meantime, UK energy policy is allowed to drift. No company would abandon a successful, proven and efficient method of operating, without an alternative, better way having already been thoroughly tried and tested. So why does the UK government think it knows better?

APPENDIX A

German Coal Fired Power Stations Due to Open By 2020

Operator Location MW Date Due Status
Trianel Lunen 750 2013 In Trial
EnBW Karlsruhe 874 2013 In Construction
GDF Wilhelmshaven 800 2013 In Construction
Steag Duisberg 725 2013 In Construction
E.ON Datteln 1055 2013 In Construction
RWE Hamm 1600 2013 In Construction
Vattenfall Hamburg 1640 2014 In Construction
GKM Mannheim 911 2015 In Construction
MIBRAG Profen 660 2020 A/W Approval
RWE Niederaussem 1100 n/a A/W Approval
GETEC Buttel 800 n/a A/W Approval
Dow Stade 840 n/a A/W Approval

As supplied by BDEW, the German Energy Producers Association.

http://www.bdew.de/internet.nsf/id/57AD1C19572834CAC1257B47002D1537/$file/130408_BDEW-Kraftwerksliste-final.pdf

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105 Responses to Germany To Open Six More Coal Power Stations In 2013

  1. Go Home says:

    Replacing nuclear with fossil fuels, coal even. Sounds green to me! Must see the global cooling handwriting on the wall. At least they wont have to worry about that tsunami threat on their nuke plants.

  2. ferdberple says:

    All the coal the US is selling on the cheap makes the German decision a no-brainer. With the world’s largest reserves the US would have enough coal to power its economy for a couple of centuries, if only it was allowed to use it. Instead it sells it dirt cheap to its economic competitors. Along with the coal goes the manufacturing jobs that need low cost power to remain competitive. No problem, lots of jobs as Wal-mart greeters.

  3. Steven Hales says:

    The miracle of fossil fuels. They are the most diverse set of energy and material resources we have. They should be celebrated on Earth Day.

  4. Steven Hales says:

    Fredberple: “Along with the coal goes the manufacturing jobs that need low cost power to remain competitive. No problem, lots of jobs as Wal-mart greeters.”

    Erm, no the US is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance thanks to cheap shale gas. Coal was displaced largely by cheap gas not by regulation.

    http://nytimes.com/2012/04/11/business/energy-environment/wider-availability-expands-uses-for-natural-gas.html?pagewanted=all

    http://www.aogr.com/index.php/magazine/cover-story/unconventional-plays-touching-off-renaissance-in-u.s.-manufacturing-sector

    http://aap.newscentre.com.au/cpsunat/130330/library/private_&_public_partnerships/30771806.html

  5. LamontT says:

    Thats a major step backwards from the nuclear plants they used to have.

  6. Mwnanamai says:

    Germany closing their Nuclear Powerplants because of the tsunami threat was one of the dumbest decisions of manking history.

    Tsunami in the Baltic ????

  7. Mike McMillan says:

    This is the second time Germany has abandoned nuclear. From the Nuremberg transcripts between US Prosecutor Robert Jackson and German Minister of Armaments Albert Speer :

    MR JUSTICE JACKSON: And certain experiments were also conducted and certain researches conducted in atomic energy, were they not?

    SPEER: We had not got as far as that, unfortunately, because the finest experts we had in atomic research had emigrated to America, and this had thrown us back a great deal in our research, so that we still needed another year or two in order to achieve any results in the splitting of the atom.

    MR JUSTICE JACKSON: The policy of driving people out who didn’t agree with Germany hadn’t produced very good dividends, had it?

    SPEER: Especially in this sphere it was a great disadvantage to us.

  8. rilfeld says:

    Oh, the trials of liberalism. We followed the Germans when they flogged solar, latitude notwithstanding. When they embraced wind. When they built gardens on urban roofs. But how, oh how, can we continue now that they have come to their senses? Oh, I know. Dust off the good German-Bad German meme from 80 years ago. Anything but a rational appraisal of the facts:

    Deutschland lives by manufacturing and exporting. Reliable and affordable energy is a keystone of this effort. Bad policy has put this livliehood under stress. Let’s fix it.

    Wouldn’t hurt in the US.

  9. arthur4563 says:

    If I were them, I’d rethink their brainless decision to shutter those “dangerous” nuclear plants,
    which have operated for half a century with no problems. And the Fukashima “disaster”
    was easily preventable and harmed no one, except the utility’s investors. The rest of the world is going nuclear – only Germany is building coal fired plants. China has plans for 600 reactors by 2050 and 1600 by the end of the century.

  10. arthur4563 says:

    It would seem to be prudent for those anxious to use coal to check out the new no-emission
    coal combustion process demonstrated at Ohio State University this month.

  11. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:

    Here in the UK we’ve had a bunch of nutters in charge of energy policy for some decades now! Our domestic energy costs have doubled in six years. Our power suppliers are now owned by French and German companies. It’s complete madness here! Now we’re about to get foreign companies to build nuclear power plants – and they’ll be given GUARANTEED energy prices to charge in the future (in order to get them to build the nuclear plants). We’ve lost the plot completely. The only thing that can save us is falling global temperatures. Then, finally, the government will understand that it’s all a load of BS, and open up our coalmines that still have decades of coal in them (we won’t even need to import it, though we probably would as it would be cheaper).

  12. Edohiguma says:

    Of course they have to. For once they went crazy after 3-11, the Tohoku quake and tsunami. It was so bad that Geiger counters were sold out in Germany, the media was full of anti-Japanese racism with the media comparing Fukushima with Hitler’s bunker and painting an image of a brutal, inhumane feudal society in which homeless people, minors and foreigners were forced to clean up Fukushima. No, the Fukushima Fifty were no heroes, they were rightless slaves in a brutal feudal society according to German media. (this racism can still be observed in the wake of last December’s election in Japan, the German media cried murder over how the Japanese dared to vote for center-right -which had no anti-nuclear plans- over the left wing-green block -which was focusing only on nuclear power and had no answer over China going nuts in Japanese waters, which was the one of the issues everyone was concerned about, others were the failure of reconstruction by the then ruling party DPJ in the tsunami hit areas, the DPJ’s inability to deal with the TPP negotiations, etc)

    The tale of the “yellow peril” stalked Germany, Lufthansa ceased flights into Japan (the competition kept flying) and, worst of all…

    The German S&R team deployed to Japan abandoned their mission due to fear of radiation.

    Every other team, every single one, stayed and did what they promised to do.

    A second German S&R team was never deployed and turned around at once. When the first team fled Japan they even abandoned their equipment. Upon arriving home they were quick to blame the Japanese for a “not ideal” S&R and civil protection system and that there was nothing to rescue anymore, and were also very quick to say that they barely escaped radioactivity (which was of course a lie.) The Turkish team arrived in Japan a day after the Germans ran and had plenty to do.

    Then the German green party went crazy. Fukushima could happen in Germany tomorrow was what they claimed. 200,000 Germans protested against nuclear power (note how zero Germans protested against the recent North Korean nuke test and are still more concerned about Japan’s nuclear power than Chinese aggression and attempts to provoke Japan into a shooting war.)

    The German green party won votes with this. The German parliament went crazy, and especially chancellor Merkel, who supposedly has a degree in physics and should know better, made herself into some kind of icon in the government to fight “evil” nuclear power. It’s something she likes to do. The woman has some serious issues with her ego and her understanding of democracy and free speech is questionable, at best (she has proven this earlier with the whole “Sarrazin Affair”, where she made herself into the sole authority over what is free speech and what isn’t.)

    Last year anti-nuclear activists started to claim that the Wackersdorf facility was dangerous for the surrounding areas. They claimed that radiation from the facility had caused the birth rate of girls in the area to drop below national average. Never mind that a few years ago that same birth rate was above average. Not to mention a complete lack of understanding how birth rates work and averages work.

    These people are blind fanatics, zealots, who cost the German government huge sums of money every time a CASTOR transport runs. Thousands of cops have to guard it because these eco-nitwits would attack that train if there was no security.

    There were a few reasonable voices who asked where the electricity should come from without nuclear power. They pointed out the flaws in “renewable”, but initially nobody listened. It took the government a long time to realize that yeah, solar and wind aren’t really reliable and efficient and would explode the costs for electricity which would effectively kill Germany’s economy. Then the run for fossils started.

    As Professor Zöllner from the university in Bonn (he’s professor for Japanese Studies) said in his famous letter against the German anti-nukers and anti-Japanese German media: if you have friends like Germany you don’t need a nuclear crisis.

    I translated Professor Zöllner’s letter in late 2011. If you want to read it: http://wormme.com/2011/11/22/apocalypse-now/ Original German article: http://www.welt.de/kultur/article12985489/Apokalypse-jetzt-Wir-Deutschen-sollten-uns-schaemen.html

  13. vukcevic says:

    And then consider what is currently happening in the UK
    22 March 2013
    Oxfordshire’s ‘Didcot A’ Power Station has been turned off after 43 years in service…Nine months of decommissioning begins on 31 March, with demolition of the six towers expected to take several years.
    Greenpeace campaigner Ben Stewart said it marked the beginning of the end of coal burning in the UK. He added: “Off shore wind is where we should be focusing, given Britain is the Saudi Arabia of wind, and we should grasp the opportunity to make a huge investment there. “We’re the last generation that can do something about climate change. We’re right at the crunch point.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-21881129
    I do not expect affordable price of electricity any time soon.

  14. Beta Blocker says:

    Steven Hales says: …. the US is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance thanks to cheap shale gas. Coal was displaced largely by cheap gas not by regulation.

    In addition to displacing coal, cheap shale gas has also put an end to the Nuclear Renaissance, for all practical purposes, and is beginning to place significant competitive pressures on existing nuclear plants.

    The Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin is closing because it can’t make a profit in a competitive power market; the Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida and the San Onofre nuclear plant in California have been seriously damaged by incompetently managed steam generator replacement projects.

    It is easy to predict that the Vogtle nuclear expansion project in Georgia will eventually be terminated because of its serious cost growth problems; that the Watts Bar 2 construction restart project will also be terminated for similar reasons; and that Sumner expansion will not go forward.

    Here in the US, the next decade will see a significant reduction in our nuclear-generated capacity as cheaper gas-fired plants are brought on line in ever-increasing numbers and begin to displace those older nuclear plants which can’t compete economically.

  15. Our nuclear fleet is aging and new ones will not be built because the price tag is too
    high. Natural gas will take their place as old ones are shut down. Eventually nat. gas will
    get to $6 per m/btu at which time coal will again be the dominate fuel for the generation
    of electricity in the USA. In a few years coal will surpass crude as the #1 energy source
    worldwide.Coal`s future is very bright.

  16. Jimbo says:

    After Fukishima many greens thought “hey, this is a great opportunity to close down these dirty, dangerous nuclear power stations.” Out of the frying pan and into the mire. ;) Add to that the boom in coal use and the shale gas revolution and there is very little chance of reducing our co2 output. Long live carbon dioxide.

    By the way it’s not just Germany expanding it’s coal use.

    Guardian – 20 November 2012
    More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show
    Coal plants are the most polluting of all power stations and the World Resources Institute (WRI) identified 1,200 coal plants in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/20/coal-plants-world-resources-institute

  17. John says:

    To Steven Hales:

    Cheap natural gas does help replace coal generation at SOME coal plants when the price of natural gas is about $3.00- to $3.50 per million BTU. But the reason so many coal plants are closing is that the added costs of installing technologies to reduce emissions of every sort makes them no longer economic. Natural gas will recover in price enough (~ $4.50?) so that remaining coal plants will once again generate all the electricity that they can. The prices have to recover because drillers won’t do much horizontal drilling plus fracturing of the shale — costly technologies in combination — until prices recover. At that time, more gas will be used than would have been the case, because so many coal plants will have been retired.

    The question then becomes: are the costs worth the benefits? EPA of course has its view on that, and they run the show. Are they right? That is the issue, it seems to me.

  18. Jimbo says:

    Here’s more great news from the UK. Warmists must realise they are fighting a losing battle. The Earth needs more co2 not less..

    Guardian – 7 March 2013
    The closure of Daw Mill comes when King Coal has made an astonishing comeback with consumption by UK electricity generators up year-on-year by more than 30%.

    Despite government targets of reducing Britain’s CO2 emissions, the energy companies are burning lots more carbon-heavy coal attracted by its relatively cheap price compared to (environmentally-cleaner) gas and the need to use or lose this coal-burning capacity ahead of new pollution controls in 2015.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/07/king-coal-daw-mill-maltby

  19. dillweed7 says:

    So what if Germany is opening some new coal plants? So what if they have more on the drawing board? So what? They are spearheading a transformational change in how energy is produced. They’ve paid upfront costs that others would not. Anthony Watts has seen fit use solar. Not that Germany or solar itself need justification or approval from him. Something for anyone gleeful over Germany opening some new coal plants.

    Newsweek’s article on BP’s cover-up of the Deep Water Horizon spill and it’s willfully exposing clean-up workers to a dispersant it knew to be hazardous echoes similar behavior by fossil fuels companies. I’m thankful for Germany’s efforts to advance renewables and for our own NREL and the research they have done to advance it in our interests. The transition will take time and coal, oil and gas still have large roles to play. We’re moving toward a sea change in energy. Too bad the 20 billion BP will end up paying does not go directly into renewables. Metallica said it best, So What? (Edited for mods.)

  20. Ian W says:

    In the meantime, UK energy policy is allowed to drift. No company would abandon a successful, proven and efficient method of operating, without an alternative, better way having already been thoroughly tried and tested. So why does the UK government think it knows better?”

    Paul you put ‘UK Government’ and ‘think’ in the same sentence – you should have realized then what the problem is. The UK government is full of ‘do you want fries with that’ arts graduates who are the easy marks for the CAGW grifters. The thing is that the UK politicians do not yet see a problem….not at all. Look at all those lovely windmills with PR man ‘call me Dave’ standing chin up looking into the distance – the greenest government ever – as in wet behind the ears – and it shows. There was an article in the Independent yesterday: “Our shameful hierarchy – some deaths matter more than others” http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/owen-jones-our-shameful-hierarchy–some-deaths-matter-more-than-others-8581715.html that to me raised a totally different point from that in the article. In UK the deaths on the roads number around 1500ish a year; there are continual exhortations for drivers to drive safely, road traffic police, instant fines etc etc. If the numbers increase by 5% questions are asked in parliament and responded to in serious tones pledging action. More than twice the number that die in a year on UK’s roads died of cold in just in the month of March due to energy poverty. Not a single politician raised this. Not one. They will still increase fuel prices to cover the cost of subsidizing useless windmills despite huge numbers dying. You ask “So why does the UK government think it knows better?” The UK government doesn’t think about such things at all – the UK members of Parliament have demonstrated by their inaction that they could literally not care less.

  21. dillweed7 says:

    What is the source for 3000 dying from energy poverty in the UK?

  22. azleader says:

    Imho, as an American, what is important in this article is that it opens the opportunity for the USA to sell natural gas and natural gas electric plant technology to Germany.

    Natural gas is cheaper and cleaner than coal for generating electricity. Germany will flock to that like a moth to a flame!

  23. knr says:

    The Green’s once again show that they never run out of feet nor bullets to put in them .For its them that have pushed Germany to get rid of nuclear on ideological grounds that has lead to all these coal powered plants in the first place.

  24. Doug Danhoff says:

    In my area Wal Mart no longer has greeters….California economy I guess….. Now where should I look?

  25. SAMURAI says:

    The solution is real simple. Rather than building coal-fired plants, why not follow China’s lead and develop Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs), which can produce electricity cheaper than coal, and no produces no harmful emissions (Pb, Hg, NOX, CO, Carbon particulates, SO2, etc) and require no water to run the turbines.

    The £1 billion required to develop ridiculous CO2 CCS technology mentioned in the article is sufficient to get the first test LFTR developed and built.

    Here’s the math: 1.2 GRAMS of Thorium is sufficient to provide ALL the energy needs of an individual (including transportation) for a year, with about 0.12 grams/person of nuclear waste that has a half-life of only 300 yrs.

    As a rough napkin note calculation, Moving from a fossil fuels to a Thorium based world economy would save the world about $3 trillion/yr in energy expenditures plus another $1 trillion in military spending in protecting/securing fossil supplies.

    Imagine what the world could create with $4 trillion/yr and the political and economic stability such a world would look like, especially with Middle-Eastern oil becoming completely irrelevant…

    It boggles the mind.

  26. Dilweed

    So what if Germany is opening some new coal plants?

    Agreed. I have no problem with that either. They are doing what is right for their country.

    The UK needs to do the same.

  27. AleaJactaEst says:

    dillweed –

    saving for or got a pension? Then you probably own part of BP. And I’d be careful writing things like “wilfully” on a public blog – Chief Counsel’s tend not to like it and their bite is worse than their bark.

  28. philjourdan says:

    Germans have always been practical – they do not want to freeze! I guess the Brits want to keep a stiff upper lip.

  29. Goode 'nuff says:

    In the past during tough times Sam Walton trotted Hillary Clinton out as a show pony for his ‘Buy American’ campaign. They would place big ‘Made in USA’ tags on product displays. Wal~Mart image repaired.

    Then Sam trotted Hillary out to show pony for his ‘Green Campaign’ and the other campaign was left behind as manufacturing skeedaddled largely because of heavy environmental regulations and fines. Companies were cleaning up their act but was any of that appreciated? They continued to get heavy fines from aggressive environmental lawyers who rarely ever were satisfied with a warning.

    Abundant Nat Gas is a bit of a game changer for now.

    Less you forget though, the grandson Sam Rawlins Walton sits on the EDF board of director$$$$. So Wal~Mart will follow through on their latest proclamation or it will turn into another smokescreen fallacy?

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/walmart-to-boost-sourcing-of-us-products-by-50-billion-over-the-next-10-years-186934711.html

    Ferdberple knows how the flow goes.

    Coal dies a quick death in the USA, preferred, but they’ll settle for a slow one if they must.

  30. Steve C says:

    Paul Homewood says (April 23, 9:19 am):
    The UK needs to do the same.

    Darn right we do, and urgently. So … how are the sales of ice skates in Hell going?

  31. DirkH says:

    dillweed7 says:
    April 23, 2013 at 8:50 am
    “So what if Germany is opening some new coal plants? So what if they have more on the drawing board? So what? They are spearheading a transformational change in how energy is produced.”

    Well, we have installed mountains of unreliable contraptions that sometimes produce electricity. If we’re lucky that’s when we need electricity, in all other cases we give it away to countries that have a need for it and pay us pennies on the Dollar for it.

    “They’ve paid upfront costs that others would not.”

    That is factually wrong; we are STILL paying for it, and the cost is growing exponentially year on year; 16bn EUR in 2011; 20bn EUR in 2012. Electricity prices are growing exponentially as well.

    “Anthony Watts has seen fit use solar.”

    He lives in an area with three times the yearly insolation of Germany, and an insane monopoly electricity provider.

    ” Not that Germany or solar itself need justification or approval from him. Something for anyone gleeful over Germany opening some new coal plants.”

    Not that our parties need justification for it. As I never tire of explaining, ALL established parties here are Green, pro-EU, pro-Euro parties (could one say, therefore antidemocratic parties? I think one can say that; as the EU is not a democracy.)

    So, look to Germany if you want to see the future! Watch us perish.

    But; if you want to look even farther into the future, look at the Wind turbines of Portugal and Spain, at the solar panels of Spain and Italy and Greece, and at the societies around these contraptions, and ask them how happy they are now.

    Because all of these countries had the same FIT’s or even higher ones as Germany.

  32. DirkH says:

    Please also note, the warmist propaganda in Germany from all media and all established parties continues unabated, as warmism continues to be needed as the pretense for expropriating the population. Of course we also need reliable sources of electricity, so we build coal power plants as well, but the officially promoted doctrin stays warmism.

  33. Ian W says:

    dillweed7 says:
    April 23, 2013 at 8:53 am

    What is the source for 3000 dying from energy poverty in the UK?

    3000 is less than the extra deaths for last March _alone_ .

    “Age UK’s Michelle Mitchell said: ‘We are trailing behind our European counterparts when it comes to providing decent housing that people can afford to heat.’
    In total, there were 33,500 deaths over the first three weeks of last month, up from an average of 29,294 in recent years, the Office for National Statistics reported. Another 1,000 extra deaths are predicted for the final week of the month.

    http://metro.co.uk/2013/04/04/5000-lives-believed-to-have-been-lost-due-to-bitter-march-3584311/

    “The figures reveal that while the appalling death toll of lambs has been widely reported, the death toll among pensioners has been far higher. The overall death toll in the first three weeks of March was 33,500, compared with a previous average of 29,294 in recent years.”
    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/freezing-march-weather-linked-to-big-jump-in-death-rate-8559769.html

    “Ed Davey, the energy secretary, repeated Government assurances that Britain is not running out of gas and warned energy companies on Tuesday that freezing conditions were “no excuse to push up bills” amid concerns over the ability of elderly people to keep warm.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/9955587/Deaths-rise-10pc-in-freezing-weather.html

    “Every winter, thousands of older people in England become seriously ill or even die as a result of the cold.”
    http://www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/keeping-your-body-healthy/preventing-winter-deaths/

    “Michelle Mitchell, Age UK’s Charity Director-General, said: ‘It’s really worrying that the number of deaths in March this year are significantly higher than the average for the previous five years.

    ‘Cold homes are particularly dangerous to the health of older people and are a major contributing factor to the high numbers of excess winter deaths in this country.

    In total, there were 33,500 deaths over the first 3 weeks of March 2013, compared with an average of 29,294 over the last 5 years.”
    http://www.sovereignindependentuk.co.uk/2013/04/12/5000-extra-deaths-during-march/

    “The bitterly cold weather is killing more people in England as millions of pensioners and families lack the financial capability to heat their homes, media reports said.

    According to reports, in the week ending March 15, 11,180 deaths were registered – 1,300 more than the average for the past five years – which included 9,500 pensioners. There were 11,245 deaths registered in the previous week, 1,265 more than usual.”
    http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/03/cold-snap-adds-to-recession-woes-in-uk-2604338.html

    “As the country was subjected to the worst March snowfall in over 30 years, official figures showed that there were more than 4,000 extra deaths in just five weeks as the wintry conditions persisted.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/9950731/Drawn-out-winter-may-have-caused-thousands-of-extra-deaths.html

    It not all bad news – the PR man call me Dave knows when to step in with a suitable ‘life saving’ opportunity –
    “David Cameron saves stricken SHEEP in daring rescue
    DAVID Cameron has revealed he waded into a swamp to haul out a stranded ewe after a day of helping out a neighbour with lambing in his rural Oxfordshire constituency.”

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/388753/David-Cameron-saves-stricken-SHEEP-in-daring-rescue

  34. Toto says:

    If there is a logic to fear, clear immediate dangers might take precedence over vague future worries. Clear to them that is. I don’t know what anti-nuclear minds think, probably more about Chernobyl than Thorium.
    http://energyfromthorium.com/thorium/

  35. Bruce Cobb says:

    @ dillweed7: You seem to really love “renewable” energy. Aside from making energy costs skyrocket, harming struggling economies, and forcing many people into energy poverty, what else do you love about them?

  36. Jimbo says:

    dillweed7 says:
    April 23, 2013 at 8:50 am

    So what if Germany is opening some new coal plants? So what if they have more on the drawing board? So what? They are spearheading a transformational change in how energy is produced. They’ve paid upfront costs that others would not. Anthony Watts has seen fit use solar.

    Let’s have a sunshine hours fight. California V Germany. No comparison. By the way Germany just had its darkest winter. Ouch!

    dillweed7 says:
    The transition will take time and coal, oil and gas still have large roles to play.

    Of course, they have to be kept running for when the wind ain’t blowin’ and the sun don’t shine. Ouch!

  37. Ian W says:

    dillweed7 says:
    April 23, 2013 at 8:53 am

    What is the source for 3000 dying from energy poverty in the UK?

    Dilweed – just do an internet search for: march deaths cold UK

    Multiple hits

    And the number was 2000 extra in the first weeks of March alone. The total number dying is an order of magnitude greater.

    I have responded with links but I think a reply with several URLs to MSM sites goes into the spam trap,

  38. Chuck Nolan says:

    So, coal is better for the environment than nuclear…..Who knew?
    Where is everybody?
    No news articles about Greenpeace or Sierra Club chaining themselves to the coal fired turbine steam generators?
    Where’s ole Jimmy Hansen. I thought he was pro nuke?
    Shouldn’t he be lying on the tracks of the trains of death to prevent movement of the devil’s heat source?
    These people and their organizations are so obvious.
    Follow the money.

    cn

  39. profitup10 says:

    Total NUKE FEAR . . closing nukes buying power from France [nukes?] what a failure was the

  40. profitup10 says:

    Total NUKE FEAR . . closing nukes buying power from France [nukes?] what a failure was the E=GREEN alternative power program was = they used Nuke to subsidize green . . now they need cheap power to keep their industrial base.

  41. Trev says:

    When the UK governments own chief scientific adviser bleats on about the dangers of global warming then it has a difficulty rationalising its policy.

  42. Barry Sheridan says:

    Readers to this site need to understand, if they don’t already, that British politicians are in general scientifically illiterate. This wilful ignorance by most of those attracted to national politics has deep roots and is unlikely to change anytime soon. What is even more regrettable is the complacent smugness of much of the population, they will learn, as we have done so in the past, that there are hard lessons to be absorbed from idle indifference to what is done in our name. Alas the immediate prospects remain poor as Messers Cameron, Clegg and Milliband all lack the sense they were born with.

  43. This is great. I often have believers hold up Germany as an example of a suscessful implementation of green engergy. Turns out it didn’t work out too well over there. Yet another argument has swung over to our side.

  44. wlf15y says:

    dillweed7 says:
    April 23, 2013 at 8:53 am

    “What is the source for 3000 dying from energy poverty in the UK?”

    Not too complicated a thing there dill, you can use GOOGLE…..

    “Since 2000, excess winter deaths in England and Wales remained generally at around 25,000. For the period of 2007-2008 the number of excess winter deaths was 27,480 of which the Hill reporte estimated that around 10% were caused directly by fuel poverty.[6] The winter of 2008-2009 the coldest in 10 years, and the Office for National Statistics estimated there were a total of 36,700, an increase of 49% over the previous year, which represents a 23.8% rise in deaths during the winter.”

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

    and here:

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob2/monthly-figures-on-deaths-registered-by-area-of-usual-residence–england-and-wales/march-2013–provisional-/index.html

    [Note: "dillweed" is persona non grata (PNG) here. Apologies to Anthony for mistakenly approving his last 2 comments. He hasn't been around for a while, but that's no excuse for a highly paid moderator on the Big Oil payroll. ~ mod.]

  45. Rhoda R says:

    The trouble with wind power is that it is 14th century technology – however gussied up and prettyfied it is today. And 14th century technology is going to give you a 14th century standard of living.

  46. Bruce Cobb says:

    “He hasn’t been around for a while, but that’s no excuse for a highly paid moderator on the Big Oil payroll. ~ mod.]”

    Ah-HA! I KNEW it! The cat’s out of the bag now…

  47. Dilweed7? Surely there can’t be six others?

  48. Canman says:

    The warmists have been touting Germany’s wind and solar for years. The chickens are coming home to roost!

  49. Rhoda R:

    At April 23, 2013 at 11:19 am you say

    The trouble with wind power is that it is 14th century technology – however gussied up and prettyfied it is today. And 14th century technology is going to give you a 14th century standard of living.

    You make a good point. Indeed, it is better than you say.

    Windpower was developed over thousands of years (not merely centuries) and was abandoned when the greater energy intensity available from fossil fuels became available by use of the steam engine.

    Wind energy powered most of the world’s shipping for thousands of years. Primitive wind turbines powered pumps (notably in the Netherlands and England) and mills throughout Europe for centuries.

    There are a number of types of wind turbines. They are divided into Vertical-Axis and Horizontal-Axis types.

    Vertical-axis windmills to mill corn were first developed by the Persians around 1500 BC, and they were still in use in the 1970’s in the Zahedan region. Sails were mounted on a boom attached to a shaft that turned vertically. The technology had spread to Northern Africa and Spain by 500 BC. Low-speed, vertical-axis windmills are still popular in Finland because they operate without adjustment when the direction of the wind changes. These inefficient Finnish wind turbines are usually made from a 200 litre oil drum split in half and are used to pump water and to aerate land. Low speed vertical-axis windmills for water pumping and air compressing are commercially available (a selection of commercial suppliers is at http://energy.sourceguides.com/businesses/byP/water/wPumpMills/wPumpMills.shtml) .

    The horizontal-axis wind turbine was invented in Egypt and Greece around 300 BC. It had 8 to 10 wooden beams rigged with sails, and a rotor which turned perpendicular to the wind direction. This type of wind turbine later became popular in Portugal and Greece. Around 1200 AD, the crusaders built and developed the post-mill for milling grain. The turbine was mounted on a vertical post and could be rotated on top the post to keep the turbine facing the wind. This post-mill technology was first adopted for electricity generation in Denmark in the late 1800’s. The technology soon spread to the U.S. where it was used to pump water and to irrigate crops across the Great Plains. During World War I, some American farmers rigged wind turbines to each generate 1 kW of DC current. Such wind turbines were mounted on buildings and towers. On western farms and railroad stations, wind turbines for pumping water were between 6 and 16m high and had 2 to 3m diameter. With 15kmh wind speed, a 2m-diameter turbine operating a 60cm diameter pump cylinder could lift 200 litres of water per hour to a height of 12m. A 4m diameter turbine could lift 250 litres per hour to a height of 38m.

    The above brief history demonstrates that wind turbines can have useful niches to the present day. For example, small wind turbines can be used to economically pump water or generate electricity in remote locations distant to – or disconnected from (e.g. on boats) – an electricity grid supply. But wind power lost favour when the greater energy concentration in fossil fuels became widely available by use of steam engines. Wind power has recently found favour for large scale electricity generation in some places, but such use is uneconomic and impractical.

    Today, if wind power were economically competitive with fossil fuels, then oil tankers would be sailing ships. Japan has conducted several studies to ascertain if use of automated sails could assist modern shipping. These studies have demonstrated that available wind power is so small a contribution to the powering of a ship that the systems to obtain it cannot recover their capital.

    However, since the 1970s, the use of large, modern wind turbines has become popular for electricity generation in some places. This is especially true in Denmark, Germany, the UK and also in parts of the USA. Reasons for this use are entirely political. The low energy concentration in wind requires use of very many turbines with associated very high capital and maintenance costs. Also, the output of the turbines depends on the weather and, therefore, cannot be predicted with accuracy for more than – at most – a few days in advance.

    Windfarms are local assemblies of wind turbines for power generation. Their turbines generate electricity when the wind is strong enough but not too strong. This makes their output intermittent, and electricity is not a commodity so it cannot be stored in significant amounts and must be used at its existing distribution system when generated. This intermittent supply of electricity disrupts the electricity grid and prevents the windfarms reducing need for power stations which are needed to provide power when windfarms don’t.

    I am astonished when windpower supporters say windpower requires subsidies because it is “new technology”. Windpower was abandoned when the greater energy intensity available from fossil fuels became available by use of the steam engine.

    So, if windpower is new technology then the steam engine must be future-tech.

    Richard

  50. Mycroft says:

    Stunned at this news,why then in the UK are we having to shut down coal fire power stations under E.U directives whilst Germany is allowed to build new ones?????

  51. MarkW says:

    “US would have enough coal to power its economy for a couple of centuries”
    Closer to 1000 years.

  52. MarkW says:

    Barry Sheridan says:
    April 23, 2013 at 10:46 am
    Readers to this site need to understand, if they don’t already, that British politicians are in general scientifically illiterate.

    That’s a failing of politicians world wide.

  53. Coal Plants are great..they provide reliable and affordable electricity for the masses…they emit lots of CO2 which is good because carbon dioxide makes green things greener and more productive with a lot less water and fertilizer. With all this talk about how China gets its electricity…it is still about 70% from coal-fired plants and with two new coal plants being built every week on average that % won`t change anytime soon.

  54. Manfred says:

    Edohiguma says:
    April 23, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Sadly, I totally agree with that.

  55. richard verney says:

    richardscourtney says:
    April 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////

    You could have added that given the old nature of the technology it is unlikely that there will be any significant future increase in efficiency.

    Essentially, the generator is a tried and tested design that dates back a century and therefore short of using super conductivity or super magnetivity, it is extremely unlikely that improvements in efficiency can be obtained from any redesign of the generator. The same applies to the propellors/blades. These are of tried and tested design dating back to at least the 2nd world war. Once again, it is unlikely that significant increase in efficiency can be achieved through more efficient propellor design. Thus to get more power, the only way that this is achievable is to build big bklades and a bigger generator, not by way of more efficiency being extracted from the integral components.

    There can be no future economy of scale. Each turbine by necessity is an individual item with its own concrete base and stand. It is not possible to reduce the spacing between turbines due to wind shaddow (something familiar to those who enjoy yachting). So this is not a situation like the integrated circuit where thousands (even millions) of transistors could be placed upon one small circuit board thereby revolutionising amplfier/radio design.

    Thus the bottom line is that this is not a fledgling industry where significant improvements can be acchieved with time and investment. In every day use, wind farms return around 22 to 28% of their nameplate capacity. We will never achieve significantly better returns than that. Indeed, it is likely that future returns will be less since probably the best situatedi sites have already been used, and there is some evidence that windfarms are stripping some of the energy from the wind, such that with ever increasing numbers of wind turbines, the strength of the wind will slightly lessen.

    Of course, the biggest kioller is that it is now becoming apparent that the life expectancy of these turbines is far less than was presumed. It appears that their lefe expectancy is in the region of 12 to 15 years. Off-shore, the life expectancy will be far less and maintenance costs far higher. Having been involved in shipping for approximately 30 years, I have my doubts as to whether off-shore turbines will ever be economically repaired. I foresee substantial problems in the cost effective maintenance and repairs of these.

    There is no economic case for wind, There is no energy generation design case for wind (indeed it apppears that they are at their least efficient when demand is at its peak – consider winter blocking highs when it is cold and dark and when there is all but no wind)). There is no AGW case for wind since they require almost 100% backup by conventional powered generators such that there is no saving of CO2 emissions (not one single conventional power generation station has been closed down any where in the world because it was made reduntant and replaced by wind).

    The sooner the governments stop all subsidies (without compensation) for wind the better. Industry (and the consumer) is going to pay a very heavy price for this folly.

  56. Mycroft:

    At April 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm you ask

    Stunned at this news,why then in the UK are we having to shut down coal fire power stations under E.U directives whilst Germany is allowed to build new ones?????

    It derives from the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD). I explain as follows.

    The LCPD was established as a response to the ‘acid rain’ scare of the 1980s. It constrains emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from power stations. The bureaucracy established to operate the LCPD still exists, and the bureaucrats who operate it justify their jobs by continuing to tighten the constraints.

    The emissions constraints can be met by fitting flue gas desulphurisation (FGD). But an FGD plant requires space for it to be installed and an existing power station may not have the space. Importantly, FGD is very expensive.

    FGD adds ~20% to the capital cost and ~10% to the operating cost of a power station. These costs are spread over the operating life of a power station.

    The Germans are building new coal-fired power stations. The additional costs of FGD will be spread over the entire life of each new power station. These high costs reduce but do not negate the ability of the new power stations to make profits.

    Simply, the new German power stations fitted with FGD can operate to make profits over their scheduled lives.

    The British have old power stations which have already operated for half their scheduled lives. Fitting FGD to them would require the additional 20% capital cost of FGD to be recovered during the remainder of their lives. And that is not possible when FGD increases the operating cost by about 10%.

    Simply, the old British power stations can close and make no profits or fit FGD then operate at a loss. No profits is preferable to a loss so they are being closed.

    I hope that brief explanation is sufficient and clear.

    Richard

  57. richard verney:

    re your post at April 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm.

    Thanks for your addition.

    Yes, I agree all of that, and there is more I could have added, too. But I thought my post was already long enough.

    I think we agree that a technology which has had continuing development for 3,500 years has been developed to near its optimum performance.

    Richard

  58. scott says:

    there is nothing wrong with germany using these new coal plants. THe co2 really isnt going to make a major impact on anything and nuclear power is still dangerous esp with terror threats etc. i think it is a good plan for them.

  59. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    richardscourtney says:
    April 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Wind energy powered most of the world’s shipping for thousands of years. Primitive wind turbines powered pumps (notably in the Netherlands and England) and mills throughout Europe for centuries.

    Don’t forget oars, which were really the prime ocean transport power during classical Persian/Greek/Roman times. Oar-powered galleys continued to be employed in the Mediterranean up to the Battle of Lepanto (1571) when an alliance of Italian city states defeated a Turkish fleet. Note this was just 17 years before the Spanish Armada sailed into ignominy in 1588.

    Richard you make some excellent points. Another thing to consider is the impact iron production had on hull construction. The absolute limit for a wooden keeled vessel is about 100 meters, and that’s for a flat-bottom hull for river/lake use. For a deep ocean-going vessel, there were very few successful all wood ships over 70 meters; 60 meters was much more typical. See here .

    The use of coal to produce coke to smelt iron (instead of charcoal) caused iron production in England to explode starting around 1700. Greater availability and lower cost allowed first iron keels and later completely iron hulls. We think of iron as heavy, but for its strength it is lighter than wood. Iron hulls quickly blew past the old limits on hull length. The three ships of Isambard Brunel illustrate this:

    Great Western (1838) — wood with iron diagonals: 72 meters
    Great Britain (1843) — all iron: 98 meters
    Great Eastern (1859) — all iron, double hull: 210 meters

    The interior space of a hull increases with the square of the length, so in a span of 21 years hull capacity increased over ninefold. Such large hulls simply could not be powered by sail; they required steam engines. Similar rapid technological advances produced increasingly efficient engines, fueled by coal (approximately double the energy density of hardwood).

    Iron, coal and steam powered the industrial age. They developed together and enabled each other.

  60. M Courtney says:

    richard verney says at April 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm
    “It appears that their life expectancy is in the region of 12 to 15 years.” It being, of course, onshore wind turbines.

    Very good point. Especially when the AGW effect is imperceptible over 15 years. The current warming pause makes that clear.

    How can anyone justify factoring in a subsidy to cover the remediated-externalities when the turbine can’t have any measurable effect on the feared externality during its planned lifetime?
    Why not leave such remediation until the development of a technology that can show an improvement over its lifecycle?

    Walking away lowers the risk of wasting resources.

  61. richard verney says:

    vukcevic says:

    April 23, 2013 at 8:17 am
    ////////////////////////////////////////

    If one thought that on shore wind was a folly, off-shore wind is an order of magnitude worse.

    There is evidence now emerging that in real world conditions the ilife expectancy of on shore wind turbines is in the region of 12 to 15 years. One can expect that off-shore, this will be halved.

    The costs of maintenance off-shore will become prohibitive in view of the safety issues. There have already been may fatalities on-shore, but the dangers off-shore are far worse. Waiting for a favourable good weather window which will permit maintenance will be expensive since there will inevitably be considerable standby charges (supply vessels, personnel, possibly helicopters) whilst awaiting for the weather window to open up.

    It would not surprise me if real world experience leads to the conclusion that it is uneconomic to repair broken/faulty operating wind turbines, as and when they break down, and that maintenance and repairs be effected only on an annual or bi-annual or tri-annual basis. For long periods of time, many turbines will fall out of commission.

  62. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7:

    Thankyou for your interesting and informative post at April 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm.

    Yes, you raise several important issues. Allow me to put another take on them.

    All energy sources are free.
    Coal, oil, gas, wind, solar, uranium, and etc. are free: they exist in nature.
    But collecting a source and converting its potential into useful energy has costs in effort and money.

    The much higher energy intensity in fossil fuels than in wind means the same amount of energy costs less to obtain from fossil fuels than from wind.

    Fossil fuels could provide heat but not work prior to the steam engine. The steam engine enabled fossil fuels to provide their energy for conduct of useful work. Access to the high energy intensity in fossil fuels then provided such cheap energy to do work that it displaced windpower and muscle power (from animals and slaves).

    Ignorance of reality is displayed by the idea that an industrial society can return to windpower, solar power and muscle power. There is no possibility that collecting energy from these sources can be as cheap – in effort and in money – as collecting energy from fossil fuels and nuclear power. Indeed, using windpower and solar to collect sufficient energy to operate an industrial society would be so expensive that the society could not sustain it so would collapse.

    Richard

  63. Mike Jonas says:

    dillweed7 may well be persona non grata here for previous comments, but to my mind his two comments on this thread have been OK. One was an opinion expressed in reasonable terms – people have seen fit to disagree with it but such is open discourse. The second was a very reasonable request for a link to information.

  64. Zeke says:

    Perhaps Europeans should pass laws which require new mandated “energy efficient” appliances to display warning labels, alerting the buyer to the fact that they can be remotely turned on and off when used in concert with a Smartmeter. The renewables are just a back-breaker to the existing coal and gas plants, so that smartmeters are required to manage the volatility of demand, supply, and price – new grids supposedly protecting the poor, who were deeply harmed in the first place by ideologues supporting worthless wind turbines.

    The ignorance of renewables supporters regarding the necessity of these smartmeters and new grids (in order to repair the damage done by renewables to supply and price) is either willful, or it is deeply deceptive. Why should Europeans or Americans be forced to add on renewables, then add on smartmeters, then add new smart grids, when it is already known that the renewables are disruptive and expensive?

    Does the resulting central control by government of electrical use by the consumer and industry, afforded by smart grids and smart meters, have something to do with it? If you see anyone telling you you have to buy all new grids, or ignorantly supporting policies that force “people to fork out thousands of pounds on new TVs, fridge freezers and washing machines,” or to buy all new power meters, you are dealing with someone who is unable to observe the destructive results of their previous experiments on people’s lives. And so this is irrational, because it disregards the observations and expects it will all magickally work out.

  65. peterg says:

    No problems. All they have to do is spend a few cents on the carbon credits market and these new coal stations will be covered.

  66. DirkH says:

    Zeke says:
    April 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm
    “If you see anyone telling you you have to buy all new grids, or ignorantly supporting policies that force “people to fork out thousands of pounds on new TVs, fridge freezers and washing machines,” or to buy all new power meters, you are dealing with someone who is unable to observe the destructive results of their previous experiments on people’s lives.”

    Forcing you to do something is the job description of a politician, after he is done forcing you to not do something..

  67. Colas51 says:

    Not feeling compassionate today… I say “Give the people what they want”… If they can’t understand science, engineering and economics on the most rudimentary basis, then they should learn their lessons by freezing in the dark for a few years. Or working all day to live in meager poverty.

    The mighty German and Japanese nations need to be pilloried before the entire global community as object lessons in self- laceration and destruction. Seems to be the only way the world learns good ideas from bad ones.

  68. George Steiner says:

    Mr. Hales, you may find soon that the miracle of fossil fuels is neither fossil nor miracle. It will not surprise me that we have an abundance of hydrocarbons just as Thomas Gold said.

  69. Zeke says:

    DirkH says, “Forcing you to do something is the job description of a politician, after he is done forcing you to not do something.”

    And you get to pay for it coming and going. Which in the case of energy policy leaves you paying to shut down nuclear and coal, then paying for worthless wind turbines, then paying higher rates, then paying for national industry loss, then paying for going after those nasty tax evaders, then finally, paying for more coal plants to be built.

    Let me guess, they have some new cars you have to buy and some new ways to grow crops without any chemical fertilizers or water. What could go wrong.

  70. Lil Fella from OZ says:

    Is it fair to say in the future there will be a new medical declaration of death. ‘Green death.’
    I am glad I don’t reside in the UK, they are looking down the barrel of years of trouble which cannot be resolved in a few months! But will the green brigade put their hands up to take responsibility?

  71. Jay says:

    Oh well.. Even mighty Germany can only take so much political stupidity before there is no other choice but to turn the ship around.. Scary economic stuff with so much invested in wind / solar and nuclear.. Now its back up coal plants that are not really back up plants because they will always be running to meet demand.. What a staggering cost on the German public.. What a fine example of true democracy, where the whims of the idiot population get put into practice..

    Am I being to harsh?.. Lets add it up the best we can. German nuclear RND and the building of the plants, this includes wages and benefits.. Then lets add the 200 odd billion dollars Germany has invested in Wind and Solar to delay fake global warming by 45 minutes.. Then lets add the cost of the new and improved expensive coal fired plants, plus the carbon tax they will have to pay..

    I think its a number nobody wants to add up..

  72. Niff says:

    The insanity of it all never ceases to amaze. But the exhortation of Greenpeace to invest massively in offshore windpower seems very clear. By degrading your enemies treasure over time he becomes weakened to the point of conquest. If anyone doubts this think only of the Battle of the Atlantic. This was entirely a struggle of materiel. Today that materiel is the economy dressed up as the ‘environment’.

  73. Jay says:

    We shouldn’t forget that the original boondoggle was nuclear.. it was a cold war bragging stump where everything about it was exaggerated.. Scientists and engineers hand in had with the democratic cold war propagandists.. Huge sums of money where shared on projections that proved to be no better than climate science today..

    Then the truth came out that long before the initial investment payed off the plant had to be retro fitted to more modern safety standards..

    Has there ever been a nuclear power plant thats earned a dime in profit?

  74. William Astley says:

    In reply to LamontT

    LamontT says:
    April 23, 2013 at 7:53 am
    Thats a major step backwards from the nuclear plants they used to have.

    William:
    There are a few bugs that need to be worked out for nuclear power. The nuclear power promoters do not quote realistic costs for construction or for operation. The cost of nuclear power is 2 to 3 times the cost of coal over the complete life cycle of the nuclear plant. Nuclear power plants can and do have complex expensive problems in their life cycle.

    The thorium reactor is interesting. The Breeder reactor is interesting as it consumes all fissionable material. Hansen’s estimate (which I do not trust) is there is sufficient fissionable material (he assumes uranium can be removed from sea water which I have heard of but do not know if that is practical) to fuel breeder reactors to power all countries for a billion years.

    The technical and commercial issues are not trivial. For the very long term say the next 40 years we need to fund prototypes and production prototype to develop a standard design for nuclear reactors that has been tested and proven.

    Jay says:
    April 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    We shouldn’t forget that the original boondoggle was nuclear.. it was a cold war bragging stump where everything about it was exaggerated.. Scientists and engineers hand in had with the democratic cold war propagandists.. Huge sums of money where shared on projections that proved to be no better than climate science today..

    Then the truth came out that long before the initial investment payed off the plant had to be retro fitted to more modern safety standards..

    Has there ever been a nuclear power plant thats earned a dime in profit? (William: I am not aware of one in the US.)

    In reply to Jay.

    The reaction to nuclear safety issues was to throw regulations at the problem. At the rate of three new regulations per day so there are now around 200,000 regulations. The cost of the reactors has doubled to meet the regulations. (One of the companies I worked for provided critical valves for nuclear applications.)

    In the very long term nuclear is likely the answer. The technical problems are solvable. The question is how to solve them at a reasonable cost. Likely nuclear reactors should be constructed far from population centers.

    Part of the problem is commercial companies cannot fund long term nuclear research. Commercial companies hence are forced to stay with a design that is approved for construction. There appears to be no other choice but to have government funding. The question is then when to fund the reactor research.

    ‘Fossil’ fuel plants can and have be optimized so that a modern coal plant produces very low emissions. ‘Natural’ gas is better if one has a source of natural gas. What we need to do in the US is as appropriately build either new modern coal plants or natural gas plants and let source of gas, location to major population centers, and total cost, drive the choice.

    Unfortunately the EPA has created regulations to stop coal consumption as opposed to ‘protect’ the ‘environment’. The EPA appears to be staffed by fanatics.

  75. John says:

    I think this article is incomplete, how many old coal powered station will close down as new more efficient ones are built? In 2020 how much electricity will be generated from Coal as compared to renewable electricity?

  76. John:

    At April 24, 2013 at 12:02 am you ask

    I think this article is incomplete, how many old coal powered station will close down as new more efficient ones are built? In 2020 how much electricity will be generated from Coal as compared to renewable electricity?

    John, it seems you have been misinformed.

    Except for hydropower, ‘renewables’ are intermittent and their ability to supply is not as people need but is controlled by nature (i.e. supply of wind, sun, tidal flow, etc.).

    Hence, renewables do NOT reduce need for thermal (e.g. nuclear or coal) power stations.
    1.
    When renewables are supplying no electricity then thermal power stations need to provide all the required electricity.
    2.
    When renewables are supplying some power (i.e. up to ~20% of total demand for electricity) then the thermal power stations ‘turndown’ their output to make room on the grid for the renewable electricity. This INCREASES their fuel usage and emissions because thermal power stations try to operate at optimum efficiency. Reduce their output a little and their efficiency reduces a lot. This is like driving a car at 5 mph in fifth gear: it can be done but uses a lot of fuel.
    3.
    When renewables are supplying much power (i.e. more than ~20% of total demand for electricity) their problems of intermittency increase grid management problems so much that ADDITIONAL thermal power stations need to be built and operated to enable the renewables to supply to the grid when they can.

    So, you ask
    “In 2020 how much electricity will be generated from Coal as compared to renewable electricity?”
    and the answer is
    at least ALL of the electricity from renewables will – in reality – be supplied by Coal and the renewables may require Coal to also supply more than that.

    Richard

  77. jdseanjd says:

    Let’s also not forget that global warming/climate change is only a sideshow in this circus.
    Designed to enrich politicians, second rate “scientists”, profligate govts & banksters through inflated power bills & carbon trading. To the detriment of the working, benefit & middle class.
    This is not the whim of the idiot people being put into place, this is democracy subverted by vested interests & maniac marxists dressed as greens.

    The main event is & always has been the creation of one world govt, through the UN & it’s unlimited NGOs, for which the EU is seen as the forerunner.

    Create a world scare, which needs a world govt.

    In the 70s it was global cooling, then came acid rain & in the 80s global warming which slyly morphed into climate change. This is rapidly becoming a busted flush, so expect the next battle cry to emerge. A global war on poverty? That sounds good & might fly. Whatever it is it will come, because the big agenda is still under the table.

    Agenda 21 requires:
    1) The destruction of the western industrial way of life, which we are seeing.

    2) The equalisation of wealth between continents. India, China & the developing countries are making good progress, except where dictators in the UN club of dictators are given foreign aid to hold their people back in pre-industrial poverty.

    3) The reduction of world population to “sustainable” levels. 0.5 billion according to the Georgia Greatstones. We are seeing good progress in this with the US & its NATO puppets inc France & the UK destabilizing govts in the Middle East :Libya & Iraq, for example, where they have left behind them sectarian violence & murderous civil wars. Over 5 million deaths in the Congo in the past few years add nicely to the score. Dr Paul Craig Roberts:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34700.htm#idc-cover

    US cries crocodile tears over Boston, while 70,000 deaths in Syria go unremarked. Hypocrisy much? The US has already funded the AL-QAEDA based opposition with $117 million, & plans a further $ 123 million. The object? To deprive Russia of a warm water port, to leave behind the same murderous chaos as elsewhere in the Middle East & to secure the Lebanon headwaters of the water so vital to Israel.

    There’s more, but that’s enough for now.

    Google agenda 21 for dummies, as good a place to start as any.

    Regards,
    Fred.

  78. johnmarshall says:

    On the German nuclear plant closure, the decision was made by Angela Merkel, by training a Physicist. Mad woman!

  79. Mark says:

    I’m still on the fence with warming – for a little while yet anyway.

    Whatever I read on both sides of the debate, common sense tells me that burning millions of tons of anything resulting in dirty emissions when there are alternatives is wrong.

  80. Alexej Buergin says:

    The German decision about nuclear energy is easy to understand. According to Claudia Roth (boss of the greens) and Jürgen Trittin the 16000 people killed in Fukushima died because of the nuclear catastrophy there (while our media pretended it was the tsunami).

  81. TomVonk says:

    common sense tells me that burning millions of tons of anything resulting in dirty emissions when there are alternatives is wrong.

    You made a rather deadly mistake. What you call “common sense” is in reality “stupidity”.
    – mankind has been burning billions (not millions) tons of anything since it climbed down the trees and discovered fire. The result is that you don’t need to climb back on trees today. But you are of course free to do so.

    – anything being transformed results in emissions. Whether they are dirty or not is a matter of opinion. Some are more than others. CO2 definitely is NOT. It is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gaz without which there would be no life on Earth.

    – there has always been an alternative to everything. The best alternative to driving a car or wasting energy with a computer is to walk and give the computer away. I suggest you do so for a couple of months. It is a practical lesson that in efficient alternative the word efficient is much more important than the word alternative.

    However the stupidity of the quoted statement above leaves little hope that you will understand as long as the government doesn’t give you what you wish for.

  82. Mark:

    At April 24, 2013 at 3:39 am you say

    Whatever I read on both sides of the debate, common sense tells me that burning millions of tons of anything resulting in dirty emissions when there are alternatives is wrong.

    At present there are NO alternatives to fossil fuels, hydroelectricity and nuclear power for large scale energy production; none, zilch, nada. See my post at April 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/23/germany-to-open-six-more-coal-power-stations-in-2013/#comment-1285268

    Whatever anybody says in any debate, common sense tells me it is insane to freeze to death in the dark while hoping to use unicorn farts as fuel instead of fossil fuels.

    Richard

  83. David says:

    In the meantime, the UK is shutting coal-fired power stations like there’s no tomorrow..
    Come to think of it – energy-wise – there is ‘no tomorrow’…!

  84. David says:

    Cameron to Ed Davey (UK’s – er – ‘Energy’ minister): ‘Quick Ed – get that extension lead installed across the North Sea..!’

  85. CodeTech says:

    So let me see if I have this right: Germany, a country that is somehow in the throes of “greendom”, spending immense sums on “renewables”, is shutting down their already-built zero-emission Nuclear plants and replacing them with coal. Well good for them.

    I take it nobody has informed the “green” types that more radioactivity is emitted by a coal plant than a Nuclear plant. Nobody stopped to think about the required backups for “renewables”, a word that my spell check doesn’t recognize. Nobody actually compared an almost 50 year old reactor shaken by an enormous earthquake and doused by an equally enormous tsunami and yet still miraculously emitting only barely measurable radioactivity, all within the range of “natural” in other parts of the world, to the stable, newer technology being used in Germany.

    But that’s ok – we live in an entirely upside down world, where one president (Nixon) resigns before being impeached, and another (Clinton) just ignores actually being impeached. A world where most of an entire city (Boston) is shut down in order to capture a teenager. We have a society that actually believes that “manmade global warming” causes cold weather, that small variations in land temperatures are reason to panic, and that we should separate our garbage so subsidized companies can make doormats and t-shirts with it. Heck, we live in a world where people fly airplanes into office buildings and others try to “understand” them and figure out how to appease them better.

    Oh no, it gets better. We are told that Science has all of the answers, to every question, but can’t even deal with a common virus that virtually everyone on the planet is exposed to from time to time. We’ve witnessed violent protest against liberating countries from horrific dictatorships. We’ve watched religions become, not just marginalized, but mocked publicly from all directions by people who claim to be fighting for religious people.

    Yeah, it’s a mixed up world, heck the 60s weren’t even CLOSE to the craziest time ever. All we did was normalize crazy. If you were to bring someone here from 100 years ago they would wonder what we did to ourselves. All of these wonderful inventions and labor-saving devices, and we’re busy trying to get rid of most of them.

    Nah, compared to the AGW scare and the ozone scare and the rest of what’s been going on for the last few decades, Germany’s decision to abandon Nuclear doesn’t even seem that crazy. It’s just another symptom of a severe lack of critical thinking, which is so common today it rarely even gets noticed.

  86. Mark says:

    @TomVonK

    Oh I’m so sorry (cap formly in hand) for being SO ‘stupid’ and having an opinion.

    There’s really no need to hide behind your keyboard and launch personal attacks on people.

    Now would you like to pick up that dummy there?

    And by the way as you’re making ‘suggestions’ – I commute 20 miles a day on my my bike to work do you?

  87. RACookPE1978 says:

    Mark says:
    April 24, 2013 at 3:39 am

    I’m still on the fence with warming – for a little while yet anyway.

    Whatever I read on both sides of the debate, common sense tells me that burning millions of tons of anything resulting in dirty emissions when there are alternatives is wrong.

    Well, that is a good thing: Since the current warming is natural and has been going on since it began 350 years ago, and since we cannot do anything about either stopping it (in the future) nor starting it (in the past), I can appreciate your ambivalence about it. 8<)

    Current emissions are not "dirty"

    "Dirty" is condemning millions to an early death through disease, hunger, bad food, and cold weather with poor shelter and no water or living in sewage with no jobs BECAUSE some one in a rich foreign nation decided you should die rather than have access to inexpensive safe energy.

    No alternatives exist that are economically or operationally competitive. All "alternatives" are deadly.

  88. jdseanjd says:

    I’ve just found this article on hydrogen fuelled vehicles:

    http://www.ukcolumn.org/article/ukh2mobility-attract-hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-uk

    Comments anyone?

    Regards,
    JD.

  89. Mark says:

    Yes I do see your points there for sure.Thank you.

  90. klem says:

    Wow, for years the greenies encouraged us to lead the world in green energy, they warned us about the disadvantages of falling behind in the global clean energy revolution.

    Now it looks like we are falling behind alright, we’re falling behind in coal power.

  91. jdseanjd says:

    Mark ( APR 24 @ 5.29) hi.

    Try putting Matt Ridley in the search box on this site, & find the talk he gave, to the Royal Society I think, in which he argues that extra CO2 in the atmosphere ( being plant food) & thus the industrial way of life which produces this CO2, is actually good for the planet.

    CO2 certainly hasn’t caused any warming for ~16 years, though CO2 production is up by ~44% 1990 to 2010. Plant growth is improved by ~12% to 27%.

    Then put Allan Savory in the search box & see how he has learned, since 1985, to roll back deserts over 15 million hectares, on 5 continents. Fact not theory.
    As always on WUWT, the comments are as good as the articles, & among the comments is a BBC film which shows that the Amazon is a largely man made forest. Yes an anthropogenic forest. :)

    We have been brainwashed into thinking that Carbon is a pollutant, while it is in fact the basic building block of all life on Earth. Neither is CO2 a pollutant, it’s plant food.

    We have also been brainwashed into thinking that man himself is the ultimate polluter, in danger of ruining the planet through overpopulation & resource ( oil & food etc) depletion.

    This is also false. Google peak child, research peak land & world population. Matt Ridley is good, & speaks in laymans language. rationaloptimist.com

    Enjoy.

    Regards,
    JD.

  92. Mark says:

    Thanks for the info :-)

  93. DR says:

    Steven Hales said:

    Erm, no the US is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance thanks to cheap shale gas. Coal was displaced largely by cheap gas not by regulation.

    Not really. Obama said he would bankrupt the coal industry, and that’s what he’s doing. NG prices will not stay low and in fact are rising not dropping. http://tinyurl.com/bbdzb2d

    Also, the manufacturing sector saw its largest drop in March in 13 months. The Sandy bump is gone. Manufacturing ISM Tumbles

    Sorry to spoil the party, but there is no recovery. There is a total disconnect between S&P 500 and real economic data. The whole thing is propped up by QE monopoly money.

  94. jdseanjd:

    At April 24, 2013 at 6:43 am you say

    We have also been brainwashed into thinking that man himself is the ultimate polluter, in danger of ruining the planet through overpopulation & resource ( oil & food etc) depletion.

    I could address the myths of overpopulation and resource depletion (both are nonsense) but choose to address the idea of “man himself is the ultimate polluter”. And I address it by citing one of several examples.

    There is a fish called the Parrot Fish. It is quite pretty in appearance. It eats coral, digests the polyps, then excretes the remainder of the coral as calcia sand.

    The excretion of Parrot Fishes coats the floor of the Pacific Ocean (i.e. about half the planet) and the floors of other oceans. When enjoying a beach on a tropical island then you are lazing on Parrot Fish crap.

    No emission from human activities forms a solid layer over half the planet. But nobody complains about Parrot Fish crap. Why not?

    Richard

  95. SLEcoman says:

    Stephen Hales,

    The NY Times is behind the times on natural gas fired power replacing coal fired power generation in the US. US natural gas prices reached their near-term nadir in April 2012; coal and natural gas fired generation had equal market share – 32%. But by November 2012, natural gas prices had increased by 58% while coal prices decreased slightly; coal market share = 42% & natural gas market = 26%. Preliminary EIA data indicated that coal consumption by US power sector in March 2013 was 25% higher than in March 2012, indicating the coal market share in March 2013 was ~42%. EIA Weekly Natural Gas updates show natural gas consumption for power generation in April 2013 down 20+% compared to April 2012.

  96. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    richardscourtney says:
    April 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Ignorance of reality is displayed by the idea that an industrial society can return to windpower, solar power and muscle power.

    We are in total agreement here. In addition to doing without probably 95% of the electricity generated in the world today, without fossil fuels we would have to give up the modern metallurgy necessary to build those wind turbines the greens are so fond of, not to mention large hydroelectric dams, and the silicon fabrication factories which supply modern electronics, including solar panels.

    Try building 1.5 MW wind turbines out of wood and whalebone, or smelting aluminium with solar power (or even smelting aluminum if you’re on this side of the pond).

    Without fossil fuels we could not maintain the manufacturing technology to generate electricity from wind, even assuming the energy density made it worthwhile.

    Jim Hansen calls coal trains “death trains”, which is the exact opposite of the truth. In fact coal first, then oil and natural gas are responsible for the greatest improvement in the general human welfare in the history of this planet. It’s not perfect, but nothing ever is, except in the deluded fantasies of people like those who dominate the green movement today.

  97. DirkH says:

    jdseanjd says:
    April 24, 2013 at 6:01 am
    “I’ve just found this article on hydrogen fuelled vehicles:
    http://www.ukcolumn.org/article/ukh2mobility-attract-hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-uk
    Comments anyone?”

    I haven’t heard of breakthroughs, the existing problems are:
    a) H2 makes steel brittle and diffuses slowly through all materials. You shouldn’t park a H2 car in a closed space to avoid explosive air-H2 mixes. The Fukushima explosions that blew off the rooftops were H2 explosions. It is a byproduct of fission and forms explosive concentrations under roofs.
    Also make sure to replace any tank or pipe before it becomes too brittle and ruptures.
    H2 tends to explode while natural gas tends to burn away (even though given the right mix you can create a Natgas explosion as well).

    b) “Wet” Fuel cell membranes need to stay moist. They’re unsuitable for the temperature range cars must withstand. I know of no solution.

    c) Electrolysis of H20 to H2 and O is expensive.

    That bbeing said, as long as London does not get a hard winter fuel cells might be useable in that climate. Oh wait…

  98. phlogiston says:

    richardscourtney says:
    April 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    Mycroft:

    At April 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm you ask

    Stunned at this news,why then in the UK are we having to shut down coal fire power stations under E.U directives whilst Germany is allowed to build new ones?????

    It derives from the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD). I explain as follows.

    The LCPD was established as a response to the ‘acid rain’ scare of the 1980s. It constrains emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from power stations. The bureaucracy established to operate the LCPD still exists, and the bureaucrats who operate it justify their jobs by continuing to tighten the constraints.

    The emissions constraints can be met by fitting flue gas desulphurisation (FGD). But an FGD plant requires space for it to be installed and an existing power station may not have the space. Importantly, FGD is very expensive.

    FGD adds ~20% to the capital cost and ~10% to the operating cost of a power station. These costs are spread over the operating life of a power station.

    The Germans are building new coal-fired power stations. The additional costs of FGD will be spread over the entire life of each new power station. These high costs reduce but do not negate the ability of the new power stations to make profits.

    Simply, the new German power stations fitted with FGD can operate to make profits over their scheduled lives.

    The British have old power stations which have already operated for half their scheduled lives. Fitting FGD to them would require the additional 20% capital cost of FGD to be recovered during the remainder of their lives. And that is not possible when FGD increases the operating cost by about 10%.

    Simply, the old British power stations can close and make no profits or fit FGD then operate at a loss. No profits is preferable to a loss so they are being closed.

    I hope that brief explanation is sufficient and clear.

    Richard

    Thanks Richard. Here you have the EU in a nutshell. Clever use of the small print by the Germans and French to shaft us Brits. But what is our alternative – Nigel Farrage?! King Arthur and Merlin, come back and help us!

  99. SLEcoman says:

    In the US, FGD and SCR NOx controls have been retrofitted to many coal-fired electric generating units (EGUs) that are 25+ years old. It is becoming apparent that US coal-fired EGUs can operate dependably, with proper O&M, for 60+ years. Not sure about EGUs built by CEGB. The UK units I have seen that were built in the 70’s had not imcorporated lessons learned in the US in the 50’s & 60’s in terms of improving long-term operations and maintenance. Seemed like CEGB was operating in its own little world, oblivious to developments outside the UK.

  100. Lars P. says:

    Well Germany’s media is so dominated by greens anti nuclear that this was the only logical solution. Green is the state religion and curiously green religion means being anti-nuclear. So no hope for Thorium here. Not in the next 10-15 years.
    Like in the medieval times huge amount of money were payed to the green religion (energiewende) with exponential increasing amounts of money, so the little sins to open some coal power plants can be pardoned.

    Rhoda R says:
    April 23, 2013 at 11:19 am
    The trouble with wind power is that it is 14th century technology – however gussied up and prettyfied it is today. And 14th century technology is going to give you a 14th century standard of living.
    No, no, that is the army of giants prepared to fight future Don Quixote, or maybe trying to inspire another Cervantes. We seem to need that.

    Mark says:
    April 24, 2013 at 3:39 am
    I’m still on the fence with warming – for a little while yet anyway.
    Whatever I read on both sides of the debate, common sense tells me that burning millions of tons of anything resulting in dirty emissions when there are alternatives is wrong.

    CO2 is not a pollutant. The greening of the planet is visible and measured by satellites.
    Wind-turbines, solar panels need to be judged as a whole: generate energy when it is needed – so including a backup, whatever that is, production costs, pollution costs, maintenance and life expectancy, space occupied, replacement and waste treatment.
    The same as with CFL light-bulbs against incandescent bulbs. Not thought to the end.

  101. fanta81 says:

    Not a great new to hear on Earth day I believe Germany ranks on second number on clean energy resources. What prompts them to open more coal power stations and contribute to global warming?

  102. fanta81 says April 26, 2013 at 12:00 am:
    Q “What prompts them to open more coal power stations and contribute to global warming?”

    A — Perhaps Germany realized that global warming essentially flatlined 17-25 years ago, depending on whose database you are using..Perhaps Germany realized someone has been deliberately pulling our leg, covering up the reality about CO2 and covering up the falsification of the AGW hypothesis for a long, long time. Perhaps Germany realized the IPCC is not a scientific body, but is instead a political body with a preconceived agenda that has nothing to do with sound science.

  103. SLEcoman:

    re your post at April 25, 2013 at 8:59 am .
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/23/germany-to-open-six-more-coal-power-stations-in-2013/#comment-1287293

    The CEGB has not existed since 1991. All British coal-fired power stations have been completely owned by private companies since 1995 when UK Government sold its 40% share in them which it had retained since 1991. And the owners of the British power stations own power stations in France and Germany.

    The remainder of your post displays similar misunderstanding. Although – as I said – there are details which my simple explanation omits, the basic facts and reasons for the enforced closure of British coal-fired power stations are as I said in my post. They have nothing to do with the CEGB (which has not existed for decades) or the generating companies not knowing their business.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/23/germany-to-open-six-more-coal-power-stations-in-2013/#comment-1285214

    Richard

  104. fanta81:

    At April 26, 2013 at 12:00 am you ask

    Not a great new to hear on Earth day I believe Germany ranks on second number on clean energy resources. What prompts them to open more coal power stations and contribute to global warming?

    For the answer to that, please read my above post at April 24, 2013 at 12:55 am. It explains how and why so-called “clean energy resources” INCREASE emissions from power generation . One click on this link will take you straight to it.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/23/germany-to-open-six-more-coal-power-stations-in-2013/#comment-1285748

    Richard

  105. SLEcoman says:

    I think you misunderstood my post. I was trying to say, perhaps not in the best way, that the coal-fired power plants in the UK built in the 70’s & 80’s by the CEGB should have 20+ years of life remaining in them, not 10 years, based on US experience. This longer remaining life would make it easier to justify retrofitting SO2 scrubbers.

    However, it is possible you are correct that the UK coal-fired power plants only have 10 years of life remaining as it may be that the coal-fired power plants the CEGB built won’t have as much life as US plants built in the same time frame. I could believe you are correct that the plants built by CEGB won’t last as long as US plants built because my observations of some these plants built by CEGB indicated to me that the CEGB did not incorporate some of the lessons learned from the weak designs seen in the US in the 1960’s.

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