Claim: Countries which favour Nuclear Power are Not Making Enough Effort to Install Renewables

University of Sussex Campus, Arts building.

University of Sussex Campus, Arts building. CC BY-SA 3.0,

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

University of Sussex and Vienna School of International Studies are concerned that countries with policies which favour nuclear power aren’t making enough effort to reduce CO2 emissions by installing solar power and wind turbines.

University of Sussex Press Release;

Pro-nuclear countries making slower progress on climate targets

With Hinkley Point deal hanging in the balance, study casts fresh doubts over future of nuclear energy in Europe

A strong national commitment to nuclear energy goes hand in hand with weak performance on climate change targets, researchers at the University of Sussex and the Vienna School of International Studies have found.

A new study of European countries, published in the journal Climate Policy, shows that the most progress towards reducing carbon emissions and increasing renewable energy sources – as set out in the EU’s 2020 Strategy – has been made by nations without nuclear energy or with plans to reduce it.

Conversely, pro-nuclear countries have been slower to implement wind, solar and hydropower technologies and to tackle emissions.

While it’s difficult to show a causal link, the researchers say the study casts significant doubts on nuclear energy as the answer to combating climate change.

“By suppressing better ways to meet climate goals, evidence suggests entrenched commitments to nuclear power may actually be counterproductive.”

Professor Andy Stirling, Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the University of Sussex, said: “Looked at on its own, nuclear power is sometimes noisily propounded as an attractive response to climate change. Yet if alternative options are rigorously compared, questions are raised about cost-effectiveness, timeliness, safety and security.

“Looking in detail at historic trends and current patterns in Europe, this paper substantiates further doubts.

“By suppressing better ways to meet climate goals, evidence suggests entrenched commitments to nuclear power may actually be counterproductive.”

The study divides European countries into three, roughly equal in size, distinct groups:

Group 1: no nuclear energy (such as Denmark, Ireland and Norway)

Group 2: existing nuclear commitments but with plans to decommission (eg Germany, Netherlands and Sweden)

Group 3: plans to maintain or expand nuclear capacity (eg Bulgaria, Hungary and the UK)

They found that Group 1 countries had reduced their emissions by an average of six per cent since 2005 and had increased renewable energy sources to 26 per cent.

Group 2 countries, meanwhile, fared even better on emissions reductions, which were down 11 per cent. They grew renewable energy to 19 per cent.

However, Group 3 countries only managed a modest 16 per cent renewables share and emissions on average actually went up (by three per cent).

The UK is a mixed picture. Emissions have been reduced by 16 per cent, bucking the trend of other pro-nuclear countries. However, only five per cent of its energy comes from renewables, which is among the lowest in Europe, pipped only by Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands.

The team say that the gigantic investments of time, money and expertise in nuclear power plants, such as the proposed Hinckley Point C in the UK, can create dependency and ‘lock-in’ – a sense of ‘no turning back’ in the nation’s psyche.

Technological innovation then becomes about seeking ‘conservative’ inventions – that is new technologies that preserve the existing system. This is, inevitably, at the expense of more radical technologies, such as wind or solar.

Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy and Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, said: “The analysis shows that nuclear power is not like other energy systems. It has a unique set of risks, political, technical and otherwise, that must be perpetually managed.

“If nothing else, our paper casts doubt on the likelihood of a nuclear renaissance in the near-term, at least in Europe.”

Lead author Andrew Lawrence of the Vienna School of International Relations said: “As the viability of the proposed Hinkley plant is once again cast into doubt by the May government, we should recall that — as is true of nuclear fallout — nuclear power’s inordinate expense and risks extend across national borders and current generations.

“Conversely, cheaper, safer, and more adaptable alternative energy sources are available for all countries.”

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

Nuclear energy and path dependence in Europe’s ‘Energy union’: coherence or continued divergence?

Since its initial adoption, the EU’s 2020 Strategy – to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, increase the share of renewable energy to at least 20% of consumption, and achieve energy savings of 20% or more by 2020 – has witnessed substantial albeit uneven progress. This article addresses the question of what role nuclear power generation has played, and can or should play in future, towards attaining the EU 2020 Strategy, particularly with reference to decreasing emissions and increasing renewables. It also explores the persistent diversity in energy strategies among member states. To do so, it first surveys the current landscape of nuclear energy use and then presents the interrelated concepts of path dependency, momentum, and lock-in. The article proceeds to examine five factors that help explain national nuclear divergence: technological capacity and consumption; economic cost; security and materiality; national perceptions; and political, ideological and institutional factors. This divergence reveals a more general weakness in the 2020 Strategy’s underlying assumptions. Although energy security – defined as energy availability, reliability, affordability, and sustainability – remains a vital concern for all member states, the 2020 Strategy does not explicitly address questions of political participation, control, and power. The inverse relationship identified here – between intensity of nuclear commitments, and emissions mitigation and uptake of renewable sources – underscores the importance of increasing citizens’ levels of energy policy awareness and participation in policy design.

Read more:

Even James Hansen, former NASA GISS director and arguably the originator of the global climate movement, believes nuclear power is an essential component of the path to a low carbon future.

Unless you are lucky enough to have the right geography for large scale hydro, nuclear is the only proven low carbon means of producing reliable biddable baseload power.

To argue that countries which have a strong commitment to nuclear power are not “doing their bit” to reduce CO2 emissions in my opinion is total lunacy.


262 thoughts on “Claim: Countries which favour Nuclear Power are Not Making Enough Effort to Install Renewables

  1. Drat those conservatives who frustrated environmentalists’ righteous attempts to promote nuclear power generation.

    • Speaking of renewables: The lineup of speechifiers for the 2016 symposium on solar energy which will be at UC Davis this year, is now available. In case any of you want to attend this no charge day long event you can register for it at:

      There will be a gaggle of California Politicos to proselytize and some industry and academia types.

      I only go to jawbone with Prof Roland Winston. the world leading expert on non imaging optics for solar energy roundup (photon herding) or also for photon stampeding, which is relevant to the solid state lighting field.

      If anybody goes; I will be there and all wear a name tag so do stop me and say Hi.

      Some times there are DOE people or people from NREL and they are usually well informed.

      I’m dying to ask somebody smart, about Ivanpah.


    • Nuclear power is renewable regardless of what the eco-nuts want to claim. Same goes for hydroelectric power. Smart countries are not putting all their eggs into wind and solar boondoggles.

      • Agree – I thought the rationale for the wind/solar stuff was to reduce CO2. Seems to me that anything that produces power without involving making CO2 meets that goal completely. Hydro is a form of solar and nuclear is the direct conversion of mass to energy. Whats to not like as a FIRST choice?

      • How renewable is the mining\refining process? Are we making more Uranium or Plutonium naturally anywhere in the solar system right now? No? And direct conversion of mass to energy? Where is that happening? do you think we even get a single percent of the decay heat to convert to electricity by boiling water and spinning a big turbine? No? hmmm seems like we AREN’T getting the direct energy from mass conversion are we… so far we have no real way to do that.. the best we got is the direct transfer of heat to electricity… like the RTG… and that technology is as old as the steam locomotive. Way to go Nuclear! Keeping people in the steam age for the last 70 yrs! Einstein said (paraphrased): “Its a Hell of a way to boil water!”

      • Reply to Graham. Let us say we build two cities both in areas with very cold winters and very hot summers. All buildings are constructed the same whether efficient or not (preferably inefficient for this example). One city is fueled exclusively on wind and solar, the other exclusively on nuclear. Which one would you prefer to live in?

  2. Especially in the US, the attitude of the greens toward nuclear power leads me to doubt their belief in CO2 caused global warming. I think the green blob has other interests than the environment as such, and nuclear is only one example of this.
    We will, almost certainly, get a sermon from Roger Sowell on how good “renewable engergy” is, and how bad nuclear is, and refresh everyones memory of green fantasies. Shipstones are science fiction, still, and all the handwaving won’t make it so.

    • I think of it a bit differently. If a greenie wants wind and solar, but admits that nuclear, if made safely enough, should also be a part of the mix, I tend to think of them as simply naive and silly and uninformed, because safe nuclear power can do all that the wind and solar can do at less expense. But if they want wind and solar ONLY, then I begin to think of them as evil and misanthropic, ready to sacrifice a huge part of the world’s economy and population to their green wet dreams.

      • The ultimate goal of the greenies is to deindustrialize the entire world, which would cause massive human death. They are evil cubed, and must be resisted at every turn.

  3. Lets see now, AGW = ∑ Lunacy. Yep, that equation works. I wonder if it is in the IPCC climate models?

    • RicD
      “AGW = ∑ Lunacy”
      Between 0 and 97%.

      Auto, channeling maths classes from about 1970.
      “Experientially-gifted old fart” I hear you all think.

      • The latest chant from the Greens is “WTFAW?” when, yet again, they get lost and are desperately trying to navigate in the confusing high grasslands of their ideological wanderings, continuingly encountering unreasonable factual obstacles that keep blocking their progress. It’s a call copied from the birds milling around in similar fashion who live in similar but natural environments!

  4. Countries with nuclear power and the political will to continue using nuclear power won’t need much less reliable renewables costing three times as much. Duh!

    • The countries that had nuclear power were already not producing CO2 to the extent of the others, of course they haven’t reduced their output by as much. They were ahead of the game, to put it another way. This guy is contorting the figures to represent his world view. Entirely disingenuous.

      • France which has a high proportion of its energy from nuclear has a CO2 per capita footprint far lower than other comparable European Countries (Germany, UK, Italy, Spain etc).

        The only viable option for the time being that produces no or near zero CO2 emissions is nuclear. If the greens truly considered cAGW to be the greatest threat to this planet, they would be pushing hard for governments to go nuclear.

      • Worrying about the production of CO2 merely plays into the hands of the eco-freaks. CO2 is plant food, and does not contribute to climate change in any measurable way.

    • He actually believes that renewable energy is there to address cliamte change, and climate change is real and dangerous and man made?


    • Hansen left the reservation years ago! We need more not less nuclear power. Relying on wind and solar for long term energy will take us back to the dark ages.

  5. Wasn’t the point of the Paris Treaty to reduce CO2, not install renewable? Since when did renewable become the target? First you must show that renewables actually reduce CO2, which has not been demonstrated. Due to thermodynamic inefficiencies caused by low energy density they are typically as bad or worse than the fossil fuels they are trying to replace.

    Sure the wind and sun are free, but so are oil and coal and uranium and thorium. Lying in the ground, minerals cost nothing. What costs the money is to extract energy from them. So for all the hype about renewables, expect the Law of Unintended Consequences to rule the day. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    • ferdberple —

      Really good point you made. Wind, solar, coal, oil, gas and radioactives are all free. The cost is in the extraction. And the extraction costs of wind and solar seem to be about three times higher than for the others.

      Seeing the obvious is an aspect of genius. You the man.

      Eugene WR Gallun

      • The real killer for wind power, and to a lesser extent solar power, is the normal total life cycle cost estimate of a complete base load power generation system including Wind Turbines and Solar Panels. You need to compare such base load systems with other base load systems not including WT’s or SP’s. This is needed to properly and honestly compare reliability, total costs and even total CO2 benefits. The renewable industry never provides this and simply goes on about WT’s and SP’s acting alone, and simply because any publication of the real overall efficiencies, the overall costs, the real CO2 benefits and the actual reliability and security of the base load systems always needed using WT’s and SP’s is massively negative or at best globally insignificant compared to systems not using them, regardless of how much R&D money is thrown at them!

    • I can understand that politicians may not understand the science, thereby not appreciating the weakness in the science, and may fall for the lobbying and what appears to be good intentions of powerful lobby groups such as Greenpeace. However, what I cannot accept is that even if one is sold up to cAGW, that politicians fail to appreciate that renewables fail on their primary purpose.

      Because renewable energy is not dispatchable and is intermittent, thus requiring 100% backup by conventional fossil fuel generation, windfarms and solar do not reduce CO2.

      The entire raison d’etre for wind and solar is the reduction in CO2, not its reliability as an energy source, or the cheapness of supply, and thus if it fails to deliver a reduction in CO2 then it is a complete and utter failure at even the most basic of levels. This is patent and should be readily appreciated by any politician.

      The UK and Northern Europe are a good illustration. Peak energy demand is winter evenings. The sun does not shine at night. It does not shine when peak demand is required. Even a school child knows that the sun does not shine at night, the hours of sunlight is small, and the powers behind its rays are weak in winter (one cannot get a sun tan sun bathing on a December day (unless high in the Alps). in addition, in winter these places are often cloudy. Any politician should appreciate from these facts that solar is a non starter and back up by fossil fuel generation will be required at most times, particularly high energy usage times.

      The same is so for wind. Often when very cold weather is experienced and the need for power is at its greatest, there is a blocking high situated just NW of the UK. This becalms the UK and North West Europe and little wind energy is produced just when power is needed most.

      Windfarms appear on average to produce about 21 to 29% of their nameplate capacity. One might reasonably at first blush consider that this will therefore result in a 21 to 29% reduction in CO2. However in practice there is no such saving and that is because the way in which back up energy is supplied. With old coal fired generators they have to be run 24/7 365 days a year and therefore produce CO2 whether their energy is being drawn down by the grid or merely dumped (the grid being obliged to take wind energy when available). So no savings in CO2 hear. With newer generators (gas0 then these do not need tom produce energy 24/7, but they are being used in ramp up/ramp down mode which is very inefficient and consumes as much fuel as if they were running at a constant output 24/7. Every politician should readily understand this fact since it applies to cars. A car has better fuel consumption when running at a steady speed on the freeway, and has a poor fuel consumption in urban environments when being used in start/stop mode. Politicians have no excuse for not understanding and appreciating that because of the manner in which required backup energy is delivered to the grid, having windfarms producing intermittent non despatchable energy does not result in the reduction of any meaningful CO2.

      I am convinced that they know this. It is just a PR stunt. What they fail to appreciate is the consequence of this PR stunt, expensive energy which is a drain on industry leading to uncompetitiveness and job losses, and pushes many people into fuel poverty, and it is also pushing the grid to breaking point where brown outs and blackouts will be experienced.

      Politicians should be held fully responsible for this. It is more than time that there was full and proper accountability for actions taken in public office. There has been wholesale deriliction of duty by our public servants and they should be forced personally to make redress for this. .

      • Because renewable energy is not dispatchable and is intermittent, thus requiring 100% backup by conventional fossil fuel generation, windfarms and solar do not reduce CO2.

        They do in fact, but not by nearly as much as is claimed.

        A study done in Ireland discovered that about 50% of the potential emissions reductions were lost by operating gas turbines in inefficient regions of their power-time curves.

        Of course it changes, but does not invalidate the substantive conclusion, that of all the ways of reducing emissions that there are, intermittent renewables are the most expensive and the least effective,

      • which is why Leo the Irish grid is starting to invest in grid storage – that allows the batteries to take the strain as wind (predictably) ramps down, allowing the gas plant to be used more efficiently.

      • With old coal fired generators they have to be run 24/7 365 days a year and therefore produce CO2 whether their energy is being drawn down by the grid or merely dumped (the grid being obliged to take wind energy when available). So no savings in CO2 hear. With newer generators (gas0 then these do not need tom produce energy 24/7, but they are being used in ramp up/ramp down mode which is very inefficient and consumes as much fuel as if they were running at a constant output 24/7.

        Except that demand varies anyway. Some power plant in the system has to ramp up and down in the normal course of events, even if there are no solar or wind generators in the system. Not all of that inefficiency can be attributed to the renewable sources.

        The assertion that a unit on standby uses as much fuel as one that is producing electricity is equivalent to the assertion of a perpetual motion machine. If a generator is producing electricity it has to be using more fuel than if it is not. The fuel demands of the machinery in varying conditions is well known and is expressed in an efficiency curve available from the manufacturer.

        It is also not true that any unit must be producing nothing. No dedicated standby is needed. There must be excess capacity available in the system but that does not need to be any particular unit dedicated to the function. Matching variation from renewable in a well operated system is more like ramping several units between 60 and 95 percent capacity, not ramping one unit between 0 and 100.

        There are technical problems and disadvantages with renewable sources, and disadvantages, but keep the discussion realistic.

      • Griff:That’s great spend trillions on batteries won’t have any impact on the cost of electricity.
        PS: As always, you are ignoring the inefficiencies involved in charging and discharging those magical batteries.

      • Chris: The change in electricity demand is predictable and can be planned for. While solar and wind cut in and out unpredictably and often.

      • MarkW: According to Mid-American Energy who operates such things in a large system, wind power output can be predicted within 15% a day in advance and more closely as the hour approaches. They do have weather forecasters and monitors and some idea as to how wind output relates to weather. It is in their interest to do so.

        By extension: it would likely be the same with solar.

      • MarkW

        solar and wind output is perfectly predictable up to 24 hours ahead…

        The point of battery grid storage is not to save money, but to provide faster response and mean that gas plant can be operated most efficiently. A renewable/gas grid with some grid storage will ramp its gas plant up and down less often/quickly and will save on spinning reserve – means a lot less gas burnt, gas plant life extended

      • Griff: “solar and wind output is perfectly predictable up to 24 hours ahead…”

        More arrant nonsense.

        Stop making stuff up.

    • Wasn’t the point of the Paris Treaty to reduce CO2, not install renewable? Since when did renewable become the target?

      Profitable Renewable energy and political control of energy was always the goal of ‘climate change’

      Of all the potentially disastrous things that might happen, why Climate change?

      Because the case that it was man made could be constructed, and then the case for it being man unmade could be made, if you give us lots of money and lots of power….

      Its a skilfully constructed piece of BS that has in the end one purpose, Global control of energy. If you control a nations electricity supply, you control the nation.

      Imagine living a single day without electricity. Imagine living a week, and then six months. My best guess is that 3-6 weeks without electricity would see 50% of the average urban population dead. Remember even gasoline and diesel need electric pumps…to get it out of the refineries..and to your gas station.

      You don’t need war when you are – say – at the far end of an interconnector whose existence is necessary for a nation on the other end.

      Or can manage a network of smart switches installed in peoples homes to deprive them of electricity…

    • “Wasn’t the point of the Paris Treaty to reduce CO2”

      The point of the Paris Treaty was to get all the Very Important People together for a photo op.

    • Installing renewables, which means buying from the anointed green companies who are by definition not money grubbing capitalist pigs, was always the goal. This is just the first time they have admitted it out loud. You see crony capitalism is evil(tm), unless the cronies are your cronies.

      • bugenator —

        The left in power does not practice “crony capitalism”. Its economics should more aptly be named “crony socialism”.

        Socialism has always been about redistributing wealth — taking it from the powerless and redistributing it to the powerful. After a new socialist country “burns off its capitalist fat” poverty begins to stalk its streets.because wealth is constantly being vacuumed upward. See Venezuela for a textbook example.

        All the government waste chasing after renewables is “crony socialism:”.– not “corny capitalism”.

        Eugene WR Gallun

    • Ferdberple. “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” And as Thomas Sowell said “by Harvard Graduates”.

  6. “pro-nuclear countries have been slower to implement wind, solar and hydropower technologies”
    i thought hydropower was supposed to be a “methane bomb” and therefore not clean energy.

    “Recently, the generation of hydroelectric power, ordinarily thought to be a green energy source, has been found to be a source of anthropogenic methane because its production involves converting flowing river water into still water in reservoirs that retain the vast quantities of vegetation that were flooded when the reservoir was formed. Such bog-like conditions are known to favor methane emissions and these emissions have been documented (Fearnside, 2015) (Giles, 2006) (Magill, 2014) (Santos, 2006) (Delsontro, 2010)”

    • Once the plants that were there before the lake have rotted, then this methane production ends.
      As to suspended solids in the water, they would have sunk and decomposed once they reach the sea anyway. No change in amount, just where sourcing.
      PS: Let some evil capitalist harvest the trees prior to filling the lake. Problem solved.

  7. Countries that make enough nuclear power don’t need your silly “renewables”, you idiot. Can you really be that stupid? Does one really believe that a pile up of solar panels and a wind “farm” are safe in wind, war, and rain?
    Someone take these fools out back and let them move to a country we all hate.

      • And one conventional bomb on a nuclear reactor?

        Your typical lack of precision defeats the possibility of a fully-formed answer, but the general response to your scenario would be: Nothing. Nuclear reactors tend to be bomb-proof.

      • have to be a damned big bunker buster bomb e-griff. And very accurately delivered.

        Not exactly a terrorist weapon.

        And that alone would do more damage than the nuke.

      • Griff,

        And one conventional bomb on a large hydro dam?

        Good for 171,000 people killed in China by a hydro dam break:
        11 million people lost their homes…

        Nuclear until now: 50 or so killed directly, mostly emergency workers, in Tsjernobyl. No more fatalities, including cancers to be expected, as any excess cancers are in the noise of all cancers.
        Several thousands evacuated mostly due to overblown limits, Tsjernobyl is essentially free of excess radiation after 30 years en Fukushima is already largely free after a few years, except for the reactors themselves and just beyond.

      • Ferdinand – that’s the point – renewables aren’t less vulnerable and prone to cause damage in a war than a reactor or dam and no different than a coal plant or gas plant.

        In fact a micro grid, like those being installed in New York state would be more likely to keep you running in war or natural disaster

      • Would not even come close to penetrating the containment building.
        Are you really as dumb as your posts make you sound?

      • catweazle
        I was raising a glass when I read your comment.
        Monitor survived – not sure both lungs did.
        Awesome one-word comment! Thanks!

        Auto – stil coughing . .

  8. Remember when we were told by scientists that butter was bad, and margarine was good. That butter caused heart attacks and margarine would prevent them. Remember?

    Only problem was that before margarine was introduced there were few people dying of heart attacks, and after margarine was introduced there was an epidemic of heart attacks.

    And even to this day countries like France that eat tons of butter and smoke like chimneys and eat almost no margarine have low heart attack rates, while countries that continue to eat lots of margarine have high heart attack rates.

    But of course the scientists know better and 97% of them agree, margarine is the healthy alternative. It is our unhealthy lifestyle that is the problem. So for sure you can believe this study as well, because after all scientists are peer reviewed and thus never make mistakes.

  9. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “Unless you are lucky enough to have the right geography for large scale hydro, nuclear is the only proven low carbon means of producing reliable biddable baseload power.

    To argue that countries which have a strong commitment to nuclear power are not “doing their bit” to reduce CO2 emissions in my opinion is total lunacy.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

  10. Article: “A strong national commitment to nuclear energy goes hand in hand with weak performance on climate change targets, researchers at the University of Sussex and the Vienna School of International Studies have found.”

    Well, what’s your objective, to reduce CO2, or build windmills and solar plants? We don’t need windmills and solar power to reduce CO2, nuclear powerplants can do that job, and supply *much* more reliable electric power than those alternatives at the same time.

    So admit it, the primary objective is not to reduce CO2.

  11. I used to be a nuclear engineer.

    OMG!!! I thought nuclear power was so AWESOME!!! Then Greenpeace happened.

    The Canadian Nuclear reactor was safe and reliable.

    Deep down inside I still believe that domestic electricity needs can easily be supplied if we convert to nukes.

    If we do this, real pollution (ash soot SO2 SO3 NOx (not CO2)) will be literally a thing of the past. AND electric cars might make sense.

    So Nuke power is a means to an end in the long view for smart people. Renewable is green ephemeral religion.

  12. Let me see if I get this right —

    Nuclear power is bad because it works — and thereby will stifle research in wind and solar that may someday make wind and solar viable. Therefore what works now must be banned and what doesn’t work must be promoted.

    Ok, so this is like saying antibiotics that work must be banned because they will stifle research into homeopathic medicine which someday may work.

    If these people would just look in a mirror they would see the stupid on their faces.

    Eugene WR Gallun

    • Wind will never be viable.

      Wind is old technology (windmills were around 500 years ago). We Know in sufficient detail everything that needs to be known about rotor/propeller design, laminar flow, gearboxes, generators, the problems with wind shadow etc.

      There can be no economy of scale unlike the transistor radio and the IC chip. These structures by necessity have to be large and sited well spaced from one another. One knows when a technology has run its course and that is when new design ceases to be more compact and smaller. Look at how computers (which used to fill a room) or valve radios/valve TVs and mobile phones have changed. However with wind, if one requires more output from the wind turbine the solution is to build a bigger turbine. Wind turbines have been getting bigger not smaller, and that demonstrates that the maximum efficient per unit size has already been reached.

      One could only make the windturbines significantly more efficient by utilising exotic means such as super fluidity/super magnets etc. (and that would be prohibitively more expensive).

      The fact is that there is little energy in wind (witness what happens when a water pistol runs out of water) and it is this limitation that means that wind power will never become significantly more efficient, It is not a viable source of energy, and never will be (but for the likes of sailing yachts).

      The only thing that would make wind worthwhile is if there was a cheap and viable means of storing power produced by wind. If cheap storage was possible, it would not matter that wind energy is low grade and inefficient.

      The future for wind, if it has a future, is in energy storage. That would be a game changer. There may be some gains to be had with solar but that has its own obvious drawbacks not being a 24/7 source and clouds etc. Fossil fuels are stored solar in concentrated form and we are lucky to have these available to us. Fossil fuesl have set us free and have created the developed world and all the things we take for granted in our daily life. Fossil fuels should be revered, we owe them a most enormous debt.

      • …Even with cheap storage, wind and solar are still not viable….You would need twice as many turbines/panels…half to power the grid and the other half to charge the batteries…

      • One could only make the windturbines significantly more efficient by utilising exotic means such as super fluidity/super magnets etc. (and that would be prohibitively more expensive).

        ER no, that might make them a bit smaller but not more efficient.

        They are mostly limited by aerodynamics. Betz’s limit etc etc.

        The truth is that after a thousand years or more of development windmills are as cheap and as efficient as they are ever going to get.

        And they are still rubbish.

        Where I used to live, on the east Anglian fens, in the 19th century there was a windmill to about every ten acres. Pumping water up into the rivers.

        Te arrival of steam reduced that to a massive coal fired pumping engine every couple of thousand acres.

        Now there a small electric motor in a teeny hut doing the pumping that runs completely unattended and can handle the needs of a thousand acres or so. What makes the electricity? 1.2GW of nuclear power stuck on the Suffolk coast.

        My point? Windmills are worse than even a 19th century steam engine.

      • many years back, Australians used small wind powered generators made by the DUNLITE company
        little windmill style ones they were connected to altenators? and charged car?truck batteries
        the homes were wired to 32voltdc I think marine setups?
        and we ran kerosine fridges
        neither was superb but BOTH beat having no light bar kero lanterns or rotten food
        I was too small to know the exact setup but I lived on farms they were in use.
        richer folks ran stationary engines for a few hrs a night.
        theres a surprising amount of those engines around and being restored and still running shearing plant.

      • And each photo of the wind turbine has the blades not moving.. so their name plate power number may be a relatively big number, but the actual power produced at this point is zero.

      • One could only make the windturbines significantly more efficient by utilising exotic means such as super fluidity/super magnets etc. (and that would be prohibitively more expensive).

        That would be an improvement on the generation side — you’d still be getting the same mechanical energy out of the blades, just converting it to more electricity. Those same improvements would apply equally to any other rotating generation technology. So even if you posit a breakthrough, it would result in no net advantage for wind.

        It’s even possible that wind would fall behind as a result. How much is it worth retrofitting existing wind turbines to get 5% more output? On the other hand, squeezing 5% more power from a large conventional thermal plant would certainly get you invited to make a presentation.

  13. “While it’s difficult to show a causal link, …”. Well, finally someone in the AGW / CC world is admitting it, and in writing.

  14. The renewables are the drivers: solar and wind. The consumables are photovoltaic panels and windmills… and large-scale disruption of environments inhabited by flora and fauna.

  15. Ya can’t make omelette without cracking eggs. Idealists are blind to the fact that for every action that occurs in nature or economics there are benefits and costs

    Yes nuke has its problems but should the human race wish for continued rapid development it is the best option (IMO)

    • Michael Carter —

      “Ya can’t make omelette without cracking eggs.”

      The problem here is we have some “CRACKED EGGHEADS” making omelette.

      Eugene WR Gallun

  16. The renewables are the irregular drivers: solar and wind. The consumables are photovoltaic panels and windmills… and large-scale and progressive disruption of environments inhabited by flora and fauna.

      • I was going to make that point. #

        If they go ahead with this plan, then France will see a significant increase in their CO2 emissions. This might prove a point to environmentalists.

      • France is going the wrong direction with their intention to reduce their nuclear power generation. What are they thinking? It’s really hard to understand why they think this is a good idea.

      • so if France does that?
        then wheres UK going to suck power when theirs drops out?
        that could be “fun”
        I hear on Aus radio today that Duarte in Phillipines is talking about trying to resurrect a never used nuke plant that was judged unsafe when newly built… and sits on a faultline and is a few km’s from a volcano caldera and Manila city.
        sounds like a plan;-)

      • They are having to spend 55 billion euros by 2025 in their ‘grand carenage’ refit to keep their reactors going…

    • …and the fact that after the Greens in Germany got their nukes closed, Germany bought energy…from France.

  17. In historic development terms, countries like Norway and Sweden had adequate hydro resource and chose it over nuclear. Why bother with renewables?
    The logic of these authors is too poor to even bother reading them.

    • Geoff,

      Sweden has nuclear too, some 33% of power production (at the nuclear plant they were the first to detect the Tsjernobyl disaster), as their hydro is not sufficient to cover all power use. Moreover they receive a lot of excess wind power from Denmark if there is overproduction at no cost and let them pay a lot if they have shortages for lack of wind… A win-win situation for Sweden (and Norway) and a loose-loose situation for Denmark…

      Besides nuclear, they use a lot of organics (black liquor, wood rests) from the paper and wood industry.

      Norway is 99% hydro, 1% is from using the off-gases from the blast furnaces in mid-Norway. They have plans to get all new cars electric in 2020, but that means they have to import some 70% more power, while they are now exporting…

  18. It is late, I’m recovering from surgery, I’m on an unholy mix of pain killers, so please forgive my confusion.

    The article seems to be claiming that using 0 emission nuclear power doesn’t reduce emmissions, but 0 emission solar and windmills do. No one could make that claim with a straight face, so the fault is clearly mine. Is there something I didn’t understand? Or is there a power source with emissions of less than 0? What am I missing? Perhaps Roger Sowell could explain it to me?

    • The study implores euro-folks to drink more climate kool-aid.

      You’re doing just fine Mr Hoffer. Be well.

    • You are thinking too clearly, David. You need to increase your dosage and then you will be on the same page as the authors. On second thought, not even that would put you on the same page, would it. :)

  19. I love the Wyoming legislature’s approach to renewable wind power – slap a tax on it, not a subsidy.

    Power Company of Wyoming has applied to the BLM to build approximately 1,000 wind turbines in an area located south of Rawlins, Wyoming, in Carbon County. The project is proposed to generate 2,000 to 3,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity and construction may take 3–4 years with a project life estimate of 30 years.

    Wyoming is the only US state to tax wind power. This tax will likely make the PCoWy venture unprofitable, and thus may stop it.

    Go Wyoming!

    • Taxes are one approach. I think just pricing wind and solar on the basis they are intermittent and non-dispatchable, I. E. deeply discounted, would have a much larger effect (and fit my prejudices about taxes).

      • The Wyoming windturbine builders want to export the power to California, where they are prepared to pay 3x the going rate for a MWhr of Wyoming coal power.

        Wyoming just doesn’t want 1000 wind turbines marring its landscape for a 100 miles so Cal’s green looney-tune climate idots can feel good while putting their windturbines in someone else’s backyard.

      • What I would like to see is for Wyoming to build a whole bunch of windmills. Little ones. Enough to run an LED light bulb at the top of each one. Then they could tie them into a massive “backup” coal fired power plant. Sell the whole package to California as wind power, complete with conventional backup for when not enough energy is being generated by the windmills at a price that “conventional windmill systems” can’t compete with. The plan might fail if Californians figure out that the power is coming from coal all the time, but Anth_ny ain’t gonna tell them, and lord knows they are unlikely to figure it out on their own.

      • I think it’s also worth considering WY sells natural gas, oil and coal in very large quantities. There isn’t much incentive to subsidize wind. I’m sort of surprised they’re talking about Carbon county, maybe the proximity to I-80? Good quality sustained winds are around Crowheart (The Wind River isn’t called the Wind River for nothing). The eastern slope of the Rockies is where you want to put a wind farm. Carbon County would be seriously stupid.

      • David,
        Actually that is a brilliant Idea to make the appearance of “renewable” power.

        It’s Brilliant not because California’s green lobby is not intelligent enough to to figure out the scam being handed to them to pass on to electric rate payers (they are).

        It’s a brilliant approach because Cali’s green crowd obviously loves being lied to.

      • I retract the “seriously stupid” comment”. I’m not a real wind advocate but I do recall laminar flow is important and I suppose if you get far enough east into the flatlands of Carbon county it might be better for wind.

        But it truly howls between Dubois and Crowheart most of the time.

      • David,
        Actually that is a brilliant Idea to make the appearance of “renewable” power.

        It’s Brilliant not because California’s green lobby is not intelligent enough to to figure out the scam being handed to them to pass on to electric rate payers (they are).

        It’s a brilliant approach because Cali’s green crowd obviously loves being lied to.

    • “I love the Wyoming legislature’s approach to renewable wind power – slap a tax on it, not a subsidy.”

      Is it a tax or a lease?

      Wyoming has a unique (and in my opinion superior) model for managing public lands. When the state was subdivided, they set aside every tenth section (1 square mile) as a “school lease” and that’s how WY pays for K12 education; the sections are leased for livestock and the proceeds pay for schools. It’s the best system I’ve ever lived in.

      So are they really taxing wind or just leasing the land? I sold my ranch a few years ago and I only get this stuff second hand now.

      • Bart,

        The wind turbine folks want to put the towers on federally controlled BLM land. Wyoming legislature has enacted taxes on renewables, just as they do for coal and gas-generated power. The tax makes the renewable-generated power unprofitable for the wind turbine operator and their financial backers.

    • Yes, go Wyoming! That’s 1,000 ugly windmills you don’t have to look at, and no telling how many birds you will be saving. And your electric rates won’t go up. Keep up the good work.

      Windmills are a big deadend. Even if we had unlimited storage capacity, windmills would still kill the birds and bats, so they should be rejected because there are much better alternatives that do not, such as new nuclear powerplants, that can do the job without creating enormous problems in other areas.

  20. Well it is Sussex University. Since it first opened in the 60s it garnered a reputation for being full of left wing idiots. What’s more it is situated next to Brighton, a town full of Green Party morons.

  21. I am one of those all of the above people. It takes brains and effort to make electricity. You start by playing the cards you have. We have hydro and fossil fuels. Nuclear came along and filled a gap with those. Japan, France, and South Korea are examples.

    Wind and solar can fill some of the gap. A very small part of the gap.

      • Griff,

        As long as there is wind and/or sun. A few high pressure days mid-winter in Germany means zero gap filling by wind and 10% of nameplate power by sun the moment you desparately need all power. So what to do? Build 100% backup with (fast gas) fossil power plants. As Germany (with browncoal) is doing now…

      • Favoring renewables and killing off conventional energy forms of energy for ideological reasons is not “filling a gap”. It’s stupidity.

      • Ferd

        Germany has completed its coal plant building programme, begun in 2008, planned to replace its nuclear plant, not anything to do with renewables. One of the plants built may never switch on…

        It is now even going to shut down a tiny part of its brown coal plants (by end 2019).

        It continues to build wind and solar (especially offshore wind).

        It has started building prototype grid storage (power to gas, battery, etc).

        It has an excess of conventional/nuclear plant to cover in winter (needs to shut down more) and of course it is plugged into an Europe wide network, with Denmark (wind) Norway (hydro) and France (nuclear) all happy to sell it power. Germany currently though exports more than it imports.

      • Griff,

        The problem with wind and sun is that you need 100% backup for in case there is no (or too much) wind and no sun, which is most of the time. For “conventional” plants, some 10% reserve above the maximum use is sufficient to prevent a blackout in case of sudden failure of one plant, together with the infrastructure for 10% import/export in case. Until now, Germany could profit from the existing reserve, but once they increase their wind and sun power, they need as much backup as they have installed. That means 22% (32% – 10% already installed) more backup, besides what was already foreseen for the replacement of nuclear.

        Counting on the European grid mid winter may help for sudden shutdowns of one or two “conventional” plants, but that doesn’t help if most of N.W. Europe is under a high pressure calm weather mid winter, when every country needs its own maximum power. Opposite, Germany has already 100% nameplate capacity in wind and sun, but can’t store it (neither can Denmark). They dump it in Austria, partly via Czechia, which has already complained that Germany overloads their grid. They must dump it at zero ct/MWh and must import it at high momentary market prices when there is no wind and sun. The users pay the difference…

        Moreover, windfall can be extremely fast: within 15 minutes for a whole country. Most conventional plants can cope with maximum 1-2% change in capacity per minute. That is too slow for wind: one need low-yield gasturbines – or hydro if available. The former uses more natural gas for the same amount of power, thus more CO2 emissions… Their export is largely CO2-free, but their import is not – except for hydro and nuclear.

        Storage in Europe is limited to pumping water uphill and/or not using hydro by overcapacity of wind and sun. To cover one day of 100% power use by renewables, you need 600 times the current available pump capacity in Europe if there is no sun and wind. Or 800 Tesla wall batteries per household… You see, you underestimate what is needed for one day storage, let it be a week in mid-winter…

        The extra costs for local (solar) and national/international (wind) grid extensions are gigantic. Add to that the double investments in wind and sun plus the necessary backup and Europe looses every competitivity with countries which don’t are that stupid…

      • Tom – no I’m not!

        Ferdi – Germany and the UK have no problem at all in forecasting and coping with rapid ramp down – or up – of wind power. Grid storage makes that even easier and reduces the need for spinning reserve

      • Griff,

        As long as wind (and solar) is less than 20% of total power supply, one can cope with a fast fall of windpower with the existing equipment. With increasing wind power, you have to install increasing amounts of fast backup, or if you are lucky, you can use hydro as backup, as Denmark does via Sweden and Norway. If more and more countries install wind (and solar) the international grid will encounter the same problems as now Germany and Denmark…

        I have questions about the price of what is exported and imported: while Germany was a net exporter, even earned a lot of money mainly in winter, there is no overview of what the origin was of what was exported. If they added a lot of browncoal the moment of European shortages, then the prices were of course high. If they dumped wind when there was no demand, the price should have been low…

        The website shows very interesting interactive charts of current sources and import/export of power in Germany over a few days: that indeed show drops of 2-3 GW of wind within 15 minutes (= one line in the graph), which simply is exported to other countries by reducing the exports… Nice that Germany can have the benefits of wind, while exporting the grid control problems to others…

  22. Renewables. You can fuel some of the people some of the time, but, you can’t fuel all of the people all of the time.

  23. We have just had Nicola Shaw, head of the National Grid, telling us that technogical advances will help avoid the need to build new power stations by using domestic appliances to smooth the demand for electricity at peak times. IE. you will reduce demand at peak times through smart management, or else pay though the nose for your electricity.
    For full details see Roger Harrabin on the BBC News website.

    • A refrigerator only needs to run for part of the time to keep its contents cold…

      Smart appliances on a smart grid can work things so minimum necessary refrigerators are working at any one time, so reducing demand.

      Nobody loses out.

      similar commercial schemes using e.g aircon already operate in the UK. Owners get paid to participate -they don’t lose any benefit of the systems involved.

      • A refrigerator only needs to run for part of the time to keep its contents cold…

        DOH? So what do you think the thermostat in the ‘fridge does? The ‘fridge is one of the first ‘smart’ pieces of kit, it doesn’t need to be controlled from a ‘smart’ grid as well. Seems you really lost out on education, Griff.

      • The logic of your reply, Griff, about a smart-grid fridge, is that you would be perfectly happy for the state to control the central heating thermostat in your home. Would you like that, Griff?

      • If you delay the fridge turning on when the food gets warm, the food spoils faster. I had a dodgy thermostat on a fridge once, took me ages to figure out why the milk was spoiling overnight – it was giving me a taste of the “smart grid” experience.

      • It doesn’t work that way Eric:

        “Smart appliances will also be able to respond to signals from your energy provider to avoid using energy during times of peak demand. This is more complicated than a simple on and off switch. For instance, a smart air conditioner might extend its cycle time slightly to reduce its load on the grid; while not noticeable to you, millions of air conditioners acting the same way could significantly reduce the load on the power grid. Likewise, a smart refrigerator could defer its defrost cycle until off-peak hours, or a smart dishwasher might defer running until off-peak hours.”

      • Griff —

        The more complicated a system gets the more likely it is to fail. The simple solution is to just build more coal fired, gas fired, oil fired or nuke plants. Increase supply instead of trying to stifle demand.

        Under capitalism demand is to be fulfilled profitably. Under socialism demand is to be stifled expensively. Your solution is in realty just a big government solution and such “solutions” never work.

        Your solution is socialist thinking. Big government will reach into our houses and lives and solve all our problems for us — even going so far as to regulate when our refrigerators turn on.

        You want to build a vast techno system that is in realty nothing but a house of cards. And house of cards is certainly the definition of a socialist economy.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • From Griff’s link:

        Automated devices will notify power companies when more or less power is needed, their by minimizing blackouts.

        So Griff, you’re going to turn over control of all your electrical appliances to people who can’t (or can’t be bothered to) use proper grammar?

      • Griff,

        That may sound good for what is called “peak shaving”. That is reducing the peak in demand, no matter if the delivery is by conventional power plants or renewables.

        I have been working in a chlorine plant which was part of such peak shaving: if there is a probable peak demand coming, the electrolyses was reduced from 132 MW to 42 MW to avoid a peak on the network. 42 MW was the minimum the electrolyses could have without shutting down. The 42 MW was guaranteed at full (industrial) price, the rest was much cheaper, but with huge fines (extra price/MWh) if there was a peak and we weren’t down at 42 MW…

        Sounds good, except that because there was less production mainly in winter, we had to build extra electrolysers to fulfill chlorine demand. So all what happened is that the investments of the power companies were diverted to their clients.

        Something similar is the case for your fridge and deep-freezer: it is possible to delay its power use, if the fridge has more cooling capacity and better insulation, thus more expensive for you, less for them. Other equipment like washing machines and dryers can be delayed in general without problems, electrical car battery loading: depends of its (urgent) use…

        That is in no way a solution for renewables: it may help reduce peaks and divert part of the surplus of wind and sun, but it hardly helps to give power to the grid when there is no wind and no sun. Even if you use car batteries as “backup” that is far from sufficient and I don’t think that many people would agree that if you like to drive home from your work, the car battery was just near emptied to deliver power to the grid…

      • @Griff;
        You really don’t understand how refrigeration work, do you? No matter how “smart” your refrigerator is Eric is absolutely correct: when the refrigerator needs cooling, it needs it NOW. And you don’t need “smart” refrigerators anyway. Over a grid area, the compressor on time is going to be distributed randomly so the load is going to be as level as it ever will. The only time this won’t be true is after one of those rolling blackouts you seem to be hankering for.

        The same applies to the compressor for your air conditioning. All home A/C is “bang/bang” controlled (as is heating, for that matter). It’s either on, full on, or off, dead off. There is no “extending” the cooling cycle because there’s no way to meter the flow of refrigerant through the evaporator coils or vary the compressor speed or regulate the fan speed. Only commercial installations can justify the cost of multi-stage compressors.

      • D. J. Hawkins,

        Sometimes technical progress is faster than thought: a few months ago bought a new freezer for at home which when reading the manual is equipped with a variable speed compressor (Liebherr)… Thus regulating its cooling capacity on demand. Indeed if you insert some food to get frozen, the compressor increases its speed and consumes more electricity (have inserted a power meter with memory and Bluetooth between mains and freezer) and has its highest peak after automatic defrosting…

        Which doesn’t imply that I would like that the power vendor controls my home equipment, or the price must be extremely attractive, which it currently isn’t anymore with all these “green” taxes…

    • Harry

      The electricity company could, with my agreement, manage my fridge or aircon or heating to reduce demand, while still supplying at the level I set it to.

      The state has nothing to do with it.

      I imagine you don’t avoid off peak electricity deals your power company offers because that’s the state dictating when you use your washer/dryer?

      • Tarriff mugging at its finest. Inverse demand side management for profit. There’s one born every minute.

      • The electricity company could […] manage my fridge or aircon or heating to reduce demand, while still supplying at the level I set it to.

        A totally illogical outcome. If your aircon/heating is capable of delivering the comfort levels you set at a reduced power supply then you are being conned – by yourself.

      • Griff —

        What you want to do is not cost free. People who don’t want such a system would find their rates going up to subsidize people like you who want it.

        Now if the cost of the system could be placed entirely on the backs of the people who opt to use the system? Whoops, your personal bill would shoot through the roof! You’d be paying your own way! And dropping the system like a hot potato!.

        All green ideas are premised on subsidies from the general public. Without those subsidies the Green Industry would collapse overnight.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Griff —

        I might as well make one more point — though it doesn’t straight forwardly address something you have said.

        THE GREEN INDUSTRY IS ALL ABOUT ELIMINATING COMPETITION — and thus creating demand for its own expensive products. It uses government to do this. (Capitalism, through the free market, eliminates the least efficient suppliers.)

        Coal plants must be closed — so big government dictates! How is that energy supply to be replaced? An artificial demand for expensive green energy is thus created.

        Nuclear power plants must be close — so big government dictates! More artificial demand for expensive green energy is created.

        Oil fired plants must be closed — so big government dictates! More artificial demand for expensive green energy is created.

        Gas fired plants must be closed — so big government dictates! More artificial demand for expensive green energy is created.

        Finally the only supplies of energy come from hugely expensive green sources. Through government all competition has been eliminated. THAT IS NOT FREE ENTERPRISE. That is crony socialism.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Renewable energy is not necessarily a result of government intervention…

        Your objection is based on political views, not environmental or economic ones…

      • Griff says, in answer to Eugene:

        Renewable energy is not necessarily a result of government intervention…

        Quite right, Griff. All those windmills and solar farms were built using private capital because a whole load of venture capitalists thought windmills and PVs was such a good idea. /s
        There is not a solar panel on a roof anywhere that isn’t there because of government pay-back (from non-PV-owning tax-payers) If it wasn’t for the subsidies wind and solar would not exist at the level it does. It’s a con – and you’re too bound up in your socialist dogma to know it.

      • Grift: ‘Renewable energy is not necessarily a result of government intervention…’

        Boy, that’s a cop-out response – typical from your company-line jargon/spin – actually, it’s almost exclusively government intervention as a result of activist pressure.

        I think someone’s invested in ‘renewables’ (based on a fantasy, of course), and now they want their pay-off.

      • …Griff…simple logic…the hotter it gets outside, the harder your A.C. / Fridge must work…(peak demand)..Shutting off your fridge and/or your A.C at this time DEFEATS the purpose of the fridge and/or the refrigerator ! D’oh !

      • Griff —

        You say — “Renewable energy is not necessarily a result of government intervention…”

        If that is true then you should have no difficulty naming situations where renewable energy is expanding without government intervention. Start naming them. I’m serious, NAME THEM!!!

        For some reason I am reminded of communes of the hippy era that claimed to scorn the government and demanded to live absolutely independent lives — who in reality financed themselves through welfare checks. First order of business on entering any commune was to get on welfare.

        Name some form of renewable energy that isn’t receiving its own “welfare check”. Go ahead, do it.

        Eugene WR Gallun

  24. Makes sense to me. If you have a secure, reliable source of continuously available energy like nuclear, why on earth would you want to waste time, money and space playing silly games with unreliables?

    • A question that some are asking of the French Govt who are planning to reduce significantly the nuclear component of their energy provision ;
      A comment from edhoskins on that site reveals that the current CO2 emission levels/head of population is already below global and EU average: In terms of Tonnes CO2/head/year:
      France : 4.42
      global: 4.46
      EU: 6.9
      USA: 16.8
      China: 6.4
      India: 1.7(approx)
      WUWT a year or more ago introduced some of us to the work of Prof Weissbach who concluded that the mix of nuclear + hydro (as in France) is the dream ticket economically (and in for CO2 control) and renewables are only viable options for countries rich enough to bear the waste of economic resources that renewables involve.

  25. Nuclear is massively more effective at reducing CO2 emissions than any other “renewable”.
    Antinuclear countris like Germany make up for nuclear with dirty coal and massively increased CO2 emissions.
    What the University of Sussex and Vienna School of International Studies are saying is that being pro windmills and solar panels and anti nuclear is more important than reducing CO2 emissions.
    So doing the renewables politics right is more important than actual CO2 reduction.
    Even assuming that CO2 is harmful.
    Is there any limit to the byzantinne chicanery and dishonesty of these climate apparatchiks?

    Nuclear and gas fracking are by far and away the two most effective ways to reduce CO2 emissions.
    Curious that both of these are enemies of the Khmer Vert Environmentist State eco-terrorists.

  26. Economy, fool!
    Modern nuclear is VERY expensive, but is quite reliable as base load. So if a country builds it there is no spare money to throw them away on so called renewables.
    But, as usually, this study takes into account only countries which fit into conclusion of this study. If you look at Poland – no nuclear and no wind and sun, energy mix based on coal (90%) and hydro. And it is not small country like Denmark, Hungary, Ireland.
    In total electricity production Poland is above of Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, Bulgaria – all mentioned in the study.
    Interesting cherry picking.

  27. The greens only care about their agenda
    In Oregon after the Biscuit fire the timber companies wanted to go in and salvage the timber that they could and replant
    The greens sued to stop it and won
    Billions of board of timber rotted on the ground it didn’t make money for anyone workers companies or taxes it just rotted
    Just like the greenies rotten

  28. Shout it from the rooftops, keep this paper in the headlines.
    Never has it been more clearly stated that CO2 isn’t the problem, the renewables crowd are not interested in the environment – they want to destroy the western way of living.
    Using renewables does not reduce emissions (except hydro – which they also object to). They want to increase the cost of energy, and hence competitiveness by insisting on having two energy systems, one being renewables and the other, a backup system.

    These people are either morons or enemies of civilisation. I have my view of them, but I suppose they could also be both!


    • How does it destroy the western way of living?

      Germany I can assure you has a comfortable western lifestyle and 32% renewable electricity and a thriving economy

      • Griff —

        The thriving German economy and comfortable western lifestyle were created BEFORE BEFORE BEFORE BEFORE renewables.

        Its like the old joke about Socialism — it works until you run out of other peoples money to spend.

        Renewables are living off the fat created by oil, gas and coal. Soon enough the energy situation in Germany will go to hell. And so will the German economy and comfortable western lifestyle.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Germany is facing many headwinds.

        You are right to mention their energy companies, and immigration, but there is also Deutche Bank that is teetering on the edge of collapse and some predict (probably exaggerated) that the fallout will be 5 times worse than Lehmans. See:

        The cost of dealing with the migrant/immigration problem is placed at somewhere between £100,000 to £1,000,000 per head. The bill is likely to be a trillion dollars. It is not clear where this money is coming from. The social costs could be even more serious.

        Germany also faces the knock on effect of Brexit. The UK paid net into the EU about £10 billion. Unless the EU is scaled back, this net payment will have to be found from somewhere and there are only a few European economies that could afford to make up this shortfall. Germany will have to bear the lion share of this say £6 billion.

        More importantly is the trade position. I have not checked but I have read that Germany does £100 billion per year trade with the UK, but UK only does £10 billion of trade with Germany. If this is right this is a huge problem for Germany unless the EU agrees that the UK can continue to trade with the EU at zero tariff.

        If say a 6% tariff is imposed then the UK will pay £600,000 to the German exchequer (on £10 billion of goods sold) but Germany will pay £6 billion to the UK exchequer (on £100 billion of goods sold). If German industry tries to pass this expense onto the consumer then German goods would be less competitive and Germany may end up losing say £10 to £15 billion of its annual trade with the UK without its European neighbours being able to buy the short sold goods. German industry will not wish to pass this expense on to the end consumer and German industry is already struggling with the high cost of the Euro (there has been about a 8% reduction in the strength of Sterling and Germany is already absorbing the flip side of this by not having put up the costs of its goods).

        Worse still the UK could say to Germany if tariffs are to be imposed we will impose a 20% tariff on Germany goods but only a 5% tariff on Spanish and Italian goods. This would largely price German goods out of the market and would cause a shift in UK purchase from German to Italian and Spanish goods. Consider the impact of this on the motor manufacturing section. Where UK buyers would switch from buying German cars (and the like) to Italian and Spanish cars etc. The divide and conquer strategy could cause Germany a lot of problems in the negotiations.

        With Brexit, the UK could pursue a different energy programme and lower corporate tax structure encouraging German Industry to relocate to the UK. Especially if the UK opens up its shale prospects.

        With Brexit, the EU could collapse and all of this is a big problem for Germany. It is likely that Germany will rue the day it has pursued such a stupid energy policy making energy prices so high burdening their industries.

      • Yes Marcus, not only RWE but EON are in trouble as renewables take over from conventional power generation (though the nuclear shut down and decomm costs also impact both).

        Just like when the horse and buggy manufacturers shut down as the Model T came off the production lines.

        Germany however (and its industry) are thriving.

      • Griff,

        If RWE and EON go down, it is over and out for renewables too and for Germany, except if the state nationalizes everything.

        As said elsewhere: heavily subsidized wind and solar have absolute priority on the net, without any obligation for stabilizing the net. That is completely on the shoulders of the conventional manufacturers, which then make a loss. That has nothing to do with the real marketing costs of power manufacturing and everything to do with political steering of the market to push renewables at any cost…

  29. They are also “math challenged”. “Renewable” doesn’t add up. Strange they don’t care about the destruction of the landscape, birds and bats.

  30. …”University of Sussex and (Vienna School of International Studies)”
    …”Lead author Andrew Lawrence of the (Vienna School of International Relations)”

    Which one is correct ? Or is it two different schools ?

  31. The figures are simple lies. Denmark and Germany have not reduced emissions at all, which still remain at 5 times what nuclear France’s are per megawatt hour.

    Their models may say that windmills reduce emissions. Te actual data on fuel burn in the power industry shows that by and large they do not.

    By far and away the least emitting European nations are those that have substantial hydro and nuclear, or both together,

    There seems to be a desperate attempt by Big Green to fill the silly season with a co-ordinated propaganda push on climate and ‘renewable’ energy. I suppose that hot weather ,makes it an easier piece of cockwomble to swallow.

    • Only the US has significantly cut its CO2 emissions and this is because of the switch from coal to gas.

      Renewables do not result in the reduction of CO2 because of the need for fossil fuel backup and that backup has to be run efficiently (ramp up/ramp down mode) which result in almost the same consumption of fossil fuels (hence CO2 emissions) if the backup was merely run efficiently 24/7 365 days a year.

      One only requires the backup, the renewables which are piggy backed are surplus to requirements.

      It is noteworthy that not a single conventionally powered generator has been closed down as a consequence of the roll out of renewables. All conventionally powered generators are still required (to act as back up). This demonstrates why there has been no meaningful or measurable reduction in CO2 despite the roll out of renewables.

    • Griff,

      You forget that a (large) part of wind loss must be met with fast gas turbines with an energetic yield of 25-30%, while a STEG or coal plant gets 45-50%, but can’t cope with the speed that wind drops…

  32. Professor Andy Stirling, Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the University of Sussex

    Dr. Storling,professor of green propaganda

  33. The sacrament of wind and solar. Countries must install wind/solar as a declaration of orthodoxy.

  34. The report states
    “By suppressing better ways to meet climate goals, evidence suggests entrenched commitments to nuclear power may actually be counterproductive”, which means they equate “failure to support” equals suppression.
    If so, then suppression=failure to support.

    What a new view; Hitler failed to support Judaism – true, murderers fail to support their victims – true, Europeans failed to support the 3rd world in the colonial period – true, Chine fails to support Tibetans, the Uyghur etc – true,, and so on.
    Perhaps wife-bashers shouldn’t be charged with assault any more, but with failing to support their wives?

    And of course, the Greens fail to support freedom of speech, nuclear power, the right of 3rd world countries to free themselves from subordination to the Western powers.

    After all that history the world has been through, the Green agenda seems quite familiar, the names change but the issue is the same – POWER. That is, the ability to compel others to follow your orders.

    Eco-fascism on the march.

  35. Sorry, fruit loops are out of fashion. Plenty of nuclear renewal on the cards besides Hinkley. The smart money is in wind turbine scrappage and recovery futures.

    • The article seems to treat solar output as if it arrives evenly across every day of the year… whereas of course it delivers most during daytime from April through to October…

      As during the summer mid day on weekdays is a (not the, a) point of peak demand for electricity it thus supplies a lot of peak demand… you can see it here represented as a drop in demand around mid day:

      you’ll also note that the periods when demand remains high at start and end of day are being addressed by hydro and pumped storage – the new grid storage which the National Grid has just put out to tender will additionally help out as solar predictably ramps up and down; also note how low coal usage is now, after March 2016.

      In short, solar plus gas (and existing nuclear) can cover UK summer demand quite adequately, with an increasing contribution form solar and frequent contributions from wind on days when its not sunny…

      The other half of this being that UK wind power delivers most from November to March…

      • Griff —

        “In short, solar plus gas (and existing nuclear) can cover UK summer demand quite adequately –”

        Griff, you are blind to the important point — gas (and existing nuclear) can cover UK summer demand quite adequately — WITHOUT ANY EXPENSIVE RENEWABLES WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!! Nobody needs this renewable crap! It is being forced upon the UK!

        Oh, and a question — come out of the closet and explain exactly what is good about low coal usage.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Sheer bloody delusion! Words fail me. You, Griff are what is known as a plonker – and I think you know where that comes from.

      • Eugene

        We don’t have to import it (50% of all UK coal comes from Russia), coal burning is a health issue and of course it produces more CO2 than gas …

      • Griff —

        Let me see, isn’t England the country that imports wood chips from the US to support some loony green power project?

        Coal is cheap and coal fired plants are all payed for. No new capital investment needed. That makes coal power very cheap power. Whether England imports the coal or not, coal is still the cheapest power supply around. And England has to import coal because of restrictions greenies have got placed on its mining. You complain about a problem people like you created, Griff.

        Burning coal is a health issue? Not for fifty years, Griff. Its like you live in the London fogs of a hundred and fifty years ago. And surprisingly enough, cheap coal power, even at its polluting worst of that time era, saved a hundred times more lives than it cost. You totally neglect the benefits cheap power brings to human health and comfort. Longevity scales with cheap power, Griff. Cheap power means longer lives.

        And finally, we get to the truth, the real issue you have with coal. IT IS EVIL CARBON AND EVIL CARBON IS DESTROYING THE WORLD! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE FROM GLOBAL WARMING! Isn’t that your real issue?

        It should be noted that Greenies are pressing their war on carbon in the same way that the Nazi went after groups they consider dangerous. They picked coal as the easiest to destroy. so the first to be attacked.

        First they came for coal, but i did not speak up. Next they came for oil but I did not speak up. Then they came for gas — and again I did not speak up After that i froze to death.

        Eugene WR Gallun

  36. I like comments that contain numbers and I abhor judgments as “Modern nuclear is VERY expensive.” How much is “expensive” and why “modern” is expensive? Most products became cheaper with manufacturing progress over the years. Anyway, here are some numbers: An 880 MW nuclear plant cost 0.5 $/W nameplate in 1975 which amounts to 4.45×0.5 = 2.2 $/W when adjusted for inflation to 2015. In its 40+ years years of operation, with CF= 88 %, it were delivering 2.4 $/W actual. The plant is still running today, 40 years later, at full capacity, capable of going to 60 years+, politics excluded.

    So this is the number to remember 2.4 $/W ACTUALLY DELIVERED capital cost. That’s how much utilities dolled out before DOE got involved in their business.

    Compare the actual numbers for wind and solar plants: They will have to be built three times in that 60 years span, tripling their $/W comparable cost. Their CF averages 1/4th to 1/5th overall thereby quadrupling to quintupling their $/W. Are they cheaper to operate then nuclear? Remember, cost of nuclear fuel is, although not free, negligible on the scale of the other expenses and yield.

    Let’s share numbers that reveal the nameplate and actual investment in $/W. Also longevity (60 years vs. 20), operational expenses (the # of employees for the actual average wattage delivered to the grid) over the life span, in addition to the common one s such as W/m2.

    It suits greenees well that nameplate power is given in watts but actual output in watthour, the latter usually in Wh/y where the year is omitted. Non-calculator comparison is impossible. To help you convert from the actual Wh/y to W, consider that 1 MWh/y = 0.114 kW. Or 1 GWh/y = 1 MW.

    • Jake,

      First, read my whole comment.
      Second, look at the initial cost of actual proposition of nuclear for UK and check real money spent in Finland and France on latest nuclear plants.
      And – I do not compare nuclear with windmills, I simply tell that when you will spend A LOT on nuclear you will not be spending for something else. And such situation can happen independently of greens being in power or not.
      Finally my comment was not implying I am green or mad environmentalist.

  37. Environmentalists talk a lot about the environment, but are the last group to understand its workings.

  38. Oops, forgot a few digits in the last number above. For completeness:
    1 TWh/year = 0.114 GW
    1 GWh/y = 0.114 MW
    1 MWh/y = 0.114 kW
    1 kWh/y = 0.114 W
    1 Wh/y = 0.114 mW

  39. “Conversely, cheaper, safer, and more adaptable alternative energy sources are available for all countries.” Please name one, Mr. Andrew Lawrence.

  40. Well in the Saudi Arabia of uranium we naturally have no nuke power (we smoked but never inhaled) but we have lots of wind as you know (you can cut out all the States except SA if you like and have a play with the check boxes and different time periods for a wry smile)-
    but wait there’s more scintillating breaking news from the watermelons-
    after the writing was on the wall some time ago-
    and pics of Oceanlinx wave generators on the rocks need no more sad pictorials here but it all adds up to a long tale of woe for taxpayers in general-
    Only when the rolling blackouts begin in earnest will these snake oil merchants and carpetbaggers be finally run out of town and the long haul back to rational science and policy begin to emerge again from the dark age. The only question being whether we hit banana republic status before that occurs.

  41. I can just as easilly point out that those Euro countries who are negative on nuclear power (Germany, which is shutting down most or all of its nuclear plants, to be repaced by coal power plants) usually are the most eager for wind and solar, Germany, which formerly was the world’s greatest consumer of solar panels
    but not anymore, excepted. The only point this article is actually making is that European countries that like nuclear, don’t particularly like unreliable renewables amnd vice versa. Gee, what a surprise!!!
    Nor are there any serious questions with respect to nuclear costs or safety and I would claim that the advent of molten salt reactors, currently being developed by companies in three major countries (U.S. Canada, China) makes any questions about costs safety, or any other nuclear negative, totally obsolete.
    There is no rational reason to claim that we cannot wait the 5 to 10 years for commercialized molten salt reactors and must build renewable power producers. These people are, in fact, nuclear ignorant in all aspects of the technology.
    Note that the rest of the world’s countries, which far, far outnumber theose located in Europe, are pretty eager for nuclear and we can start with China, which has built a lot of windmills, hydro and some solar, but which now can produce in house their own reactors (and sell them abroad) with something like 35 reactors being currently constructed. India is also building, as are Arab oil producing states, which one would think would be in the best position to employ solar. Russia is making deals with a lot of countries – East European, Arabian, Britain, etc and is guaranteeing build costs that ensure the power those plants produce will be cheaper than any renewable energy. The fallacy oof low cost renewables is the belief that with no fuel costs, they must be cheap. Well, current light water reactors only spend 3/4 of a cent per kWhr
    for their uranium fuel, and molten salt reactors will have fuel costs that are essentially too small to calculate.
    Most of those who talk nuclear power exhibit enormous ignorance. They talk about nuclear meltdowns
    as thought they have inflicted casulaties (they haven’t, save the Communist Russia Chernobyl reactor, which killed a mere two dozen outright and hundreds more over the next decades). Nuclear reactors in this country and elsewhere have emergency centers waiting to airlift any equipment needed to preven any future meltdowns. There will be no future meltdowns, in my opinion. The new reactors are practically walk away safe and molten salt reactors are physically unable to melt down or release radioactive particles to any significant area.

    • There is no Russian involvement in planned UK new nuclear – it is French/Chinese financed; Chinese; US/Japanese; US

      Germany closed 40% of its nuclear plant overnight in 2011 – the slack has been mostly taken up by renewables: the coal plant building programme in Germany is over as of 2016 (only 1 in the pipeline which will probably never get approval)

      • The slack was taken up by the building of coal powered plants.

        If renewables could have fulfilled that gap, then Germany would not have built one new coal power station as from 2011 onwards.

        The Government new that Solar could not fulfill requirements and that is why it took the step to immediately build new coal fired power stations.

      • The German coal programme was planned in 2008 to replace nuclear, that’s true – but the shut down plans for nukes changed a couple of times, most of the coal plant planned wasn’t built and nearly all of it replaced less efficient older coal plant.

        Germans are not building any more coal, they didn’t build due to any failing of renewables, they are starting on shutting it down…

  42. If you think I’m being a wee bit melodramatic here, you’ll recall how our State Treasurer in a tiz when the wind didn’t blow, prices for the punters were going sky high and he was begging for some gas fired power from a mothballed local generator, he was also screeching for more interconnection to states like Victoria with their reliance on brown coal. Well guess what-
    No respite there from Blair’s Law I’m afraid to say-

  43. Last time I checked, nuclear power did not generate CO2.
    Yet more evidence that the environmentalists are at their core, anti-people.

  44. Nuclear is too costly, too dangerous. Germany made the right move to get rid of nuclear and go heavy on renewables. Solar PV farm contracts are selling at less than 4 cents, but old already paid for nuclear dies at retail rate of 14 cents (Kewaunee)

    I am an expert and have done over 2000 projects, mostly Hawaii. Where is became very obvious that the grid is way more robust and with way more diversity than even this conservative engineer had anticipated. With electric cars plugged in the grid 94% of the time and used to buffer renewable, the need for any additional storage is a decade off.

    • How much is too costly? I claim that nuclear electricity is the cheapest of all sources. Who is right? Give me the numbers you are using for your allegation.
      It is too dangerous? On the contrary. The safest of all sources, where wind is the most dangerous one with the greatest loss of live per unit of electricity produced. Aside from the documented killing of birds and bats. In that sense, your car is more dangerous; Hiroshima and Nagasaki that received irradiation incomparable to anything you might think of have been thriving cities where wasteland was forecast to stay for millennia. Wildlife about Chernobyl is thriving.

      • You did not read my comment, or you refuse to address the issue of cost.

        They shut down Kewaunee selling at 14 cents. Nuclear gets around 5 cents per kWH subsidies.

        Solar on PV farms has contracts to supply at 4 cents and less now.

        Danger is NOT to the workers, it is to the public and the environment. All plants leak, they submit an annual report on how much. Then the occasional sacrifice zone created by accidents, which by the way, are always covered up until they have to fess up.

        Bomb radiation presents mostly a one time attack, in which much of the fission fraction is very short lived I-131, half life of 8 days. Incidentally, the Japanese got off “easy” because the I-131 goes to the thyroid like a magnet and does it most harm there, however since the Japanese eat lots of kelp and are therefore fully loaded in iodine, they didn’t absorb much of the radioactive stuff.

        Chernobyl is not thriving. There is wildlife because there are few people, Cesium in the environment has remarkably not gone down even though half life says it should. Insects and Fungi and decomposition of stuff is just not present, not working the way they should. Wolves are much smaller than their healthy breathren, many species of birds no longer exist.

        I expect more from readers at WUWT.

      • Jack,

        You do forget the necessary backup for solar and wind. For every MW installed solar and wind you need 1 MW fossil or hydro or nuclear backup. Part of it with very fast ramp up times to compensate for country-wide windfall.

        Traditional plants need some 10% backup for in case that a plant unexpectedly shuts down. For wind and sun that is 100%. Until now wind and sun can profit from the existing backup and the grid control by the traditional power plants.

        Wind and solar farms have not the slightest obligation to regulate the grid. Their supply has priority, except if overpowering the grid. The 4 ct/kWh is a fixed price, while at the moment that there is much sun and wind the market price is zero or even negative and when needed and pricea are high, there is no sun and wind… Traditional plants bear all the costs for backup and control, while that should be paid by the cause: wind and sun…

        Nuclear gets “subsidies”? Maybe in Hawaii, certainly not here in Belgium (~50% nuclear power), where they have to pay extra taxes because the shutdown of the oldest plants was postponed for 10 years. Large solar and wind farms receive “Green Power Certificates”, which are paid by the consumers, with as result a 50% increase in power price…

        Forget electric cars as buffer, because of their numbers and capacity. Only hydro may give enough buffer capacity…

        Note: about Tsjernobyl, read a recent visit by experts at:
        It is in German, but Google Translate is your friend.

        Background radiation at Pripyat at 3-4 km from the reactor: 0.22 microSievert/h, that is less than in many towns on earth. Up to 5 microSievert/h near the reactor building, that is less than in an intercontinental flight…

      • Well, if you check out the proposed Hinkley plant in the UK, it gets a 35 year guaranteed price for what it generates, which is at a rate higher than all current generation sources…

        that’s too high… (we don’t yet know what the other 3 designs proposed for the UK would cost or the strike price for their output)

      • Christoffer,

        I have read your scenario, which is far too optimistic… During a peak moment in winter a few years ago, just before sunrise, wind was effectively zero in Spain with no sunlight. No output at all of these renewables at maximum demand, that is reality… Even looking at hourly averages can be misleading for wind, as that can fluctuate from full load to zero within 15 minutes countrywide. Coupling the grid over the full US or Europe for far more capacity than today may be of help, but is of no guarantee for reliability, as e.g. most of Europe may be under a blocking high pressure system mid winter with plunging temperatures during days up to a few weeks with zero wind and some 10% of nameplate capacity during a few hours for solar.

        Less intervention if you increase solar/wind capacity? You must be joking. Reality is that “conventional” backup needed to get in a few thousand times last year in Germany, while in previous years it was less than 10 times…

        Further the price: Even if wind and sun were really competitive, the investments for the 100% backup needed should be paid by the renewables + the investments in local and national/international grid fortifications, as that isn’t needed for conventional power plants. Even the extra gas used by the necessary fast gasturbines to backup fast windfall should be added to the wind output. And to be fair: the real market price should be paid at the moment of delivery…

        As a side note:
        In Europe, different companies sell their power to clients, where the grid is independently managed. Some companies only deliver “green” power, thus in fact thrive on subsidies, and have priority on the net, while others have a mix and are asked by the grid owner to control frequency and balance and being paid for it. Not enough, as some like in Germany are working at a loss. They have demanded for subsidies too, or they will stop balancing the power…

      • Christoffer,

        I have read your scenario, which is far too optimistic… During a peak moment in winter a few years ago, just before sunrise, wind was effectively zero in Spain with no sunlight. No output at all of these renewables at maximum demand, that is reality… Even looking at hourly averages can be misleading for wind, as that can fluctuate from full load to zero within 15 minutes countrywide. Coupling the grid over the full US or Europe for far more capacity than today may be of help, but is of no guarantee for reliability, as e.g. most of Europe may be under a blocking high pressure system mid winter with plunging temperatures during days up to a few weeks with zero wind and some 10% of nameplate capacity during a few hours for solar.

        Less intervention if you increase solar/wind capacity? You must be joking. Reality is that “conventional” fast backup needed to get in a few thousand times last year in Germany, while in previous years it was less than 10 times…

        Further the price: Even if wind and sun were really competitive, the investments for the 100% backup needed should be paid by the renewables + the investments in local and national/international grid expansions, as that isn’t needed for conventional power plants. Even the extra gas used by the necessary fast gas turbines to backup fast windfall should be added to the wind output price. And to be fair: the real market price should be paid at the moment of delivery…

        As a side note:
        In Europe, different companies sell their power to clients, where the grid is independently managed. Some companies only deliver “green” power, thus in fact thrive on subsidies, and have priority on the net, while others have a mix and are asked by the grid owner to control frequency and balance and being paid for it. Not enough, as some like in Germany are working at a loss. They have demanded for subsidies too, or they will stop balancing the power…

      • Ferd, you do realize that nuclear plants need 100% backup.

        They trip out at a moments notice, and the grid needs to have the backup already rolling.

        The backup for solar is already there, so you are pretending there is some additional cost.

        Solar supplies to the grid when it needs it the most, and solar customers put load on the grid when the grid needs it the most.

      • Stock,

        Conventional power plants need a backup for one unit, that is when one nuclear plant suddenly shuts down (at ~1000 MW) or one fossil plant (800 MW) or STEG plant (at ~500 MW), etc. In our country we have five nuclear plants of about 1000 MW each and two of 430 MW.

        Total nuclear capacity near 6000 MW, about 50% of peak use in winter. If one of the large nuclear – or fossil – plants shuts down, you need maximum 1000 MW of fast back-up by the other plants or the fast pumped-storage (~1100 MW) hydro plant at Coo with about 5 hours full capacity storage. Long enough to allow the other plants to come at full capacity. That is all you need in winter at highest demand. Even if a second one goes down, that can be managed by imports from France, which has plenty of nuclear and hydro…

        Installed capacity of wind and solar is currently around 25% of all installed power production. If there is no sun at night and no wind (which often occurs at sunset on my wind meter), that has zero output, so you need 25% (partly fast) backup, instead of the less than 10% needed for the shutdown of one nuclear or fossil plant…

        I do agree that solar is the less worse option, as that delivers most when demand is highest, but most in summer, when demand is 30% below winter use, while in winter the output is 10% of nameplate capacity due to low sun input and not in peak hours (after sunset…). Solar is anyway far more predictable than wind and changes in solar output are far slower. Wind is simply a mess: unpredictable, locally extreme fast changes in minutes from full capacity to zero and back. Within 15 minutes for a whole country. The 10% pumped hydro + a few small dams still can manage most of the fast changes, together with a few fast gas turbines, but if they go on with more off-shore wind, one day the disaster will strike…

      • stock:

        The backup for solar is already there, so you are pretending there is some additional cost.

        Of course the full capacity of power production is already there, because it was installed before the addition of wind and solar. All what wind and sun do is profiteering from the existing installed capacity, which then part of the time is out of work, thus less profitable, but that is not paid for by wind and sun companies…

        Even if you should build a total power system from scratch, you need to install everything in double no matter the nameplate capacity of installed wind and sun. Even if you install 300% of peak power use in nameplate capacity from wind and solar, you need 100% peak power back-up by conventional plants + 10% reserve…

  45. When trying to discover the reasons for the political class’s fixation on wind and solar, I suggest the old adage – follow the money. In the past ten or twelve years, well over $2 trillion has been spent worldwide on so-called renewable energy, mainly wind and solar (you can check the figures on Bloomberg New Energy Finance). Vast fortunes have been made as a result. With a tsunami of money of this size, there is no end to the numbers of politicians who can be bought, academics who can be persuaded to say the appropriate words, and journalists who can be persuaded to defend the faith.

    No matter how expensive or ineffective wind and solar might be, they are going to be here with us until one or more political leaders are prepared to say “enough with this nonsense”.

  46. Griff is a committed [pruned]. Too bad these greens can’t be the first to suffer when there is not enough power. Vote green, accept blackouts first!,

    • Love all

      We in nuclear countries are already suffering from the nuclear waste everywhere. Especially in the United States and Japan.

      [riiiiight, like it’s just in the dumpster outside your office. Nonsensical comment. -mod]

      • ,,,Can you back up your claim with proof ?? Of course not ! Have you ever TRIED to verify your silly claim ?? Of course not….which, of course, makes you just another uneducated Troll !

    • Thanks for your reasoned and rational reply to the points I have posted – and the many citations and pieces of scientific research with which you have backed it up.

  47. Do not the Venona papers show that the anti-nuclear movement is a product of Soviet psy-ops?

    As nuclear energy provides power with less carbon dioxide production per Gigawatt-hour than solar or wind turbines, the only rational reason to support solar and wind over nuclear is to line the pockets of solar and wind industry.

      • stock: “Hmmm, Fukushima 3, 4, and 1 all seem very good reasons to be anti-nuclear”

        In fact, hydro power is responsible for several orders of magnitude more deaths than nuclear power. Take the Banqiao Dam disaster, for example:


        According to the Hydrology Department of Henan Province, in the province, approximately 26,000 people died from flooding and another 145,000 died during subsequent epidemics and famine. In addition, about 5,960,000 buildings collapsed, and 11 million residents were affected. Unofficial estimates of the number of people killed by the disaster have run as high as 230,000 people

        Or the Sichuan earthquake, perhaps:

        BEIJING — Nearly nine months after a devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, left 80,000 people dead or missing, a growing number of American and Chinese scientists are suggesting that the calamity was triggered by a four-year-old reservoir built close to the earthquake’s geological fault line.

        Do you consider those two events all seem very good reasons to be anti-hydro?

      • cat, if the Chinese want to build crappy dams, we can’t do much to stop them. But no, that doesn’t make me anti-hydro.

        Also their dam failure does not affect anyone in any other country. As the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents have, and with long lasting effects, and long painful, costly, deaths.

    • Renewables have made Germany strong. There are more than 2 million solar homes in California. Nuclear is not economical. There is no safe way to dispose of nuclear waste. Millions of tons of it. Each nuclear reactor creates 2 thousand tons of high level nuclear waste annually. They would have to build thousands of nuclear reactors or millions of npps and it would still eat up fossil fuels to dig mill uranium and haul the deadly radionuclide’s everywhere. Nuclear is a lie. Renewables are real technology. Boiling water with plutonium is deadly and stupid. It is not technology.

      • “There are more than 2 million solar homes in California.”

        I maintain that 2 million families have been sc*med. Promising to save money in the future is a very common sc*m.

        “There is no safe way to dispose of nuclear waste. ”

        There are many ways to store spent fuel. Been doing since WWII.

        PV produces more hazardous waste per kwh than nuclear.

        “Renewables are real technology. Boiling water with plutonium is deadly and stupid. It is not technology.”

        I wonder what engineering degree loveall has? It takes a lot of hard work to become an engineer. There is nothing deadly about fissioning plutonium to boil water to make electricity. It may require more work to understand than the photoelectric effect.

      • Loveall,

        Renewables have made that Denmark (the wind champions) and Germany have by far the highest family power prices in Europe. Not (yet) the industry there, except the fossil fuel power plants, which must regulate the intermittent power delivery from their “green” colleagues…

        I don’t know what your source of “knowledge” is about the nuclear industry, but here every nuclear plant of 1000 MW produces about 2 m3 of high radioactive waste/year, encapsulated in glass pearls. You need to store that in a safe place for about 600 years and then it is harmless. That safe place is found in my country at 300 m depth in a very thick clay layer which hasn’t changed over 20 million years. They still are doing duration tests since decades to see if the waste heat is adequately removed and water migration is slow enough.

        I know, in the US they don’t recycle used uranium, so the amount of waste there is about 20 times larger. That is 40 m3/year which needs safe storage during 600 years, the remaining uranium is very weak in radiation. Seems that you still are one or a few orders of magnitude off…

        Every source of energy needs energy for exploring, refining, building, maintenance,… For nuclear that is not different than for solar panels or wind mills or hydro dams: about 7% of all energy delivered during its lifetime is used as “pre-combustion” energy. That is all.

      • I have an undergraduate degree in engineering. I have a PhD in Biohemistry. I have worked in nuclear facilities, as have many note anti-nuclear scientists.

        Most high level nuclear waste is stored in storage pools long-term, next to nuclear reactors. If the water drains from the fuel pools, many which have existed for the life of the 40, 30, 20 yo and less reactors, they will burn to the equivalent of thousands of nuclear bombs worth of highly poisonous radionuclide’s. Yes, that much cesium137, uranium, americium, strontium 90, plutonium and other highly toxic radionucleides will be released into the air, soil, and water. Some carried for hundreds of miles or thounsands of miles in water.

        It has happened at Fukushima. There are no viable safe places to store nuclear waste. The Germans want to shift their salt mine nuclear waste to the united states. Yucca mountain was stopped because it was not deemed geolically safe. Much nuclear waste has been dumped into the sea. The WIPP saltmine nuclear waste dump, in New Mexico caught fire because of the unsafe mix of organic kitty litter. At 2 billion for cleanup costs, and permanent contamination of the area, was it worth it at WIPP?

        Vitrification has never worked, as shown at Hanford, which has leaked radionucleides into the Columbia since the 1940s.

        The Italian Mafia has shipped Europe’s nuclear water to Somalia and buried it in landfills in southern Italy accounting for numerous cancer clusters there. So many thousands of nasty secrets out there.

        The Chernobyl exclusion zone is still not safe. There is a lot of cesium 137 there at this time. Unusual be cause it has gone through a half-life, meaning there was much more deadly cesium 137 than was known or admitted too. There was also iodine 131 released and strontium 90. All 6000 scientists called to clean chernobyl are dead from cancer. Yablakov published a paper proving 1 million died from Chernobyl. There are some animals at Chernobyl’s exclusion zone because there are no people. The wolves found are abnormally small.

        There has been an average of a major nuclear accident every 5 to seven years since nuclear powers inception. Santa Susana’s 3 nuclear meltdowns by Los Angeles were noted and covered.

        Fukushima has three full-blown meltdowns that are still in progress.

        Belarus continues to have trouble withe the contamination from Chernobyl. Massive numbers of Children with radionucleide induced heart defects.

        Most people are alarmed when they here about the possibility of nuclear waste being transported in their areas.

        It is a major preveracation to say that nuclear waste has been safely stored since world war 2.

      • Loveall,

        If you have worked in the nuclear industry – I have done my B.Sc. thesis in nuclear waste recovery of Cs-137 and Sr-90 – you should know that storage of spent fuel and abandoned reactors needs only 30-40 years to have most of the high level radiation reduced to near zero. Uranium and Plutonium have such a low radiation level that you only need a newspaper to protect you from the radiation. But indeed you need to separate it with water or other means to prevent a chain reaction…

        Cs137 and Sr90 are the difficult ones: they have a half life time of ~30 years and need about 600 years of safe storage. That is what in Europe is done: separating the 5% waste in spent fuels from uranium and plutonium, which then can be reused as (MOX) fuel in existing plants. That means a lot of reduction in volume, compared to the US where all spent fuel is wasted.

        As said elsewhere, one need safe storage for a long period. Salt mines are far less reliable than first thought. Yucca mountain, I don’t know, but have the impression that it was more a political decission not to go on with the project than for technical reasons. In my country they are testing clay layers as safe disposal since the 1980’s and last year they started a project for heating the clay over a decade to see how the remaining heat production of high radioactive waste is distributed. See:

        As far as I know, no reactor waste was dumped in the oceans, what was dumped was mainly remains of medical and technical applications and cleanup waste. In general embedded in tar, not easily decomposing. That still is the largest volume of waste now stored on land.

        Please read the latest report of Tsjernobyl from a group of experts: the area around the reactor is completely safe. The highest levels found are above moss, as that acts as a sponge for all minerals, including Cs-137. Even that was below levels measured in many towns on earth.

        Cancer fatalities from Tsjernobyl? Not countable according to the WHO, which I do trust more on that part than people who simply calculate excess cancers form a straight line relation between radiation dose and cancer rate, while that is simply not true for radiation, even reverses at low doses…
        It is possible that many of the cleanup workers died from the extra radiation, but the real figures are hard to obtain from the Russians…

        I never heard of heart problems related to radiation. Some source for that?

      • Retired, Plutonium is one of the most deadly things created. About 6000 pounds were released from Fukushima in the initial blasts, and more is leaching out daily.

        But as little as 1 millionth of one gram is enough to kill a human, and a dose of 350 millionths of a gram is a pretty much 100% kill rate within a few years.

        So pretending that high hazard is not created by nuclear power, is disingenuous at best.

      • stock: “Retired, Plutonium is one of the most deadly things created. About 6000 pounds were released from Fukushima in the initial blasts”

        More utter nonsense.

        You really haven’t a clue, have you?

      • Stock,

        about 200 tons of “excess uranium” in the air days after Fukushima.

        That website is not very reliable, to say the least: the explosions at Fukushima were from hydrogen (which could have been prevented by a better design…), not from a chain reaction. He calculates the total airborne uranium quantity from local measurements on the total volume of air, while a cloud follows narrow wind paths… Further the table for airborne Pu shows zero detectable amounts and U zero to extreme low values.
        His story about reindeer in Norway not killed by lightning but resulting from the Chernobyl fallout puts him in the same class as many other conspiracy believers, including you, as I see in the comments…

        Moreover, from all places in Norway, the Hardangervidda where the reindeer were killed had one of the lowest rates of fallout from Chernobyl. There was (and is) an advice to eat no/less reindeer meat for many parts of Norway, which is of no use for the Hardangervidda herd, as that are the only wild reindeer in Scandinavia and living in a large nature reserve thus may not be killed and eaten…

        See further about the Chernobyl fallout:
        which contains an interesting (pre-Fukushima) estimate of fallouts from the nuclear bomb tests and other nuclear accidents. The Nuclear bomb tests did give 10-10,000 times more fallout of different radionucleides than Chernobyl (table 1, page 13)…

        BTW, the main contaminants in the Norway fallout, Cs-137 and Cs-134 behaves in the body in a similar way as potassium, thus can be compared to the banana radiation in “banana equivalents”…

      • “He calculates the total airborne uranium quantity from local measurements on the total volume of air, while a cloud follows narrow wind paths… Further the table for airborne Pu shows zero detectable amounts and U zero to extreme low values.”

        That first statement, instead of supporting your argument, refutes your argument. The points measured by the EPA were widespread. Saipan, Guam, Hawaii, Anaheim, San Francisco, Seattle. So I agree…there will be areas of higher “plume” and that would just add to the reality of more excess uranium.

        The ND for plutonium is quite obvious. Not detected because “not tested”. It is simplistic reasoning to know that if uranium in the atmosphere went up 26 times higher the week after Fukushima, that where there is smoke there is fire. In spent fuel or a running reactor, and especially in the worst explosion at R3 which was running plutonium enriched MOX fuel….wherever you measure excess uranium, there is going to also be plutonium, whether you measure for it or not.

      • Stock,

        The fact that levels of uranium at different places were varying from day to day between ND (= not detectable, that is not the same as “not measured”) and extreme low amounts, proves that the spread of Pu and U was not homogenious over the full air mass, as was the case for the Chernobyl spread too.

        Further, Pu from the fallout of the nuclear bomb tests was 10 PBq, from Chernobyl 0.09 PBq. In Chernobyl the whole reactor itself exploded and much of the kernel graphite burned out, spreading Pu and U over – mostly nearby – areas.
        As far as I know, the reactors in Fukushima didn’t explode, but the hydrogen formed by the splitting of water at extreme temperatures and radiation did build up in de building around the reactor and that exploded. Some chain reaction from the leaking containers of spent fuel may have added Pu and U to that, but anyway an order (or orders) of magnitude smaller than at the Chernobyl disaster…

        Again such disasters should be prevented with every means, but nobody did expect such an extreme earthquake – which the reactors survived – and the following once in 1,000 years tsunami which killed tenthousands…

      • Ferd, oh my….you say the reactors at Fukushima survived? Surely you jest.

        Extreme low amounts…..really? 26 times what is normally in the air? that is extreme high amounts.

        The EPA air tests I reference are 24 to 72 hour bulk collections on air filters, not “varying day to day” as you suggest without any reference or link.

        As far as you know about reactors not exploding or fuel pools not burning, I suggest that you do more research because that is in fact, what happened.

      • Stock,

        Please read your own sources more careful:
        The disaster happened on March 11.
        Measurements on March 15 at Anaheim; 0.000044 pCi/m3 U-234, other Pu and U isotopes ND.
        Measurements on March 20 at Anaheim: no U and Pu isotopes detectable.
        Measurements on March 19 at Guam: no U and Pu isotopes detectable.
        Measurements on March 23 at Guam: 0.0003 pCi/m3 U-234, 0.0002 pCi/m3 U-238
        Which shows that the contamination was moving from one place to the next and certainly not homogenous in the total air mass, no matter if the sampling was per day or over a few days.

        Further the timeline of Fukushima:

        Which shows that the explosions were from releasing the increasing pressure in the reactor, which contained a lot of hydrogen and that exploded. The reactors didn’t explode, that is an enormous difference with Chernobyl, where the chain reaction caused 3.000 bar pressure with as result that the reactor lid was launched and part of the kernel itself exploded by the pressure release and the graphite present started to burn…
        The reactors at Fukushima survived the earthquake of scale 9 with minimal damage, while oroginally designed to survive an earthquake of scale 7, 100 times less in strength. What was not foreseen was that the tsunami was 10 m high, while the tsunami wall was “only” 6 m high. That killed the cooling water diesel pumps.
        The reactors may have been damaged and partly melted away because of lack of cooling, but that has not the same effect as a reactor kernel launched in the air by pressure and fire…

        There was a fire in one of the spent fuel storage compartments during a few hours and that may be the main cause of the U/Pu contamination.

        26 times what is normally in the air? that is extreme high amounts

        26 times near zero still is near zero…

        Tests for Pu and Cs in “black matter” in a wide area around the reactors give as conclusion that some 580 mg (milligram!) plutonium may have been released via the air (40,000 times less than at Chernobyl!). Releases via water may have beeen (and still may be) much higher, but that was not (yet) quantified.

        It looks like that your estimate of airborne U/PU is many orders of magnitude wrong…

      • Sorry, but the credibility of your reference is completely shot. they state in their “timeline” that on March 14th

        The reactors Units 1, 2 and 3 of the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant were pronounced to be in cold shutdown status, meaning the pressure of the water coolant in the three reactors was around atmospheric level and the temperature was below 100 degrees Celsius. Under these conditions, the reactors were considered to be safely under control. Unit 4 was not yet in a cold shutdown.

        March 15:

        Then they even fail to mention that Unit 3 blew sky high, followed by Unit 4 going sky high.

        Protecting nuclear is like protecting Hillary, its a death wish.

      • Stock,

        The timeline may not be completely right, but that is not important. Important is that your calculated quantities of U and PU released by the Fukushima disaster are certainly many orders of magnitude wrong.
        Another one about the releases from Fukushima:

        As that is not the only point where you are wrong in this discussion, like the necessary 100% (not paid for) backup for wind and solar. My impression is that you want to push these unreliable energy sources at any cost and demonish nuclear with whatever wrong argument you can find…

        I am only interested in what is affordable with a minimum risk and minimum contamination. If that is nuclear, so be it, if that is coal, so be it. Anyway wind is the worst solution if you don’t have hydro as buffer, solar is more interesting, as that delivers when demand is highest – in summer, but not in winter when you can use it most. Both are way too expensive and hardly reduce CO2 emissions, which need to be reduced is very questionable…

  48. “I am an expert and have done over 2000 projects …”

    Stock is an expert sc*m artist.

    Let me talk about my first commercial nuclear project, Susquehanna Steam Electric Station. It has been making 1200+ MWe of electricity on cold winter nights since 1982. It gets cold there.

    Kewaunee is a much smaller plant whose construction was before my time in the commercial industry. It made electricity on cold winter nights for almost 40 years of cold winter nights. The current low cost of natural gas is the economic reason for the plant not running beyond it is design life.

    “PV farms has contracts to supply at 4 cents ”

    That is something a sc*m artist would say when comparing mild climate PV to places that have cold winter nights.

    “they didn’t absorb much of the radioactive stuff”

    Because they were not exposed. For the record, PV converts solar radiation to electricity. I have been hurt many time by solar radiation but never by radiation from nuke plants. No one in the US or Japan has been hurt by radiation from nuke plants.

    • Ah, Retired, you rely on the “you will be in the cold and dark” unless we have nuclear.

      That is such an old false argument / lie, I am sick of responding to such nonsense. And eff you for calling me a scam artist.

  49. The money quote in their own words: While it’s difficult to show a causal link, the researchers say the study casts significant doubts on nuclear energy as the answer to combating climate change.

    In other words, the facts don’t support our world view but facts be damned, our view is the only correct view. Why the fixation upon a certain solution? Because wind and solar are a solution in search of a problem to solve with a guaranteed profit using tax payer funds. The mark of self serving elites are the demands that everyone pay for their great ideas, no matter how unsustainable they are in the real world. The demand for tax payer funds is the de facto admission the idea/program/solution is unsustainable. It is no surprise that a person who lives off of government grants to study anything such as AGW will advocate for his own well being no matter how detrimental it is to others. The zero sum game is played by a self serving person.

    • Wallowing in a world of nuclear filth and death, for a slice burnt toast, maybe fine for you monsters. it is not for the rest of us.

    • Nuclear death that causes animal extinctions, cancer, chronic disease, birth defects is murder it is not birth control.

      • Loveall,

        Nobody needs personal attacks to show that you have no credibility at all, as your “arguments” have zero credibility without any underlying figures.

        – How many animals were wiped out by nuclear power plants, including the Tsjernobyl and Fukushima disasters (animals around Tsjernobyl are thriving as never before).
        – How many cancers were caused by Tsjernobyl (according to the WHO, too low to be detected in the normal average cancer rates).
        – How many more chronic deseases and birth defects around Tsjernobyl or other parts of the world with high fallout (according to the chronicles, some unexplained 6 extra cases of mongoloids in Berlin, with conception in the period that the fallout passed there).

  50. This conversation is ridiculous, a bunch of people saying our technology cant keep up with the economics of the times… Nuke is DEAD, Solar and wind took the field, building GIANT poison machines is just not gonna be a meme that people want to live by anymore.

    [and if fusion comes of age, where there are no radioactive waste products of consequence, will you and “people” reject that as well? -mod]

    • Graham,

      Building giant bird and bat killing machines is of course much better than nuclear that has maybe killed a few dozen people over the past 60 year while delivering enormous quantities of reliable power.

      I do live less than 5 km from a 3000 MW nuclear plant in the main wind direction. I don’t feel the slightest need to move to the other side of the country, but would protest if they were planning to implant a wind mill in my neighbourhood (which is a rich bat habitat)…

    • The nuke industry can’t be all that dead, as there are 61 new units under construction at the moment, with 170 more on order or planned. Most are in China, Russia, and India. India has few natural resources, but has lots of Thorium, and they are ahead of all other countries on the road to building fast breeder reactors to use that Thorium.

      • This is how economical nuclear is. This project required 15 billion in government subsidies.

        A 122 million dollar boondoggle.
        There is no entitity that will insure
        Against a nuclear accident so the US congress passed the Price-Anderson act, making the taxpayers pick up the bill of a nuclear accident.
        There were major riots and demonstrations in lyanyunggangChina, when the Chinese government announced a nuclear processing facility there.

        I doubt the 61 nuclear plants the man said under construction will be completed, as with the talen plant. Billions of government subsidies necessary. No safe place for waste. Infinite liability to taxpayers. Permanent contamination. So goes using uranium and plutonium to boil water.

        Hinckley is dead in the water. Just hype and propaganda, which has been the norm of nuclear for 70 years or so.

      • Thorium is converted to uranium in thorium rectors. More of the uranium to boil water for energy boondoggle. No place to put the waste.

      • The Who is a captive agency of the International atomic energy agency. They are bound to not report nuclear casualties accurately by charter. So goes the bogus propaganda of nuclear. No leg to stand on without preveracation and propaganda. Let them eat cesium 137, tritium, iodine 131, strontium 90, uranium and plutonium Americium is their motto. All they will look at is the initial gamma flash from a meltdown. Not the the biocummulation of manmade radionuclide’s in living organisms from ongoing contamination and nuclear accidents.

      • Loveall,

        Of course the WHO is paid by the nuclear industry to lie about cancer rates. And Greenpeace and friends know the only truth… Unfortunately for your “knowledge”, there are studies of cancer rates at Misasa, Japan, some 1,000 km from Fukushima, where natural background radiation (from radon) is quite high. Permanent residents of Misasa have half the average cancer rates in two studies and similar rates in one study, compared to the average of Japan. 600,000 visitors per year are coming to Misasa to inhale the steam from the high radon sources for its healing effect:

        BTW, do you eat banana’s? Don’t do that if you are afraid from ingesting radioactive elements: it contains -natural- radioactive potassium in such quantities that containers with banana’s often do give false alarms when scanned…

      • Loveall:

        This project required 15 billion in government subsidies.

        Or how you distort the truth: the 15 billion is a loan, not really what one would call a “subsidy”, which is what wind and sun receive and is paid for by the consumers. A loan needs to be paid back over time and until now nuclear plants have paid their loans back with interest and all…

        No insurance company in the world can afford the costs of a nuclear disaster, neither of a natural disaster like the Japanese tsunami which destroyed the Fukushima reactors and wiped out complete towns, even if the probability is extremely small. Thus if a country wants to have nuclear, and allows building towns on the coast of tsunami prone seasides, the country is responsible for the damage…

      • Stock,

        The article confirms that banana’s are radioactive. So that is not a lie, it is the simple truth. That the body makes that K-40 – or any -stable- potassium isotope is kept in balance is true, but has nothing to do with the fact that K-40 desintegrates with beta-radiation as result. That can (and does) damage DNA, but humans – and all life forms – have a quite good DNA repair mechanism that can cope with that. For radiation as good as for poisons. Until it gets too much or the repair mechanism fails for any reason (including getting older).

        Of course, some elements like iodine get concentrated in the thyroid, which makes that one is far more vulnerable for thyroid cancer if exposed to ingestion/inhalation of radioactive iodine, which has lucky a very short half life time. Taking iodine pills when exposed to a nuclear disaster is quite effective to prevent the uptake of the unstable version and thus prevents thyroid cancer…

        The point is that exposure to small amounts of radioactive materials are part of life, which doesn’t imply that one shouldn’t reduce the risk of nuclear disasters to an absolute minimum.

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