Skip to main content

Europe May Have to Think Twice About Wind Power

In Europe, wind power is running in to more objections:

It can cost between 54 and 102 dollars to save emission of a tonne of carbon dioxide by using wind energy, says a report released last week by a German government energy agency and two other independent groups.

Germany, which has the world's largest number of wind farms, would have to spend 1.4 billion dollars to link wind farms to the electricity grid to meet its declared aim of producing 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015, the report says. That would cost the average German home an additional 21 dollars a year . . .

The Country Guardian, a British group that has opposed wind farms for years claims the new German report validates their objections. "We have been saying for years that wind energy costs three times as much as conventional energy, and damages the landscape," Ann West from Country Guardian told IPS. "Wind farms are such horrible blots on the landscape."

Elfam, the largest utilities company in Denmark found in a study that wind farms had not reduced carbon dioxide emissions, she said. The Germany energy giant Eon, she said, had found that wind energy needs to be backed up by conventional energy.

"Wind energy is not just more expensive but it leads to more pollution," West claimed. She cited a report by the Royal Academy of Engineers in Britain to suggest that a conventional power station produces more carbon dioxide when it is turned down to make room for energy from wind farms, and also when it has to "ramp up" when wind energy is insufficient.


Click here to read about the Royal Academy's report. I think it's important to note that we don't have anything against renewables. It's just that when you take an honest look at future electricity demand, and add in concerns about environment, it's going to take more than just renewables to fill the gap.

Comments

Elizabeth King said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elizabeth King said…
The carbon dioxide emission rate for the United States is roughly 0.87 metric tons per MWhr, according to Environmental Protection Agency's CEMS (Continuous Emission Monitoring System) data. Based on that emission rate, It takes about 1.15 MWhrs of clean-air nuclear generation to avoid one full metric ton of CO2. Using the average 2003 US nuclear production cost of $17.2/MWhr, that amounts to a cost of around $19.78 to avoid one metric ton of CO2. This is less than half the cost of avoiding a single ton of CO2 using wind power, according to the European study.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …