Monday, September 11, 2006

Can Nuclear and Wind Work Together?

At NEI, we've always said yes. Here's another source that agrees.

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Stewart Peterson said...

Nothing in that article addressed the fact that every wind turbine must be backed up with a generator that can load-follow--and nuclear power plants can't load-follow. That means gas.

Sorry, but I still don't see how nuclear power--or any baseload energy source--can work with soft energy (wind, solar, waterwheels, tidal power, etc., as opposed to baseload biomass and baseload-capable big hydro). Soft energy is a completely different system; it renders reliability irrelevant as long as it is possible to respond to other sources' unreliability.

Bryan McHugh said...

Nuclear power and hydropower work very well together in Sweden - where they, in effect, share the load equally between them

Bryan McHugh said...

Trouble with wind power is that - in the main - you get around 200 - 300 effective fullhours operation, as against 6000 hrs or so from 'hard' power sources. Thus you need perhaps three times the investment for the same production

Stewart Peterson said...

1. Wind and hydro can work together because hydro can load-follow. That's my point. But if we don't have many suitable locations for dams (and we don't) we have to look somewhere else. In practice, that means gas.

2. "Three times the investment for the same production" assumes that windmills can back each other up. In practice, that doesn't work very well, and you still need backup generators--in most places, gas. Soft energy is a different way to produce power, not something that can work with the current system.