Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Britain: Renewables No, Nuclear Yes

article-1054106-04F06D9B0000044D-60_468x286 "The CBI's report is a very good piece of work," said Steve Holliday, the National Grid chief executive. "There is no difference in the cost of implementing its model, but its carbon reduction is greater and there's a better energy mix."

That comes from the Telegraph, reporting on a report issued by the Confederation of British Industries (CBI), which looks to us like that country’s version of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (And what would that energy mix be?

The study calls for the Government to change the energy mix within the next 12-15 months. Its suggestions include raising nuclear spend by £15bn and carbon capture by £7bn, while cutting investment in expensive gas projects by £11bn and wind by £12bn.

And what would those savings be?

The business lobby group argues that this alternative path will lead to an 83pc reduction in carbon emissions compared with a projected drop under the Government's plans of just 64pc by 2030.

We’ll have to see what the British report on renewables looks like – this seems a warning shot across its bow. Read the Telegraphs write up and then download CBI’s report to see what’s what. (Firefox didn’t like the link to the report, so we’ve taken you to the top page for reports. Try after they’ve fixed the link.)

This is Sizewell B, Britain’s largest nuclear plant. Looks like Klaatu should be emerging from the containment unit.

This is how CBI describes itself: The CBI is the UK's top business lobby organisation. Our specialist services and unmatched influence with government, policymakers, legislators, and unions mean we can get the best deal for business at home and abroad. [Always consider the source of your information, in other words.]

5 comments:

gunter said...

The Telegraph story does more to expose a bogus but often heard argument for more nuclear power "we only want to be part of the mix."

As the same day Guardian UK puts it, "The truth is that there is only so much money available, and the nuclear advocates – scared by the growth rates of renewables – are scrabbling to ensure most of it goes to them."

Another same day story in the Toronto Star reports the Canadian nuclear "renaissance" is basically Dead-On-Arrival; collapsing around the "shocking cost" of bids for new reactors in a current range of $7,350/kw to $10,000/kw for an AREVA EPR and the CANDU-1000.

Joffan said...

From the CBi press release:

Under this pathway, by 2030 gas would make up 16% of the energy mix; coal 2%; nuclear 34%; wind 20%; other renewables 15%; and clean coal 14%.

Nuclear is only part of the mix under this proposal. The CBI has no particular reason to prefer nuclear over wind - you can be sure that their members will be involved in any large infrastructure project, whatever the energy source.

So, gunter, whatever your attempted anti-nuclear point is, it falls apart in the face of the facts - as usual.

As for the Canadian shenannigans - we'll see how that one plays out, but the Harper government is certainly not helping AECL at present. I suspect there is an element of friction between the federal and provincial governments there.

perdajz said...

I don't think anyone in the nuclear power business anywhere fears diffuse energy sources, or is scared by their growth rates, which are actually modest in absolute terms. Even the most ardent diffuse energy proponent understands that baseload must be provided by something other than wind or solar power, and that a very high level of backup, perhaps upward of 90%, is required.

I actually contend that a rapid growth in diffuse energy sources will be their undoing. Once wind or solar is actually expected to provide large, reliable amounts of power with little or no environmental impact, its weaknesses will become clear, and we can move on to building reactors.

It's been a bad week for you Gunter. First, the British. The Italians, having bought power from the French for 20 years now, changed their minds. The Germans are realizing their folly.

The Toronto Star article doesn't change a thing. There is only one clean energy source that reliably provides large amounts of power, and it's splitting uranium. In the face of decades of empirical evidence to support this fact, the rest of the world is moving on. You should too, Gunter.

perdajz said...

Forgot to mention Spain, which agreed to run Garona for four more years. In four years, they will likely extend the lifespan of this plant once again. Its capacity factor this decade, and, indeed, over the course of its lifetime, has been superb. One definition of insanity would be shuttering Garona in favor of anything else.

And Mr. Pickens changed his mind. All in all, it hasn't been a great week for you, Gunter.

D Kosloff said...

Avoiding the use of nuclear power can save a lot of energy, by making a country's economy look like the bottom of a Shake-and-Bake bag.