Friday, February 05, 2010

Turkey, India, NYC

bakan-taner-yildiz Enough about the DOE budget, the blue ribbon commission and government stuff! – for today anyway.

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We weren’t quite sure what this meant:

On Wednesday the U.S ambassador met with Energy Minister Taner Yildiz to express the desire of U.S. firms to build Turkey's first nuclear power station.

Government sources have said the license for the Turkish nuclear power station may simply be handed to Moscow, which already supplies 60 percent of Turkey's gas needs, if they can agree over pricing and other technical issues.

Such a move would add to worries over the possibility that NATO-member Turkey's policies are shifting away from Ankara's traditional Western friends.

So Turkey may partner with Russia rather than the U.S. to build a plant. What we don’t get is why this means Turkey is necessarily moving away from the West. It sounds to us – even based on the bit above – that Turkey has long-standing energy ties to Russia (for better or worse) and might want to extend that.

Based on the rest of the story, it appears the worry is that Russia is foreclosing on a lot of Turkish interests and making the investor class unhappy.

Turkey's fast-growing power generation and distribution sectors as well as its gas market, tapped for liberalization, have attracted the attention of numerous investors looking to build power stations and bid for projects.

Which, we presume, is where the U.S. enters the picture. And the situation is not cut-and-dry.

A Turkish-Russian consortium led by Russia's Atomstroyexport had been the only bidder in a 2008 tender to build country's first nuclear power plant. But Turkey's state-run electricity wholesaler TETAS canceled the tender in November 2009.

Turkish Energy Minister Yildiz said that Turkey would reconsider the matter if such companies show interest in nuclear power plant project.

And that’s what the U.S. is doing – showing interest. Looks like this one is in the wait and see category.

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In this story, Craig Wilson, the Executive Director of Safe, Healthy, Affordable and Reliable Energy, makes the case for nuclear energy, although we admit we stumbled a bit when we read this:

Although there is room for these clean sources [solar, wind, hydro], the fate of communities of color, small businesses and neighborhoods overrun with high asthma rates and an abundance of dirty air power plants, relies upon sources that do not emit the dangerous greenhouse gases that contribute to growing asthma rates in New York’s minority communities.

As far as we know, there are no “dirty air power plants” planted directly within a New York City neighborhood much less “an abundance of them,” so the effect of such plants would be equally noxious where ever in the city you happen to be. Really, the whole section seems half-cooked – and the rest of the article weaves between good points and odd ones. We agree with SHARE’s general outlook, especially about the Indian Point plant, so we were a bit disappointed. See what you think.

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India seems to make all the right moves in expanding nuclear trade between itself and the U.S.:

US businesses have complained that despite the promise of the nuclear agreement, they still cannot seal deals in the growing Indian market without resolution of remaining issues.

Oops! Well, let’s see what can be done about that:

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday certified that India has placed safeguards on its nuclear facilities, taking another step toward full implementation of a landmark cooperation deal.

Phew! There are still going to be issues, but this is clearly something the Indian and U.S. governments want to make work. So far, so good.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz.

3 comments:

Brian Mays said...

Well, there are power plants in New York City. The New York Power Authority has several natural-gas-burning simple-gas-turbine plants in the city. In addition, there are some small, privately owned plants in the city as well. For example, NYU has a central plant that burns oil.

I'm more confused about "the dangerous greenhouse gases that contribute to growing asthma rates." I guess that ozone and nitrous oxide could qualify, but I would think that the particulate matter emitted from fossil-fueled and biomass-fueled power plants would be a much larger concern for its effects on asthma.

Anonymous said...

I keep hoping the greenies succeed in killing Indian Point. The massive disruption in the nation's largest economy would be an important (and hilariously schadenfreude-rich) object lesson to the rest of the country.

DW said...

Brian is correct...there are dozens of power plants of a variety of source from "Big Alice" in Queens to the east 14th Street Con-Ed steam plant...NYC has the largest district steam system in the world...all natural gas & oil powered and therefore dirty.

Secondly, the Subway system owns a set of traditional thermal (coal and gas) plants in N. Jersey that are quite visable from any tall building in Manhattan. Air blows from West to East bringing it and all the many Jersey power plant smog into the City.