Why nuclear power is a bad way to balance renewable energy

See the YOUTUBE video:

David Toke, Ian Fairlie and Herbert Eppel from 100percentrenewableuk discuss how nuclear power effectively switches off wind and solar power and how a 100percent renewable energy system is much better for the UK than one involving nuclear power

The Government, backed by a lot of public policy reports paid for by pro-nuclear interests, constantly pushes out the view that nuclear power is ‘essential’ to balancing wind and solar power. But what they never mention is the massive waste of renewables that occurs in such a scenario. Under the scenarios planned by the Government nuclear power is paid very high prices to generate power even when there is excess electricity, which pushes renewables to close down. The Government also refuses to undertake serious investigations of how a system that uses excess renewables to create short and long term storage is a much better way of organising our energy needs rather than wasting more money on building nuclear power statitons.

Look at our video which, drawing upon research on the role of nuclear and renewables, discusses these issues.

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14 thoughts on “Why nuclear power is a bad way to balance renewable energy”

  1. Our top climate scientists caution us the renewable energy cannot be counted on to provide a reliable supply of electrical energy and that we need to establish a base of nuclear energy to avoid frequent blackouts.

    https://environmentalprogress.org/climate-scientists-for-nuclear
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djgL7_ynbZ8&ab_channel=pit

    So, as a counter to their advice, we have the inputs from some amateurs, completely ignorant of the problems facing us. contradicting them. But they do have the support of Greta, Bernie Sanders, AOC, a collection of movie stars.

    Very compelling

  2. No. I meant the list of scientists provided in the link. Perhaps you somehow missed it. Their argument, as climate scientists, is that weather is not a reliable primary source for energy, as it exhibits wide variation in availability. Although several solutions have been proposed – batteries, hydrogen, pumped storage,.. , at present there is no existing solution for the problem. The renewable energy community has argued that reliability is not a primary need and we can deal with the problem through “demand management” – controlled blackouts. Texas is a feature, not a flaw.

  3. well, if Michael Mann isn’t a leading climate scientist then I don’t know who is. Sure, different people have different opinions, but I don’t think it is convincing just to pick the people who support your view and then claim that this represents the view of climate scientists in general. The IPCC disavows efforts to talk about the precise nature of solutions

  4. Demand side response requires somebody to defer use of electricity. When it is applied to peak demand, the usual approach is to control demand through pricing. In California, the impact has been to force people in small homes and apartments to turn off their AC during peak demand, while the wealthy, with solar panels on their large homes, are supported by the recovery of energy they generated at off peak hours and dumped onto the grid – see “duck curve”. .

    When there is a major shortage of energy, as there was during the wind drought in Europe in July 2018, large numbers of users have to stop using electricity, with all of its consequences.

    Germany has solved the the problem by doubling up energy supplies – RE plus coal and natural gas, at the cost of having redundant energy capacity. They are digging a new coal mine and building a huge gas pipeline across the North Sea. They also import energy, and dump it at a loss when there is a surplus. Is that the long term solution?

    Depending on weather-dependent energy WILL lead to periods of time with major shortages of electrical energy. It is a consequence of the statistical variation in the weather. Does Michael Mann propose a specific solution for this problem?

  5. I don’t have the time to research the Californian situation that you describe, but I can report that in the UK there is an equitable approach to installing solar pv on domestic rooftops, see for example https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/new-deal-will-provide-800000-low-income-households-with-solar-power_uk_59ad3835e4b0b5e530ffda27#:~:text=Using%20renewable%20energy%20to%20tackle%20fuel%20poverty.&text=800%2C000%20low%2Dincome%20homes%20across,panels%20on%20their%20housing%20stock.

  6. My point was that small homes, particularly in the UK, do not have the roof space to generate the surplus energy that makes rate metering attractive. Rooftop solar is a subsidy for the wealthier home owner, with 100m2 of roof space. In the US, electricity rates are variable with time of day and time of year, with peak rates much higher than base rates. Generating a surplus of energy allows you to trade it 1:1 for the expensive peak energy. But somebody else has to pay for the cost of peak energy, which much more expensive to generate.

  7. It would be great if the home owners in California would pay for the storage rather than dumping their unwanted surplus off-peak electricity onto the grid. But the rate metering plan provides “free” storage through bookkeeping. Battery storage costs $400/Kwh installed, or about 10 cents/KWh, amortized, and accounting for lost energy.

    A realistic policy would make battery storage mandatory for all rooftop solar. That would eliminate the burden of the rate metering subsidy on those without rooftop solar.

  8. Good idea. But make certain the battery captures estimated surplus, and there is no arrangement to use a surplus to load the grid.

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