Sunday, May 5, 2013

Martin Nicholson critiques Australian Renewable Energy Report

Berry Brooks' blog "BraveNewClimate" is one of the best pro-nuclear blogs.

Berry does many of the same things I have done in "Nuclear Green", but he does them far better than I have. One of the things I did when I started "Nuclear Green" was a comparison of the relative costs of renewable energy and nuclear energy. I looked at the costs of conventional nuclear energy. Although I believed that the cost of nuclear power could be substantially reduced with the introduced of molten salt technology, but even without molten salt technology conventional nuclear energy would cost less and be far more reliable than renewable energy.

I also looked at planning studies that assumed only renewable energy and pointed out flaws in them. Soon Berry began publishing similar reports written by people far better qualified than I was that supported my conclusions. I thought that there was no need for me to continue this if Berry was covering it in a far more adequate fashion than I was. I must say that most of these studies were not written by Berry personally, but were written by collaborators who Berry encouraged to offer these reports. Taken together, the studies of renewable energy in "BraveNewClimate" have offered devastating critiques of the renewable energy concept. Berry's associates have shown that replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy would be far more expensive and problematic than replacing them with nuclear power. The latest study in BraveNewClimate is
based on a paper by Mark Nicholson :

100 Per Cent Renewables Study Needs a Makeover

According to Berry:

"Guest Post by Martin Nicholson. Martin studied mathematics, engineering and electrical sciences at Cambridge University in the UK and graduated with a Masters degree in 1974. He published a peer-reviewed book on low-carbon energy systems in 2012The Power Makers’ Challenge: and the need for Fission Energy"

It would appear that Martin is far better qualified to make judgments about the relative costs of nuclear power and renewable energy than most of the "so called" renewable energy experts. Martin demonstrates that the reason why this fact is not general public knowledge is simple. Reports by governments and energy providers simply ignore comparisons  between nuclear power and renewable energy in a post carbon energy environment. Martin does this by looking at a draft report titled 100 Per Cent Renewables Study – Draft Modelling Outcomes.  This study by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) and financed in no small measure by the Australian government looked at plans for creating a 100% renewable energy market for Australia by 2030 and 2050.

Martin pointed out that no where in the report was the possible use of nuclear energy examined. He reported that the costs of replacing all of Australian coal fired electrical generation facilities with nuclear generated electricity would be less than half that of replacing them with renewable generating sources in the lowest costs renewable scenario. Martin also found that land use by renewable generation systems would be several orders of magnitude greater than by nuclear generation systems. In addition, renewable energy is likely to require changes in the grid system that will go well beyond those required by nuclear systems. Martin Nicholson concludes that the current draft study needs to be revised to include the use of nuclear power which would provide the lowest cost energy to Australia. 

1 comment:

Grant B said...

One of the biggest boosts to the Australian economy would be Co-generational Nuclear power in conjunction with Western Australia’s struggling Alumina refineries. These are some of the biggest refineries in the World currently consuming over 40% of WA’s domestic gas. Not just burning the valuable resource for electricity but mostly for steam to heat their process.
Nuclear power in the area could use excess waste heat in the form of steam to heat the processes in the refineries. The reduction in Western Australian power costs would mean they would be able to smelt Alumina locally instead of doing this in Iceland.
This has many benefits such as:
Economically viable clean Nuclear power for WA
A massive amount of gas then available to export instead of burning or stockpiled for Australia’s long term future
Less gas pipeline transmission losses and a more secure domestic supply of gas for Perth
It would support the investment of an Alumina smelter, Bunbury port expansions, more gas export facilities, Uranium mining and an Australian Nuclear Industry.


Blog Archive

Some neat videos

Nuclear Advocacy Webring
Ring Owner: Nuclear is Our Future Site: Nuclear is Our Future
Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet
Get Your Free Web Ring
Dr. Joe Bonometti speaking on thorium/LFTR technology at Georgia Tech David LeBlanc on LFTR/MSR technology Robert Hargraves on AIM High