backtop


Print 57 comment(s) - last by Milv949.. on Jul 17 at 9:09 AM


  (Source: Siemens AG)
Project cost $2.84B USD, exploits natural abundance of marine winds

Britain's miles of coasts are home to some of the world's most active marine winds, making them a prime place for offshore wind power.  The nation this week announced the opening of the world's largest marine wind farm installation, a monstrous 630 Megawatt, 175-turbine design dubbed "the London Array".

I. London Array is Turned On

The new farm is the latest bump for the UK, which has more installed offshore wind capacity than any other nation in the world.  The UK currently gets 12 percent of its energy from renewable energy, but it hopes to expand that to 30 percent by 2020.  New offshore wind installations are critical to that goal.

The new farm is located along the coastal border of Kent and Essex, to the northeast of London, facing the North Sea.  It uses Siemens AG's (ETR:SIE) SWT-3.6-120 turbines [PDF] (3.6 MW), which has three blades and a diameter of 117 meters.  The turbines are installed 20 kilometers (~12.4 miles) off the coast.

Here's some videos of the plans and construction of the farm and supporting substation.





The groups have petitioned to expand the installation to 870 MW, adding another 66 turbines to the current count.

II. Green Profit, But Energy Firms are Hungry for More

The new installation is a joint venture owned by Germany's E.ON SE (ETR:EOAN) (30% stake), United Arab Emirates' state-owned Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Comp. (20% stake) and Danish state-owned Dong Energy A/S (50% stake).  It cost a whopping €2.2B ($2.84B USD) to build, but is expected to power a half million homes for at least 30 years.  

Its total annual generation is estimated by the developers to be 2.1 terawatt-hours (tWh) per year, but perhaps a more realistic metric would be 1.65 tWh, if you take the average capacity factor (29.6 percent) of UK offshore wind farms last year.

UK energy costs around 15 pence ($0.23 USD) per kWh [source], so this works out to somewhere between $379.5-483M USD in revenue per year, or roughly $11.4-14.5B USD in revenue over a 30-year lifespan.  However, Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced that the government would mandate incentives to drive the revenue per kWh to three times the base rate, which would be mean over $1B USD in revenue per year.

UK offshore wind
UK companies want longer term guarantees on gov't renewable energy financing commitments.
[Image Source: Siemens]

The UK has 3.3 GW worth of installed offshore wind capacity.  EON estimates the new farm will save 900,000 tons of carbon emissions per year.

While it appears to be a booming era for UK offshore wind, the manufacturers and energy companies are a bit disgruntled at the lack of longer term guarantees from the UK central government.  They wanted plans to run through 2030, but only got targets for 2020.

Greenpeace Executive Director John Sauven tells Bloomberg, "[David Cameron's administration] needs to give the sector long-term certainty by agreeing to cut carbon completely from our electricity sector."

Sources: London Array [press release], Bloomberg



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

"UK federal government"
By silverblue on 7/5/2013 3:31:58 AM , Rating: 3
Say what? The UK is a devolved state.




RE: "UK federal government"
By testerguy on 7/5/13, Rating: 0
RE: "UK federal government"
By testerguy on 7/5/13, Rating: 0
RE: "UK federal government"
By Cloudie on 7/5/2013 10:36:10 AM , Rating: 2
The UK isn't a federation, it's a devolved state, as has been previously stated. There's no such thing as the 'UK federal government'. You just say the 'UK government'.


RE: "UK federal government"
By testerguy on 7/5/13, Rating: 0
RE: "UK federal government"
By freedom4556 on 7/5/2013 12:18:58 PM , Rating: 3
We (Americans) know how the geopolitical landscape of Europe works. It's funny, as much as the British like to berate Americans on the finer points of English, you are seeming to denigrate a valid use of the term 'state.' To reference a Google definition:
quote:
Adjective Of, provided by, or concerned with the civil government of a country: "the future of state education".
http://www.google.com/#output=search&sclient=psy-a...
They way he uses state to refer to a country is valid. You seem to think that it only applies to subunits of a federation. Have you never heard of a state dinner? The state car? Matters of state? And here you were implicitly belittling American's education.


RE: "UK federal government"
By testerguy on 7/5/13, Rating: 0
RE: "UK federal government"
By freedom4556 on 7/5/2013 12:52:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Not all of you do. I've witnessed the ignorance first hand.
Generalizing about an entire nation's population based on isolated experiences is usually considered beneath enlightened civilization such as the one you purportedly have in Europe.
quote:
nobody in the UK would ever use the word 'state' to describe our country.
I think they would, but even if they didn't it is still valid usage. Just because the USA subdivides itself into units called states instead of provinces, counties, boroughs, shires or parishes has no effect on the international use of the term state as having to do with a country's government.
quote:
I don't recall stating this.
You did with your Texas comment.
quote:
If you were sufficiently educated you wouldn't have incorrectly inferred things I didn't claim
Educated doesn't mean clairvoyant.

In any case, the American usage dates from a time when we were a confederation much like your beloved European Union. The Articles of Confederation did indeed unite independent nations and the term state used then was perfectly accurate: describing a country. The colonies were each separate sovereign units before the constitution was ratified.


RE: "UK federal government"
By testerguy on 7/5/13, Rating: 0
RE: "UK federal government"
By Morvannec on 7/5/2013 2:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
nobody in the UK would ever use the word 'state' to describe our country.
quote:
I think they would


I'm English and I can't think of a time I have ever heard anyone refer to the UK as a state. Not in person, on the radio, on TV or even in writing until today.

"The UK is a state" sounds just as silly as "the USA is a state". You'd refer to both as a country, wouldn't you?


RE: "UK federal government"
By silverblue on 7/6/2013 6:56:59 AM , Rating: 2
I'm English as well, though had I known the simple use of the word "state" would be much to others' chagrin, I'd have been content to just put "The UK is devolved" or simply that the UK wasn't a federation.

Certainly less amusing than putting "devolved union" or "devolved archipelago".


RE: "UK federal government"
By lagomorpha on 7/8/2013 10:12:34 AM , Rating: 2
Really? You've never heard of the term "Nation State", "Sovereign state", or in the UK's case "failed state"? :D


RE: "UK federal government"
By freedom4556 on 7/5/2013 1:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's the whole point - there are two meanings but nobody in the UK would ever use the word 'state' to describe our country.
And, some proof of my hunch that state is used as expected in the UK:
https://www.gov.uk/state-pension/overview
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22347924

You have state pensions and state visits, does that not make you a state?


RE: "UK federal government"
By testerguy on 7/5/2013 2:18:36 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And, some proof of my hunch that state is used as expected in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/state-pension/overview


Except that actually doesn't prove the point you're trying to make at all, since a 'state pension' is not an example of someone referring to the UK as a state. It's simply a label given to a particular pension scheme. And either way, the objection which was clearly being voiced was US usage of the word 'state' to refer to the UK due to it's secondary (and most common interpretation) meaning.

The second link is simply a result of an international convention to describe visits between foreign heads of state as 'state visits' - it does nothing whatsoever to indicate what British people call their own country.


RE: "UK federal government"
By Noliving on 7/6/2013 7:12:18 PM , Rating: 2
You are state and country; deal with it!


RE: "UK federal government"
By testerguy on 7/5/2013 12:28:51 PM , Rating: 1
And for your further education, here is an article which explains why 'state' is in fact not equivalent to 'State':

http://geography.about.com/cs/politicalgeog/a/stat...

quote:
A "state" (with a lower-case "s") is usually a division of a federal State (such as the states of the United States of America).


Note also that the original comment used a lower case 'state'.


RE: "UK federal government"
By freedom4556 on 7/5/2013 12:53:25 PM , Rating: 2
Case is irrelevant in this instance.


RE: "UK federal government"
By testerguy on 7/5/2013 2:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
Because you say so...


RE: "UK federal government"
By BRB29 on 7/5/2013 2:46:51 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, people must be bored to argue over this.

Why are we arguing about what's a state when we still have people confused over what's football or soccer?

Let's just let them call their territory whatever the hell they want.

As far as I'm concerned UK is a country. The EU is a union of countries. HIV can be cured for as little as 40 cents a day.


RE: "UK federal government"
By Skywalker123 on 7/6/2013 5:08:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
HIV can be cured for as little as 40 cents a day.


There is no cure for HIV. But there is hope for you, maybe in a few years


RE: "UK federal government"
By silverblue on 7/6/2013 7:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, there's no specific bottle labelled "the cure", but two men underwent bone marrow transplants and were miraculously cured of HIV.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57592214/two-m...

I imagine you may be referring to this.


RE: "UK federal government"
By BRB29 on 7/6/2013 9:24:43 AM , Rating: 1
No, they've been able to cure HIV for decades. The only problem was cost and it wasn't 100%.

quote:
The organizer suggested they film a documentary in AIDS clinics in Zambia, where one out of seven people is HIV-positive, and one person's daily dose of antiretroviral drugs costs about 40 cents according to (RED) – a cost which many patients are unable to afford


The cost is actually ballooned because of the our society is set up. But 40 cents a day could help cure people with HIV. Not 100% but it's pretty good rate. Magic Johnson didn't live because there wasn't any cure. He's completely cured now and even though he got it years ago. Antiretroviral shots or "cocktails" used to cost 125k a pop and only the rich people can afford it. You don't hear about it because nobody wants to tell the world they got AIDS.


RE: "UK federal government"
By BRB29 on 7/6/2013 9:26:02 AM , Rating: 2
RE: "UK federal government"
By ShieTar on 7/7/2013 5:38:26 AM , Rating: 2
Antiretroviral medication does not cure the condition of being HIV positive, but it does most often prevent the most severe symptoms. Thus the persons are not "cured" in the strictest meaning of the word, but they are kept alive and mainly healthy.

Magic Johnson, as anybody else who lives with HIV, still takes a daily dose of medication, and will continue to do so for the rest of his life.

Of course that does not change the sad fact that the profit expectations of western pharmaceutical companies is incompatible with the current economical situation of most African states.


RE: "UK federal government"
By B3an on 7/5/2013 1:19:39 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
We (Americans) know how the geopolitical landscape of Europe works

LOL.


Actual versus Nameplate.
By Prismsuk on 7/5/2013 4:39:51 AM , Rating: 3
Over here in the UK, we now have 5 GW of onshore wind capacity and 3 GW of offshore wind capacity.

At 6:00 am this morning, to 9:30 am, about 1.6 GW of wind power went into the National Grid (20% of nameplate capacity). Demand was at 25 GW at 6:00 pm, rising to 40 GW at 9:30 am.

What made up for that 'missing' 6.4 GW of the loudly trumpeted 8 GW of WIND TURBINE CAPACITY? Well, nuclear chugs along steadily at about 7.5 GW all of the time - 24/7.

Good job we've got nuclear, eh? Can't rely on wind to keep the lights on, can we?




RE: Actual versus Nameplate.
By jabber on 7/5/2013 5:05:20 AM , Rating: 1
And if the government dropped all the tax subsidies from Wind farms all of them would be scrapped within a week.

Wind Farm - Licence to leach tax payers money!

Still we'll just have to wait till folks cant charge their iPads and they will be begging for those new nuclear power stations they were so against to be built like yesterday.


RE: Actual versus Nameplate.
By Milv949 on 7/17/2013 9:08:10 AM , Rating: 2
Drop all the massive subsidies to nukes and fossils then we can talk about cutting the subsidies to clean energy.


RE: Actual versus Nameplate.
By Solandri on 7/5/2013 6:31:29 AM , Rating: 3
Offshore wind typically has a much higher capacity factor than onshore wind. Onshore is usually around 0.2-0.25 (though certain spots on earth can go much higher). Offshore is usually around 0.3-0.4, though a few spots can get as high as 0.6.

The article states the estimated generation is 2.1 TWh per year. That's 240 MW on average. Divide by the nameplate capacity of 630 MW and you get a capacity factor of 0.38. For comparison, solar is about 0.14 for the US (0.10 for northern Europe), hydro about 0.4, coal about 0.6, and nuclear about 0.9. Those are the numbers you have to divide the nameplate capacity by in order to get an apples to apples comparison of how much generating capacity you need to build.

The problem with offshore wind is that while it generates about 2x as much power per MW of nameplate capacity vs onshore wind, its cost is typically over 2x more, usually a lot more. So how economically viable it is really depends on the specific installation. If you can put it in a spot where construction and maintenance are cheap, it can be better than an onshore installation. In a bad location and it turns into an expensive boondoggle built only to reap government subsidies, and shut down once the subsidies are exhausted.


RE: Actual versus Nameplate.
By Mint on 7/5/2013 1:43:01 PM , Rating: 4
Nuclear is baseload, so it's not really filling in the holes left by wind. Natural gas is what ramps up and down to match supply with demand.

That's what makes this sentence so rich:
quote:
Greenpeace Executive Director John Sauven tells Bloomberg, "[David Cameron's administration] needs to give the sector long-term certainty by agreeing to cut carbon completely from our electricity sector."
The f***wits at Greenpeace are too dumb to realize that for every kWh of wind produced, you are mandating 2 kWh be produced by carbon-emitting, fracking-loving natural gas over the lifetime of the wind turbine.

Until we get a miracle in energy storage, wind and solar construction will actually prevent the cutting of carbon completely from the electricity sector.


RE: Actual versus Nameplate.
By Milv949 on 7/17/2013 9:09:26 AM , Rating: 2
It's a myth that wind turbines don't reduce carbon emissions. "From analysing National Grid data of more than 4,000 half-hour periods over the last three months, a strong correlation between windiness and a reduction in gas-fired generation becomes clear. The exchange rate is about one for one: a megawatt hour of wind typically meant the UK grid used one less megawatt hour of gas-derived electricity."

Stop spreading anti-clean energy lies.


RE: Actual versus Nameplate.
By Milv949 on 7/17/2013 9:07:22 AM , Rating: 2
What is the solution to not enough wind turbines? If you guessed "more wind turbines", have a pat on the head.

The wind (and sun and waves and tides) will be free forever. Harvest that free energy and we get ourselves off the fossil fuel hook which will only keep getting more and more expensive as it erodes a liveable climate.


yes i'm immature
By cokbun on 7/5/2013 12:13:51 AM , Rating: 3
you said Dong Energy LOL..




RE: yes i'm immature
By HolgerDK on 7/5/2013 1:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
DONG = Danish Oil and NaturalGas :)


Very poor reporting, Jason
By Mint on 7/5/2013 6:58:22 AM , Rating: 1
Come on Jason, you should know better than that. Generators don't get retail prices, which include grid cost, taxes, etx. They get wholesale prices.
quote:
UK energy costs around 15 pence ($0.23 USD) per kWh [source], so this works out to somewhere between $379.5-483M USD in revenue per year, or roughly $11.4-14.5B USD in revenue over a 30-year lifespan.
Here's some data from a proper source:
http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Markets/RetMkts/rmr/smr/Pa...

Generators get £235 per 4 MWh from wholesale (i.e. US$0.088/kWh). Taxes, grid, profit, etc make up for the other £395 of the bill. FYI, 4MWh is their assumption for annual consumption.

quote:
However, Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced that the government would mandate incentives to drive the revenue per kWh to three times the base rate, which would be mean over $1B USD in revenue per year.
Where's your source for that? Chances are it's just some handwaving number. The real rates for renewables can be found here, and vary depending on the size of the installation:
http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/Environment...

For large wind farms, the guaranteed FIT rate is currently 4.15p/kWh (though the London Array probably got the older 5.05p/kWh), going up by 3.1% per year, for 20 years. That's below wholesale right now, so chances are that the London Array will pass on the FIT.

quote:
Its total annual generation is estimated by the developers to be 2.1 terawatt-hours (tWh) per year, but perhaps a more realistic metric would be 1.65 tWh, if you take the average capacity factor (29.6 percent) of UK offshore wind farms last year.
FYI, it's actually estimated to be 2.5TWh/yr, but that's after the full 1000MW is built, so that's where the discrepancy comes from. Your 1.6 TWh figure is correct for the 630 MW phase 1.

However, your other assumptions were wrong, as explained above. 1.6 TWh/yr will give a revenue of ~US$141M per year at current rates, not the $1B+/yr your estimated. It's going to take a long time for the investors to get their money back, and may earn less than the same money in low interest gov't bonds.




RE: Very poor reporting, Jason
By Mint on 7/5/2013 7:13:53 AM , Rating: 2
One more note:

The UK has a Renewable Obligation mechanism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewables_Obligation

Offshore wind gets 2 credits per kWh produced, so that worth 1.8p/kWh at current prices. As renewable generation goes up, that could go down, though.


Idiots...
By greenchinesepuck on 7/5/13, Rating: -1
RE: Idiots...
By Stan11003 on 7/5/2013 1:10:27 AM , Rating: 2
How much is maintanance between the two.I'd say storing the waste for decades is not cheap thing.


RE: Idiots...
By greenchinesepuck on 7/5/2013 2:10:16 AM , Rating: 1
It's an order of magnitude cheaper than repairing all these hundreds of wind turbines all the time, fixing damage caused by wind, hurricanes and salty water


RE: Idiots...
By deksman2 on 7/5/2013 2:33:17 AM , Rating: 1
That's the problem with Capitalism or any other monetary based system.
Inject notion of 'cost' into the picture, and you will throw out technical efficiency out the window.
For decades, Humanity had the brains, the know-how, the technology and the feasibility to design any technology to be weather proof, durable (won't ever break down), resistant to corrosion, salt water and requires little to no maintenance.
Such technology would have to be designed from synthetic materials that have superior properties and can be produced in abundance (more than enough) using less resources (which is called technical efficiency, and was feasible since the late 19th century).

All of this comes down to the question of cost in the current socio-economic system, which is downright idiotic.
Its no wonder we use obsolete materials, methods of production and science to do things cheap.


RE: Idiots...
By BZDTemp on 7/5/2013 2:56:53 AM , Rating: 2
Damage by wind? What hurricanes?

This ain't you back yard domestic wind turbine those big ones can take a lot and as for hurricanes exactly how many hurricanes do you think hits the UK?


RE: Idiots...
By silverblue on 7/5/2013 3:41:27 AM , Rating: 2
We don't get powerful windstorms very often (and we can't call them hurricanes anyway). There's a good number of these farms on the east coast, though one might argue that they should be focusing more on the west coast than they currently are.


RE: Idiots...
By retrospooty on 7/5/2013 9:09:12 AM , Rating: 2
"This ain't you back yard domestic wind turbine those big ones can take a lot and as for hurricanes exactly how many hurricanes do you think hits the UK?"

You are responding to Pirks's new post-banned ID, so you need to understand that he is more "piss and vinegar" than actual thoughts and facts.


RE: Idiots...
By StevoLincolnite on 7/5/2013 1:30:32 AM , Rating: 2
Nuclear isn't the answer for everywhere, I personally believe you need a mix of technologies going forward for different areas of the planet.

For example, if you live in a small country with limited land area, but plenty of sea area, then why not use Power generation out at the sea?

Or, if you live in an incredibly dry place where water is more valuable than oil, Nuclear is a no-go, things like Solar, Wind or Geothermal are more viable.

Besides, Uranium production is expected to peak in the next decade and like with all fuels when that happens the costs will jump.

Granted, when all the stars align, Nuclear is a great alternative, but it's just not viable everywhere.


RE: Idiots...
By greenchinesepuck on 7/5/13, Rating: -1
RE: Idiots...
By StevoLincolnite on 7/5/2013 5:33:58 AM , Rating: 2
For the love of god, do try and put at-least a little effort into your post.

As for your point about Thorium, that's all well and good, but the majority of reactors on the planet today don't use it. (That's Hundreds, in-case you needed to know.)

Plus, it's still a fuel, read my last post as all the points still stand.


RE: Idiots...
By Mint on 7/5/2013 12:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
You didn't make many good points.

Nuclear doesn't need to use freshwater. Seawater cooling is common.

Uranium production isn't a problem, because the supply has been shown to be effectively infinite if ore price goes up by 5-10x (it can be extracted from the sea). Such a price hike would only increase electricity price by ~0.5c/kWh.

Nuclear's main problem in the UK is that they have rather sucked at it, resulting in some of the highest prices in the world. That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the future, but it doesn't bode well.

Given this incompetence, I can see why the UK isn't very hot on nuclear.


RE: Idiots...
By StevoLincolnite on 7/6/2013 5:20:57 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Nuclear doesn't need to use freshwater. Seawater cooling is common.


Right, because places like the middle of Australia has ample supplies of *any* type of water.


RE: Idiots...
By Mint on 7/8/2013 5:40:54 AM , Rating: 2
85% of Australia's population is within 50km of the coast, 99%+ within 200km.

There's also something called power lines, FYI.


RE: Idiots...
By mjv.theory on 7/5/2013 5:42:37 AM , Rating: 2
It is not so much Thorium rather than Uranium, it is Molten Salt Reactor technology that is the Silver Bullet. LFTR (i.e. a breeder) is very compelling, but running with denatured uranium (i.e. a burner) is also very efficient and much simpler. Using DMSRs (Denatured Molten Salt Reactors) we could generate 2500GW of electricity (i.e. the world's present electrical generation) without any increase in uranium mining (about 60-65,000 tonnes), and in the process, eliminate the mining of 7 BILLION tonnes of coal. That's 2500GW with DMSRs versus the 400GW presently generated by uranium. And because MSRs are so much more efficient than LWRs (Light Water Reactors) they can withstand huge increases in the price of uranium. And if the price rises then massive amounts of, what is presently uneconomical, ore, would become available. The first MSRs will be running in about 10years time and then the joke that is wind and solar, and LWRs I might add, will be glaringly apparent. Whether LTFRs then go on to dominate, or simply uranium, is less important than the liquid fueled reactor technology itself.


RE: Idiots...
By Mint on 7/5/2013 4:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
I see you've been following the work of Dr. David LeBlanc!

He certainly makes a fabulous case for the DMSR. I really love how he found the perfect application - steam heating for the oils sands industry - to work on a barebones DMSR before going into electricity production.


RE: Idiots...
By mjv.theory on 7/6/2013 3:20:38 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, I follow his work closely


RE: Idiots...
By KOOLTIME on 7/5/2013 11:06:19 AM , Rating: 1
Thorium is not any future as its not a good metal conductor to make it work as an energy source. There is a reason Uranium is chosen vs "ALL" other metals, don't be naive in thinking other sources were not tested/considered in the use to generate power as well, they all were.


RE: Idiots...
By mjv.theory on 7/5/2013 12:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thorium is not any future as its not a good metal conductor to make it work as an energy source.

What?...exactly how thick are you?

What has being a good or bad conductor got to do with anything?. I have a sneaking suspicion that you don't understand the process of using Thorium as an energy source.

Thorium232 (i.e the Thorium that is dug out of the ground) can absorb a neutron and become Thorium233, which decays into Protactinium233, which decays into Uranium233. When U233 is hit by a neutron it can fission and release more neutrons to fission more U233 and to breed more Th232 to become U233.

quote:
There is a reason Uranium is chosen vs "ALL" other metals

Yes, there is a reason and you are evidently ignorant of that reason. It is because only U233, U235 and Plutonium239 fission.

Thorium is very abundant, very cheap and can be "burnt" to almost 100% efficiency using a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR, pronounced as LiFTeR). The reasons for the rise to dominance of LWRs are entirely political and not based on cost, safety, efficiency or waste minimisation. If those factors had been examined without political prejudice, then molten salt reactors, quite possibly LFTRs, would have been commercialised rather than Light Water Reactors (LWRs).


RE: Idiots...
By mjv.theory on 7/5/2013 6:09:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
if you live in an incredibly dry place where water is more valuable than oil, Nuclear is a no-go,


The present water moderated and water cooled nuclear tech may well rely on a close-by water supply (for cooling towers), but Molten Salt Reactors are not so restricted. And because they are so efficient the price of uranium is not a factor - it will never constitute more than a few tenths of a cent per kW.

Wind and solar are only genuinely sensible where the cost of grid connection is prohibitive. If grid connection is feasible, then electricity generation by the most resource efficient, cost efficient and environmentally benign means should be the obvious choice.


RE: Idiots...
By Amiga500 on 7/5/2013 6:25:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Besides, Uranium production is expected to peak in the next decade and like with all fuels when that happens the costs will jump.


Off the top of my head, fuel costs only account for something like 20% of total production costs of nuclear-powered electricity. Raw uranium costs is even lower - about 10%.

So doubling the cost of uranium would not lead to a total cost jump by any means. At least, not compared to the fluctuations we are seeing right now due to oil/gas/coal prices changing.


RE: Idiots...
By m51 on 7/5/2013 11:30:20 AM , Rating: 2
The uranium peak is essentially a myth. With the depressed prices of uranium over the past decades there has been little effort to look for more. But when ever money is spent on exploration uranium reserves increase rapidly. Also a basic rule of thumb is that for mined resources increasing the price by a factor of 2 increases available reserves by a factor of 10 due to the viability of mining lower concentration ores.

Since the cost of uranium only contributes about 0.2 cents per kwh to the cost of nuclear power, a price increase of a factor of 4 can readily be accommodated and this would increase available reserves by roughly a factor of 100.

On top of that Japanese research into extraction of uranium from sea water has brought the extraction cost down to near the point of economic viability, and that would open up an essentially limitless supply.

There is no shortage of nuclear fuel.

BTW you don't need large amounts of water for a nuclear power plant, dry cooling is also an option, although wet cooling is preferred because it increases over all power plant efficiency.

You are certainly correct that a mix of solutions is needed as there is no single technology that fits all the needs.


"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer











botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki