Wind Power vs. Nuclear Power: How they compare



Magror14

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Ireland is fooling itself if it thinks that it can run the economy on intermittant power sources. I don't see why we have totally excluded ourselves from having nuclear power. Clearly a big plant like Comanche Peak would be inappropriate for this country but there are smaller nuclear generating options. I don't see/hear much discussion about Pebble Bed Reactors (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor) which can be quite small, easy to maintain and are inherently safe.

We are going to end up buying British nuclear powered energy at the end of the day anyway.

I wonder what the economics of using wind, wave and other intermittent electrity sources to produce gases such as hydrogen which could be stored? If the economics were good then we wouldn't have to worry about these sources being intermittent.
 

Defeated Romanticist

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Magror14 said:
Ireland is fooling itself if it thinks that it can run the economy on intermittant power sources. I don't see why we have totally excluded ourselves from having nuclear power. Clearly a big plant like Comanche Peak would be inappropriate for this country but there are smaller nuclear generating options. I don't see/hear much discussion about Pebble Bed Reactors (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor) which can be quite small, easy to maintain and are inherently safe.

We are going to end up buying British nuclear powered energy at the end of the day anyway.

I wonder what the economics of using wind, wave and other intermittent electrity sources to produce gases such as hydrogen which could be stored? If the economics were good then we wouldn't have to worry about these sources being intermittent.
No, no. The Green parshy have assured the nation that we can run our evil capitalist society on posies and love. Meano nuclear power is nasty

 
G

Gimpanzee

Magror14 said:
Ireland is fooling itself if it thinks that it can run the economy on intermittant power sources. I don't see why we have totally excluded ourselves from having nuclear power. Clearly a big plant like Comanche Peak would be inappropriate for this country but there are smaller nuclear generating options. I don't see/hear much discussion about Pebble Bed Reactors (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor) which can be quite small, easy to maintain and are inherently safe.

We are going to end up buying British nuclear powered energy at the end of the day anyway.

I wonder what the economics of using wind, wave and other intermittent electrity sources to produce gases such as hydrogen which could be stored? If the economics were good then we wouldn't have to worry about these sources being intermittent.
I'm not anti-nuclear, but I wouldn't be as pessimistic about the prospects for wind. We have massive potential, and while wind is intermittent, it ends up churning out at about 20% of its total capacity. That's not too bad, but not sufficient to be the base energy supply - so that's where the nuclear can come in. But nuclear is still predicated on a finite resource - of which we have none, so it isn't ideal.
 

Vega1447

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C&AG

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Magror14 said:
Ireland is fooling itself if it thinks that it can run the economy on intermittant power sources. I don't see why we have totally excluded ourselves from having nuclear power. Clearly a big plant like Comanche Peak would be inappropriate for this country but there are smaller nuclear generating options. I don't see/hear much discussion about Pebble Bed Reactors (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor) which can be quite small, easy to maintain and are inherently safe.

We are going to end up buying British nuclear powered energy at the end of the day anyway.

I wonder what the economics of using wind, wave and other intermittent electrity sources to produce gases such as hydrogen which could be stored? If the economics were good then we wouldn't have to worry about these sources being intermittent.
The reactors in nuclear submarines must be small as well so I don't see why size is an issue for Ireland. We have, however, abundant supplies of natural energy so perhaps we shouldn't have to import much. I'm convinced wind and wave could supply a lot of our needs, coupled with the fossil fuel stations that we have. Some of these have been sold to Spanish company Endesa so maybe there is a competition laws restriction on us from building any more large plants once the one in Cork is done ... but I think we'd still fit in a nuclear station.

If we needed it which I doubt we do. The Guardian reported how hydrogen has become cheaper to produce from water too now with the development of a new catalyst which costs $9 per kilo as opposed to $9000 an ounce for the previous substance (rhodium/platinum) The Guardian.

Hydrogen can help deal with the intermittant problem of some alternative energy sources.
 

SPN

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Lads, we're not going to have a Nuke in Ireland because it is not an economic way to produce electricity - never mind all the other reasons.

And that article about making hydrogen from Ethanol gave me the best laugh I've had all week.

How does this nonsense get published?
 

ibis

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Vega1447 said:
ibis said:
hibernia_free said:
A good article comparing Wind Power and Nuclear Power.

http://www.larouchepub.com/pr_lar/2008/ ... _work.html
Oh, please, not Larouche stuff. It's got an ideological bias so thick you could spread it on your bread.
Ideological bias doesn't mean he is wrong on the facts!

Analyse his arithmetic and tell us where (if anywhere) he has got it wrong please...
Why bother, though? He's not talking about the costs or risks of generation, he's talking only about the land requirement. On that subject, one minor point would be that nobody is going to build an offshore nuclear station, and another is that he's not bothering to factor in any infrastructure for the nuclear plant.

However, my objection really is based on the inherent bias of Larouche publications, and "checking the maths" isn't going to catch that all the time. If you have a bias against wind, for example, you can choose the lowest estimate of the possible generation range, and the highest end of the separation necessary between turbines. Your maths is fine, but you'll get a completely different figure from someone with a pro-wind bias who chooses the highest generation estimate and the lowest separation.

I don't have an objection to nuclear plants, and I'd certainly prefer to see them than new fossil fuel plants - but it isn't a case of "renewables or nuclear", or at least it shouldn't be. It should simply be a case of "anything but fossil fuel".
 

JohnDoyle

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I have'nt read the article but i presume this is about what would what happen if Wind Power got into a fight with Nuclear Power.....I reckon Nuclear Power would be defeated because Wind Power would have mother nature on its side and would have the support of the majority of the public....hope my contribution helps.
 

Oppenheimer

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Advent said:
I have'nt read the article but i presume this is about what would what happen if Wind Power got into a fight with Nuclear Power.....I reckon Nuclear Power would be defeated because Wind Power would have mother nature on its side and would have the support of the majority of the public....hope my contribution helps.
Nuclear is also a natural product - one point in the article is to attempt to remove the stigma nuclear appears to have on public perception. I agree that in principle, but as a domestic solution, we do no have this as a natural resource (pitchblende) so in that case we are still at the mercy of the supply from other countries.
 

Oppenheimer

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ibis said:
Vega1447 said:
ibis said:
hibernia_free said:
A good article comparing Wind Power and Nuclear Power.

http://www.larouchepub.com/pr_lar/2008/ ... _work.html
Oh, please, not Larouche stuff. It's got an ideological bias so thick you could spread it on your bread.
Ideological bias doesn't mean he is wrong on the facts!

Analyse his arithmetic and tell us where (if anywhere) he has got it wrong please...
Why bother, though? He's not talking about the costs or risks of generation, he's talking only about the land requirement. On that subject, one minor point would be that nobody is going to build an offshore nuclear station, and another is that he's not bothering to factor in any infrastructure for the nuclear plant.

However, my objection really is based on the inherent bias of Larouche publications, and "checking the maths" isn't going to catch that all the time. If you have a bias against wind, for example, you can choose the lowest estimate of the possible generation range, and the highest end of the separation necessary between turbines. Your maths is fine, but you'll get a completely different figure from someone with a pro-wind bias who chooses the highest generation estimate and the lowest separation.

I don't have an objection to nuclear plants, and I'd certainly prefer to see them than new fossil fuel plants - but it isn't a case of "renewables or nuclear", or at least it shouldn't be. It should simply be a case of "anything but fossil fuel".
Reducing the bias you refer to in the math by 50% still give 73,348 acres, some 18.34 times the area needed for nuclear. Even if the argument holds that wind farms can be built on land that nuclear plants cannot be, the transmission problem would provide such inefficiency to make the wind generation futile as a primary source.

I agree with the basis of "anything but fossil fuel" but a lot of argument is spent considering the ways to generate energy when, arguably, the bigger problem is storage. While various solar technologies have improved significantly in terms of incident photon conversion efficiencies, secondary battery technology has not really progressed at the same rate in terms of the number of charge cycles capable. Perhaps there is more sanity in using wind to power hydrogen conversion, at least it is compressible and can be stored. In addition we have plenty of feedstock this summer of a key ingredient - water!
 

ibis

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Oppenheimer said:
ibis said:
Vega1447 said:
ibis said:
hibernia_free said:
A good article comparing Wind Power and Nuclear Power.

http://www.larouchepub.com/pr_lar/2008/ ... _work.html
Oh, please, not Larouche stuff. It's got an ideological bias so thick you could spread it on your bread.
Ideological bias doesn't mean he is wrong on the facts!

Analyse his arithmetic and tell us where (if anywhere) he has got it wrong please...
Why bother, though? He's not talking about the costs or risks of generation, he's talking only about the land requirement. On that subject, one minor point would be that nobody is going to build an offshore nuclear station, and another is that he's not bothering to factor in any infrastructure for the nuclear plant.

However, my objection really is based on the inherent bias of Larouche publications, and "checking the maths" isn't going to catch that all the time. If you have a bias against wind, for example, you can choose the lowest estimate of the possible generation range, and the highest end of the separation necessary between turbines. Your maths is fine, but you'll get a completely different figure from someone with a pro-wind bias who chooses the highest generation estimate and the lowest separation.

I don't have an objection to nuclear plants, and I'd certainly prefer to see them than new fossil fuel plants - but it isn't a case of "renewables or nuclear", or at least it shouldn't be. It should simply be a case of "anything but fossil fuel".
Reducing the bias you refer to in the math by 50% still give 73,348 acres, some 18.34 times the area needed for nuclear. Even if the argument holds that wind farms can be built on land that nuclear plants cannot be, the transmission problem would provide such inefficiency to make the wind generation futile as a primary source.
Sure - it's more of a "so what?", though, in that we're not short on windy land (or shallow sea, either). If we compare wind and nuclear on the risk of catastrophic meltdown or radiation, we're going to find that wind comes out well ahead. If we decide the matter on bird deaths, we're back to nuclear.

You could say, if you like, that I don't fault the maths he's done, but the maths he's chosen to do.

Oppenheimer said:
I agree with the basis of "anything but fossil fuel" but a lot of argument is spent considering the ways to generate energy when, arguably, the bigger problem is storage. While various solar technologies have improved significantly in terms of incident photon conversion efficiencies, secondary battery technology has not really progressed at the same rate in terms of the number of charge cycles capable. Perhaps there is more sanity in using wind to power hydrogen conversion, at least it is compressible and can be stored. In addition we have plenty of feedstock this summer of a key ingredient - water!
There you have your finger on one of the major problems with all electricity grids - virtually no storage capacity. What other major utility system has no storage capacity?
 

FrankSpeaks

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We have a minimal amount of fossil fuel at our disposal and we are at the end of the line from Siberia. We need to consider urgently, alternative types of energy and nuclear should be at the top of that list. The tree huggers need to get over their objection to windmills as will the surfers and whale watchers have to get over the inconvenience of tidal and offshore wind farms. I can't see that large scale solar is viable in this country, however, I think the government should insist that all houses are built to the highest insulation standards and I think solar water heating panels should be made mandatory on all new houses.
 

carguy

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FrankSpeaks said:
We have a minimal amount of fossil fuel at our disposal and we are at the end of the line from Siberia. We need to consider urgently, alternative types of energy and nuclear should be at the top of that list. The tree huggers need to get over their objection to windmills as will the surfers and whale watchers have to get over the inconvenience of tidal and offshore wind farms. I can't see that large scale solar is viable in this country, however, I think the government should insist that all houses are built to the highest insulation standards and I think solar water heating panels should be made mandatory on all new houses.
It's simple! Wind turbines are useless as a source of energy as they have to be backed up at all times by fossil fueled C02 power stations due to their lousy proven efficiency, 20 to 20% at most as the wind blows only some of the time. To make matters worse they are hugely subsidised, in the UK alone each environmentally destroying monstrosity of a wind turbine is subsidised with £200,000 GBP quids worth of tax payers money (You know what, with careful investment I have made serious money from tax payers that have been ripped off subsidising these things all I need are the wingnut eco-mentalists to keep shouting "the end of oil" and other nonsense please)

Of course to meet all energy needs Ireland should have nuclear power stations. But you know what? With the Creationist zeal of the loony Greens like Eamo Ryan, (the oil license give away man) who are opposed to nuclear generation on non-scientific grounds, but happy to build an interconnector to use UK nuclear energy, we will in the future end up with the worst of both worlds, a useless bunch of joke re-newable energy Wind Turbines with 20% efficincey, a dreadful energy infrastructure whilst being backed up by Nuclear power!
 

SPN

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..... and that concludes the opinion of the 12 year old WingNut jury!
 

wombat

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We have found an Irish solution to an Irish problem - we will buy Nuclear from Britain via the interconnector & sell them surplus power from our vast array of windmills, if we ever get them built. We appear to have a problem developing the large offshore windfarms which could make a meaningful contribution to our needs so we're going to spend millions adapting our distribution grid so all the cowboy speculators who brought us the unoccupied houses will build windfarms on every hill which can't be used for housing. The Greens save the planet & FF help their cronies.
 

C&AG

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wombat said:
We have found an Irish solution to an Irish problem - we will buy Nuclear from Britain via the interconnector & sell them surplus power from our vast array of windmills, if we ever get them built. We appear to have a problem developing the large offshore windfarms which could make a meaningful contribution to our needs so we're going to spend millions adapting our distribution grid so all the cowboy speculators who brought us the unoccupied houses will build windfarms on every hill which can't be used for housing. The Greens save the planet & FF help their cronies.
At the moment there is 860 Megawatts of wind installed and our summertime daily demand is around 3000 MW. This is what today's wind produced ...



Over a year the production is closer to 50% than carguy's 20% above. Offshore might be closer to 70%, and there are now turbines which produce 7 MW. A lot of it is being followed here
 

carguy

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C&AG said:
wombat said:
We have found an Irish solution to an Irish problem - we will buy Nuclear from Britain via the interconnector & sell them surplus power from our vast array of windmills, if we ever get them built. We appear to have a problem developing the large offshore windfarms which could make a meaningful contribution to our needs so we're going to spend millions adapting our distribution grid so all the cowboy speculators who brought us the unoccupied houses will build windfarms on every hill which can't be used for housing. The Greens save the planet & FF help their cronies.
At the moment there is 860 Megawatts of wind installed and our summertime daily demand is around 3000 MW. This is what today's wind produced ...



Over a year the production is closer to 50% than carguy's 20% above. Offshore might be closer to 70%, and there are now turbines which produce 7 MW. A lot of it is being followed here
You are making a simple mistake the overall average output of Wind Turbines over time is at best 20 to 25%!

You may even get a few days of 100% wind generation but the average overall is a lousy 20 to 25% the result is that the joke wind turbine renewables must be backed up by fossil powered generators.

ESB engineers know this to be a fact, look at the best engineered wind turbine system in Europe in Denmark, and weep at how the Danes lose a fortune in taxpayers money whilst sometimes having 100% wind generation that they must export to their neighbours at a huge loss to Danish tax payers! It will be worse here in Ireland for Irish tax payers if hey are forced to subsidise these wind mill white elephants!

Wind Turbines are useless because of the fact that because of the unpredictable nature of wind, the running of back-up generators on fossil fuels (usually coal) is necessary, and this process becomes less efficient when operating in "spinning reserve" mode. Emissions from conventional power stations are minimised by reducing demand fluctuations and maximising the base load, this allowing the cleanest systems to predominate. However, unpredictable wind electricity imposes extra demand fluctuations on power stations, decreases base load, and thus raises emissions because the mix of power plant must change to provide more spinning reserve. Neither nuclear power nor gas (CHP) is technically suitable as spinning reserve to provide electricity at immediate notice, so the use of wind turbines tends to restrict the choice of back-up fuel to coal.

You argue that the introduction of wind electricity could remove the need for nuclear electricity. No way, the replacement of nuclear with wind electricity would actually increase carbon emissions, because of the need for fossil-fuelled back-up for wind-based generators to maintain a steady supply of electricity. As an example Denmark has to import its nuclear electricity as Ireland will from the UK if we build a multitude of wind farms.
 


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