Renewable energy is a nice idea, but Peter Lang crunches the numbers and finds solar and wind power are crushingly expensive, do little for greenhouse gas reduction, and are ecologically dangerous. Cap and trade is actually a giant scheme to tax and redistribute, for the benefit of political insiders.
A letter submitted by Peter Lang argues that the numbers prove nuclear power is the only way.
Solar realities: Solar power is uneconomic. The capital cost of solar power would be 25 times more than nuclear power to provide for demand. The minimum power output, not peak or average, is the main factor governing solar power’s economic viability. The least cost solar option would emit 20 times more CO2 (over the full life cycle) and use at least 400 times more land area compared with nuclear Government mandates and subsidies hide the true cost of renewable energy.
Wind realities: Wind power does not avoid significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power is very high cost way to avoid greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power, even with high capacity penetration, can not make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Nuclear power is the least-cost, low-emission electricity generation technology that can provide the large amounts of electricity needed to power modern economies.
Despite the common belief, nuclear is about the safest and most environmentally benign electricity generation technology. Nuclear is about 10 times safer than coal and gas generation. We have over 50 years of operating experience that demonstrates this fact.
Nuclear waste is a tiny problem from a technical perspective. To put the quantities of nuclear waste in perspective, all high level nuclear waste produced by the UK in over 50 years of operating civil nuclear power plants would fit in the foundation excavations for one wind turbine.
Besides, no utility wants to see its used fuel disposed of. Only about 10% of the energy in the fuel is used in the current generation of reactor designs. In the future it will be economic to use the remainder of the energy in the used fuel. So we do not want to permanently dispose of the once-used fuel.
Just two, multi-unit power stations in each of NSW, Vic, and Qld, and one in WA and SA would provide most of our electricity demand.
The modern nuclear plants, like the European EPR, can run at anywhere from 50% to 100 % power and can ramp a 5% of capacity per minute. So they can ramp up and down at 80 MW per minute.
With a little bit of hydro pumped storage capacity we could have very low emissions from electricity in Australia in three decades. France commissioned 63 GW of nuclear plants in 2 decades. France, with 76% of its electricity being generated by nuclear power has the
lowest emissions from electricity of any country in EU15. Denmark with the highest wind penetration of any country has the highest emissions from electricity – 10 times higher than France. France = 83 kg CO2/MWh, Denmark = 881 kg CO2/MWh.