Climate change

Liquid fuel breeders could be just what we need. They can be built small, are easy to operate and inherently safe. The way I understand it, the technology was abandoned mostly because it has no potential to produce nuclear weapons. It’s something of a rabbit hole, and I’ve gone pretty deep without really understanding the difficulties of further development, but here’s an easily digestible summary:

Still not a single mention by anybody reacting to me about the effect higher power prices have on the poorest and most disadvantaged. Not once!

Your supposed deep understanding of “the science” doesn’t extend to them.


Almost every wind turbine makes a huge profit, it’s by far the most profitable source of energy.

Did you read the article I posted here saying, yes, the UK’s most efficient wind farm made a profit of £11 million for the owners, but raked in £11 million in subsidies? Profit’s not a proper measure if it doesn’t account for all the costs.

Did you read the link citing the $3.66 trillion dollars spent over the last few years on renewables to increase its output from 0.5% to about 3%?

Facts mean nothing to the Left. Truth just isn’t a Leftist value.

KC would cite the $ trillions of “externalities” not paid by renewables owners … but he can’t google things against his religion.

It takes at least 10 billion to decommission a nuclear power plant.

And the power plant never goes away. Will never go away. It’s going to be there for centuries, if not millennia.

Thorium is a problem or else it wouldn’t be protected by the federals.


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10 Billion what? Peanuts? According to who? Where’s the data?

Sorry if I was not specific with the currency, but whether it’s USD or Euros, it’s about the same.

I read this in the news of a website called Power Engineering. If you want data, ask them.

I don’t like nuclear as an option for energy because the people running the show are not mentally good in the head. They just aren’t.

I don’t particularly want to hunt for the data. My bullshit detector is simply alarming off the scale with such a nice, round, huge, number. Yours should have too! It’s simply impossible to believe.

Not everything is a bullshit competition. The website is

It’s a really cool place to get news about power plants of all kinds. I think you cannot deal with the fact that nuclear power plants once built will never ever disappear and they are a black hole for money and resources.

Bjorn Lomborg (a somewhat sensible global warming believer) writes in an article in The Australian today (paywalled so I didn’t bother to link),

“Promising to spend $US2 trillion ($2.8 trillion) on climate over the next four years, US presidential candidate Joe Biden is taking a path similar to that of politicians from many other rich countries, vowing costly policies to help address global warming. Along with his fellow Democrats, he pledges to end fossil fuels in the power sector by 2035 and cut net US emissions to zero by 2050.”

He continues, “Biden, like many politicians across the rich world, frequently claims climate change is an “existential threat” to humanity. However, this is contrary to the central findings of the UN Climate Panel. It estimates that by the 2070s, ­global warming will overall have a negative impact equivalent to a reduction in incomes of between 0.2 and 2 per cent. By then, the UN expects the average person will be 363 per cent as rich as today. The negative impact from climate change means we will instead be 356 per cent as rich as today. The negative impact from climate change means we will instead be 356 per cent as rich as we are today. That is a problem, but not the end of the world.”

But here’s a very telling paragraph on whether you Americans are willing to follow him on his climate crusade.

“It is also questionable whether Biden’s plan — and other countries’ vastly ambitious climate plans — can keep their electoral backing. While more than two-thirds of the US population finds that climate is a crisis or major problem, fewer than half are willing to spend even $US24 a year to fight it. Biden’s plan will cost $US3500 per taxpayer every year.”

I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again, everyone loves to support green stuff until it hits their hip pocket nerve. They’ll blab about how wonderful things will be, but simply expect everyone else to pay. As the great Margaret Thatcher said, “The trouble with socialists is that eventually they run out of other people’s money.”

Clearly. Hence why no one particularly cares for your posts.

Multiple people here post multiple diverse data sources. Educated discourse involves a little effort hunting for the data. You might even find some that doesn’t match your narrative. It can be enlightening.

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It can be hard to find impartial sources when it comes to energy, there are people with a vested interest who cherry pick data to show their energy source is the best because their job and investments depend on it.

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You and I know that’s bull. I asked anonymous for the data for his claim which I doubted. I still doubt it. You doubt it. He just says he saw it somewhere on a blog but still can’t point to it. It’s not worth chasing. You can if you like. Lots of times I’ve been asked for links and have provided them.

Enough of your crap about ‘educated discourse’. You wouldn’t know it if it hit you in the face. Try starting with your own behaviour. Try discourse instead of lecturing me on your moral superiority.

You’re given a link and you don’t read it. So here’s another one link you will not read because it doesn’t fit your arguments either:

You are right that 10 billion of something I read in regards to one nuclear site only. Other places I read were Costs of Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants.pdf (3.8 MB) and that the costs will vary due to a variety of reasons. But it’s never going to be as easy as decommissioning offshore wind farms or solar panels.

Something else to consider in view of “climate change” and power supply: merely building a power plant of any kind does absolutely nothing if the rest of the infrastructure is inefficient. You can crank up that power station all you want but if, like in the case of Argentina or California, the infrastructure is old and maintained poorly, you’re still going to lose power along the way, have brownouts and even large forest fires.

The money spent on a nuclear power station is better utilized improving that infrastructure that was allowed to decay due to lousy management. While the lousy management continues, to add a nuclear station to the deal is to compound the problem, not solve it.

I did. It was just to the site, not the article. I tried to find it but gave up. And I’ve read your link from above.

Why is it you seem to think you know what I’ll do, what I think and that you can point out all my evil prejudices when I have given no indication of that whatsoever? I support nuclear power if it’s cost effective. That’s all.

Nuclear is NEVER cost effective.

What is cost effective are solar panels and offshore wind farms, as well as well maintenance and renovation of infrastructure.

Natural gas stations are more efficient and cheaper than nuclear (well, everything is cheaper and cleaner than nuclear). LNG burns cleaner than coal and oil and can service heavy industry. The engineers just need to continuously optimize what they’re building and don’t over-complicate the thing.

Something that helps any environment is to plan for more than just a power station. Resources are always spent creating something, might as well do it right and think of the whole life cycle and relationships through time (residential, industrial, commercial).

Many of the glaciers in Norway has not shrunk as much this year as in years past:

Now the Climate Change Deniers will say that prove their point, but it doesn’t.
It is entirely in line with the prediction that global warming will lead to more precipitation in “wet” areas and more drought in “dry” areas.
Heavy snow fall over the glaciers last winter, a cool spring and early snow fall this autumn is adding to the glaciers and MAY even cause them to advance again in the future.

PS> They have a lot to catch up with since the Industrial Revolution:

Fine, perhaps I was an excessively snarky reply. But there is some data listed below for $/MWh in the US and globally. You can doubt it all if you wish, or you can read it and find holes. I took the liberty of finding some holes myself by way of a very long and detailed report, and included that in the list (the Energy Collective one). Regardless of belief or level of comfort in the speed at which costs are decreasing and efficiency is increasing, the numbers show that year-over-year and decade-over-decade cost for renewables are decreasing and efficiency increasing.

Also, you’ve made it abundantly clear you are concerned with energy costs for the poor and disadvantaged. I don’t think anyone will disagree with that concern. The issue I take is that for your argument you continuously point to problems in the UK rather than solutions elsewhere. Their costs are high, and that is a problem. Is more coal the solution? Not from an environmental standpoint. Is more nuclear a solution? Not from a cost standpoint (examples below).

Are wind and solar the only way of the future? I don’t think so. Certainly there are issues with power demand balancing. A robust power grid needs the kind of reliable ramp-up capacity provided by the likes of Nuclear and fossil fuel plants. We need that right now in summer months even without abundant renewables. Further advancements in renewable storage methods are being developed. And to be clear that energy storage does not necessarily have to mean traditional batteries.

Subsidy doesn’t have to always have a negative connotation. In its simplest form its an intentional focused use of taxpayer money. We pay taxes for the continued function of our nation. Part of that continued function and success means an investment in our people and growing industries. Most people take issue with subsidies going to industries that don’t need them. Tax breaks to Oil and Gas companies, several of which are the largest and most profitable corporations in the entire world seem like an industry that doesn’t need it. I think we all agree on that. But government investment in new nationwide power grid infrastructure and developing technologies tends to create new jobs, new industries, and economic growth. If it improves air and water quality, all the better.

Lazard LCOE Analysis - Wind $45/MWh, Nuclear $148/MWh, Coal $102/MWh
Lazard LCOE Analysis - UNSUBSIDIZED Cost Comparison:

US Department of Energy - Wind Purchase Price Agreements 2017 $38-$42/MWh down from $70 in 2009. Interior US Region some as low as $20/MWh in 2017.

Same Report from 2018

Wind Power Monthly - “At the average installed cost and a good, but not exceptional, wind speed of 7.5m/s, the generation cost is $43/MWh

Report also details higher costs for offshore installations depending on type, and lower costs by scale and sustained average wind speed.

US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Total LCOE Land Based 2.4MW $42/MWh. Total LCOE Fixed Bottom 5.5MW $89/MWh

The Energy Collective Group EnergyCentral - Perhaps the most detailed report showing a much higher MWh cost than any other ($100-200/MWh). They include transmission costs, lifecycle costs, infrastructure costs, power balancing costs, production tax credits, etc. The cover several examples of long distance transmission line installation costs. They also mention that utility companies in the US spent almost $35Billion of their own money on infrastructure for transmission and distribution in 2012 alone, so it is unclear why continued upgrades and additions would be broken out to individual wind farm consumer rates. Towards the end the mention two Nuclear Reactors in South Carolina, to be installed at a cost of $5Million/MW, compared to the highest cost of Wind Turbines at $5Thousand/MW. They provide no analysis on how that disparity factors in to $/MWh for those consumers.

And in the UK: - Subsidy-Free offshore windfarms projected at $58/MWh. “The record-low prices will see projects due to start operating in 2023/24 coming in at £39.65/MWh (in 2012 prices, £44/MWh adjusted for inflation) and those for 2024/25 at £41.61/MWh. These are some £8-9/MWh below the government’s “reference price”, the level it expects to see for electricity on the open market in each year.”

And in Australia: Australia Renewable Energy Agency - $50-$65 MW/h “The cost of utility-scale wind energy in Australia is expected to continue falling, with new wind farms expected to deliver electricity at around $50-65/MWh in 2020 and below $50/MWh in 2030.”

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Thank you. And thanks for the detailed reply.

You seem to emphasise the cost (measured in different ways) trending down to justify increased penetration of unreliable renewables into the system. Yes, renewables are getting better and more efficient hence cheaper.

Here are my ‘buts’.

Firstly, they can’t be relied upon to be there when needed. Averaged figures aren’t the problem. It is the occasional times when their output falls to zero or near zero. This requires alternative sources to be able to supply 100% of the power. Batteries can’t do it. Pumped hydro wastes power but can help (expensively) until the water runs out. It falls to traditional sources, coal, gas, hydro, nuclear to fill that gap. These expensive assets sit idle if renewables are allowed to sell cheaper and are less cost effective as a result. The effect is more expensive power paying the capital costs of two separate systems with one allowed to beat the other when it’s working, driving cheap coal for example out of the system.

It is a universal result observable in all places that the higher the penetration of renewables into that grid, the more expensive the power prices. In Australia prices have risen from the world’s cheapest to the most expensive over a couple of decades because of so-called cheap renewable power. As penetration increased, so did prices despite the politicians assuring us we’d be getting it cheaper. Both sides of politics have drunk the same kool aid so we go for the lesser evil.

Next, renewables are far less energy dense. They require vast land areas, wider grid reticulation, greater balancing and frequency control. All of these cost more. Are these costs included in assessing their total costs? That infrastructure isn’t needed for traditional sources and the assets can be used productively for other things.

They are ugly. You know that too.

They kill wildlife. Environmentalists would scream blue murder if eagles were shot by farmers, but seem not to notice them getting sliced and diced by turbines or insta-fried over a solar array.

Somewhere above I quoted Bjørn Lomborg stating the willingness of US citizens to pay for renewables. He found only half were willing to pay $24 per year. We are way above that already. Nobody noticed that reference.

Again above I quoted a study that said we’d spent $3.66 trillion over about a decade to increase the penetration of renewables from 0.5% to 3%. How much for 100%? Nobody noticed that reference.

So, how about the poor? At least you’ve mentioned them but not prescribed a solution. I have. Stop renewables subsidies and prices will fall.

Enough for now. Breakfast calls.

P.S. This is added some hours after the comment above. I was looking up the meaning of ‘levelised cost of power’. Below is a cut and paste of an article which explained it.

"Renewables will continue to need subsidies. To understand why, consider the difference between the “levelised” cost of power and the “systems” cost. The levelised cost does not take account of the cost of installing about 85 per cent renewables overcapacity and massive storage capability — or the cost of new transmission lines — all required to deliver 24/7 power. If these system costs are factored in, the cost of renewables significantly surpasses all forms of baseload power. "

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