Keith Locke
Time to look towards a post nuclear future

Yesterday I spoke in Parliament on the nuclear accident in Japan, saying it could be a death knell for the nuclear power industry.

In this morning’s Herald Michael McCarthy outlines the saga of cover-ups and lies that has characterised the nuclear industry from day one. The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which owns the stricken Fukushima plant, is one of many nuclear energy companies economical with the facts.

New Zealand could be using its nuclear-free status to take on the nuclear industry. We are well placed to be at the forefront of the international campaign to phase-out of nuclear power plants and promote the renewable energy alternatives.

Green Parties all around the world are taking up this cause. In yesterday’s Australian Green Senator Scott Ludlam said: “Events in Japan must spur the global community to begin the global phase-out of this toxic and obsolete technology, starting with a global audit of the oldest and most vulnerable plants.”

 

341 thoughts on “Time to look towards a post nuclear future

  1. not only are nuclear power stations bad news, but they do become obsolete and then have to be decommissioned. The decommissioning process itself is lengthy and fraught with problems: one of the English ones (Windscale?) is taking 30 years and millions of pounds to undo and it was only in operation some 25 years. Not exactly an efficient way to get power over the long term!

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  2. I’m not someone who is highly political, or know’s alot about local or international politics, or nuclear energy – but I think it’s great that someone putting into words what alot of Kiwi’s feel in front of Parliment. New Zealand being nuclear-free as been put into a new light for me over the last few days with what has been happening in Japan – I am so lucky to live in a Nuclear-Free country. But realising that it might not be enough in the future for NZ to be clean and green with our energy, that it could take only half a dozen countries or less, with disasters such as this to maybe muck up the world for everyone.
    So with what little I know, you’ve got my vote behind there being Global Community with a plan around world-wide safety from Nuclear Energy being it’s aim. Proud that I live in a little country where there are People who will stand up and fight for this, and that we have the forum that allows this to happen. Go Keith!

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  3. But Danielle, you don’t live in a nuclear free country.

    Radiology is used in identifying illness.

    Radiation therapy is used in treating cancer.

    Did you know that radiation is released when coal is burned? That all day, every day, you are bathed in background radiation that occurs naturally on Earth?

    I am 100% opposed to nuclear weapons, but even with the latest occurrence in Japan, would welcome the use of nuclear power generation for NZ. It is far less polluting than coal, it would save our rivers from being dammed and our landscape being blighted by (incredibly inefficient) windmills.

    Isn’t it amazing how the only country to have experienced nuclear weapons still felt safe enough to use nuclear energy?

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  4. Sure, one of the largest irradiation facilities in the Southern Hemisphere is in “nuclear free Upper Hutt”.

    You could get facetious about it and say that all the light shining on us from the sun and the stars is also radiation.

    But that’s not the issue, is it. Medium-term fissile products and thousand-year storage of waste is the issue. We have drilling technology to bury that waste 2km deep in dry casks and seal with 1km of concrete. But instead a lax industry managed to instead leave that waste sitting right in the same building as the reactors. This is radiation a thousand times more powerful that can give you life-long damage in hours or less of exposure.

    VERY different to the natural radiation you might get from walking through a field in daylight.

    (btw, breeding a little radiation for specific technologies is currently most economical inside nuclear reactors but by no means not the only practical way to do so)

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  5. Like many I demonstrated against nuclear weapons.

    However I am not opposed in principle to nuclear power. Safety and waste disposal issues need to be sorted. Present technology can make them safe enough and the waste issue may well be sorted with different types of fuel.

    Presently in NZ it would not be economic anyway as we are lucky enough to have a lot of potential renewable energy sources and a small population.

    At least we do not have the lack of options of, say, Eastern Germany. All the deaths and contribution to global warming of brown coal compared to nuclear power.

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  6. (I love this blog – I make a point, I get a TD, but whoever it was didn’t have the cojones or the smarts to refute the argument.)

    Kerry, the waste issue isn’t such a biggie, look at the waste products and disposal methods of our current fuels. And have you seen the crap that’s created building these highly inefficient windmills?

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  7. leftrightout

    I don’t think Frog has any way to require a response to put in a tick either way. It’d definitely sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of comments.

    I don’t think your notion of “incredibly inefficient” windmills holds much truth to it. A lot of disinformation has been presented by fossil fuel folks to try to prevent it from happening, but its chief difficulty in a nation that already has most of its power from hydro, is that it can be noisy and some people don’t like the look.

    That said I don’t have an automatic brief against Nuclear, just note that it isn’t really needed here, and that building a Nuclear plant on land that is subject to massive earthquakes and vulcanism is really really hard to do safely and rather pointless as the vulcanism signals the availability of geothermal to go with the wind and tide and hydro.

    My other point is:

    Nuclear power can be done safely, or it can be done for profit.

    There is no “and” in the preceding sentence.

    I note that they felt safe enough and look how wrong that feeling was.

    They had less choice too. Unlike NZ they are not given to wind power load factors over 40%, do not have a massive channeling of tidal forces through a strait in the middle of the country, do not have copious hydro resources and have some ridiculous multiple of our population for the same land area.

    The waste issue can be handled with more judicious use of different fuel cycles. Thorium is preferred here.

    You do need to get a better information source about wind than whatever it is you are using though.

    Your repeated error in this regard is what earns you MY downtick.

    BJ

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  8. Responding to the original post. I do not think Keith, that the real issue is nuclear or not nuclear. It is nuclear power for profit.

    The clear understanding of the risks, which I have had since I was about 8 years old… means that the profit motive cannot be applied. That lesson was reinforced watching the materials for the nukes being handled when I was in the US Navy… handled differently, separately and at vastly greater expense, but the nuke boats didn’t have problems with their plants.

    They can be done safely when money is not regarded in any way, as their reason for being.

    So I would not want us to be leading the charge against nukes. Even now. Because the climate cannot afford the additional burning of fossil fuels that that charge will create, and you betcha we are in a rock and a hard place.

    Power generation is a problem for our over populated planet. If this can be done safely it needs to be done… and the consideration that can make it safe is No profit motive can be involved

    The line we must walk is a narrow one.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  9. There was a Fox TV interview not long ago where the interviewer made a lot of statements against wind power. The lady from Washington, who was a wind power industry advocate, proved him wrong on all points.
    Of course being Fox he still would not admit he had been torn up for toilet paper.
    Wind power is almost to the stage where it can compete directly on cost with oil. In fact oil is only still competitive for power plants in the States because of the sunk costs and Government subsidies.
    She showed that with an equal playing field wind is very cost and energy efficient.

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  10. Monbiot’s conditions might even satisfy me, but the chances of any country meeting them are about zero.

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  11. Actually Monbiot does not satisfy me. The profit motive has to be removed to make nuclear power “safe”. He does not speak to this issue, yet of all of them I think it the most important.

    BJ

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  12. I think one of the main differences between the Fukushima Dai-ichi and Chernobyl nuclear disasters is that we have a lot more underground communication going on these days. The information has been harder for them to suppress and pro nuclear advocates are receiving the scorn they deserve. In many cases they have stopped trying to make us believe Nuclear power is the answer to climate change. It clearly is not. Nuclear power plants require vast amounts of cooling and this heat dissipation ends up in the environment and contributes to climate change.

    I would just like to point out that one of the twelve malfunctioning reactors in Japan was recently constructed and used the latest technologies. Nuclear power is fundamentally unsafe, even with its newest developments. Luckily, it is not a choice between two dirty power sources. There is a raft of clean tech alternatives, which people are now heavily investing in.

    Let’s way up the pros and cons:

    Wind power. We have a plentiful supply of wind and many suitable locations where noise pollution will not affect anybody. Newer windmill designs are less noisy. Many people think that windmills are beautiful to look at and implementing this technology on a large scale can meet all our energy requirement.

    Coal. We have a good supply of coal but it adds to climate change and our terrible air quality when burnt. It is also dangerous to source.

    Tidal. There are many areas of New Zealand (and Japan) vastly suitable to tidal generators. Being that many of our towns and cities are located close to the ocean, tidal power could be a burgeoning industry.

    Fossil fuels/gas. Relatively little processing in terms of energy delivered. Dangerous to extract, contributes to climate change and is a limited resource.

    Hydro. We have many suitable locations for additional hydro dams and a plentiful supply of water to power them. The down side is that such large developments require large capital input and damage some of New Zealands most picturesque areas. Dams are subject to structural damage from earthquakes and many endangered species reside in suitable locations.

    Geothermal. Is a clean energy source that is abundant within New Zealand. Currently generates around 57 TWh/a of Electricity in 24 countries. Has vast potential for further development.

    Biomass. Can utilise many waste products but the process has not been perfected yet and is still relatively inefficient. Can create heat or waste by-product in processing.

    Solar. Is easy to manufacture and install. Utilizes a source of energy that is abundant. Small installations can be hidden from view. We would require large installations to meet our growing demand for energy.

    Nuclear. Gives a vast amount of energy. Creates waste that is not easily disposed of and threatens life when the technology fails. Is difficult to decommission and has lasting effects for thousands of years. Makes the areas utilized unusable for future development.

    There will always be a profit motive for all of these technologies. The profit motive of fossil fuel is currently inhibiting the clean tech alternatives. The profit motive has definitely contributed to Fukushima Dai-ichi’s failure.

    You can apply this reasoning to all countries to varying degrees. For central Russia you would obviously not be able to implement tidal energy so you would use wind and solar. It’s all about cost efficiency, safety and reducing the effect of climate change. The order in which these three things are set will determine our existence on this planet.

    There are vast geothermal areas that are untapped, mainly on plate boundaries. Much of the infrastructure already exists to utilize natural areas where nonpolluting energy can be harnessed. Every country in the world has the choice between technology that is safe and technology that is dangerous. I’m so glad New Zealand is in a good position to make the right choices.

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  13. Nuclear power can’t be made safe. Not many significant enterprises can be made safe. That’s life, I’m afraid. What people do is risk management but it’s hard to put a price on life and on healthy tissue.

    The more nuclear reactors there are, the more likely a serious or catastrophic incident will occur. That’s statistics.

    Nuclear “safety” relies on everything going right or on every likely event being covered, with fingers crossed that the unlikely events don’t occur. It also assumes a stable society. That last assumption is taken for granted in some countries, less so in others, but it’s hard to imagine such an assumption being totally convincing anywhere as climate change and resource depletion gets completely ignored, leading our societies possibly off a cliff when reality starts to bite.

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  14. The bottom line is New Zealand does not need nuclear power plants, and therefore its best we don’t bother thinking we do.

    It’s not so long ago that New Zealand was in that privileged club of nations that had 100% renewable power sources, but somewhere along the line we lost it. We could get back there again, being as how we’re at about 66%.

    But… it will require some smart thinking, and slapping down anyone with a 19th century brain who can’t work in terms of embracing intermittent generation by making load match generation in real-time, the 21st century grid.

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  15. Todd: good post. Lets face it folks the safty of nuclear fission energy is simply not cutting the mustard is it?

    If it was as safe as the pro-nuclear lobby wanted us to believe it would have stood up to the 8.9 earthquake in Fukushima.

    But it didn’t.

    FACT!!!!!!!!

    So how many other accidents is the world going to tolerate before we get the hint!!!!

    For those living in Christchurch or the South Island I want to ask you a very pertinent question; How many people do you know who suffers with cancer?

    Jot it down on the back of an envolope.

    How many people suffered with cancer per capita before the nuclear tests of Bikini and Muroroa atoll? Or better still befor WWII?

    In my small community of approx 70 I can think of 56people who have had cancer.

    All nuclear tests and accidents like Three mile Island, Chernoble and this accident are all contributing to a global level of toxic fissionable, dirty radiation without any ozone filtration to shield us.

    That’s the point that Leftrightout and his apologists have not thought of!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  16. Sorry the last post a wee typo it is supposed to be 5 people out of 70 not 56.

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  17. Its a time of nuclear power now in whole world. You shared good post here. I do not know how all countries will handle this issue after Japan. But I think now every country need to prevent their people.

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  18. I for one am looking forward to a post Keith Locke future. You can’t have long left.

    I’d like to take Mr Ludlum’s comment, and focus it on eco-socialism.

    “Events in Australia must spur the global community to begin the global phase-out of this toxic and obsolete ideology, starting with a global audit of the craziest and most malignant Gweentards.”

    [frog: I found this comment in the moderation queue and was about to delete it. Then I decided to let it through - just as a demonstration of how brainless some right wing trolls can be.]

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  19. The US Navy has accumulated over 6200 reactor-years of accident-free experience over the course of 230 million kilometres, and operated 82 nuclear-powered ships (11 aircraft carriers, 71 submarines – 18 SSBN/SSGN, 53 SSN) with 103 reactors as of March 2010.

    …says they can be made and be operated safely. Rickover made safety first and cost last in his efforts to create that record and with him gone and the fleet going to be subject to financial constraints I have no notion of the continued duration of that record.

    The point however, is that the US Navy safety record is the one that the analysts used to claim that the risk of significant accidents was low.

    They overlooked the point about profit motive and they overlooked the fact that Rickover would have fired them on the spot and vetoed their proposals instantly, had he been in charge of their projects.

    We don’t need them.

    They CAN be done safely, particularly the Thorium versions with the less nasty waste stream and the ability to “burn” plutonium and other waste products. The technical aspects are clearly manageable, particularly when the profit motive is removed.

    But 99% of electrical power generation reactors in the free world are run for profit… so none of them are actually safe by my definitions.

    That reactors CAN be safe is sort of irrelevant in that light.

    Still, I would prefer that our target be the more explicit one of removing profit from the operating parameters of nuclear power plants, rather than simply being against the things. There are a fair few would need closing, building on shaky ground seems a common issue. However, the world cannot afford the warming that WILL happen if we shut them down… because they will be replaced with fossil burners.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  20. Let’s way up the pros and cons:

    Todd, I agree with you that those pros and cons are highly appropriate for New Zealand (for the record, I don’t think that New Zealand should get nuclear power – there just isn’t enough demand for the huge amount of electrical energy that it can supply, and it would require a lot of money to build one, money that neither the state nor the likes of Contact Energy have). The issue is that if one wanted Japan to get rid of nuclear power, you would need to find something that would replace a huge amount of power. Sure, wind is alright in niche applications, but it doesn’t produce copious amounts of electrical power (and it also needs a lot of space – something that Japan does not have a lot of). It is a similar situation with solar power.

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  21. New Zealand does not need nuclear power and it is not safe to build a nuclear power plant in a country that has earthquakes and volcanoes.

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  22. Gerrit was on the right track with his notion that plants could/should be built on the sea floor. Several aspects to that, but the chief ones are instant access to coolant and immunity from Tsunami’s. The water would make the structures MORE stable in the event of a quake.

    We don’t need them but Japan (and China and most of the civilized world) has a far lower ratio of renewables to population than we do. The global economy is built on dead dinosaurs and the energy distribution modes and energy collection capabilities are nothing like what it requires in the future.

    The Densely populated regions have to have energy imported from places where excess energy can be collected. Australia has a solar outback. We have wind and tide. I imagine South Africa and Chile can harness some of the currents off their coasts. Not easily. North Africa has a solar Sahara prospect. Europe has very little, the Eastern US has very little, there is scope for solar in the south.

    In short: On a planetary basis existing renewable resources cannot supply the population and economic system that exists.

    I should say that again.

    On a planetary basis existing renewable resources cannot supply the population and economic system that exists.

    That can be thought of as an equation:

    E(renewable) = P(population) * Ed(EconomicDemandPerPerson);

    In the long run this equation will balance.

    What we are getting at present, and from most leaders of most countries and from ALL of the right wing, is denial that it exists.

    Focus on any ONE element of the equation is a mistake. Nor is this equation all that is going on, because there is a parallel equation relating to the replenishment rate of the environment that sustains us and its destruction.

    We have to find new renewables. We have to control our populations. We have to reduce our individual economy based demand for energy. We have to limit the environmental destruction caused by our demand for energy.

    Nowhere mentioning fossil fuels. They will be gone… one way or another.

    Somehow we have to manage the transition to the balanced equation. The dead dinosaurs don’t do it. Nuclear has I think, a role to play. Not a profitable one but I think, a necessary one.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  23. Dead dinosaurs, BJ? I’m pretty sure that oil was formed primarily from microscopic sea creatures, an almost unimaginable number of them. But not dinosaurs; at least not significantly.

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  24. Hurf Durf’s pro nuke brain fart. Funny!

    BJ

    However, the world cannot afford the warming that WILL happen if we shut them down… because they will be replaced with fossil burners.

    The thing is that nuclear power does not supply much of the Worlds energy requirements. Nuclear power meets around 13–14% of the world’s electricity demand and this is well within our means to replace with clean tech alternatives. Renewables are already providing more power to the World than nuclear power. The choice is not between coal and nukes. The benefits of nuclear power over fossil fuel in terms of climate change is questionable.

    Gerrit was on the right track with his notion that plants could/should be built on the sea floor.

    Apart from the obvious cooling advantages, the other disadvantages such as access in the event of an accident, contamination dissipation into the ocean, construction cost and tidal movements make it impractical. I’m not sure where you get the free from tsunamis and structurally more stable thing from? Shock waves move better through water and the sea floor around Japan will be decimated. Constructing a nuclear power plant further down in the ocean would be nigh on impossible.

    In short: On a planetary basis existing renewable resources cannot supply the population and economic system that exists.

    China currently gets only about 2% of its electricity from nuclear power btw. The areas that can produce additional clean power are far greater than any projected requirements the World has for energy. There are three answers here: Develop appliances that use less energy, implement clean tech alternatives to supply that energy and decommission all dirty and dangerous technologies ASAP. This effectively means doubling geothermal and creating a huge enterprise for major development of wind and solar to replace coal and fossil.

    Shutting down all old reactors (many of which are beyond their use by date) and fazing out nuclear technology is what the populations of every country want. Some governments will probably need to lose their elections before their voices are heard.

    John-ston

    Sure, wind is alright in niche applications, but it doesn’t produce copious amounts of electrical power (and it also needs a lot of space – something that Japan does not have a lot of). It is a similar situation with solar power.

    There are many areas in Japan that are suitable for wind turbine placement and wind turbines produce large amounts of commercially viable electricity. As long as the earth spins, we will have wind to power them. Small installations of solar panels on houses and buildings are easily undertaken and there are many locations that make tidal generation cost effective in Japan. Like France and the US, their reliance on nuclear power is not a necessity, it is a convenience because it is cheap… and nasty I might add.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power

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  25. Todd, information on wikipedia is only as good as the people who put the information in – this can range from spurious to excellent, but you always need to go to at least two more authoratative sources to check the facts. Sometimes, the better wikipedia postings will have their references linked.

    Bj provides a lot of food for thought as does Flannery in his Weather makers – just because we don’t need and shouldn’t have nuclear power in this country doesn’t mean we should cut off all discussion about power for other places, especially those with large populations. Energy is one of the most major environmental/social conversations we can have and it has to be looked at globally.

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  26. There are many areas in Japan that are suitable for wind turbine placement and wind turbines produce large amounts of commercially viable electricity.

    Todd, let us take a proposal that would have created New Zealand’s largest wind farm – Project Hayes. It would have been able to generate 630MW of electricity, and yet would have required some 92 square kilometres of land. Japan does not have that amount of land just lying around spare.

    Small installations of solar panels on houses and buildings are easily undertaken and there are many locations that make tidal generation cost effective in Japan.

    Except that buildings in Japan tend of the high rise variety, not of the standalone house variety. I would agree with solar for New Zealand, Australia, the United States and even parts of Europe, but not in Japan.

    Like France and the US, their reliance on nuclear power is not a necessity, it is a convenience because it is cheap… and nasty I might add.

    Unlike France and the United States, Japan does not have the space for wind farms – Japan has a mere 50% more land area than New Zealand, but has 30 times the population.

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  27. Janine

    Information on wikipedia is only as good as the people who put the information in.

    If you look at the bottom of Wikipedia sites you will find a list of references. There are some 156 for the Nuclear Power page alone. I have continuously found Wikipedia to be the most up to date and unbiased site to gain information.

    Just because we don’t need and shouldn’t have nuclear power in this country doesn’t mean we should cut off all discussion about power for other places, especially those with large populations.

    I was not aware that I had said that a conversation should not happen. I’ve corrected BJ and Gerrit on some of their construction misconceptions and added to the conversation. However in light of recent events, I’m not sure a conversation concerning nuclear power in New Zealand is justified.

    John-stone

    Japan does not have that amount of land just lying around spare.

    Like India and China to a degree, Japan does have a high proportion of people per landmass. However this does not negate the fact that there are many areas available for wind and sea turbines in these countries. How developed do you think these places actually are? Please have a go with Google Earth before you answer that question. How much land mass do you think Fukushima Dai-ichi might contaminate?

    Except that buildings in Japan tend of the high rise variety, not of the standalone house variety.

    Japan is suited to lots of small installations of solar within built up areas like townships because most of the people live in houses and not high-rise buildings. Just in case you didn’t realize, power can travel along power lines from areas that can accommodate turbines, solar and geothermal generation to more densely populated areas. You can place solar on top of high-rise buildings.

    If you watch some of the footage of the tsunami, you will see many hills in the background that are vastly suitable for wind power installations.

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  28. And the good news is that New Zealand is starting to seriously look at tidal power, with the consents for the first three (of 200 units) to go to pilot production.

    We actually can have 100% renewable energy again, if we really, really want it.

    Adding solar hot water panels to every home instead of building another power station would be a great idea. But the big one on this blog: All we have to do is to get the Green Party to stop blogging and campaigning against hydro power. How much do the GP want 100% renewables? This is the test, and to date, to quote Count Adhemar, “they have been weighed, they have been measured, and they have been found wanting…”

    For many other countries, they lack the riches of renewables that New Zealand bristles with, and they would have a much harder job progressing a 100% renewables electrical strategy.

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  29. Dead Dinosaurs: Maybe it is just an Americanism, but we use that phrase in respect of gasoline and lubricating oils (vs synthetics). Why is it you are so pedantic about this phrase? So they were microscopic organisms that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs… who the hell cares? The point is that nature isn’t making them as fast as we burn ‘em. The point is that they aren’t “renewable” and that phrase helps to reinforce it.

    BJ

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  30. Greens are not against hydro generation – they are against damming every last wild river to feed an insatiable and increasing appetite for electricity without looking at reeducing consumption, being more efficient, putting in solar panels and insulation etc etc. The battle about the Waitaki for example was not Greens being luddites, but the power generators being greedy. Others have a much better grasp on the detail than I do, but it is worth going back and looking at the facts as presented at the time.

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  31. Is there no renewable scheme that you would oppose, db? If not damming even rivers of unique conservation value, how about windmills on every ridge regardless of the effects on locals? We could just trash the RMA and put solar farms across our public parks as well.

    There are ways to become 100% renewable without ditching other values. The Green party is not the obstacle to progress.

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  32. Battle-proof Wind Farms Survive Japan’s Trial by Fire:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-rigg/battleproof-wind-farms-su_b_837172.html

    Despite assertions by its detractors that wind energy would not survive an earthquake or tsunami the Japanese wind industry is still functioning and helping to keep the lights on during the Fuksuhima crisis.

    Even the Kamisu semi-offshore wind farm, located about 300km from the epicenter of the quake, survived. Its anti-earthquake “battle proof design” came through with flying colors.

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  33. Todd

    the other disadvantages such as access in the event of an accident, contamination dissipation into the ocean, construction cost and tidal movements make it impractical.

    People in submerged submarines don’t get seasick. The undersea structure is immune to any effect of a Tsunami. The difference between the vibration modes of a building in a fluid medium vs one in air tend to favor the undersea structure when the earth shakes. A structure buried partially in the sea floor makes it immune to shear forces. The pressure plays to the compressive strengths of various materials, preventing the structure from getting into tension and developing cracks. The presence of the sea water at pressure ensures that cooling water for the core never needs to be dropped from a helicopter in the event of an emergency.

    construction cost
    You do recall I mentioned something about nuclear energy NOT being for profit… I said it several times now, didn’t I.

    tidal flow
    In the open ocean is a negligible force.

    Nuclear power meets around 13–14% of the world’s electricity demand and this is well within our means to replace with clean tech alternatives

    Todd, we have to replace the Fossil Fuel electricity supply. The correct statement of the problem (if you include nuclear) is to replace all energy supplies with renewables.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_energy_consumption_by_type_2006.png

    Brown, Red, Yellow… to which you are asserting we can easily add Green??? Well I suppose it is only a LITTLE more impossible.

    Note how every erg obtained from hydro is valued in this. It is our best renewable source.

    China is currently consuming a more Coal than Uranium. This is NOT a good idea, and they know it.

    http://seekerblog.com/2010/09/29/china-nuclear-power-development/

    They are doing what they reckon that they have to do. They have reasons they think it necessary, to grow. Nor will they take it casually that they should be denied energy supplies when the per capita consumption of the USA is so high.

    The correct target for the Green party in this regard is the profit motive in the construction AND OPERATION of the power plants. This motive prohibits humans from even approaching safe operation of them over the long term. Without it, the operations are possibly safe.

    New Zealand does not need Nukes. Japan does. Notice the different locations with respect to the prevailing winds and the strengths of those winds. Japan needs Geothermal fields as well, but there are issues with those that limit the amount of energy that can be extracted.

    This is not an easy problem that people have been delinquent in addressing for some reason.

    It is a really really hard problem that people haven’t addressed because they have no idea how to do so. Your suggestions as to how Japan can meet its power requirements are not viable.

    Their best bet is to hook up with the US (cultural conflict precludes hooking up with China) to build Cheap Access To Space and an orbital power station. Then the safest possible nuclear power (at a distance of 150,000,000 km) can be used easily.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  34. Valis

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/World_energy_consumption_by_type_2006.png

    We have to replace the Red, Yellow and Brown with Blue and Cyan and Purple. This is not going to happen by screwing in flourescent bulbs and insulating houses. The Green color on this chart is energy we would otherwise have to replace if it weren’t for the nukes.

    Clearly every erg of hydro we can get is going to be used, and we may need to be building Wind Turbines “on every ridgeline” at least on the West Coast of the South Island. Yet the NZ picture is better than the global picture.

    http://www.mfe.govt.nz/rma/central/nps/hearing-proceeding/53-geoff-bertram-kicking-fossil-habit.pdf

    …so we can afford to be a bit more picky than most nations about what we build where. The public perception, and my own perception, is that we have never met a dam we didn’t want gone. I can conceive that this is not true, as the only ones that actually appear here are the ones that we oppose. The evidence that it is not true is not in evidence.

    THAT is a mistake in terms of public relations.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  35. Brainless, frogboy? I’m not the one who chooses to associate with people who think renewabullshit can provide the base load generation of nuclear.

    Speaking of backing the wrong horse, as totalitarians usually do, it looks like there’s going to be a No-Fly Zone is going to come from. Poor Queef must be saddened; now who’s going to stand up to Western imperialism? I suppose Piggy Chavez will have to do.

    “The Green party is not the obstacle to progress.”

    ololol

    Of course, that’s not to say I’m entirely opposed to renewable energy. Set up a load of dynamos and have Gweenies make themselves useful and run in them. That way they can provide all the clean energy they want! And they won’t have time to waste spamming the internet with stupid things like regulating shower heads. Win-win. I should be a policy-maker.

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  36. Hurf Durf, do you always have to wait till you’ve been on the piss for a few hours before commenting here? You must be one of the lucky ones who gets to finish early on Fridays.

    For the record, the Greens oppose authoritarian dictatorships, including that in Libya.

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  37. For the record, the Greens oppose authoritarian dictatorships, including that in Libya.

    Although I have never heard any criticism of North Korea, but an awful lot of criticism of the United States.

    Like India and China to a degree, Japan does have a high proportion of people per landmass. However this does not negate the fact that there are many areas available for wind and sea turbines in these countries. How developed do you think these places actually are? Please have a go with Google Earth before you answer that question. How much land mass do you think Fukushima Dai-ichi might contaminate?

    Todd, let us assume for a minute that we could replace all the nuclear generation in Japan with windfarms (I will ignore the feasibility issues here just for the purposes of the example). You would need 76 Project Hayes to replace that level of power and that would require some 7000 square kilometres of land, or to put it another way, it would require land three and a half times the size of Tokyo Prefecture.

    Japan is suited to lots of small installations of solar within built up areas like townships because most of the people live in houses and not high-rise buildings. Just in case you didn’t realize, power can travel along power lines from areas that can accommodate turbines, solar and geothermal generation to more densely populated areas. You can place solar on top of high-rise buildings.

    I know you can stick solar on top of a high rise, but it would be akin to a drop inside a bucket. With stand alone houses, a few solar panels should be adequate to power the house on a sunny day.

    Of course, the other issue that you are failing to consider from an environmental perspective is that the majority of Japan’s electricity still comes from coal and oil. Surely, the coal and the oil would be the greater problem?

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  38. BJ

    People in submerged submarines don’t get seasick.

    I’m sure some of them do, but that is beside the point. You are saying that to build an undersea reactor, we would need submarines to ferry technicians back and forward from the land. This would add an addition cost.

    The undersea structure is immune to any effect of a Tsunami.

    Since we have not tested such a structure, I do not think you can make such a statement. Kelly Tarlton’s is hardly the design structure required for such an undertaking.

    The difference between the vibration modes of a building in a fluid medium vs one in air tend to favor the undersea structure when the earth shakes. A structure buried partially in the sea floor makes it immune to shear forces.

    I have to politely disagree with you there BJ. It was the tsunami and not so much the earthquake that damaged the buildings at Fukushima. The sea floor is prone to earthquakes and a tsunami rips a lot off the sea floor up when it passes. The forces we’re talking about from even small tsunami are extreme and beyond most construction methods.

    The presence of the sea water at pressure ensures that cooling water for the core never needs to be dropped from a helicopter in the event of an emergency.

    Gravitation ie pressure is available on land. You have discounted the main issue, an “accident” whereby seals are breached and a continuous radiation release polluting the ocean is not advisable. If we were to plunge Chernobyl into the ocean, most of the oceans in the World would die. You cannot design a sarcophagus that is fully impenetrable to a nuclear meltdown.

    You do recall I mentioned something about nuclear energy NOT being for profit… I said it several times now, didn’t I.

    Yes! I do recall you saying that there should not be a profit motive. Do you recall me saying that there will always be a profit motive? What would be the point in spending so much more to build a reactor under the ocean when spending a comparable amount on renewables would deliver more energy?

    Brown, Red, Yellow… to which you are asserting we can easily add Green??? Well I suppose it is only a LITTLE more impossible.

    BJ You’re being slightly condescending there. What I said is that it could be achieved, it is not impossible. There is nothing to limit our production of renewables such as wind, solar and geothermal technologies apart from the will to do so.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EIA2007_f4.jpg

    It is a really really hard problem that people haven’t addressed because they have no idea how to do so. Your suggestions as to how Japan can meet its power requirements are not viable.

    Why are renewables not viable for Japan? They have enough wind and tidal energy. I believe they have geothermal activity. They have the capital to invest in such infrastructure and enough area. There is no reason they have to rely on Nuclear reactors BJ. It is a folly.

    Their best bet is to hook up with the US (cultural conflict precludes hooking up with China) to build Cheap Access To Space and an orbital power station. Then the safest possible nuclear power (at a distance of 150,000,000 km) can be used easily.

    Now you’ve lost me. The cost there is the restrictive element. Transporting energy in a safe format from outer space to earth is not practical.

    This is not going to happen by screwing in flourescent bulbs and insulating houses.

    However conserving energy is a valid way to prevent further consumption requirements. It’s amazing how much small changes can save.

    John-stone

    Surely, the coal and the oil would be the greater problem?

    That all depends on how you rate such accidents as that seen at Fukushima.

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  39. A question folks:

    The NZ Green Party (along with many other similar organisations internationally) doesn’t like Nuclear Power (especially since Japan’s current spot of bother, or Coal Mining, Wind Farms are both a visual blot on the landscape (and aurally-offensive) and have been known to throw parts of themselves long distances. Trees can’t be cut down because to do so offends Gaya or some ethnic group, oil is both running out and environmentally polluting (so can’t be used to generate electricity), and the sea can’t be harnessed for power generation because to do so will either kill off the marine life, cause damage to the environment or be visually polluting. In view of all the above, exactly HOW are we supposed to both provide warmth for ourselves and cook our food.

    This isn’t a smart-aleck question,,but is asked in genuine seriousness, since evidently the NZ Green party has some magic formulae which enables its members to do these things without recourse to any of the above ‘nasties’. As I said, a serious question. Thanks.

    Sensible, non-abusive or personal-attack-type answers would be appreciated. Thanks.

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  40. There are ways to become 100% renewable without ditching other values. The Green party is not the obstacle to progress.

    If the Green Party isn’t (sometimes) rabidly anti-renewable, then they are certainly fooling most of the people all of the time by appearing to be so.

    I’m sure there was value in rearranging the dekchairs on the Titanic too, whilst she was sinking. Which is a reasonable analogy to the Green party position on renewables. You tell us what you want and don’t want, and meanwhile the opportunities for improvement are delayed or lost or go ahead over your dead bodies.

    As another contributor on this blog noted some time ago, even bad hydro is better than non-renewables.

    Valis reasonably asks “Is there no renewable scheme that you would oppose, db?”, and I’m sure that somewhere there are places of such intrinsic value that it would be an absolute last resort to sacrifice them for renewable generation, but by and large, the alternative to not building a renewable scheme (any renewable scheme) is always so much worse, and almost always involves fossil fuels and more greenhouse gasses.

    The two biggest worries of the environmental aware people globally is the coming impact of peak oil (and in the context of electricity generation, gas) and climate change, which (to a reasonable degree of certainty) we believe to be linked to fossil fuel consumption.

    I passionately believe that those issues are more important than what a bunch of wind turbines look like. More than that, we have one of the few carbon cost models on the planet, which is a complete waste of time, money, and wont reduce emissions by a jot, yet we have the capability with renewables to actually make a difference. This I find frustrating.

    It’s this sort of emissions versus nimby debate that allows the pro-nuclear folks to (quite rightly) come along and point out they can build a relatively small reactor that produces oodles of juice and no greenhouse gasses, and get taken seriously.

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  41. u mad, frogboy? Oh, u mad. I love it when you get called out on your ludditry. Feels good man.

    “In view of all the above, exactly HOW are we supposed to both provide warmth for ourselves and cook our food.”

    My dear boy, we aren’t. I hope you will have learnt how to build a solid yurt for when the Gweens secure their utopia.

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  42. @Moi3 7:49 PM

    …Wind Farms are both a visual blot on the landscape (and aurally-offensive)…

    And I don’t care. If something upsets a few people visually (personally, I think think they look great traveling over the Tararua range), or aurally (they are not built where anyone lives, so people can avoid the noise if they choose) – so what!

    Care for the environment is not about peoples’ sensibilities. It is about ensuring there is a planet that we and other species can thrive on. Both coal and nuclear power generation pose severe threats to that.

    Wind, tidal, geothermal, solar, and hydro have to be the way to go – but with consent restrictions that reflect ecological concerns, rather than pander to nimbyism.

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  43. toad says “And I don’t care. If something upsets a few people visually (personally, I think think they look great traveling over the Tararua range), or aurally (they are not built where anyone lives, so people can avoid the noise if they choose) – so what!”

    - so we stuff up a unique environment (Lammerlaw Ranges), found nowhere else in NZ, so we can make power, and shift it to the far end of the country, by which time a considerable amount of it has dissappeared in transmission losses, via ugly pylons and transmission lines that destroyed hundreds of km of further stunning landscape.

    And this is good for the environment?

    And it’s good that power companies who loose 20-30% of the power generated so can make the consumers PAY for the 20-30% additional power they don’t even supply them with?

    We have been called the Saudi Arabia of wind. Yet when there are highly destructive projects proposed at the wrong end of the country to where the power is needed, that will destroy stunning and unique landscapes, the Green Party hides under a rock and doesn’t make as much as a mouse squeak.

    Pathetic.

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  44. @photonz1 8:41 PM

    What “is good for the environment” is not what looks nice to you or to me.

    It is what is ecologically sustainable – not just for humans but for all species that make up the ecosystems that allow both them and us to exist.

    We shouldn’t give a flying fart about whether something “looks nice” to humans. It is how it enhances or degrades sustainability of ecosystems that should be the defining factor.

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  45. hurf is 19 yrs old..is an act-ite…

    and consumes lots of milk/cheese…

    ..so has quite severe acne..

    ..the alcohol of course..dosen’t help…

    ..and he has the twitching-knees of the over-enthusiastic onanist…

    ..proof of his age is how he likes to run over to keywiblog..

    ..boasting of how he is absolutely slaying everyone here..

    ..with his incisive/scathing verbal demolitions of all things green…

    btw..hurf…0.5% support for act…

    ..is one half of one person out of 100 persons…

    ..shall we talk about that…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  46. phil u 9:16 PM

    Good comment Phil – apart from the “…he has the twitching-knees of the over-enthusiastic onanist…” bit.

    Surely you don’t buy into the 19th century “too much masturbation makes you go blind and grow hairs on your palms” crap?

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  47. no..i’m not saying it is necessarily bad for him..

    ..no judgment-call..

    ..just observation/description…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  48. what will boscowan/calvert et al do after november..?

    maybe they could tie up with david ‘dead-baby’garrett again..

    ..call themselves the b.e.a.’s..

    ..the bitter ex-actites..

    (snigger..!..)

    phil9whoar.co.nz)

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  49. “What “is good for the environment” is not what looks nice to you or to me.”

    Of course, it won’t be too long a leap before you apply that to quality of life too. ‘Suffer for Gaia, peons!’ Funny how quickly the mask slips off when you apply a little pressure.

    Oh, and here’s Philip to offer his expert analyses of the situation. What a wonderful note to end this shit thread on.

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  50. 7 days just showed a clip of calvert in parliament..

    ..and ‘chopper’ said ‘is that an m.p..?

    ..i thought they were having an open day at parliament for junkies..’..

    (heh..!..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  51. and of course…what goes with the twitching knees..

    ..is the too soft/over-moisturised hand…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  52. @phil u 9:42 PM

    ACT really are a bunch of fruit loops.

    I’m waiting with bated breath for Rodney Hide’s announcement that New Zealand should adopt nuclear power generation because the Japanese experience shows it is incredibly safe – only one major accident in 50 years of the technology being in use there.

    I struggle with this, but the rest of the ACT MPs make Roger Douglas look sane.

    And Hilary Calvert can’t even cite Alice correctly! Her Parliamentary career may be brief, but it sure will be spectacular.

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  53. so…hurf…

    0.5%..eh..?

    your thoughts…?

    (i see the greens are maintaining their constant of about 8%…

    ..does that hurt//make you bitter…?..at all..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  54. Photonz1

    By which time a considerable amount of it has disappeared in transmission losses.

    Surely you can’t be arguing that wind turbines and solar are less effective than nuclear plants, coal powered stations and hydro? They can be built closer to the usage area and as such have far less drop. Most towns are under-grounding at the moment. There is no longer a need for power lines. A few large quiet windmills and solar panels around the countryside opposed to the end of life on the planet… It’s a no brainer really.

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  55. Not particularly bothered, Philip. I’ve never been a member, fundraised or campaigned for them in any form so it’s not like I’ve lost any sort of investment other than the bone-breaking effort it took to tick the little box. As for the Gweens, I’ve always known there is a steady and not-insignificant supply of fuckwits, unreconstructed Leninists, self-loathers and Apocalyptic types who will never listen to reason in the electorate; certainly enough to keep a party like the Gweens continually clinging onto life so 8% hardly surprises or concerns me. It’s just something you have to understand, take the risk with and live with, like crossing the road and building nuclear reactors.

    Frogboy, a little friendly advice: if you’re capable of keeping up a friendly bon homie with the likes of Philip Ure, a smackhead, armed robber and animal abuser, I would strongly consider checking yourself before you wreck yourself.

    [frog: Hurf, this is not the cesspool you're used to playing in. If you want to debate the issue in the thread, cut the personal attacks and do so or get lost. And phil, you know better than to feed the trolls. Stop it or you're out too.]

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  56. Todd

    People in Submarines don’t get seasick because the action of the waves does not affect things below the surface of the ocean. The waves are a surface only phenomenon. Which is why a submerged structure would be immune… Deep Oil rigs sufficiently far out at sea are immune as well.

    The passing Tsunami does not “rip up the seabed” except in proximity to the shore.

    Whether submarines are used or an oil-rig like structure is used (far more likely and cheaper) to service the plant, try to remember once again, the COST of the plant is not a factor, and the safety of the plant is paramount. I don’t count cost if the design is safer. For a place like Japan, the offshore undersea rig is safer by far than anything on the beach. The sea floor is as prone to earthquakes as the land is, no more, no less. There is simply more of it.

    They have enough wind and tidal energy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Japan

    I doubt it. I really do. Could you show me any sort of numbers that could render this as wind turbines and tidal stations? There’s more energy to be had than they’ve done, but the efficiency is lower there than here and they have a lot less renewable base energy (Hydro) to start with.

    You have discounted the main issue, an “accident” whereby seals are breached and a continuous radiation release polluting the ocean is not advisable. If we were to plunge Chernobyl into the ocean, most of the oceans in the World would die. You cannot design a sarcophagus that is fully impenetrable to a nuclear meltdown.

    Chernobyl has nothing to do with this. That design has not been relevant for decades and the “sarcophagus” is not relevant either. If Chernobyl could have been cooled it would not have needed a sarcophagus. Third and 4th generation designs don’t have those problems at all. The GUARANTEE of cooling makes the difficulty of keeping reactor parts from melting into a real mess much less and the worst case scenario you described would require someone putting several torpedoes into the structure and then into the reactor core itself to break it up into small pieces and THEN it would depend on the fuel cycle being used and which actinides were present to define the scope of the problem.

    Microwave transmission of power has been demonstrated already. The rectifying antenna farms aren’t hard to build and don’t take a lot of space.

    I am glad to be given the opportunity to explain some of this so others can understand it.

    BJ

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  57. Photonz

    The wind is at one end of NZ, the demand for power is at the other. The need doing it that way is a matter of the reliability and power of the wind.

    PROPER design would be to put more of our people on the South Island, closer to the energy source. :-)

    I am with Toad, I think they’re gorgeous things. I see my children’s children having energy and the smile on my face comes from a deep place.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  58. Moi3

    NZ Green Party (along with many other similar organisations internationally) doesn’t like Nuclear Power (especially since Japan’s current spot of bother, or Coal Mining, Wind Farms are both a visual blot on the landscape (and aurally-offensive) and have been known to throw parts of themselves long distances. Trees can’t be cut down because to do so offends Gaya or some ethnic group, oil is both running out and environmentally polluting (so can’t be used to generate electricity), and the sea can’t be harnessed for power generation because to do so will either kill off the marine life, cause damage to the environment or be visually polluting.

    The problem here is that you excluded things we don’t.

    Wind: The fact that some wind turbines fail isn’t reason to not build wind turbines. We like them. Sound has been an issue, the larger the turbine the quieter it is… there are a variety of ways to deal with that, and remote sites are a key to it.

    ocean: Again, we like tidal generation schemes and possibly the notion of generators under Cook Strait. So your exclusion of this is an error with respect to our position.

    Trees: Sustainable forestry is fine with us. The destruction of old-growth and unique native environments is a problem but there is plenty of forest being grown and harvested here. There is in fact, a scheme for compressing the wood to sink it and so sequester the carbon captured in a permanent way. That’s new to me but interesting.

    Nuclear: Not renewable and we don’t much LIKE it but as you may observe from the discussion on this thread , there is a fairly realistic understanding of what other nations need. NZ doesn’t need it because we were smart enough to strategically locate our islands directly athwart the roaring forties of the southern ocean. We have more wind available to us than any other developed nation.

    Coal: Unquestionably the worst of the worst. We can burn natural gas for the same energy and emit a fraction of the CO2 as a consequence.

    Oil: As you noted, running short of this resource. Also running short of time. Running short of atmospheric cushion. We need something else to provide energy dense transport fuels. Suggested are CH4 and NH3. These are not then used as energy sources, but as transfer agents for their Hydrogen, which is burned in fuel cells.

    Some of us are more pragmatic than others. The party policy was linked however, it should be considered before eliminating some of the choices that we accept.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  59. Actually, Hurf has not managed to introduce a single question or fact relevant to this thread. Which is not surprising.

    His language is a bit annoying. Still, I encourage you to leave him here Frog, for the contrast he presents. His lack of reasoned discourse is an instructive contrast to what we do here. I do hope other visitors get the point being made by our tolerance of his negative example.

    I wouldn’t want to encourage him but it would be interesting if he could come up with SOMETHING here that he thinks (using the term loosely) justifies his insults.

    BJ

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  60. Todd says “Surely you can’t be arguing that wind turbines and solar are less effective than nuclear plants, coal powered stations and hydro?”

    If Todd could read as well as my 8 year old, he would realise that I haven’t even talked about solar, nuclear, coal or hydro.

    And he would also realise that I’ve made not a single assumption about relative efectiveness if different types of generation.

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  61. bj says “The wind is at one end of NZ, the demand for power is at the other. The need doing it that way is a matter of the reliability and power of the wind.”

    With all due respect BJ – utter rubbish. There is a great wind resource across NZ, like on the coast just up from the Waikato River mouth near Auckland.

    The silence from the Green Party about the destruction of the Lammerlaw Ranges was a disgrace and alienated a lot of greens.

    The whole issue wasn’t even about whether people were pro or against wind power – it was simply about the best place to put it, and the environment it destroyed by putting it in the wrong place.

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  62. Most countries have the potential to harness low-grade geothermal heat – just drill deep enough. This isn’t suitable for electricity generation but could be used to reduce electricity or fossil fuel consumption by being used for water or space heating directly.

    Europe could get a significant amount of its electricity from solar power stations in Spain and North Africa, such as photovoltaics when the sun is shining and solar thermal generation for the rest of the time. Similarly southern USA could power northern USA.

    Japan probably will need nuclear power for a while. It isn’t very well located for satellite solar power either, being too far from the equator. (You can’t put a satellite into orbit so it stays above a fixed point unless that point is on the equator.)

    There are other renewable energy technologies that haven’t been mentioned on this thread, including wave, high-altitude wind, ocean thermal, and salinity gradient.

    New Zealand, Australia and a number of other countries don’t need nuclear power. However done properly, it is better than burning coal for those countries that don’t have good renewable energy resources.

    And nuclear power is not alone in being extremely dangerous if not done properly – just look at recent events in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Trevor.

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  63. The environment of the Lammerlaw Ranges was destroyed by wind turbines that were put in the wrong place. Quack.

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  64. Photonz…

    I am not an Auckland native… I am a former Naval Officer and a former NASA engineer. I worked on NSCAT and QUIKSCAT for a time. The wind is stronger and more reliable at the higher latitude. With all due respect, this is not “utter rubbish”.

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-128

    That there are sites suitable for wind power on the North Island does not surprise me. I live in Wellington where they would be demanding alarm permits for the installation of wind chimes if the city council ever thought of doing it. The quality of the resource is more reliable the further south one goes.

    Auckland is our largest demand (excepting the industrial processes of the Southland), and my understanding is that its wind resources are more seasonal… even Wellington has a quiet day once or twice every summer.

    With wind the larger spread of the country North and South implies more reliability of resource if the power obtained can be distributed better – North and South. Transmission lines DO need to be put up… and wind farms at the mouth of the Waikato or wherever they might work well after examining the local conditions are important to the end result.

    I note with some asperity that wind maps are offered by NIWA at $10 per. This arrangement of paying for the science greatly inhibits a lot of individual research, and causes me no small degree of annoyance.

    Probably have to buy about $120 to $160 worth of maps to get anything useful done. Trying to find raw data that isn’t about money is a problem that gets worse every year. The SCIENCE should not have to pay for itself this way.

    BJ

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  65. Trevor – Well it’d be competing for orbital space with the communications satellites, but that’s not actually a problem for the power sats. We get satellite TV here… the planet’s surface is generally viewable from geo until you actually reach the poles… and you’re dead right that the low grade geothermal would be a good resource for most nations in terms of direct heating.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  66. “…And phil, you know better than to feed the trolls. Stop it or you’re out too.]…”

    i’m not feeding him..

    i’m using humour to close him down..

    you don’t like that..?

    oh well..!

    ban if you must…

    i’m sure life will continue…

    (really..you are becoming as arbitrary/inconstant as farrar..

    actually..you might wanna ban me before the election campaign starts..eh..?

    i’m bound to say something embarrassing..eh..?)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    [frog: Yes, but we'll try not to laugh at you, phil :-)]

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  67. “..the likes of Philip Ure, a smackhead, armed robber and animal abuser..”

    um..!..make that ex-smackhead..ex-armed robber…

    ..and yes…i do have dogs that are thriving on a vegan diet…

    ..and somehow hurf…

    i really think that someone who eats/wears the skins of dead animals..

    ..isn’t really in a position to call those who don’t..’animal abusers’..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  68. For once I have to agree with Photo. Conserving unique landscapes is an issue. I did not think Lammerlaw was an appropriate site also.

    Plenty of suitable windfarm sites in farmland and near cities.
    Every part of the New Zealand West coast from the Kaipara South has fairly constant and , compared to most other countries, strong winds.

    Much of the East coast has high sunshine hours and is more suitable for solar power.

    Wellington and Auckland are already eyesores so more there would not hurt.

    Wellington, much as the locals like to argue about it, has more days of strong winds per year than almost any other city in the world.
    Thats why they got the weather station shifted from the airport to beside a green house.

    In Northland the wind strength is not the issue. It is just more variable than the rest of New Zealand’s West coast.

    Like hydro, wind farms can be built in places where conservation values, including aesthetics are not compromised.

    (Wind data from “The NZ Pilot’ Pub. UK hydrographic department).

    BJ. Even in the USA data gathered by Government departments using taxpayer funds are free. Not here!

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  69. bj,

    I was sensitive about the “dead dinosaurs” phrase simply because it is often used by abiotic oil believers to belittle the solid theory about oil having biological origins. I don’t like to feed those people. But, in any case, why put nonsense in your posts when you can put fact in them?

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  70. One has to ask why the Lammerlaw ranges were selected, and by who, if the location was so wrong. Is there no wind there? Is there more wind elsewhere? Is elsewhere too far away to conveniently connect to the grid?

    I don’t know the issues, nor the alternatives… and I still regard wind turbines as beautiful, just about anywhere the wind will reliably spin them up.

    BJ

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  71. The comments on this post make quite dismal reading for me. There appears to be no recognition of limits here, on both sides. The debate seems to be how we go about replacing nuclear with renewables, to avoid its being replaced with fossil fuels.

    Apparently all the “resources” of the planet are here purely for our personal use and that harnessing them can have no impact on the biosphere, in any way whatsoever. We can redirect any of the earth’s natural energy flows with impunity, because this planet is here for exclusive human use and other species are expendable. Whatever we do will not harm our ability to continue existing here, particularly as we’re so bright and can always find solutions to everything.

    Where is consideration of the option of doing with less? Where is consideration of simplification?

    Civilization as we know it is definitely headed for collapse if this old thinking continues. It’s so depressing – I was hoping a Green forum might be more uplifting.

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  72. BJ

    The waves are a surface only phenomenon.

    I have to politely disagree with you again BJ. Waves as a force move through the ocean. Currents and storms also create great forces on the ocean floor. There would have been a wave of energy from the Japanese 9 M Earthquake that was not only on the surface.

    The COST of the plant is not a factor, and the safety of the plant is paramount.

    The cost of any structure is always a factor. If an undersea reactor was built and I’m not disputing that it can’t, the cost would be extreme and make such an undertaking a science project only. Within the current financial climate, I very much doubt that there would be expenditure on such folly.

    The sea floor is as prone to earthquakes as the land is, no more, no less.

    Actually, as a comparison the seas floor has less earthquakes than land.

    Could you show me any sort of numbers that could render this as wind turbines and tidal stations?

    Until much of the industrial infrastructure of Japan recovers, the overall energy consumption will be less. This is the perfect time to implement clean tech as it is faster to construct. Japan is relatively windy and has many areas that can support development. The assumption that they do not have enough areas to build turbines is incorrect. Unfortunately as much of the clean tech innovations came from Japan, the supply of materials and parts for solar etc could face serious interruptions.

    Chernobyl has nothing to do with this. The GUARANTEE of cooling.

    Chernobyl has a lot to do with it. If radiation is released into the ocean without a sarcophagus able to be applied, the resulting contamination will be huge. The basic reaction is the same and a resulting accident will cause a meltdown no matter what safeguards are in place. There is ample evidence that the technology is not safe and there is never a guarantee of cooling. The only advantage is in constant water pressure which can easily be replicated on land. The disadvantage is in that same pressure is applied to the structure. The mechanics often fail and the added disadvantage of a failure causing shorts in electronics is not advisable.

    Microwave transmission of power has been demonstrated already. The rectifying antenna farms aren’t hard to build and don’t take a lot of space.

    There is a cost inhibitor again. Transferring large amounts of energy in the way you propose, raises major health concerns. It’s not efficient.

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  73. Photonz1

    If Todd could read as well as my 8 year old, he would realise that I haven’t even talked about solar, nuclear, coal or hydro.

    You implied that wind turbines were inefficient because they had to have power lines to transfer electricity. In relation to other supplies, clean tech alternatives far outperform their counterparts. If you had the cognitive ability of an eight year old, you would have understood that.

    And he would also realise that I’ve made not a single assumption about relative efectiveness if different types of generation.

    So is that a debate you do not wish to have by implying that wind turbines are inefficient?

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  74. Tony

    Apparently all the “resources” of the planet are here purely for our personal use and that harnessing them can have no impact on the biosphere, in any way whatsoever. We can redirect any of the earth’s natural energy flows with impunity, because this planet is here for exclusive human use and other species are expendable.

    I’m not sure that removing wind energy is a bad thing. Especially as climate change is likely to increase wind velocities. Solar has no negative effects apart from the where they are located will no longer grow things. Many suitable areas do not grow things already. These are minor things in relation to the benefits clean tech can produce. Doing with less and making equipment more efficient is one of the major hurdles. How do we change the activities of many millions of people who are educated to consume?

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  75. Waves are a surface phenomenon. Tsunami are only a few centimetres high in deep water and even storm waves do not reach far below the surface.

    It is a good time to extend clean and low energy tech in both Christchurch and Japan.
    The costs of making new buildings energy efficient is much less than that of adapting existing buildings.
    The nuclear plants will need replacement. Either by safer and better nuclear plants or, hopefully, by renewable sources.

    Lammerlaw was chosen mostly because they thought it would be a long way from Wellington NIMBY’s. Who are the most well resourced and vocal in the country.
    For closeness to consumers combined with wind strength and reliability Wellington is the best place for wind power in NZ.
    It was also relatively cheap land (Not being used for anything that made a lot of money)

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  76. bj – the problem with satellite solar power stations for high lattitude countries isn’t the visibility of the satellite from the ground station. Rather it is the larger area required by the ground receivers because the satellite is lower in the sky. The angle falls faster than the lattide increases because of the satellite’s limited height, and the area goes up with the inverse of the cosine of the elevation, so at Japan’s lattitude (not dissimilar to New Zealand), the receivers would need to cover an additional >40% more land area, and land utilisation in Japan particularly is a really big issue.

    It could certainly be done, but it would be more cost-effective for other countries.

    Trevor.

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  77. Wind farms need more than just wind. They also need a sufficient connection to the grid, so building a wind farm far from the existing grid would require also building a long transmission line which some would regard as being even more ugly than the wind farm. They also need roads so they can bring in the heavy machinery to carry and install the components, so while ridge lines are ideal, the ridges mustn’t be too steep and inaccessible. And the ground must be suitable for building the large towers and roads on.

    Even so, there are a lot of areas suitable for wind farms. Lammerlaw just happened to be more suitable than most from a cost and engineering aspect, and far from population centres.

    Trevor.

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  78. I’m not sure that removing wind energy is a bad thing. Especially as climate change is likely to increase wind velocities. Solar has no negative effects apart from the where they are located will no longer grow things. Many suitable areas do not grow things already. These are minor things in relation to the benefits clean tech can produce. Doing with less and making equipment more efficient is one of the major hurdles. How do we change the activities of many millions of people who are educated to consume?

    Thanks for making my point, Todd.

    You say that winds will increase through AGW anyway, meaning that there is no point in trying to reduce human impacts because we can make some use of those impacts (even as biodiversity decreases and areas of the world starve). But you imply total knowledge of the effects of climate change and of diverting energy flows. You say that solar has no impact other than in the immediate vicinity of the installation, thus assuming that there are no knock-on impacts or that we can completely isolate one area from all other areas of our country, our planet. And please don’t come back with it’s all a matter of scale; I know of no full environmental impact assessments that have been done for renewable energy projects (though a couple of limited ones have been done) and yet, as usual, people just assume that there will be no impacts. But the real problem is the assumption that all these renewable energy projects can be done at a scale that involves no serious lifestyle changes to our societies, as though energy alone can keep things humming along for ever.

    It’s not a matter of replacing this energy source with that one, it’s a matter of completely rethinking a way of living and a population explosion that have been fuelled entirely by harnessing ancient sunlight and ignoring the environmental impacts. That can’t be undone by a putting up a few wind farms or building a couple of tidal barrages.

    Until we start thinking in new ways, we are heading over a cliff.

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  79. Abyssal Storms

    Until recently, ocean scientists thought of the deep ocean abyss as a dark, cold but serene place where small particles rained gently onto the ocean floor. However, instruments lowered to the sea floor to measure ocean motion or currents and resulting mobilization of bottom sediments detected a much more active environment. Scientists found that bottom currents and abyssal storms occasionally scour the ocean bottom, generating moving clouds of suspended sediment. A surface current of 5 knots (250 cm/sec) is considered relatively strong. A bottom current of 1 knot ( 50 cm/sec) is ripping. Although this may be called an abyssal storm, the water motion pales by comparison to wind speeds in atmospheric storms.

    Abyssal currents and storms apparently derive their energy from surface ocean currents.

    Abyssal storms may be linked to or may actually be eddies (rings) that occasionally break off from the main current of the Gulf Stream (and other western boundary currents). During an abyssal storm, the eddy or ring may actually reach to the bottom of the ocean where the velocity of a bottom current increases ten-fold to about 1.5 km (1 mi) per hr. While that is an unimpressive wind speed, water is much denser than air so that its erosive and sediment-transport capacity is significant even at 1.5 km per hr. At this higher speed, the suspended sediment load in the bottom current increases by a factor of ten. Abyssal storms scour the sea floor leaving behind long furrows in the sediment. After a few days to a few weeks, the current weakens or the eddy (ring) is reabsorbed into the main surface circulation and the suspended load settles to the ocean floor. In this way, abyssal storms can transport tons of sediment long distances, disrupting the orderly sequence of layers of deep-sea sediments. Scientists must take this disruption into account when interpreting the environmental significance of deep-sea sediment cores.

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  80. Tony

    But you imply total knowledge of the effects of climate change.

    I am not so arrogant as to say I have total knowledge. I merely pointed out a likely scenario.

    I know of no full environmental impact assessments that have been done for renewable energy projects

    I think we can all agree that the environmental impact of renewables is far less than non renewables. Are you suggesting we should do away with technology?

    That can’t be undone by a putting up a few wind farms or building a couple of tidal barrages.

    You’re correct. It will take a huge planning and implementation process to remove polluting and dangerous forms of power generation and replace them with clean tech alternatives.

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  81. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsunami

    A vessel in the deep ocean is not going to notice this… nor is one buried in the sea floor. The shear along the ocean floor is perhaps the worst risk and it is not, in deep water, going to be an issue. Ideally one would float the plant. The situation in the deep ocean is not the same as it is close to the shore.

    Chernobyl melted and burned. These are processes that don’t happen in the presence of a lot of cooling water. Thresher shut down when it sank.. there was no “catastrophe”.

    I have no fear of nuclear power plants. I fear the bean-counters being in charge of them.

    Moreover, the risk of terrorists hijacking a passenger submarine and crashing it into the reactor is effectively zero.

    It’s not efficient.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_transmission

    …I dunno, 90% seems a decent transmission factor to me.

    Major health concerns… if the power is misdirected.

    Terrorists will take their small boats up to the space station, pull ski masks over their heads, board it and take it over, then we will be at their mercy.

    Maybe we need to consider some real world scenarios that happen WITHOUT power being available to our civilization… or using all those fossil sources without restraint… because those are the alternatives, and they don’t look all that good. Trevor had some good ideas for getting appropriate energy support from some low-grade sources and using those appropriately. The problem space however –

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/World_energy_usage_width_chart.svg

    ,,, is daunting for replacement of the fossil fuels. We need something we don’t have to get even half the energy we want to replace.

    BJ

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  82. I think the people who are unhappy now about the effects of RFR from cell phones would be even more unhappy about the amount of energy reaching the ground from a satellite power station.

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  83. Trevor

    Yes… for an equivalent power the beam is spread out over ~ 50% more area.

    This is not a fatal problem, as the energy density can be vastly more than that of ordinary sunlight. It is less efficient for the area, but given the alternatives available to Japan, it remains I think, one of their best possible long term renewable options.

    BJ

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  84. Kerry – Keeping people out of the beam is going to be one of the things that has to be done. This is vastly different from the problem for cellphone RFR which one HAS to endure to have cellphone bandwidth.

    BJ

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  85. I dunno, 90% seems a decent transmission factor to me.

    I was not only defining inefficiency as a drop in energy transfer, it is inefficient to utilize so much resources and funds that can be better spent on renewables on the Earth.

    I have no interest in debating unpractical solutions further.

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  86. “Until we start thinking in new ways, we are heading over a cliff.” Tony

    That is what we are trying to do here.

    If you read back through the posts we do support energy conservation and economies that allow sustainable resource use, but, to sustain any human beings at all, energy has to come from somewhere.

    The human population voluntarily committing suicide to reduce energy use or a return to some sort of pre technology agrarian utopia are just fantasies.

    You cannot beat entropy in the end.

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  87. Tony is right… we have to start thinking in new ways and the cliff edge is crumbling under our feet.

    I don’t think anything I’ve proposed WILL be done, we won’t even get rid of the profit motive for nukes.

    My points have to do with providing the most realistic path to renewable energy and using Nuclear as a bridging technology makes sense for the planet as a whole.

    It’s going to be rough enough without the fossil fuels.

    BJ

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  88. The point about going to space is that it would be cheaper and more effective to do that than to try to collect those renewables in such quantities here on earth.

    The weak spot isn’t the transmission lines, it is the inevitability of solar storms.

    BJ

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  89. Bj. Some simple arithmetic will show you that even .01% of the 10% transmission loses reaching the ground away from the receiver for a serious power station will dwarf the RFR emissions from cellphone towers.

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  90. BJ

    Using Nuclear as a bridging technology makes sense for the planet as a whole.

    Nuclear power currently provides around 5.6% of the worlds power. It is cleaner and faster to meet the rising demand with renewables. These do not threaten life when they malfunction. In my opinion, nuclear power should be the first to go.

    There is a big investment swing away from nuclear power to clean tech. I would think that further investment will make some of the proposals here achievable.

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  91. Kerry

    A slightly larger area on the ground would be sufficient to manage it as well. It is also possible to locate the rectenna farm offshore if you feel sufficiently paranoid.

    BJ

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  92. Todd

    Since Nuclear Power will be the “first to go” we will burn more coal and we will cause the climate to go further out of control faster. This is a really good idea because ?

    We can do a lot with conservation and renewables and the like, but the numbers here… I present it again…

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/World_energy_usage_width_chart.svg

    … make it clear that we aren’t going to replace the world’s energy requirements or even even half of them, with renewables soon. Nor are we going to reduce those requirements by half through conservation, any time soon.

    Which leaves us where exactly? I am putting this to you as a question that the species REQUIRES you to answer.

    1. Where are you going to find the energy sources to keep people warm, keep some few lights on and keep feeding them.

    2. How do you propose to force people to NOT burn coal, oil and gas to provide the energy you propose not to replace.

    3. How do you tell people they can’t have energy resources when they can see that other people had the benefit of them earlier… but won’t pay the fair price for what they took?

    If you ban nukes and people DO burn more coal, oil and gas you can be assured that rather than the nuclear accidents that you could have avoided by keeping safety ahead of profits, you will be creating a climate catastrophe that can kill civilization.

    Might not work anyway, but making it harder by taking away the nukes is not IMHO, very smart.

    BJ

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  93. I am not so arrogant as to say I have total knowledge. I merely pointed out a likely scenario.

    I think we can all agree that the environmental impact of renewables is far less than non renewables. Are you suggesting we should do away with technology?

    It will take a huge planning and implementation process to remove polluting and dangerous forms of power generation and replace them with clean tech alternatives.

    Thanks again for illustrating my point, Todd.

    How do you know your scenario is likely? You said you’re not sure that removing wind energy is a bad thing. Technically, that is good: you’re not sure. However, your implication is that it is probably not bad. Furthermore, you went on to say we’d only be removing some added wind energy from global warming. But replacing fossil fuel energy with wind would mitigate global warming (we hope) and so the wind farm would end up removing the “natural” energy flows. And suggesting it assumes you know the environmental impact of doing it (i.e. that there will be nothing significant).

    The “far less impact than non-renewables” is weak argument, to me. You’re right of course, but we then still have an impact (possibly). So that’s why we need new thinking – we don’t want to have some future generation start all this again at some point in the future. Or maybe some people don’t care. No, I’m not suggesting we do away with technology but I certainly can’t see us being able to hang on to all the technology we’ve come to take for granted. Let’s simplify. Make do with less and learn how to live satisfying lives with less.

    I suggest we don’t need to replace any energy sources; we need to manage with less. Globally, that picture may be different, of course, where some countries have a much higher reliance on non-renewables, but first let’s figure out a way of living that is more in harmony with the rest of nature instead of take, take, take, leading to inevitable results.

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  94. Kerry,

    “but, to sustain any human beings at all, energy has to come from somewhere.”

    Of course. Most of it should come from eating food. That’s what used to sustain human communities.

    “The human population voluntarily committing suicide to reduce energy use or a return to some sort of pre technology agrarian utopia are just fantasies.”

    What? I said simplify, not suicide. And I never suggested a return to a pre-technology agrarian utopia. This is a straw man.

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  95. bj,

    “make it clear that we aren’t going to replace the world’s energy requirements or even even half of them, with renewables soon. Nor are we going to reduce those requirements by half through conservation, any time soon”

    Nor are we going to build enough nuclear capability to replace fossil fuel energy any time soon (and it will take even longer, now).

    You’re right that we won’t reduce our energy use drastically through conservation, any time soon. That doesn’t mean we can’t. Energy conversation surely has to have the fastest return.

    I agree with Todd on this, nukes have to go. But then I also say coal and gas have to go.

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  96. BJ

    Renewables are currently providing about as much energy as nuclear power. They have the potential to double in production each year. That would mean that this time next year, if more planning and implementation were undertaken, nuclear power would not be required. In three years, we would not be burning coal and in another six gas would not be needed. Then in eleven years the real big one, burning oil would not be needed either. If we double renewables each year, in eleven years we would have stopped climate change due to mans stupidity.

    1. Where are you going to find the energy sources to keep people warm, keep some few lights on and keep feeding them.

    I have already answered this question.

    2. How do you propose to force people to NOT burn coal, oil and gas to provide the energy you propose not to replace.

    Various initiatives are already in place. I am personally unable to “force” anybody to not burn coal. However if there is a choice, I believe people with education will make the right decision. There being a commercially viable choice is the question.

    3. How do you tell people they can’t have energy resources when they can see that other people had the benefit of them earlier… but won’t pay the fair price for what they took?

    They can certainly learn from our mistakes. Providing a clean tech alternative so that progress does not rely on coal and fossil is something that the west needs to undertake. It would also be profitable.

    While shares in the Tokyo stock market have fallen during the crisis, the stock price of Japan Wind Development Co. Ltd. has risen from 31,500 yen on 11 March to 47,800 yen on 16 March.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_resources_and_consumption

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  97. Nor are we going to build enough nuclear capability to replace fossil fuel energy any time soon (and it will take even longer, now).

    We know that. Overall we have an energy shortfall this century almost no matter HOW we manage things. The big gas finds may put it off some, but our species has a problem. We are already in “overshoot”. We can’t burn the fossil energy without consequence. The question is how many of us are going to be killed off, when and by what.

    http://tqe.quaker.org/2007/TQE155-EN-WorldEnergy-1.html

    Now this analysis tool factors in no Global Warming. Global Warming requires the burning of coal to cease entirely (excepting coking coal for making steel) within the next decade. Reducing those carbon emissions pulls the rug out from under current base load supplies which are met by coal and oil and gas.

    I agree with Todd on this, nukes have to go. But then I also say coal and gas have to go.

    So we need the Satellite Solar Power and Trevor’s low grade thermal for heating, and every hydro dam, solar power generator and wind farm we can imagine building. Everywhere. The faster we shut off the fossil fuels the harder the problem gets, and shutting down the nuclear plants makes it harder still. Moreover, places with NZ that potentially have surplus, have to pick up the manufacturing pace to replace things made with non-renewable energy inputs.

    The likelihood that we can cope with what needs to be done over the next century is pretty small. Culling the nuclear plants at the same time as biting off the other problems, when that is not actually necessary, is a mistake. Changing them to being run as not-for-profit sources of electricity, where safety is first and profit is nowhere, can make them workable. It would almost certainly lead to a fair few of them having to be shut down because they are NOT safe, but refusing to replace them with safer plants will cause even worse problems.

    BJ

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  98. Tony

    How do you know your scenario is likely? You said you’re not sure that removing wind energy is a bad thing. Technically, that is good: you’re not sure. However, your implication is that it is probably not bad.

    Yes! My assumption is that removing some energy that is replenished by the Earths rotation and tidal movements from lunar bodies is not a bad thing. Limited energy is actually removed as the wind is displaced around the windmill. Apart from a few seagulls changing their flight paths, there should be no negative impacts apart from the manufacturing of material required to build the turbines. The same negative impacts are relevant to all energy developments.

    Furthermore, you went on to say we’d only be removing some added wind energy from global warming. But replacing fossil fuel energy with wind would mitigate global warming (we hope) and so the wind farm would end up removing the “natural” energy flows.

    You’re putting words in my mouth. I did not define where the energy was removed from. However, I think it is going to be a long time before we can claim climate change is negated because of our remedial actions, if they’re undertaken at all.

    And suggesting it assumes you know the environmental impact of doing it (i.e. that there will be nothing significant).

    Again it is a small impact in comparison to other technologies. Provided the consent process is run well, I do not see how such things as windmills can have a negative impact on nature or our lifestyles.

    The “far less impact than non-renewables” is weak argument, to me.

    Let’s look at not undertaken renewables then. Climate change that creates storms and changes in weather that inhibits any progressive development and then declines our progress to such an extent that life is no longer viable on this planet. I would not determine such a thing as a weak argument.

    We don’t want to have some future generation start all this again at some point in the future.

    Provided we overcome the biggest hurdle to future existence man kind has ever faced, I think the ramifications from renewables is a small price to pay. I’m sure any negative impacts can be mitigated.

    I certainly can’t see us being able to hang on to all the technology we’ve come to take for granted.

    Most of the technology we utilise can be run on far less energy.

    Make do with less and learn how to live satisfying lives with less.

    There is a large issue to this simple statement. You’re requiring a structure that is built on consumerism to change when this is the strongest block to saving the earth. Placing the ramifications on a personal level is not practical under the current system. The other choice is to redevelop existing technology and implement new ways to power it. That is the main hindrance to change, the fact the capitalists think that a change means less profits. However capitalism can remain in place while the technology changes, in fact such change is highly profitable.

    I suggest we don’t need to replace any energy sources; we need to manage with less.

    I suggest we do need to replace dangerous energy sources such as nuclear, oil, gas and coal as fast as possible. If those in power do not make a change, we need to remove them. We also need to adapt to using less energy, however with technological developments, we will not need to adapt to a lower standard of living.

    First let’s figure out a way of living that is more in harmony with the rest of nature instead of take, take, take, leading to inevitable results.

    That would entail making people more aware of the consequences, when they’re educated to consume. I believe such an undertaking is presently impossible.

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  99. BJ

    Moreover, places with NZ that potentially have surplus, have to pick up the manufacturing pace to replace things made with non-renewable energy inputs.

    You say that like it is a bad thing, when it is not. It is exactly the type of wave we need to catch. If our leaders are smart, our economy could have a massive boon. There is no time to waste.

    Changing them to being run as not-for-profit sources of electricity, where safety is first and profit is nowhere, can make them workable.

    It’s too late because they’ve been developed to make a profit from the get go. The technology is not safe… shut them all down and replace them with renewables.

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  100. You can say to use renewables instead of coal, gas, oil and nuclear as much as you like, but where is Japan going to find enough renewable energy to meet the demands of its population? After all, Japan is not much bigger than New Zealand and doesn’t have the same wind and wave resources that we do.

    I see only two options for Japan – nuclear power, and imported fuels such as coal, oil and gas. (This is not to say that they shouldn’t exploit the renewables they do have.)

    Trevor.

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  101. Trevor29

    After all, Japan is not much bigger than New Zealand and doesn’t have the same wind and wave resources that we do.

    I think Japan would have just as many opportunities to exploit renewable sources as New Zealand. Please provide information that shows Japan has less tidal movement and wind?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_development

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  102. Todd

    I’m glad you presented your logic. Doubling renewables every year.

    Exponential growth of renewables for rather more than a few years.

    The problem is that the sites where renewables can be extracted aren’t that dense and the easy ones have already been done. You can’t double hydro every year – lucky to get a 5% increase there. Doubling solar heating is probably easiest in places where solar is to be had. It won’t work in winter in vast stretches of high-latitude country. It can help reduce summer loads, except those are usually cooling loads in those same places. We in NZ can double wind every year for a few years, but NZ isn’t in the trouble the rest of the world is in.

    Lets imagine doing something like this:

    Building solar in the Sahara to provide for Europe.

    That puts Europe at the mercy of Libya and other Arab states. I am dubious about the prospects of this being acceptable to the Europeans, and every night all the lights still go off. Tripling the capacity installed to do this job and using the excess to create Ammonia to be burned on-site in those European cities in order to provide night-time power. OK… now we’ve got distributed power at night and a massive transmission of power during the day. Installed generation capacity is 4 times consumption.

    Do we do the same thing for Russia? Where does China get ITS power from? Japan? The US can glaze a good chunk of New Mexico and Arizona. Have to provide for Canada after all.

    I won’t say it is flatly impossible. The exponential thing yes, but bringing such solar installations on line would be about the right scale even though it would be step function increases in capacity.

    if there is a choice, I believe people with education will make the right decision. There being a commercially viable choice is the question.

    I agree with this in general, but offer this little ditty cribbed from someone else who got it from someone else…

    You want hydro? We own the dams.
    You want gas or oil? We own the wells.
    You want coal? We own the mines.
    You want nuclear? We own the reactors.
    You want solar? We own… um… solar isn’t feasible!”

    The commercial issue is THE problem, and not just with nuclear power. Remember – I want to back the Dollar with KWH and in the process we would have to nationalize the power industry. That isn’t a fortunate accident. It is a side effect that made sense to me when I recognized it.

    They can learn from our mistakes? They want us and in particular the USA, to PAY for those mistakes. The US is of course, bankrupt, so this is not going to happen, but their participation in cutting back on energy usage is going to be mostly lip service for far too long as a result.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  103. I already provided the wind data in the form of the NASA ocean wind resources PNG above. The Tidal flows go around the island, they have no Cook Strait.

    Otherwise their tidal resources are AFAIK, similar. Cook Strait however, is a massive advantage in terms of tidal flow.

    BJ

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  104. No Todd, I didn’t say it like it is a “bad thing”. I don’t think it is, but there are a lot of people who WOULD think it so as we build industrial capacity and more of our scenery gets overwhelmed by the steamroller of human “civilization”.

    BJ

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  105. BJ

    The problem is that the sites where renewables can be extracted aren’t that dense and the easy ones have already been done. You can’t double hydro every year – lucky to get a 5% increase there.

    The world could double production of renewables if the international will was there to do so.

    That puts Europe at the mercy of Libya and other Arab states. I am dubious about the prospects of this being acceptable to the Europeans, and every night all the lights still go off.

    They’re already at the mercy of other countries from energy ownership. Such things cause wars. Now that the supply lines are not as secure, there is more need to make a change towards renewables. We would be swapping the sale of coal, oil and gas for direct energy, which will cause less tension. Have a read of that Wikipedia link above, you will see a section on Energy Resilience:

    Some observers contend that the much talked about idea of “energy independence” is an unrealistic and opaque concept. They offer “energy resilience” as a more sensible goal and more aligned with economic, security and energy realities.

    I won’t say it is flatly impossible. The exponential thing yes, but bringing such solar installations on line would be about the right scale even though it would be step function increases in capacity.

    Wind generation already grows at a rate of 30% per year with little relative investment capital. The exponential growth of some renewables is not achievable but this can be made up by other renewables that can increase in development and deployment. From the same link:

    Scientists have advanced a plan to power 100% of the world’s energy with wind, hydroelectric, and solar power by the year 2030, recommending renewable energy subsidies and a price on carbon reflecting its cost for flood and related expenses.

    Personally, I think it can be achieved by 2022.

    The commercial issue is THE problem.

    I totally agree. I’m not sure that the will power of an educated public can instigate change to the degree that is required. However the inevitable change will happen whether it is too late or not. The powers that be have a decision to make, undertake the change in a progressive manner or be forced from power because of the consequences of their inaction. Whatever financial redevelopment undertaken would be a byproduct of the change, but it is not required for implementation.

    Overwhelmed by the steamroller of human “civilization”.

    There is a choice between a huge machine that spews poisonous crap all over the place and a small machine that does not. Regressing is not an option under current development.

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  106. You didn’t stipulate one doubling you stipulated a series of doublings. I think we could double some of them once. Most of them would not manage a second such increase and I don’t imagine any would go the full course you prescribed.

    http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/sad1109Jaco5p.indd.pdf

    I think these guys are awfully optimistic, but they have put together a more convincing package than most.

    +++++++++++++++++++++

    They are at the mercy of other countries (plural). To achieve that sort of plurality in terms of supply would require more excess generation.

    BJ

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  107. Todd – I said wind and WAVE not tidal. Our waves come from the west, where there is half a globe of uninterrupted roaring forties. To the west of Japan is a large continent – nothing better at blocking waves. New Zealand’s wind resource is world-class. Japan may have a good wind resource but I don’t think it is up to New Zealand’s class. Even if it were, Japan needs an order of magnitude more power than New Zealand does. Where is the rest going to come from?

    Trevor.

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  108. BJ, You say it can’t be done, I say it can be done by 2022… The scientists say it can be done by 2030. Trevor29 says Japan can’t use renewables because they don’t have the relevant areas or energies available, I say they can because they do. Without further quantifiable information, there is not much point in continuing the debate.

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  109. The problem the two scientists involved have is that the distribution of demand and supply don’t match. They do not even NEARLY match, and this is not accounted for in their raw numbers (which if one reads closely, appear to run us out of certain materials before they’ve built half the electric vehicles).

    Roughly speaking, 15 Terawatts are required in Europe, North America, Korea, Japan, China, India and Russia. The supply available is largely South Africa, the Sahara Desert, Saudi Arabia, the Australian Outback, NZ, Iceland and Chile.

    2022 is a decade from now. My familiarity with engineering tells me that if we started tomorrow the completion date is going to be something past 2030

    The planet is not embarked on these schemes and won’t as long as fossil fuels are available to be burned. If we DID embark on them, being smote by a 4×2 to the collective consciousness, it’d be 2042 before something actually came on line.

    1.7 billion PV installations on rooftops… Figure we do it at cost, and get them really cheap and find a way to synthesize the raw materials we don’t have for the cells, and we’re still talking 5k each. That is to say… 8.5 trillion dollars, just for that small part of their scheme.

    All up we’re talking about the Gross World Product for a year or so to be spent on this change. Against the backdrop of a failed Copenhagen conference. We’re talking about redesigning and rebuilding every aircraft and every car, and truck, and train.

    Can’t be done by humans.

    BJ

    BJ

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  110. The recent events in Japan should give politicians an incentive to look to alternative means for obtaining energy. I live in the UK and the government has plans for starting a nuclear power program despite what happened in Japan.

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  111. Todd – what quantifiable information are you seeking?

    You are saying that Japan can meet its electricity needs from renewables so you should be able to provide some evidence or estimates to back up this assertion. I am saying that they don’t have enough renewables, so they cannot meet all their electricity needs. I base this on their population being something like 30 times that of New Zealand. Our electricity usage averages about 5GW, or about 1200W per person 24/7, but of course our peak needs are higher. Japan’s electricity usage may be less per person due to their greater amount of high-rise living and smaller living spaces per person, so they could need perhaps 1/3 of our usage. This would still amount to 50GW on average. We have 2GW of geothermal potential and perhaps 20GW of wind (but that might have to be reduced by the capacity factor – not sure of that particular figure’s interpretation). Add to that our hydro and we might get to about half of Japan’s needs. I am not aware of any large resources that Japan has that New Zealand doesn’t (other than a slightly larger land area), so I conclude that Japan probably has a similar renewable potential, and therefore cannot meet their needs with renewables alone. (This is before they start converting their vehicle fleet to electric vehicles and switch off their fossil fuel heating in favour of heat pumps.)

    What figures are you basing your assertion on?

    Trevor.

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  112. Someplace along the line, the fact that the energy density of most renewable sources is low in most places has to be pulled into account.

    The higher density opportunities (the tidal flow through Cook Strait, the dam sites on rivers, the ridge tops where the wind does not permit a tree to grow) have to be exploited to achieve decent EROEI numbers.

    Which is what we have been doing for a while now. The only decent returns come from concentrated renewables. The competition with the fossil fuels and market forces have enforced that to the point where we feel it in our bones.

    Our civilization is built on the lower cost ( EROEI ) of energy that those concentrated sources of energy provide.

    The availability of sufficient energy on a global scale is not going to help the people who have to live within their local supply. National boundaries would have to disappear with respect to energy in order for the construction of the necessary infrastructure to proceed.

    Nuclear is 6% of the mix globally. It is 80% of the supply in France, and was 35% of Japan’s, 20% of the USA, 16% in Russia. Germany, phasing out its reactors, is buying more power from France and burning more coal… despite a massive effort to build a renewable backbone. China is going from 1% nuclear to 6% by 2020.

    The issue is, in a world that is getting inexorably warmer and is desperately short of cheap energy, what plan should we follow? I label these plans “purist”, “pragmatic” and “denial”.

    The purist shuts down every form of power based on fossils and nuclear, and attempts to build biomass digestors, wind farms, tidal and solar to replace them, but refuses to build hydro dams or wind turbines where they might disturb the pristine environment. This policy applies everywhere, even where people outnumber the sheep. It also appears to be associated with a refusal to look at other sources because they might cause some new problem.

    The pragmatist shuts down every form of energy based on fossil fuels, attempts to build biomass digestors, wind farms, tidal and solar to replace them, allows nuclear under strict safety conditions, builds wind and dams wherever the energy concentrations make for a decent EROEI, and looks for other sources. Nuclear is shut down completely once the fossil fueled energy is shut down and the atmosphere is correcting.

    The denial strategy focuses on getting the cheapest energy possible never mind the possible consequences, we have to grow our industry.

    __________________

    Shutting down ever form of fossil (or fossil plus nuclear) energy has to happen as rapidly as possible. In a world that relies on free-market capitalism globally that is a glacial process… actually slower these days as the glaciers are accelerating. So there is a problem with using the simple unmodified profit motive into the mix, and there is a problem with letting the invisible hand decide which path to take into the future.

    I think that we all agree on that at least, there being no representatives of the denial party in this debate :-)

    I’m not going to say the purists are entirely wrong. In theory, if I were dictator of the world and could decree the immediate start of construction of projects to harness solar in the deserts along the equator, wind, dams in the Himalayas, tidal power where natural features make it feasible and a transmission grid that overrides national boundaries… I could conceivably replace all of it by sometime in the 2030 – 2040 timeframe. The total subservience and dedication of every nation and resource to the accomplishment of that task would be needed.

    So then to the pragmatist position, which is less unlikely but still looks impossible. The difference is that national sovereignty need not be sacrificed and there is more scope for people to have some energy resources while the replacement sources are built up. The damage to the atmosphere is reversed more quickly as the nuclear component is not removed entirely and immediately. This can conceivably be done without a supreme ruler, but only with economic reforms that remove the market and the banks as the final arbiter of what gets done.

    The denial position gets us short term gains which are lost when the ocean rises to cover the smoldering wreckage of our civilized veneer and the warfare that accompanies our demise.

    “and this mess is so big,
    and so deep and so tall,
    We can not pick it up.
    There is no way at all!”

    – Seuss

    I think there is a way. I have made the point before, and here it is again. The economic system is between us and the environment we are attempting to save. We cannot alter our use of the environment without FIRST cracking the economic problem open. The Fractional Reserve Banking based money-for-nothing demand for exponential growth forever, has to go.

    We have to militantly argue for an end to the profit motive with respect to Nuclear Power.

    We base our dollars on our own nationalized energy resources. We become energy independent as a result.

    The example we can set CAN lead to changes very fast, people are severely pissed off at the banksters.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  113. UK has few acceptable choices. Solar power in a country famous for its fogs? Wind helps but is seasonal. Some sort of tidal scheme perhaps – but that will take a longer time to design and build.

    http://www.tidetech.org/tidal-streams-english-channel

    A Wave generation field? As someone experienced with the ocean and shipping around England this leaves me somewhat… dubious.

    Which leaves what? Low grade geothermal for heating – probably a fair bet for that purpose anywhere, but we are still significantly short. Satellite solar power would be possible on the same time scales as the tidal power or longer.

    Buying electrical power from somewhere else? I heard that there was a proposal to put in an undersea power cable from Iceland.

    Basically the UK has three choices in the short-mid term, burn coal, burn neutrons, freeze in the dark. Have the French government run the things, not profit based, while they know that THEY are downwind.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight except that the burning of coal is going to raise my ocean too.

    Anyone have any other suggestions for this?

    respectfully
    BJ

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  114. BJ,

    “Overall we have an energy shortfall this century almost no matter HOW we manage things.”

    I’m glad you said “almost”. There is one way we might be able to manage things without having an energy shortfall – simplify. As I’ve said, we need to think of new living arrangements and the time to implement those is now, while we have the most resources to do the job. If we keep waiting until we’re forced to simplify, I’ve no doubt that there will be extreme suffering because we won’t have the resources to move to those new arrangements.

    “So we need the Satellite Solar Power and Trevor’s low grade thermal for heating, and every hydro dam, solar power generator and wind farm we can imagine building.”

    No. See above.

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  115. Todd,

    “My assumption is that removing some energy that is replenished by the Earths rotation and tidal movements from lunar bodies is not a bad thing.”

    Exactly, an assumption. And saying something should not have a negative impact does not make it so – a proper study and careful observation of actual impacts with a slow moving development of renewables would be a better way. And, technically, it’s not a removal of that energy flow, it’s a redirection of it.

    “I think it is going to be a long time before we can claim climate change is negated because of our remedial actions”

    Of course it will take a long time but that wasn’t my point. Is it a case of “I’m all right, Jack?” Why do we never think of the future?

    “Again it is a small impact in comparison to other technologies.”

    And, again, that is not the point. Less unsustainable is still unsustainable.

    “I do not see how such things as windmills can have a negative impact on nature or our lifestyles.”

    Of course you don’t because the full environmental impact assessment hasn’t been done. We should act any more on gut feelings about these things. Isn’t that what got us into this mess in the first place?

    “Let’s look at not undertaken renewables then. Climate change that creates storms and changes in weather that inhibits any progressive development and then declines our progress to such an extent that life is no longer viable on this planet. I would not determine such a thing as a weak argument.”

    Still weak because you’ve implied that moving to renewables will not only mitigate some impacts of our past behaviour but that it will have no long term negative impacts itself. You may be right but I suspect you’re only right at a much smaller scale that you’d wish to see. This would be part of an impact assessment and ongoing monitoring programme. Do the study then proceed carefully and slowly. I can’t imagine this ever happening, though. Humans tend not to do things that way.

    “I’m sure any negative impacts can be mitigated.”

    You mean that you believe any negative impacts can be mitigated. You can’t be sure.

    “The other choice is to redevelop existing technology and implement new ways to power it.”

    I couldn’t disagree more. Attempting to continue with our current way of living and our current standard of living (note, not quality of life) is doomed to failure because the yearly resource budget of our planet won’t allow it. We need a high EROEI to support the complex society we have, even if population growth stopped. We won’t be able to continue supporting it simply by adding a few efficiency improvements.

    “however with technological developments, we will not need to adapt to a lower standard of living.”

    Again, standard of living does not equate to quality of life. Do you think everyone lived miserable lives before we reached our current standard of living? Of course not but the energy and resource consumption was far less than it is now. We can simplify and still live satisfying happy lives.

    “That would entail making people more aware of the consequences, when they’re educated to consume. I believe such an undertaking is presently impossible.”

    Well, on that, we agree. But, of course, most of what we talk about here is impossible. Don’t you think that makes collapse inevitable?

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  116. UK has 60 million people so their energy requirements are many times ours.

    Even so as the country most exposed to an ocean on the West they are the windiest country in Europe. http://www.bwea.com/onshore/index.html

    France and most other European countries have very little options for renewable’s. Not lots of sun, low average wind strengths and not that many hydro sites. Phasing out of nuclear power in Germany has simply resulted in more use of highly polluting brown coal.

    Their choice is more nuclear power or more greenhouse gases.

    I am sure that a goal of 100% renewable and Nuclear for power generation is scientifically possible within 10 years. Transport would take a little longer.
    It will not be politically and economically possible until the present economic system, which relies on constant growth in energy use, and political systems, which are set up to advantage a greedy minority, are changed.

    A lower energy use with an adequate standard of living is possible if many of the disfunctional aspects of our present economy are removed. Planned obsolescence, economic incentives to sell more energy, transporting ice cream to Australia which passes Ozzie ice cream to NZ, buying manufactured goods from offshore which could easily be made here with local resources, allowing non-productive parts of the economy, like currency traders, to consume far more than they earn, subsidies on oil and energy inefficient business and lack of development of low energy use alternatives.

    Tony. Last time I looked food took energy to produce. And a tractor is more energy efficient than a horse or human.
    Billions of people are not going to vote to starve.

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  117. BJ @ March 19, 10:43 PM

    BJ Where are you getting your information from? You previously stated that the US would need to use Mexico to provide enough renewable energy. However solar on 3% of Arizona would provide the US with all the power it requires.

    2022 is a decade from now. My familiarity with engineering tells me that if we started tomorrow the completion date is going to be something past 2030.

    You discount the scientists who studied the issue and state that a total change over can’t be achieved by 2030 because you have some familiarity with engineering. I think you’re being silly!

    The planet is not embarked on these schemes and won’t as long as fossil fuels are available to be burned.

    The world is embarked on these schemes but not to a degree that needs to happen.

    1.7 billion PV installations on rooftops & Figure we do it at cost, and get them really cheap and find a way to synthesize the raw materials we don’t have for the cells, and we are still talking 5k each. That is to say & 8.5 trillion dollars, just for that small part of their scheme.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaics

    Photovoltaic production has been increasing by an average of more than 20 percent each year since 2002, making it the world’s fastest-growing energy technology.

    What makes you think the raw materials are not available and where do you get these figures for manufacturing cost from?

    All up we are talking about the Gross World Product for a year or so to be spent on this change. Against the backdrop of a failed Copenhagen conference. We’re talking about redesigning and rebuilding every aircraft and every car, and truck, and train.

    We’re talking about investing in renewables instead of mining coal, building reactors and drilling for oil. The cost would be comparable. Most of the research is already completed. There are many very good designs for clean tech transportation. It’s about fazing in the new technologies as fast as possible.

    PV market installations reached a new record of 18.2GW in 2010, a massive 139% increase over 2009 btw. All I am hearing from you is reasons why we cannot utilize renewables to provide all our energy requirements, I sometimes wonder if you truly are a green?

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  118. “..I sometimes wonder if you truly are a green?..”

    on this one he isn’t..

    his (heroic?/fantastic?) space-plans are part of the reason why i first gave him the nickname..

    ..’buzz lightyear’…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  119. Trevor29 @ March 20, 12:15 AM

    You are saying that Japan can meet its electricity needs from renewables so you should be able to provide some evidence or estimates to back up this assertion.

    This is what Japan is doing already:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Japan

    28 GW of solar PV capacity by 2020 – 53 GW of solar PV capacity by 2030.

    10% of total domestic primary energy demand met with solar PV by 2050

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Japan

    Wind power in Japan generates a small but increasing proportion of the country’s electricity, as the installed capacity has been growing in recent years. The country has tremendous offshore wind energy potential with the government announcing plans to have 1,000 MW of offshore wind capacity installed by 2020.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_Japan#Hydro_power

    In 2008 hydro power produced 83 TWh with 47 GW capacity. Japan had 9th top positition and 2.5% production of the world total hydro electricity.

    I am saying that they don’t have enough renewables, so they cannot meet all their electricity needs.

    So you should be able to provide some evidence or estimates to back up this assertion? Comparing countries without any relevance to actual resources and renewables available is not evidence.

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  120. That’s ridiculous, phil. I don’t always agree with bj, but appreciate his extremely well-grounded practicality in almost all things. He’s as much a green as anyone here.

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  121. tho’ he does seem to have that common blindspot amongst nuke-advocates…

    ..the ‘what to do with the waste..?’-question…

    ..in space..or anywhere..

    ..and engineers are noted for their attention to detail..

    ..i dunno if that skill/ability extends to an ability for grand-vision..

    (as opposed to space-delusion..)

    ..which green-energy essentially is…

    ..and i guess as much as all of you animal-munching ‘greens’..are green..

    ..he is also ‘green’…

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  122. Phil. Don’t know what has got into you, but most of your comments lately are just personal attacks. It is getting tiresome and I do not appreciate this forum being turned in to Kiwibog.

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  123. discussing the origins/causes of the space-dreams of b.j..

    is hardly a ‘personal attack’..

    ..and anyway..valis said it..not me…

    ..and..um..!..who made you hall-monitor/dictator of ‘taste’..?

    ..are you yet another ‘animal-munching-green’…

    ..who would rather that was not mentioned…?

    ..eh..?

    .and calling someone ‘buzz lightyear’…is a piss-take..

    ..not a ‘personal attack’…

    ..there is a difference..

    ..eh..?

    (and it’s keywiblog..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  124. BJ @ March 20, 7:18 AM

    Despite a massive effort to build a renewable backbone.

    I have to politely disagree with you there again. There has been some investment and incentives to implement renewables on a larger scale (20% World-wide increase each year), however most governments continue to heavily invest in non-renewables and rely on energy sources that will become scarce. This is because they make money from these sources.

    China is going from 1% nuclear to 6% by 2020.

    China is presently having a rethink about that.

    The purist shuts down every form of power based on fossils and nuclear, and attempts to build biomass digestors, wind farms, tidal and solar to replace them, but refuses to build hydro dams or wind turbines where they might disturb the pristine environment.

    If I ruled the world, my plan would be to:

    1, Shut down all old nuclear reactors or those situated on coasts or on fault lines immediately. Instigate less usage in the populace, industries and armies.

    2, Instruct manufacturers to start producing recyclable, clean tech and lower usage devices. These plans already exist to a degree.

    3, Undertake a worldwide investigation into renewable energy sources and suitable areas for deployment. Invest heavily into geothermal, wind and solar and implement huge development and construction of such technology.

    4, Reach an agreement with countries to provide manufacturing resources and construct in a centralized locations. Use the Worlds armies to deploy into locations that utilised old nuclear energy and reinstate power usage.

    5, Disencentivise the nuclear, coal, oil and gas industries. Undertake proper court action for the damage that has occurred. Utilise that money for further development of clean tech developments.

    6, Then incentivise local production so that less transportation is required.

    7, When clean tech is online, shut down and decommission all existing nuclear power plants. Investigate a suitable location for one small reactor used for research and development of the technology.

    8, Subsidize clean tech deployment into the populace. Less energy would be required.

    9, Shut down all existing coal oil and gas industries. Replace with organizations that have safety as their priority. Remove all existing dangerous infrastructure and replace with small well-researched safe infrastructure. Recycle the materials.

    10, Clean up the mess and implement remedial infrastructure to halt and respond to the consequences of climate change.

    11, Create large knowledge based libraries to retain old developments for posterity.

    The total subservience and dedication of every nation and resource to the accomplishment of that task would be needed.

    I’m not sure it is total subservience; it is a realisation that if these governments don’t react to something we have known about for a long time, they will doom us all. One hopes that the people in power are not that stupid!

    Some sort of tidal scheme perhaps – but that will take a longer time to design and build.

    There are already very good designs that can be deployed into suitable locations.

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  125. Tony @ March 20, 11:30 AM

    Exactly, an assumption. And saying something should not have a negative impact does not make it so – a proper study and careful observation of actual impacts with a slow moving development of renewables would be a better way. And, technically, it’s not a removal of that energy flow, it’s a redirection of it.

    Unless you are a denialist, you must realize we do not have time to delay in implementing clean tech alternatives.

    Of course it will take a long time but that wasn’t my point. Is it a case of “I’m all right, Jack?” Why do we never think of the future?

    By implementing renewables, we are thinking of the future.

    And, again, that is not the point. Less unsustainable is still unsustainable.

    You have not shown any evidence that renewables are not sustainable.

    Of course you don’t because the full environmental impact assessment hasn’t been done. We should act any more on gut feelings about these things. Isn’t that what got us into this mess in the first place?

    An environmental impact assessment is undertaken for every wind farm Tony.

    Still weak because you’ve implied that moving to renewables will not only mitigate some impacts of our past behaviour but that it will have no long term negative impacts itself. You may be right but I suspect you’re only right at a much smaller scale that you’d wish to see. This would be part of an impact assessment and ongoing monitoring programme. Do the study then proceed carefully and slowly. I can’t imagine this ever happening, though. Humans tend not to do things that way.

    Visual and noise intrusion, electromagnetic interference and possible wildlife collisions can be mitigated.

    You mean that you believe any negative impacts can be mitigated. You can’t be sure.

    I can be sure of the scientific consensus saying we will ruin the Earth if we don’t deploy large scale renewable infrastructure.

    Again, standard of living does not equate to quality of life. Do you think everyone lived miserable lives before we reached our current standard of living?

    A standard of living includes being able to heat your house so does equate to quality of life.

    Well, on that, we agree. But, of course, most of what we talk about here is impossible. Don’t you think that makes collapse inevitable?

    I think changing the population’s mindset will take time. Like the scientists, I think a change to clean tech is achievable. Collapse is only inevitable if the powers that be remain inactive.

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  126. “And, again, that is not the point. Less unsustainable is still unsustainable”.

    Less unsustainable is all we can ever do. In the long term nothing is sustainable. It is called entropy.

    We have to look at the possible, not what would happen if a Green idealist was world dictator.

    The possible requires a change in how we reward work and how the economy is structured, presently, to make increasing energy use essential.

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  127. I think it was Margaret Mead who commented that we should never underestimate the power of a few people in a room to change the world – that indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

    WE have to envision the alternatives and spread the ideas and ideals – because if we don’t, nothing will change. It is far easier to say why things cannot happen than to work out how to do it.

    BJ’s comment about taking the profit motive out of a nuclear power is a good one, applicable to energy generally I think.

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  128. Todd

    “NEW Mexico” Read more carefully before you go off on your rants.

    BJ

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  129. I think you’re being silly!

    No, I’m being realistic. The scientists are not taking everything into account, they never do actually. They hand their notions to the Envineers to implement. We actually wind up finding all the things left out, overestimated, underestimated and not quite right in their analysis, because we aren’t analyzing, we have to make it work.

    Calling me silly is on a par with as not completely reading what I write before going off on your tear.

    What makes you think the raw materials are not available and where do you get these figures for manufacturing cost from?

    1. Your own scientist’s published article in Scientific American, which I linked to and you clearly did not bother to read.

    2. The average cost quoted for installation of PV panels and supporting kit on a typical California house, subsidized mind you, THAT price cut in half and then again by 25% to allow for mass production efficiencies of scale and technical improvements and wishful thinking… as the component of this that is custom labour to fit to the roof of a specific house doesn’t go away.

    Typical installations ran from $11000 US to $18000 US.

    ________________

    We’re talking about investing in renewables instead of mining coal, building reactors and drilling for oil. The cost would be comparable.

    Interesting claim. You said 2020, that’s 9 years, we’ll go with 10 to make it easy. Do we spend 4 Trillion dollars on those activities every year? A tenth of all the world’s economic activity revolves around obtaining energy? It is not a number I can scare up, but I doubt that you’ve got it at the tip of your fingertips as either.

    Even if true though, until you get those things built and only a tenth of them come on line each year, you still have to keep doing the OTHER things, so you’ve basically doubled that 4 Trillion on an annual basis, to 8 trillion.

    You’d gonna need to be supreme ruler to pull that off. :-)

    PV is going gangbusters, and it is still well shy of doing what is required

    15.2 GW in 2008 vs the 15 TERAwatts we consume. It can double several times without actually getting where we need it. I hope it does double, and more than several times. We need every erg.

    BJ

    BJ

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  130. bjc: Despite a massive effort to build a renewable backbone.

    __________________
    Todd:
    I have to politely disagree with you there again. There has been some investment and incentives to implement renewables on a larger scale (20% World-wide increase each year), however most governments continue to heavily invest in non-renewables and rely on energy sources that will become scarce. This is because they make money from these sources.

    Since I was SPECIFICALLY discussing Germany your comment on the global situation is a non-sequiter. You need to use the context provided.

    BJ

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  131. All I am hearing from you is reasons why we cannot utilize renewables to provide all our energy requirements

    Those reasons EXIST, wishful thinking doesn’t send them politely away. I know, as the scientist does not when he does his sums across the entire planet, that there are distribution problems where the resource does not match the demand, and I know that those problems have to be addressed.

    That because I AM an Engineer, I have dealt with scientists before, and I am old enough to know better than to be an optimist about things like this.

    If you read what I said I did NOT say that meeting the demands is in theory, impossible. It is eminently “possible” on the basis of building roughly 4 times as much capacity as the scientist himself envisioned and creating an entirely new energy economy.

    The problem gentlemen, is that it cannot be done in the current or any foreseeable future, political environment composed of humans. I described how I might be able to go about it if I had the power to do so… I have not that power and I would be loath to see any individual human have that sort of power.

    Realistically then, what you want really IS impossible in the time frame you describe, and likely still impossible in the longer time frame the scientist discussed. If we worked at it we might get there by 2070, as by that time the obvious global warming consequences will have caused the masses to lynch the denialists.

    BJ

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  132. If I ruled the world, my plan would be to:

    See… this is MUCH better –

    a. I disagree in that I would leave the workable nukes in place until the fossil fuel plants were gone and would then address the remaining nukes. Essentially I would swap 9 and 7.

    b. Reach an agreement with countries to provide manufacturing resources and construct in a centralized locations. Use the Worlds armies to deploy into locations that utilised old nuclear energy and reinstate power usage.

    Needs to be retyped. I don’t know what “reinstate power usage” means in this context and neither does anyone else I reckon. Nothing else here as my fingers sometimes get behind my thoughts and I understand it happening, just restate – OK?

    I would ADD before doing anything else except possibly the at-risk reactors- basing the $ on energy removing fractional reserve banking from the economic system and thus nationalizing the energy industries in general and fundamentally removing the profit motive from the management of energy

    We aren’t at all far apart Todd, but you accused me of being silly, and not being a Green… and Phil of course is Phil :-)

    …though I take the Buzz Lightyear appellation as a compliment.

    Janine is correct. The profit motive needs to go… and that is as important as anything else we have imagined in this thread.

    BJ

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  133. BJ @ 4:22 PM & 4:24 PM

    The scientists are not taking everything into account.

    I cannot find the specific report that states renewables can replace non-renewables by the year 2030. That was information from a Wikipedia site. So unless you have been privy to this report, I think claiming there are only two scientists involved and that they have not taken certain factors into account is silly!

    Interesting claim. You said 2020, that’s 9 years, we’ll go with 10 to make it easy. Do we spend 4 Trillion dollars on those activities every year? A tenth of all the world’s economic activity revolves around obtaining energy? It is not a number I can scare up, but I doubt that you’ve got it at the tip of your fingertips as either.

    I think you’re getting your dates mixed up BJ. My initial assertion was that if we double production and deployment of renewables each year, by 2022 they would have replaced un-sustainable energy including nuclear power. The 2020 date was produced by you to show that China would have 6% of it’s energy from nuclear power by then. You need to use the context provided.

    Even if true though, until you get those things built and only a tenth of them come on line each year, you still have to keep doing the OTHER things.

    No! You build solar, wind, sea, geothermal and even hydro (to a degree) instead of building nuclear, coal, oil and gas instillation’s. The investment money is a direct transfer. Renewables come online quicker so there is an immediate saving and return on investment there.

    So you’ve basically doubled that 4 Trillion on an annual basis, to 8 trillion.

    You’ve completely lost me there with your mathematics, 8 Trillion dollars? The US GDP for 2010 was $14.3 trillion. Worldwide, $155 billion was spent in 2008 on renewable infrastructure so we can expect that to be around $200 billion now. This produces an approximate 20% increase each year. So an aproximate further $800 million dollars investment a year would amount to a doubling of renewable production and deployment and result in a total replacement of non-sustainable technologies (including nuclear) by the year 2022.

    This factor does not include any decrease of our appetite for energy, which should also be a focus to production design. There is also an efficiency decline in cost to manufacture and build such infrastructure. I still place the yearly cost of renewables to be comparative to that spent on non-renewables, however the benefits are readily apparent.

    Apparently BP currently invests over $1 billion per year in the development of renewable energy sources. Do you think they would do that if those sources weren’t available to exploit?

    In recent years there has been a slowdown of electricity demand growth and financing has become more difficult, which has an impact on large projects such as nuclear reactors, with very large upfront costs and long project cycles which carry a large variety of risks. So there is a further economical gain in renewables there as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_mitigation

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  134. There is a fundamental flaw in the debate occuring above. Energy and power are not the same thing. It is not necessary to generate more power to continue to meet our energy needs. It is only necessary to access alternative sources of energy that can most directly supply energy in the forms that we need to use it. The largest non-transport uses of energy are for various forms of heating and cooling and we have suitable grades of heat energy available in abundance right over our heads and right under our feet. Adding in the behaviour of air when it is heated and cooled allows those same heat sources to be used for cooling. Throw in a bit of thermal mass storage and insulation and you’ve pretty much got the local supply problems licked. This still requires a small amount of eletrical energy for fans and compressors but only about one-tenth of what we use to get the same work done today.

    Rollout LED wifi and you’ll prtty much have market forces solving the lighting energy problem within a decade.

    That just leaves food and transport to worry about and with the other energy needs largly solved a bit of techsmarts and fuel substituting and a whole of relocalising of the global economy should see that taken care of.

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  135. BJ @ 4:39 & 5:04 PM

    The problem gentlemen, is that it cannot be done in the current or any foreseeable future, political environment composed of humans.

    I have to politely disagree BJ. The change can and needs to happen or we will die. Political bodies that inhibit the change should be removed, one way or the other.

    Realistically then, what you want really IS impossible in the time frame you describe.

    No! It is realistically achievable based on principles of production and deployment presently available to us. The only hindrance is in the old energy sector that must fall or change and the administration that can implement that change to a greater degree.

    If we worked at it we might get there by 2070.

    The current mitigation plan will be in place by 2050.

    a. I disagree in that I would leave the workable nukes in place until the fossil fuel plants were gone and would then address the remaining nukes. Essentially I would swap 9 and 7.

    Yes! 7, 8 and 9 would effectively happen at the same time, albeit in a gradual process.

    I don’t know what “reinstate power usage” means in this context and neither does anyone else I reckon.

    When the old and dangerous nuclear power plants are shut down, there will be energy shortages. It simply means; reinstating power to the grid when renewables come online and thus negating shortages. Achieving a low amount of disturbance to people’s lifestyles is a good policy.

    We aren’t at all far apart Todd, but you accused me of being silly, and not being a Green.

    Yes! Our ideas are rather similar in many instances. I should say that some of your ideas are not Green focused. Much of your rationale on Nuclear power being one of these instances.

    Janine is correct. The profit motive needs to go… and that is as important as anything else we have imagined in this thread.

    Janine is correct in saying you’re correct BJ? LOL! I disagree. The profit motive needs to stay. Renewables are more reliable, easier to build and deploy and thus have good returns for investment capital. The same profit motive that has built thousands of dangerous instillations can be used to build thousands of safe instillations. The dangerous instillations are the issue.

    Although I do agree that a restructuring of the financial sector needs to be made, it is not good to confuse this with a green revolution. Only by presenting a profitable plan to the powers that be, will it be implemented.

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  136. Did I not link that here? I am sure I DID link it. Yes I did.

    I will provide it again.

    http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/sad1109Jaco5p.indd.pdf

    You linked to the wikipedia, I read it and looked for the reference. This is not a bad approach if you want to actually make sense of everything you see in Wiki… or here for that matter. I also dug up his original paper, not the one in SA. Too dense to bother unless I have to.

    Mixed the dates, I think I did. 2020 vs 2022. The calculation isn’t changed much but it is a change in your favor. Overall still an intractable problem with any political system I can imagine in place.

    You claimed that we spend as much on energy now, as the build of the renewables would cost. I don’t particularly believe that, doubt that it is at the same order of magnitude, but I accepted it because I really am trying to give us every possible break. The build/installation of the renewables is going to be over 8 trillion based on a very conservative estimate for the PV installations alone. (That one shouldn’t be subject to the factor of 3 multiple BTW). Figuring all of the buildup offered I figured it was approaching 30-40 trillion or about 3-4 trillion for each of 10 years.

    Which I THEN allowed to be equated to our net planetary budget for buying energy. Not knowing that this is correct, simply accepting your claim. The net monetary cost of doing what you need done is indeed on the order of 3-4 trillion per year for the next 11 years.

    However, what we spend on energy now isn’t the same as our energy infrastructure build investment, which you just introduced. Replacing that gets us nowhere near that per-year cost of the ORIGINAL estimate of required buildup by the scientist, spread over the eleven years between now and 2022.

    Recall that I reckon a closer estimate to be roughly 4 times his notional numbers. Maybe between 3 and 4 times. Without going through a lot more detailed analysis I would be loath to expect anything less than 3 in the budgetary estimate.

    Worldwide, $155 billion was spent in 2008 on renewable infrastructure so we can expect that to be around $200 billion now. This produces an approximate 20% increase each year. So an aproximate further $800 million dollars investment a year would amount to a doubling of renewable production

    Huh?

    Around 200 billion gives a 20% increase.

    So adding 800 million raises it to 100% increase (doubling)?

    Adding 800 billion gives you a trillion dollars to double things in the first year. We are approaching reality now.

    Assuming linear response is the only notion we have, I have never seen it be correct.

    In the SECOND year however, you have to double again… 2 trillion, and the 4th year is 8 trillion and the fifth is 16 trillion. Which is a third of the Gross World Product. In the 7th year you’ve exceeded the GWP by roughly 50%. Which is why I rejected the exponential model.

    BJ

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  137. I have to politely disagree BJ. The change can and needs to happen or we will die. Political bodies that inhibit the change should be removed, one way or the other.

    That’s a problem Todd, you think that this makes it possible. We can ALWAYS die – and civilizations often do, of failing to think through the alternatives and failing to work out the cost of the free lunch before we eat it.

    You can’t do this with the profit motive in place and coal, oil and gas (or nuclear) available to anyone on the planet. The price is far too high to work that way.

    The energy sector has to be divorced from the profit motive because collecting already prepared and intensified deposits of energy is still easier and cheaper than collecting photons and concentrating them.

    You need to notice that along the way our scientist friend converted every car to a battery-electric-vehicle. Not enough lithium. Massive loss of utility as well. I took the liberty of substituting NH3 or CH4 based fuel conversions and fuel cells at the same price. Probably isn’t. Either change however, replaces every vehicle on the road. I don’t even want to guess at the cost… we have to recycle the cars as best we can.

    The profit motive needs to stay. Renewables are more reliable, easier to build and deploy and thus have good returns for investment capital.

    The sunk capital investments in the current system of mining the non-renewables and burning them are destroyed by introduction of renewables.

    Good returns compared to what? People make a lot of money selling the non-renewables. The required investments are beyond any investment group, we are talking about trillions of dollars… and the world is already deep in debt.

    You will not get there without instituting the economic reforms I have suggested, destroying the vampire squid and replacing the money with something real. You have a real chance then, but that up-ends all the government opposition that the entrenched fossil fuel money can muster.

    You want a revolution Todd. You don’t have a choice, there HAS to be a revolution, but how do you do that?

    You take them in that soft underbelly of theirs – their complete lack of a basis for their money and the massive popular dissatisfaction with the bankers who run the system. That’s their self-destruct button.

    Even assuming we manage that, we still have to spend several trillion dollars a year globally to get anywhere close to a renewable based future anytime before 2050. That’s money we will NOT get a return on right away. Some yes, but other projects will be years in the making.

    BJ

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  138. Kevyn

    Trevor brought up low-grade heat and I agreed with him much further up the thread. It isn’t an issue in the current debate though I probably should go back through the scientist’s work to determine what fraction of his estimated global demand is in fact low-grade energy. It could make a difference.

    (sigh – I think I will let you do that. I am *quite* tired of this thread)

    BJ

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  139. Todd – thank you for doing a fine job of producing the links to the information that makes my case. Your links include a summary that says that Japan consumed 1075TWh in 2008, which is an average level of 122 GW. Off shore wind capacity of 1GW by 2020 is less than 1% of this, and when you include a capacity factor of 40-50%, will produce under 0.5% of their electricity needs. They hope to produce 10% of their electricity from solar in 2050. Hydro produces less than 10%. Geothermal doesn’t even get a mention. Where are they going to find the rest?

    Trevor.

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  140. BJ

    The Stanford University research is what I was particularly after but could not locate. Not an article by Scientific America. You can not make assumptions on the research without seeing it BJ.

    You claimed that we spend as much on energy now, as the build of the renewables would cost.

    I believe the current spend on new renewable energy is comparable to the spend on new non-renewables. Globally, nearly 80GW of renewable power capacity was added in 2009, 83GW of fossil fuel capacity was added in the same year. There will be a delay with renewables as manufacturing infrastructure will soak up a lot of that investment until full production comes online. I believe any relative difference is currently negligible. If we stop the investment of unsustainable technologies, we will have doubled the finances to invest in renewables.

    I don’t particularly believe that, doubt that it is at the same order of magnitude, but I accepted it because I really am trying to give us every possible break. The build/installation of the renewables is going to be over 8 trillion based on a very conservative estimate for the PV installations alone. (That one shouldn’t be subject to the factor of 3 multiple BTW). Figuring all of the build up offered I figured it was approaching 30-40 trillion or about 3-4 trillion for each of 10 years.

    My calculation over time puts the total cost at well under your predictions to replace non-sustainable and nuclear installations. I have not fully taken into account efficiency or abatement.

    Assuming linear response is the only notion we have, I have never seen it be correct.

    I believe it is initially correct to apply a linear response in an investment/production calculation. The variable will be in favour of the economic viability of renewables. The difficulty is in changing the investment structure to favour clean tech even more.

    In the SECOND year however, you have to double again… 2 trillion, and the 4th year is 8 trillion and the fifth is 16 trillion. Which is a third of the Gross World Product. In the 7th year you’ve exceeded the GWP by roughly 50%. Which is why I rejected the exponential model.

    A doubling of production is required each year to replace non-renewables by 2022. We currently spend around $200 Billion. New global investments in clean energy technologies—including venture capital, project finance, public markets, and research and development—expanded by 4.7 percent from $148 billion in 2007 to $155 billion US in 2008. The projection is that $245 Billion will be spent in 2017.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy<

    *All forms of energy are expensive, but as time progresses, renewable energy generally gets cheaper, while fossil fuels generally get more expensive. Al Gore has explained that renewable energy technologies are declining in price for three main reasons:

    First, once the renewable infrastructure is built, the fuel is free forever. Unlike carbon-based fuels, the wind and the sun and the earth itself provide fuel that is free, in amounts that are effectively limitless.

    Second, while fossil fuel technologies are more mature, renewable energy technologies are being rapidly improved. So innovation and ingenuity give us the ability to constantly increase the efficiency of renewable energy and continually reduce its cost.

    Third, once the world makes a clear commitment to shifting toward renewable energy, the volume of production will itself sharply reduce the cost of each windmill and each solar panel, while adding yet more incentives for additional research and development to further speed up the innovation process.

    Adding 800 billion gives you a trillion dollars to double things in the first year. We are approaching reality now.

    I think we should try that calculation again with the relevant detail.

    The sunk capital investments in the current system of mining the non-renewables and burning them are destroyed by introduction of renewables.

    That is the price they pay for investing in that technology. Breaking that monopoly needs to be less gradual and not rely on natural dynamics of the market.

    The energy sector has to be divorced from the profit motive because collecting already prepared and intensified deposits of energy is still easier and cheaper than collecting photons and concentrating them.

    The new energy sector requires that profit motive. I think Nuclear is the only non-renewable that compares. See above for relevant reference to cost.*

    Good returns compared to what? People make a lot of money selling the non-renewables. The required investments are beyond any investment group, we are talking about trillions of dollars… and the world is already deep in debt.

    The world is in debt because of non-renewables. Returns on such things as new nuclear and coal energy production take far longer to take effect because they take longer to impliment. The replacement cost makes them not financially viable compared to renewables. The cost imposed because of negative impacts caused will make non-renewables an un-attractive investment. Just like the resources and area required, the capital expenditure is also available for renewables.

    You want a revolution Todd. You don’t have a choice, there HAS to be a revolution, but how do you do that?

    I want a green revolution, we initially do that by making people aware of the consequences of not having one. This can be undertaken under the current financial structure, in fact it needs that structure to be able to deploy. I’m all for de-establishing centralized governments, but this takes time. Which is our most scarce resource.

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  141. Todd:

    “You’ve resorted to cherry picking data again.”

    I have no idea what you are getting at. I have taken what I believe is representative data from your links and analysed it. If you don’t think it is representative, then pick your own data and analyse it and show us where I have distorted anything.

    And what do you mean “again”? When did you (or anyone else) accuse me of cherry picking data previously?

    Now how about answering my question – where are they going to find the rest?

    Trevor.

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  142. Trevor29

    I have taken what I believe is representative data from your links and analysed it.

    You’re trying to imply that they are not able to develop further renewables because of their current dynamic. This is incorrect. They were one of the biggest producers of power in the world, much of it used by industry which no longer exists. Sony has all but shut down all its manufacturing in Japan to name but one major export. I’m not sure that the World realizes what the impact will be from this disaster yet.

    When you include a capacity factor of 40-50%.

    We don’t include a capacity factor. An energy supplied calculation will be the same for all sectors. What limit is there in placing wind turbines around the coasts? What limit is there in developing further solar? These have been proven to be more resilient to earthquake and tsunami than nuclear power plants. Before 2005, Japan was the second largest producer of energy from photovoltaic electricity. Renewable sources in Japan are not to be sneezed at.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Japan

    And what do you mean “again”? When did you (or anyone else) accuse me of cherry picking data previously?

    I seem to recall you not acknowledging relevant data in the cell phone tower debate.

    Now how about answering my question – where are they going to find the rest?

    It is difficult to formulate an answer to this when there are many variables because of the recent disaster there. What we do know is that power consumption will drop with a drop in their GDP. So many of the previous projections no longer apply. I would expect that future developments will favour renewables for Japan.

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  143. Todd

    1. His research paper is essentially the same stuff as is in SA, just less readable.

    2. I found Jacobsen’s papers as well as the SA article by going back through YOUR link on wiki and then to stanford and his home page and thence to his papers and this one happened to be on line.

    3. Perhaps you should do this yourself. I said I am tired of this thread, and I am

    4. I see you are pretending to lecture me about science again. Funny, I found it and skimmed it and decided to link the more accessible writing. The path is as I described. You have to skip up a link to get to his page.

    I believe any relative difference is currently negligible. If we stop the investment of unsustainable technologies, we will have doubled the finances to invest in renewables.

    I tend to agree and this approach is very gentle, but it doesn’t approach getting renewables in play on the scale that Jacobsen envisions. My problem is that I think I have shown that the numbers you have offered are not complete… and the numbers he has offered are not actually complete either. He has shown a theoretical possibility. To turn it into reality he needs to consult with Engineers.

    You had initially said 200 billion to get a 20% increase and add 800 million to get 100%… now we will double the 200 billion to get the doubled production? OK… I’ll play… but it won’t do the job. Now it takes 10-11 years to exceed the Gross World Product.

    Here’s one the scientist didn’t mention and many people aren’t quite aware of… Solar Photovoltaic cells aren’t forever – they lose efficiency over time 0.5 to 1% per year as I recall. So there is an ongoing expense associated. Not as bad as burning coal but… not zero.

    If instead you go with estimates of how much will be spent in the current milieu it will be entirely inadequate to do the job.

    I want a green revolution, we initially do that by making people aware of the consequences of not having one.

    With the media owned as completely as it is by the vested interests, you have Buckley’s of doing this your way. Old age and treachery are needed :-)

    You can try your way as much as you like and I’ll even try too, but it won’t do a lick of good.

    You want to change things you have to be sneaky about it – I have been an agent of change all my life. Changed University schedules, train arrangements, technology and management approaches where I work, all by suggesting things just the right way and appealing to just the right motivations. This is the toughest challenge there is.

    You can’t leave the economic system and profit motive in place to get this done. I’ve mapped out the process in this thread and others, and it is easy enough to follow.

    That is the price they pay for investing in that technology. Breaking that monopoly needs to be less gradual and not rely on natural dynamics of the market.

    Again I agree, but you aren’t going to do it by running straight at them. They’ll shoot you down that way. You make it too easy for ‘em.

    BJ

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  144. Todd,

    “Unless you are a denialist, you must realize we do not have time to delay in implementing clean tech alternatives.”

    Of course I realise that we have a problem. However, I also realise that much of our behaviour is based on waste. A far quicker way of dealing with our energy problems is to use less of it. That takes almost no time at all.

    “By implementing renewables, we are thinking of the future.”

    Yes, but in a limited way. Your assumption is that it is at least better than what we have but we might simply be degrading our habitat more slowly. As an interim measure that may not be too bad, but it would be better if we removed the need for the energy entirely. We can then go more slowly and try to think of many generations to come – i.e. indefinitely.

    “You have not shown any evidence that renewables are not sustainable.”

    That’s right but your take is that despite any evidence that they are sustainable, at any scale, we should simply assume that they are sustainable. My point is how do we know what that scale is? Are we already past the point of sustainability? It’s a question, not a statement.

    “An environmental impact assessment is undertaken for every wind farm Tony.”

    Please point me at a full environmental impact assessment; I’d be interested to read it. Do such assessments link up? That is, are they done in isolation?

    “Visual and noise intrusion, electromagnetic interference and possible wildlife collisions can be mitigated.”

    Do you mean that only these particular problems can be mitigated and do you really mean mitigated or do you mean completely solved? How do you know? If you divert energy from natural energy flows then those former flows no longer have the natural effects that they would have had. Is that always neutral, or good, no matter how much energy is involved? How do you know?

    “I can be sure of the scientific consensus saying we will ruin the Earth if we don’t deploy large scale renewable infrastructure.”

    No. All you can be reasonably sure of is that such deployment will only have that effect if the only alternative is to continue and increase the use of more polluting or dangerous alternatives. It’s not the only choice.

    “A standard of living includes being able to heat your house so does equate to quality of life.”

    It includes living at a comfortable temperature. There are many ways to do that.

    “I think changing the population’s mindset will take time. Like the scientists, I think a change to clean tech is achievable. Collapse is only inevitable if the powers that be remain inactive.”

    Only like a few scientists. I’m not convinced. But the powers that be are inactive and look like they will be for some time. Their primary driver is economic growth and transfer of wealth to the already wealthy. I have seen no sign whatsoever that that will change. It will probably take collapse for that to change, hence my comment.

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  145. Kerry,

    “Less unsustainable is all we can ever do. In the long term nothing is sustainable. It is called entropy.”

    No, we can live sustainably. That doesn’t mean for ever, it means not bringing about our own demise by our own actions.

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  146. bj says “The quality of the resource is more reliable the further south one goes. ”

    No – it’s not.

    I don’t know if you’ve heard of hoar frosts in the far south. They happen in winter when frosts build up over days and weeks and happen all the time in winter in the Mackenzie Country and Central otago – particularly Maniototo (where the Lammerlaw Wind farm was proposed).

    The main issues with Project Hayes was
    - it destroyed a pristine wilderness-
    - it required a huge amount of money to build a line to connect it to the grid (paid for by taxpayers – not Meridian)
    - it required and upgrade of the gird where it did join it (paid for by taxpayers – not Meridian)
    - it required a new Cook Strait cable (paid for by taxpayers – not Meridian)
    - it would suffer the worst transmission losses in NZ, to take power from the bottom of the SI to the top of the NI (paid for by consumers – not Meridian)
    - and the Green Party didn’t say a thing about it at all – they weren’t so much sitting on the fence, as cowering behind it hiding. I know many envronmentalists in the south were disgusted with them. What’s the use of a green party if they hide when there’s environmental issues that need to be fought for?

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  147. bj – the point with the hoar frosts, is they build up over long periods, but it has to be completely still for the whole time with no wind at all.

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  148. Todd – a capacity factor for a wind farm reflects how often and how strongly the wind blows. You can’t just use the name-plate rating and assume the wind blows strongly all the time. Typical wind farm capacity factors are around 30%. New Zealand is lucky in that many of our wind farms get closer to 40-50%.

    How much do you expect their consumption to drop? It was over 1000 TWHrs in 2008. Even if it halved, that would still be 500TWHrs/year.

    And to answer your question about limits – having enough suitable land is a big limit.

    Trevor.

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  149. The main issues with Project Hayes was
    - it required a huge amount of money to build a line to connect it to the grid (paid for by taxpayers – not Meridian)
    - it required and upgrade of the gird where it did join it (paid for by taxpayers – not Meridian)

    The existing southland generation is about 1700MW, and Hayes would add (when finished) around 600MW. The existing Southland transmission network is under stress anyway, particularly on the 110KV side, and thus can’t always bring the full generation online due to transmission constraints. So something needs to be done about Southland, Hayes or no Hayes.

    The new generation will jump into a new station that will split the existing Roxborough / Three Mile Hill line, so very little new HV would need to be run.

    - it required a new Cook Strait cable (paid for by taxpayers – not Meridian)

    It doesn’t, but upgrading the link is benificial and is happening anyway. The taxpayer paid for the first link with a 25 year loan, and in its day it was seen by many as a risky project for a government works department to take on, being as it was the longest and highest capacity HVDC link built to that date. It was an absolute bargain and changed the face of New Zealand.

    When it was built the design intent was that the link would be run to best optimse the country’s electicity resources, and thus it basically ran northwards in winter, and southwards (at reduced capacity) in summer, so it had its direction switched twice in most years. Since market reforms the line is switched every which way based on the roll of the dice, sometimes more than twice a day, and this has contributed to premature failures.

    - it would suffer the worst transmission losses in NZ, to take power from the bottom of the SI to the top of the NI (paid for by consumers – not Meridian)

    Thats not really the case, even though it might look like it.

    Assuming popwer is being sent north, and assuming Hayes was the only station online (which it cant be as then South island would be out of power) then you would have the worst possible case of losses, the route probably being roxbourough, clyde, cromwell, twizel, benmore (convert to DC), and then to North Island Haywards (convert to AC) and then to the NI transmission network. But, in reality, there will be several Southland generation plants online, so the northwards power will actually come from stations nearer twizel, and Hayes will be taking up the slack more southwards. Thus the losses will be no worse than today, and will be lower once the HVDC stations are fully modernised, and will also be helped by the new 220KV transmission in the North Island.

    But, and here is the good news: if this station were to be built, then almost certinaly there will be more power sent north, and thus there will be less gas and coal burned in the North Island, which I see as a win.

    But even if it isn’t built, what that means is (like Project Aqua) it wont get built today. But as we get more desperate for the juice, these projects will become projects of national significance, and will go ahead. There is no question that this construction will happen, its just a question of when.

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  150. Did you trouble yourself to look at the map I posted? The wind in the middle of the South Island is not relevant to the global wind field. The farther South you go the more wind hits NZ. The Southmost 10% has wind in both Summer and Winter, and I won’t accept anecdotal evidence of hoarfrost in some inland location in place of Quikscat data. Go south, get wind. Every Sailor understands that.

    As for the project I have no knowledge of why it was proposed in Central Otago… I would be astonished to find the wind as strong and constant there as it would be on the West Coast. I don’t understand the lack of farms near Wellington, except for the nimby noises. Those will help North Island better, and the wind resource at that point is excellent.

    As for the connections and losses, those are costs that have to be eaten if you are describing a power supply for Auckland being built somewhere in the near neighborhood of Invercargill, and they may in fact be required if the wind in one place is more reliable and stronger than that in another. If the infrastructure belongs to the State as it SHOULD I have no problem with the state paying for it, but then, I think Meridian should belong to the State as well, for reasons that have to do with economics and money as much as any notions about energy.

    I like it when I catch it from both sides. Helps me to know I’m not being one-sided :-)

    BJ

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  151. BJ

    3. Perhaps you should do this yourself. I said I am tired of this thread, and I am.

    Then why keep posting and saying “safe” nukes is the way to go and renewables are unaffordable?

    4. I see you are pretending to lecture me about science again. Funny, I found it and skimmed it and decided to link the more accessible writing. The path is as I described. You have to skip up a link to get to his page.

    I’m not lecturing you. I asked to see the research paper, which you said you had attached. You hadn’t. An American interpretation is not appropriate.

    I tend to agree and this approach is very gentle, but it doesn’t approach getting renewables in play on the scale that Jacobsen envisions.

    Step 1, stop investing in new non-renwables and invest in new renewables thus doubling the investment capital.

    Now it takes 10-11 years to exceed the Gross World Product.

    No! Because the investment/production is not linear. I thought we agreed on that?

    So there is an ongoing expense associated.

    There is a far greater ongoing expense with non-renewables. When the renewables come online, there will be further investment capital available because there are less ongoing expenses associated.

    With the media owned as completely as it is by the vested interests.

    This is an issue. Especially in getting people to use less when they are programed to consume. When there is a consensus about climate change by the scientists who have studied the issue in depth, there needs to be a consensus with politicians and media organizations. I would like to know of somebody who is not aware of climate change these days though.

    You can try your way as much as you like and I’ll even try too, but it won’t do a lick of good.

    You’re being a defeatist.

    You can’t leave the economic system and profit motive in place to get this done. I’ve mapped out the process in this thread and others, and it is easy enough to follow.

    I think that if climate change is used as a vehicle for other ideals, it will repel those most able to pay to effect change, Capitalists.

    Again I agree, but you aren’t going to do it by running straight at them. They’ll shoot you down that way. You make it too easy for ‘em.

    I’m not sure I know what you mean? It is removing the whole monetary system that will make “them” pull out their guns.

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  152. Tony

    Of course I realise that we have a problem. However, I also realise that much of our behaviour is based on waste. A far quicker way of dealing with our energy problems is to use less of it. That takes almost no time at all.

    You’re correct in that one aspect of solving the crises is in using less energy and recycling things that are produced. However this change might be the hardest to effect because half of the issue lies in educating people who are pretty set in their ways. The other half is in designing and building equipment that uses less energy. This takes time. There has been a program of this within the manufacturing sector however it needs to be further implemented.

    As an interim measure that may not be too bad, but it would be better if we removed the need for the energy entirely. We can then go more slowly and try to think of many generations to come – i.e. indefinitely.

    I don’t think this is really an option. It is likely that we will sacrifice ourselves for our lifestyles, even with knowledge. I think your point best applies to my contention that there should be one nuclear reactor used for development purposes.

    That’s right but your take is that despite any evidence that they are sustainable, at any scale, we should simply assume that they are sustainable. My point is how do we know what that scale is? Are we already past the point of sustainability? It’s a question, not a statement.

    Until you can show that they are not sustainable, they will be attributed with that name.

    Please point me at a full environmental impact assessment; I’d be interested to read it. Do such assessments link up? That is, are they done in isolation?

    Let’s look at the known impacts:

    1, Noise pollution. Can be mitigated through better design and where they are situated.

    2, Visual impact. They have far less visual impact than their non-renewable counterparts. Can be mitigated to a degree by where they are situated.

    3, Wildlife impact. Can be mitigated through the consent process. Bird life is very slightly affected and has more issues with other obstacles.

    4, Wind disturbance. Don’t be ridiculous! There are low turbulence rotors. The two posed issue here are moisture loss from the surrounding ground and heat dissipation from the mechanism. Both of these if relevant at all would be very minor effects. Solution: Plant around the base with shrubs, use better lubrication to inhibit friction.

    5, Electrical disturbance. Installation of additional transmitter masts and mitigated by where the turbines are situated.

    6, Materials. Windmills can be built so that all materials can be recycled.

    http://www.cres.gr/kape/publications/papers/dimosieyseis/CRESTRANSWINDENVIRONMENT.doc

    Do you mean that only these particular problems can be mitigated and do you really mean mitigated or do you mean completely solved? How do you know? If you divert energy from natural energy flows then those former flows no longer have the natural effects that they would have had. Is that always neutral, or good, no matter how much energy is involved? How do you know?

    Read the study.

    No. All you can be reasonably sure of is that such deployment will only have that effect if the only alternative is to continue and increase the use of more polluting or dangerous alternatives. It’s not the only choice.

    Switching everything off is not an option.

    Only like a few scientists. I’m not convinced. But the powers that be are inactive and look like they will be for some time. Their primary driver is economic growth and transfer of wealth to the already wealthy. I have seen no sign whatsoever that that will change. It will probably take collapse for that to change, hence my comment.

    I think Obama gave 70 Billion to renewable development last year. Renewables generate wealth. I know they can improve their response, but I’m getting a bit bored of the defeatism shown by some here. Renewables have mitigating effects on the environment. The funding, areas, materials and will power is available to implement them… Whether this will be in time is debatable.

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  153. The change in the monetary system overturns something that half of “them” reckon is entirely broken anyway. There is leverage to it. There is popular will to change it “somehow”, and offering a change that backs the money with something real is quite well supported in places that have no “Green” or “Liberal” presence at all. In this country it can be done, and if we do it our example will push over the economic house of cards globally. The revolution will be “on”. Leave off this step and their power will erase every word you speak.

    Todd, you did try to lecture me, you did not follow the trail I described to find the other paper – that would have involved YOU doing some work instead of demanding it of me. You are sidestepping issues of cost and being unrealistic about achieving your aims.

    You can call me defeatist if you like, but I HAVE changed things in this world in my life. Middling sized things, but affecting far more than my own life. It is something I have always done. This is harder than those and I have earned the right to be pessimistic about the outcome.

    The direct path leads to the strongest defenses. The real opposition to these changes come from entrenched wealth and power, both of which can be lost to the current holders if change occurs.

    The weakness of entrenched wealth and power is the wide public perception of economic malfeasance and incompetence as economic conditions continue to be weak and money remains based on the imagination of the bankers. People don’t like that. Ordinary people and very conservative people bridle at the thought that their money represents nothing but a medium of exchange at the mercy of the banks. That revolt is ready to happen today. All it would take would be a decent shove by some public figures here in NZ and it can be done.

    If you want to win change you hit weak spots, not strong ones. With the money based on energy and the energy sector no longer managed on short term profit-motive but with the importance of safe, low-emission and renewable sources raised above short term profit, the changes YOU want become a slam-dunk.

    As long as they control the money, they own us and won’t even give us small change.

    I am patient, and you are still impatient, impetuous and I think, young, and that last is not a criticism. Your posts simply have that flavor.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  154. Tony, You might be interested to read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparisons_of_life-cycle_greenhouse_gas_emissions

    Trevor29

    Todd – a capacity factor for a wind farm reflects how often and how strongly the wind blows. You can’t just use the name-plate rating and assume the wind blows strongly all the time. Typical wind farm capacity factors are around 30%. New Zealand is lucky in that many of our wind farms get closer to 40-50%.

    The issue as photonz1 has pointed out, is with cold still climates. However the normal scenario is that when it is cold and raining ie when you need power to heat your home, it is also windy. Renewable sources are very holistic towards each other with their supply.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_factor

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Available_Energy-4.png

    How much do you expect their consumption to drop? It was over 1000 TWHrs in 2008. Even if it halved, that would still be 500TWHrs/year.

    I don’t think it will halve.

    And to answer your question about limits – having enough suitable land is a big limit.

    There is enough suitable land available.

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  155. BJ

    The direct path leads to the strongest defenses. The real opposition to these changes come from entrenched wealth and power, both of which can be lost to the current holders if change occurs.

    Let’s try some more rhetoric then; They will lose their power and control if they do not embrace the change.

    If you want to win change you hit weak spots, not strong ones. With the money based on energy and the energy sector no longer managed on short term profit-motive but with the importance of safe, low-emission and renewable sources raised above short term profit, the changes YOU want become a slam-dunk.

    The short term profit motive is why renewables have had such opposition and have been slow to be implemented. However renewables give better short term profits. I personally think that undertaking an enterprise that is profitable and changes the flow of money over a period of time is better than attacking those with wealth directly by trying to change the monetary system. Capitalists are waking up to the fact that renewables can be highly profitable, we need that capital investment to increase production.

    As long as they control the money, they own us and won’t even give us small change.

    Change is happening BJ, are you not aware of it?

    I am patient, and you are still impatient, impetuous and I think, young, and that last is not a criticism. Your posts simply have that flavor.

    Let us be concise then: You think nuclear energy is an option, I do not as it produces over seven times as much greenhouse gas emission as the least polluting renewable, wind power. It is also dangerous. You think that the monetary system needs to change before renewables can be fully implemented, I do not because renewables are more profitable than non-renewables and as such more investment capital will become available. Resorting to name calling is not helpful.

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  156. However renewables give better short term profits.

    Not to those who own the fossil resources or their distribution systems.

    as such more investment capital will become available

    Where will that come from? The system is quite broken and it isn’t like the stimulus money is being directed to anything actually useful. In the end any money that appears will be from the taxpayers, not from “investors”.

    The bias is drill-baby-drill. That is where the investment and the big payoffs are in the current market. You haven’t changed that and you aren’t changing that, and it will be a decade before it changes enough due to resource shortages for it to change because the economics force it to change.

    I take it you went to Wiki here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparisons_of_life-cycle_greenhouse_gas_emissions

    — but then you compared nuclear to wind rather than to the non-renewable things it actually would replace, which it improves on by a similar factor.

    Wind 9
    Nuclear 66
    Gas (the lowest fossil emitter) 443

    Which is better – the Nuke or the Gas plant?

    For an equal amount of electricity, what is the CURRENT installed cost?

    http://nuclearfissionary.com/2010/04/02/comparing-energy-costs-of-nuclear-coal-gas-wind-and-solar/

    That’s what you are fighting with your profit motive Todd, and it isn’t a good look at all.

    I am not claiming that this is correct in terms of cost evaluations (I really doubt their decommissioning numbers), but it is perception and propaganda you have to fight, as much as reality…. and replacing a single 1 GW nuke with 2000 1 MW wind turbines at a 50% load factor and the intermittency issues of wind, is not an easy sell outside the Green party.

    I would buy it, but I am not put off by the appearance of a two hundred and fifty square kilometer (an eighth of a square kilometer per turbine) wind farm or the need to build a soundproof (otherwise known as “properly insulated” :-) ) building here or there.

    You want this done, it needs something other than profit motive.

    BJ

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  157. The profit motive is not going to do it.
    The biggest investor in renewable energy of the oil companies is BP.

    About a billion dollars out of a profit of 26 billion, before the Deepwater Horizon accident.
    Or about a 20th of their exploration spend.

    American energy companies are busy spending on lobbying against climate change prevention and renewable energy policies.

    Not to mention open and hidden US Government subsidies to oil companies. Including sending in troops to ensure supply.

    The enormous sunk costs and investment in fossil fuels make a transfer to renewables impossible if it is left to private enterprise.

    Under our present system, where corporate interests control the Government, the required pace of change will not happen.

    Government inertia and capture by vested interests will allow only slow progress likely will be derailed anyway by citizens rebelling against decreasing standards of living as the down side of changes will not be shared equally under our dog eat dog system.

    Democracy, removal of corporate political power and a sustainable financial system are the only hope of meaningful change in time.

    It will take an equivalent social and economic effort to a world war.

    I am not optimistic about the future..

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  158. That is what bj has been saying – a long, hard haul to bring energy back into community control, including buying out or nationalising existing systems from companies who influence governments.

    Mind you, this is what they said when people first started to say that slavery should be abolished – impossible, the whole economy rests on it, what about the entire industry that has grown up around it, there is no alternative etc etc etc

    Wasn’t quick, but the impossible did happen. Have to start somewhere, sometime.

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  159. BJ

    Where will that come from?

    Let me explain again; as renewables do not need to finance such things a coal or oil getting drilled out of the ground, they are cheaper to maintain. So effectively the money that the public pays for their power will go towards more development and not fuel. The more renewables on line, the more money there is to reinvest.

    The system is quite broken and it isn’t like the stimulus money is being directed to anything actually useful.

    Lots of money is getting invested in renewables. You’re being a defeatist again.

    In the end any money that appears will be from the taxpayers, not from “investors”.

    Finance is from investors, taxpayers the consumers and dirty energy. I believe investors will get a good return on such investment, the taxpayers should get a return because less tax will be required to fund energy fuel consumption in time and the consumer should get a return when energy becomes cheaper because there are less overheads with renewables.

    I take it you went to Wiki here.

    I went to the link I provided.

    But then you compared nuclear to wind rather than to the non-renewable things it actually would replace, which it improves on by a similar factor.

    Replacing coal with renewables lessens the impact on climate change, however I believe renewables should replace old nuclear first because of the danger these pose. The cost of such “accidents” is not included in the attached data.

    That’s what you are fighting with your profit motive Todd, and it isn’t a good look at all.

    I would hardly rely on a pro nuke article to provide accurate information.

    You want this done, it needs something other than profit motive.

    I would have thought climate change ending our existence was an effective motivator. With renewable companies stocks experiencing a 15 to 25% surge each day after Fukushima, I think the profit motive might be enough on its own. Unfortunately some of the swing is towards coal as well though.

    Renewables are infinitely more secure than oil from the middle east and dangerous nuclear power that cannot sustain earthquakes and tsunami. Coal fired power plants have a life span as short as 25 years, that’s about as long as the warranty on solar panels. Nuclear has a lifespan as low as 30 years. Wind turbines have a life span of 25 years without needing to be overhauled. The difference in swapping a few parts in a turbine and decommissioning a nuclear reactor is where the bulk of savings can be made.

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  160. “..The difference in swapping a few parts in a turbine and decommissioning a nuclear reactor is where the bulk of savings can be made…”

    that is the elephant in the room the pro-nukes ignore..

    what do you do with the fucken thing after its’ twenty-five years life….

    ..and all the glowing-rods…that you have to somehow ‘store’…

    ..for thousands of fucken years…!

    f.f.s..!

    how does that ‘cost’ not outweigh all others…?

    why are we even considering this crap….!

    ..you are a nuke-troll…b.j…

    ..distracting and dissembling…

    ..sucking up the energy…eh..?

    ..answer that question…eh..?

    ..what do you do with the fucken glowing rods..

    ..that have a ‘life’..make that death-sentence..

    ..of thousands of years..?

    (like most engineers..bj..you are a linear-thinker…

    ..and that is your rod to bear….

    …and that limitation blinds you to a large degree…)

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  161. I wish it was possible to examine all sides of a question without someone abusing people who don’t totally agree with them or have a different perspective to offer. Phil, do you really need to swear abuse at people who are not being rude to you?

    I can see why few women bother to comment on some of these threads – it get pretty unpleasant at times and most of us really don’t need abuse in our lives. Please grow up, guys.

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  162. The huge radioactive elephant isn’t going to change its spots anytime soon and was mad to begin with. It would have to be to build the damn things in the first place. Did you notice them all jump up and down about how Fukushima had electricity again, when all that had happened was a cable was laid to unit 2, no power supplied… What about all those heroic brave workers running around fixing everything and risking their lives and are we all meant to feel sorry for the manager who tells us they’ve been lying all along and has a little cry? The conflicting reports, bullshit portrayal and media blackout of the disaster at Fukushima is disgusting!

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  163. dbuckley says “The new generation will jump into a new station that will split the existing Roxborough / Three Mile Hill line, so very little new HV would need to be run.”

    Wrong – it is proposed to go in the completely OPPOSITE direction, with a whole new line needed all the way through to Benmore.

    Perhaps you are thinking of the Mahinerangi Wind Farm which is nearby and is connecting into the Roxburgh – Dn line (turbines are going up as we speak).

    Experts have been saying for years that we need to build generation close to where it’s needed. It’s highly inefficient and high risk for security of supply when you try to power cities from the opposite end of the country.

    Mahinerangi was close to the high voltage line and is intended for local use. Project Hayes was too big to be cionnectedf into any existing lines, needed a whole nwew line all the way to Benmore, needed upgrades all the way to Wellington, and would suffer huge transmission losses.

    As for your claim that power would be used locally – that’s wrong to. It was never for local use – we couldn’t use the power if we wanted.

    Otago produces ten times more power than it can use. And the proposed line for Project Hayes didn’t even connect to the local Otago network – it headed north to Benmore.

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  164. I would have thought climate change ending our existence was an effective motivator

    When I was 20 I thought the same way. I was as wrong then as you are now.

    …and you didn’t provide any link to that data. I did.

    I believe renewables should replace old nuclear first

    Good, unsafe nukes go first. THAT is agreeable.

    I would hardly rely on a pro nuke article to provide accurate information.

    Strangely enough I pointed out the specific area where I believe they understate their costs. DIDN’T I !!

    It would be nice if you gave people credit for what they actually say and do guys… I’m providing the links and pointing out specific problems and the two of you are claiming credit or simply ignoring that effort. Not a good look.

    Both of you have apparently forgotten that all I advocated was that Nuclear could be used as a bridge to ease the transition from fossil to renewables, not as a replacement for renewables… and that I advocated Thorium fuel cycles…

    …and that was only applicable in other countries, not here…

    …and that the profit motive was a bad way to run a nuclear power plant

    ________really surprised to get that argued here_____

    The profit motive does not work for us unless very long (in commercial terms – longer than one financial quarter) time spans are involved. It is positively the WORST basis to manage a nuclear plant. It is the VERY reason why you cannot believe the cost-per-KWH numbers of the nuclear power industry… and the reason why safety issues aren’t included in those numbers.

    How can you miss the parallel to the larger environmental milieu ? I can see that you’ve missed it. The fractal pattern repeats from the small nuclear plant level up to the global energy production level with almost perfect fidelity… right down to having potentially fatal consequences… and yet you rabbit on about wanting profit motive involved.

    Phil – I would rather have a problem to build a storage structure in the Outback, or a deep injection bores into a subduction zone, than have the problem of people dying because the ocean is rising, the croplands are flooded, the weather has turned to utter crap and they have no energy for heating and cooling, manufacturing, lighting or transportation. Fukushima happened because the profit motive was put in charge of a nuclear plant. That does not mean nuclear is inherently unmanageable and unsafe. It means the PROFIT MOTIVE is inherently unmanageable and unsafe.

    Linear thinking: Yeah…. We have to survive the next 100 years to have the problem of dealing with the waste for another 1000. You have a better idea? I can have a difficult problem which we CAN solve, or an utterly impossible problem which can kill us all. Which problem do you think I should choose?

    “The invisible hand also kills” – fer crissakes – you two are both almost certainly more left of center than I am and you’re telling me YOU want the invisible hand in charge of the energy supply of the planet? I feel as though I’ve somehow slipped through the looking glass.

    BJ
    (shaking head incredulously)

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  165. Photonz – “Huge transmission losses” – Can you quantify in terms of percentage or show me where you get the numbers? Large losses aren’t always bad (just always worse than not having them) but I’d rather have industry in Southland that uses the electricity there, than shipping it all that way to Auckland. Persuading people to move to Southland… I don’t know that it would be THAT hard.

    Would it? :-)

    BJ

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  166. bj – the power companies are very secretive about how much they lose in transmission lossea, but they sometimes let stuff slip.

    Like Trustpower when applying for resource consent for a new project in the Waiau Valley in Marlborough, boasted they would save 22% in transmission losses by having a local supply for Blenheim instead transfering power from the lower South Island.

    I expect this was an exageration, as the figures for losses I’ve seen elsewhere to send power from the lower SI to Auckland were
    SI network 5-10% loss
    Cook Straight Cable 5-15% loss
    NI network 5-30%.

    I think the average is probably at the bottom end of these figures, but it’s not a constant. In certain conditions like south to north transmission loadings, getting power to Auckland can result in up to 55% in transmission losses for short periods.

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  167. BJ

    When I was 20 I thought the same way. I was as wrong then as you are now.

    It is very arrogant to believe that you have more wisdom because of a presumption about age.

    …and you didn’t provide any link to that data. I did.

    Please refer to my post: March 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM. If you are refering to the Scientific study that states renewables can power the Earth by 2030, which you have not linked to… You’re both correct and wrong. An article is not the research.

    It would be nice if you gave people credit for what they actually say and do guys… I’m providing the links and pointing out specific problems and the two of you are claiming credit or simply ignoring that effort. Not a good look.

    I’m not trying to win a beauty competition.

    Both of you have apparently forgotten that all I advocated was that Nuclear could be used as a bridge to ease the transition from fossil to renewables.

    Because deployment of renewables is faster than nuclear power, your assertion is defunct.

    …and that the profit motive was a bad way to run a nuclear power plant.

    I agree that a profit motive for nuclear power plants is not good because of the relative danger when corners are cut to maximise profits. I think we can attribute the Fukushima incident directly to this dynamic.

    Really surprised to get that argued here.

    Nobody here has directly argued against that assertion. My contention is that the profit motive will exist despite your wishes and the profit motive can in fact help to implement and deploy renewables quicker. There is more profit in renewables after all.

    How can you miss the parallel to the larger environmental milieu?

    I’m guessing you’re asking me this question? My argument has been all about the milieu. How have you not understood that?

    I can see that you’ve missed it. The fractal pattern repeats from the small nuclear plant level up to the global energy production level with almost perfect fidelity… right down to having potentially fatal consequences… and yet you rabbit on about wanting profit motive involved.

    Assuming we have no understanding and name calling again BJ… I mean really! My assertion is that renewables are more profitable than non renewables and as such involving a profit motive will increase production and deployment. The only down side is that once they are implemented, the price for energy for consumers will not decline as fast because of the investment dynamic.

    I would rather have a problem to build a storage structure in the Outback, or a deep injection bores into a subduction zone, than have the problem of people dying because the ocean is rising.

    If you believe nuclear power is the answer, you need to show that it can be deployed faster than renewables?

    Fukushima happened because the profit motive was put in charge of a nuclear plant.

    Fukushima happened because nuclear power is fundamentally unsafe. The Japanese are just lucky prevailing winds have not killed thousands more.

    Linear thinking: Yeah…. We have to survive the next 100 years to have the problem of dealing with the waste for another 1000. You have a better idea? I can have a difficult problem which we CAN solve, or an utterly impossible problem which can kill us all. Which problem do you think I should choose?

    I think you’re being silly again, you’ve clearly lost the contention within your argument. Do I have to state my argument again or can you remember it?

    “The invisible hand also kills” – fer crissakes – you two are both almost certainly more left of center than I am and you’re telling me YOU want the invisible hand in charge of the energy supply of the planet? I feel as though I’ve somehow slipped through the looking glass.

    The “invisible hand” is in charge of the planets energy. How long do you think it has taken for that hand to grow so massive? How long do you think your jumping up and down about it is going to make it go away? You assert that we’re wrong because we’re not as centre green as you while implying we have no concern for financial restructuring. Both are wrong and weak arguments. BTW it was my contention, not anybody else’s.

    BJ, I think you need to remove the personal issues from this thread as the topic is more important than your ego.

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  168. Photonz1

    The only reason there would be a considerable drop would be because the wrong type of cable was used or the voltage was not enough. High-temperature superconductivity should make your issue a thing of the past. They probably cannot give a definitive amount photonz1 because loss is variable due to the fact that variable power transmission is less efficient.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-temperature_superconductivity

    PS I liked your first answer before you put all the percentages in.

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  169. Todd,

    “Until you can show that they are not sustainable, they will be attributed with that name.”

    I’m sorry to read that. So until you’re convinced that something is unsustainable, then you assume it’s sustainable? Is it possible for you to verify that assumption? If not, don’t you think we should proceed with caution? We’ve already seen what becoming dependent on an unsustainable energy source can do.

    What resources are used in the construction, operation and maintenance of a wind farm? Are they all produced and used sustainably? However, I’m not referring only to the resources but the impact of operating a wind farm (or a solar farm, or whatever).

    Your link wasn’t to a full environmental impact assessment, it was to a document which appears to have been written to support a prior position, as is evidenced by the author’s list of benefits and its comparison to fossil fuel energy. That is, it doesn’t even pretend to do an environmental impact assessment, since its sole objective is to prove that wind energy is better than conventional (non-renewable) energy sources. It then starts to address “the most common concerns”, i.e. it is not a full environmental impact assessment, has no references and is probably not even objective.

    In general, when diverting natural energy flows, we must ask “what doesn’t happen as a result, and what extra happens as a result”, quite apart from the obvious common concerns. In nature, you can’t do just one thing. There are always consequences and we have to try to determine what those consequences are and whether there is some scale at which those consequences aren’t going to have a negative impact on our only habitat.

    “Read the study.”

    It can hardly be described as a “study”, in the scientific sense.

    “Switching everything off is not an option.”

    I didn’t write it was. Why state this opinion when it isn’t relevant to the thread?

    “I think Obama gave 70 Billion to renewable development last year.”

    I’m not sure where you got that figure from. In this year’s budget he did extend tax credits, to the tune of 75 billion over 10 years (which averages 7.5 billion per year) but direct spending appears to amount to only 3.6 billion in this year’s DOE budget. The total DOE budget is about 30 billion.

    “Renewables have mitigating effects on the environment.”

    No question. But your enthusiasm blinds you to the possibility that renewable energy is not the silver bullet (or should that be green bullet) that you think it is.

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  170. Todd says “PS I liked your first answer before you put all the percentages in.”

    Liking or not liking is not relevant. That’s what the losses are, and whether we like them or not won’t change that.

    Though with the biggest losses when there is very high load, up grades to S and N Island networks and Cook Strait will ease that. Then demand will go up and we have the same issue (or spend more an additional upgrades).

    Either way, Projetc Hayes is very inefficient – it either has serious transmission losses or needs taxpayers to spend hundreds of millions in transmission upgrades.

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  171. So on one side we have Tony saying we need to implement renewables even slower because they might be bad cause there are no scientific studies and on the other we have BJ saying nuclear power should replace coal and gas instead of renewables and then we have photonz1 saying transmission losses are really really bad!

    Tony, if you don’t mean to switch things off, what is your answer?

    BJ, why not renewables instead of nuclear?

    Photonz, what is the other option that does not have transmission loss?

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  172. “..Phil, do you really need to swear abuse at people who are not being rude to you? ..”

    i tend to get agitated about glowing nuclear rods…

    ..i find them far more hurtful ..in real terms…

    …than the word fuck…

    ..eh..?

    ..it’s a political debate…on life/planet-threatening issues..

    ..not a bloody tea-party..eh..?

    ..so i’m sorry..

    ..but your sensitivities just don’t rate…eh..?

    ..and women largely not commenting on blogs isn’t restricted to frogblog…

    …why do you think that is..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  173. Todd says “I believe investors will get a good return on such investment,…”

    I have an investment which is a new energy fund which covers several renewable energy companies and new energy technology conmpanies i.e. American Superconductor is the largest individual holding in the fund. Unfortunately, it’s almost the worst investment I’ve ever made.

    The fund is now down 60% from a decade ago. The problem in the renewable sector is that there is a lot of money that goes into new technology, but it you haven’t made a good return from it in two or three years, your technology is outdated.

    As for how long wind turbines last – I recently read there are now over 14,000 dead wind turbines in California.

    Don’t get me wrong – I think wind generation is a good idea but it does have big limitations.

    Like it needs to be a supplement to the system rather than a major part of it – i.e. you still need to be able to generate 100% of your needs without it, at times when there is no wind.

    And wind is very much scale driven – small scale is not very efficient. A friend has a place in location known for its wind and his turbine generates just 10% of the energy generated by solar panels which cost the same.

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  174. and janine…i used the term ‘fucken’ when talking about those glowing-rods…

    not any person..

    so yr total argument is a strawman..

    and pointing out that bj is a nuke-troll..

    ..is merely stating a fact…

    so really…you are being a tad precious..eh..?

    ..don’t you think..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  175. Todd asks “Photonz, what is the other option that does not have transmission loss?”

    What the experts have been saying for years. We need to build generation close to where it’s needed – not the far end of the country.

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  176. Todd,

    “Tony, You might be interested to read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparisons_of_life-cycle_greenhouse_gas_emissions

    Thanks. It’s interesting that, so far as CO2 emissions are concerned, renewables also have a footprint. I hope that, at some scale, those emissions can be removed, perhaps by planting food forests instead of pastures. Though the level of emissions is low, we have to ensure that we don’t keep adding to the carbon in the atmosphere, since we are possibly already at a critical level but, even if we weren’t, an additional carbon source from renewables (if unbalanced by strategies that remove carbon) would simply mean that CO2 levels will continue to increase, though more slowly.

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  177. The argument against Lammerlaw for wind generation. That we are spoiling a unique landscape, when better options exist closer to the demand, holds good though.

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  178. Todd,

    “we have Tony saying we need to implement renewables even slower because they might be bad cause there are no scientific studies”

    Well, I’m saying the first goal should be to use less energy and then, if we need to do more than close down polluting plants, we can start to replace coal and gas fired generation with renewables but after carrying out both a comprehensive general environmental impact assessment and individual project EIAs, and whilst continuing to measure and observe the impacts of each implementation and in combination. Why do you think we shouldn’t do it right, this time?

    “Tony, if you don’t mean to switch things off, what is your answer?”

    Jeez, you flip from one extreme to the other. First you say that I want everything switched off on now you think I mean that we shouldn’t switch anything off. Can’t you think in terms other than extremes? We should switch some things off, that would certainly be part of using less but it’s not the only way we can use less energy.

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  179. Kerry – I’ve seen a quote from Contact Energy’s Hydro manager saying they lose around 10% sending power north (in 2009), and the peak figure of 55% loss were Transpowers own figures.

    As mentioned, this is the temporary peak when everything is loaded up – not the average. Also this figure is very old, like your 2002 figure. While upgrades happened in ther 2000s, loads also went up significantly

    More recent major upgrades through the Waikato and Cook Strait should help lower this in more recent years.

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  180. This thread is so long. I started reading at the top got about a quarter of the way down. Good work Todd, and Phil U, I get agitated about glowing rods throwing radiation into the air also.
    I think the news blackout on the Fukushima plant shows how corrupt the media are – 1 sentence per hour about the story gripping the world. Shows how vested interests control what we hear about the nuclear industry, and how important it is to them that we don’t think about it.
    BBC said a Japanese official said they have stopped measuring it.(!) Today’s scrolling headline “2 of the reactors are now under control” referring of course to 5 and 6 which were anyway.
    Nuclear pollution lasts for thousands of years and reactors and waste dumps are leaking all across the planet, permanently adding to background radiation.
    So BJ, at the risk of being impolite, you can take your nuclear waste and. . .

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  181. Actually, Ploss = P²R/V² (more commonly expressed as I²R losses) isn’t the whole story; power losses are quite complex, because reactive losses play a significant part in AC transmission, and as the voltage goes up the reactive losses go up.

    You can see these reactive losses: picture here.

    So you have resistive heating losses favouring a higher voltage, and reactive losses favouring a lower voltage. Thus getting the “right” voltage for a transmission systm is an optimisation and a compromise.

    Generally, as the power goes up, the optimisations favour higher voltage.

    This loss scenario is why we have transmission at several voltages in the range from 66KV to (overseas) 765KV, with ABB now talking about 1.1MV lines.

    This is also why HVDC is a big winner over longer distances at higher powers, as there are no reactive losses.

    Ideally, in an electrical grid system, mostly electricity is generated somewhat nearby where it is used, and the “grid” is actually about security of supply. Under this conditions, the losses are generally quite low, single digit percents.

    Where you send electricity long distances, using a “standard” grid, the losses do increase with distance. The Kiwi HVDC system provides a relatively low loss system to get power from Benmore to Heywards. Its actually better to visualise the NZ electical system as two islands stacked on top of one another with Benmore and Heywards vertically aligned. To any reasonable approximation, when the HVDC link is going northwards then you have an extra gigawatt of generation in the Hutt Valley.

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  182. The arguement about minimising transmission losses by building generation close to the demand is fine except for one small detail – it only works well for non-renewables, as the renewables are where they are, not where we want them to be. Centres of demand and usually centres of population and these tend to be nice, safe, flat(tish) areas well away from high peaks, valleys with lots of water pouring down them, big waves, geysers,… About the only renewable that is common in populated areas is solar, and that is available for only a limited part of each day.

    If you want to use renewable power, you need to use it where it is available and when it is available, and that means shifting the power around with transmission lines and/or storing it with expensive storage systems (plus some demand-side management). It also means using spacial diversification to take advantage of the variations in wind (and solar) over the country.

    Trevor.

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  183. Trevor – Auckland has a massive amount of untapped renewable on it’s doorstep. The flow in and out of Manukau Harbour is so great that the standing waves several storeys tall form kilometres out from the heads.

    It makes the Waikato River look like a dripping tap. Figures I’ve ssen are Waikato River at Huntly is 290 cumecs/sec, vs Manukau Heads average of nearly 25,000 cumecs/sec.

    And there’s also Kaipara. And potential for massive wind farms near Port Waikato. http://www.contactenergy.co.nz/web/view?page=/contentiw/pages/ourprojects/waikatowindfarm&vert=pr

    Wellington has wind, Cook Strait tides, and tidal surges so strong in Marlbrorough Sounds that it forms white water.

    Christchurch has Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours for tidal, Banks Peninsula for wind.

    Dunedin has Otago Harbour and wind farm sites all over the place.

    And of course the advantage of tides over wind is we can work out exactly how much power we can expect at 7am on July 20 2013, or any time of any day at any point in the future.

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  184. and on the other we have BJ saying nuclear power should replace coal and gas instead of renewables

    Where did I write instead of? Eh? Look at the energy replacement that has to be done… it can’t be done with all renewables fast enough, any more than it can be done with all nuclear, the manufacturing resources aren’t in place and the problem is immense.

    When were you arguing that I was thinking linearly Todd? That was Phil.

    ..that have a ‘life’..make that death-sentence..

    ..of thousands of years..?

    (like most engineers..bj..you are a linear-thinker…

    ..and that is your rod to bear….

    …and that limitation blinds you to a large degree…)

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    I was being “arrogant”? No – Your approach to obtaining the necessary change will not work.

    It is right and it is just and it is what we have to do and it WILL NOT WORK. I know this through experience that you CLEARLY have not had. I can surmise from that that you are younger than I, and because I was 20 when I was learning that lesson that is what I labeled as my age when I learned that lesson. I did not guess your age, only your experience.

    ____________________________________

    How fast can one deploy nuclear energy? Seems to me I linked to a seabed reactor module that could be put in place in about the same time it takes to moor a ship up above. Just another of the things I have pointed out to be ignored.

    Here it is again.

    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN_Deep_sea_fission_2001111.html

    Here, have another… with respect to the speed of deployment.

    http://www.nuscalepower.com/

    The problem is not that it can’t be deployed quickly, the problem is that the waste has to be dealt with and they aren’t dealing with it. Phil’s “glowing rods” which he fears so mightily.

    That it can and will work, I have no doubt at all. They should be doing it with a Thorium power cycle to reduce the waste issue to something more manageable but the issue you raised was “how fast” the deployment could be.

    The “glowing rods” can be handled by the two methods I cited.

    Putting in 90 1 MW turbines on 11 square kilometers of suitable wind power site and the power lines to reach the grid, or putting in one of the Nuscale units in a hole next to where the load happens to be.

    – With the wind being available only half the time. Which is going to be most cost-effective over what time scale?

    I do not WANT these things, I simply expect that they are going to be needed to satisfy basic energy requirements in some places while renewables and grid catch up to the convenience.

    My assertion is that renewables are more profitable than non renewables and as such involving a profit motive will increase production and deployment.

    The renewables are more profitable than non-renewables (including nuclear) when all costs are considered and (a shorter term consideration) sunk costs are ignored.

    They are more profitable in a long run that extends past the usual lifetime of a company or a natural person.

    Realistically only a government has the ability to take such time frames into account. In the SHORT run the fools will go ahead and install all the nuclear they can permit, and all the gas turbines and oil burning plant they can find gas and oil for… and that is going to be a boatload of turbines but not of the wind variety.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/oil-shale-reserves-can-turn-israel-into-major-world-producer/story-e6frg9ef-1226025327281

    http://www.katc.com/news/haynesville-shale-becomes-top-u-s-natural-gas-producer/

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/256403-how-much-oil-does-the-u-s-have-in-the-ground-what-does-it-mean-for-investors

    The “profit motive” and “the market” don’t work all that efficiently. You need to notice that the words “market failure” and malinvestment are not uncommon. A lot of that has to do with the prejudices of the people who have made money and invested in the fossil resources. Koch Brothers for an example. A fair bit of it has to do with the investment time horizon that prevails. Renewables pay back over a long haul, the consumables payoff is more immediate (as long as the waste disposal isn’t billed up front)

    You are not going to get where you want to go, or where I want to go or more to the point where I want my kids to be ABLE to go, by expecting people to listen when you tell them the right thing to do, and recognize that it is the right thing and then do it. People don’t work like that and if you don’t know it yet you ARE going to learn it.

    Fire is fundamentally unsafe Todd. Anything that involves large amounts of potential energy is unsafe. Controlling risk and making safe use possible is what we humans do.

    I think you’re being silly again, you’ve clearly lost the contention
    within your argument. Do I have to state my argument again or can you remember it?

    Go ahead and state whatever it is you think your argument is again. I have no wish to trawl the thread for it. I have not contended anything insupportable. I find your assertion as silly as it is insulting.

    The “invisible hand” is in charge of the planets energy. How long do you think it has taken for that hand to grow so massive? How long do you think your jumping up and down about it is going to make it go away?

    I don’t expect to make it go away by jumping up and down. I expect to be proposing policy to the party and working towards the changes I propose. I have explained how to destroy this influence, because it is evil in this application, but not massive. It is like a large balloon, inflated but vulnerable to the slightest puncture.

    You assert that we’re wrong because we’re not as centre green as you while implying we have no concern for financial restructuring. Both are wrong and weak arguments. BTW it was my contention, not anybody else’s.

    No, not because you’re not as center green as I…

    I am asserting you are wrong because you ARE wrong – about the effects of the profit motive on this problem and the way to redress it. You aren’t wrong about the need to switch to renewables. I never argued against that need. The method of getting there is at issue.

    No I did not imply at ANY time that you “did not have any concern for financial restructuring”.

    I have repeatedly pointed out the advantages of attacking the moneyed owners and the mess they’ve created through the money rather than the mess. It is THEIR mess and they’ll defend it to the death, and there is no great popular resentment of them or disagreement with their contentions about their efficiency vs renewables.

    The reason this will work is that the owners of the money have made a hell of a mess of their own. A mess which is resented immensely by the populace which has been bailing them out, and which has got a substantial amount of internal disagreement from the “hard money” schools of thought, largely quite conservative, available to be tapped.

    Which makes money the schwerpunkt , where the change can be started most easily.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  185. Photonz1

    What the experts have been saying for years. We need to build generation close to where it’s needed – not the far end of the country.

    It seems we agree… Will wonders never cease? Renewables can do that better than non-renewables because the pollution level is far less allowing for renewables to be situated closer. There are many areas with enough wind to make turbines applicable where people are living as many of our cities and towns have surrounding hills and ridge-lines making any transmission loss minimal. Our wave and tidal energy is abundant and close to populations, as many people like to live near coasts. Solar should be a standard for all new house construction. This refutes your statement as well Trevor29.

    Tony

    Though the level of emissions is low, we have to ensure that we don’t keep adding to the carbon in the atmosphere, since we are possibly already at a critical level but, even if we weren’t, an additional carbon source from renewables (if unbalanced by strategies that remove carbon) would simply mean that CO2 levels will continue to increase, though more slowly.

    I think the renewable footprint would be from materials, manufacturing and transportation. Much of this will improve, as efficiency through mass production should reduce emissions. We will need to look at some way of mitigating the effect of climate change one-way or the other.

    Why do you think we shouldn’t do it right, this time?

    What makes you think it isn’t getting done right?

    ~

    BJ, who are you talking to?

    Where did I write instead of? Eh?

    You said nuclear power could be used instead of coal and gas.

    How fast can one deploy nuclear energy? Seems to me I linked to a seabed reactor module that could be put in place in about the same time it takes to moor a ship up above. Just another of the things I have pointed out to be ignored.

    That’s a concept, it has not even been properly designed yet. Likewise your other link is a sales pitch. They add nothing to your argument.

    That it can and will work, I have no doubt at all. They should be doing it with a Thorium power cycle to reduce the waste issue to something more manageable but the issue you raised was “how fast” the deployment could be.

    Sell that nuke BJ, sell it like there’s no tomorrow. It can take 25 years to build a nuclear reactor. I wonder what the average amount of time is to dismantle one after its 30 to 40 year lifespan? On average it would probably take longer to build and dispose of a nuclear power plant, than its operational life.

    With the wind being available only half the time. Which is going to be most cost-effective over what time scale?

    I think you’ve confused wind with solar.

    They are more profitable in a long run that extends past the usual lifetime of a company or a natural person.

    Perhaps we should not consider the cost of containment and waste. But that would be pretty foolish!

    By expecting people to listen when you tell them the right thing to do, and recognize that it is the right thing and then do it. People don’t work like that and if you don’t know it yet you ARE going to learn it.

    People will listen when they are informed of the right things to do. It’s not just me saying these things. An investment of around $200 Billion this year into renewables means people are listening BJ.

    Fire is fundamentally unsafe Todd. Anything that involves large amounts of potential energy is unsafe. Controlling risk and making safe use possible is what we humans do.

    I don’t particularly think nuclear power and cave man fire are all that similar. Renewables involve large amounts of power and are safe. There is no controlling the risk of nuclear to make it safe, haven’t the hundreds of nuclear “accidents” taught you that?

    Go ahead and state whatever it is you think your argument is again. I have no wish to trawl the thread for it. I have not contended anything insupportable. I find your assertion as silly as it is insulting.

    It should be your memory that you consult instead of the thread. Or are you bored of that as well?

    1. If we double renewable production and deployment each year, we would have replaced all polluting forms of power including nuclear by the year 2022.

    2. By investing in renewables instead of polluting energy production, we would have doubled the investment in renewables.

    3. Renewables can be deployed faster than non-renewables and have far less overheads. This coupled with no ongoing fuel requirements makes such investment worthwhile.

    4. Nuclear power cannot halt climate change.

    Instead of ranting BJ, perhaps you would like to define your argument?

    I am asserting you are wrong because you ARE wrong.

    Wow! What a fantastic argument that is. I must concede to your age, superior intellect, higher IQ and scientific mastery… Not!

    About the effects of the profit motive on this problem and the way to redress it.

    You have said that the profit motive creates unsafe infrastructure. I think the profit motive can create safe infrastructure because it is far more profitable. It is the mindset that needs to change through education, not the financial infrastructure that can pay for renewables. You’re trying to highjack a cause to suit another. Saying that I am wrong because you do not agree with me is juvinile. Put up a proper argument and let people make up their own minds.

    There is no great popular resentment of them or disagreement with their contentions about their efficiency vs renewables.

    I thought you said that it would take a small push to create a revolution because people were resentful, so which is it? You’ve lost me there with the efficiency vs renewables bit? Renewables are efficient.

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  186. You said nuclear power could be used instead of coal and gas.

    – And you took it upon yourself to add renewables to that. I did not say that one could not and should not use renewables instead of coal and gas. I know I did not and you know I did not.

    BJ

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  187. It can take 25 years to build a nuclear reactor.

    You are dreaming things again. It can take 25 years to DESIGN and build a reactor. Using standardised designs the French and Chines do it in about 5 years (site customization only). They can do more than one at a time.

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_50/b4207015606809.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_France

    …and the time it takes to deal with the dismantling is irrelevant to the deployment time.

    You are trying to make the case that Nuclear can make no contribution to the energy replacement that has to happen. There is no such case to be made. It can and on current form it will, the economic situation favors it because you have not changed the equation being applied (as in forcing inclusion of the waste processing and containment costs).

    BJ

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  188. I think you’ve confused wind with solar.

    No Todd, you have confused wind with something that is always present. The USUAL availability factor is 30%, and I generously allowed 50%.

    BJ

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  189. I don’t particularly think nuclear power and cave man fire are all that similar. Renewables involve large amounts of power and are safe. There is no controlling the risk of nuclear to make it safe, haven’t the hundreds of nuclear “accidents” taught you that?

    The US Navy has accumulated over 6200 reactor-years of accident-free experience over the course of 230 million kilometres, and operated 82 nuclear-powered ships (11 aircraft carriers, 71 submarines – 18 SSBN/SSGN, 53 SSN) with 103 reactors as of March 2010.

    NOT FOR PROFIT!!!

    BJ

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  190. Sell that nuke BJ, sell it like there’s no tomorrow.

    I am not selling anything here. Your insults are as ridiculous as your posturing.

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  191. 1. If we double renewable production and deployment each year, we would have replaced all polluting forms of power including nuclear by the year 2022.

    …and will be spending more than the yearly gross world product in its ENTIRETY on that effort in the final year. You hypothesize an exponential expansion that continues for 11 years…

    I tried not to rub your nose in it but this grows to an impossible level of effort years before it completes, and it is not required because only an average of about 3-6 trillion a year is required with proper management over that period (using the most optimistic assumptions). The gross world product being around 40 trillion.

    This will not happen in the current international economic context.

    2. By investing in renewables instead of polluting energy production, we would have doubled the investment in renewables.

    That only works the first year.

    3. Renewables can be deployed faster than non-renewables and have far less overheads. This coupled with no ongoing fuel requirements makes such investment worthwhile.

    Since you are now comparing with non-renewables (which is correct), it should be noted that a gas turbine or diesel generation unit can be trucked in and installed in a month or less, directly next to a load. For nuclear it is a closer call, the 5 years to build a 1 GW plant and the 250 square kilometer, 2000 turbine (1 MW, the large ones) wind farm that generates the twice the power but only half the time… (a simplification but apt)… seem to be a wash. One could clearly get the first turbines spinning early. That would help. OTOH, the nuke guy could install diesels in the interim.

    Overall renewables and nukes have different site-considerations and project timetables but on the scale discussed, seem to require similar overall effort.

    4. Nuclear power cannot halt climate change.

    Begging the question of what that means I suppose what you are trying to say is that it cannot do the job all by itself. Which is true.

    It can’t go online fast enough.

    Neither can renewables.

    Both TOGETHER probably can’t go online fast enough at any anticipated rate of spending on them in the current economic environment.

    Non-renewables cannot halt climate change in general. Nuclear replacing non-renewables helps to eliminate it to it but creates another problem (nuclear waste) that our current economic system is not handling well.

    Renewables replacing non-renewables help to eliminate it and do not produce a further problem and will last longer.

    The rate of change required means that we allow everything that helps to help us until we are sure we are past the risk of not having enough energy to support our civilization as we shut down the fossil plants to avert warming.

    You have said that the profit motive creates unsafe infrastructure. I think the profit motive can create safe infrastructure because it is far more profitable. It is the mindset that needs to change through education, not the financial infrastructure that can pay for renewables.

    I know you think that. You’ve repeated it enough times. History and my experience and the experience of every engineer Dilbert ever parodied, shows me that you are wrong. Rickover and his nuclear program show me that you are wrong.

    The invisible hand kills, and in this case can kill the species. You want to leave that blind dead hand on the wheel and trust to education (of a nation where half the voters listen to faux news, believe in creationism and expect it not to matter as the rapture is going to take them away. (I wish it would hurry up and remove them)).

    The profit motive must be removed.

    BJ

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  192. Todd says “Solar should be a standard for all new house construction.”

    I agree – standard, or at least a very high proportion.

    And the govt could get a lot of bang for it’s buck by spending a couple of million dollars in prizemoney for an “Efficient Home of the Year” competition.

    Say four categories – $500,000 prize for each (i.e. enough to get your house paid for). And maybe some categories for manufacturers or designers of the best products.

    It’s a massive incentive for people to build the most efficient houses possible, and come up with new ideas and technology.

    For a very small amount of money the govt could get most house builders and designers thinking hard about how they could make their hosuse more efficient.

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  193. “Christchurch has Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours for tidal,…”

    No one who has seriously looked at tidal power considers either Lyttelton or Akaroa harbours as being feasible sites for tidal power. The volumes are too small for the size of the entrances to get useful flow rates, and a barrage dam would be unacceptable both in terms of cost and impact.

    Trevor.

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  194. Trevor – agree. Banks Peninsula Harbours are not as good as the narrow entrances of Otago or Manukau, or some Marlborough Sounds.

    But how do the flows compare to and even wider (and slow flow place) like Cook Strait, which is being looked at for tidal?

    Besides, there is already a very high percentage of renewables in the South Island (is it already at 100%?).

    We need to be looking at world class tidal resources in the upper NI like Manukau, Kaipara, Hokianga, Tauranga and Kawhia. And there’s heaps more smaller but significant esturaries and harbours like Whitianga, Raglan, Aotea, Okiwa, Whangamata, Whangarei, Whangaroa, Rangaunu, Houhora and Mangonui.

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  195. btw..bj…

    ..what have all those ‘good-news’ nuclear warships done with their ‘glowing-rods’..?

    ..where are they now…?

    ..those ‘glowing rods’..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  196. “..I am not selling anything here…”

    so what are you actually doing bj..?

    ..has it become an ego/intellectual game/battle for you..?

    ..are you seriously advocating we should go nuke…?

    ..and if you aren’t…

    ..why are you doing this herculean-effort/dance on behalf of the ‘glowing-rods’…?

    ..mmm…??

    why are you wasting all our time/energy..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  197. I don’t know at present Phil, I should think the Savannah River site, but they don’t publicize their “temporary” storage locations.

    Before a ship is taken out of service, the spent fuel is removed from the reactor pressure vessel of the ship in a process called defueling. This defueling removes all of the fuel and most of the radioactivity from the reactor plant of the ships. The fuel removed from the decommissioned ships would be handed in the same manner as that removed from ships wtich are being refueled and returned to service. Unlike the low-level radioactive material in defueled reactor plants, the Nuclear Waste Poficy Act of 1982, as amended, requires disposd of spent fuel in a deep geological repository.

    which leads here

    http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/docs/radwaste/402-k-94-001-snf_hlw.html

    — and to the fact that the “deep geological repository” has never been activated.

    Like I said – the real costs of disposal aren’t currently loaded onto the nuclear power industry.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  198. In a sense I guess I am trying to give the truth (as I know it) a voice and as a party member, to keep the party from embracing extremes that can hurt it (or the nation).

    BJ

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  199. ..are you seriously advocating we should go nuke…?

    No – where would that idea come from? New Zealand needs nothing like a nuke. It’d be hard to imagine one that even came close to being useful. The NS grid that Photonz dislikes and the power available in the South can handle Auckland loads in spite of the losses. I would charge a lot more for the juice in Auckland than in Southland though.

    BJ

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  200. “…Like I said – the real costs of disposal aren’t currently loaded onto the nuclear power industry. ..”

    just how do you estimate the real’disposal costs’…

    ..of a waste-material that lasts..how long..?

    ..just that one component renders the whole exercise a farce…

    ..a ‘farce’ with the potential/probablity of going wrong…

    ..in a very very bad way..?

    i repeat…why are we even discussing this…?

    ..why are you making the pro-case..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  201. BJ,

    “I simply expect that they are going to be needed to satisfy basic energy requirements in some places while renewables and grid catch up to the convenience.”

    The trouble is that “basic energy requirements”, these days, really means “basic energy wants” with even the definition of “basic” being rather strained. This is why we need a fundamental rethink about our living arrangements and lifestyles before we start down any long term energy strategy.

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  202. Todd,

    “What makes you think it isn’t getting done right?”

    Well, I’ve said it several times before, so I’m not sure why you haven’t understood. Comprehensive environmental impact assessments, both for individual projects and for renewable infrastructure, as a whole, are not done, as far as I’m aware.

    Check out photonz1′s post above, which merely echoes the kind of argument I’ve read for years: there’s a lot of xxx renewable energy that we haven’t harnessed yet, so let’s do it; there couldn’t possibly be any long term negative consequences of doing so, so let’s not even think about it, and let’s go at full speed, from the start.

    This is, of course, exactly what we did with fossil fuels. Look where that got us. Renewables would likely be a much slower deterioration of habitat but that doesn’t make it better in the long term, depending on the scale and how it’s deployed.

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  203. BJ

    You are dreaming things again. It can take 25 years to DESIGN and build a reactor. Using standardised designs the French and Chines do it in about 5 years (site customization only).

    The last reactor unit to come online in the United States took 25 years to build. Consent process to criticality.

    They can do more than one at a time.

    We can build more than one turbine and solar panel at a time. You postulate that finances should not be involved because it causes people to cut corners and then argue that nukes are good because they can be built fast, which will effectively mean they cut corners as well. The reactor design is licensed separately and before the plant is built there are set time periods for public debate and lawsuits can ensue. In America the utility has to apply for an operating license when the plant is built. Some of these things can take five years by themselves BJ.

    From your link: Construction of these reactors started between 1984 and 1991, but full commercial operation did not begin until between 2000 and 2002. So that’s between 9 and 28 years just to construct, no consent or decommissioning process.

    …and the time it takes to deal with the dismantling is irrelevant to the deployment time.

    Wrong! What is built needs to be dismantled. There is a direct relationship between the two. As a supposed engineer you should know this. You need to address the cost of decommissioning and waste management before we will by the nukes. As you cannot, we are not buying it. Changing one form of pollution for another that pollutes half as much is silly when there is an option to pollute 120 times less with renewables.

    You are trying to make the case that Nuclear can make no contribution to the energy replacement that has to happen. There is no such case to be made.

    I have made that case. You have not been able to refute it. There is no relevance to nuclear power. We can remove their folly.

    It can and on current form it will, the economic situation favors it because you have not changed the equation being applied (as in forcing inclusion of the waste processing and containment costs).

    In a post Fukushima world, I think your assertion is somewhat irrelevant. I have included that cost in my reasoning, you’ve not been able to address that cost.

    No Todd, you have confused wind with something that is always present. The USUAL availability factor is 30%, and I generously allowed 50%.

    Typical capacity factors for wind turbines are 20–40%. New wind turbines are even more efficient. Whereas capacity factors for non-renewables are based mostly on fuel cost with gas at 5 to 25% and nuclear at 90%. The cost of waste management, “accidents” and decommissioning makes nuclear less cost effective. The variance of wind means wind power needs to be coupled with solar and hydro etc. Wind turbines can provide around 33% base load.

    The US Navy has accumulated over 6200 reactor-years of accident-free experience over the course of 230 million kilometres, and operated 82 nuclear-powered ships (11 aircraft carriers, 71 submarines – 18 SSBN/SSGN, 53 SSN) with 103 reactors as of March 2010.

    Good old Uncle Sam huh! You don’t get to count between “accidents” and then add them all up BJ. There have been 106 nuclear “accidents” in America alone. Some of these are very serious. From 1946 to 1970 approximately 90,000 cannisters of radioactive waste were jettisoned in 50 ocean dumps up and down the East and West coasts of the U.S. The Navy has lost two nuclear subs; Thresher (SSN-593), the first submarine in its class, sank April 10, 1963 and Scorpion (SSN-589), sank May 22, 1968. On August 08, 2008 it was found that an American nuclear-powered submarine leaked radiation for more than two years all over the port of Guam and at Pearl Harbor. Is Uncle Sam’s arse cheaks still looking rosy BJ? All sunken nuclear-powered submarines will eventually leak radiation, if they aren’t already. How much do you think that will cost to fix, if it could be fixed?

    …and will be spending more than the yearly gross world product in its ENTIRETY on that effort in the final year. You hypothesize an exponential expansion that continues for 11 years…

    Your linear calculation is not applicable.

    I tried not to rub your nose in it but this grows to an impossible level of effort years before it completes, and it is not required because only an average of about 3-6 trillion a year is required with proper management over that period (using the most optimistic assumptions). The gross world product being around 40 trillion.

    Rub my nose in your incorrect calculations you mean. Your calculations shows an overall spend of $33 to $66 Trillion dollars over eleven years.

    This will not happen in the current international economic context.

    Place your bets laddies and gentlemen. Yes BJ… Your incorrect calculations will not happen in the current economic climate.

    Overall renewables and nukes have different site-considerations and project timetables but on the scale discussed, seem to require similar overall effort.

    Let’s just ignore the waste and decommissioning thing again shall we?

    Begging the question of what that means I suppose what you are trying to say is that it cannot do the job all by itself. Which is true.

    If we swap coal for nukes we cut emissions in half, which is not enough to halt climate change. If we swap coal for wind, we cut emissions by 120.

    The invisible hand kills, and in this case can kill the species. You want to leave that blind dead hand on the wheel and trust to education (of a nation where half the voters listen to faux news, believe in creationism and expect it not to matter as the rapture is going to take them away. (I wish it would hurry up and remove them)).

    Perhaps the species is dumb and deserves to die BJ, but that is not what this debate is concerned with.

    The profit motive must be removed.

    The profit motive cannot be removed in the time frame that renewables need to be implemented. The profit motive can help renewables deploy because it is a profitable enterprise.

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  204. This is why we need a fundamental rethink about our living arrangements and lifestyles before we start down any long term energy strategy.

    No… we have to work at reductions in our energy “wants” while we implement the energy strategy. Waiting on the reductions before working on the supply problem rather than doing both at once is not reasonable. The magnitude of the supply issue is such that it won’t be solved by simply cutting down demand. I expect demand to be cut sharply by more realistic pricing of supply, but there are physical, human and political limits to that.

    Those are moot when the supply itself fails, but THAT isn’t happening unless we manage to somehow cause the coal to vanish.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  205. Wrong! What is built needs to be dismantled. There is a direct relationship between the two. As a supposed engineer you should know this.

    As we were discussing the time required to INSTALL the systems you have no right to call this an error, or me a “supposed” engineer. The decommissioning problem is a problem only if we survive long enough to do that.

    Nor do you get to count COMMERCIAL nuclear accidents which are “for profit” operations against the US Navy’s Nuclear program which was not. That was what this argument was about.

    The lack of any relationship of the losses of Thresher and Scorpion to the issue of nuclear safety makes those moot, those not being accidents relating to their nuclear plants, and not releasing any catastrophic levels of radiation… in other words, the safety systems continued to work.

    Rub my nose in your incorrect calculations you mean. Your calculations shows an overall spend of $33 to $66 Trillion dollars over eleven years.

    When the photovoltaic component of the estimated replacement of the fossil fuel plants alone is over 8 trillion, and the wind, solar thermal, solar power turbines, tidal and other hydro still have not been added in and the issue of the disparate locations of supply and demand and storage and portability and engine replacement of pretty much every car and truck on the planet haven’t been addressed… 33 trillion is a very reasonable LOW guesstimate of what this total replacement is going to cost. It matches up with what I would expect too, in terms of the GWP and the amount of equipment being built and replaced – 10% per year.

    I expect the higher figure to be more realistic for complete replacement. We don’t (fortunately) need COMPLETE replacement immediately as much as we’d like it. We need to get started promptly, and repurposing funds from non-renewables to renewables would be a good place to start… if there were any current economic way to force that to happen.

    If we swap coal for nukes we cut emissions in half

    Eh?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparisons_of_life-cycle_greenhouse_gas_emissions

    If you swap coal for nukes my calculator says you reduce emissions by a factor of 14… 1/14.5 or to 6.7% of current levels from coal.

    The profit motive cannot be removed in the time frame that renewables need to be implemented.

    The profit motive can help renewables deploy because it is a profitable enterprise.

    The first statement may be true. Unfortunately it remains the fastest way to get the change that you and I both want implemented, because change will almost certainly not even start to happen any other way until enough people are knowledgeable enough and angry enough to actually revolt against the energy barons. Which is not likely until the climate makes it so obvious that the denialists are lying that ordinary people lynch them.

    The second statement is true, but only at time scales that no business will contemplate. Governments and societies might. We Greens do. No business person can think in 100 year time frames most don’t bother with 10 year projections, a few work out 5 years and most limit themselves to this year and the next. .

    respectfully
    BJ

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  206. Transmission isn’t necessarily bad – its better than lugging coal from pit to local power station.

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  207. just how do you estimate the real’disposal costs’

    For the subduction burial –

    I’d work with the costs of creating a borehole in a subduction zone, and dropping canisters of waste into it and pouring concrete on top of them.

    I don’t know exactly what those costs will be, I expect them to be pretty steep. Not cheap at all, but the waste gets driven into the core over geologic time and we aren’t likely to see any of it soon.

    For the outback storage, the cost of building an appropriate bunker for the stuff and sealing it under concrete and earth. Makes one wonder sometimes, what is REALLY under the pyramids. :-) If the ancient Egyptians could build a tomb to last for 3000 years, I reckon we can do as well.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  208. unbelievable that you are so sanguine with producing deadly poisons that last thousands of years..

    ..a curse for the future..

    and a smiley-emoticon..!..eh..?

    hilarious..isn’t it..?

    ..and it is nasa/engineer-minds that run/decide all this..eh..?

    ..just dig a fucken hole…and bury it..eh..?

    ..you are providing a frightening insight into that mindset…

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  209. dbuckley says “Transmission isn’t necessarily bad – its better than lugging coal from pit to local power station.”

    But worse than building renewable generation close to where it’s needed.

    Unless you like mining, for all the steel and aluminium and copper and zinc needed to build new long distance transmission lines.

    And unless you prefer all the carbon emmissions from all the mining machinery, and to get all that metal manufactured and transported around the globe.

    And unless you like polluting our waterways with all the runoff from hundreds of km of cut and fill needed to rip tracks all over the countryside to install pylon lines.

    And unless you like paying for electricity that you never get because of transmission losses.

    And of course for the case in hand – Project Hayes – you prefer to destroy a pristine and unique piece of NZ wilderness, rather than putting wind farms on already modified farmland.

    If you don’t mind all those things, then yes “Transmission isn’t necessarily bad”

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  210. Phil

    I am an American Phil… and I laugh at all of it.

    THINK if you will about the consequences of not stopping Global Warming. I “get” that problem. It is the most serious one I can think of in the next 100 years. Moreover, if it continues I have no POSSIBLE answer to it but mirrors in orbit and stuff-all chance of that, or the whole of civilization is lost.

    Now take this problem. The incredibly toxic waste from a nuclear plant. Needs to be buried for thousands of years. Well, some of our civilization’s have already done that. So we know it can be done. Moreover, there’s another option which potentially buries it deeper and longer than most of us can imagine. So the problem can be handled and we know it can be.

    It IS NOT being handled, and the cost is not being factored in, but those are political, not engineering problems.

    Sanguine? I suppose so, given that I know that there is an answer. Not from the point of view of the politics and process to date. If I have a choice of problem, the one I have a ready solution for is going to be the one I accept.

    Neither get solved properly in the presence of the profit motive.

    BJ

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  211. BJ

    The decommissioning problem is a problem only if we survive long enough to do that.

    You mean the average 30 to 40 years of a nuclear power plant. I think in most of our cases there is a very good chance we will survive long enough. Besides a consideration of the cost to future generations needs to be made.

    Nor do you get to count COMMERCIAL nuclear accidents which are “for profit” operations against the US Navy’s Nuclear program which was not. That was what this argument was about.

    BJ, You contend that the US Navy nukes are safe when they are not. The argument is about energy. Nuclear powered plants are not safe. I defined what accidents occurred in the US Navy. The 106 total accidents in America is probably a low figure, as many are not notified. It is not just the profit motive that causes “accidents” BJ.

    The lack of any relationship of the losses of Thresher and Scorpion to the issue of nuclear safety makes those moot, those not being accidents relating to their nuclear plants, and not releasing any catastrophic levels of radiation… in other words, the safety systems continued to work.

    I have only included “accidents” we know about. There will be many more. The cause of one of those navy sub accidents is known… the other is not. We do not know how much radiation is being released, in time radiation will be released, so “safety mechanisms” have not worked. The Accident in 2008 was related to the submarines nuclear power, we do not know how much radiation was released over the two years it was leaking. At what point is it deemed that a catastrophic release has occurred?

    When the photovoltaic component of the estimated replacement of the fossil fuel plants alone is over 8 trillion,

    Please link to relevant information to show actual cost.

    and the wind, solar thermal, solar power turbines, tidal and other hydro still have not been added.

    I thought that was what the calculation was based on.

    in and the issue of the disparate locations of supply and demand and storage and portability and engine replacement of pretty much every car and truck on the planet haven’t been addressed…

    We replace our vehicles on a regular basis. What we need to do is instead of replacing a fossil car with another fossil car, we replace a fossil car with an electric, hybrid or biofuel equivalent. The expense will stay relatively the same.

    33 trillion is a very reasonable LOW guesstimate of what this total replacement is going to cost. It matches up with what I would expect too, in terms of the GWP and the amount of equipment being built and replaced – 10% per year.

    So you have chosen the $33 trillion instead of your $66 Trillion estimate. What information have you based this figure on BJ?

    If we swap coal for nukes we cut emissions in half

    Eh?

    The figure does not factor in the heat dissipation for cooling a nuclear reactor. Add in “accidents” waste and deconstruction of materials that cannot be used again. If we were to believe the graph in the link below, there is hardly any emmissions from building and decommissioning a nuclear power plant. What a load of rubbish! The graph says that Nuclear power makes 2g of CO2 per KWh in building and decommissioning while wind power has 10g. Hydropower having more waste than nuclear in terms of CO2, what about all the other waste nukes produce? FFS!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vattenfall_Electricity_CO2_Lifecycle.PNG

    If you swap coal for nukes my calculator says you reduce emissions by a factor of 14… 1/14.5 or to 6.7% of current levels from coal.

    Please include all costs associated with nuclear power. Here’s one of them:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10714164

    Which is not likely until the climate makes it so obvious that the denialists are lying that ordinary people lynch them.

    It’s likely to be too late by then.

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  212. BJ

    Now take this problem. The incredibly toxic waste from a nuclear plant. Needs to be buried for thousands of years.

    It needs to not be created in the first place.

    Well, some of our civilization’s have already done that. So we know it can be done.

    What are you talking about?

    Moreover, there’s another option, which potentially buries it deeper and longer than most of us can imagine. So the problem can be handled and we know it can be.

    Burying this highly toxic shit until people forget that it is there and somebody in a thousand years or so digs it up is not good planning. I wouldn’t say that dumping radioactive waste into the ocean is handling the problem BJ.

    It IS NOT being handled, and the cost is not being factored in, but those are political, not engineering problems.

    They are political and engineering problems. If it was cheap or easy to engineer the waste away, they would be doing it. When you factor this cost in, it makes nuclear power redundant in terms of cost effective energy production. The only reason nuclear power is cheap is because they are deferring that cost onto future generations. This is not acceptable.

    Sanguine? I suppose so, given that I know that there is an answer. Not from the point of view of the politics and process to date. If I have a choice of problem, the one I have a ready solution for is going to be the one I accept.

    There’s no philosophizing Fukushima away is there?

    Neither gets solved properly in the presence of the profit motive.

    The profit motive can help to solve climate change. The answer is renewables, nuclear power is not a renewable.

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  213. I defined what accidents occurred in the US Navy.

    You paid exactly zero attention to the accidents not being nuclear in nature and the lack of consequence of those accidents outside the vessels involved. Done for profit has a horrible safety record. Done as was done in Rickover’s model, an exemplary one. That is by the way, the record the nuclear advocates cite when discussing the commercial reactors, and it does not apply to the commercial reactors and cannot be applied to any process involving the profit motive.

    Please link to relevant information to show actual cost.

    As if I had not already pointed out that cost and the basis of it. No. It is in the thread above.

    Replacing cars on a regular basis will EVENTUALLY get you there if the cars exist and can compete with the petrol versions while the refueling infrastructure is built, and care to guess how many cars and trucks are more than 20 years old out there? You specified completing the job by 2022.

    I went easy on this by only specifying the replacement of engines – recycling the rest of the vehicle. Want to blow the cost up a bit more?

    The graph says that Nuclear power makes 2g of CO2 per KWh in building and decommissioning

    …and you know full well that that was not the basis of the numbers I presented and that I am not responsible for what other people come up with to justify their decisions.

    The source PDF for you – if there is a flaw, it will take time to read deep enough to find it. I don’t have that time. I accepted the larger numbers from Wiki.

    http://www.vattenfall.com/en/file/Life_cycle_assessment_for_Vat_8459698.pdf

    The figure does not factor in the heat dissipation for cooling a nuclear reactor.

    What does that have to do with the CO2 emissions?

    Please include all costs associated with nuclear power. Here’s one of them:

    What does that have to do with the CO2 emissions?

    I already stipulated that the Cost per KWH cited by nuclear proponents was artificially low and did not include decommissioning costs.

    It’s likely to be too late by then.

    Yes. A certainty. Yet the fastest way to get change is still through their economic vulnerabilities.

    Burying this highly toxic shit until people forget that it is there and somebody in a thousand years or so digs it up is not good planning. I wouldn’t say that dumping radioactive waste into the ocean is handling the problem BJ.

    Since I didn’t discuss dumping it in the ocean I wouldn’t say you are being particularly honest in heaping scorn on an idea I never described. Nor at this point, with over a thousand years of history BEHIND us am I particularly concerned that civilization will forget in some thousands of years before us, what a danger sign looks like.

    If it was cheap or easy to engineer the waste away, they would be doing it.

    You don’t think the profit motive might have something to do with that? I never said it was cheap or easy.

    When you factor this cost in, it makes nuclear power redundant in terms of cost effective energy production.

    Nor have I ever said it was cheap in the long run. It is however, cheaper than trying to buy another planet as a result of a runaway climate change or energy wars making this one uninhabitable.

    The profit motive can help to solve climate change. The answer is renewables, nuclear power is not a renewable.

    First part? No, not in any rational investor’s time-horizon.

    Second part? Yes, the ultimate answer is renewables.

    The problem is that we cannot get from the first part to the second without a middle part where we transition to the renewables and the removal of the invisible-hand. No matter what we wish.

    BJ

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  214. If there are more than 3 people reading this thread any more I’d be surprised.

    I think the positions have pretty well solidified and perhaps we might profitably turn our attention to something else.

    No?

    BJ

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  215. BJ

    You paid exactly zero attention to the accidents not being nuclear in nature and the lack of consequence of those accidents outside the vessels involved.

    The accidents are nuclear in nature because the subs are still at the bottom of the ocean leaking or going to leak radiation into the sea. Both those submarine accidents are then classified as nuclear accidents.

    Care to guess how many cars and trucks are more than 20 years old out there? You specified completing the job by 2022.

    I specified the replacement of un-sustainable energy production with renewables… Wind, geothermal and solar for nukes and coal etc. I’ve said that a fossil fueled vehicle should be replaced with a sustainable alternative. I put no time frame on the latter, as it is relative to the replacement of energy sources first. There is no point in having electric vehicles if the energy used to run them is provided by un-sustainable sources.

    What does that have to do with the CO2 emissions?

    Climate change is not just about CO2.

    What does that have to do with the CO2 emissions?

    We’re not just discussing CO2 BJ. Stop being a dick! My assertion was that there is a cost to all those nuclear “accidents” which makes nuclear power unprofitable in a wider context. Somebody pays for that radiation in the environment. We’re debating whether nukes are relevant; I’m arguing that they are not in relation to climate change, cost effectiveness and safety.

    Since I didn’t discuss dumping it in the ocean I wouldn’t say you are being particularly honest in heaping scorn on an idea I never described. Nor at this point, with over a thousand years of history BEHIND us am I particularly concerned that civilization will forget in some thousands of years before us, what a danger sign looks like.

    Don’t those thousands of drums of nuclear waste not exist because they are at the botom of the ocean BJ? We were discussing nuclear waste disposal, of which dumping in oceans is a relevant issue. Do danger signs last for a thousand years? What about all that nuclear waste that has been secretly dumped?

    You don’t think the profit motive might have something to do with that? I never said it was cheap or easy.

    You said that it could be done. It is not happening because it is too expensive and would make nuclear power not profitable. So even if they were able or willing to dispose of the waste in a “safe” way, it would still make nuclear power irrelivent in price comparison to renewables. This gives more credence to my argument that nuclear power is not a solution at all. Safe disposal of waste is not achievable. Nuclear reactors are not safe. Americans do not rule the World.

    Nor have I ever said it was cheap in the long run. It is however, cheaper than trying to buy another planet as a result of a runaway climate change or energy wars making this one uninhabitable.

    It is not a choice between coal and nuclear. You are beginning to grind me down with your stuck record.

    First part? No, not in any rational investor’s time-horizon.

    I would have thought investment in sustainable energy options is the fastest growing sector of energy production.

    The problem is that we cannot get from the first part to the second without a middle part where we transition to the renewables and the removal of the invisible-hand. No matter what we wish.

    You assume there is no brain attached to that “invisible hand” or that it is malignant and wants the Earth to turn into hell. As more renewables come online, the relevant profits because of less overheads can be reinvested, creating a run away effect. We can get from the first part to the second part by a gradual process of replacement that is already happening. The devil on your shoulder can’t stop it now.

    You said you were bored with the thread around a hundred posts ago BJ. What needs to be said has been, however if you continue to make an argument for nukes, I will be obliged to respond.

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  216. We’re not just discussing CO2 BJ. Stop being a dick!

    Climate change is about CO2 equivalents being emitted, not about waste heat from a thermal power plant of any sort. Nor about the cost or risk associated with the alternatives.

    The contribution of waste heat is negligible and entirely unimportant compared to the CO2.

    +++++++++++++++

    Unfortunately, the scientific analysis of replacing the non-renewables stipulated and required the replacement of all those vehicles. It is part of the plan and program. You cannot get to the 2022 or 2030 target without doing it.

    Both those submarine accidents are then classified as nuclear accidents.

    So the non-failure of those systems that are lying on the ocean floor under a kilometer of water because the submarine containing them sank, has something to tell us about the safety record of nuclear power plants? No. It tells us something about the safety of submarines and the safety measures used on their plants at the time. It certainly contributes nothing to the “it can’t be done safely” mantra.

    Don’t those thousands of drums of nuclear waste not exist because they are at the botom of the ocean BJ? We were discussing nuclear waste disposal, of which dumping in oceans is a relevant issue.

    What drums of waste and when did I advocate dumping them at the bottom of the ocean? None and never. I said one choice was to bury them deep in a subduction zone, which puts them on the tectonic conveyor belt to the interior of the planet.

    Do danger signs last for a thousand years? What about all that nuclear waste that has been secretly dumped?

    How old are the Pyramids Todd? Do we understand the languages from a thousand years ago? The important signs? Do you not think that the nuclear hazard trefoil

    http://www.zazzle.co.nz/nuclear_trefoil_tshirt-235892005832033011

    will remain understood even when our languages had evolved into some txt-mutant shorthands… provided we have a civilization at all?

    As for the secret dumping, what is that if not a response to the cost, the profit motive that trumps safety wherever it appears. People do NOT want to make trouble for the future for no reason, but they will do it for money. People do anything at all for money.

    So even if they were able or willing to dispose of the waste in a “safe” way, it would still make nuclear power irrelivent in price comparison to renewables.

    The cost over the long run is bearable compared to the cost of not eliminating the CO2. Ask me for anything but time. There is none to spare.

    Safe disposal of waste is not achievable. Nuclear reactors are not safe. Americans do not rule the World.

    It is. They can be. Who cares?

    It is not a choice between coal and nuclear. You are beginning to grind me down with your stuck record.

    As long as you leave profit motive in place it is indeed that choice. There is too much coal burned to get it stopped by reference only to renewables. One could substitute natural gas which would close to halve the emissions, but that isn’t likely to be enough and it certainly wouldn’t be long before we fracked the entire planet.

    Renewables and nukes? Renewables alone? Those are the choices.

    Which has the better prospect of supplying adequate power to our civilization and avoiding climate change? Given that we have to raise the output both of them by about a factor of about 15 to cover the shortfall of removing the fossil fuels, or the renewables alone by a factor of roughly 40… though I am assuming a lot from tidal/wave which doesn’t even appear here. Conventional hydro is limited in expansion, the best spots are taken.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_energy_consumption_by_type_2006.png

    +++++++++++++++++++++

    You assume there is no brain attached to that “invisible hand”

    That is because there is no brain attached to it. It has no eyes, no capability to plan or foresee or act except as a response to direct price signals. It gets no signal from the risk of global warming, it does not respond to that risk. It will now have a signal (from insurors) about the risk of nuclear plants on beaches in fault zones.

    Like the ocean it cares not if it kills or cures.

    As more renewables come online, the relevant profits because of less overheads can be reinvested, creating a run away effect.

    I can hope you are right, but the “improved” fracking techniques and massive amounts of oil shale and gas from shale that result leave the cost (particularly of natural gas) down quite low and it will stay low for (I suspect) decades. This is (IMHO) not a good thing.

    …and it will inhibit the deployment of renewables for those same decades.

    I am not arguing “for” nukes. I don’t want any (because the waste problem DOES have to be properly dealt with, and it will be expensive and difficult. Just easier than Global Warming.

    I accept that we may have to have *some* in order to get past the AGW problem without having people freezing to death in the dark.

    I don’t accept the opinion that it “cannot” be done safely – if the profit motive is removed. If that motive is not removed I do not accept that nuclear power can be safe and the risk mitigation strategies might simply require it to be abandoned entirely. In which case people would freeze to death in the dark or we’d get the AGW catastrophe.

    I don’t accept the notion that the energy barons (or the Congress) would do the right thing if only they knew the truth so we can solve this by telling them (or the public) the truth. Those who want to know already know.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You want the “last word”. Maybe…

    Summarize then – I suggest a summary because a good even-handed treatment would be a good closer for the thread. I was thinking of trying to do it myself… the key is to be as impartial as possible.

    If it is to be the “last” word it has to make peace.

    Usually doesn’t work the first time, but I think both of us are tired of this… no? Give it a try.

    BJ

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  217. BJ,

    “No… we have to work at reductions in our energy “wants” while we implement the energy strategy. Waiting on the reductions before working on the supply problem rather than doing both at once is not reasonable.”

    I didn’t say wait on reductions; I said we need a rethink first, not a rework. To start implementing an energy strategy before we know what energy forms and infrastructure we really need, under new living arrangements, is pretty stupid, frankly.

    However,

    “The magnitude of the supply issue is such that it won’t be solved by simply cutting down demand.”

    Really? Are you saying that finding savings will be so difficult that building new energy infrastructure will be faster? Obviously, getting people to make those reductions is the big problem but then pandering to a wasteful lifestyle, simply because it would be hard to do otherwise, seems pretty stupid, also.

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  218. BJ

    The contribution of waste heat is negligible and entirely unimportant compared to the CO2.

    Nuclear plants exchange 60 to 70% of their thermal energy by cycling with a body of water or by evaporating water through a cooling tower. To think this has little effect on the climate is silly. Just as the nuclear fuel chain: mining, milling, transport, fuel fabrication, enrichment, reactor construction, decommissioning and waste management – use fossil fuels and hence emit carbon dioxide is relevant to the debate.

    It certainly contributes nothing to the “it can’t be done safely” mantra.

    Of course they add to the safety aspect of nuclear power. They are accidents that will leak radiation just like the Navy sub accident in 2008, which makes your safe operational hours mantra a lie.

    What drums of waste and when did I advocate dumping them at the bottom of the ocean? None and never.

    There are hundreds of thousands of drums of nuclear waste that have been dumped in the oceans BJ. Whether or not you advocate for this practice has nothing to do with the fact that it happens.

    I said one choice was to bury them deep in a subduction zone, which puts them on the tectonic conveyor belt to the interior of the planet.

    Which would make nuclear power not profitable.

    How old are the Pyramids Todd? Do we understand the languages from a thousand years ago? The important signs? Do you not think that the nuclear hazard trefoil will remain understood even when our languages had evolved into some txt-mutant shorthands… provided we have a civilization at all?

    How can you predict what will eventuate in the future to state that the waste material will be safe for the extent of the time required to become even slightly less toxic? You cannot.

    As for the secret dumping, what is that if not a response to the cost, the profit motive that trumps safety wherever it appears. People do NOT want to make trouble for the future for no reason, but they will do it for money. People do anything at all for money.

    So there goes your argument that waste can be dealt with successfully, because the profit motive isn’t going away anytime soon.

    The cost over the long run is bearable compared to the cost of not eliminating the CO2. Ask me for anything but time. There is none to spare.

    Nuclear power plants do not eliminate CO2. They are just over seven times more polluting than wind turbines without taking into account decommissioning and waste disposal etc.

    It is. They can be. Who cares?

    In the real World BJ, safe disposable of nuclear waste is not achievable, Nuclear reactors using our current technology on the Earth or in the ocean cannot be made safe and Uncle Sam cares.

    Renewables and nukes? Renewables alone? Those are the choices.

    Renewables it is then.

    Which has the better prospect of supplying adequate power to our civilization and avoiding climate change?

    Which has the better prospect of not poisoning the entire globe and avoiding climate change?

    It has no eyes, no capability to plan or foresee or act except as a response to direct price signals.

    Worldwide governments do have a plan. Implementation is the question. You’re being a defeatist again.

    Like the ocean it cares not if it kills or cures.

    I think the Earth is aware, but that is another debate.

    I am not arguing “for” nukes. I don’t want any (because the waste problem DOES have to be properly dealt with, and it will be expensive and difficult. Just easier than Global Warming.

    Then why the big sales pitch re immersed reactors? Renewables are easier than nukes and global warming.

    If that motive is not removed I do not accept that nuclear power can be safe and the risk mitigation strategies might simply require it to be abandoned entirely.

    As the profit motive cannot be removed in the time frame required to halt climate change, you accept that nuclear power will remain unsafe. Risking the entire planet to implement unsafe nuclear energy is silly when there is a good alternative to both climate change and nuclear energy.

    I suggest a summary because a good even-handed treatment would be a good closer for the thread.

    I summarized my argument some time ago.

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  219. Todd,

    “We replace our vehicles on a regular basis. What we need to do is instead of replacing a fossil car with another fossil car, we replace a fossil car with an electric, hybrid or biofuel equivalent. The expense will stay relatively the same.”

    Hybrid would not eliminate oil as a fuel source so why offer that option? Biofuels will never keep up with the demand and many are even worse than oil, so why offer that option? Electric cars take as much oil to build as ICE cars, in fact, I’ve seen estimates that they take more oil, as do hybrids. The estimates vary but it would likely be several years before the decrease in petrol use makes up for the oil used in building the car, but oil would still be being used to build more cars. And electric cars take more electricity generation (by some estimates, about a third more – irrespective of spare capacity and overnight charging).

    And why would the expense stay “relatively the same”? Electric cars are much more expensive; not sure about the other choices you want to offer.

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  220. Tony

    Hybrid would not eliminate oil as a fuel source so why offer that option?

    Because it would reduce oil usage.

    The Elantra LPI Hybrid delivers a fuel economy rating of 41.9 miles per US gallon (5.61 L/100 km; 50.3 mpg-imp) and CO2 emissions of 99 g/km to qualify as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_electric_vehicle

    I agree with you Tony concerning production emissions. Unfortunately they will be there if fossil or electric is manufactured. Hopefully in time this dynamic will improve. That is why I left it relatively open ended in my 11 or so steps to a cleaner future. The answer would include more public transport, less transport overall and bicycles.

    And why would the expense stay “relatively the same”? Electric cars are much more expensive; not sure about the other choices you want to offer.

    Notice the word relatively. Electric cars are more expensive because we pay for the development cost which is less when more are sold. Manufacturing expense would be “relatively” the same.

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  221. Todd,

    The manufacturing expense of electric cars may be roughly the same, in terms of labour, but some components increase the cost greatly, relative to an ICE car. Maybe those costs will decrease over time but, right now, and for at least the next few years, even if electric cars were reasonably widely available, very few people would be able to afford to choose that option. Changing the fleet takes about 12-15 years. As enough good choices will not be immediately available, it might take several fleet changeovers to make a difference. So we’d already be past 2030, by then. And with the emissions in production, the main drive better be on public transport, to make even the slightest difference to our carbon footprint for transport.

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  222. The emissions from production of electric vehicles may be overstated if it is assumed that fossil fuels power the plants and are used for process heat. Switching to renewables for electricity generation and switching from fuels to electricity for process heat will significantly reduce the emissions from the vehicle production – whether those vehicles are electric or not. Similar comments apply to some of the emissions from transporting the various vehicle components.

    Trevor.

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  223. Trevor29,

    “Switching to renewables for electricity generation and switching from fuels to electricity for process heat will significantly reduce the emissions from the vehicle production”

    Do you have a reference for this or do you mean that you think they will significantly reduce the emissions from vehicle production?

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  224. Global warming of THE PLANET is a matter of the heat balance of input and output based on the black body radiation of the planet as mediated through the upper atmosphere CO2 and Water Vapor concentrations.

    The overall amounts involved dwarf the waste heat of a thousand nuclear plants and their power output as well.

    To think this has little effect on the climate is silly.

    You are seriously and utterly wrong.

    I am not sure if this will make any difference to the rest of the argument… though it might. Certainly it affects why I regard nuclear waste, bad as it is, tiny by comparison.

    BJ

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  225. Really? Are you saying that finding savings will be so difficult that building new energy infrastructure will be faster?

    Doing both at once will always be faster than doing one at a time no matter how fast either is. They don’t depend on each other. So do both.

    I am saying that finding savings equivalent to 90% of our energy use WILL be too hard. I would expect cutting back and “simplifying” as you regard it, to be able to get us as much as 25-30% of the needed reduction in emissions… and I am postulating fairly extreme changes in our global economies, infrastructure and national priorities to get that… because some nations will still be trying to build up their infrastructure and use more energy (to grow) as we pursue it.

    Believe me that if we can do that it will be very much appreciated by the people who are building new energy infrastructure at the same time.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  226. For the curious, the reason the nuclear waste heat is a negligible fraction of the problem caused by the CO2 has to do with the energy flux being mediated by the CO2. The CO2 affects all of the energy that must be radiated into space…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_energy_budget

    This gives some numbers that can be used to see the relationship between the solar and planetary radiative flux, and the total amount of waste heat from all thermal energy plants (of any description).

    So the CO2 is modifying a flux of some 121.16 petawatts.

    The waste heat of ALL the thermal power plants including nuclear, appears as 13 terawatts. Note that nuclear is only about 10% of the thermal energy plants in operation (all should be shut down eventually but in a worst case where nuclear replaced all the other forms of thermal (which I am NOT advocating or expecting) one would use the full 13 terawatts.

    The radiative forcing for a doubling of CO2 commonly taken as about 3.7±0.4 W/m2. Applied to the earth surface area of 510,072,000,000,000 square meters this yields 1887.2 Terawatts. (Source of the 3.7 W/m2 is RealClimate )

    So we can see that even in that worst case the waste heat of all thermal is 0.6% of the total problem and the nuclear portion of that is 0.06%. Put another way… if the doubling of CO2 is avoided, the advantage is 1887 terawatts vs 1.3 terawatts for removing the waste heat of the nukes from the equation.

    The waste heat can safely be neglected in any calculations of AGW effects and threats.

    BJ

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  227. …and THIS is a nuclear accident… equated with the loss of Thresher and Scorpion.

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-08-08/news/17120676_1_radioactivity-leak-radiation

    the cumulative radioactivity released was less than 9.3 microcuries – with 8 microcuries released in Guam alone. By comparison, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average amount of radioactivity in a smoke detector is about one microcurie, or 1 millionth of a curie.

    You called that safety record a lie over this?

    Which was DETECTED mind you, coming from a ship in the ocean by the US Navy itself, not someone else. Which the US Navy reported itself.

    Would that happen with a FOR PROFIT operation? Would any other organization even have noticed?

    BJ

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  228. Trevor:“Switching to renewables for electricity generation and switching from fuels to electricity for process heat will significantly reduce the emissions from the vehicle production”

    Tony: Do you have a reference for this or do you mean that you think they will significantly reduce the emissions from vehicle production?

    He doesn’t need a reference, it is a logical conclusion that can be reached by anyone.

    If the electricity source is changed to renewable, the electricity used has vastly reduced CO2 impact.

    If the process heat is changed to electrical rather than fossil fuels at this point, the fossil fuel input ceases.

    BJ

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  229. “The manufacturing expense of electric cars may be roughly the same, in terms of labour, but some components increase the cost greatly, relative to an ICE car”.

    No.

    As over 80% of car journeys are commuting electric cars do not have to cost the same to produce as ICE cars. Most cars only need to do up to 80km per day at 60km/hr.

    These are easily made locally. Bodies from starch and flax composites for example. Fancy batteries, motors and brakes are not needed.
    Overnight charging on off peak power is not a problem.
    Councils or private firms could maintain fleets of hire vehicles taking away incentives for planned obsolescence.

    If you need to go intercity you use public transport, hire a Tesla roadstar, ICE car or a hybrid.

    Think two or four seater mobility scooters rather than replacements for ICE cars which can do 300km at 140km/hr.

    NZ already has a well developed composites manufacturing base. Some of the leading research and the best in the world (non aerospace) composite engineering is developed here.

    Electric cars are only more expensive and difficult to make if you refuse to change the paradigm.

    Of course existing manufacturers of ICE cars want the construction and, costings and parameters to stay the same because it keeps them in business.

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  230. I think you are all missing the point.

    None of you are really in disagreement apart from details.

    To cut Green house gas emissions by a meaningful amount will take effort on all three fronts.

    1.Removal of carbon sinks such as tropical rainforests has to be reversed. New carbon sinks such as more land in forestry is required also.
    2.Energy saving measures including, both technological fixes and lower usage need to be hugely expanded. Simple measures such as solar heating, white roofs, commuter friendly cities and green buildings as well as much more energy efficient transport and manufacturing.
    Economic fudges which increase profits along with energy use, such as short product cycles, have to go.
    3. Energy use replaced so far as possible with more sustainable energy.

    Refusing nuclear power to countries like Japan is not an option. They do not have other options in the medium term. We have!

    I cannot see this happening under our current political and economic system which is geared entirely to making lots of resources available to the top 1% of the worlds population.

    Much of the necessary changes may well be economic long term, but the start up costs for changes will decrease profits hugely short term . It will., never be done using the profit motive.

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  231. Tony

    Some hybrids are cheaper than fossil to purchase.

    Maybe those costs will decrease over time but, right now, and for at least the next few years, even if electric cars were reasonably widely available, very few people would be able to afford to choose that option.

    That is why it is important for Governments to disincentivize fossil and incentivize hybrid etc until manufacturing costs are comparable and the product can be offered more competitively.

    When you consider that Hybrids have an average five-year payback timeframe, they make a smart investment. Currently the most savings is for the Toyota Prius, which has a five-year cost of ownership 40.3% lower than the cost of comparable non-hybrid vehicles.

    The rare earth element dysprosium is an issue. If intelligent forward planning is not instigated, we might not have enough to change the fleet. Most of this is located in China but there are sources in Australia and Canada under development.

    Changing the fleet takes about 12-15 years. As enough good choices will not be immediately available, it might take several fleet changeovers to make a difference. So we’d already be past 2030, by then.

    12 years on 2011 is 2023 btw. The initial changeover is happening now. The progression should be in line with manufacturing capabilities and powering of the hybrids from renewable power sources. This will in the most part happen naturally.

    Kerry Thomas

    Councils or private firms could maintain fleets of hire vehicles taking away incentives for planned obsolescence.

    Sounds good to me.

    Although I don’t think biofuel is currently viable in a large application, future developments could make this an option. Split path vehicles have no running emissions btw.

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  232. “They do not have other options in the medium term. We have!”

    We have so many options for renewable’s, we even have the luxury of arguing about where to put them.

    Photo. Yes there are more than line losses to consider when allowing for transmission loss. and they do go up exponentially if the line is overloaded at peak. More of a problem some years ago before line voltages were increased. As we know from Auckland, lines undersized for load do not work well.
    My point is, far from being a secret, any electrical engineer, given the line sizes, load, transmission equipment and voltage, can tell you what the losses are.

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  233. “Although I have never heard any criticism of North Korea, but an awful lot of criticism of the United States”.

    Probably because we still have hopes for the USA.
    Many American individuals still have high ideals for social justice, although they are let down by their Government, just as we are.

    North Korea is beyound any chance of criticism from anyone making a difference.

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  234. “Doing both at once will always be faster than doing one at a time no matter how fast either is. They don’t depend on each other. So do both.”

    Of course they depend on each other. Would you plan for X GW of power if we only need X/2 GW? That might affect what you build and where you build it, particularly as you can’t do just one thing in nature; there will always be consequences.

    But in this country, we already produce almost 70% of our electrical power from renewables; we could certainly live quite happily on that, if we cut down demand.

    “I am saying that finding savings equivalent to 90% of our energy use WILL be too hard.”

    Globally, it will be very hard, and I think it will be too hard, as you say, without some mindset change. But building alternative infrastructure will also temporarily increase emissions, since the existing infrastructure will still be operating whilst that is going on (and probably increasing its output). This is why we need a mindset change and a reassessment of our real power requirements.

    “He doesn’t need a reference, it is a logical conclusion that can be reached by anyone.”

    Yes, but only if they have the details, such as how much of the emissions of vehicle manufacture come from the generation of electricity used in the manufacturing plant, or what energy sources in that whole process can reasonably be changed to electricity? From his post, it seemed like he was just stating a belief, hence my question. Do you have the details, BJ?

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  235. Todd,

    “12 years on 2011 is 2023 btw”

    I know that but I said it would take several changes of fleet. 24 years on 2011 is 2035, btw.

    But thanks to you and Kerry for some of the points you make. I’m still highly sceptical of the costs, however, so we will have to see. I’m sure that many advocates of electric and hybrid vehicles (for environmental reasons) miss a lot of the factors and I think there is a lot of hype surrounding them. For example, I doubt that Kerry’s optimism that no extra electricity generation is needed for electric cars is warranted.

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  236. Kerry says “My point is, far from being a secret, any electrical engineer, given the line sizes, load, transmission equipment and voltage, can tell you what the losses are.”

    But we don’t know the loads.

    And the generation companies tend to tell us transmission losses are very low, whene they want to build generation far from where it is needed.

    And they tell us it is very high, when they want to be given resource consent for building local generation with no losses.

    Transmission losses were just one reason of many why Project Hayes was a bad idea.

    The prime reason (as I think you’ve said also), is the needless destruction of a pristine piece of wilderness when there’s other sites all over the country.

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  237. “I doubt that Kerry’s optimism that no extra electricity generation is needed for electric cars is warranted.”

    I did not say that. I said it is off peak.

    Using intermittent sources such as wind generation off peak to power electric cars is much better than the 700 million we spent on oil imports in 2008.

    The biggest problem with many renewables is storage.
    If we have the generation, anyway, for peak times, it is still spinning a lot of the time with no load, off peak. (See spinning reserve). Cars using this reserve will add a lot less to the need for generation than you would think just looking at gross energy use.

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  238. BJ

    Heat dissipation into the environment from non-renewable sources of energy is a large issue. Whereas renewables have small heat dissipation, nuclear has a large dissipation… That is where the comparison should be. Heat dissipation will in effect contribute to the wider context of climate change.

    Doing both at once will always be faster than doing one at a time no matter how fast either is. They don’t depend on each other. So do both.

    They’re both funded from money, which has the advantage (or disadvantage if you like) of being able to change what it funds. A worker can build a wind turbine instead of a nuclear power plant.

    You called that safety record a lie over this?

    A radiation leak is a radiation leak BJ. Do you really think the US Navy would be honest about how much radiation was leaked? That is propaganda to cover up the incident. “It’s only a little bit of radiation which isn’t harmful at all.” Tell that to all those people still suffering from Chernobyl. Should I point out some other “accidents” to disprove that US Navy safety record you’re in love with?

    Which was DETECTED mind you, coming from a ship in the ocean by the US Navy itself, not someone else. Which the US Navy reported itself.

    So where does that leave your clean operational record and nukes can be safe because of a profit motive bullshit? Nuclear power is not safe, end of story.

    Would that happen with a FOR PROFIT operation? Would any other organization even have noticed?

    Let’s get something clear, the profit motive applies to the US Navy. Your faith in the US Navy is touching but unfounded. They will lie to cover up accidents. They will lie about those accidents to try and show a clean operational record. I don’t appreciate you echoing those lies.

    ~

    Kerry Thomas

    Refusing nuclear power to countries like Japan is not an option. They do not have other options in the medium term. We have!

    The wind farms are still online after the disatser, they have an option to install wind farms and solar instead of rebuilding their nuclear facilities. Renewables are quicker to impliment.

    Much of the necessary changes may well be economic long term, but the start up costs for changes will decrease profits hugely short term. It will, never be done using the profit motive.

    It is already happening under the profit motive. Returns are probably not as big as they will be because of manufacturing and implementation expenses. This is already changing. I do not think we can remove the profit motive within the time frame to the effective degree that is required. We can bypass and subvert some of the aspects involved in the profit motive. We can use the profit motive to make renewables a better choice. But the profit motive will remain.

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  239. Tony

    We are using 100 units of power.

    We know we cannot cut that to less than 70 without killing people.

    Our existing supply has only 5 units really safe and another 5 units that are dangerous and 90 units that WILL kill even more people if we continue to use them.

    We know it will take years of work to replace even 50 of the 90 units with safe power.

    What do you do. Cut as much as you can and evaluate everything before building more safe and possibly more dangerous power? Or start building renewables NOW and flat out.

    A. It is going to take years to replace the fossil fuels.
    B. We not only need to replace those we need to replace the “dangerous” power as well.

    This is logical. I do NOT have to depend on talking about it to figure it out and I don’t need detailed analysis to start work. Neither does anyone else I know. Just you.

    Yes, but only if they have the details, such as how much of the emissions of vehicle manufacture come from the generation of electricity used in the manufacturing plant, or what energy sources in that whole process can reasonably be changed to electricity?

    No. The logic does NOT depend on details. You appear to want to delay everyone doing anything in an endless quest for reassurance that the perfect-best answer is applied. Perhaps you never heard the phrase… “There comes a time when you have to shoot the Engineer” . It is a common one in the US… because perfectionism can be a vice, and in some environments, it is a curse. It gets in the way of getting things done.

    BJ

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  240. “But we don’t know the loads”

    Take a look here, particularly the mouseover-able chart on the right.

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  241. Heat dissipation into the environment from non-renewable sources of energy is a large issue.

    You repeat this claim after the numbers flattened it like a steamroller?

    Then you call a couple of smoke detectors a “nuclear accident…

    OK…. ( eyes rolling ) Right…. That’s it Todd. You can HAVE the last word because arguing with people like you is counterproductive. I am going back to not hearing you because you do not admit any reality other than your own opinion. Even when you have been shown the numbers that prove you are wrong.

    Anyone reading this thread will be able to see that you are spewing nonsense…. and I will answer other’s questions, but not yours.

    Good Bye.

    BJ

    Frog – I really REALLY want an ignore button that I can apply to certain PEOPLE posting here. Way more useful than having a link to facebook.

    Thanks
    BJ

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  242. “But we don’t know the loads”.

    Kerry says “Yes we do.”

    We can you tell me what the loadings (and therfore the info we really want – transmission loses) are for say Clyde to Auckland using the changable loading (just every 30 min interval will do) over the month of July last year?

    And can you tell us how those transmission losses compare to the mid seasons (say the current month) and summer months?.

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  243. I think Tony’s philosophy is founded. There are better ways to apply renewables. Studying this should not effect the implementation of existing technologies. There is no point in having an electric car if there’s a coal powered plant giving you that energy to run it. There is no point in buying an electric, hybrid or what have you if the end result is more CO2.

    The failure of not thinking about the best way to apply energy infrastructure can be catastrophic. Many countries are half way through implementing large nuclear installations, much of this driven by the availability of the items required because of weapons decommissioning… Much of it driven by an incorrect belief that nuclear power is safe… Much of it driven by the huge profit margins inherent in nuclear power because waste and decommissioning are not factored in.

    The logic always applies to details. Ignorance of details is why we have nuclear power in the first place.

    BJ

    Then you call a couple of smoke detectors a “nuclear accident…

    If the release was as small as you claim, it would not have registered on another ships detectors. Can you be a Green while supporting nuclear power?

    Have a good day BJ.

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  244. Yes I probably can given a couple of days. So could Bj.

    And I am not even an electrical engineer.

    It is just a spreadsheeting exercise from publicly available information.

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  245. “Can you be a Green while supporting nuclear power?”

    Sounds like the people who say you cannot be a Christian unless you believe in virgin births.

    It is perfectly consistent with being a Green to support nuclear power, if it is necessary, when the alternative includes massive increase in green house gas emissions in countries in central Europe.

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  246. Upgrade that to definitely. The information you want is available from transpower. May take an OIA request though. Quicker than usin g my somewhat slow spreadsheeting.

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  247. Kerry, so this easily available information from power companies needs two days working on a spreadsheet or an official information request to get it?

    Which pretty much backs up my original point that you argued against – that power companies are pretty secretive about their transmission losses, and don’t easily make that information available.

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  248. Kerry, Germany only has a choice between coal and nuclear if they want total security of energy in the short term. Germany’s energy targets:

    * Renewable electricity – 35% by 2020 and 80% by 2050
    * Renewable energy – 18% by 2020, 30% by 2030, and 60% by 2050

    They surpassed their 2010 target in 2007. So we might have 100% Renewable electricity in Germany by 2050.

    You can chose better countries to try and argue that point.

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  249. I think Germany is a good case in point.
    As rabid Greenies have opposed new Nuclear construction their coal use is much higher than it would have been with new nuclear power plants.
    Their Greenhouse gas emmissions have increased rather than decreased as the share of renewables has risen because their coal fired total has risen also.

    http://solveclimate.com/news/20090501/germanys-coal-boom-highlights-nations-big-energy-dilemma

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  250. Kerry Thomas

    Germany’s renewable energy sector is among the most innovative and successful worldwide.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Germany

    As rabid Greenies have opposed new Nuclear construction their coal use is much higher than it would have been with new nuclear power plants.

    With less nuclear powered installations, they run less risk of killing everybody in a nuclear accident. Most of their reactors are past their used by dates. Looks like their coal consumption is dropping:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Germany_consumption_up_to_2008.JPG

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Germany

    My contention was that all unsafe nuclear power plants should be shut down immediately. The rest should be removed when renewables can fill the gap. This would initially require less energy usage by the population.

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  251. Feb. 1 2010 (Bloomberg) — Germany’s greenhouse-gas emissions fell 22 percent between 1990 and 2008, the environment ministry said today, adding that the nation of 82 million people has now exceeded the cuts required of it under the Kyoto Protocol climate-change treaty.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ap23mLMeLBCU

    So if they can do it, why can’t we?

    I think disaster relief money for climate change effects should go to countries that have instigated a change to their CO2 emissions.

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  252. BJ,

    “We know we cannot cut that to less than 70 without killing people. “

    Sorry, I haven’t seen that calculation. But, if you say so, …

    “No. The logic does NOT depend on details.”

    You’ve got to be kidding.

    “You appear to want to delay everyone doing anything in an endless quest for reassurance that the perfect-best answer is applied.”

    Appearances can be deceptive. The “perfect-best” answer would be good but I don’t think perfection is possible. And I don’t want to delay everyone doing anything; after all, I want people to cut down. That is doing something that is far more sustainable than building new infrastructure.

    “It gets in the way of getting things done.”

    OK, you’ve nailed your colours to the mast: you want to get things done, rightly or wrongly. I want to get things done rightly. We’ve been racing ahead, without regard for the consequences, for too long. I’m not saying that you have no regard for the consequences but you have reached a conclusion about all this that will not allow further consideration of the issues.

    “What do you do. Cut as much as you can and evaluate everything before building more safe and possibly more dangerous power? Or start building renewables NOW and flat out.”

    You see? You can admit no other possibilities. In your mind it’s either do nothing until full evaluation of our real needs and the consequences of all proposed solutions, or just build, baby, build. Although I tend towards the former, I’d say at least proceed with caution on the build, whilst all quick conservation measures are put in place and an education programme is put in place. We can pick up the pace later, but only if necessary and only if the consequences aren’t too great or that some plan is put in place to deal, completely, with those consequences.

    It bears repeating and repeating: reckless behaviour without regard for the consequences is how we reached the state the world is in; we don’t really want to do that again, even if it’s just a bit less reckless.

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  253. It is perfectly consistent with being a Green to support nuclear power, if it is necessary, when the alternative includes massive increase in green house gas emissions in countries in central Europe.

    The key here isn’t what might happen, the key is what is happening:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,472786,00.html

    Firstly: There is no discussion in Germany (partly because there is no political ability in Germany to even consider it) of shutting down 20% or so of their industry in order to reduce demand for power. The power is going to be bought.

    Secondly: There is no renewable resource capable of being brought on line to replace the power that the closed plants provided.

    Third: The futures markets are responding with increases in price for coal, the invisible hand knows that it can get a better price for this commodity at the dockside in Europe. The miners are going to do well.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4cb835e0-506c-11e0-9e89-00144feab49a.html

    Germany has no other choices. Nuclear plants or burning more coal and gas are IT, and their gas supply is imported from Russia.A disagreement with Belarus recently cut it off and the Germans suffered. They don’t trust that supply. Renewables are years from taking up the slack.

    So carbon emissions are going up. It is a “done deal”

    |sarcasm| GOOD job |/sarcasm|

    BJ

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  254. BJ

    There is no renewable resource capable of being brought on line to replace the power that the closed plants provided.

    Wrong! Renewables can completely replace non-renewables and nuclear power, the time frame is the question.

    They don’t trust that supply. Renewables are years from taking up the slack.

    Did you bother to look at those links I just posted, or has your rhetoric blinded you to the truth?

    So carbon emissions are going up. It is a “done deal”

    Carbon emission are falling from Germany. I’m starting to think phil u was right and you are just a nuke troll.

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  255. When Todd says “The choice is not just between coal and nuclear, how many times do I have to say that?”, he’s neither right nor wrong, and this is a constant theme amongst folks seeking to influence how juice is generated.

    The choices available are what companies put on the table. Often there isn’t even a choice, more a fait acompli, take it or leave it.

    So if someone hasn’t put the choice on the table, there’s nothing we can actually do. Even governments get faced with this choice, the usually can’t force (but often find ways to “influence”) what gets built.

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  256. Todd,

    “There is no point in buying an electric, hybrid or what have you if the end result is more CO2.”

    Indeed. That reminds me of a news article I heard yesterday. It reported on a new study about jatropha, a wonder plant that will solve all our energy needs. Except it won’t, of course. The study concluded that the carbon emissions from producing biofuels from jatropha are many times those from using oil, though this includes the emissions cost of removing the current bio-system to grow jatropha.

    “Can you be a Green while supporting nuclear power?”

    No, but BJ doesn’t support nuclear power and I’m not sure why you think he does. All he’s done is to conclude that some nuclear build is necessary as we undergo an energy transition and try to save the planet. I don’t agree with him but he is not a nuclear power supporter.

    “Germany only has a choice between coal and nuclear is they want total security of energy in the short term.”

    I have to laugh at those countries who claim nuclear is about energy security when they produce little or none of the fuel that would actually power their nuclear reactors.

    “Germany’s greenhouse-gas emissions fell 22 percent between 1990 and 2008″

    And how has it gone, since? And how much of those emissions did they export to developing nations?

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  257. Tony

    And how has it gone, since? And how much of those emissions did they export to developing nations?

    Apparently Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions in 2010 were 4.8 percent higher than the year before at 826.5 million metric tons. However I cannot be sure of this information. Industrial activity in Germany after the recession and security of energy issues probably account for this. I would not like to think what their emissions would be without those renewables in place.

    I think that is total emissions, as in a quantifiable amount, not something that can be sold. Unless you mean they have sold what they would normally have burnt, in which case that requirement would be met from elsewhere. I’m not sure of the relevance of your question?

    No, but BJ doesn’t support nuclear power and I’m not sure why you think he does.

    He has firmly planted his head in the ground concerning the true cost of and emissions from nuclear power, he ignores the facts as they are presented and presents information that is from pro nuke sources. He might intermingle his pro nuke stance with a bit of green information, but this is normal troll behavior. What other conclusion can one reach?

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  258. Tony

    It takes years to build a power station – renewable or not. Consider the GW of wind I pointed out above. 250 Square Kilometers of area with 2000 of the largest wind turbines. This to provide INTERMITTENTLY, a single GW of power to the grid. New Zealand is not the subject here, it is the global problem and globally the demand is on the order of 40 Terawatts, or 40000 GW to replace all the installed thermal plants (excepting solar thermal of course). So the mathematics of this is… what… 10 million square kilometers of wind farm to replace it, and wind is actually a pretty good replacement tech.

    So I should go slow on building renewables (or anything else) while you try to figure out there is a real problem?

    Ask me for anything but time. People WILL die while you dither with this.

    We cannot in the time available, build a fraction of the renewable energy we require or a fraction of the nuclear plants we would need, to replace the CO2 spewing relics of the 20th century.

    I’m not saying that you have no regard for the consequences but you have reached a conclusion about all this that will not allow further consideration of the issues.

    A conclusion that anyone with a comprehension of the scale of the problem and the difficulty of actually generating power can reach – without further consideration of the issues.

    We start work, RIGHT now on every renewable project that shows a decent EROEI and we can in fact build. Wind farms, Photovoltaic, Solar-Thermal, Tidal – you know the list.

    That happens at the same time as we look for all the possible ways to cut our consumption, particularly in those countries with a high per-capita energy bill.

    Cuts will (at first) come faster than the generation can come on line. However, there are limits to how hard we can diet before getting into anorexia.

    We will still need a hell of a lot of power coming on line awfully fast.

    This is why I object to the demonization of nuclear plants. They offer a short-middle term low-carbon bridge while more renewable is built. Not enough of them either but they’re coming in spite of Fukushima.

    Turning them off makes the carbon problem a lot worse awfully fast.

    BJ

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  259. A reminder to the board. I will no longer answer Todd nor respond to his posts. If you are curious about something he brings up, ask it yourself.

    BJ

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  260. Todd,

    When I say how much of that emissions reduction has Germany exported to developing nations I mean that some of the emissions reduction is due to importing goods and resources that are manufactured or produced abroad, sometimes for German companies. Some of those will be offset by emissions produced by their exports but what is the overall emissions for goods and services used in their economy?

    As for BJ, I can’t answer for him but I can only say that I don’t reach the same conclusion that you do.

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  261. BJ,

    “So I should go slow on building renewables (or anything else) while you try to figure out there is a real problem?”

    Yes, except it’s not I that should be figuring this out – I don’t have the skills or resources. I repeat again, in nature you can’t do just one thing. So go slowly on that first 250 square kilometres. I fail to see what is so hard for you to understand. We’ve reached our current perilous state because of an inability to look to the consequences of our actions. Sure, renewables are better than non-renewables but I wouldn’t want to see us heading for the tipping point at all, never mind more slowly.

    “Ask me for anything but time. People WILL die while you dither with this.”

    People are dying now. We are almost certainly in overshoot. Does that mean we should be peddling hard to avoid slipping down the hill faster than we are? What does that accomplish? Probably nothing except a bigger crash and die-off later. But I’m not sure how many people will die as a result of going more cautiously though part of it depends on how people and nations try to deal with our predicament. I wouldn’t expect us to tread cautiously whilst continuing with business as usual so I’m not sure why doing it right would result in more deaths than going full steam ahead, regardless.

    “However, there are limits to how hard we can diet before getting into anorexia.”

    Nice line, but meaningless.

    “We will still need a hell of a lot of power coming on line awfully fast.”

    Well, that will vary by country. And “need” is a matter of opinion.

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  262. BJ

    This is why I object to the demonization of nuclear plants. They offer a short-middle term low-carbon bridge while more renewable is built. Not enough of them either but they’re coming in spite of Fukushima.

    Nuclear power does a pretty good job of demonising itself. Why not just build renewables instead of having a “bridge” of nuclear energy? Which is a false concept anyway.

    Without information on the carbon footprint of waste management and decommissioning we cannot know the true extent of pollution from this power source. Continuing to compare nuclear with coal might give you a semblance of an argument, but when you compare nuclear with renewables there is no argument. When you consider the negative implications involved in nuclear power there is no question that it should be removed from the equation.

    Turning them off makes the carbon problem a lot worse awfully fast.

    Only if they are replaced by coal. Shutting them down and replacing them with renewables makes CO2 emmissions considerably less. Shutting down all the nuclear power plants technically makes the carbon problem a lot better.

    Tony

    Some of those will be offset by emissions produced by their exports but what is the overall emissions for goods and services used in their economy?

    Thanks for defining your argument a bit better. I’m not sure if this information is available though. Most countries export around the same amount as they import. I think such a comparison would only be relevant for oil, coal and gas producing countries. Most other exports create more CO2 for the producer than they do the consumer.

    As for BJ, I can’t answer for him, but I can only say that I don’t reach the same conclusion that you do.

    It would be pretty boring if we all came to the same conclusions. It’s a pity he is having a sulk about me disagreeing with his pro nuke stand instead of being a man and debating the issues.

    I wouldn’t expect us to tread cautiously whilst continuing with business as usual so I’m not sure why doing it right would result in more deaths than going full steam ahead, regardless.

    I think the main issue here is in that renewable CO2 emissions can be more easily rectified than our current emissions. In fact it is likely that the Earth can cope with a certain amount of CO2 emissions. It certainly cannot cope with the amount of emissions we are currently releasing from coal, oil, gas and Nuclear power sources. So once we have rectified the more pressing matter, we can look at ways of mitigating the small in comparison amount of CO2 being released.

    As I’m sure you are aware, we are not just talking about one type of renewable, they are relatively cohesive in their power delivery when organized into a comprehensive supply chain. Some have posed that wind and solar are ineffective because they have limitations with their sources of energy. However that is why they need to be coupled with hydro and geothermal. There is no question that New Zealand has one of the best advantages around in respect to this dynamic, and yet we are failing.

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  263. Todd,

    ” I think such a comparison would only be relevant for oil, coal and gas producing countries.”

    I don’t. For example, consider that China produces most of the things we buy in this country. That might reduce our emissions from what they would have been if we manufactured everything ourselves but the emissions from producing them in China may be very high. The same probably applies to Germany, though their primary source of goods and commodities may be spread across many more developing nations. That’s why the only significant emissions number is the one that adds up all the emissions of everything a country buys and uses regardless of where it is made. But it sure allows so-called developed nations to pretend that their emissions are much lower than they really are.

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  264. Tony

    I guess this would be called something like virtual emissions or displaced emissions. Clearly there has not been enough study into such things and like you I don’t have the resources, information or time to properly study the ramifications. Although acknowledging such a dynamic is useful, it’s a good idea to keep such a thing separate from emission counts so that they are not counted twice. It’s country specific that we need to be concerned with initially.

    However the dynamic is a serious issue as those that can afford to displace the emission can meet their conditions. Just as there is no point in buying an electric car that is charged from a coal burning power plant, there is no point in buying power from another country that produces its energy from coal, oil, gas or nuclear power. You are just paying extra for transmission losses and not reducing CO2 emissions in any way.

    One of the main things with reducing emission is in producing things locally. This reduces transportation, deferred emissions (I’m still not sure what to call it) and displaced finances going off shore. It also gives better security of energy sources, something that is not so relevant in the World I would like to create, but relevant in this day and age.

    Developing countries have a hindrance in both implementing alternatives and being used as displaced emission manufacturers. Giving a further stimulus for developing countries to not sign up to any international agreements and thus not limiting CO2 emissions enough on a World wide scale.

    This would make sense to developing countries that already utilize developing countries for their slave or low wage workforces like New Zealand, who effectively promote that “free trade” meme. It’s a very good point to make Tony.

    I think developing countries can only meet realistic CO2 reductions with help from developing countries.

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  265. Perhaps “remote emissions”?

    I think they are highly relevant to recording the true pollution of a society, and should be accounted for, if at all possible. We really need to get the idea of telling ourselves true stories, instead of the stories we’d like to hear.

    I’m not sure how to do it but it would probably involve subtracting emissions caused by exported stuff and adding the emissions caused by imported stuff. A society needs to be made accountable for the pollution caused by its chosen lifestyle wherever that pollution comes from.

    However, this is getting a tad away from the main subject of this rather long thread.

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  266. We are almost certainly in overshoot. Does that mean we should be peddling hard to avoid slipping down the hill faster than we are?

    Yes, of course. The stable carrying capacity depends directly on how fast the demand and renewable supply can be matched.

    The size of the die-off and the pain and suffering depend on how abruptly and how far the demand is cut back by nature to match supply. The more supply is available and the earlier that supply is available, the fewer people suffer and die.

    Are you stipulating some hypothetical second die-off based on building too many wind turbines and tidal generators?

    I know you want to be careful but this is called “paralyzed by fear” and we really cannot afford it.

    We’ve reached our current perilous state because of an inability to look to the consequences of our actions.

    By the way this is stated, it is entirely impossible to justify doing anything at all. We cannot foresee perfectly the consequences therefore we cannot do anything. Unfortunately as time moves forward, doing nothing is doing something in spite of ourselves.

    “Not to decide, is to decide”

    There being too many of us is not an item in any nation’s planning, nor something we “look to”. The exponential growth curve is a nasty piece of work, church or no church.

    Fractional Reserve provided money and mandate for growth.

    We bought into using the market for everything but the market has no price signal for the commons we destroy, so we see “the tragedy of the commons” played out at large and small scales.

    No Tony… I don’t see the world quite that way. We got here because in 10000 years of human history “growth is good” has been true and in the past 100 years it has changed over to false. In the past history of our species and that of its ancestors “be fruitful and multiply” did not present a threat to the society, and now it does.

    Pulling as many people out of the fire as possible does indeed have consequences to the population and the resources available to those who were never in danger. In this however, we are more obligated to save people than to count ‘em.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  267. Tony

    We really need to get the idea of telling ourselves true stories, instead of the stories we’d like to hear.

    I think the dynamic is technically achievable by looking at a countries exports/imports and then correlating that to emission utilized in production. I think countries like America would completely fail if this dynamic was accounted for, as it should be.

    A society needs to be made accountable for the pollution caused by its chosen lifestyle wherever that pollution comes from.

    As far as I am aware, even the CO2 emission agreements do not account for this dynamic. Conceivably it could render implementation of renewables in other areas irrelevant, and is therefore a very serious issue. Compounded by free trade agreements etc.

    Tony could you tell BJ:

    The size of the die-off and the pain and suffering depend on how abruptly and how far the demand is cut back by nature to match supply.

    Actually the die back is related to natures reaffirming that we are insignificant. That is where the initial problem lies; humans belief that they can control nature, when it is nature that controls us.

    I know you want to be careful but this is called “paralyzed by fear” and we really cannot afford it.

    I know you are not taking to me, but I agree with you. My ego is not so weak, as to require you to affirm that agreement.

    There being too many of us is not an item in any nation’s planning, nor something we “look to”. The exponential growth curve is a nasty piece of work, church or no church.

    OK that is where you have gone off the ball. There is nothing in relation to religion concerning climate change. We do not have overpopulation, we just do not distribute our collective wealth properly.

    Tony, The usual term is “exported emissions”

    I’m not Tony.

    “Be fruitful and multiply”

    However this has been subjugated into a paradigm that extols revenues and processes that create the very thing that would destroy us. The answer in relation to all these dynamics is not an easy thing to achieve.

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  268. BJ,

    “Are you stipulating some hypothetical second die-off based on building too many wind turbines and tidal generators?

    I know you want to be careful but this is called “paralyzed by fear” and we really cannot afford it.”

    I’m not sure why I’m not making myself clear. Paralysed is hardly the right word; I’m not saying we should do nothing. And it wouldn’t be a second die off, rather a continuation of the die off, but at a higher level, ultimately. If we are continuing to degrade our habitat then the sustainable carrying capacity continues to decline. You are saying let’s not worry about the long term impact to the sustainable carrying capacity because we can temporarily maintain it higher than it might otherwise be by a build, baby, build policy.

    Let’s say we get rid of 90% of the highly polluting energy sources. This means we can, perhaps, quickly slow the rate of environmental degradation, thereby reducing the yearly die-off needed to get the population in balance. Fair enough, but if, in replacing that high polluting capacity, we continue to degrade our habitat but only more slowly, then the die-off will continue and, ultimately, at a much higher overall level than if our primary strategy was to step as lightly as we can on this planet. If we build to replace, then we are building to continue BAU, where problems come not only from the impacts of the methods of electricity generation but also from the continuation of a wasteful lifestyle.

    “We got here because in 10000 years of human history “growth is good” has been true and in the past 100 years it has changed over to false.”

    No, it’s always been false, it’s just that we haven’t had the smarts to realise that, until now.

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  269. Tony

    No, it’s always been false, it’s just that we haven’t had the smarts to realise that, until now.

    Does the human condition equates to this? Our existence is conditional on our circumstances. However it is not applicable to the dynamic we are discussing, so lets stick to the facts. Not go off on some theoretical rant.

    Frog, are we able to make the spell checker recognize NZ vernacular?

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  270. Fair enough, but if, in replacing that high polluting capacity, we continue to degrade our habitat but only more slowly, then the die-off will continue and, ultimately, at a much higher overall level

    If we do not replace it, the die-off is immediate, brutal and almost certainly fatal to our civilization.

    The rock and the hard place are with us now… the question is whether when we attempt to get through this, we will have enough left (people, knowledge and battered ship) to continue sailing or whether the vessel ultimately sinks with the loss of all hands. Yes… I have nailed my colors to the mast. I am a member of the human race, and I will attempt to preserve it against ALL hazard.

    The use of non-renewable resources (steel, concrete, rare-earths) at the maximum rate we can use them to collect renewable energy is unsustainable in the longer run, but their limits DEFINE the carrying capacity of this planet (in absence of access to space). To a large extent they are recyclable materials.

    No, it’s always been false, it’s just that we haven’t had the smarts to realise that, until now.

    I do not agree.

    When isolated tribes of hunter gatherer’s succumbed to disease or were overtaken by disaster the future of the species could hang on a thread. Our genetics show evidence of previous “die-offs” in the past when we were reduced in numbers to the point where extinction was a real possibility.

    It is ALWAYS possible, and as long as our numbers are low and the value placed on individuals very high, that risk must be considered… but we are very far from that situation now.

    The point is that the situation now is NOT the situation when a species emerges.

    The growth of population is “good” in the sense of being survival positive, as long as the population does not exceed the carrying capacity.

    It must rise to meet that capacity because numbers are a good overall strategy for survival (for any species) of unforeseeable and extreme events.

    Perhaps we are using different definition of “good”?

    BJ

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  271. If we build to replace, then we are building to continue BAU, where problems come not only from the impacts of the methods of electricity generation but also from the continuation of a wasteful lifestyle.

    Cutting back will happen. We can target replacement of all non-renewable energy sources with renewables. Lets say that the engineering community pulls a miracle out of its collective bum and manages to ACHIEVE that somehow.

    Is that a “BAD” thing? We manage to survive without consuming the whole planet?

    What you are begging for I think is the destruction of BAU, and being based entirely on renewables makes that happen, because BAU is based on borrowing from the future and spending the savings from the past. you can’t borrow with renewable energy. You have to collect it before you can use it. You can’t spend the savings of the past, there are none. So I think that BAU goes – no matter what.

    However, if it should not, and we manage to put together enough renewables to sustain it, the only negative result would be a bringing forward of the day when entropy finally wins and we can no longer recycle from the ocean salts and dust, the materials to continue our civilization on this planet… and my goal is for our species to outlive this planet on which it was born. Waste, no waste, I don’t really care about that in the end. I wish to eliminate waste as a MEANS to that end, but that is not the goal I seek.

    BJ

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  272. yeah..monbiot also thinks the whole vegan/not-eating-animals thing is a bit stoopid too..

    …it’s good that you have sympathetic company there…eh bj..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  273. I didn’t say I agree completely with him, did I Phil? He lays out the reasons however, much as I have been doing, and points out a couple of new ones.

    I tend to agree with Tony in the sense that cutting back on our “growth” is necessary and our current “consumption as an end in itself” culture needs to cease. I just don’t want us to hurt ourselves or anyone else more than necessary to get there.

    I tend to agree with YOU – to the extent that vegetarianism is an argument that we have in my family. I personally might have a go at full Vegan if I were home full time and cooking… but that would bring other problems.. even if I were fully retired.

    The point however, is that despite you and Todd, I remain unmoved. The points that Monbiot makes and that I have made, are unrefuted by the actual facts on the ground. There are problems with nuclear power and in particular with nuclear power combined with the desire to increase profits, but they pale before the problem of AGW.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  274. BJ

    Going back to the nuclear issue – I am joined now by Monbiot.

    I didn’t see him post here. Monbiot’s ideas are defunct! He thinks that the redundancy, waste and containment issues are worse for renewables than nuclear power. What an idiot!

    Monbiot

    Yes, I would prefer to see the entire sector shut down, if there were harmless alternatives. But there are no ideal solutions.

    Renewables are a better solution than nuclear power.

    Atomic energy has just been subjected to one of the harshest of possible tests, and the impact on people and the planet has been small. The crisis at Fukushima has converted me to the cause of nuclear power.

    Converted? He’s been a feverish crusader for a while now. It’s rather early to be claiming that the impact from Fukushima is small. Anyway, why is an “impact” only relative to human life? We don’t even know how much radiation was released from the three partial or full meltdowns and one fire… It is likely that all the spent fuel contained around those reactors has been released into the atmosphere. Has anybody calculated exactly how much radiation that is? But like a lot of pro nuke evangelists, he thinks that because the radiation mainly went into the ocean and dissipated in the atmosphere, there is no impact. Time to wake up to reality.

    BJ

    The points that Monbiot makes and that I have made, are unrefuted by the actual facts on the ground.

    So the US Navy’s nuclear record is exemplary and renewables cannot replace nuclear power? I think you have well and truly lost those arguments BJ. Your little tantrum certainly didn’t help your case. Whether you’re moved or not is dependent on your arrogance and clearly not the facts. Yet you continue to compare nuclear power with coal while ignoring the facts presented in the renwables argument… in the vain hope that your rhetoric will be believed. You’re as delusional as Monbiot.

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  275. I am going to break my silence for one point.

    The reason Todd is on “ignore” with me is that he made an assertion that was entirely false.

    This was then proved to be false – the calculations presented remain above in this thread.

    The problem is that he went on to repeat the assertion as though no proof otherwise existed… even though it was suggested that it was not relevant to the real argument about the safety of nuclear power.

    His inability to accept that he might be in error, even on a minor point, indicates that there is no point in arguing ANY point with him.

    BJ

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  276. BJ,

    “It must rise to meet that capacity because numbers are a good overall strategy for survival”

    The because doesn’t follow. It’s not necessary to meet the capacity, only stay within the capacity. Indeed, although numbers is a good survival strategy for the species, it is probably a better survival strategy to live well within the carrying capacity, if possible, since that would allow for some fluctuations in that capacity, without necessarily imposing a die-back.

    “If we do not replace it, the die-off is immediate, brutal and almost certainly fatal to our civilization.

    Well, I disagree. We certainly don’t need to replace all of it. Also, if we aren’t prepared to go carefully and consider all environmental impacts, the die-off may also be brutal and fatal. Though, I suppose the difference between us is that you feel, for some reason, that our global civilization should be maintained at all costs. I don’t think it is important do do so and don’t necessarily think it’s even desirable. The difference means that you won’t consider the in-between route and explains why you can only see two choices: doing nothing or doing everything.

    However, you make a good point about growth. I guess, from our species point of view, initial growth was a good thing. At some point, though, we reached a fairly steady level of population and of societies, which lasted for some considerable time. After “discovering” monoculture, things started to deteriorate, at an accelerating pace.

    “Is that a “BAD” thing? We manage to survive without consuming the whole planet?”

    But you’ve simply assumed that we can continue to consume energy (and other resources, for which energy is a proxy) at, at least, current rates without damaging the environment in any way. I think that’s impossible. So we definitely do NOT want to replace all non-renewable energy with renewable energy, even IF the act of diverting those natural energy flows doesn’t end up having a significant impact.

    “So I think that BAU goes – no matter what.”

    If BAU goes, then we don’t need to replace non-renewables with renewables, entirely. You’re right in that BAU was made possible by borrowing from the future (though it’s really by raping the past), but it is supported by energy flows through our societies. Maintaining those energy flows will just keep BAU going, continuing to kill the oceans, erode the topsoil, quicken the great extinction, and so on. We have to cut down, and drastically. We should not replace all non-renewables with renewables. Our primary strategy should be to powerdown and re-localise.

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  277. BJ,

    “Going back to the nuclear issue – I am joined now by Monbiot”

    Sorry, but I have to say it. Oh whoopeedoo!

    Argument from authority is no argument at all, even though I have a lot of respect for Monbiot’s views, most of the time.

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  278. Monbiot starts out with: “Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.”

    So, because “as far as we know” no-one has yet died from radiation exposure, all is hunky-dory. He then goes on to say:

    Like others, I have called for renewable power to be used both to replace the electricity produced by fossil fuel and to expand the total supply, displacing the oil used for transport and the gas used for heating fuel. Are we also to demand that it replaces current nuclear capacity? The more work we expect renewables to do, the greater the impact on the landscape will be, and the tougher the task of public persuasion.

    So he actually does want to continue our use of energy (and, by implication, our use of all resources) at, at least, the current rate. And he wants nuclear because it has less impact on the landscape. What a great argument. Not.

    Actually, with this article, it almost looks like Monbiot has sold out. I’ll keep an eye on his musings, in future. He appears to be quite happy with our civilization, apart from the source of energy that powers it. Nuclear is an unsustainable power source and renewables can’t cut it, so far as our current consumer lifestyles are concerned. Monbiot is utterly wrong.

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  279. Tony

    I think it does indeed follow, as the survival of rabbits and mice and every other fast breeder shows. It isn’t the only strategy and but it DOES work. Using all the available resource, but no more, cushions any and every species against catastrophe… SOME breeding pairs may survive. That’s just a consequence of the process and the numbers.

    Die-back isn’t the only catastrophe… just the one we face today.

    It doesn’t work well when the species gains access to some advantage or some short lived bonus of available food or energy so that it overshoots the normal environmental limits.

    Which is where we are now.

    Though, I suppose the difference between us is that you feel, for some reason, that our global civilization should be maintained at all costs. I don’t think it is important do do so and don’t necessarily think it’s even desirable.

    Yes, I think we’ve been here before. We’ve spent a huge amount of effort and earned a huge base of knowledge that cannot be maintained without maintaining some continuity of civilization. I am not concerned with individuals, but with the knowledge and the arts that would be lost.

    That would be the great sin.

    But you’ve simply assumed that we can continue to consume energy (and other resources, for which energy is a proxy) at, at least, current rates without damaging the environment

    I was speaking hypothetically in that case. I don’t assume for an instant that we could actually do that barring CATS, and I am actually pretty keen to get rid of what passes for BAU myself. My point was that if we could do it, the problem is resolved only to BAU… and IS that really a bad thing. Much harder to say that on a purely environmental basis if the resource to sustain it is actually available.

    If BAU goes, then we don’t need to replace non-renewables with renewables, entirely

    Hard to be sure but I think I agree here.

    To rephrase (to be sure we understand each other)…

    If we get rid of BAU then the replacement with renewables is not needed for the whole 40 Terawatts of juice we’re guzzling, could make it on 30 or even 20. Not forgetting that the developing nations will need to get a fair share.

    We don’t have anything close to that and will find it impossible with our best efforts to manage it quickly, which is why I say to start building now, but yes, we do not have to replace all.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  280. Which is why I mentioned above that he did not address population overshoot. Monbiot is appallingly incomplete here, because cutting back on what we use and restricting our population is one of the necessary strategies. However, his points about nuclear power and its risks and its perceived risks vs the threat posed by AGW, have to be made.

    It is pretty clear to me that some people who are pretty Green, really do not properly understand how bad a problem AGW is for us. I’m happy with nothing less than a full court press. Every approach available has to be taken… and any risk short of global catastrophe can be considered. Cut back as much as possible. Build renewables as fast as possible. EVERYTHING focused on the removal of the CO2… as short of having CATS, that is the only thing that will save our sorry butts… and only a very few understand how CATS changes the game.

    BJ

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  281. bj,

    “Using all the available resource, but no more, cushions any and every species against catastrophe… SOME breeding pairs may survive.”

    Sorry, you’ve lost me here. Why would using ALL available resources cushion a species against catastrophes better than using a little less, say, than all available resources? And what about problems that may not be described as catastrophes but would result in fewer available resources for a while?

    “My point was that if we could do it, the problem is resolved only to BAU… and IS that really a bad thing.”

    To me, this is like saying, “if we can achieve the impossible, would that really be so bad?”

    BAU is bad because BAU implicitly assumes an infinite planet, in all ways. As we don’t have an infinite planet, CATS aside, then maintaining BAU for a little while longer is bad. It might enable the population to grow even further beyond carrying capacity, thus making the die-back worse. But, since you say we’ll never achieve what you say we should try for, then why would you even support trying for it? We might as well try for something better that is equally unachievable. After all, in this forum all things are possible.

    “but yes, we do not have to replace all”

    Good. Well that could, at least, modify the plans. For example, let’s say we try to replace all. In that case, there is no need to bother about when and where we build, just do what we always do and go for the projects that give us the biggest bang for the smallest buck, to begin with. We wouldn’t have to worry about the consequences, since we’re going to be building everywhere, eventually. But recognising that we don’t need to replace it all means that we can at least go for the sites that are least vulnerable and for technologies that appear to be the most environmentally friendly, before going for the other sites and technologies. And we can observe and measure as we go, to ensure that expected impacts match up to actuals. And, in the meantime, we can commission extensive research on environmental impacts.

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  282. Several years ago I purchased a Gamma Scout radiation monitor, and what with nukes going pop being all the rage, the monitor has now taken up residence in the living room as an item of teatime converation.

    Normally, the unit indicates radiation around 0.10 micro-sieverts per hour, give or take, but today for a while it showed the highest level I can recall it showing, about 0.24 micro-sieverts per hour…

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  283. Tony:

    Monbiot starts out with: “Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.”

    How many people dies in coal mines in the last 12 months? How many people died drilling for oil or gas?

    There are risks in all forms of energy harnessing. In fact, energy is defined as the ability to do work, but could also be defined as the ability to do damage. Even renewables have their risks.

    Trevor.

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  284. To me, this is like saying, “if we can achieve the impossible, would that really be so bad?”

    :-) Yes… it IS a bit like saying that… but it certainly wasn’t meant to say that that is the target I am aiming at.

    +++++++++++++

    The bit about the resources … I think what I am really getting at is that for any species, the reproductive rate is ideally balanced at the point where it has completely filled its ecological niche, so that the maximum number of breeding pairs supportable within its renewable resources… (and I didn’t use that word earlier and should have to be clear), is always present.

    This gives the species the largest possible cushion against disaster. In terms of evolution THAT rather than resource availability, is the cushion.

    ++++++++++++

    My point Tony is that there is no way we could replace ALL without 30 or more years of very intense effort, and that is not even my normal engineering pessimism talking. Todd imagined a decade. That was to a large degree where my argument with Todd was, the degree of difficulty to replace current usage with a similar supply of renewable/sustainable energy.

    To replace even half of our current usage, is overwhelming… and cutting back from BAU by half is no joke either. It demands the equivalent of an economic Ctrl-Alt-Del. Which is part of my insistence that the economic system be addressed on an urgent basis. We can’t even START until the current system, which holds that consumption is a sacrament, has been removed.

    I don’t think we can replace ALL before the problems get severe enough to interfere with the projects. We always look for “the biggest bang for the buck”. NZ has the luxury of a huge wind resource, and a huge potential tidal resource in the Cook Strait… and we built a lot of hydro dams early on so a lot of our power is already renewable. We could even be able to be able to export “energy” in the form of food and aluminium in useful amounts. Not many places are going to have that ability. Iceland maybe. Australia maybe… but we are well short of being fully renewable, and we have to work to reach that goal. Most of the world is horribly short of being renewable.

    So I am not concerned with the possibility of building more than we really need. We couldn’t get close to that amount in 2 decades of pouring every effort into it (and THAT can’t happen with the current economic system either). There will be plenty of time to do as you say, to study the impacts and observe the results as we go.

    I think we have a moral duty to go for some surplus, because the shortages are going to outnumber the surpluses by a lot… and people WILL die. (Maybe not soon. They are fracking more thoroughly than ever, and planning to burn all the natural gas they can get, but that will run out and the ice-caps are still melting)

    There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

    Since the Johnson Administration in the US opted for Guns and Butter and borrowed from Social Security to make that happen (and maybe since the Fed spawned from the secret meeting back on Jekyll Island).. the bill for the dining out has been kicked down the road. Repeatedly. That bill is environmental and it is economic, and it can’t be kicked down the road any more as it gets bigger every time we kick it.

    We must change. The economic system is a barrier between us and the environment. We interact with the environment THROUGH economics… so the economic system has to be altered to alter our use/misuse of the environment. Fortunately, it is broken and vulnerable. We have a shot.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  285. Trevor,

    Monbiot starts out with: “Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.”

    How many people dies in coal mines in the last 12 months? How many people died drilling for oil or gas?

    That’s irrelevant to my point, which was pointing out the logical flaw. His argument appeared to be based, in part, on his incomplete perception of the impacts of a crisis that has yet to run its course.

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  286. Yes, it is a logical flaw but so is the notion that nuclear is so deadly that it cannot be done.

    If an earthquake trashes a hydro dam and 5000 villagers downstream were killed, does that make hydro dams unsafe?

    This ancient plant of flawed design with the profit motive working against it still did not suffer a complete meltdown and belch its guts into the atmosphere or the ocean. It leaks, but it is not catastrophe. It could have been done a lot better, but overall it hasn’t failed completely.

    You are right. Logically it may still kill people.

    Trevor is right, coal already kills people.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  287. BJ

    The reason Todd is on “ignore” with me is that he made an assertion that was entirely false.

    And I thought it was because I called you a defeatist!

    This was then proved to be false – the calculations presented remain above in this thread.

    You presented some calculations, which I do not accept. My assertion was that CO2 is not the only attributing factor to climate change. The other assertion was that the US Navy’s nuclear accident record is not what you make it out to be. I also believe that nuclear energy in its current faze of development cannot be done safely. Fukushima is a clear sign that it is not safe, which is not relative to how many people die. How much radiation has it released BJ?

    The problem is that he went on to repeat the assertion as though no proof otherwise existed… even though it was suggested that it was not relevant to the real argument about the safety of nuclear power.

    My assertions have proof, whereas yours are built on your own incorrect beliefs that ambiant temperature does not contribute to climate change and is therefore not worth taking into account and that the US Navy’s nuclear accident record is exemplary, when it is not. You are incorrect in both these instances.

    His inability to accept that he might be in error, even on a minor point, indicates that there is no point in arguing ANY point with him.

    Your inability to debate the topic properly and accept when you are in error makes you look silly. The “I’m not talking to him” but here’s a big bleat mentality is juvenile!

    Todd imagined a decade. That was to a large degree where my argument with Todd was, the degree of difficulty to replace current usage with a similar supply of renewable/sustainable energy.

    Our argument is about renewables versus nuclear. If we had a choice between nuclear and coal, then nuclear wins. If the choice is between nuclear and renewables, then renewables win. Your belief that there is no choice is where our argument finds its context. I did not imagine anything… I stated that we could achieve total supply of energy from renewables by 2022 if the willpower was there to do so. If everybody decided they want the species to survive and attributed the cause with the corresponding effort and finances, I believe we could avert the looming disaster. A few people have insinuated that renewables are not able to be applied in such a way and have presented some incorrect information to try to back up that incorrect belief, which I have refuted with relevant information. My assertion is based on evidence, whereas yours is not.

    Which is part of my insistence that the economic system be addressed on an urgent basis.

    I have shown that the profit motive can be beneficial to the implementation of renewables and asserted this with relevant information, whereas you have tried to high-jack the cause for your own belief system about an invisible hand which will in most likely hood do more damage to the implementation of renewables if followed than any current misconceptions about the technology. Renewables are in fact more profitable than nuclear and non-renewables, you need to look at the big picture.

    We could even be able to export “energy” in the form of food and aluminium in useful amounts.

    We already do this?

    Respectfully,

    Todd.

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  288. BJ,

    I think it’s quite possible to build more than we (NZ) really need, since with relocalisation and powering down, I think our current generation capacity is ample. However, my point was also that building with a target of full replacement would mean that building could, and maybe would, proceed not at the best environmental sites first but at the best economical sites first. That is, when building as part of a full replacement strategy, there is no real reason to order the projects by environmental impact, only by energy return.

    I agree about the need to alter our economic goals. However, you and I both know that it isn’t going to happen, just as replacing all polluting energy with non-polluting energy isn’t going to happen. With that knowledge, let’s step into a virtual world; would you approach it my way or your way, in that virtual world?

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  289. dbuckley

    Normally, the unit indicates radiation around 0.10 micro-sieverts per hour, give or take, but today for a while it showed the highest level I can recall it showing, about 0.24 micro-sieverts per hour…

    Looking at wind patterns it is theoretically possible that some radiation could have traveled to New Zealand from Fukushima. When exactly was that reading taken and where abouts are you located, if you don’t mind me asking? There’s huge sun flares happening at the mo btw, so it might be that?

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  290. Tony

    NZ can build more than NZ needs. That’s quite possible.

    On a global scale, do we have a moral obligation to do so, and to what degree?

    BJ

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  291. You presented some calculations, which I do not accept.

    Without finding or showing error in them. You are still on ignore.

    BJ

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  292. Tony

    We won’t fix the economic mess in the this year, we have to be elected (and National has to be un-elected) first. It will take some time to get through the policy process, to properly consider the entailed problems.

    However, if we do those things and make the suggested changes, the power industry is no longer a “for profit” enterprise, and I think you will be surprised at how quickly Wall Street can be eviscerated if people see some alternative to the vampire squid approach.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  293. Actually Tony, not so much.

    He discusses replacing the nuclear plants, but ignores the much larger issue of AGW and the need to shut down all the fossil fueled plants. There are Thorium reactors built already and I am not counting on anything that hasn’t been done already. No “vaporware” in my engineering plans… at least with respect to nuclear power. The Cook Strait tidal scheme is another shade of equine.

    Point is, while we surely could replace every nuclear plant in the savings from better conservation, that ignores the BIGGER problem.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  294. BJ

    Without finding or showing error in them. You are still on ignore.

    http://www.prop1.org/2000/accident/1989/8907a1.htm

    Private researchers contended today that the Navy covered up a nuclear accident on a submarine 16 years ago because the incident was not mentioned on the ship’s logs.

    But William Arkin, a researcher with the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington research organizatio, asserted: ”The Navy had a major nuclear accident and then lied about it. We caught them with their bellbottoms down.”

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DEED61238F933A05756C0A96F948260

    Using public documents and Freedom of Information Act requests, we have discovered that in addition to the hundreds of minor collisions, fires and other mishaps that have become part of the public record, there is another log of incidents, a secret history, that has remained hidden. The recent spate of accidents, it appears, is not unusual. Rather, they are the latest in a long line of nuclear-related mishaps that goes back to the 1950s, when naval nuclear propulsion and weaponry first became widely used.

    Happy now nuke troll?

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  295. Todd, I’m in North Canterbury, and the Scout is in my lounge. I haven’t found any objects that are commonly there that raise the numbers significantly.

    Having said that, if my maths is good, the generally accepted ‘normal’ maximum is about 2.3 microsieverts per hour, so although my dose has doubled for a bit, its still an order of magnitude below the worry point :)

    And still rather less than the 500 microsieverts per hour that there was outside number two reactor!

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  296. BJ,

    Yes, hydro dams are unsafe.

    “still did not suffer a complete meltdown”

    Oh, I thought the crisis was still ongoing. Is it over then? I don’t recall reading about that; last I heard, the temperature in one reactor was 25% higher than what it was designed for and the power may not be switched on for the cooling systems for weeks or months.

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  297. Todd,

    “I stated that we could achieve total supply of energy from renewables by 2022 if the willpower was there to do so”

    Whilst, theoretically, you might be right, practically, you’re wrong. If the will was there right now, then all the necessary actions might be taken to achieve what you want. But it isn’t there. How long would it take to get that will there? Many years of carefully targetted education, I think. That delay between now and the will being there means that your target of 2022 is, for all practical purposes, impossible. If some of the necessary actions are started but the will isn’t there, then it would take many more decades to realise your dream.

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  298. BJ,

    John Michael Greer (JMG) certainly downgrades the impact of AGW (and I disagree with him on that) but he doesn’t ignore it generally, even if it is not in the post I linked to. I didn’t realise that any commercial scale Thorium reactors had been built, can you link to information about it? To JMG, it’s vapourware if the technology has not been tried at the scale and in the conditions necessary for it to be helpful. Obviously, some vapourware makes it to the real world but I’ve read so much about technology that isn’t ready for mainstream from nuclear advocates, over the last few years, that I despair at people starting to address reality. The “solution” is always just around the corner. Not.

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