Showing posts from August, 2015

The Real War

The real war is not between renewables and fossil fuels , no, the real war is between renewables and nuclear . This is somewhat ironic, because nuclear is one of the lowest CO2 emitting energies we have and so, in theory, renewable promoters should be fully on board with nuclear, but this is obviously not the case. The reasons are very simple:  1. Renewables need  pairing fossil fuel power plants since solar and wind energy are intermittent and unreliable. 2. Even though, in theory, nuclear could be paired with renewables, it would make no sense whatsoever. Nuclear is better suited to produce 24/7 and besides adding renewables to a nuclear grid would increase CO2 emissions so it would be a lose-lose proposition (more expensive and higher emissions). On the other hand, nuclear doesn't need renewables at all, what is more, they siphon funds that could have been better spent in additional nuclear capacity (if the objective is to reduce the CO2 intensity of a g

The Air Conditioned Office

As long as we have persons concocting "solutions" to world problems from the comfort of their air conditioned offices we will continue to see completely impractical or even absurd proposals. My request to them is: come to the real world! Get your hands dirty. Speak with the people that are desperately poor. Ask persons all over which are their real priorities. Try to understand economics and get a modicum of knowledge respecting engineering. If these reality insulated persons came to the real world, they would realize that climate change is hardly a priority for anybody. Right. Their priorities are feeding, and educating their families. Increasing their standard of living. And yes, maybe even be better prepared for violent weather. How do you achieve all of the above? By, among other things, having access to abundant, reliable, affordable energy. Today, for the most part, energy with the above mentioned characteristics are mainly fossil fuels. Yes, eventually

Team of Rivals

Why are many renewable energy promoters more anti-nuclear than anti-fossil fuels when in reality nuclear is one of the lowest CO2 emitting technologies we have? Good question. The reason is that renewables need a pairing fossil fueled power plant since on an annual basis, they produce only 10 to 20% (solar PV) or around 25% (wind) on average of their plate capacity. The marriage made in heaven is that of renewables with pairing natural gas power plants. The natural gas plants can be easily modulated and thus are perfect for compensating for the fluctuating / unreliable output of renewables. If a country commits to renewables what they are actually doing is locking in fossil fuel generating capacity for the long haul. Renewables do not reduce the need for fossil fuel installed capacity as at any particular moment their output will be zero. Here a renewable promoter clearly states that wind and solar plants are really natural gas plants: