Showing posts from March, 2018

Not Created Equal

A one GWe nuclear power plant operating at 85% capacity factor produces annually 7.45 TWh. Thus, some people believe that a solar PV farm producing this same amount of energy on an annual basis can replace the nuclear power plant.  This is not correct. Nuclear power plants for the most part operate 24/7 and thus produce reliable base load power you can count with. Solar PV farms produce continually varying output during the day and nothing at all during the night. Also, in most places there is significant variation in solar insolation throughout the year. And the lower levels might actually coincide with the times of year when the most electricity is needed. As an example, here we have the insolation data for Berlin, Germany: The variation between July and December is 10 to 1. Plus, Germany usually needs the most electricity in the dead of winter.  Thus, solar PV does not replace nuclear capacity (or any other capacity), it just displaces energy from reliable pr