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Aug 1, 2012

Energy admission: wind, solar to be cheapest by 2030

The Bureau of Energy Economics now says solar and wind will provide the cheapest forms of energy, shaking up the nation’s electricity grid.

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The Australian government’s chief energy forecasting body has published a dramatic revision of its cost estimates, predicting that onshore wind and solar PV will deliver the cheapest forms of energy by 2030 — with solar PV dramatically cheaper than all other energy forms by 2050.

The Australian Energy Technology Assessment (AETA) prepared by the government’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) slashes its previous estimates of the cost of a whole range of renewables technologies, and in some cases doubles the predicted cost of coal-fired generation in the decades to come — with or without the addition of carbon capture and storage.

Its estimates of the cost of gas generation are relatively unchanged, around $130/MWh, but in its most controversial conclusion is says that nuclear energy currently represents the cheapest form of energy — saying that its range of costs is between $55 and $100/MWh, even though the experience in the UK is that new nuclear requires tariffs of at least $220/MW to get built.

BREE’s Professor Quentin Grafton said in the report, prepared in conjunction with engineering group WorleyParsons, that by 2030 some renewable technologies, such as solar PV and wind, are expected to have the lowest LCOE of all of the evaluated technologies.

“The results indicate that Australia’s energy future is likely to be very different to the present,” the report concludes. “This has profound implications for electricity networks, how energy is distributed and Australia’s ability to meet its targeted greenhouse gas emissions reductions.”

These are the first government-sponsored technology cost estimates published since the draft Energy white paper was released last December. That paper virtually ignored solar as a contributing element to Australia’s energy grid, but it now recognises that estimates for solar PV were wide of the mark, and its costs have fallen dramatically and would continue to do so (even though the report predicts no cost declines between 2020 and 2030).

The estimates for 2012, 2020, 2030 and 2050 are published below. The contrast with the December predictions — published at the bottom —  is informative.

BREE suggests that solar PV will be competing with onshore wind, biomass and, controversially, nuclear in Australia by the end of the decade, before emerging as the cheapest technology in subsequent years. Its estimates are for a midpoint of around $224/MW now, around $116/MWh by 2030 and a midpoint of $86/MWh by 2050, and as cheap as $70/MWh by 2020 and $30/MWh by 2050. Even brown coal, without a carbon price and CCS, is costed at around $100/MWh by 2020, nearly double that with a carbon price, and with CCS is costed between $150/MWh and $200/MWh, depending on the technology.

Its predictions for other renewable technologies may also be disputed by some technology developers.

A range of solar thermal technologies are appraised, with current costs estimated at more than $300/MWh, falling to around $200/MWh by 2025, but then making no further progress. Solar thermal developers, along with the International Energy Agency, believe costs will fall to around $100/MWh by the end of the decade. An Australian industry report released in June suggested costs of $120-$130/MWh could be reached.

The AETA report sees the average cost of onshore wind at $116/MW (although some are being built now in Australia for around $80/MW), and while it sees this falling to the low $90s/MW by 2025, it then predicts a gradual rise in costs, which may be disputed by the industry. It says offshore wind would cost around $194/MW now, and be virtually unchanged out to 2050.

In wave power, where Australian developers predict costs coming down to around $100/MWh by the end of the decade, BREE suggests it will still cost around $222/MW by 2025, but then achieve no further cost reductions over the next 25 years.

Geothermal (hot rocks) is expected to deliver costs of around $215/MWh in 2025, and then gradually increase in costs to $222/MWh, while hot sedimentary aquifer’s will cost around $154/MWh from around 2020 and also increase in costs. Geothermal developers have previously predicted costs of around $100/MWh, although they have gone a bit quiet on these predictions recently due to a lack of progress.

Among the non-renewable technologies, BREE said combined cycle gas (and in later years combined with carbon capture and storage) and nuclear power offered the lowest LCOE over most of the projection period, and they remain cost competitive with the lower cost renewable technologies out to 2050.

However, its forecasts for nuclear are astonishing, given the experience in the UK, which already has nuclear plants and is desperate to build more. The BREE report suggests the cost for new-build nuclear in 2012 in Australia would be less than $100/MWh, rising slightly to around $126/MWh in 2050. Last week, the Financial Times reported that French nuclear giant EDF is asking for £165/MWh — or $250/MWh — to build the Hinkley Point project, and a French government committee estimated the ongoing costs of nuclear plants already built would be around $88/MW by 2017, and that does not include the capital costs. The BREE report says decommissioning costs were not factored in to its calculations.

 

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85 comments

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85 thoughts on “Energy admission: wind, solar to be cheapest by 2030

  1. Mark Duffett

    @lindsayb, I get what you’re saying, and I appreciate the expression of open-mindedness. However, what you’re essentially wanting (‘truly independent researchers’) is an expert with no experience or links in the field. At some point arguments have to be evaluated on their merits, not on who’s mounting them.

    (Sorry, this is a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine re the overrating of ‘vested interests’, on innumerable issues beyond nuclear).

  2. lindsayb

    @mark duffett
    thanks for the link – interesting read, but still not sure where the truth lies here. Industry has a history of doing things that they know have seriously bad impacts on human and environmental health and regulatory agencies have a history of failing to investigate or regulate. The nuclear industry, regulatory agencies and the defence industry have very close ties, and if there were serious health consequences to radiation exposure and/or ingestion, this industry has both the power, means and motive to implement a very effective cover-up. You cannot do effective research without money and access to data Industry and government have tight control of information in this space. Industry and government also have a demonstrated ability to suppress unfavourable publications in the peer reviewed literature. When I find high quality publications from truly independent researchers with full access to relevant data, I will feel confident to take a position in this debate.

  3. Owen Gary

    Whenever there is a story concerning energy, there are 3 yellow cake protagonists in the form of :-

    *Christopher Dunne
    *Mark Duffet
    *John Bennetts

    There are a few minor cakers in there as well, but the point is the nuclear industries facts & figures are not worth the paper they are written on because their statistcs are manipulated like those in the pharmaceutical industry to fit any picture they want.
    Despite the crapola these above nuclear salesmen are spinning. There is always the latest & greatest nuclear reactor on the scene that is safer & more efficient than the last However we have had Chernobyl, Fukuishima plus a whole host who don’t report their leaks of which there has been many.

    Having relations who work in this industry using NDT, I can tell you it is a horror story. So Please Christopher, Mark & John spare us your verbal gammarrhea.

    *They are not safe
    *They are not cheap & when they stuff up they don’t give you a 2nd chance end of…

  4. Paul Johannessen

    If anyone is interested, the following .pdf is a newly released and interesting read on the fallout from Fukushima, and possible new directions that Japan could take in weening itself of nuclear.

    http://download.freshcurrents.org/?fb_action_ids=10151142418251796&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

  5. Hamis Hill

    The incontinent Mr Bennetts delivers as usual. Don’t forget to tag Doc on the way out.
    But, on the subject of your omniscience, the PM is castigating the States for their goldplated grid.
    Bask in the reflection, Johnny, and give us your take, (not those pecuniary rewards that, apparently do not colour your commentary). You do try very hard now don’t you.
    St John of the Posts, martyred while fighting the Trolls!
    Try to transubstantiate your opinions into facts. You don’t really need a miracle, do you?
    Not when you are infallible.

  6. Mark Duffett

    @lindsayb, I’d still be inclined to take UNSCEAR over the Annals of the NYAS publication on Chernobyl; the latter has been heavily criticised, see for example atomicinsights.com/2011/10/devastating-review-of-yablokovs-chernobyl-consequences-of-the-catastrophe-for-people-and-the-environment.html

    @the real Andrew, I guess it was only a matter of time before someone brought up BZE. Yes, I have read it. My take: it’s a trillion-dollar (not $370 billion) recipe for unreliability. Rather more detailed critiques are at (for example) bravenewclimate.com/2010/08/12/zca2020-critique/ and socialsciences.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/ZCAcrit.html.

  7. John Bennetts

    HH:
    It’s clear that you consider that your advancing years are sufficient excuse to justify and to excuse irrational bombast and insult when you are not in command of a discussion… most 3-year olds are able to understand the futility of this approach, though, like other 3-year-olds, they find it difficult to remain disciplined. Despite their tantrums, wise parents do not give in. Readers of your stream of invective will likewise also remain unconvinced by it.

    Pity is, you have missed the lessons of life about the desirable aspects of civility and rationality.

    You are wasting both your time and that of those who are trying to follow this thread.

    Yes, I know, folks, I have broken Rule Number One: I have “Fed the troll” and thus, no doubt, have prompted yet another outburst. To which I will remain aloof – the man is in need of help.

  8. drsmithy

    DR SMITHY, 2000 people is a city? With a ten billion dollar conventional power station attached?

    No. 1000-2000 people or more in most countries is considered an urban area.

    That usually means it will be attached to the power grid. It in no way implies it will have its own “ten billion dollar conventional power station attached”.

    There were no centralised power stations servicing the original North American suburbs.

    Right. How many people in the suburbs today do you think would be happy to go at night without electricity ?

    Remember the original reference? Too inconvenient?

    I have no idea what you might be referencing now. It’s difficult enough extracting anything at all from your mostly incoherent rambling. I responded directly to points raised.

    Cheap and reliable until someone has to pay for the upgrades to the poles and wires.

    Then still cheap and reliable because it costs less than paying the capital for multiple generation sources, and having to replace whatever they might be individually.

  9. Hamis Hill

    DR SMITHY, 2000 people is a city? With a ten billion dollar conventional power station attached?
    There were no centralised power stations servicing the original North American suburbs.
    Remember the original reference? Too inconvenient?
    Might get in the way of being a total pseud.
    Wood and Kerosene perhaps and a bit of straw from your man, Man?
    Your cities that never die? By the rivers of Babylon?
    You have no contempt for the original questions?
    Now renewables will not allow Billions to escape the wonders of the grid because there is no alternative. Not an answer.
    Cheap and reliable until someone has to pay for the upgrades to the poles and wires.
    Anyone not in lala land might see this as a problem Doc.
    Didn’t see anything that amounts to an answer.
    Get back on the turps, it’s the weekend in lala land.
    Don’t forget to tag your man John on the way out.
    Keep your straw and use it to wipe your “Hinterland”. Clue, something to do with a city.

  10. drsmithy

    DR SMITHY,answer the bloody question!

    I did.

    Not liking the answer makes it no less an answer.

    Six Billion people the vast majority of whom do not live in your beloved metropolis’s are going to wait around until people like yourselves magically wish it into existence for them?

    As of 2007, the majority of the world’s population lives in urban areas. The trend is increasing urbanisation.

    1,000-2,000 people or more is considered “urban” in most countries.

    The straw is between your ears Man. Nearly everyone? You’re joking or just plain stupid!

    Yes, nearly everyone.

    A villager living Kenya, 6oo km from the coast, must abandon his solar panels ands his radio because it is inefficient expensive and unreliable? Just like your education apparently.

    This is another straw man.

    I seem to have forgotten more that you’ll ever understand, Dr Smithy, if you think that no-one knows that suburbs are by definition SUB-URB. An understanding rather hard to avoid

    If you think everyone living outside the CBD of a major city has any interest in trading cheap, reliable grid-connected electricity for unreliable, expensive, individually generated electricity, you’re off in la-la land.

    Contempt is the stock in trade of pseudo-intellectuals, who are always surprised when they get a large return on their efforts.

    I think this statement should cover everyone’s RDIs of irony and hypocrisy for the day.

  11. Hamis Hill

    Contempt is the stock in trade of pseudo-intellectuals, who are always surprised when they get a large return on their efforts.

  12. Hamis Hill

    DR SMITHY,answer the bloody question!
    Six Billion people the vast majority of whom do not live in your beloved metropolis’s are going to wait around until people like yourselves magically wish it into existence for them?
    The straw is between your ears Man. Nearly everyone? You’re joking or just plain stupid!
    A villager living Kenya, 6oo km from the coast, must abandon his solar panels ands his radio because it is inefficient expensive and unreliable? Just like your education apparently.
    And “The Glory That WAS Rome Is Of Another DAY” except in your foetid imagination.
    I seem to have forgotten more that you’ll ever understand, Dr Smithy, if you think that no-one knows that suburbs are by definition SUB-URB. An understanding rather hard to avoid
    What sort of cretin are you? You won’t be able to answer that question either.
    So do other posters a favour and start using your brain instead of just delivering a written stomach rumble, or John Bennetts styel verbal diarrhoea. Got the cure there Doc?

  13. drsmithy

    The question has not been answered as to why centralised power generation, and its grid, is appropriate the vast majority of the six billion people on the planet.

    This is a straw man. No-one is arguing a power grid is the best solution for everyone.

    They are, however, making the point that it’s the best solution for nearly everyone.

    And why decentralised power provision is not in fact better for these people both economically and socially.

    Because it isn’t. Decentralised, isolated power generation is inefficient, expensive and unreliable.

    There seems to be an untested and unwarranted faith in the modern, grid fed city that is almost religious in its blindness.

    It is a struggle to see how anyone could call the city “untested”, given as a concept it’s been around for millennia.

    The major cities of North America at the end of the 18800’s were overcrowded cesspits of poverty, crime and exploitation. There is no argument about that.
    Henry Ford created the American Dream of suburbia by allowing his fellow citizens to escape the
    iniquitous cities accessing inexpensive land via their Model Ts.

    Uh, you seem to have missed the rather significant point that suburbia *is* part of “the modern, grid fed city”.

  14. Hamis Hill

    The question has not been answered as to why centralised power generation, and its grid, is appropriate the vast majority of the six billion people on the planet.
    And why decentralised power provision is not in fact better for these people both economically and socially.
    There seems to be an untested and unwarranted faith in the modern, grid fed city that is almost religious in its blindness.
    The major cities of North America at the end of the 18800’s were overcrowded cesspits of poverty, crime and exploitation. There is no argument about that.
    Henry Ford created the American Dream of suburbia by allowing his fellow citizens to escape the
    iniquitous cities accessing inexpensive land via their Model Ts.
    There is no argument about that.
    The overcrowding and inequity of the worlds modern cities replicate in their unsustainablilty the conditions of the pre-ford cities of North America.
    The escape route is decentralised power generation supplyin similar advantages as enjoyed by those
    Model T owners. Conventional or Nuclear conventional power generation with its expensive and troublesome grid is simply not sustainable. Wisdom and maturity is needed here>

  15. Andrew (the real one?)

    This is the link to our future!
    http://beyondzeroemissions.org/zero-carbon-australia-2020
    There you will find the pdf to download that I refered to in my previous post.
    Cheers

  16. Andrew (the real one?)

    @John Bennetts, Hamis Hill, Lindsayb and others, you may wish to have a look at a report called;
    Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan.
    A very interesting read and what is possible and should be done.
    I’ll put the link in the next post but it will be in moderation for a while.

  17. Andrew (the real one?)

    @John Bennetts,
    I have spent some time reading about Fast Breeder Reactors and will withdraw some of my earlier remarks. I was incorrect to state that the spent fuel is more radioactive than spent fuel from a usual reactor. It does seem that the spent fuel has a short, around 300-500 year dangerous radioactive life.
    Since these reactors use spent fuel from convential reactors it sounds good.
    The claim is that they are safer than current reactors but I would have to tread carefully here as we have seen that human error is always possible and often not predictable.
    Weather Nuclear is appropriate for Australia is doubtful. We would have to import the technology, the experts and even the fuel. This could end up very expensive. But I will keep my mind open to the idea of Breeder Reactors.
    I don’t agree with you that Australia can’t play a part in exporting renewable technology.

  18. John Bennetts

    There’s little prospect of reaching agreement with a person who writes nonsense. I’m out of here.

    HH: Grow up.

  19. Hamis Hill

    And Mr Bennetts outs himself, how nice.

  20. John Bennetts

    Hamis, you offer a path to nowhere.

    You are not seeing “pimps, following the cash” – you are being asked to put your thinking cap on, by people like yourself, who care.

    There are no “paths to reflected glory”, no “monumental egos”. Please, use your noggin and consider the facts. Follow the links, consider the prospects and make a rational decision. Some of those who you dismiss so lightly actually care about the environment and worry about climate change daily. If you can’t or won’t be rational, please at least argue nicely. Use rational stuff: facts, references and numbers. Cut the cr_p.

  21. Hamis Hill

    Anyone else sick of those posters who pander for multi billion dollar investments, touting for customers for endless debt, and pretending that they dooing something else like providing “power”.
    Accompanied by reflected glory, basking in piles of gold offered at a price, and monumental ego.
    The typical power station pimps, following the cash.

  22. lindsayb

    @christopher dunne
    “LINDSAYB, you are, as they say, welcome to your own opinions, but not your own facts”

    This is pretty patronising. Which of my comments would you like the references for?

  23. lindsayb

    Moderated again?? What now??

  24. Hamis Hill

    “I have read that after three hundred years the radio active material is..”?
    Unless the writer is a time traveller and has experienced this directly, then he is using the wrong tense.
    Those opinions which this character declares to be cheap have no bearing on this debate at all for the most expensive opinions belong to those stumpimg up the tens of billions of dollars and those, usually politicians and a few “experts”, getting their cut of the action.
    In the cash for comment category?

  25. lindsayb

    @christopher dunne
    my previous attempt at a reply has ended up in moderation, for some reason, so I will attempt a revised response.
    fact is that the Who Chernobyl report has been vetted by the IAEA, as anything radiological has been for the past 50 years. This made me suspicious enough to try finding some original work on the subject.
    You can see some facts from a different perspective in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences publication titled “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment” . This is “an analysis of the scientific literature, including more than 1,000 titles and more than 5,000 printed and Internet publications mainly in Slavic languages, on the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster”.
    The findings presented in this work lean more towards the numbers suggested by Dr Caldicott than the “approximately 100 deceased cases” you cite above.
    Curious to know what elements in my statements above you consider to be opinion. Happy to provide references.

  26. John Bennetts

    @lindsayb Posted Thursday, 2 August 2012 at 4:17 pm:

    Thanks for demonstrating an open mind on this, the most important current energy question. If, like me, you truly believe that low- and no-carbon energy sources are essential for the health of the world’s climate and its economies, then all such technologies must be considered – eg hydro, wave, solar PV, hot rock geothermal, solar thermal, wind and uranium.

    If you want to know more about Gen IV reactors, simply Google the phrase and start reading. There’s a huge amount out there.

    Alternatively, try the Brave New Climate web site. There are several articles under the “Sustainable Nuclear” tab on the home page at bravenewclimate.com/ (add the WWW bit at the front). This site is moderated and run by folk with at least basic engineering and science knowledge and has a policy that requires facts to be referenced – ie, citations must be provided. While this does not prevent cherry-picking of facts, at least those things which are claimed to be facts must be referenced, so that others can form their own opinion as to their value and relevance.

    There are also plenty of anti-nuke websites around and on which you can find critical assessment from the other point of view.

    Remember, the value of information is no greater than the quality of the research which supports it. In the final washup, it is facts which speak louder than opinion and carry more weight. Try to learn and understand the facts, because opinions are cheap.

  27. John Bennetts

    @ Andrew (The Real One?):

    1. Fast breeder reactors have short lifespans? Not true. Further, the inherent safety features of fast breeders makes a Fukishima-like incident impossible – not unkilely, but impossible. Low pressures in the reactor vessel, gravity-driven fail-safe shutdown in the event of power loss and many more factors make FBR’s much more desirable than the currently available commercial reactors. Thankfully, several FBR’s are already under construction, so real world experience will soon blow away some of these furphies.

    2. The spent fuel is much more radioactive? Not true. The spent fuel is, initially, quite radioactive, but that is not dissimilar to existing reactors. Where they differ is that the radioactivity rapidly drops to normal background levels. I have read that after 300 years the residual material is less radioactive than some parent ores.

    Compare this with chemical discharges from fossil fuel power stations. The chemmicals which are discharged to air and water last for ever. Yes, for ever. They have potential to cycle endlessly through the atmosphere and biosphere, causing repeated damage.

    3. Any assertion that Australia will ever develop an export industry based on renewables is folly. It just can’t happen, unless Australia first becomes one of the poorest countries in the world with wages at thge dollar-an-hour level. Our domestic population and hence market are too small to support development of manufacturing facilities at the required scale, our wages (ie standard of living) are too high and other countries are a long way ahead of us.

    Stick to the facts, man. Dreams are for children.

  28. lindsayb

    Moderated. Hmm. Curious.

  29. wilful

    >A three hundred dollar generator modified to run on bio gas will do the trick.

    Ohh, I detect a person who hasn’t bought a generator before.

  30. lindsayb

    @ Christopher Dunne
    It is amazing what you can fail to find if you fail to ask the right question.
    The asbestos industry failed to find a link between mesothelioma and asbestos for decades. The tobacco industry have still failed to find a link between smoking and early death. Monsanto failed to find a link between dioxin and cancer. The catholic church failed to find that the earth was a sphere that orbited the sun, and the list goes on and on. The common factor in all of these failures is that these organisations stood to lose a lot of money by asking the right questions.
    Better questions regarding chernobyl and fukushima include death rate from heart disease, stroke, immune system problems, rates of common cancers compared to the general population, fertility, rates of miscarriage, still births and birth defects, percentage unable to work due to illness, average life-span, vigour, intelligence and fertility of offspring.
    Interestingly, these are the sort of questions asked in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences publication titled “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment” which is an analysis of the scientific literature, including more than 1,000 titles and more than 5,000 printed and Internet publications mainly in Slavic languages, on the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. The findings presented in this work lean more towards the numbers suggested by Dr Caldicott than the “approximately 100 deceased cases” you cite.

  31. Hamis Hill

    Those with the tens of billions of dollars to invest will be making the decisions and the captive consumers will have no say.
    If you want to be nuclear free, don’t be a customer, disconnect from the grid.
    A three hundred dollar generator modified to run on bio gas will do the trick.

  32. Andrew (the real one?)

    From what I’ve read, those Fast Breeder Reactors have a much shorter lifespan due to the increased radiation bombardment of the containment vessel. The spent fuel is much more radioactive than convensional reactors staying dangerous for thousands of years. This all results in greater decommisioning and disposal costs. But hey, someones making money so its OK, so the theory goes.
    Nuclear for Australia does not make sence when we should be spending our money on renewable projects with the knowedge gained being used to create an export product.

  33. Liamj

    Chernobyl deaths – Russian Academy of Sciences estimates 60,000 deaths so far in Russia and an estimated 140,000 in Ukraine and Belarus. The Union of Concerned Scientists – 50,000.

    And on that baseload myth – 3 nuke plants in US were forced to shut down the week before last, due to heatwave/no cooling water. Same has happened for coal plants, but our Yallourn has opposite problem, just a river that wont stay where its put, devastating the landscape can be messy like that.

  34. CHRISTOPHER DUNNE

    Of the 110,000 Ukranian clean up workers, here’s the results of the National Cancer Institutes (USA) collation: ” Linkage with the list of cohort members has yielded a total of 137 cases: 110 leukemia, 17 myelodysplasia and 10 multiple myelomas. For the approximately 100 deceased cases and controls, interviews with two proxy respondents are conducted: one with the spouse and one with at least one co-worker. An International Diagnostic Review Panel verified 86 leukemias.”

    Since these workers were the most highly exposed, it’s pretty easy to see that the general population would have very much lower rates.

    Like I said, Caldicott is a fraud, and anyone who hasn’t looked at the real data is easily scared by her apocalyptic nonsense, but that’s her job, to scare the bejusus out of the punters.

  35. CHRISTOPHER DUNNE

    LINDSAYB, you are, as they say, welcome to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

    If you’d care to read some authoritative epidemiology then I’d recomend the WHO 2006 study, found here: http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/WHO%20Report%20on%20Chernobyl%20Health%20Effects%20July%2006.pdf

    Where you’ll find the facts are nothing like the rubbish Caldicott makes up.

  36. izatso?

    Maintenance ? Costly, Boring …… Next! C.Y.A. V.Important, Prioritise ….. De-Commissioning ? V. Expensive, Externalize, Problem for Someone Else’s Children. ……. Emotive ? Certainly. Un-Truthfull ? Wish to Hell it Were …….

  37. lindsayb

    @ mark duffett
    I would love to see some good quality information about Gen 4 reactors. Everything I have been able to find suggests that they are still beset with major design issues, and that no working reactor yet exists.
    If they can be proven to be safe, and will burn the leftovers from current reactors, there would be an argument for building them just to get rid of all the current waste stockpiles
    I am deeply suspicious though. They would need to be a couple of orders of magnitude safer than the current designs, which were sold to us as safe, and have an approx 1/75 chance of major melt down at around halfway through their operational lifespan.

    @ christopher dunne
    The work of a large cohort of scientists and doctors in the chernobyl area suggests that the 900K early deaths as a result of chernobyl is probably an underestimate. Recent findings regarding genetic damage to the children in the area also suggests that things are getting worse for them, not better, with much higher levels of heritable genetic damage being observed than was predicted. Fukushima kids are not doing too well either, with 36% having thyroid lumps inside a year of the accident, the director of Iwase general hospital Sukagawa city Fukushima finding 6 in 10 of the children under 12 at his hospital having diabetes, and reported increases in stroke, heart attack, bleeding disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, miscarriage and a big drop in birth rate. Just because the IAEA/WHO and conflicted government agencies say there is no problem does not make it so.

  38. CHRISTOPHER DUNNE

    And it’s always good to read the caveats, a key AETA statement that everyone needs to understand: (read Barry Brooks’ take here https://theconversation.edu.au/low-carbon-electricity-must-be-fit-for-service-and-nuclear-power-is-8605)

    Projected LCOE does not necessarily provide a reliable indicator of the relative market value of generation technologies because of differences in the role of technologies in a wholesale electricity market. The value of variable (or intermittent) power plants (such as wind, and solar) will depend upon the extent to which such plants generate electricity during peak periods and the impact these plants have on the reliability of the electricity system. Unlike dispatchable power plants (such as coal, natural gas, biomass, and hydroelectric) – which are reliant on some form of stored energy (e.g. fuels, water storage) – wind and photovoltaic power plants do not, typically, include energy storage.

    To cater for sudden, unpredictable, changes in the output of variable power plants, it is necessary to operate responsive, dispatchable power plants (e.g. hydro, open-cycle gas turbines) in a back-up role to maintain the overall reliability of the electricity system. As a result, LCOE by technology is not the only factor considered when deciding what type of electricity generation plant to construct.

  39. Mark Duffett

    LiamJ, it’s BREE (and the IEA) that claim low costs for nuclear, not (just) me, decommissioning costs or no.

    The best arrangement for our nuclear ‘waste’ is to use it as feedstock for Generation IV reactors. These are not a ‘fiction’, the components have all been successfully demonstrated. They would amplify the energy extractable from fissionables (including our current waste, which alone is enough to keep us going for 700 years) by orders of magnitude, sufficient to power our entire civilisation for millennia (which also addresses Jeebus’ energy insecurity concerns).

  40. CHRISTOPHER DUNNE

    LIAMJ, using the name Helen Caldicott and facts in the same sentence is an injustice to language, rational thought and intellectual honesty.

    How’s the 900,000 deaths from Chernobyl looking Helen?

    Talk about making up your own facts and sprouting the most egregious nonsense.

    Anyone listening to Caldicott is reinforcing their own limited understanding, and certainly not not getting facts.

    Serial fabricators with a barrow to push are hardly likely to give anyone facts, and she’s the supreme example of it.

  41. Owen Gary

    The only reason the US want to encourage more reactors in this country is so their subsiduaries like “Pangea Resources” can dump the worlds nuclear waste in our backyard, this has been known for a long time, yet this discussion is quietly averted.

    Their world class method of disposal (dig big holes in the ground in the outback & dump it in there)

    As already mentioned Sweden & the Nordic countries are the only countries storing this toxic waste properly, but their scientists are still very apprehensive of what the future holds.

    The nuclear industry is very reluctant to go away quietly into the night, it would rather see humanity suffer from more Chernobyl & Fukuishimas, any guesses as to the level of radiation in our atmospere from these disasters & other poorly run facilities that save money by reducing safety measures??

    At best there is 50 years worth of uranium to fuel current nuclear plants without the addition of new plants being added. It then takes over 100 years to decomission these plants & during all this time we have to put our faith in Corporations like that of the ones that owned & run Fukuishima to make sure that all safety guidlines are applied. Only total morons would tread this path again, what planet are we on? because it wont be this one for much longer.

  42. Owen Gary

    The only reason the US want to encourage more reactors in this country is so their subsiduaries like “Pangea Resources” can dump the worlds nuclear waste in our backyard, this has been known for a long time, yet this discussion is quietly averted.

    Their world class method of disposal (dig big holes in the ground in the outback & dump it in there)

    As already mentioned Sweden & the Nordic countries are the only countries storing this toxic waste properly, but their scientists are still very apprehensive of what the future holds.

    The nuclear industry is very reluctant to die, it would rather see humanity suffer from more Chernobyl & Fukuishimas, any guesses as to the level of radiation in our atmospere from these disasters & other poorly run facilities that save money by reducing safety measures??

    At best there is 50 years worth of uranium to fuel current nuclear plants without the addition of new plants being added. It then takes over 100 years to decomission these plants & during all this time we have to put our faith in Corporations like that of the ones that owned & run Fukuishima to make sure that all safety guidlines are applied. Only total morons would tread this path again, what planet are we on? because it wont be this one for much longer.

  43. izatso?

    Yes, it is neccessary to enslave our grandchildren. Too. Deliberate, Malice a’Forethought, Pre-Emptive …..

  44. John Bennetts

    Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, Jeebus.

    You have stated that German experience is for PV to cut the peak off the spot price for electricity on a summer’s day. That is a long way from saying that PV will do this job every summer’s day, or even most summer days.

    What then about the other three seasons? What about night time? What about winter cold and rain?

    The answer, also from German experience, is that neighbouring countries are relied upon to provide secure supplies, whether from coal (Austria, Poland), nuclear (Sweden, France), hydro (Norway, Sweden) or wind (forget wind – if the wind was blowing, Germany might not backup power, which it does when the wind is not blowing. The Netherlands and Denmark’s wind will be idle when Germany’s is, so they are all in similar trouble when a stable High sits on top of Europe.).

    There is a huge distance yet to travel before the Germans can be held up as a success. Certainly, the final vote will not be possible before 2030 or beyond. Are you willing to wait or operate on the basis of optimistic guesswork in the face of climate change and declining economic circumstances (Germany’s, not Australia’s – we are doing OK pending change of government some time next year, after which all bets will be off – there’s no way to say how Australia will fare under an innumerate, policy-free government led by a very publicly self-confessed liar)

    The German experiement has certainly cost hundreds of billions of dollars thus far and has resulted in many more lignite (brown coal) and natural gas stations being operated, with plans for more still.

    Be very careful what you ask for. It may come parcelled up with a whole raft of things which you do not want. I, on the other hand, prefer to consider all the available options by which to ensure an energy-rich and thus prosperous Australia. I have no desire for my grandkids to have to sit shivering in the dark in 2040 because as a nation, we stuffed it up in 2012.

  45. jeebus

    @Mark Duffett, if that is the case then perhaps nuclear may be somewhat price competitive with renewables over the next 20 years.

    However, the point still stands that the cost trend of renewables is going down, while the cost trend of nuclear is not.

    It would take Australia more than a decade to set up a nuclear energy industry if there was immense bipartisan commitment, by which point we would be within a stone’s throw of 2030, at which point we would have an inflexible, heavily centralised national energy market controlled by a small number of large power companies.

    Would these giants then exert pressure on the government of the day to protect them from the more competitive, efficient, and cheaper renewables industry? It’s happened in the past.

    As we have seen in Germany, when electricity demand goes up on a hot summer’s day, solar panels bring additional supply onto the market, cutting the peak off the spot price for electricity. This electrical ‘liquidity’ benefits every energy user, even those without solar panels on their roof.

    Let’s not forget the fact that uranium is an exhaustible resource that is subject to speculative manipulation on global markets (take a look at Uranium prices in 2006).

    Investing in a nuclear industry would push the burden of energy insecurity onto our grandchildren. Investing in renewables instead would see Australia as completely energy independent and freed from future global conflicts over dwindling fossil fuel resources.

  46. John Bennetts

    @ LindsayB:

    Spent fuel rods in concrete casks ARE managed wastes… in fact, they are stored fuel for future fast breeder reactors, but that’s another story.

    CO2 emissions, polluted water and polluted soil from fossil fuelled power stations are NOT managed wastes. On a cradle to grave analysis, nuclear is far ahead of renewables of all kinds when it comes to air, soil and water waste, resource usage and land useage.

    It’s sometimes difficult to get this across to the unwilling and uncomprehending public, but if any other energy technology is assessed against nuclear on the basis of safety or environmental standards, they are all found wanting, with the possible exceptions of leg powered bicycles.

  47. Liamj

    @ Mark Duffett – you claim low costs for nuclear, but with what arrangements for long term storage of our existing and growing pile of nuclear waste? Cos current practices of simply stockpiling waste at reactors is nutso, you recognise that don’t you? If not, please attempt to justify the perched spent fuel pool at Fukushima.
    Reprocessing is a fiction, sea dumping is harder to get away with these days, and ‘depleted uranium’ munitions just don’t disperse enough of the stuff, so .. what you gonna do with the waste?

  48. lindsayb

    @ John Bennetts
    “common accusation that the nuclear power industry does not manage its own waste is in fact daibolically wrong, because in fact, they are the ONLY power generating industry which does do so”

    Is this why there is 30 years of spent fuel rods in almost every nuclear power station spent fuel pool in the world, even though the spent fuel pools were only designed to hold rods until they were cool enough to dry cask? Even though the fuel rods in some fuel pools are packed in much closer together than they were designed to be? All part of the “plan”? A possible prompt criticality in Fukushima SPF3 and a full SPF4 teetering 5 stories above ground in a seriously damaged building should give the nuclear industry some cause for concern about the past management of their waste.

    The only countries in the world that have got this anywhere close to “managed” are Norway and Sweden. Everywhere else looks to be leaving a financially and environmentally toxic legacy for future generations to inherit.

  49. Mark Duffett

    @Jeebus, see my comment at 2:42 pm yesterday – credible estimates at a similar level to BREE’s do include decommissioning costs.

  50. Hamis Hill

    “Capitalists have an interest to deceive and oppress the public”, wrote Adam Smith.
    Tens of billions of dollars for a nuclear power station, lots of slavering capitalists here I should think.
    Any deceiving and oppressing going on in this debate? By power station promoting posters perhaps?

  51. jeebus

    The BREE report presents an inaccurate comparison by not factoring in the decommissioning costs for nuclear.

    In 2005, the British Nuclear Decommissioning Authority estimated the cost of decommissioning their sites at £55.8 billion. However in 2006 the NDA reported that the cost of cleaning up existing waste was higher than previously thought, and gave a new estimated decommissioning cost of about £72 billion over a 100 year period.

    Nuclear is not getting cheaper, and the decommissioning costs are always heavily underestimated.

    If you look at current trends, solar technologies are dropping in price every year, even disregarding the global moves to put a price on carbon emissions.

    Also, where are we going to hire all the nuclear technicians needed to set up a nuclear industry in Australia? Import them all from France? They already have a shortage of them. Training Australian electricians to install and maintain solar panels is more realistic, cheaper, and creates more jobs for locals.

    Then you have national security issues. I’m not just talking about how much safer a decentralised power grid is in terms of terrorist attacks, bombings, or sabotage.

    Many people have no idea how close Japan came to losing Tokyo last year.

    “In 2012, Japan’s Prime Minister was interviewed about the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and has said that at one point Japan faced a situation where there was a chance that people might not be able to live in the capital zone including Tokyo and would have to evacuate. He says he is haunted by the specter of an even bigger nuclear crisis forcing tens of millions of people to flee Tokyo and threatening the nation’s existence.

    Kan said, “If things had reached that level, not only would the public have had to face hardships but Japan’s very existence would have been in peril”.

    That convinced Kan to “declare the need for Japan to end its reliance on atomic power and promote renewable sources of energy such solar that have long taken a back seat in the resource-poor country’s energy mix”.”

    Japan has entrapped itself with nuclear. There are few alternatives for them. And while it makes sense for Australia to continue exporting uranium, it would be folly for us to ignore their lessons. The massive long term government investments required to set up an Australian nuclear industry would trap us, and force us down a path from which there is no return.

    Why would we chain ourselves to nuclear when the numbers are telling us that lower cost, safer, cleaner, and renewable alternatives exist?

    Renewables can be rolled out gradually, are only getting cheaper, and we are perfectly placed to take advantage of them.

  52. Hamis Hill

    “Crikey” moderates “Christ” and all is revealed on the religious prejudice front.

  53. Mark Duffett

    LiamJ, you choose to believe Helen Caldicott over BREE at your peril.

    decarbonisesa.com/2011/06/16/your-friday-fearmonger-courtesy-of-helen-caldicott/

    monbiot.com/2011/04/04/evidence-meltdown/

  54. Hamis Hill

    Apparently, suggesting that cities and their grids and centralised power generation facilities are unsustainable is something to be moderated.
    Or, that this unsustainablility is a direct result of manipulative financial schemes dependent upon
    Captive” consumers, is something to be moderated.
    Or, referring to Biblical prophecies concerning the collapse of unsustainable city regimes which exploited their captive populaces, is something to be moderated.
    Arguments which go directly to the argument between renewables and conventional power generation is something to be moderated.
    Quite, simply moronic.

  55. Hamis Hill

    Rome and Babylon, testing for moderation, By Crikey there is something cretinous happening here!

  56. Hamis Hill

    Of course Iran only wants nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
    And there is no solar advantage in an essentially desert country for renewables.
    These are nonsense arguments promoted by certain interests who rely on vast nunbers of city based consumers or captive customers for the paying off of massive investments.
    Decentralisation coupled with sustainability threatens the “Bright lights of the city” idol worshiped by certain posters who are blind to the financial manipulation of the markets.
    Who beleives that massive mortgage debt has anything to do with housing?
    Conventional power generation similarly has everything to do with debt and not much to do with power supply.
    All over the world the city grows at the expense of the country, The late Frank Devine called it “Metropolitanism” and in an “all roads lead to Rome” thought it was marvellous.
    Cities, are, like Rome and Babylon, sick and unsustainable and the Grid is part of the disease.

  57. Stickey

    I am hearing solar PV can be very dangerous if you are up on your roof getting a tennis ball, particularly in wet weather. Also the fire authorities are keeping “mum” about hosing down houses laden with active solar panels. No pole fuse available !! Engineers and insurers are very interested.

  58. Liamj

    Thanks Helen Caldicott for bring some facts to the debate. The BREE cost estimates for nuclear are ludicrously low, anyone would think the Minister for Flogging Oz Off had supplied them!

  59. drsmithy

    It doesn’t recognise that growth in the in the developed world is becoming virtual and it doesn’t recognise that Earth’s resources come from the sun which for the purpose of this discussion is essentially infinite.

    Uh huh. Iron, copper, etc, come from the Sun ?

    I thought an observation that a lot of energy constantly arrives from the sun and that it will go on for billions of years is a reasonable one and the idea that humans will harness it to meet their energy needs in the future is at least realistic. The view that growth cannot be infinite is attractive in a superficial way but not as self evident as some would like it to be.

    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/07/can-economic-growth-last/
    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/04/economist-meets-physicist/

  60. Frank Campbell

    The mouthpiece for this piece of Futurism said on ABCTV’s Midday Report today that opposition to nuclear was “ideological”. “One hand tied behind our back”, he harrumphed…

    That should give the lie to the academic pretensions of this report.

    The sheer futility of long-range prediction of power costs by technology (or any other parameter) should be plain to anyone not suffering terminal Parkinson’s Disease. Note that we’ve had a “dramatic” revision by this august body’s predictions since…December 2011…

    Well frack me dead…8 months is a long time in a corporatist think tank.

    There seems to be little awareness either of the falling price of coal, driven down by the crashing price of gas. The near to medium term looks like a fossil fuel bonanza, as I’ve been saying for years. As for “cheap” solar and wind, what stupidity…both are as they currently stand marginal, unreliable, redundant, expensive and dependent on existing fossil fuel/nuclear and hydro generation.

    This report illustrates how objectivity is traduced in the corporate state: a corporate university entity at the service of a desperate government trying to revive dying climate millenarianism…

  61. helen caldicott

    I write to clarify my previous post.
    The cost of enriching the uranium needed for nuclear reactors and hence nuclear power is, in the US, paid for by the government (therefore the taxpayers). The Price Anderson Insurance Act — again paid for by the US government – compensates the nuclear industry in the event of an accident and covers some but not all property damage. This cost of this coverage, which is of course footed by the American taxpayers, is tremendously expensive and a cost that could not be borne by private industry alone . The point here is that if nuclear power is pursued in this country, the Australian government (and hence the taxpayers) would be looking at the same considerable cost, as well as those associated, as noted in my previous post, with the eventual costs of decommissioning; dry cask storage of nuclear waste and/or the transportation of the waste to the some as-yet-to-be-determined central respository.
    Thus the report’s conclusion that nuclear energy would be the cheapest alternative energy source in Australia is a total furphy – a fantasy in Martin Ferguson’s mind’s eye.
    A detailed discussion of the costs of nuclear power can be found in my book, Nuclear Power is Not the Answer (MUP, 2006)

  62. David Hand

    I thought an observation that a lot of energy constantly arrives from the sun and that it will go on for billions of years is a reasonable one and the idea that humans will harness it to meet their energy needs in the future is at least realistic. The view that growth cannot be infinite is attractive in a superficial way but not as self evident as some would like it to be.

    The fact that the “growth is not sustainable” view is used to actively subvert growth today reveals it as a tool of eco-fas cists.

    You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one.

  63. John Bennetts

    “Helen Caldicott”, is that really you? Come to grace Crikey with your presence?

    Those who really do want to understand the story about nuclear power, from both sides, can do a lot worse that reading “Why Vs Why Nuclear Power”, published by Pantera Press. It presents both sides of the discussion, written by experts Professor Ian Lowe (Against) and Professor Barry Brook (For) in language that everybody can understand.

    Those whose minds are already made up may choose to read “Helen’s” reference.

  64. Microseris

    @ David Hand, I think I’m with Rohan on this one. Anyone who thinks activities like mining can go on forever is a fool. Former Treasury boss Ken Henry was quoted in Fairfax today -In a speech in Canberra this month, he warned it was not ”fanciful to imagine that before the end of this century Australia will be importing some of the raw materials it is [at present] exporting in volume”.

    Like I said fool.

  65. Hamis Hill

    Renewables essentialy subvert the grid by decentralised production.
    Conventional power stations use absolutely massive amounts of capital with multi decade payback requirements.
    So the grid and it’s captive consumers, in order for those financial arrangement to made secure, must have no choice or competition from the decentralised production of renewables.
    Remember, absolutely massive amounts of investment can certainly afford to buy comments.
    Sorry posters for the torrent of yellowcake like incontinence this post will generate.
    Will it be cash for comment or you know who” would say something like that now wouldn’t he?”
    And no I didn’t say the word prostitution. That would be provocative.

  66. John Bennetts

    @ LindsayB:
    Quote: “Lots of US plant owners are asking for 20 year licence renewals to allow them time to save more for decommissioning, which they say will cost them more than they have budgeted. As machinery ages, it becomes less reliable, so I guess if you extend the licence for long enough, the plant will blow up and become a taxpayer problem, which would save the operator the cost of decommissioning it too. It’s economically rational for the operators to do this when their liability is less than decommissioning costs.”

    Wrong in many ways.

    Operators in USA and elsewhere have adopted life extension policies for the same reasons that power station operators world-wide keep older plant in service and some folk keep cars rather than scrap them after a decade… cost.

    The power industry in USA, Germany and elsewhere contributes to funds which have been established for spent fuel storage. The US funds are now so large that there is pressure to wind back the contributions. The industry is self funding, which is unlike the wind and fossil fuel industries, which leave old plant and untreated waste everywhere they exist. Ash dams, abandoned wind farms, atmospheric pollution, polluted rivers and waterways… the list is endless. The common accusation that the nuclear power industry does not manage its own waste is in fact daibolically wrong, because in fact, they are the ONLY power generating industry which does do so.

    Google “abandoned wind farms” or “abandoned solar power station” to see plenty of examples. For example, (add the WWW) naturalnews.com/034234_wind_turbines_abandoned.html and (add the WWW) webecoist.momtastic.com/2009/05/04/10-abandoned-renewable-energy-plants/

  67. helen caldicott

    This is ridiculous, it costs now between 12 and 15 billion dollars to construct a new reactor in the US, while the tax payers cover the uranium enrichment, the Price Anderson Insurance Act. The nuclear industry is heavily subsidised as it constructs the reactors themselves. I refer to the second chapter of Nuclear Power is Not the Answer. Utilities have run out of money to cover all the costs of decomissioning, the cost of dry cask storage is very expensive, let alone the transportation of radioactive waste to a yet to be determined central respository and the ongoing costs to store this toxic material isolated from the ecosphere for one million years which the US EPA requires. The US has now accumulated over 70,000 tons of high level civilian radioactive waste and this does not include similar amounst of military waste.

  68. John Bennetts

    Owen Gary (3:08pm, above):

    Owen, I am certainly not a yellowcake salesman. Why do you ask? Want to buy some?

  69. rohan

    @David, earth’s resources come from the sun…riiiiight so by that logic the sun is constantly giving the earth extra mass allowing it to grow with us. You are a complete lunatic.

  70. dunsford Bert

    Ahhhh…the old chestnut wind power etcetera, what a load of codswallop, easy to say but in what 18 years who knows what the future holds, fusion etc, so don’t get conned. solar will be the most expensive means of producing electricity and to keep up with the base load of Sydney (todays load) one would need all those lovely wind producing “fans” stretching from Sydney to Cairns. It seems like the Y2K thing all over again. snake oil merchants and freaking carpetbaggers!!

  71. Mark Duffett

    Owen Gary, working out what wins in the long run is precisely what LCOE (Levelised Cost Of Energy) is designed for. Accordingly, the conclusion of your ‘common logic’ is at odds with the research outlined in the article. One reason for this (among many) is that, full lifetime considered, renewables need a lot more mining per unit of electricity generated than nuclear.

  72. David Hand

    Micro,
    Your view that those to care about the planet are written off by some, such as me, as eco-fas cist is an eco-fas cist view and not what I’m saying.

    Eco-fas cists are people who have adopted a fundamentalist position regarding climate change and have dedicated their lives to forcing the world to live as they believe it should. This does not describe the average environmentalist.

    The issue with this report is that it is so dramatically optimistic that renewables are going to save the world, something I would like to see, that one must at least ask who the author is. If it was authored by members of the Australian Greens, Greenpeace or WWF, for example, the veracity of the report would be much diminished.

    I’ve seen your “infinite growth on a finite planet” idea doing the rounds for some time. It has that superficial appeal to people who are flirting with the “new age, evil corporations are killing us” brigade. It doesn’t recognise that growth in the in the developed world is becoming virtual and it doesn’t recognise that Earth’s resources come from the sun which for the purpose of this discussion is essentially infinite.

  73. Microseris

    Eco facists! It is sad that some seek to denigrate environmentalists, for simply caring about the impacts of current economic policies on nature.

    At least its not the infinite growth on a finite planet fantasy foistered on us by neoliberalism economics. A ponzi system of capitalism which suggests a magic pudding of resources can sustain infinite growth without leaving the earth a barren core.

    Surely this is a self evident truth obvious to even conservatives.

  74. Owen Gary

    *Cost of mining uranium.
    *Cost of enrichment.
    *Cost of Transport.
    *Cost of running & especially maintaining a nuclear facility.
    *Cost of Safely disposing spent nuclear fuel rods.
    *Cost to decomission a nuclear plant like that of Calder Hill in the UK which will take over 100yr’s.

    As opposed to the initial sourcing and set up costs of renewables, I’m no expert but common logic would suggest renewables win hands down in the long run despite the initial subsidies.

  75. lindsayb

    Lots of US plant owners are asking for 20 year licence renewals to allow them time to save more for decommissioning, which they say will cost them more than they have budgeted.
    As machinery ages, it becomes less reliable, so I guess if you extend the licence for long enough, the plant will blow up and become a taxpayer problem, which would save the operator the cost of decommissioning it too. It’s economically rational for the operators to do this when their liability is less than decommissioning costs.

  76. Owen Gary

    @John Bennetts,

    Are you a yellow cake salesman??

  77. John Bennetts

    Is the ABARE report available on line? If so, how about a link?

  78. John Bennetts

    There are half a dozen references to costs per MW in this article, where context suggests that what was intended was cost per MWh.

    The on-line version of the article should be corrected asap.

  79. John Bennetts

    Parsons Brinkerhoff have runs on the board when it comes to engineering, particularly power generation. They are true experts, with international stature.

    A single author, one with a history for favouring PV come what may has decided to pluck a figure out of his bottom, call it British and use it to wave away all opinion and knowledge to the contrary.

    Giles, we have come to expect a one-eyed anti-nuke view from you, but please at least recognise that, if this type of brain-dead comment came from someone opposed to your point of view, you would be the first to argue that a single, unrelated fact is not sufficient reason to counter expert opinion.

  80. David Hand

    Well this is what we want – renewable energy prospering because it is competitive in its own right, not because it is being pushed on us by eco-fas cists with an anti-growth agenda. I hope the publishers of the report are not eco-fas cists

  81. David Hand

    Well this is what we want – renewable energy prospering because it is competitive in its own right, not because it is being pushed on us by eco-fascists with an anti-growth agenda. I hope the publishers of the report are not eco-fascists.

  82. Mark Duffett

    ‘decommissioning costs not included’ is disputed, see comments at reneweconomy.com.au/2012/canberra-concedes-wind-solar-to-be-cheapest-energy-by-2030-82930. The LCOE figures given are similar to those in a 2010 report by the IEA, which definitely do incorporate decommissioning costs.

  83. lindsayb

    Bizarre that they feel free to clain that nuclear is the cheapest when decommissioning costs were not factored in to the calculations. I am sure that they didn’t factor in the cost to taxpayers if it blows up either, which is now estimated at hundreds of billions for Fukushima. You’d get a lot of renewable energy for that money, not to mention the thousands of square km of prime agricultural and urban land that become uninhabitable in the event of a disaster.

  84. Geoff Russell

    The South Koreans are building 4x1400MW nuclear plants in the UAE, expected to be complete by 2020.

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/UAE_nuclear_power_inf123.html

    The total earnings to the KEPCO is estimated at $40 billion, half to build and half to jointly run for 60 years … lets add $20 billion for the UAE joint operations bill.

    What’s that in dollars per megawatt hour? By my calculations with a 90% capacity factor (which the South Koreans are exceeding) this is about $22/MWh

    Have I missed anything?

  85. Mark Duffett

    “nuclear energy currently represents the cheapest form of energy — saying that its range of costs is between $55 and $100/MWh, even though the experience in the UK is that new nuclear requires tariffs of at least $220/MW to get built.”

    This is essentially a function of private sector investment time horizons being too short.

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