Suppose you want to do something against anthropogenic i.e. man-made climate change and you can only use blocks A,B,C,D and E. Suppose the world requires 250.000 power units. Let's see how much units each block produces :
Block A : 1.75 units
Block B : 2.63 units
Block C : 4.38 units
Block D : 5.70 units
Block E : 7.89 units
Suppose there are limits on how many blocks per type you can build.
100 A Blocks
100 B Blocks
0 C Blocks
100 D Blocks
100 E Blocks
This gives us a maximum block count of 400, and rough unit count of 1800 per year. You need 250.000 units to carbonize energy, so by this reckoning it would take us 138 years to do it.
Let's translate this to real world figures, shall we?
Block A = 1000 MW solar PV = 1,75 TWh per year
Block B = 1000 MW wind = 2.63 TWh per year
Block C = 1000 MW Hydro = 4.38 TWh per year
Block D = 1000 MW Geothermal = 5.70 TWh per year
Block E = 1000 MW Nuclear = 7.89 TWh per year
As you can see, I've given each technology an equal chance and a level playing field. I've given each technology 100 GW of annual additions. Nuclear in this context nearly produces twice as much energy as solar and wind combined do for the same yield. We currently see annual additions of half these figures for wind and solar i,e, roughly around 50 to 60 GW per technology. We're in the process of adding 68.9 GW of nuclear energy to the grid. Granted the deployment speed of a nuclear reactor might be slower, but it lasts thrice as long as wind and solar, and it packs a tremendous punch in terms of energy generation.
I've set up the premise to rebut the following article which has been written by Nina Chestney and has been published on the Reuters Website (No less...) :
Nuclear reactors are not being built rapidly enough around the world to meet targets on curbing global warming, a report by the World Nuclear Association, an industry body, said on Tuesday.
Which is a call to action? Or what does this mean? Is this supposed to entice me to think about these problems? Or is this the case you will make? In which case we may conclude that rebutting this will be quite easy.
The association, which represents the global nuclear industry, says 1,000 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity needs to be added by 2050 so nuclear can supply around 25 percent of global electricity. Last year, more nuclear reactors were under construction and came online than at any other time in the past 25 years and building times have improved.
That's a tall order, growing from, say 70 gigawatts to 1.000. But could you also provide some additional perspective? Do we have any credible alternatives? Suppose nuclear can supply around 25% of the world-energy demand, this means that there's 75% left. What will these 75% non-carbon-emitting technologies be? Wind? Solar? Geothermal? Hydro? Suppose 50% of it will be Wind and Solar, which is something Mark Z. Jacobson from Stanford University envisions.
How much energy will be generated by nuclear by the 2050's?
2050 - 2016 = 34 x 1000 GW = 34000 GW = ((((34000 GW x 8766)/100)/x90)/1000) = 268.240 TWh
Which is a prediction that vastly outstrips any prediction made by the EIA. But let's play along. So 268.240 = 25%, which means that 100% = 1.072.958 TWh. That's right people: 1 million terawathours.
So 50% of this energy has to come from wind and solar, that's 500.000 TWh, let's suppose we split them evenly, 250.000 TWh each.
Solve for X in solar with a capacity factor of 20% ((((X x 8766)/100)/x20)/1000) = 250.000 TWh
250.000 x 1000 / 20 x 100 / 8766 = 142.000 GW
142.000 GW / 34 years = 4176 GW / year
Solve for X in wind with a capacity factor of 30% ((((X x 8766)/100)/x30)/1000) = 250.000 TWh
250.000 x 1000 / 30 x 100 / 8766 = 95.000 GW
95.000 GW / 34 years = 2794 GW / year
There you have it, if nuclear would have to add 1000 GW per year, Wind would have to add 2794 GW per year in order to achieve the same energy generation, and solar 4176 GW.
Why did you leave this context out, Nina? Is it deliberate?
However, the rate of new grid connections will have to increase significantly to provide enough clean energy to meet globally agreed climate change targets.
I agree... How are we going to do this? Do you have the answer? Have you thought about nuclear innovation? The current developments in the world of the AP1000, EPR and APR1400? Have ever tried to figure out what the 20 or 30 or so startup companies have done? Perhaps start watching the documentaries made by Gordon McDowell maybe? Read some of Rod Adams's work? Watch James Hansen speak about the necessity of nuclear deployment and innovation?
In December last year, countries agreed to limit the global average temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts toward a 1.5 degree limit. However, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and a 2 degree limit would require the almost total decarbonization of the world's energy supply.
Yes and this is a 250.000 TWh conundrum, one we can meet, but one we have to enterprise with great prudence. Want to know why? All technologies we employ to reach this target, won't come to us for free. From the perspective of terawatthours gained per unit of materials used to create generator X is the measure of success. We need to employ the highest possible efficiency in terms of materials invested. Why? Because of the denudation of the Earth that is coupled with getting the required materials, and the amount of waste produced during the manufacture of these technologies. If we engage into a future which is exclusively lined with renewables, we will consume every possible earth-resource there is. Something many of you haven't thought about.
"The rate of (nuclear) new build is insufficient if the world is to meet the targets for reducing the impacts of global warming...," the report said.
Oh yes and I've shown you that there's not a single technology that has a build rate that is sufficient to meet those targets. In fact all build rates need to be increased.
What is your point? I really don't understand what Nina Chestney is trying to say. Should we not bother with nuclear energy? Should we abandon all hope of nuclear innovation? Should we put all of our eggs in the renewable basket?
The global nuclear industry continues to face challenges.
Another meaningless mantra. All technologies face real challenges in terms of resources, capabilities, economics, politics, and so on, and so forth.
There are issues around the public acceptance of nuclear energy in some European countries; tough economic conditions for operators in parts of the United States and Europe where power prices have fallen due to a growing share of renewable sources and Japan has permanently closed six reactors which had been offline since the Fukushima accident in 2011, the report said.
All of these are fixable issues, not set in stone. Most of these decisions are based on either irrationality, or an incomplete knowledge of nuclear energy. What happens as soon as the first AP1000's and APR1400's are up and running? Do you even acknowledge that the learning curve in nuclear energy is not a flat one? What will happen to the public once they see developments such as the MSR come to fruition? Or waste-burning reactors?
At the end of 2015 there were 66 civil power reactors under construction around the world and another 158 planned. The average construction time of a new reactor in 2015 was 73 months, compared to an average 82.5 months for all civil nuclear reactors built over the past 60 years, according to the report.
The Chinese can build the AP1000 in 36 months. Thorcon Power envisions a facility that will be able to create 100 GW worth of molten salt reactors. All these issues stated are non-issues which are an exemplification of trying to seek fault in areas that aren't relevent. Technologically nuclear energy has now begun to mature and with the advent of new, more efficient and quicker designs, the learning curve and the deployment curve of nuclear energy will be going on an incline.
I think it more prudent to speak with the same enthusiasm about nuclear as you do about wind and solar. Educate yourself properly, and jump over the fence to join us in our quest to truly curb anthropogenic emissions and fight dire threats such as ocean acidification, coral bleeching, increasing droughts, famine, etc.
At this moment it doesn't seem that you are...
I would believe it to be more prudent to present a more clearly articulated purpose of your next piece, because this article, didn't make any sense.