Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Jan 5, 2012.
Energy: German power exports peak, despite nuclear phase-out - dw.com
Just so you know...
And I think that is going to turn out to be a key to FDR remaining one of the world's most competitive economies. The incentives to reduce reliance on Russian oil and natural gas are huge, along with the benefits of being an energy exporter as well as an exporter of energy technology. And the important thing to note was that this is not just a private sector achievement, but a public-private partnership, that without strong government support and a national strategic energy plan, this kind of thing is not going to happen.
You're telling me something... the only times when we had to use the "cold storage" last winter was when the Ukraine threatened to shut down the Russian gas pipelines. It wasn't due to the nuclear phase-out, it was because we had to shut down gas plants completely unexpectedly.
Right now, apart from extending the grids and pushing the development of storage technologies, the biggest issue is a major power struggle between the four big energy utilities and the small and medium sized utilities and plants in citizens hands. More than 50 percent of the entire renewable energy capacity is in citizens hands, the big utilities own only a little more than 10 percent. Solar production has increased by more than 50 percent over 2012, and it's mostly in citizens hands. On top of it, big companies like Volkswagen are starting to build their own utilities.
There's some major decentralization going on in the energy sector, the Big Four are losing their market power along with the monopoly rents, and they don't particularly like it. They've overslept the entire evolution, thinking nuclear would somehow continue, and now the small and medium utilities are far ahead. The Big Four are trying to slow down the process in an attempt at catching up with it. They're using their influence to hinder the extension of the grids, but they won't succeed, because the next big thing that's already happening is citizen-owned grids.
It's funny to read here that in the US, the political right refuses to turn to nuclear, because in Germany it's just the reverse. Here, the right refuses to let go of nuclear, keeps fear-mongering over black-outs that somehow never happen, and whining over the investment costs necessary for upgrading the grids. Well, the thing is, the German power plants are old and need to be replaced sooner or later in some way. The French and Fins are suffering a cost disaster with the construction of their two new nuclear plants. More than 6 bn EUR now each, double the costs that were calculated, more than double the construction time, and still completion is nowhere in sight. I really wonder how France will deal with that in the future. Their plants are even older, and they really can't afford anything like Flamanville 3 thirty or fourty times over. It'll be interesting how the construction of the new plants will be going in the US.
Well this is 2013 but I think this will go here.
World's largest solar thermal powerplant now online
The up front cost is high, $2.2 billion. 140,000 homes powered during peak time. The big part to this is removing 400,000 tons of annual carbon emissions. That's 4 aircraft carriers.
Maybe we'll catch up with Germany.