Re: [SystemSafety] nuclear energy - disparate policies?

From: Peter Bernard Ladkin < >
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 16:49:06 +0100

The German quango Agentur für Energiebilanz e.V. (AGEV) puts out a regular cake diagram for electricity production. Here are the figures for 2009 to 2012, from left to right, in percentages. The 2009 and 2012 figures are rounded to the nearest percent:
Coal         43  41.8  43.3  45
Atomic       23  22.4  17.7  16
Renewable    16  16.4  19.9  22
Gas          13  13.8  13.6  11
Oil&other     6   5.6   5.3   6

Coal is a combination of black coal and brown coal. Renewables consist of photovoltaic, hydroelectric, biomass and wind.

Note that
* Electricity production thanks to shutting down atomic power plants systematically after Fukushima
has gone from about 22.5% to 16%. That is a reduction of more than one-third;
* Production from renewables has gone up from 16.4 to 22%. That is an increase of over one-third.

That is in one year and three quarters. Here is the prognosis for 2020:

Coal       36
Atomic      1
Renewable  47
Gas        11

Oil&other 6

So, Germany thinks it can get almost half its electricity from renewables in another six and a half years. That's not just blue-sky thinking. The plan is for 80% to come from renewables by 2080.

So, whatever the reasons for the UK thinking that it unavoidably needs atomic energy, it is not based on any "fact" that "renewables don't work", because they do. Theoretically, you could power most buildings in Germany from good insulation and photovoltaics on the roof. Photovoltaics have come down enormously in price in the last decade.

When I got to Berkeley, California in 1973, there was something called the "Integral Urban House". It was down on the flatlands in an industrial zone, but it was an old (for Berkeley) house which had been "done up" so that on the plot of land nothing came in and nothing went out for living. All food was grown and harvested on the plot, including seeds for replanting. Toilet waste was composted. Water was collected, and recycled (don't ask :-) ). Photovoltaics, and so on. Of course, the house itself was wooden, and trees for repair were not grown on the plot. Neither was the ore mined for the door handles. And photovoltaic repair is not yet a handicraft.

I think moving to renewables is quite possible for some countries.

For those who don't know of it, David MacKay's book is well worth looking at: I haven't read all of it. Or even most of it.

PBL Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319

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