2020-08-17 World Needs Nuclear Power; Peaker Plants



The point is that the Asia Pacific region is growing and renewables may not be able meet their need for more electric power. They may have to choose between building fossil fueled and nuclear power plants. Building fossil fueled plants is increasing their greenhouse gas emissions, so they have nuclear power as their other choice.

I think it’s a good idea to build nuclear power plants, but the ones being built in the US (VC Summer, Vogtle), the UK, France (Flamanville) and Finland (Okiluoto) have had more than a decade of delays and enormous cost overruns in the tens of Billions of dollars; these are not acceptable. It won’t be possible to build enough NPPs in a short enough time to satisfy the power demands of the Asia Pacific region.

In a few years the Australians will have built a huge solar array and hydrogen generation plant in northern Australia and the hydrogen can be imported to Japan or other Asian countries. The Aussies plan on running a HVDC undersea cable to Singapore to sell them power from renewables. There may be enough land in Australia to build many more renewables, enough to power much more than Singapore in southern Asia. Australia exports a lot of coal to the Asian countries, so switching to renewables will keep the coal in the ground, where it belongs, at a great sacrifice to the Aussies. But the whole world has to make these sacrifices if the world is to have a future free of climate change.


Update Aug 17 –

The heat wave has caused high electric demand and the utilities have had to implement rolling blackouts to cut the excessive demand. Some experts say that the utilities should not have shut down some fossil fuel plants but with all the renewables, especially solar, the demand is lower during midday and the gas burning plants shut down and sit idle. Then late afternoon the demand peaks but the solar is losing sunlight. The gas burning plants have to start up to supply the demand. The utilities lose money on these “peaker plants” when they’re idle so they want to take them out of service to cut losses. When it gets hot, there isn’t enough power generation to meet high demand. Thus they have to implement the rolling blackouts. But one expert says this isn’t the fault of renewables. Here’s his quote:


Of note, he said: 1 million Californians have now put solar panels on their homes. A growing number are installing battery systems, like Tesla’s, which costs about $10,000. More incentives should be offered for those, he said, and laws changed so residential battery power can be sold back to utilities when supplies are tight.

“California’s blackout is due to poor management. It’s not due to a supply problem,” he said.

Above from article in:


I agree, because there are many utilities that are installing battery systems at their solar farms to store the power for use after sunset. These pay for themselves quickly because the cost of power after sunset is very high and the battery systems can sell kWh’s cheaper than gas fueled peaker plants. The utilities just haven’t done the right thing.

A big reason why there is backlash against going to renewables is this current administration’s anti-climate change policy. The fossil fuel industry is using political influences to resist the replacement of fossil fuels with renewables. This Trump administration has become a modern day Judas, squandering the future of the country for a few pieces of gold. No matter; it will — it *must* happen, the sooner the better.


This article shows how politicized the future of our world has become. If the politicians have to be so beholden to the Koch Bros. and the rest of Big Oil, then the politicians in the name of the future of humanity should resign and turn over their political positions in the government to those who can and will change to a greenhouse gas-free world where there will still be a future.

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