# The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
Reality said that on a windless night, renewables generate 0% of your energy requirements.

If you don’t like that, take it up with reality.

Did I not point out one can buy hydrogen plants now to solve that problem? Did i not point out there are many projects being pursued to solve that issue. Did I not point out that the Biden Adminstration started a 10 year plan to cut costs of hydrogenstorage 80%? $100 Million to prime that pump. Long term, this is an issue that is solvable and will be solved. Stop trolling! I haven't see anyone claim that it isn't solvable. The question is why the hell anyone would want to reject something that already works in favor of something that has a hell of a lot of problems yet to be resolved and will be more expensive. I can understand the lobbies and politicians because there is a lot of money to be made (the latest$100 million for example) but I can't understand a thinking person to agree.

#### James Brown

##### Veteran Member
We can hammer nails with a screwdriver, but not very well.

The solution is not to pour money into R&D on how to build a better screwdriver.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
We can hammer nails with a screwdriver, but not very well.

The solution is not to pour money into R&D on how to build a better screwdriver.
But I would be happy to tackle the problem if only some politician in power would give me a $100 million dollar grant for my effort. I could even donate ten million of it to their campaign fund. #### Cheerful Charlie ##### Contributor The issue is, nobody in Texas is building nuclear plants. And that is that. We can wish all we want, it is not happening. For now, renewables are cheap, reliable income, with low problems for developers compared to nuclear. Turn around from construction to income is short compared to nuclear. That alone guarantees renewables are going to dominate energy projects for years to come. Nuclear projects that won't see a penny of profit for 20 years from day one is unattractive to investers and developers. It is capitalism in action. Consider these facts until you see the issue. #### Cheerful Charlie ##### Contributor We can hammer nails with a screwdriver, but not very well. The solution is not to pour money into R&D on how to build a better screwdriver. Like the new fad of mini-nuclear plants? Some nuclear plant operators are already having problems competing with wind and solar in their area on basis of cost. #### skepticalbip ##### Contributor The issue is, nobody in Texas is building nuclear plants. And that is that. We can wish all we want, it is not happening. For now, renewables are cheap, reliable income, with low problems for developers compared to nuclear. Turn around from construction to income is short compared to nuclear. That alone guarantees renewables are going to dominate energy projects for years to come. Nuclear projects that won't see a penny of profit for 20 years from day one is unattractive to investers and developers. It isn't science that stopped the building of nuclear plants but political pressure from politicians. It is capitalism in action. Consider these facts until you see the issue. It's not capitalism. Capitalism would be the solar and wind industries competing for their share of the power industry against nuclear and fossil fuels without government financial and propaganda support for one side and restrictive regulation on the other. When government puts their thumbs on the scales then capitalistic competition vanishes. #### Cheerful Charlie ##### Contributor According to world-nuclear org, Economic Of Nuclear Power Updated September 2021 Nuclear power is cost effective with other forms of electricy generation, except when there is access to low-cost fossil fuels. Such as in Texas with cheap natural gas. And now, cheap renewables. Another reason nobody is building nuclear plants. #### Cheerful Charlie ##### Contributor The issue is, nobody in Texas is building nuclear plants. And that is that. We can wish all we want, it is not happening. For now, renewables are cheap, reliable income, with low problems for developers compared to nuclear. Turn around from construction to income is short compared to nuclear. That alone guarantees renewables are going to dominate energy projects for years to come. Nuclear projects that won't see a penny of profit for 20 years from day one is unattractive to investers and developers. It isn't science that stopped the building of nuclear plants but political pressure from politicians. It is capitalism in action. Consider these facts until you see the issue. It's not capitalism. Capitalism would be the solar and wind industries competing for their share of the power industry against nuclear and fossil fuels without government financial and propaganda support for one side and restrictive regulation on the other. When government puts their thumbs on the scales then capitalistic competition vanishes. As I pointed out, it is a better way to make money to invest in renewable. From project start to reliable profit is short compared to nuclear. A nuclear plant is from$6 to $9 bilions for which investers will not see any profits for well over a decade and then will have to pay off that cost from profits for years to come. Not very inviting is it? Don't blame that bad ol' gubmint for the basic problems of economics. The invisible hand of quick and sure profits has spoken. #### skepticalbip ##### Contributor The issue is, nobody in Texas is building nuclear plants. And that is that. We can wish all we want, it is not happening. For now, renewables are cheap, reliable income, with low problems for developers compared to nuclear. Turn around from construction to income is short compared to nuclear. That alone guarantees renewables are going to dominate energy projects for years to come. Nuclear projects that won't see a penny of profit for 20 years from day one is unattractive to investers and developers. It isn't science that stopped the building of nuclear plants but political pressure from politicians. It is capitalism in action. Consider these facts until you see the issue. It's not capitalism. Capitalism would be the solar and wind industries competing for their share of the power industry against nuclear and fossil fuels without government financial and propaganda support for one side and restrictive regulation on the other. When government puts their thumbs on the scales then capitalistic competition vanishes. As I pointed out, it is a better way to make money to invest in renewable. From project start to reliable profit is short compared to nuclear. Only because politicians in power are pumping hundreds of millions of tax payers' dollars into wind and solar (while accepting millions in campaign contributions from them) and restricting nuclear. If it was true capitalistic competition then wind and solar would be "the red headed child" of the power industry selling to a small niche market. #### Tigers! ##### Veteran Member ... Interestingly, the Voyager and Pioneer probes have used reliable uninterrupted power for over 45 years now. The problem of providing reliable clean power was solved before the 1970s. Admittedly the probes had very constant power requirements. Our society has a far more varying demand cycle but something based upon those units with appropriate scaling can provide a goodly portion of our electricity needs. #### Tigers! ##### Veteran Member Who said anything about 0% Reality said that on a windless night, renewables generate 0% of your energy requirements. If you don’t like that, take it up with reality. Did I not point out one can buy hydrogen plants now to solve that problem? Did i not point out there are many projects being pursued to solve that issue. Did I not point out that the Biden Adminstration started a 10 year plan to cut costs of hydrogenstorage 80%?$100 Million to prime that pump.
$100Millon now for that pump priming. That hydrogen pump will need a lot of priming and it will cost far more than$100M.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
The issue is, nobody in Texas is building nuclear plants. And that is that. We can wish all we want, it is not happening. For now, renewables are cheap, reliable income, with low problems for developers compared to nuclear. Turn around from construction to income is short compared to nuclear. That alone guarantees renewables are going to dominate energy projects for years to come. Nuclear projects that won't see a penny of profit for 20 years from day one is unattractive to investers and developers.
It isn't science that stopped the building of nuclear plants but political pressure from politicians.
It is capitalism in action. Consider these facts until you see the issue.
It's not capitalism. Capitalism would be the solar and wind industries competing for their share of the power industry against nuclear and fossil fuels without government financial and propaganda support for one side and restrictive regulation on the other. When government puts their thumbs on the scales then capitalistic competition vanishes.

As I pointed out, it is a better way to make money to invest in renewable. From project start to reliable profit is short compared to nuclear.
Only because politicians in power are pumping hundreds of millions of tax payers' dollars into wind and solar (while accepting millions in campaign contributions from them) and restricting nuclear. If it was true capitalistic competition then wind and solar would be "the red headed child" of the power industry selling to a small niche market.

70% of present day subsidies for energy go to the oil industry. They have better lobbyists.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Storage issues for solar are reduced to the point of elimination as the global transmission system expands. This system will likely make use of ultra-high voltage transmission for efficient long-distance transmission (1000s of km).
That looks damned risky. We have two events that should make you very leery of such a plan. We have the Carrington event of 1859 that took out the only widely distributed electrical system at that time, telegraphs. Then there was the solar event that took out the eastern Canadian grid in 1989. What you are proposing (linking all power grids on Earth) could take out the electrical system for the entire world... a return to the early 1800s.

I expect a Carrington event would be a civilization-ender and it very well might be the answer to the Fermi paradox.
I don't follow. Humanity survived the Carrington event without even noticing that it happened except for the damage to the telegraph system and the "pretty sky displays". Though certainly a massive enough coronal mass ejection could have been disasterous.
Carrington then, basically a nothing. Carrington now--we might lose so much that too many people die before we can rebuild and if too many of the important (as in knowledge, not as in politics) people die we can't rebuild.

Staff member

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
Such as in Texas with cheap natural gas. And now, cheap renewables.
^ Why Texas will still be burning gas in 2050.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I note multiple posts of pie in the sky but nothing addressing my points about what it would take to move power to the night side.
Your numbers are wrong, Pechtel. I'd ignore you, but you seem to have some kind of immunity.
If they're wrong got some better ones?

I simply took the world's power consumption and the capacity of existing transmission lines to figure out what it would take. In practice you run into the same sort of problem you get whenever you have to haul your supplies--capacity limits become brutally enforced. It is commonly called the tyranny of the rocket equation because that's the human endeavour most prone to coming up against such limits.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
...
I note multiple posts of pie in the sky but nothing addressing my points about what it would take to move power to the night side.
Your numbers are wrong, Pechtel. I'd ignore you, but you seem to have some kind of immunity.
If they're wrong got some better ones?

I simply took the world's power consumption and the capacity of existing transmission lines to figure out what it would take. In practice you run into the same sort of problem you get whenever you have to haul your supplies--capacity limits become brutally enforced. It is commonly called the tyranny of the rocket equation because that's the human endeavour most prone to coming up against such limits.
You are asking for the real math. The links No Robots has offered are fantasy extrapolations... but, apparently, he sees them as serious engineering facts. They remind me a bit of the "nuclear-powered flying hotel that can stay airborne for years with 5,000 passengers" described on a site that calls itself "Interesting Engineering". I still am wondering if that site is satire.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
. . . Renewables have their own hard-to-measure and controversial costs. Some concerns are ecological. And for intermittent power to be effective, big advances in battery technology are desired. (And the "Let's Go Brandon" ilk is worried about humans getting "mad cow" disease from wind turbines, or such.)

What I am suggesting is that the pros and cons of both paths be carefully assessed, and expected costs quantified, so that the choice becomes a hard-nosed cold-blooded calculation.
Great.

It’s a seventy year old technology. When are you planning to start, and do those of us who already did that, really need to wait while you catch up?
. . .
Wind and solar are only viable if supported by either fossil gas, or high-grade handwavium.

I am not sure things are as clear-cut as you imply. Nuclear power advocates seem happy to assume the benefits of advanced breeder reactors while defending lower-cost burner reactors . Yet IIUC the widely-touted breeder reactors are not in wide-spread use. (Bill Gates has a plan for future nuclear reactors: How is that doing?)

You seem eager to wave your hands about the imminent arrival of improved reactor designs and even fusion power, while denying the possibility of improved storage, transmission, or other strategies to cope with intermittent power.

Your "When are you planning to start, and do those of us who already did that, really need to wait while you catch up?" struck me as almost snarky! I am not qualified to perform cost analyses, but I am aware of experts who insist that nuclear power is much more expensive than renewables. True? I have no idea, so you'll have to keep waiting for me to "catch up."

In your opinion, I should apparently reject all opinions of lesser experts and listen only to bilby. I find it laughable to heed an "expert" who seems to think that one billion humans would produce as much CO2 as eight billion humans. With opinions as ludicrous as that, I call into question everything you write.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
I am aware of experts who insist that nuclear power is much more expensive than renewables
That's not even a useful comparison to be made.

Nuclear should be compared to renewables + gas, or renewables + storage, in order to get a fair comparison of the costs. And the cost of carbon emissions from gas must be included, because the cost of emitting greenhouse gases is the most important factor.

If economists (the experts in question) can't even figure that out then why the fuck should we care what they have to say?

The most important question we should be asking, when comparing the cost of electricity generation technologies, is "how much will this contribute to global warming?"

And it's pretty damn obvious which approach is more costly in that respect:

#### No Robots

##### Maykkerz
If they're wrong got some better ones?

I simply took the world's power consumption and the capacity of existing transmission lines to figure out what it would take. In practice you run into the same sort of problem you get whenever you have to haul your supplies--capacity limits become brutally enforced. It is commonly called the tyranny of the rocket equation because that's the human endeavour most prone to coming up against such limits.

My source indicated uhv transmission lines of 12 gigawatts, five times what you quoted. Also, the bleed rate indicated in my source is 5% over 2,000km.
The Australia to Singapore underwater line is 2 gigawatts, so, yeah, for the underwater portions of the global grid that is a bottleneck. But these underwater portions could be relatively short: the Aleutians, Iceland-Greenland-Newfoundland. And I do see a future of thousands of underwater cables.
It is not necessary for the global grid to carry all the electricity required during the night. There are still local sources of power such as hydro and wind.
I am grateful for the critical response. It has forced me to look into this. I had been rather blithe about it. I can see now that it is a huge engineering issue, that a global grid is not a panacea, and that I was too quick to dismiss the issue of storage. Contact with pro-nuke advocates has moved me to be less dismissive of their position. I get their frustration: there is an obvious solution to the global warming problem and the waste issue is trivial in comparison. I will not, however, be joining them in their advocacy. Instead, I will continue to advocate a non-nuclear solution to the eco-energy crisis. I welcome the criticism of nuclear advocates as a corrective to my blind enthusiasm.

#### No Robots

##### Maykkerz
The only really difficult supply problem is the eastern megalopolis of the United States at night. There is already substantial hydro supply going there from Labrador. This could be expanded and then supplemented from Europe via Iceland and Greenland. Once the sun rises in the eastern US and starts to shine across the country, the domestic supply would be sufficient.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
. . . Renewables have their own hard-to-measure and controversial costs. Some concerns are ecological. And for intermittent power to be effective, big advances in battery technology are desired. (And the "Let's Go Brandon" ilk is worried about humans getting "mad cow" disease from wind turbines, or such.)

What I am suggesting is that the pros and cons of both paths be carefully assessed, and expected costs quantified, so that the choice becomes a hard-nosed cold-blooded calculation.
Great.

It’s a seventy year old technology. When are you planning to start, and do those of us who already did that, really need to wait while you catch up?
. . .
Wind and solar are only viable if supported by either fossil gas, or high-grade handwavium.

I am not sure things are as clear-cut as you imply. Nuclear power advocates seem happy to assume the benefits of advanced breeder reactors while defending lower-cost burner reactors . Yet IIUC the widely-touted breeder reactors are not in wide-spread use. (Bill Gates has a plan for future nuclear reactors: How is that doing?)

You seem eager to wave your hands about the imminent arrival of improved reactor designs and even fusion power, while denying the possibility of improved storage, transmission, or other strategies to cope with intermittent power.

Your "When are you planning to start, and do those of us who already did that, really need to wait while you catch up?" struck me as almost snarky! I am not qualified to perform cost analyses, but I am aware of experts who insist that nuclear power is much more expensive than renewables. True? I have no idea, so you'll have to keep waiting for me to "catch up."

In your opinion, I should apparently reject all opinions of lesser experts and listen only to bilby. I find it laughable to heed an "expert" who seems to think that one billion humans would produce as much CO2 as eight billion humans. With opinions as ludicrous as that, I call into question everything you write.
Green energy is only as clean as the carbon power required to supplement it. Yes, compared to what we have now, supplementing carbon power with green power is an improvement. It can be a big improvement, but these require the continued reliance on carbon power.

Nuclear is like green energy in the sense it is primarily carbon free. It'd substantially reduce carbon emissions (we need to most likely reduce carbon in the atmosphere, not merely lower our increase of CO2 in the atmosphere) for power production, AND it doesn't require carbon power sources to back it up.

The biggest obstacle to nuclear in the US is NIMBYISM and time. The US has waited too long to go really green. Germany is showing the failure that is solar power, when it comes to substantially reducing carbon emissions. We were hoping it'd work out, but that breakthrough has yet to happen. So we need to get on the nuclear bus because fusion isn't happening any time soon and wind/solar isn't getting us there and we've tapped out what we are willing to tap for hydro power.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
. . . Renewables have their own hard-to-measure and controversial costs. Some concerns are ecological. And for intermittent power to be effective, big advances in battery technology are desired. (And the "Let's Go Brandon" ilk is worried about humans getting "mad cow" disease from wind turbines, or such.)

What I am suggesting is that the pros and cons of both paths be carefully assessed, and expected costs quantified, so that the choice becomes a hard-nosed cold-blooded calculation.
Great.

It’s a seventy year old technology. When are you planning to start, and do those of us who already did that, really need to wait while you catch up?
. . .
Wind and solar are only viable if supported by either fossil gas, or high-grade handwavium.

I am not sure things are as clear-cut as you imply. Nuclear power advocates seem happy to assume the benefits of advanced breeder reactors while defending lower-cost burner reactors .
You misunderstand me. The future improvements are a ‘nice to have’ possible further improvement. The current technology is vastly superior to any current alternative.
Yet IIUC the widely-touted breeder reactors are not in wide-spread use. (Bill Gates has a plan for future nuclear reactors: How is that doing?)
The difference is that these newer technologies have been demonstrated at small scale, but not yet scaled up for political reasons; Whereas the anticipated storage technologies have not even been demonstrated, and in many cases their claimed benefits are contrary to what we know about fundamental physics and chemistry.

And advances are an essential to get decent percentages of power demand from wind or solar, while current nuclear technology can achieve this (and does in France, Sweden, and Ontario, for example). As I said above, these are ‘nice to have’, not ‘must have’ technologies.
You seem eager to wave your hands about the imminent arrival of improved reactor designs and even fusion power, while denying the possibility of improved storage, transmission, or other strategies to cope with intermittent power.
Again, you apparently misunderstand my position; Fusion power is a joke, and I refer to it in that vein. Since the 1950s, fusion research has been a few decades from bearing fruit, and it always will be.
Your "When are you planning to start, and do those of us who already did that, really need to wait while you catch up?" struck me as almost snarky!
Oh, good. At least you got that one. “Almost snarky” was exactly the tone I was trying for.
I am not qualified to perform cost analyses, but I am aware of experts who insist that nuclear power is much more expensive than renewables. True? I have no idea, so you'll have to keep waiting for me to "catch up."
Well, it’s truthy. But not really true.

The cost of a kWh of solar power on a sunny afternoon, or of a kWh of wind power during a breezy morning is likely to be very much lower than the cost of a kWh of nuclear power.

But the cost of solar power at night, or wind power during a calm period, is vastly higher, while the cost of nuclear remains unchanged by weather, or over time. Because you need some method to store the power, or to transmit it over long distances; And because you need more installed capacity to charge your storage facilities, as well as the capacity to supply current demand.

And that additional storage and/or transmission cost is not fixed; The greater the percentage of total power you want to get from renewables, the higher that additional cost goes. Storage to cover nighttime lack of solar power is not adequate to cover both nighttime and then a cloudy day before your next night, and in that scenario, your installed capacity to recharge also goes up.

The cost of wind or solar power is therefore low, if (and only if) it is a small fraction (no more than around 20%) of power used. Getting the other 80%, that’s really expensive, and gets more so at an exponential rate.

Cost to achieve the objective of providing 95-100% of power without burning fossil fuels are very much in favour of nuclear power.

Renewables advocates usually compare the cost of installed capacity, but this is a big lie; A 1GW nuclear plant generates roughly 950MW of electricity over a year, while 1GW of wind turbines will only generate around 300MW, and 1GW od solar panels around 200MW at the absolute best sites for those technologies. If wind turbines cost half as much as nuclear plants per installed GW, then nuclear plants are therefore a cheaper source of power.

And that’s before we get to the massive regulatory burden that is placed only on nuclear power. If the wind and solar industries were required to be as safe as the nuclear industry, than the cost of that level of safety would be absolutely crippling to those technologies. That nuclear power remains cost effective despite this level of regulation is truly impressive.

The cost of running an existing nuclear power plant is tiny. So tiny that up to two thirds of that cost is regulatory compliance. That is, for every dollar spent on uranium assemblies, or the wages of the reactor operators, one or two additional dollars must be spent on paperwork for the NRC. And even so, nuclear plants are competitive with other generating technologies that have FAR lower burdens.
In your opinion, I should apparently reject all opinions of lesser experts and listen only to bilby.
Well, everyone who thinks himself an expert on any subject holds that opinion

But no, you should reject opinions that fly in the face of physical or chemical reality, that ignore the laws of thermodynamics, or that try to hoodwink you by treating installed capacity as though it were able to be supplied 24x7x365.
I find it laughable to heed an "expert" who seems to think that one billion humans would produce as much CO2 as eight billion humans. With opinions as ludicrous as that, I call into question everything you write.
That’s not a position I have claimed.

I have said that one billion humans will produce as much CO2 ceteris paribus as eight billion, given eight times as long, and that therefore such drastic population reduction would simply kick the climate change can down the road - if the current population faces disaster in 25 years, the lower one would face the same disaster in 200 years, unless they stop burning fossil fuel. And if we can power civilisation without burning fossil fuel, then the population reduction becomes needless.

All arguments for anything can be made to seem ridiculous if you strip away the nuances, to leave only the straw.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Again. Solar and wind. From planning, to building to profit is short. From planning to building to profit for nuclear is 15 to 20 years, debending on the usual delays and over budget issues that often accompany nuclear projects. Operating nuclear is exspensive. Nobody is eager to build under these circumstances. The U.S. government does not want to pay for such projects just to hand them over to private companies. And won't be doing anything like planning, building and operating them as a government project. Socialism! Communism! And it is turning out that nuclear plants need subsidized operating costs in perpetuity to stay solvent. A hard sell in Tucker Carlson America.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Again. Solar and wind. From planning, to building to profit is short.
So what?

The objective is to keep the lights on without trashing the planet.

Infrastructure isn’t supposed to generate profits.
From planning to building to profit for nuclear is 15 to 20 years, debending on the usual delays and over budget issues that often accompany nuclear projects.
That’s an effect of their being opposed by idiots, not any kind of engineering or technical constraints.
Operating nuclear is exspensive.
Deliberately so. Operating Solar or Wind power as safely as nuclear reactors would also be expensive.
Nobody is eager to build under these circumstances. The U.S. government does not want to pay for such projects just to hand them over to private companies. And won't be doing anything like planning, building and operating them as a government project. Socialism! Communism! And it is turning out that nuclear plants need subsidized operating costs in perpetuity to stay solvent. A hard sell in Tucker Carlson America.
So fucking what?

People don’t like nuclear power. That’s not a physical constant, it’s a stupid and unreasonable belief. Like the stupid, unreasonable, and widely held belief that we can burn coal, oil, gas indefinitely and ignore the consequences.

Restating this widespread belief isn’t an argument for accepting it as an eternal truth.

We need people to wake the fuck up, and recognise that the best solution to the climate change issue is widespread adoption of nuclear power. That wind and solar might make a quick buck for a few spivs, just like bitcoin did, but that that doesn’t imply that they are a good solution to any real problem in the real world.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
Again. Solar and wind. From planning, to building to profit is short. From planning to building to profit for nuclear is 15 to 20 years, debending on the usual delays and over budget issues that often accompany nuclear projects. Operating nuclear is exspensive. Nobody is eager to build under these circumstances. The U.S. government does not want to pay for such projects just to hand them over to private companies. And won't be doing anything like planning, building and operating them as a government project. Socialism! Communism! And it is turning out that nuclear plants need subsidized operating costs in perpetuity to stay solvent. A hard sell in Tucker Carlson America.
None of those "arguments" address the real concern of generating power that is necessary for an advanced technological society. Such a society is concerned with having reliable power available 24/7/365. Solar and wind can not do that no matter how many solar panels and windmills are installed. Your "argument" would have us accept that it's just fine for hospitals to close down during the times that wind and solar were producing no power... which would be a significant percentage of the hours of a year.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
From energy company's perspectives, the goal is to have a profitable business. Here in Texas, the quickest and surest way to do that is solar and wind. Gas and renewables are the big players.

Past behavior of energy companies like Exxon Mobile, Shell and BP demonstrate they do not care about the enviroment and never did.

Go back and watch the Katie Porter grilling of the Shell executive on Shell's greenwashing. The one with the M&Ms. As long as 70% of energy subsidies go to big oil, they don't have to care, do they?

Do we see these energy giants joining forces to save the planet by creating new nuclear plants? If not, why? If not them, who?

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
From energy company's perspectives, the goal is to have a profitable business. Here in Texas, the quickest and surest way to do that is solar and wind. Gas and renewables are the big players.

Past behavior of energy companies like Exxon Mobile, Shell and BP demonstrate they do not care about the enviroment and never did.

Go back and watch the Katie Porter grilling of the Shell executive on Shell's greenwashing. The one with the M&Ms. As long as 70% of energy subsidies go to big oil, they don't have to care, do they?

Do we see these energy giants joining forces to save the planet by creating new nuclear plants? If not, why? If not them, who?
More "arguments" that do not address the need for and best way to insure reliable power 24/7/365.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
While we might need nucllear, in reality, it is not happening in th U.S. is it? As i point out, economics is favoring renewables. Big energy is doing well with gas. The new renewable energy companies doing wind and solar are doing well in that niche. GOP politics will not allow the Federal government to build and own nuclear plants and can't and will not solve the economic barriers that have stalled nuculear power.

Until all of these major economic issues are solved, relalisticaly nothing will get done. Short term we will only get solar, wind, and massive subsidies to big oil and gas.

Unless you can find a sure way to solve the issue of who is going to pay for a long term reactor project and how, nothing is going to get done. Sad as that situation is, that is what that situation in fact is. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates seem to be one of the few committed project planners at this point in time. Because they are so wealthy they do not have to worry about profits.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
While we might need nucllear, in reality, it is not happening in th U.S. is it?
It's not happening, not because it is not the best solution but, because the politicians in power are trying their best to shut down the nuclear industry, It has become too much of an uphill battle to fight a government that has promised to shut the industry down and puts as many obstacles in the way as possible.

But you still haven't addressed the real problem of how to produce reliable power 24/7/365 without nuclear and/or fossil fuels. I would go with nuclear. If you believe wind and solar can do it then you are refusing to recognize reality and have accepted some insane dream as a reality.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Baloney. The big problem now is renewables and gas are so cheap, nuclear cannot compete. We have 5 projects finishing in Georgia and North Carolina. All these projects way behind schedule and over budget. And 4 reactors have now shut down. In the next few decades, wind and solar will make it hard for nuclear to compete costwise. It is all a matter of economics. Nuclear will need big subsidies to stay economically viable. For those who realize climate change is real and a serious problem, this might be acceptable.

In MAGA America where many strongly believe climate change is a Marxist hoax, that ain't gonna fly. Frack baby Frack!

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
Baloney. The big problem now is renewables and gas are so cheap, nuclear cannot compete. We have 5 projects finishing in Georgia and North Carolina. All these projects way behind schedule and over budget. And 4 reactors have now shut down. In the next few decades, wind and solar will make it hard for nuclear to compete costwise. It is all a matter of economics. Nuclear will need big subsidies to stay economically viable. For those who realize climate change is real and a serious problem, this might be acceptable.

In MAGA America where many strongly believe climate change is a Marxist hoax, that ain't gonna fly. Frack baby Frack!
I suggest you check the history of power generation in France and Germany. They are real world examples of the two opposing philosophies on power generation and the outcomes of both in the real world. You seem to believe a lot of shit that just ain't so.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Germany is now shutting down some reactors. Germany has six reactors and is shutting down three of them. And is transitioning to renewable energy. Google for details.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
From energy company's perspectives, the goal is to have a profitable business. Here in Texas, the quickest and surest way to do that is solar and wind. Gas and renewables are the big players.

Past behavior of energy companies like Exxon Mobile, Shell and BP demonstrate they do not care about the enviroment and never did.

Go back and watch the Katie Porter grilling of the Shell executive on Shell's greenwashing. The one with the M&Ms. As long as 70% of energy subsidies go to big oil, they don't have to care, do they?

Do we see these energy giants joining forces to save the planet by creating new nuclear plants? If not, why? If not them, who?
You make an excellent argument for the government ownership and operation of infrastructure such as electricity generation and distribution.

I agree wholeheartedly that trying to operate parts of this infrastructure as profitable business is stupid and leads to poor outcomes, including (but certainly not limited to) blackouts.

I also agree that subsidies for fossil fuels should be eliminated, and replaced by taxes to reflect the externalities of their environmental damage.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Germany is now shutting down some reactors. Germany has six reactors and is shutting down three of them. And is transitioning to renewable energy. Google for details.
Germany is beholden to Russian gas to keep the lights on. They also still burn coal, unlike the French. The Germans have spent vast sums of money over two decades to completely fail to transition to renewable energy, and there’s no end in sight. Their nuclear plant closures are the insane consequence of overreacting to reactor meltdowns in a different country, that killed nobody, and which were caused by a magnitude 9 earthquake; Germany doesn’t even get large earthquakes.

That the Germans are doing something stupid doesn’t constitute a reason why others should do so too.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
Germany is now shutting down some reactors. Germany has six reactors and is shutting down three of them. And is transitioning to renewable energy. Google for details.
Germany certainly had your philosophy of shutting down its nuclear power plants. It had 17, decommissioned 11 of them and had plans to decommission the other 6 hoping to transition to all solar and wind. Instead of shutting the last six down they decided to keep them on line while firing up their coal fired power plants because their wind and solar can't generate the power they need after the Russia problems. Instead of going green using their original 17 nuclear plants reality has forced them into using the dirtiest power plants, coal.

Meanwhile, France equated nuclear with green. They have 57 nuclear power plants that produces 80% of the electrical power they use and only one coal fired power plant left that is scheduled to be closed down in 2024.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Latest figures for Germany are 46% of Germeny's electrical needs are now met by renewables.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
From energy company's perspectives, the goal is to have a profitable business. Here in Texas, the quickest and surest way to do that is solar and wind. Gas and renewables are the big players.

Past behavior of energy companies like Exxon Mobile, Shell and BP demonstrate they do not care about the enviroment and never did.

Go back and watch the Katie Porter grilling of the Shell executive on Shell's greenwashing. The one with the M&Ms. As long as 70% of energy subsidies go to big oil, they don't have to care, do they?

Do we see these energy giants joining forces to save the planet by creating new nuclear plants? If not, why? If not them, who?
You make an excellent argument for the government ownership and operation of infrastructure such as electricity generation and distribution.

I agree wholeheartedly that trying to operate parts of this infrastructure as profitable business is stupid and leads to poor outcomes, including (but certainly not limited to) blackouts.

I also agree that subsidies for fossil fuels should be eliminated, and replaced by taxes to reflect the externalities of their environmental damage.

Can you sel these prpositions to Mitch McConnell, Joe Manchin and Tucker Carlson?

Because here is the problam. Politics vs good ideas.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
Latest figures for Germany are 46% of Germeny's electrical needs are now met by renewables.
What is that supposed to mean? I have seen no one say that renewables are not a source of power. The question is reliable power 24/7/365. Renewables can not do that no matter how many solar panels and wind mills are installed. Would you be happy only having power to turn on your computer and lights during sunny days and/or windy days?

And how green is getting 46% of the power from biomass, hydro, wind, and solar and most of the rest from coal fired plants?

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#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Latest figures for Germany are 46% of Germeny's electrical needs are now met by renewables.
Hahahahaha

Germany is rich in good hydroelectic sources.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
I have said that one billion humans will produce as much CO2 ceteris paribus as eight billion, given eight times as long, and that therefore such drastic population reduction would simply kick the climate change can down the road - if the current population faces disaster in 25 years, the lower one would face the same disaster in 200 years, unless they stop burning fossil fuel. And if we can power civilisation without burning fossil fuel, then the population reduction becomes needless.

All arguments for anything can be made to seem ridiculous if you strip away the nuances, to leave only the straw.

But ceteris isn't paribas, is it? Has it really not occurred to you that present dams will deliver (more than) eight times their current power per capita, if the population were eight times smaller? And do you hate the concept of renewability so much that you think 1/8 the present population will deplete aquifers just as much proportionally as now? "Diminishing returns" is another concept you may want to read up on to correct your misconceptions on this topic. Also, I've taken the liberty of reddening one of your sentences. Is it really your opinion that fossil fuels (and helium!) are the ONLY scarce resources in the world? (In fact, naturally occurring U235 is also scarce!)

Finally, here's a pro-tip. When defending over-population, avoid the meme "Disproved in the 1960's! Ha ha ha." That meme gets filed under Arguments Too Fatuous to Bother Answering and leads people to ignore the rest of your post.

ETA: I like to attack overly glib arguments wherever I see them. If the consensus here were pro-renewable and anti-nuke, I'd be taking the pro-nuke side!

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
We don’t have 25 years. And in 25 years, we will have fusion, as well as storage, both being predicted to become available in 25 years time…

bilby paraphrased said:
My comment about fusion was a joke.
(I've paraphrased bilby's "fusion == joke" comment. The quoting facility with this software is atrocious.)

I'm sorry. Perhaps the rest of you have Super-Google installed, and when your eyes pass over the first "fusion" a sultry voice intones "Based on prior posts, bilby is being sarcastic here." But I don't have Super-Google. I'm a Luddite and find the default Google already malicious enough.

But anyway, the insistence that fusion and storage being delayed means they won't happen at all seems odd coming from the side dependent on cost-effective breeder reactors. These were first touted in the 1940's, no?

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
...
We don’t have 25 years. And in 25 years, we will have fusion, as well as storage, both being predicted to become available in 25 years time…

bilby paraphrased said:
My comment about fusion was a joke.
(I've paraphrased bilby's "fusion == joke" comment. The quoting facility with this software is atrocious.)

I'm sorry. Perhaps the rest of you have Super-Google installed, and when your eyes pass over the first "fusion" a sultry voice intones "Based on prior posts, bilby is being sarcastic here." But I don't have Super-Google. I'm a Luddite and find the default Google already malicious enough.

But anyway, the insistence that fusion and storage being delayed means they won't happen at all seems odd coming from the side dependent on cost-effective breeder reactors. These were first touted in the 1940's, no?
I think you are right that breeder reactors were first touted in the 1940s.

We have had some breeder reactors that have been operating since the 1950s. They are not commonly in use because of political decisions, not physics reasons.

"About 20 fast neutron reactors (FNR) have already been operating, some since the 1950s, and some supplying electricity commercially. Over 400 reactor-years of operating experience has been accumulated. Fast reactors more deliberately use the uranium-238 as well as the fissile U-235 isotope used in most reactors. If they are designed to produce more plutonium than the uranium and plutonium they consume, they are called fast breeder reactors (FBRs)."

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Latest figures for Germany are 46% of Germeny's electrical needs are now met by renewables.
What is that supposed to mean? I have seen no one say that renewables are not a source of power. The question is reliable power 24/7/365. Renewables can not do that no matter how many solar panels and wind mills are installed. Would you be happy only having power to turn on your computer and lights during sunny days and/or windy days?

And how green is getting 46% of the power from biomass, hydro, wind, and solar and most of the rest from coal fired plants?
Biomass and hydro are very far from “green”. Wind and solar are a small fraction of that 46%, and have their own environmental issues too.

I love the way wind and solar advocates pad their figures with hydroelectricity and biomass. It’s amazing how much better wind and solar look when you use ‘installed capacity’ instead of power generated, and when you claim a percentage of power generation that is mostly not from those sources.