Renewable energy is rubbish, nuclear is brilliant!

  • This topic has 191 replies, 37 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by  zokes.
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  • Renewable energy is rubbish, nuclear is brilliant!
  • zokes
    Member

    Do you ever speak, Macavity, or are you just some google spambot?

    zokes
    Member

    Point proven

    Edukator
    Member

    There’s your answer, Zokes. I’m convinced renewables can power the future but at present individuals chose to buy an X5 rather than insulate their home and companies would rather hand out a fat dividend than make their offices and factories energy efficient enough for renewables to meet demand.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    It can power part of the future, but not all of it, unless civilisation collapses to the point where we all go to live in trees/huts and can fashion a watermill/windmill.

    mikewsmith
    Member

    well Mox is awesome, it’s a great idea and will sort 2 problems in 1.
    Conversion of out potential weapons grade Pu into less weapons grade stuff and delivering power whilst extracting lots of juice from the uranium removing the need for recycling.

    Cheers Macavity for bringing that up, any other words you want to share that don’t start with HTTP

    Edukator
    Member

    Since September 2009 my electricity consumption has been 7500kWh and production 12800kWh. We’re not on gas, don’t have watermill or windmill (though the electricity company has a reservoir with pump storage nearby) and whilst my house is simple I wouldn’t call it a hut.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Have to admit, I’m always surprised every time I see stats on actual electrical production, so easy to forget that renewables currently outproduce nuclear, considering all the negative chat.

    Course, hydro does most of the heavy lifting and it’s hardly a zero impact option, nobody wants to see hundreds of drowned valleys. Small hydro’s interesting though- friends of mine get most of their electricity from microhydro now, and there’s spillways, water reservoirs etc all over the place which could be adapted- not gamechangers but little additions with relatively low capital cost and impact. (not to say that they’re cheap- but it’s a distributed cost, my local community’s just done a microhydro coop, not much chance of us funding a nuclear reactor)

    Edukator – Member

    I have a great deal of trouble taking all those Hadley centre/Oxford uni/government scientists seriously when their own labs/buildings/homes are energy greedy. If they don’t work out of energy-positive buildings why should anyone else believe it’s possible.

    Our researchers work out of 1960s concrete H-blocks and an old school, because they already exist. Need to look at the wider cradle-grave impact. If they’re building new offices that aren’t efficient/positive then that’s another thing.

    mikewsmith
    Member

    Edukator wrote:

    Since September 2009 my electricity consumption has been 7500kWh and production 12800kWh. We’re not on gas, don’t have watermill or windmill (though the electricity company has a reservoir with pump storage nearby) and whilst my house is simple I wouldn’t call it a hut.

    Do you run a large electricity dependant industrial process? It’s those that we need to keep going. Every little helps but you are just a very small part of the problem.

    ransos
    Member

    In reality, renewables will never deliver enough energy to fill the hole left by old nuclear, gas, and coal, so this is a bit of a non-sequitur.

    It’s not a non-sequitur, it’s an illustration of the scale of the problem – that nuclear and renewables are competing technologies.

    As Edukator sagely notes, it’s perfectly possible to provide our needs from renewables, but the societal changes needed to realise that ambition are very unlikely.

    ahwiles
    Member

    Edukator – Member

    Almost no UK buildings have shutters yet in the Winter they cut energy loss from windows by about 25% even with state-of-the-art triple glazing. My window areas lose less heat than a typical cavity wall when the shutters are closed. I’ve currently got the shutters half closed which means I’ve got free light but no direct sunlight through the window.

    shutters? – are you mad? – they’d last about 5mins before being ripped off the wall by lagered up football enthusiasts, and launched through the window, followed by a stream of warm piss.

    or at least that’s what would happen in sheffield…

    (i found myself considering shutters last week, to keep the sun’s heat out of the front-room during the day, but then i remembered where i lived)

    one day, when i’ve got a few hundred thousand pounds lying around, i’d love to buy a small plot, and build a clever little house.

    my fiance works as a designer for low energy buildings, she says you can do a lot with simple things like insulation, roof angles, eaves, material selection, air-flow, etc.

    unfortunately, we’re both paid in buttons, and bits of string…

    wrecker
    Member

    It most certainly is NOT possible to fulfill our needs with renewables!
    A small house is not a good example as mike points out.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    it’s perfectly possible to provide our needs from renewables

    if you exclude energy required not in the form of electrical energy, and only talk about home/consumer use, then *maybe* (yes for some individuals, probably not for the complete set of homes), edit: and talk about net consumption/production of 1 dwelling (even homes with a net generation need to consume off the grid at night on a windless day, at a point in the lunar/tide cycle where tidal couldn’t fulfill complete demand,…)

    As alluded to before, you won’t be powering the furnaces required to make steel, iron, aluminium, glass, etc. with a wind turbine. And you won’t be making any plastics, carbon fibre, without extracting black gold.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    andytherocketeer – Member

    And you won’t be making any plastics, carbon fibre, without extracting black gold.

    Seems like a good reason not to burn it all really šŸ˜‰

    wrecker
    Member

    There isn’t enough landmass in the UK to home sufficient turbines to provide for our current demand, and that’s not including the energy from gas. I hope/think that renewables are the answer in the long run, but it won’t be wind turbines. Certainly not onshore anyhow.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    agreed.

    Let’s have more of the base generation provided by nukes and save some of the resources to make your next bike, car, or axe/saw for making your home when we’re relegated to hunting and foraging šŸ™‚

    Edukator
    Member

    Aluminium plants are already sited next to hydro power stations. Bio-oils are fine for making plastics. Going back to wood for many items would reduce demand for metals and plastics. A transport system based on rail would improve efficiency and use electricity.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Seems to me like we are talking about a failure of capitalism here.

    No-one wants to do anything because there is still money to be made with the status quo.

    athgray
    Member

    In the UK we seem to have taken a step back from the forefront of developing solutions and technology in the energy sector, for pure reliance on the tried and tested.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Aluminium plants are already sited next to hydro power stations

    but what it actually needs is for the Alu plant to be situated next to hydro leccy (or other form of leccy) since Bauxite to Alu process uses electolysis, but ALSO to be situated next to a huge array of parabolic solar reflectors all focussed at the furnaces.
    Be no night shifts though, so plenty of spare time for all the workforce.

    Edukator
    Member

    Seems to me like we are talking about a failure of capitalism here.

    Well if you look at alternatives they were/are even more polluting and less energy efficient.

    OTOH molgrips, when it becomes eye buggeringly expensive to dig up oil and coal, renewables will start looking more like a business opportunity.

    But we won’t get #2 without #1.

    wrecker
    Member

    Renewables are a very attractive business opportunity already due to ROCs and grants.
    Where are we going to get the wood from? Especially since our forests will be gone to make way for turbines?
    I’m voting hydro/ tidal at the moment. We are an island With some very strong tides FFS. The tech might not be quite there at present but I’m sure it will be. The SNP seem to agree.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yes that’s true. But that point will only be reached when everyone’s stretched to the absolute max. Which is no fun for us.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    In the UK we seem to have taken a step back from the forefront of developing solutions and technology in the energy sector, for pure reliance on the tried and tested.

    True though not completely, look at how the UK shelved wind turbine development when it was ahead of the game and how much it is now worth to countries like Denmark and Germany who continued with it.

    But we have some very innovative companies leading the way in wave and tidal development, but desperately struggling for investment, and you are now seeing the big boys like Kawasaki coming in with megabucks after companies like MCT have been struggling away developing for years with next to no money, which is a shame in a way, but probably good for the future of the industry as a whole.

    Britain ain’t what it was though in being innovative, you are right.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    A transport system based on rail would improve efficiency and use electricity

    They can be nuclear powered too šŸ™‚
    Saves distributing power across a network, and you know it’s traction was not powered by oil/coal.

    Nuclear powered trains, I like it.

    Would presumably have to be a mahoosive train before it was worth popping in an A4W and not stringing some wires over the rails…

    TooTall
    Member

    The SNP seem to agree.

    Others, who may be better qualified, may not:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/11/alex_salmonds_fantasy_of_a_tidalpowered_scotland_washed_away/

    As philtrickebank posted, some people have been researching what it might take to achieve a whole-UK solution. It would take a rather strong political will, however:

    http://www.zerocarbonbritain.com/

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Nuke generators small enough to fit in a locomotive definitely exist. Had a feeling the ones in HMS Astute? are pretty small. Those on board several spacecraft are basically tiny, but won’t stick out the required energy.

    edit: and given that subs and aircraft carriers are nuke powered, there’s no technological reason stopping cargo ships from being powered the same way (assuming that there are sufficient radioisotype resources, of course).

    zokes
    Member

    It’s not a non-sequitur, it’s an illustration of the scale of the problem – that nuclear and renewables are competing technologies.

    They are – they both compete with fossil fuels. That’s what the renewables lobby should be focussing on.

    ransos
    Member

    There isn’t enough landmass in the UK to home sufficient turbines to provide for our current demand,

    The key word in your sentence is “current”. We’re a grossly wasteful country.

    They are – they both compete with fossil fuels. That’s what the renewables lobby should be focussing on

    No, they compete with each other. Regardles of the renewables industry, it’s what the UK government wants.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I think both Salmond and the register are pretty off the mark there, both pretty pointless, the notion that you would fully develop one small area of seabed like that isn’t real world practical so Salmond shouldn’t have even said anything like that in the first place regardless of the numbers he came out with, he’s always full of it. The register article seems to have been written by a lazy possibly drunk student and doesn’t mention any other scottish areas of tidal development, 2/10.

    wrecker
    Member

    Others, who may be better qualified, may not:

    Thanks, I now think that maybe nuclear is the answer. I’m not remotely convinced by the “lets be veggies and grow trees to burn” idea.

    The key word in your sentence is “current”. We’re a grossly wasteful country.

    I’ve been labouring this point for a while. Still don’t think wind is the answer.

    ransos
    Member

    Thanks, I now think that maybe nuclear is the answer. I’m not remotely convinced by the “lets be veggies and grow trees to burn” idea.

    It’s one answer if the question is “what technology could make a moderate contribution to our electricity requirements in 10 years’ time”.

    But the idea that it is the answer to a low carbon future is just wishful thinking.

    I’ve been labouring this point for a while. Still don’t think wind is the answer.

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that wind is the answer. It can (and does) however make a meaningful, low carbon contribution to our energy needs.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    If you grow anything to burn, I suspect it’ll have to be more like bamboo, not trees, cos it grows so quickly.

    One reason why bamboo is used as a cellulose source to make semi-synthetic fabrics via some rather nasty chemical processes. The other is so you can market it as “bamboo”, which sounds eco. US FTC didn’t buy that though šŸ˜‰

    wrecker
    Member

    I can’t believe that educated people have wasted effort on it. I do hope that report wasn’t publicly funded.

    zokes
    Member

    No, they compete with each other.

    No, fossil fuels compete with both of them. That’s the obvious answer. I’m surprised you can’t see it.

    By the way, it’s fossil fuels, not nuclear, that are responsible for global warming – something that will cost hundreds of trillions of pounds, and billions of lives. It does actually make Chernobyl look trivial by comparison, if only people would wake up and look at things objectively.

    ransos
    Member

    No, fossil fuels compete with both of them. That’s the obvious answer. I’m surprised you can’t see it.

    They compete with each other. This is a publicly stated aim of the present government.

    By the way, it’s fossil fuels, not nuclear, that are responsible for global warming

    I haven’t argued otherwise – what’s your point?

    wobbliscott – Member
    I hate the way we’re so focussed on CO2 emissions as the only environmental issue to be concerned about – especially as the jury is still out on the impact.

    +1 but it is very naughty to say so!!!

    But we only have a couple of months or so until the next IPCC report. And with all the leaks, let’s see if The Economist magazine was right in its idea that…

    That seems to reflect a growing sense that climate sensitivity may have been overestimated in the past and that the science is too uncertain to justify a single estimate of future rises.

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