Published on February 5, 2014
The Facts About Alternative Energy “Between a ROC and a Hard Place” Brian Catt MBA, CEng, CPhys, MCIM email@example.com U3A Spelthorne – 16th January 2014
Whose talking? • Professional physicist, electrical engineer and MBA • 12 years in radiation physics and electronics at NPL, and RPS/Harwell • 2 in chemical engineering research at Imperial College • 32 years creating new technology business • Now consult in high tech business development, support science in schools and promote scientific understanding to lay audiences • 5 year study of energy policy, alarmed by the truth • Working with leading academics,journalists and government agencies Attempting to bring rational science and economics to energy policy
The Rules • • • • • • • • Set phasers to stun please Fact based science - no opinion required Hypothesis, test, repeat – call out “opinion” All independently verifiable – no belief required Numbers are round, 10 - 20% Data from established reports DECC, RAE, OECD, IEA, IPCC as stated Electricity prices are wholesale “What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is its exact opposite”
Arm Exercises - Belief Review UK’s energy policy objectives are: secure, decarbonising, affordable, sustainable energy, adequate to power our future economy. Will energy policy’s subsidised renewables/alternatives: Significantly Decarbonise energy generation? Meet our predictable future electrical demand? Be a sustainable solution for our long term energy supply? Be deliverable at less than twice today’s prices? Or… Do none of the above and be a planned avoidable waste of £100s of Billions threatening our economic future? ..........my hypothesis is that only the last is the case
An Example of Alternative Reality What is the fastest and cheapest way to reduce CO2 emissions? • Wind power is justified by climate change, “offsetting” CO2 emissions from gas • 60% of our generation is from coal, 40% from Gas • Gas burns with half the CO2 of coal (so 3:2 becomes 6:2) (DECC 2012 150TWh/100TWh) (CH4 + 2O2 > CO2 + 2H20) • Coal accounts for 75% of fossil CO2 emissions, gas 25%. nb: “renewables” CO2… Options: 1. Offsetting all gas with Wind – Cut CO2 emissions by less than 6% (25% of 25% less spinning reserve) – Cost of subsidy for 25TWh is £2B pa for 1.5 ROCs @ £50/MWh per ROC • Replacing all Coal with gas – Cuts CO2 emissions by half of 75% = 37%, unsubsidised – plus CCGT 50% more efficient on Existing grid connected sites Wind makes CO2 emissions expensively worse vs simply replacing coal with gas Answer: Gas short term, long term nuclear reduces CO2 to zero, unsubsidised & sustainably
What Best Reduces Our CO2 Emissions? Consider Gas and Coal Fossil Emissions Coal Generation 150TWh, Gas Generation 100TWh Source DECC 2012 Gas produces half the CO2 of coal per unit energy Subsidy cost of Wind Offsetting Gas is c.£2B pa
Best Solution Available Now Coal Replacing Gas - Didcot A and B
Why It Matters energy use per person vs. income .......economic development directly proportional to energy use
Gapminder Energy Use vs. Prosperity
Asia & N Korea
Renewables History 300 years of US renewable energies ...Alternatives and renewables were too weak and unreliable to power industrialising society
The Energy Gap Planning for less when more is needed EC Climate Change policy planned failure – next government...
The Word from Westminster.. • Tony Blair: “The choices are stark.....nuclear power is back on the agenda with a vengeance” CBI speech 2006 • Ed Milliband @ DECC 2010: “It’s anti social to oppose wind farms” • David Cameron: “Climate change is the greatest challenge we face” (but can’t do anything about) • Renewables rhetoric - wind/solar will work, get cheaper–how? Huhne/Davey, et al • Latest from UK Gov... “You don’t have to be Greenpeace to be Green” • Renewables are not the best way to reduce carbon emissions. Surprise! • EC renewables wars breaking out. (Wind and solar vs Nuclear, Poland and CZ vs Fallon, Davey.... Germany) problem?......... legislating the laws of physics
Test The Prescribed Solution the iconography of alternative energy policy Too weak for the industrial revolution Best for an Electrically Powered Developed Economy? same solar derived energy source...still woefully inadequate
Some Core Facts ...scoping the problem • Electrical energy use currently 330TWH pa , peak power 60GW • Domestic gas use + road transport fuel = current electricity use • Electrical energy demand by 2050 expected to double @ least at the end of fossil = 700TWh with 10% conservation Source: DECC • With other uses it could treble e.g: fuel synthesis, de-salination • IPCC Expects 3 times by 2100 • We will need, and can have, much more • Politicians legislate less cheap electricity and much more expensive • Doubling or Tripling prices with “alternatives” is avoidable stupidity .........................planning to fail?
The Greatest Challenge We Face.....is? • No energy, no GDP, no developed economy • Developed economies depend on cheap, plentiful, controllable, energy • expensive, rationed, uncontrollable weak energy = 3rd World • Intense Fossil energy comes from sunlight, concentrated and chemically stored and being consumed at accelerating rate, there is more than we thought but ..... • Around 1.5B live in developed economies out of 7B • Several billions more expect to reach developed status by 2050 • That needs x100 increase in energy use per capita, effectively from Zero to our level • So only 1.5B more developed people will double global energy use • Fossil resources are finite and MUST be exhausted at an accelerating rate • Millions of years of fossil formation already extracted in 160 years • We need twice current electrical energy is required to replace direct fossil use by 2050 per DECC, x 3 by 2100 (IPCC) … for fuel, chemical synthesis, etc. • Not less. Much more. Not expensive, or a rationed luxury. • The UK probably has a 40 year extension to prepare with shale gas. ...... secure, affordable energy sufficiency after fossil
Climate Change Alternative Realities • We are 2% of human CO2 combustion emissions • US and China are nearly 50%, with large coal reserves left • We cleaned up our emissions after acid rain • It’s in fact unproven that CO2 levels are dangerously high. • No link proven between man made CO2 and global temperature. Since 1997 20ppm in 400 ppm rise in CO2, no rise in global temperature • “Green” subsidies are making CO2 emissions worse, not better • Fastest solution to policy objectives is gas & nuclear on existing sites • An unproven issue has been exploited by lobbyist law to maximise profit while making all the claimed eco/green benefits worse - €Co • An EC fraud supported by a government inquisition, not joined up facts • e.g. “Its anti social to oppose wind farms” - Ed Milliband ...... lobbyist led policy from Brussels, for profit, out of Green politics, by anti nuclear media sensationalism
CO2 Levels and Temperature in History ”in the midst of the third major cooling period, that began around 3 years ago"
The Rational Criteria What determines what’s best? – Do alternatives and renewables replace fossil? • Adequate • Controllable • Sustainable – Are they environmentally friendly? • Zero carbon • Minimal environmental impact • Safe – Are they economically robust? • Affordable • Long term price stability • Secure/Independent
Adequacy can alternatives meet our needs? • Huge networks are required to collect enough weak energy – • 300,000 of biggest 1MW turbines to deliver 60GW current peak demand – • Obsolete without fossil to exploit Grid distributes intense controllable sources where people are – • Alternatives developed to offset coal emissions, not to replace fossil 100% “Spinning reserve” fossil back up is essential – fossil use prolonged – • just 2 or 3 times more expensive when working Wind technology – the best - is 30 years old, mature - not developing – • 3 per Square mile across the whole UK assuming 20% of rated delivery (optimistic) Subsidies don’t make energy sources more intense or less variable – • same for all alternatives, remote locations, massive collection costs alternative energy aggregates weak uncontrollable energy sources where they are not Smart grid doesn’t make energy – adds more cost rationing inadequate supply .....weak, uncontrollable, expensive, increase fossil use, unnecessary
Affordability: the cost Levelised costs of electricity generation, £/MWh DECC Oct 2011 * Nuclear (NOAK) estimate is based on a 2017 project start date at projected prices, 10% discount rate Sources: PB Power, 2011, Electricity Generation Cost Model Update 2011. Arup, 2011, Review of the Generation Costs and Deployment Potential of Renewable Electricity Technologies in the UK
The ROC: Prescription by Subsidy Renewable Obligations Certificates - ROC Negotiable credits currently worth £45/MWh, unblessed power is £45/MWh ROC qualification is a political decision - Green politics exploited by lobbyist generators Result: Generators are exploiting ROCs by maximising their quotas of “renewables” using most subsidised and profitable generation, at consumer’s accelerating expense. .......ideological subsidies driving infrastructure build the wrong way
Some Simple Costed Consequences • Our peak demand is around 60GW, average average c.40GW (40x10^9) • Wholesale Energy cost assumptions - energy and ROCs (Renewable Obligation Certificates): • • • • Nuclear, coal, gas are same £45/MWh cost to the grid or 4.5p/KWh. A ROC tracks base load grid price at £45/MWh On shore wind gets 1 ROC so 2 times wholesale value by law, £90/MWh, needed or not Offshore wind gets 2 ROCs so 3 times wholesale value by law, £135/MWh, needed or not • Our 330TWh electrical energy generated pa costs the grid c.£15B • Each 1p/unit on 330TWh is £3.3B pa cost to UK plc • Each 1GWyr of OS wind power in preference to nuclear wastes £1B pa in subsidy • Every 1MWyr of offshore generation wastes c.£1M pa for 20 years vs. nuclear. • Unnecessary and not affordable When you need twice as much energy, preferring a 3 times as expensive and unreliable “alternative” to unsubsidised zero carbon nuclear, or gas replacing coal, is simply dumb. Justifying it on emissions reduction vs the real alternatives is a lie. nb: Alternatives are 100% parasitically dependent on cheaper fossil to “offset”, AKA push off the grid, to harvest their subsidies, and be there to meet demand when they are not, 70-80% of the time for wind.
Adequacy, Controllability and Cubic Variability ANALYSIS OF UK WIND POWER GENERATION NOVEMBER 2008 TO DECEMBER 2010 Stuart Young Consultants for John Muir Trust - March 2011 nb: Power output is proportional to wind speed cubed
Renewable/Sustainable/Independent? Alternatives cannot power the real time grid on their own • Backup when fossil’s gone demands pumped storage for stability – which makes alternatives more inadequately expensive = 120 GW of hydro AND wind turbines? • 100% Base load fossil generation in spinning reserve is mandatory. Not alternative • Alternatives prolong the use of fossil power and its emissions. Not zero carbon. • Alternatives are ipso facto obsolete at the end of fossil. Not sustainable. Zero Carbon Nuclear energy is 40% renewable now, can be 100%, independent • All you can eat, straight on the grid as an intense upgrade to coal, later to gas Adequate • New fission fuel cycles will consume depleted Uranium fuel, including Plutonium • There is a LOT of Uranium to get through the development phase – then Thorium • A serious nuclear program will include fuel reprocessing and waste transmutation. • New fuel cycles, Fusion and Fast Breeder devices can make nuclear sustainable • We are not short of solutions, just investment in what will work. We have the science. .........only nuclear is truly secure, adequate, zero carbon and sustainable
Alternative Reality Current energy policy and language reverses reality for ideology and profit Criteria Government’s Alternative Zero Carbon X Little effect on emissions overall. Fossil √ Totally backup essential 70-80% Adequate X energy sources too weak for demand √ All you can eat Controllable X No. Wind random w.velocity cubed √ Totally Cheap X Still expensive after 30 yrs. Will always need too much equipment √ Intense, fuel cheap, Today’s prices maintained Renewable X Fossil dependent, resource intensive √ 40% now, can be ~100% “Eco” X Plague on countryside. Prolongs fossil emissions, will obsolete to junk √ Smallest footprint Safe √ ‘ish. Still kills more than nuclear √ Safest of all, health & safety! Alternative (to fossil) X Inadequate, uncontrollable, too expensive, doesn’t fit the grid √ inevitable base load replacement for fossil ....we Independent are Nuclear Alternative building the wrong thing, through bad policy and worse law X Depends on fossil fuel imports √ 100% with re processing
Current Knowledge on Background Radiation • No radiation is best Linear no Threshold “LNT” Hypothesis discredited • Product of cold war – basis of Green anti nuclear assertion • No basis in fact and is comprehensively disproved • ref: Dr Bernard Cohen 1995, Dr T.D. Luckey, Dr R.Scott, Dr W. Allison, et al. • We evolved in radioactive world and are ourselves radioactive • • • • • we get 86 Million hits per day 12% of that is from radio isotopes inside us (Bananas) Man made radiation < 0.5% of natural background at 2.5mSv Natural background varies from 1mSV to 1Sv pa (x1000) SW France at 80mSv pa is 4 x NYC/Fukushima evacuation level • Ideal rate appears to be c.100mSV • • • • Less is worse, more is worse There is probably a “best” level immunologically Certainly a threshold Think sun exposure... Cancer Risk 100 mSv
What’s our competition doing? • China plans 132 nuclear plants by 2030 – several at a time - primary base load • Korea plan to be 50% nuclear by 2020, Japan did, probably will still • Russia will double its nuclear base by 2030 from 23GW to 51GW – including Gen 4 Fast Breeders • Japan, China and Russia have all built new 500 Tonne PWR foundries • America has watched too many Simpsons and still has loads’a fossil – • Also has the best nuclear power up time and close to best safety record in the World France: Already there, 80% nuclear,rest mostly hydro. Electric long haul TGV, advanced fuel and waste processing, laughing up its sleeve at neighbours as it also acquires ITER out of JET – and prepares to power its backward industrial neighbours. • Germany is going back to fossil fuel, dirty Polish Coal and Russian gas – the ones who pushed for expensive carbon reduction, driven by Grün Politics • We plan Ten nuclear power stations by 2020, basically replacement • Need at least 20 to replace retiring coal and existing nuclear to meet 2020 20% ………………… UK politicians still have no realistic strategy
The Truth “Any thing is believable when you understand nothing” Alternatives are a Diversion Promoted on False Attributes: – don’t replace fossil and are inherently expensive, x2 or x3 – Little effect on CO2 emissions and too weak to achieve substantive output • We will need 2-3 times 60GW on demand when fossil has gone, not less • Only nuclear can take the UK past the end of fossil, unsubsidised • Only Nuclear meets all long term policy objectives – affordable, zero CO2, adequate, controllable, secure, sustainable, safe • Nothing else makes technical or economic sense Shale gas reserves can best power decarbonisation short term, not alternatives or renewables • Reducing our energy costs is crucial to deficit reduction & competitiveness • Capital rationing must apply = build what works best first • Alternative subsidies are pointlessly wasting increasing £ Billions pa • The best ROI is from clean half the CO2 gas, then zero emissions nuclear The Real Choice: lobbyist enriching waste of Billions or economic survival?
An Action Plan? 1. Tell the people the truth 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Build what works best, forget “The Mix”, just energy multiculturalism Change Law, remove all subsidies, allow loan guarantees Maximise gas ASAP - can start with LNG, keep going with shale gas Invest in nuclear waste and fuel processing R&D program + MAST, ITER Replace all current nuclear plant with proven nuclear upgrades ASAS Replace coal with CCGT gas pro tem, not wood chips at twice the price Meet 2020 20% obligations unsubsidised w/o rationing - with nuclear and gas Start trebling the current grid capacity in situ for the end of fossil - NOW Replace as much coal as possible with nuclear, when market stabilises Gap fill with smaller CCGT - on old grid connected city power station sites etc. 700TWh minimum nuclear by 2050 requires 120 1GW power stations All you can eat, Zero emission, independent, sustainable, no subsidies No new science, some process development, using proven safe reactors Gas is a useful migration tool. Nuclear power is the inevitable alternative to fossil energy for a developed economy PS: Build more LNG Terminals in case
Work in Progress 70MW Fission To Go JET, ITER (& DEMO) Fusion on Earth - JET x10 MAST & TWR
Thank you – Questions? Possible Topics: •Why? •Safety •Nuclear transmutation •What is waste? •Fusion •speaking opportunities?
Costings of Main Generation Modalities Comparison of Build and Power Generation Costs from multiple sources nb: Each independent source has been "levelised" to reflect a consistent approach to costings and includes al cost from green field to decommissioning, so are directly comparable within a column. (i) 1p/kWh=£10/MWh (ii) included in unit cost
Carbon cycle, billions tonnes carbon
CO2 in the atmosphere
Its Getting Warmer
We are using oil faster than we can find it
Met Office Facts on Global Warming HADCRUT3
DECC Renewables Plan 2008
Land Use per DECC
Who Has it Right? No coal/No oil/No gas/No choice
References and Further Data References and Further Data The Royal Accademy of Engineers: (i) The Costs of Generating Electricity, ISBN 1-903496-11-X ,March 2004 Best detailed levelised comparitive costings across modalities. Now a bit dated but the proportionalities are similar UK DECC DUKES Statistics on Energy Use + DECC Ove Arup report on new build energy costs by modality UK DECC Minister response in Parliamentary Questions on Energy Costs 2008 H.Douglas Lightfoot: Doug has it nailed and his work the best joined up approach I’ve seen. He filled the main theatre when he presented his undeniable analysis to the IET at Savoy Place in 2008. We need a lot more energy, more cheaply, sustainably and zero carbon. We can do it with nuclear power, not other ways. Doug has done the huge task of macro level data collection presented in one self consistent format to show the truth. http://www.nobodysfuel.com/intro.html Professor MichaelLaughton: 2020 and the realities of electrical power supply NEW POWER / ISSUE 9/ OCTOBER 2009 Why the grid can’t handle much wind power Coal Combustion: Nuclear Resource or Danger? Alex Gabbard http://www.ornl.gov/ORNLReview/rev26-34/text/coalmain.html Emissions from burning coal include uranium and other nuclear materials—potential hazards and resources. Oak Ridge National Laboratory REVIEW Volume 26 Numbers Three and Four, 1993 The World Nuclear Association: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html While not independent they have an excellent comparison of costs and all other factors globally, which is not very different in relative magnitude from the RAE or the DTI’s own. Prof Wade Alison: An expert view on the real risks of radiation to humans from a real Radiobiologist and physicist who has been there and seen it. His book “Radiation and Reason:” is available from his site along with useful associated Papers : http:/www.radiationandreason.com/ Sen Lamar Alexander, Tennessee; http://alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=GoingToWarInSailboats His book “Going to War in Sailboats contains a number of papers offering clear analysis accessible to the lay person and politicians
References and Further Data References and Further Data (Contd): Rate of Decarbonisation: • We are 2% of global combustion emissions. USA and China are 50%, multiple rspected and self corroboratig sources for thise. A few % of our 2% emissions short term will make no difference to what happens to the climate in the couple of decades it will take us to nuclearise while US and China are still burning up their fossil and any other they can buy. • We must not hurry into expensive rationed energy as a short term fix led by physics defying prescriptive law at huge avoidable cost. We must take the cost competitive and most effective route to the stated objectives on the science and economics for UK plc, as are others. A committed programme to replace coal directly with gas then nuclear energy as it matures and prices fall, with minimal CCS, will achieve emission reductions to the larger percentages far faster than prolonging fossil power as a backup for wind farms. Also cheapest in capital and energy costs. No alternatives are required as they make the mix worse on every measure. Gas and nuclear are both secure • Some countries have large coal reserves they would like to burn cheaply before biting the inevitable bullet of exhaustion, they can control prices and enjoy cheap fossil energy while moving more slowly to nuclear, China and America with half global combustion emissions being the major factors here. We are 2%. • Others without fossil reserves, like S.Korea, Vietnam and Japan are going cheap nuclear ASAP. France is already there, We will have to be able to compete with all the above with their continual plentiful cheap energy from fossil and nuclear sources, so must take the best route to nuclear energy for UK plc’s Island economy, not mainland Europe with its very different needs and political pressures. Related Detail Evidence to The Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee – Brian Catt • http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmenergy/108/108vw25.htm • http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenergy/117/117vw02.htm • http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmenergy/194/194vw70.htm
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