Terrified of Nuclear Energy, Germany Goes for Fossil Fuel

April 17th, 2011
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Fear of nuclear energy is common in most of the Western world, but nowhere are more people more terrified of nuclear energy than in Germany. Following the German reunification, anti-nuclear groups mounted a campaign of fear that has been more successful than anywhere else in the world. The message was aided by the recent memory of both Chernobyl and of the decades of fear during the Cold War, when Germany was seen as the most likely battleground in a nuclear war.

In 2000, the coalition government of the German Green Party and Social Democratic Party announced that nuclear power would be completely phased out in Germany by 2020. In the following years, several nuclear power plants were closed as part of the mandatory termination of nuclear power generation. While the official party line was that the phase-out of nuclear energy would result in its replacement with renewable energy sources, the reality is that Germany instead increased both coal and natural gas generation capacity and electrical imports. Huge wind and solar power projects were built, but resulted in only insignificant base load power capacity.

As a result, by 2010, Germany was facing the potential for a catastrophic shortage of electricity. New coal burners and international transmission lines were not being built fast enough to replace the nuclear power stations that were slated for mandatory closure. It is therefore no surprise that the government announced changes to the planned phase-out which would allow for nuclear power plants to continue to operate past the initial limits.

Not surprisingly this resulted in a very strong backlash from both radiophobic Germans and anti-nuclear energy special interests. Still, despite the terror that so many Germans have been conditioned to respond to nuclear energy with, the extension seemed preferable to sitting in the dark or huffing down even more coal fumes.

Then came Fukushima. As public support for nuclear energy was already hanging by a thread, the panic and fear that came as a result of Fukushima seems to have pushed things back over the edge. Having now seen major losses in regional elections, the German government now seems to be ready to concede to a national phobia of nuclear energy.

Yet this time something is different. The pervasive lie that “green” sources like wind and solar can power a major industrial nation is no longer as easily believed as it once, and with the potential for nuclear plants being retired in the near future, there it’s no longer possible to claim that wind and solar energy will be available by the time the plants are finally decommissioned. In light of this, politicians are now starting to admit the truth: phasing out nuclear energy will mean its replacement with fossil fuel – coal and gas.

To some extent, lip service is still being paid to the “renewable” sources. That is both a political necessity and gives some measure of sugar-coating to the fact that this means more dirt burners. Even in a country terrified of nuclear energy, building more coal and gas capacity rubs enough people the wrong way that the claim that they are just “until renewable capacity is available” makes it a bit easier to swallow.

Via Reuters:

Germany debates how to dump nuclear power
(Reuters) – Germany has embarked on a state-sponsored shift away from nuclear energy toward renewables and fossil fuels as worries over atomic power have grown in the wake of Japan’s nuclear disaster.

Speaking after meeting leaders from the country’s states on Friday, Chancellor Angela Merkel used some of her strongest language to date on the subject.

“We all want to exit nuclear energy as soon as possible and make the switch to supplying via renewable energy,” she said, adding that efforts would focus on developing power grids, renewable technology and energy efficiency.

Japan’s nuclear crisis has led to a volte face in Germany’s nuclear energy plans and an immediate shutdown of several nuclear plants.

In a document from Friday’s meeting obtained by Reuters, Merkel and her ministers laid out a six-point plan that includes a 5 billion-euro credit programme to support renewables.

It will also require building new gas and coal plants, Merkel said. “Gas and coal power plants were discussed… an accelerated exit from nuclear energy will lead to replacement power stations,” she said.

Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen, who mentioned wind power as the main pillar of the new plan, said the cabinet aimed to agree the main points of its efforts in June.

ENERGY FIRMS HIT

Also speaking at the news conference following the meeting, Erwin Sellering, prime minister of the state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern, said the year 2022 was the latest possible date for the closure of Germany’s last nuclear plant.

Germany generates around 23 percent of its power from nuclear sources and faces a supply squeeze if the switch is turned off before a 2022 deadline set in 2000 by the former center-left government of Social Democrats and Greens.

Shares in top energy firms such as E.ON and RWE fell on Friday in an otherwise buoyant market as uncertainty mounted over how the policy shift would affect them.

Physical coal and coal swaps rose by around 25 U.S. cents to $1.00, in line with stronger oil prices and boosted by Germany’s plans to leave nuclear power.

German utilities are facing a big challenge as their most profitable large scale generation assets, their nuclear plants, face an uncertain future.

“A bigger bang is inevitable and needed. Utilities have a lot to lose,” said Kepler Equities analyst Ingo Becker, who predicts both E.ON’s and RWE’s share prices could still lose more than 10 percent.

German firms are among world leaders in renewable energy and making equipment used for wind and solar power. The country gets 17 percent of its electricity from renewables and aims to raise that to 40 percent by 2020.

Germany does get 17% of its electricity from renewable, but only if you count hydroelectric power and “waste to energy” – which means biomass burners and incinerators. Unfortunately, they’re just about out of dammable rivers and burning more trash is not going to help things much.

Five billion Euro is not going to have a huge impact on solar or wind power generating capacity. Germany already invests close to four billion Euro on solar power alone in one year and billions more on wind and other “green” energy sources, yet this flood of copious amounts of national treasure has shown few substantial results.

In light of the obvious inability of wind or solar to pick up the slack from retired nuclear plants, another, slightly newer lie is now being used to make the burning of fossil fuels more acceptable.

Via AFP:

German cabinet approves CO2 storage bill

BERLIN — Germany’s cabinet approved a draft law on storing carbon dioxide underground on Wednesday after months of debate as Europe’s top economy wrangles over energy policy following Japan’s nuclear disaster.

“Recent developments have again brought home to us the efforts we need to make to ensure power generation is sustainable, climate-friendly, safe and economically viable,” Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said.

“I am convinced that CCS (carbon capture and storage) opens up important opportunities, both for the continued use of fossil fuels and to reduce CO2 emissions.”

The bill, which needs parliamentary approval and which implements a directive from the European Union, allows pilot and demonstration projects to go ahead ahead of an assessment of its viability in 2017, the government said.

It follows however months of debate with the governments of Germany’s 16 states, and includes a clause giving them the say on where the storage sites are located.

It also comes as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government looks to speed up the transition to renewable energy sources after the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Merkel announced a few days later a three-month suspension of an earlier decision to extend the life of Germany’s nuclear plants and the temporary shutdown of the country’s seven oldest reactors pending a safety review.

Germany decided a decade ago to abandon nuclear power by around 2020 but Merkel last year postponed this by more than a decade, saying alternative sources of energy were not yet ready to fill the gap.

The country’s 17 reactors produce around a third of its electricity. Fossil fuels provide around half of its energy needs and several new coal plants are either in construction or planned.

CCS aims to snare CO2 as it is pumped out from fossil-fuel burning plants, liquefy it and bury it underground, usually in disused natural gas storage chambers, to stop it escaping into the atmosphere and causing climate change.

So having admitted that the only viable alternative to nuclear energy is burning more hydrocarbons, and with the open ended statement that other energy source are “not ready to fill the gap,” carbon capture and storage offers a means of claiming that the plan is not to simply dump huge amounts of CO2 and other pollution into the atmosphere. Germany is currently building or upgrading several massive coal-fired power plants and has been steadily increasing imports of natural gas, even before the recent panic over Fukushima.

The construction of so many massive coal and gas burners, most of which have an expected service life of decades, has been at odds with the “green” image that Germany has attempted to cultivate. Politicians have made strong statements about the need to reduce greenhouse gases and create a more environmentally friendly society. Yet coal continues to be burned in huge volumes and coal plants are being expanded, not decommissioned.

For fossil fuel interests, carbon capture and storage is the perfect window dressing. Coal and gas burners can continue to be built with the claim that they are designed to accommodate carbon capture and storage “in the near future, when it becomes available.” Thus, just as with the promise of a wind and solar powered society, the emissions of power plants are downplayed with the claim that they’re only a short term gap-filler that will soon be eliminated.

The reality is that carbon capture and storage is a relatively straightforward, even if cumbersome process that uses technologies with little room for improvement and even less possibility of any technical breakthroughs suddenly making it economically viable. Fuels such as coal are burned, usually in a pure oxygen enviornment and the flu gas is then filtered of particulates, scrubbed of impurities such as sulfur, dehumidified, separated to remove nitrogen or leftover oxygen and then the resulting carbon dioxide is refrigerated, compressed and finally pumped under enormous pressure into a geological formation such as an aquifer, hollowed salt dome or depleted natural gas field.

Of course, there are a number of problems inherent to this process. For one thing, the separation, purification, refrigeration and compression of the carbon dioxide uses a significant amount of the energy generated by the burning of the fuel to begin with. Thus, more fuel is needed to produce the same amount of output energy and more carbon dioxide is created in the process. In the case of a large coal burning power plant, a huge amount of carbon dioxide is generated and needs to be disposed of. For every kilogram of carbon burned, approximately three kilograms of carbon dioxide are produced. Large power plants can easily produce more than one hundred thousand tons of carbon dioxide in a single day. At atmospheric pressure, this would be enough carbon dioxide to fill a dome stadium every few seconds.

Assuming that the expense, reduced output and overall increase in carbon dioxide (as well as fly ash, sulfur dioxide and heavy metal) production could be accepted, that leaves the obvious issue of where all this carbon dioxide can be shoved. Unfortunately, there simply are not that many places it can be put. Coal mines won’t work, as they tend to be far too porous to contain such high pressure. Depleted natural gas fields should be able to hold the CO2 at least for a while, but there are a limited number of suitable fields, and Germany has few if any. Aquifers may also work, but again there are a limited number suitable for this kind of use, and the integrity of aquifer storage could be compromised if the aquifer has been welled for water supplies.

Any geological formation used to storage large volumes of carbon dioxide also comes with built in dangers. A failure or blow-out of the pumping station used to inject the carbon dioxide could allow it to all come gushing out into the atmosphere. Should anyone in current times or any time in the future have the misfortune of drilling for water or gas in the area, they could easily also let out all the carbon dioxide. Unlike natural gas-filled formations found underground, the carbon dioxide reservoir would not be composed of multiple pockets, but would be one relatively continuous body of gas, making the possibility of an uncontrollable blowout more likely. Earthquakes could also rupture rock layers and allow the gas to escape.

Releasing large volumes of carbon dioxide from underground has greater consequences than simply releasing a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide can be toxic at levels as low as .5% (5000 PPM) and is deadly when atmospheric levels reach near 10%. A sudden eruption of carbon dioxide into the local enviornment can be catastrophic. In 1986, a local geological disturbance caused Lake Nyos in Cameroon to suddenly release 1.6 million tons of CO2 that had accumulated in the deep waters of the lake. Although the area was relatively sparsely populated, the cloud of carbon dioxide killed 1700 people within 25 kilometers of the lake.

It should be noted that carbon dioxide storage in the deep oceans has also been proposed. Ocean storage of CO2 introduces additional unknowns and potential dangers, however the language of the German legislation suggests a focus on underground CO2 storage.

That said, worrying about such dangers from carbon capture and storage is really not necessary, because realistically, carbon capture and storage is a pipe dream that is simply never going to happen and serves little purpose other than to make the prospect of burning more coal more politically acceptable. However, it does raise an interesting question: If nuclear energy and the material it produces is deemed so dangerous as to be absolutely unacceptable, why is fossil fuel with carbon capture and storage considered acceptable?

Not only do people die every year in mining accidents, natural gas explosions and as a result of coal exhaust, but carbon capture and storage introduces new unknowns and potential dangers. Is this really a better alternative?


This entry was posted on Sunday, April 17th, 2011 at 8:28 am and is filed under Bad Science, Enviornment, Nuclear, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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98 Responses to “Terrified of Nuclear Energy, Germany Goes for Fossil Fuel”

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  1. 51
    Anon Says:

            bernard said:

    By building automous buildings, a country can save internal ressources and so will be able to export more.

    No such thing.

    Besides, do you really think a one hundred storey skyscraper could possibly power itself using just a bunch of solar panels on the roof?

    Look, if you’ve got the area for PV then you can get some use out of it, probably not much but it’d be something, but if you don’t have the area then no amount of green paint will help you.

            bernard said:

    An example of 100% solar building : http://www.jenni.ch/index.html?html/English/english.htm

    You’d think the English page would actually be in English wouldn’t you?

            bernard said:

    By having 5 panels of 200W per person, this is only 7m2 on roof of your car park, no need to destroy land like a nuclear plant.

    You really have no idea how much land would be needed to use solar power, even for a place closer to the equator than Germany you’re going to need to cover a lot of area (and Europe simply doesn’t have enough renewable energy capacity to get by on renewables only, either you burn fossil fuels (the German way), split Uranium (the French way) or import solar power from Africa).

    But really, 200 W per person, are you kidding? Also is that peak capacity or average?

    If it is peak then in Germany it’d probably only average less than 20 W.

    Even if you covered 5% of Europe with solar power collectors you still wouldn’t even come close to meeting energy demands.

            bernard said:

    This is an exemple of distributed photovoltaic production : with 310 million inhabitants in USA, 5 panels of 200W meaning 1kWp would make a 310GW peak power production and at least 310TWh of yearly energy production (counting 1000h/year that is a minimum in USA, doubling in sunny areas like AZ).

    Not enough.

    Though the US does have enough land area to get all of its energy from renewables (but energy storage is going to be expensive).

    Not that being able to do it means you should though (but Europe can’t even do it, at least not without mass murder). For the US avoiding both nuclear and fossil fuels would mean covering the deserts with solar collectors, hardly something environmentalists could support.

            bernard said:

    Do you have detailled figure about roff size per capita in USA ? I m sure this is more than 7m2.

    Per inhabitant I’m sure New York apartments have a lot less.

            bernard said:

    This is why we need a mix between wind, photovoltaic, hydroelectric and thermal cogeneration in real life.

    Thermal cogeneration is a euphemism for fossil fuels.

    Even with a mix of wind, PV, hydro, etc Europe still can’t meet its energy needs from renewables alone, either burn fossil fuels, split atoms or build long transmission lines to Africa and buy solar power from them.

            bernard said:

    The example given is to show what distributed domestic production can do as global power : the scale factor is as powerful for production than it is for consumption.

    It can’t work for Europe without fossil fuels are nuclear, end of story.

    You can say how it’d be great if people just used a bit less and destroyed the landscape but the numbers simply do not add up.

    The only way you are going to be able to get Europe to live off its own renewables without using fossil fuels, splitting atoms or importing energy is to seriously reduce the standard of living (and probably kill a lot of people off while you’re at it).

            bernard said:

    Concerning all thermal applications, being cold or heat, their storage is so easy, that this sould be the best option.

    Ground source heat pumps are a great technology and should be encouraged (and they do some heat storage in the ground) and better insulation can really help but there are limits to how much you can do there (and you’ve also got to make sure you still have good ventilation).

            bernard said:

    Concerning airconditionning, you may think about the fact that heat is coming with sun…

    Won’t help apartment dwellers.

    Also turns out that air conditioners require more power than roof top PV can provide.

            bernard said:

    Concerning telecom, the current vcsel lasers in production for FTTH projects like google project in Kansas City use less than 100mW of power for 1Gbps of bandwidth, this should not be a problem.

    Communications isn’t so much of a problem, broadcast transmitters can use a bit of power (some of the UHF TV transmitters have a 2 MW ERP and they’d run them 24 hours a day) but I’m pretty sure those are an insignificant component of total energy consumption.


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  2. 52
    Anon Says:

            BMS said:

    You’re supposed to be sleeping at that time, silly … or meditating on sustainability or praying to Gaia or something.

    I wonder how many of them know what the originator of the Gaia concept thinks we need to do to solve global warming.

            BMS said:

    And your laptop has batteries, so you can still post idiotic stuff on the Internet. ;-)

    Just remember to buy a new battery every few years.

    Wonderful disposable green technology the modern laptop computer is.


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  3. 53
    bernard Says:

    I was saying 1kW of photovoltaic per capita, that means 5 panels of 200W, around 7m2 and between 1500$-2000$ current prices. That makes 310GWp of peak power or 310TWh of annual energy production for 310millons inhabitants like USA, with 1000h/y of peak production.

    Added to 1,5kWp wind turbine per capita, for 700$, that makes a peak power of 465GW and 930TWh of annual energy production for 310 millions inhabitants like USA with 2000h/y of peak production.

    How much energy production do you have from hydoelectric do you have is USA ?

    You have enough flat roof buildings or parking places in USA, with very extended cities, to find 7m2 per capita.


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  4. 54
    Anon Says:

    A single kilowatt isn’t going to provide enough power for a person (especially if that is peak power rating of the panel).

    See http://www.withouthotair.com/ for an introduction to how much energy is needed and how much can be supplied by renewables (it’s for the UK but also includes a brief examination of Europe and the US and the outcome for Germany isn’t really all that different anyway).


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  5. 55
    bernard Says:

            Anon said:

    A single kilowatt isn’t going to provide enough power for a person (especially if that is peak power rating of the panel).

    Sure, i never said that, at least for USA and Europe.

    What i said is that if each and every inhabitant has 1kWp of potovoltaic panels in USA, the global peak power will be 310GWp for 310 millions people, and the annual energy production should be 310TWh, accounting for 1000h/y of peak production, which is pessimistic in the greatest part of USA.

    Now do you know the annual electricity production in 2010 in USA ? And the production peak power ?


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  6. 56
    BMS Says:

            bernard said:

    What i said is that if each and every inhabitant has 1kWp of potovoltaic panels in USA …

    That’s completely idiotic!

    Each and every inhabitant?! Including the one-month-old babies and the illegal aliens?

    Look, if you want to make yourself sound any more foolish, you’ve got quite a mountain to climb, but please keep trying. This is turning into a laugh riot.


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  7. 57
    bernard Says:

            BMS said:

    Each and every inhabitant?! Including the one-month-old babies and the illegal aliens?

    Sorry, i don’t know at what age you study geography in USA, you know, the place where we all (normally) learn that a given country has x car per capita or use Y kWh of elctricity each year.

    This was the idea in this example.

    For instance, as you may know that USA has approximately 310 million inhabitants, and if you find that electricity production is Z TWh, it would allow you to say that Z/310M is the mean electricity production per capita in USA.

    Sorry also, Z is a name given to a value that i don’t know now, to be able to talk about it. If you know the real value that Z is naming, i can do the division for you.


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  8. 58
    drbuzz0 Says:

            BMS said:

    That’s completely idiotic!

    Each and every inhabitant?! Including the one-month-old babies and the illegal aliens?

    Look, if you want to make yourself sound any more foolish, you’ve got quite a mountain to climb, but please keep trying. This is turning into a laugh riot.

    Indeed.

    One of the fantasies is that “Well if we all put a lot of solar panels on our roof, there will be plenty of power”

    Problems with this are many. First, even if it did provide for all your home energy needs, which in practice it is VERY hard to do, although possible if you resort to extreme enough measures (no electric dryer, no electric range, no electric oven, no air conditioning, no deskptops, only laptops, a small refridgerator, no electric hot water, minimal exterior lighting etc) that still only would take care of 1/3 of the electricity consumption in the US. Most electricity is commercial and industrial end use. “Homes” are not the lion share.

    Not only that. The number of homes < the number of citizens. Most houses are occupied by families, or at least couples.

    Many people do not own their own house, but live in apartment buildings or in any other number of arangements: condos, public housing, nursing homes, dormatories etc.

    Last I checked, a 1 kilowatt solar cell package will run about five grand. A family of four pays $20,000 for their 1 kw (peak) per person of solar cells. Of coure that does not include the grid-synchronous inverter, the wiring and installation.

    And they don’t last forever. You are going to need to replace them every 20 years or so (maybe much less). On occasion you will have to replace them much sooner because of an ice storm or hail storm or something. OR, you could just pay a few hundred a year for an insurance policy on them.

    No, this is not something you’d ever want to level on everyone in a society.

    That said, the fantastically rich would probably do just fine on solar power.


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  9. 59
    Anon Says:

            bernard said:

    What i said is that if each and every inhabitant has 1kWp of potovoltaic panels in USA, the global peak power will be 310GWp for 310 millions people, and the annual energy production should be 310TWh, accounting for 1000h/y of peak production, which is pessimistic in the greatest part of USA.

    Now do you know the annual electricity production in 2010 in USA ? And the production peak power ?

    You’re more than an order of magnitude off (if you want the figure I’m going to let you figure out how to use google).

            drbuzz0 said:

    First, even if it did provide for all your home energy needs, which in practice it is VERY hard to do, although possible if you resort to extreme enough measures (no electric dryer, no electric range, no electric oven, no air conditioning, no deskptops, only laptops, a small refridgerator, no electric hot water, minimal exterior lighting etc) that still only would take care of 1/3 of the electricity consumption in the US. Most electricity is commercial and industrial end use.

    Another thing that is worth noting here is that the most common way to avoid using electricity for heat is to have a gas stove, oven and heater (or even to burn wood which is even worse).

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if most of the off the grid types have a truck carrying propane cylinders come by every so often.

    Though minimal exterior lighting would be an improvement for those of us who hate light pollution.

            drbuzz0 said:

    Not only that. The number of homes < the number of citizens. Most houses are occupied by families, or at least couples.

    Many people do not own their own house, but live in apartment buildings or in any other number of arangements: condos, public housing, nursing homes, dormatories etc.

    What's really amusing is that the greens tend to like higher density housing despite the fact that there isn't enough roof space for solar power.

            Anon said:

    That said, the fantastically rich would probably do just fine on solar power.

    Yeah, they'd be able to afford to buy the solar power even if it cost a thousand times as much as nuclear while the poor freeze to death in winter (or cut down every tree they can find).

    Though realistically the ultra-rich would use their political connections and lobbying money to ensure fossil fuels keep getting burnt rather than be forced to use solar (as anything more than a diversion from solving global warming).

    BTW: Having some trouble loading the last comment on the '“Alternative” School Closes Due to Outbreak in Unvaccinated Students'.


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  10. 60
    George Carty Says:

            Anon said:

    What’s really amusing is that the greens tend to like higher density housing despite the fact that there isn’t enough roof space for solar power.

    I think the benefits of having less space to heat (heating is a BIG user of energy) and of eliminating automobile dependency outweigh the cost of not being able to use rooftop solar power.


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  11. 61
    Rod Adams Says:

    George – the point is that advocates of solar and wind simply cannot get it though their head that their favorite power sources are weak and unreliable. People use energy to overcome the vagaries of the weather. Using weather dependent sources is silly and inadequate.

    They are reverse Robin Hood systems taking from the poor to subsidize a roof decoration for the rich.


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  12. 62
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Anon said:

    Though minimal exterior lighting would be an improvement for those of us who hate light pollution.

    I suppose I can sympathize with that, although it depends on the circumstances. Sometimes it’s a safety and security thing. I always put big flood lights out on Haloween, both to deter vandalism and to avoid any little kids from tripping or otherwise hurting themselves.

    My dog is currently living at my parents place (he’s not allowed in my own apartment building) and he’s very small. There are coyotes in the area, so I never let him go out at night without having the yard lit up like Times Square. I don’t want anything sneaking out the the shadows.

    Also a lot can be done by properly designed and directed outdoor lighting.

            Anon said:

    BTW: Having some trouble loading the last comment on the '“Alternative” School Closes Due to Outbreak in Unvaccinated Students'.

    Occasionally a comment with some weird HTML tags can confuse the browser and force it to stop rendering stuff under it.

    I have a feeling that many of the times it happens it is intentional. I deleted the comment.


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  13. 63
    Anon Says:

            George Carty said:

    I think the benefits of having less space to heat (heating is a BIG user of energy) and of eliminating automobile dependency outweigh the cost of not being able to use rooftop solar power.

    I tend to agree here, the whole thing about high density making public transport provision easier (as well as making use of cars harder due to increased congestion and parking issues) more than outweighs not getting any real use out of a solar panel on the roof and it would even if roof top solar were a lot better than it is.

            Rod Adams said:

    They are reverse Robin Hood systems taking from the poor to subsidize a roof decoration for the rich.

    Well said. I’d much rather get rid of solar subsidies and give the money to help people get ground source heat pumps.

    Though I should note that it looks like the real Robin Hood was probably actually stealing from the poor more than the rich.

            drbuzz0 said:

    I suppose I can sympathize with that, although it depends on the circumstances.

    Sometimes it’s a safety and security thing. I always put big flood lights out on Haloween, both to deter vandalism and to avoid any little kids from tripping or otherwise hurting themselves.

    Sensor lights which turn on only upon motion would probably be the best solution for that (and also a lot more effective as security lights, permanently on lights just make people think anyone they see is allowed to be there).

            drbuzz0 said:

    Also a lot can be done by properly designed and directed outdoor lighting.

    True, though a lot of outdoor lighting isn’t properly designed or directed.

    Most street lights aren’t and sports lights are infamous for causing light pollution (and I’ve seen some idiots who seem to think they should keep their sports lights on the middle of the day for some reason).

            drbuzz0 said:

    Occasionally a comment with some weird HTML tags can confuse the browser and force it to stop rendering stuff under it.

    I have a feeling that many of the times it happens it is intentional.

    I deleted the comment.

    Sometimes it probably is though it is pretty easy to make mistakes with a tag and the disappearance of the preview button makes it hard to know for sure that it’s done right.


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  14. 64
    Rod Adams Says:

    @Anon – can you tell me how well ground source heat pumps work in densely populated areas? I am no expert, but my next door neighbor in my last house had a system installed. As near as I could tell, installing the heat exchange piping required digging up about 25-50% of his yard – and we were on generous sized suburban lots.

    In some places, apartments do imply better access to public transportation, but I grew up in South Florida where there are a lot of high rise apartment buildings and no public transportation other than poorly maintained buses with inadequate routing.

    A lot of our infrastructure would have to be replaced at enormous cost if we were to attempt to survive with a system based on unreliable, weather dependent power sources. Even then, people would have to become almost professional at conservation and doing without many of the comforts and conveniences that they take for granted.

    Nuclear energy helps us escape that fate. I am not apologetic about my love of a high energy lifestyle, especially since I know just how much fissionable material we have here on earth. There is plenty to go around for several thousand years. By the time that material gets even close to have consumed, fusion might be an option.


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  15. 65
    Anon Says:

            Rod Adams said:

    @Anon – can you tell me how well ground source heat pumps work in densely populated areas?

    Ground source heat pumps are really only going to work in the suburbs though they can be very helpful there. Though in places where most homes are suburban you could get a pretty decent reducing in energy usage out of them (they pay for themselves due to the low energy usage and low maintenance needs, it’s just the capital cost that is the problem).

            Rod Adams said:

    I am no expert, but my next door neighbor in my last house had a system installed. As near as I could tell, installing the heat exchange piping required digging up about 25-50% of his yard – and we were on generous sized suburban lots.

    That’s pretty much what would be required.

            Rod Adams said:

    In some places, apartments do imply better access to public transportation, but I grew up in South Florida where there are a lot of high rise apartment buildings and no public transportation other than poorly maintained buses with inadequate routing.

    Yeah well that would be a bit of a problem.

    Florida I would expect given it’s a retirement destination to also have a lot of transit dependant people (and probably quite a few people continuing to drive even when they really shouldn’t).

            Rod Adams said:

    A lot of our infrastructure would have to be replaced at enormous cost if we were to attempt to survive with a system based on unreliable, weather dependent power sources. Even then, people would have to become almost professional at conservation and doing without many of the comforts and conveniences that they take for granted.

    Of course what will actually happen is that we just continue to burn fossil fuels and increase COâ‚‚ concentration, then when coastal cities flood we’ll be told we should have wasted more money on renewables that don’t work (look at Denmark, 20% wind and most COâ‚‚ intense European electricity grid).

            Rod Adams said:

    Nuclear energy helps us escape that fate. I am not apologetic about my love of a high energy lifestyle, especially since I know just how much fissionable material we have here on earth. There is plenty to go around for several thousand years. By the time that material gets even close to have consumed, fusion might be an option.

    Anything beyond about 100 years I think we can safely leave to future generations to deal with, provided of course we leave them a better world than the one we were given (the greens seem to be doing all they can to prevent that).

    Though we should have fusion worked out by the time we run out of Uranium and Thorium although by that time most of the population will probably be living in space (and likely using solar power which actually does make sense in space).

    Personally I think that fusion rocketry is going to be more important than fusion power.

    Also I’ll just link to the wikipedia article on White’s law and also note that we need to move up the Kardashev scale.


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  16. 66
    George Carty Says:

            Anon said:

    Sometimes it probably is though it is pretty easy to make mistakes with a tag and the disappearance of the preview button makes it hard to know for sure that it’s done right.

    Why was the preview button removed by the way?


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  17. 67
    Soylent Says:

            Rod Adams said:

    @Anon – can you tell me how well ground source heat pumps work in densely populated areas?

    In stockholm city we have a district heating system(and in some parts, a district cooling system using sea water from below the thermocline as a cold source). Before the moratorium on new nuclear the Ropsten district heating plant, with its 260 megawatts of heat pumps(sea water as cold reservoir) would run frequently over night using surplus electricity from our nukes.


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  18. 68
    Anon Says:

            Soylent said:

    In stockholm city we have a district heating system(and in some parts, a district cooling system using sea water from below the thermocline as a cold source). Before the moratorium on new nuclear the Ropsten district heating plant, with its 260 megawatts of heat pumps(sea water as cold reservoir) would run frequently over night using surplus electricity from our nukes.

    A place near the coast or a large body of water probably could run a district heating/cooling system (though cooling probably wouldn’t be needed all that much in Stockholm) using water source heat pumps and have it be useful even with rather high population density.


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  19. 69
    bernard Says:

            Rod Adams said:

    George – the point is that advocates of solar and wind simply cannot get it though their head that their favorite power sources are weak and unreliable. People use energy to overcome the vagaries of the weather. Using weather dependent sources is silly and inadequate..

    Exactly like the nuclear plants : nuclear plants have quite often to be stopped because there is not enouh water to cool down the system. And France is beginning to forecast the stopping of nuclear plants this summer as rain and snow was so little this autumn and winter and spring that they already know that water will be too low in rivers.

    They may not like boiled fishes in their rivers ?

    The only solution is to have a mix of all solar energy, direct or indirect like wood and all biomass that is just rejected today.


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  20. 70
    bernard Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    First, even if it did provide for all your home energy needs, which in practice it is VERY hard to do, although possible if you resort to extreme enough measures (no electric dryer, no electric range, no electric oven, no air conditioning, no deskptops, only laptops, a small refridgerator, no electric hot water, minimal exterior lighting etc) that still only would take care of 1/3 of the electricity consumption in the US. Most electricity is commercial and industrial end use.

    It was never said that the electrical grid would be cut ! The idea of distributed production is that production is shared through the grid, like today.

    In Europe, the mean power per capita for electricity is around 1kW, counting all.

            drbuzz0 said:

    Not only that. The number of homes < the number of citizens. Most houses are occupied by families, or at least couples.

    Many people do not own their own house, but live in apartment buildings or in any other number of arangements: condos, public housing, nursing homes, dormatories etc.

    Who did say that everythng must be installed at home ? As you may know, electricity is easy to transport on the grid. All we need is "share" of production.

            bernard said:

    Last I checked, a 1 kilowatt solar cell package will run about five grand. A family of four pays $20,000 for their 1 kw (peak) per person of solar cells. Of coure that does not include the grid-synchronous inverter, the wiring and installation.

    Current price is around 1.5$/Wp for 200W monocristalin panels, that makes 6000$ for 4kW. And running 1000h/y during 25 years, the kWh should be around 0.06$.

    grid-synchronous inverter is less than 1000$ now for 4kW.


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  21. 71
    Anon Says:

            bernard said:

    Exactly like the nuclear plants : nuclear plants have quite often to be stopped because there is not enouh water to cool down the system. And France is beginning to forecast the stopping of nuclear plants this summer as rain and snow was so little this autumn and winter and spring that they already know that water will be too low in rivers.

    Where the f*** did you get that stupidity from?

            bernard said:

    The only solution is to have a mix of all solar energy, direct or indirect like wood and all biomass that is just rejected today.

    Europe (where you live) simply doesn’t have enough land for that.

    Besides, biofuels have a tendency of increasing food prices.

    Solar Thermal also tends to require quite a bit of water and solar panels need to be washed off every so often.


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  22. 72
    LOL Says:

    Photovoltaics change of production during day and yearHigh resolution picture: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/Photovoltaics_change_of_production_during_day_and_year.pngFile source Wikipedia : http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:Photovoltaics_change_of_production_during_day_and_year.png&filetimestamp=20100908112931#filelinksThis is one of the better graphics to show to the layman where’s the problem with PV in regions like Germany.For once we can see the whole picture. Because most times PV proponents just present the power from 7 am to 7 pm and that on a very sunny day in summer.To be "honest" the graphic should show the actual power output from – 0 to 24 hours on scale with the peak power of the installation- january to decemberIt’s easy to see that for a long period (several months) the power output is very low and that there is absolutly no power for most of the day. But even for the best months, the generated energy is much lower than most people would believe, because of the bell shaped power line and 0 power in the night hours. Energy storage to levelize the output may still make some sense in summer for spezial applications (locations without a connection to powerlines) IF there are not several days of heavy clouds but it’s a complete waste of the invested money for the winter months where we might get a daily performance of just 1 to 5% of the peak power over the whole day. It won’t be possible to store the energy in summer to have better results in winter. When there are several months in a year where we need between 95% to 100% of "other" energy generating installations to back up an inadequate system to power most of our civilization, why should we waste precious resources, time and money on something that can’t work? Just because of wishful thinking? We have to show that the same graphic for nuclear power will fill our energy needs 24 hours for the whole year with planning security. Let’s show the difference of capacity factors of over 90 % with planned stops compared to capacity factors of around 10% with erratic stops.With graphics like this one we should be able to explain even to die-hard greens that there is a huge, show stopping problem with the concept of a civilization mainly powered by PV and wind.


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  23. 73
    LOL Says:

    Another link where you can verify the german PV electricity production

    Actual german PV energy production day by day

    Please try to change the date with the calender symbol on the right of TODAY in the bar at the bottom.
    Start with the first of january and continue with the following days.
    You can verify the whole january and the results are just TERRIBLE.
    Dont forget the fact that the graph starts at 8 AM and stops at 5PM. So from the rest of the day (close to 2/3 of the day there is absolutly nothing.
    PV is utterly useless for germany becaus we need 100% Backup most of the time.


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  24. 74
    matthew Says:

            bernard said:

    Exactly like the nuclear plants : nuclear plants have quite often to be stopped because there is not enouh water to cool down the system. And France is beginning to forecast the stopping of nuclear plants this summer as rain and snow was so little this autumn and winter and spring that they already know that water will be too low in rivers.

    They may not like boiled fishes in their rivers ?

    The only solution is to have a mix of all solar energy, direct or indirect like wood and all biomass that is just rejected today.

    Please cite 5 such shutdowns n any given 3 ear period.


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  25. 75
    Vjatcheslav Says:

            bernard said:

    Exactly like the nuclear plants : nuclear plants have quite often to be stopped because there is not enouh water to cool down the system. And France is beginning to forecast the stopping of nuclear plants this summer as rain and snow was so little this autumn and winter and spring that they already know that water will be too low in rivers.

    They may not like boiled fishes in their rivers ?

    Nuclear plants in France are rather strictly regulated concerning the heat they reject in rivers (generally the temperature rise because of nuclear reactors is limited to one or two degrees celsius; the Rhône is a special case, as it has an absolute temperature limit – once it is warmer than 28° C it is unusable; nevertheless, derogations are possible and the temperature of water doesn’t get so high that it would be a problem for the nukes) (source [in French]: http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/la-secheresse-menace-aussi-la-bonne-marche-des-centrales-nucleaires.N150649). Seaside reactors don’t have this problem, of course.

    To get to this stadium, you’d need also a heat wave of sufficient length and power (last time we got there was in 2003, so ‘often’ isn’t a quite good description). And Bernard, your thermal cogeneration would have the same problem if it had sufficient capacity (or are you going to dump the heat in people’s houses at the moment a heat wave is going on?) and was placed by rivers.


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  26. 76
    Vjatcheslav Says:

    Addendum to my comment: lack of cooling water (or water in general) is a problem that would get to most energy sources – even large scale solar power (which needs water to cool its turbines) would be hindered (even more than nuclear, since it is rather difficult to prevent those from getting sunlight on them) and hydro-electricity would simply be impossible.


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  27. 77
    George Carty Says:

            Vjatcheslav said:

    Addendum to my comment: lack of cooling water (or water in general) is a problem that would get to most energy sources – even large scale solar power (which needs water to cool its turbines) would be hindered (even more than nuclear, since it is rather difficult to prevent those from getting sunlight on them) and hydro-electricity would simply be impossible.

    Combustion-based power systems (especially gas turbines) would be less problematic in this regard than nuclear or solar thermal, as much of the waste heat goes away up the chimneys with the exhaust gases.


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  28. 78
    Anon Says:

            George Carty said:

    Combustion-based power systems (especially gas turbines) would be less problematic in this regard than nuclear or solar thermal, as much of the waste heat goes away up the chimneys with the exhaust gases.

    Though it is possible to make air cooled nuclear reactors (e.g. many of the Gen IV designs) and ‘clean’ coal looks like it’d require a lot more water than nuclear.


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  29. 79
    drbuzz0 Says:

    I have always been skeptical about the thermal discharge limits placed on water cooled power plants, especially when they discharge into something like the ocean, where any heating is very rapidly dispersed and is extremely localized. There have also been arguments that it kills fish larvae. It does, but fish produce millions of larva because most die anyway. They’re rather fragile and are constantly chopped by boat props, eaten by other fish or smashed apart by waves. It”s actually a common reproductive strategy with many species to release offspring that are stll very fragile but are so numerous most can die and have the species do fine.

    Water is the preferred way to cool all thermal power plants. Even gas turbine (well, at least the combined cycle ones) commonly use water as coolant. It’s cheaper and it does the best job for efficiency.

    Water is not necessary as the means of cooling. The iconic “cooling towers” don’t discharge warm water into local bodies of water at all. Most use water spray to create a draft and to aid in removing heat. The water evaporates and cools the system.

    Cooling towers are generally more expensive than simple water cooling. They also are not quite as efficient. A cooling tower system may reduce overall plant efficiency by 2-3%. That is quite a bit when you’re generating gigawatts for years on end. It adds up.

    But it can be done and it is done. You can cool exclusively with cooling towers (or with a combination to achieve high efficiency will still keeping thermal discharge low) and still have a perfectly economical and well running plant.

    It’s just not the preferred method, and given the choice, many plants would rather have to power down once every few years than invest in something like cooling towers.

    Of course, cooling towers do use some water, but there are ways of cooling with no water. There is a such thing as a “dry cooling tower” with no water at all. It’s like the radiator on your car. Dry cooling towers are even less efficient and often they need to be bigger and may require forced draft (fans to circulate more air)

    But the point is that they are possible, if you really really need to conserve water. Water is not a necessity.


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  30. 80
    Rod Adams Says:

    The largest nuclear power station in the United States – Palo Verde – is in the desert near Phoenix, NM. It uses treated waste water from the city for cooling.


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  31. 81
    George Carty Says:

    Here’s something I’ve just discovered — an article in the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza (get a machine translation here) explained back in April why German environmentalists are so fanatically anti-nuclear. BUND (the German wing of Friends of the Earth), WWF Deutschland and Naturschutzbund Deutschland between them received $10 million from a foundation whose sole sponsor is Gazprom-controlled Nord Stream AG.

    Dirty traitors – what they’re doing would make Erich Honecker’s mouth water…


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  32. 82
    James Salsman Says:

    “Yet this time something is different. The pervasive lie that ‘green’ sources like wind and solar can power a major industrial nation is no longer as easily believed as it once”

    Not just ungrammatical, but completely mistaken: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/06/19/0904101106.abstract


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  33. 83
    Anon Says:

            James Salsman said:

    Not just ungrammatical, but completely mistaken: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/06/19/0904101106.abstract

    Actually not, the amount of energy there is to be captured doesn’t matter if you can’t capture it reliably (which we can’t at present do).

    That there is enough ‘renewable’ energy available on the planet means very little if you can’t actually make use of it use it.

    If you believe that a major industrial nation can be powered using wind and solar then why don’t you show us one which gets the majority of its power from wind and solar?

    Until then, shut up and accept the fact that ‘renewable’ energy is a scam.


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  34. 84
    George Carty Says:

    Here’s my first YouTube video upload:

    Nuclear Power – We Won’t Get Fooled Again!


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  35. 85
    bernard Says:

    Germany alone had 7.3GWp of photovoltaic installed in 2010 : http://www.photon-magazine.com/news_archiv/details.aspx?cat=News_PI&sub=europe&pub=4&parent=3232

    That is power of more than 7 nuclear plant of 0.9MW, and they would need more than 1 year to be built…

    The current price of PV is around 0.8us$/Wc in december 2011, allowing less than 40us$/MWh production : that makes it the cheapest and the fastest electricity production source of the world.


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  36. 86
    Anon Says:

    Oh, I see one of our village idiots is back, welcome.

            bernard said:

    Germany alone had 7.3GWp of photovoltaic installed in 2010 : http://www.photon-magazine.com/news_archiv/details.aspx?cat=News_PI&sub=europe&pub=4&parent=3232

    That is power of more than 7 nuclear plant of 0.9MW, and they would need more than 1 year to be built…

    Never mind that those nuclear plants can run at > 80% capacity factor while the PV would be lucky to get 20%, nor that it has actually been shown to be possible to run a country on nuclear power, which has not been shown with solar (though if you’re willing to use solar energy built up over the past million years or so…).

            bernard said:

    The current price of PV is around 0.8us$/Wc in december 2011, allowing less than 40us$/MWh production : that makes it the cheapest and the fastest electricity production source of the world.

    Have you added the cost of storing that electricity?

    Get back when you actually understand that capacity means nothing if you can’t use it.


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  37. 87
    bernard Says:

    Insults are what is left when understanding is missing.

    Photovoltaic panels can deliver 120% power capacity when used in cold mountains with lot of sun, like in switzerland alps for instance.

    And even if annual load is only 11% in north europe at 1000hour/year of 100% full capacity equivalent production, price is so low that it is worth doing it.

    For night or bad weather, we have enough of hydroelectricity, wind power or agropellets combined heat and power (CHP) : no need to store electricity coming from direct sun light.

    Water storage is interesting for heating buildings in winter, cf
    http://www.jenni.ch/index.html?html/English/english.htm

    And this is not new :
    http://www.energyglobe.com/en/energy-globe-award/winners-2007/nominees-energy-globe-world-award-prague-09/earth/


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  38. 88
    ddpalmer Says:

            bernard said:

    Insults are what is left when understanding is missing.

    Photovoltaic panels can deliver 120% power capacity when used in cold mountains with lot of sun, like in switzerland alps for instance.

    No they can’t, unless the sun shines for 24 hours a day. The best they have been able to achieve is about 20% and although they do work better the colder they are, it just so happens that the cold times are winter when there is less sun so although the immediate capacity factor may be 120% (although I would like to see a source for that claim) the fact that the sun is only available for 6 or so hours would make the daily factor 30% and then only if there are no storms or clouds.

            bernard said:

    For night or bad weather, we have enough of hydroelectricity, wind power or agropellets combined heat and power (CHP) : no need to store electricity coming from direct sun light.

    And if there is enough power from other sources, as you claim, why even build the solar?

    As for water storage, it is a time tested method that works just fine. Only problem is that it needs large areas of land to construct artificial lakes. And the pumps aren’t 100% efficient and the turbines aren’t 100% efficient. So it further drags down the amount of usable electricity.

    While nuclear is 24/7 with direct feed to the grid, no storage required. And although a conservative 80% was mentioned above, the real data shows capacity factors over 90%. Nuclear plants also last longer than solar cells, another cost you didn’t mention.


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  39. 89
    Anon Says:

            bernard said:

    Photovoltaic panels can deliver 120% power capacity when used in cold mountains with lot of sun, like in switzerland alps for instance.

    Wouldn’t that require the sun to be shining brighter than it ever does on Earth?

    I could see a satellite in GEO coming close to 120% of its solar panels capacity on Earth but the Swiss Alps isn’t a good place to put solar panels (something about them getting covered in snow).

            bernard said:

    And even if annual load is only 11% in north europe at 1000hour/year of 100% full capacity equivalent production, price is so low that it is worth doing it.

    Except that you need to back it up for when a cloud passes in front of the sun and you lose most of the output.

    Add the cost of backup power and even if the solar cells were free (they aren’t) and required zero maintenance (they don’t, at the very least you need to clean the dust off them every so often) it still wouldn’t be worth unless unless your energy storage system were really cheap and right now it doesn’t look like there is such a thing.

            bernard said:

    For night or bad weather, we have enough of hydroelectricity, wind power or agropellets combined heat and power (CHP) :

    No you don’t, Europe does not have any possibility of meeting its energy needs from only renewable sources.

    In comment 54 I referred to http://www.withouthotair.com/ which I suggest you go and read, for Europe there are three choices, burn fossil fuels, split atoms, or import power from Africa.

            bernard said:

    no need to store electricity coming from direct sun light.

    If you want a solar powered grid without putting the panels in GEO and transmitting the power using microwaves then you must, otherwise you’re just propping up Gazprom.

            bernard said:

    Water storage is interesting for heating buildings in winter, cf
    http://www.jenni.ch/index.html?html/English/english.htm

    Looks like it could be useful but it isn’t enough to make your fantasy of a Europe that doesn’t use Jewish physics viable.

    It’s not new, it also won’t be enough to solve the problem (it also requires you to point the windows of your house towards the sun, not everyone wants that).

    Also doesn’t address what industry is going to do.


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  40. 90
    Brian Mays Says:

            Anon said:

    Wouldn’t that require the sun to be shining brighter than it ever does on Earth?

    I think that this person means that under certain conditions (e.g., cold temperatures and high latitudes), many solar panels will produce about 10% or 20% above their rated power output … when they’re brand new, for a brief period during the middle of the day, under completely cloudless conditions.

    There are several reasons for this. For example, the efficiency of the cell decreases with temperature, and in some situations, reflected sunlight off of snow can provide more light on the panel. Basically, the conditions are slightly better than the lab conditions used to rate the power.

    Nevertheless, this slight temporary boost to the power is overwhelmed by other factors that determine the panels overall performance, and you should never expect a typical solar panel in such regions to approach the 18% or 19% capacity factors that can be obtained in the Arizona desert.

    Solar Power is a cult of sun worshipers, who also happen to be very bad at math. Using numbers and figures in your arguments just confuses them, and they will come back with their own numbers (e.g., the 120% figure given above) even though they don’t understand what these numbers mean.


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  41. 91
    George Carty Says:

            Anon said:

    Looks like it could be useful but it isn’t enough to make your fantasy of a Europe that doesn’t use Jewish physics viable

    That’s a bit below the belt — besides, I understand that anti-nuclearism in Germany was connect more with extreme left-wing ideology (like that of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, who believed that denazification hadn’t gone far enough).

    Then again, a German correspondent on Facebook informed me that the epicentre of the German anti-nuclear movement is in Lower Saxony, the region where the Nazis held their annual harvest festivals (whose attendance was actually bigger than that of the more famous Nuremberg Rallies). Perhaps the Baader-Meinhof Gang and their successors in the anti-nuclear movement aren’t as far from the back-to-the-land wing of Nazi ideology as they liked to think they are…


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  42. 92
    Anon Says:

            George Carty said:

    That’s a bit below the belt — besides, I understand that anti-nuclearism in Germany was connect more with extreme left-wing ideology (like that of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, who believed that denazification hadn’t gone far enough).

    Given what the results are and are going to be I think it may actually be treating them better than they deserve.

    Though denazification hasn’t gone far enough (Germany should have been dechristianised).

            George Carty said:

    Then again, a German correspondent on Facebook informed me that the epicentre of the German anti-nuclear movement is in Lower Saxony, the region where the Nazis held their annual harvest festivals (whose attendance was actually bigger than that of the more famous Nuremberg Rallies). Perhaps the Baader-Meinhof Gang and their successors in the anti-nuclear movement aren’t as far from the back-to-the-land wing of Nazi ideology as they liked to think they are…

    Many reactionaries who thought of themselves as left-wing were (still are) like that.

    You have in other places raised the point that the Nazis were Malthusians and that much of their belief in the need for more land was derived from there.


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  43. 93
    George Carty Says:

            Anon said:

    Though denazification hasn’t gone far enough (Germany should have been dechristianised).

    What, you blame Christianity for Nazi crimes? That’s even more absurd than blaming atheism for Communist crimes! At least the Communists were consistently atheist, while the Nazis selectively embraced Christianity, atheism and Germanic paganism according to whichever suited their purposes.

    I’m guessing from this comment (and the earlier “Jewish physics” comment which appears to link German anti-nuclearism to antisemitism) that you must be Jewish yourself — am I right?

    In fact, the intelligentsia of the early 20th century were people who had largely thrown God out with the tooth fairy, but largely embraced the values (Malthusianism, Social Darwinism and white supremacy) that the Nazis would take to a genocidal extreme…


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  44. 94
    Anon Says:

            George Carty said:

    What, you blame Christianity for Nazi crimes?

    European anti-Semitism pre-dated the Nazis by many centuries.

            George Carty said:

    That’s even more absurd than blaming atheism for Communist crimes!

    No, you clearly don’t know much about the religious beliefs of either.

            George Carty said:

    At least the Communists were consistently atheist,

    There were Christian communists.

            George Carty said:

    while the Nazis selectively embraced Christianity, atheism and Germanic paganism according to whichever suited their purposes.

    The Nazis bragged about wiping out atheism and only a few members actually embraced paganism (and religiously they were considered to be fringe, at least by Nazi standards).

            George Carty said:

    I’m guessing from this comment (and the earlier “Jewish physics” comment which appears to link German anti-nuclearism to antisemitism) that you must be Jewish yourself — am I right?

    No, actually I’m not, though I do notice parallels.

            George Carty said:

    In fact, the intelligentsia of the early 20th century were people who had largely thrown God out with the tooth fairy, but largely embraced the values (Malthusianism, Social Darwinism and white supremacy) that the Nazis would take to a genocidal extreme…

    The Nazis were creationists (who in fact banned the promotion of Darwinism).

    So called social Darwinism was of course neither.


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  45. 95
    George Carty Says:

            Anon said:

    European anti-Semitism pre-dated the Nazis by many centuries.

    Antisemitism maybe, but was there a Christian precedent for the likes of Generalplan Ost? The only one I can think of is the annihilation of the American Indians, which was sometimes justified as a Christian war against heathens.

            Anon said:

    There were Christian communists.

    Individuals, yes. Regimes, no.

            Anon said:

    The Nazis bragged about wiping out atheism and only a few members actually embraced paganism (and religiously they were considered to be fringe, at least by Nazi standards).

    What about Alfred Rosenberg? He was virulently anti-Christian.

            Anon said:

    So called social Darwinism was of course neither.

    I’d define it as an attempt to apply Darwinist theory to the governance of human society — it’s essentially an instance of the “Is-Ought” fallacy. Human beings are (in the vast majority of cases) not prisoners of their DNA in the way that lower animals are, primarily because language allows us to work together in a far more sophisticated way than less intelligent animals do.


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  46. 96
    George Carty Says:

            Anon said:

    The Nazis were creationists (who in fact banned the promotion of Darwinism).

    Where did you read this, just out of interest?


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  47. 97
    Apollo Says:

    Just trawling back through the articles and comments again, always a good read.

    Good to see Godwin’s Law is still holding true on the Internet!


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  48. 98
    London Hotels Map Says:

    Bush hyde park hotel dubai contact administration officials, stunned by the findings,
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