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Japan may only be able to restart one-third of its nuclear reactors

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By Mari Saito, Aaron Sheldrick and Kentaro Hamada

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I hope Japan can get away from nuclear energy, and I do think they will and can eventually.

However, for right now, I think it is imperative to get as many of those things on as possible. Make sure they're safe, make plans to phase them out in the future, but get these things on so Japan can start to fix its trade deficit.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Japan may only be able to restart one-third of its nuclear reactors

Until the next tsunami, earthquake, meltdown.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

two reactors at the Sendai plant in southern Japan after operator Kyushu Electric Power Co

When did they move Sendai to "Southern Japan" ?

Although two of the 7 reactors look likely to restart on technical grounds, the head of the local prefecture has accused the operator of “institutionalised lying” and says TEPCO cannot be trusted to operate another facility.

Well at least they got THAT right !

5 ( +7 / -2 )

There is a Sendai in southern Japan. The plant is run by Kyushu Electric.

This means Japan is likely to remain heavily reliant on imported fuel to power the world’s third-largest economy, straining a trade balance that has been in the red for nearly two years. Electric utilities will face huge liabilities to decommission reactors and pay for fossil fuels.

Looks like Japanese consumers will be paying lots of money for decades to come for all that "cheap" energy that nuclear produced. Glad I won't be one.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

One thing that is never mentioned in reports on this topic is the wastefulness on the part of the demand side. If Japan is serious about reducing its reliance on nuclear or imported energy and reducing its carbon emissions why is the emphasis always on the supply side? How about a look at how industry uses (read wastes) energy in Japan? Do major cities really need to the leave the neon on all night long? Do people need panel TV's covering the sides of buildings in Shinjuku and Shibuya to promote the latest offerings of AKB48? Or department stores with open doors that air condition streets in the sweltering summer heat? Vending machines on every corner? There are those that would argue that all this is essential to drive the economy, but it is hard not to think that there might be better more efficient ways energy (plus human and material resources) could be used. The incredible amount of energy that is wasted on the superfluous might be put to much better use. Regardless of what one's position is on nuclear power it is clear that the demand side is rarely analyzed as closely as it should be.

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two reactors at the Sendai plant in southern Japan after operator Kyushu Electric Power Co FightingVikingAPR. 06, 2014 - 09:00AM JST.....When did they move Sendai to "Southern Japan" ?

Fighting Viking, these are the names of the nuclear reactors in Satsumasendai in Kagoshima. It can be a bit confusing, I know.

The whole nuclear power plant shutdowns could've been avoided had they just followed the strict rules and regulations before the 3/11 disasters happened.

In the nearly 2 decades that I've been here, there has always been collusion with the government, periodic accidents and attempted coverups due to mismanagement.

This is a perfect example of "you reap what you sow" and I don't feel one ounce of pity for this government which partook in the corruption and helped cause this disaster and current situation.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The world is watching this very closely, particularly markets that believe that we are un the cusp of a rebound in the Uranium spot price. They won't like this news.

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Just turn on the darn plants already, Japan. Yes, there MIGHT be a nuclear accident if you turn the plants back on, but the odds are no worse than before the accident. It is illogical to say it was acceptable before 2011 and unacceptable after.

You WILL suffer enormous damage to the economy if the plants don't go back on.

MIGHT vs WILL. Choice is clear.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

"...but the odds are no worse than before the accident."

Very true. But while the odds are no worse the probability increases with the passage of time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I have no problem with nuclear in general. I do have a problem with nuclear on tsunami zones, or on active fault lines.

Cant we restart the safe ones (ones an independent commission says are safe, not the ones Japan says are safe) and make up the deficit with a variety of solar, wind, and wave energy, backed up by the occasional use of coal and gas, for the high demand times.

MAKE every company in Japan install solar panels. Give an incentive for every home owner to have solar panels. In places like hokkaido where theres not much sun, use wind. use wave.

I really don't see what the problem is...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"the odds are no worse than before the accident. It is illogical to say it was acceptable before 2011 and unacceptable after."

The anti-nuclear people's thought is that the people were wrongly assessing the odds before 2011. If they'd known the actual probability they wouldn't have wanted the nuclear power stations running then, either.

That said, the fact that people have revised their view of the probability of an accident makes the actual probability of an accident (as opposed to the perceived probability) lower after 2011 than it was before, because people will be trying harder to avoid one.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Speed

the nuclear reactors in Satsumasendai in Kagoshima.

Thank you for the explanation. I still think that it would be more "comprehensible" if they put the FULL name next time.

Whichever way you look at it, nuclear power is NOT the right way to go in Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If Japan is serious about reducing its reliance on nuclear or imported energy and reducing its carbon emissions why is the emphasis always on the supply side? How about a look at how industry uses (read wastes) energy in Japan?

Japan is already very frugal in its energy use compared to many other industrialised countries. It's the fifth-heaviest user in absolute terms (behind China, the US, the EU, India and Russia) but per capita it's way down the list - 31st according to wiki, with per capital use of 774 watts, as compared with 5837 for Iceland, 1747 for Kuwait, 1402 for the US, 1114 for Australia, 1038 for South Korea, 861 for Germany and 804 for France, against a world average of 313.

The whole of Japan is an earthquake/tsunami zone. The very idea of building/operating nuclear plants here, or storing nuclear waste, is ridiculous.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Of course the old designs should be retired (the crashed plant in Fukushimas was overdue for retirement and had its lifetime extended). But those nuclear plants which meet strict safety requiremts should of course be started up as soon as possible. It is insane to import and burn ever more fossil fuels because of irrational antinuclear hysteria. And the predictable chorus of "green energy" dreamers should really read up on the subject and do their math. Wishing something to be true does not make it true.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

People against Nuclear without giving thought to what that means to the short & medium term way of life f (& potential to speed Financial Default/Collapse of Japan) &

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the head of the local prefecture has accused the operator of “institutionalised lying” and says TEPCO cannot be trusted to operate another facility.

I have no doubt that all the power companies are guilty of the same thing and it is impossible to believe anything they say. They can accuse TEPCO because they were caught out, but the rest of the companies are yet to be caught out. They are all tarred with the same brush! - If they do get 1/3 of the reactors back online they will only account for 10% of Japan's energy needs. It's time wake up Japan! What is it gonna take to get you mullets to invest heavily in alternative energies?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

"Japan is already very frugal on its energy use compared to many other industrialized countries..."

That may be true. However that doesn't alter the fact that Japan is in a precarious situation regarding its energy supply. Nor does it change the fact that there is an incredible amount of unnecessary waste in its use of commercial energy within Japan. Even something as simple as requiring open planned electronics stores to actually put windows and doors in to prevent lower AC costs is just one of many thousands of simple solutions.

The fact that Japan sits on one of the most seismically active regions on earth really is a consideration that makes it that much more important for it to re-evaluate its use of energy. It has more at stake in terms of its energy supply and energy safety than many other industrialized nations, so it must redefine its 'frugality' within parameters based on its own particular situation and not on a comparative basis with other industrialized nations. With that in mind, the amount of unnecessary waste in Japan could be reduced considerably, thus reducing its dependence on energy imports and the hazards associated with nuclear power.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Don't be fooled by the headlines, this is Abe giving the nuclear power companies EVERYTHING they want and pretending he's cutting them back, but with a higher risk to the public.

The reactors were only running at about 65% capacity on average (http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/corpinfo/ir/tool/factbook/pdf/p13-e.pdf), and the trend for nuclear power usage in Japan was downward as Japanese manufacturing companies outsourced a lot of the heavy manufacturing to other Asian countries where power was cheaper.

Those reactors were being utilized less and less, and were all over 20 years old and some over 40 years old, which puts them outside of the recommended safe operating age. Yes, I realise that in the U.S. there are older reactors, but the U.S. doesn't have little quakes every week that slowly degrade the structural integrity of the buildings.

What this move will allow nuclear power companies to scrap old reactors and get government assistance in doing so because it is a government order, while simultaneously running old reactors well past their safe operating ages. Oh, and it'll only about halve the quantity of nuclear power, but at a MUCH higher risk to the public. If they had 15 reactors running at 65% capacity they'll shut down 10 and make the last 5 run at 100% with fewer safety checks and less downtime for maintenance.

This is a STUPID idea.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

@ Frungy

Is it any more stupid than importing $248 billion worth of fossil fuels to burn?

Simple fact of the matter is they are enormously expensive assets that are idled, basically causing two streams of losses - one in that you have to keep up the maintenance, inspections and provide the former workers with some sort of a living, and two, the cost of importing fossil fuels to burn in their place.

If they pass the inspections, then they need to go back on line. Japan has been pretty cautious in their approach to this, but they need to get on with either restarting them or, if they have to, doing away with them. The current inaction is not helping anyone.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

FightingViking The confusion on Sendai may be in the romanji translation. The Kanji characters are different. For the Sendai in Kagoshima the Kanji is 川内. The Kanji for the Sendai in Miyagi is 仙台. In Kagoshima the Sendai river, Sendai JR station, Sendai Park and the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant are all near or in the city of Satsumasendai.

Link for the Google maps location of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sendai+Nuclear+Power+Plant/@31.8100511,130.2170714,13z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x353e3ba637c05ed3:0x7d12f1125fefb3a4

It may be of concern if there is a tsunami threat is in that area, facing the East China Sea, as there does not appear to be any sea wall protecting the site.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even if some of the reactors are deemed 'safe', and re-started, they still have not solved the problem of what to do with the used nuclear fuel, and high- and medium-level nuclear waste.

For nuclear power plants, during every year of operation, 1/4 to ⅓ of the fuel rods must be replaced with fresh fuel, and the old ones removed and allowed to cool. Spent fuel storage varies from 22% used at new NPPs like Higashidori-1 to 80% used at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, which only has room for 5 more years worth of used fuel rods (Data from Nov 2013). After that, they either need new pool storage, or the rods must be transported elsewhere.

For reference, 1 spent fuel rod in the Fukushima Daiichi 4 Spent Fuel Pool dates from 1980, and 4 are from 1986. 3 are possibly damaged rods that cannot be removed, but No 1 SPF has 70 damaged rods that probably cannot be removed - the results of handling mistakes in the early years of operations. The pools are currently at 93% of their capacity, but obviously will not be used any more.

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Julian GarrettApr. 06, 2014 - 12:20PM JST @ Frungy Is it any more stupid than importing $248 billion worth of fossil fuels to burn?

Yes, because while $248 billion of fossil fuels is more stupid than, for example, investing in $248 billion of geothermal power, it beats the pants off the estimated $250~500 billion cost of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster so far. The actual cost of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster will probably run into trillions of dollars.

Simple fact of the matter is they are enormously expensive assets that are idled, basically causing two streams of losses - one in that you have to keep up the maintenance, inspections and provide the former workers with some sort of a living, and two, the cost of importing fossil fuels to burn in their place.

Your logic is faulty in several areas:

They're not assets. Assets amortize (decrease in value) over time. If TEPCO hasn't been amortizing the value of these plants then they should be prosecuted for irregular book keeping. The maximum safe life-span of a nuclear power plant is 40 years, probably a lot less in Japan because of unique geological issues such as the frequency of quakes. Fukushimi Daiichi was opened in 1971, making it 43 years old, and therefore WORTHLESS. Fukushima Daini was opened in 1982, and is 32 years old, and should be worth only about 20% of its starting value.

TEPCO should have made allowances for the cost of decommissioning the plants when they became obselete. If it didn't then the tax payer shouldn't be left holding the bag for their lack of any management skills.

Workers deserve and are legally entitled to a safe working environment. At the moment the nuclear power plants are too old and unsafe. Yes, workers are losing out on salary, but it is better than them being dead. Those power plants being shut down sure beats everyone living around the plant dying too.

If they pass the inspections, then they need to go back on line. Japan has been pretty cautious in their approach to this, but they need to get on with either restarting them or, if they have to, doing away with them. The current inaction is not helping anyone.

Maybe you haven't noticed, but there are no real inspections going on, and the safety standards haven't really changed. The new safety regulations became safety guidelines, became optional and then got ignored and power companies have changed nothing. The inspections are largely internal, and the power companies are even whining about being required to sign off that everything is functioning, because they don't want the paper trail pointing back to them.

We're being made to pay for nuclear power companies' irregular booking practices, their lack of foresight, and generally every mistake they've made. And some people are stupid enough to view this as progress....

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Although two of the 7 reactors look likely to restart on technical grounds, the head of the local prefecture has accused the operator of "institutionalised lying" and says TEPCO cannot be trusted to operate another facility.

Is this a direct translation from the Japanese article? "The head of the local prefecture?" What does that even mean? Way to make it seem like some kouminkan guy is whining instead of the Governor of Niigata. Sheesh.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why use Fossil fuels and or Nuclear, Caveman Era Energy Sources get with the Times and Tech of today.

Here is a Modern Energy answer Aneutronic Fusion Reactor - Eco-friendly Energy No radioactive nuclear waste, just clean and safe neutron-free fusion energy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUrt186pWoA

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

There is no way to make nuclear plants safe . It s impossible to take precautions against everything that can / will go wrong . The more nuclear plants you have , the longer they keep running the more accidents are going to happen , its inevitable. After each accident new lessons will be learned and new precautions will be taken to make them even safer ,,, until the next accident ,, and the same cycle will go on forever . After each accident there will be public outrage , that will force the governments to make even tougher rules and regulations and to reconsider the nuclear energy as a whole , and after a while public will get used to the idea that nothing will change and it will be business as usual . Nuclear energy is not just an economical issue . As long as the decision makers can not see the big picture we will keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again . Every nuclear accident concerns everyone on this planet and it is much worse than what main stream media is trying to make us believe. “institutionalised lying” = Is not just the policy of TEPCO but of the whole nuclear industry . People need to wake up and stop these lies before its too late . Thank you japan today .

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

lets see how many melt-downs they can handle

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sorry to be a pessimist, but I think the government will simply lower the 'stringent safety measures' needed to restart the plant. We've seen them time and again do this with radiation safety levels and what not, so why not do it with NPPs given their investment in them and desperation to restart them?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Utrack:

I hope that some miraculous breakthrough in some technology like your aneutronic fusion reactor occurs and makes this feasible. That would save the day. In the meantime, we are stuck with what works, and that today is hydro, fossil, and nuclear. Hydro is maxed out, so that leaves fossil fuels and nuclear (hopefully 4th generation and not any more of the 50-year old Fukushima Mark 1 types).

That is reality. Like it or not.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

willib The reality is that we only need one reactor , and that is the sun . There are enough choices to produce green energy , why isnt anyone mentioning that ? Ever heard of solar , wind , wave ?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I'm always deeply suspicious about 'reports', which claim to have consulted 'experts', but seems to think that actually mentioning their names or qualifications is unnecessary.

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johndpugh:

" Ever heard of solar , wind , wave ? "

We hear about those all the time, but that does not make viable. So far, solar, wind, and wave schemes only last as far as the subsidies take them. Look, wanting something to be true does not make it so.

Currently, realistic and stable energy sources are fossil and nuclear. We all wish that some phantastic technological breaktrhough happens, but until then, that is what we have to deal with.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

willib They are viable . Its just they dont get anything from the budget since all the money is invested in the so called CHEAP energy sources , like nuclear , which i am sure everyone is beginning to realize how cheap it is . Its not about just wanting it to be true , these are existing technologies that can replace nuclear or coal . Have you heard about germany getting rid of all its nuclear plants by investing in green sources? At least one country is on the right track ,, VERY REALISTICALLY !!!!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Interesting..."川内" is Sendai and not Sennai. This ateji must throw off even Japanese people (from different parts of Japan) when reading it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

johndpugh don't forget waste to steam power plants

WilliB .....Feasibility in question??? You seen the specs???

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

WilliBApr. 06, 2014 - 10:51PM JST We hear about those all the time, but that does not make viable. So far, solar, wind, and wave schemes only last as far as the subsidies take them. Look, wanting something to be true does not make it so.

Subsidies... you mean like the massive subsidies that nuclear and coal power companies get? Or the government-supported virtual monopolies that they hold that allow them to charge whatever they like with little or no competition allowed?

The irony of your statement was simply staggering. Even in their early stages and with minimal investment solar, wind and wave schemes are already as profitable as regular power companies, and will become vastly more profitable with additional investment and when we move from costly prototypes to mass manufactured standard models. Just look at household solar panels, in the 1990's they were expensive and bulky, now they're smaller, more efficient and a lot cheaper. Not that I'm a fan of solar power for Japan, it simply doesn't have the right climate. Wave and tidal power is a much better model.

What you're also ignoring is that once renewable power sources are installed their running costs are minimal, basically just maintenance. I had a solar panel back home that was installed by the previous owner 15 years before and I was largely unaware of its existence for 5 years until a little red light informed me that it was time to climb up on the roof with a squeegee and wipe it down... at which point it was happy again. And this was one of the early models, they've got much better since then (although there's nothing you can really do to stop birds pooping).

The bottom line is that we all know that renewable power is going to happen in Japan, probably in the next 20 years. TEPCO's renewable power resources have already mysteriously disappeared off their financial statement, which makes me think that they've "sold" them to a new company they've started for about a dollar. They'll then continue to run TEPCO into the ground making as much money with as little investment as possible, taking government handouts to cover their costs and upping the power costs as much as possible. Their new company will use the income from the hydroelectric plants to subsidize building a renewable power infrastructure, likewise declaring losses and accepting government handouts while, to the public, pretending to compete with TEPCO and playing the white knight. When TEPCO has raised the power costs to acceptable levels the new company will unveil the new power infrastructure and "buy out" TEPCO, offering power at cheaper than TEPCO (but thanks to TEPCO raising the cost still much higher than is reasonable or justifiable) and be hailed by the public as the hero.

... but actually its just TEPCO with a different name. And suckers will fall for it hook line and sinker, while the tax payer pays from both pockets (tax and for power) and thinks they're heros.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

This is Japanese issue but if you are interested in how USA operate Energy resource ignoring coal, etc or nuclear energy by reading Energy in California and NV Energy in Wikipedia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

utrack absolutely , geothermal is one of those green sources as well . tashiko A nuclear accident is never a national issue , it concerns the whole world . Some isotopes have half lives in thousands of years (even millions ) , so given enough time they will spread everywhere . Its just us humans who don't have the capacity to think / plan in those time scales . We tend to concentrate on short term profits , instead of making long term plans that would also benefit future generations and that's why nuclear is still so popular. "' Lets just make money now , and after i am gone , who cares what happens to the rest "' is the mentality behind the nuclear industry , and the rest is , "institutionalised lying"' as mentioned in the above report , nothing to add to that , sums it up perfectly.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

johndpugh ....Exactly

WilliB.. Einstein's Philadelphia Experiment used Magnetic Fluctuations to change the vibrational frequency of a ship. This in turn created energy. The Aneutronic Fusion Reactor uses somewhat the same principle....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUrt186pWoA

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Frungy:

" Even in their early stages and with minimal investment solar, wind and wave schemes are already as profitable as regular power companies, "

....as long as their output is heavily subsidized, yes. In other words, everybody else is paying for these "investments". Once the subsidy stops, think Solyndra.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

On the day of the 3/11 disasters, 32 reactors out of a fleet of 54 were operating, generating about 27% of total power. 6 reactors were lost to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the 4 reactors at the second Fukushima plant are unlikely to operate again, even though TEPCO spent billions repairing the plant. That brings the reactor number down to 44.

The NRA said it would reinstate the 30 year life cycle for reactors. If that's the case, then there are about 20 reactors which next year will be 30 years or older.

I think there two or three plants were the problem of whether they are on active fault lines or not.

The 2 reactors at Sendai in Kagoshima are likely to be the first to be restarted.

According to volcanologists, there are 17 nuclear plants in danger from volcanic eruptions. The two most serious are the Sendai NPP in Kagoshima and the Tomari NPP in Hokkaido.

Whatever the future of nuclear energy its becoming clear that it seems unlikely that more than 16 reactors will be restarted generating 10-15% of total power.

There's ¥40 trillion locked into the current fleet of reactors and its unlikely the power utilities will give that up without a fight.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

With all its nuke plants running, nuclear energy provided only 30 percent of Japan's energy, so other forms of power generation were in fact already being used. There are zero nuke plants running right now, and that seems like an excellent number. A bit more serious investment in marine turbines, wind power, solar, hydroelectric, etc. could make up for a good deal of the portion currently being covered by the increased use of fossil fuels. Japan can make this happen and be completely nuke free while the US and other countries are still going around giving reasons why this is impossible.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

johndbug:

" Have you heard about germany getting rid of all its nuclear plants by investing in green sources? At least one country is on the right track ,, VERY REALISTICALLY !!!! "

That would be the same Germany that is currently radically cutting down on its solar program because it can´t afford the subsidies anymore, now that too many people and companies are using them? The same Germany that has dozens of new coal-fired power plants on the drawing board to replace the planned nuclear phase-out? The same Germany that is purchasing electricity from nuclear power plants in France built conviently on the border?

I would go easy on the capslock and exclamation marks with such an example.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

WilliBApr. 07, 2014 - 05:26AM JST ....as long as their output is heavily subsidized, yes. In other words, everybody else is paying for these "investments". Once the subsidy stops, think Solyndra.

Solyndra collapsed for three reasons.

Silicon prices world-wide decreased, making conventional solar panels more competitive.

International competition from manufacturers in China turning out convention solar panels very cheaply.

Risky management strategies. It was massively under-capitalized and massively over-leveraged.

Solyndra's collapse had NOTHING to do with subsidies. It got a tax break when it was going under and it got a guarantee for a government loan, but both were issued after the writing was on the wall.

The bottom line is that while one company, Solyndra, collapsed, solar panels world-wide got cheaper and more efficient, and the thousands of other companies world-wide selling solar panels did very well indeed.

If anything your example just highlights how profitable renewable power can be. That Solyndra went under is sad, but one company is not an entire industry, and your example is like saying that because one farmer goes under that farming as a whole is doomed.

WilliBApr. 07, 2014 - 07:17AM JST That would be the same Germany that is currently radically cutting down on its solar program because it can´t afford the subsidies anymore, now that too many people and companies are using them? The same Germany that has dozens of new coal-fired power plants on the drawing board to replace the planned nuclear phase-out? The same Germany that is purchasing electricity from nuclear power plants in France built conviently on the border?

... anyone who thought that solar power was a good idea in a country that only has sunny days for about 1/3 of the year was an idiot. Likewise their wind program just didn't get off the ground, they only actually built about 5% of the wind generators they planned and then wondered why they only got 5% of the power.

Germany isn't a renewable energy failure, it is a failure of common sense. No amount of technology will replace the need for a functioning brain.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The Jaguar car factory in the UK installed solar panels on the factory roofs and are now generating 30% of its power from those. The Apple data centers in the US use huge amounts of power but are generating 100% from renewables, cells and solar. UK companies with wind turbines are being paid to stop them because they are generating too much power.

The point is, if all major companies generated at least 30% of its own power demand! plus domestic installation of solar panels and other energy sources the demand for power from centralized power plants would also be reduced. Since 2010, power demand has fallen 5%, and with better application it could also be reduced by a further 15%.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

There is an article on Solar Energy including different types of solar panels om Wikipedia. In our state, NV Energy changed to solar energy plants. The result if NV Energy is very profitable while monthly electic bill went way down. Many northern state has been copying Northern California method. Some Japan Inc is the producers of different solar panels.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichi:

" The Jaguar car factory in the UK installed solar panels on the factory roofs and are now generating 30% of its power from those. "

a) this is estimation by them and not documented. b) The 30% are obviously sporadic, thus putting even more fluctuation into the public grid, necessitating even more conventional power as standby, c) nowhere in their calculation is there mention of the cost, including energy cost, of manufacting these devices vs their energy production during their lifetime. I submit that if you calculate that in, the net result is is MORE energy consumption, not less.

" The Apple data centers in the US use huge amounts of power but are generating 100% from renewables, cells and solar. " ...and the Apple CEO pointedly refused to answer shareholders questions as to how much this costs for the company and them. This is ideology, and nothing else.

" UK companies with wind turbines are being paid to stop them because they are generating too much power. "

...too much power at peak hours, putting stress on the system, and zero power at other times, necessitating coal and nuclear plants put take up the slack. This is a common concern about all the wind and wave schemes and will only get worse as more are pushed into the system.

Thamks for making my point.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The point is, if all major companies generated at least 30% of its own power demand! plus domestic installation of solar panels and other energy sources the demand for power from centralized power plants would also be reduced.

Well except at night if the wind isn't blowing. Then you either live like the 1800's or you have enough base load power to carry the whole demand.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

@WilliB

a) this is estimation by them and not documented. b) The 30% are obviously sporadic, thus putting even more fluctuation into the public grid, necessitating even more conventional power as standby, c) nowhere in their calculation is their mention of the cost, including energy cost, of manufacturing these devices vs their energy production during their lifetime. I submit that if you calculate that in, the net result is MORE energy consumption, not less.

I'm not buying into any part of your comment because Jaguar are a commercial business owned by its shareholders and have to explain and justify all spending and investments so they don't just decide to install the largest factory array of solar panels without first researching on the investment and costs.

Comprising more than 21,000 photovoltaic panels, the new system boasts a capacity of 5.8 MW, with Jaguar planning to increase this to over 6.3 MW by the end of this year. Jaguar estimates the installation will meet more than 30 percent of the Engine Manufacturing Centre's energy requirements and reduce the plant's CO2 footprint by over 2,400 tonnes (2645.5 tons) per year.

The rooftops of automotive manufacturing plants have proven fertile ground for solar arrays with Audi, Ferrari and Renault installing extensive fields of solar panels at their respective facilities.

http://newsroom.jaguarlandrover.com/en-gb/jlr-corp/news/2014/04/jlr_installs_rooftop_solar_panel_030414/

The new solar panels being manufactured now generate more power than the power required to build them. Also they are becoming smaller in size allowing more panels to be installed in the same area size but generating more power.

But there again, even the building of a nuclear power plant requires an enormous amount of every raw material under the sun and an enormous amount of power to turn it into products used at the construction of a nuclear plant.

But you are missing the point of the post which is prior to the 3/11 disasters, nuclear energy generated about 27% of total power, and in future, if the reactors are restarted its likely to only be about 16 of them generating only 10-15% of total power, the remaining will be generated by non nuclear energies. Nuclear energy can only operate when used with coal and combined they generate the base load required. Nuclear energy needs coal burning.

Its the right move to continue to invest in renewable energies, not just solar and wind and also reduce the power demand by more efficient use and control especially with a smart grid system.

The way forward is with modern gas turbines and renewable energy.

In this country, nuclear energy has lost the PR battle and the power utilities will have strong opposition to building new nuclear plants. The previous cost of constructing a nuclear reactor were already massive and now wight he new safety standards the costs have increased to a point that no power utility will invest its own capital without native support from public funds. The cost of building the Genkai No 3 reactor was ¥400 billion and the cost of the No 4 was ¥325 billion.

The power utilities have spent more than ¥12 trillion in updating the safety of their atomic power plants. Add to that the cost of the nuclear disaster, more than ¥50 trillion before its over and the cost of building and storing the spent nuclear nuclear fuel for thousands of years, more than ¥20 trillion.

Renewable energy has a major part to play in the future energy plan but nuclear energy will just die out over the next coming decades because there won't be many new builds. Its not a case of whether nuclear energy will be stopped being used but only when it will happen.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Nuclear energy can only operate when used with coal and combined they generate the base load required. Nuclear energy needs coal burning.

Nope, Japan's energy policy currently needs a combination of coal/gas, nuclear and renewable. Going forward Japan needs a different combination. But at no point can you claim that nuclear needs coal.

In this country, nuclear energy has lost the PR battle

Yet in a recent NHK poll only 30% wanted a complete removal of nuclear power. And when you consider what the percentages were three years ago it's clear that not only has nuclear entry not lost the PR battle, it's regaining popularity.

Only 30%.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

One thing is for sure , for the same money invested in nuclear and coal (fossil) it would be possible to produce green energy . Nuclear is neither green nor cheap , but the worst thing about the nuclear is its toxic waste , which nobody has any solutions how to deal with it .

The decisions about nuclear energy are made on short term economical benefits which makes the whole industry extremely dangerous for all life on this planet .

Unfortunately nuclear lobbyists are so powerful that they can control the media , the publicity and the decision makers. When the decision makers say "lets turn on those reactors " they are not so much worried about your kids getting cancer but they are more concerned about filling their own pockets ,, that should be clear to all by now , i hope . too much is being sacrified for the sake of making money . An enormous disinformation campaign has been going for many years ( for decades ) , to promote nuclear energy and people are kept uninformed about the real dangers and risks they are taking .

2 ( +3 / -1 )

WillB

so how do you explain away that Intel, Microsoft, Kohl's Corp, Google, Yahoo, Bank of America, Amazon and most of the top 500 fortune companies have invested tens of millions of dollars in renewable energy?

Chip manufacturing takes a load of electricity, and Intel Corporation sources 100% of its demand from renewable sources. At 3,100,850,000 kWh of annual usage, Intel Corporation's consumption is enormous.

At Microsoft Corporation its renewable energy use only accounts for 80% of total consumption, its sheer scale enables the company to use a whopping 1,935,551,000 kWh of clean energy every year.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Zichi,

Chip manufacturing takes a load of electricity, and Intel Corporation sources 100% of its demand from renewable sources. At 3,100,850,000 kWh of annual usage, Intel Corporation's consumption is enormous.

Surely the case is this: Intel pays for renewable energy that offsets 100% of its demand. Electronics manufacture needs a stable supply of electricity. I recall a large corporation, maybe SONY, losing a large amount of production because of the rolling blackouts in Tokyo after 3/11.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Heda_Madness

Nope, Japan's energy policy currently needs a combination of coal/gas, nuclear and renewable. Going forward Japan needs a different combination.

As usual you seem to have missed the point in your rush to reply to another of my comments. In this country as in most, nuclear energy is used to generate the base load required on a daily basis, that is the minimum amount of power required at any one time. Also like in most other countries using nuclear energy, there are not enough reactors to generate 100% of base power from nuclear energy so the difference is generated by coal burning power stations. These two types of fuel are turned on and allowed to run until they are shut down for maintenance or refuelling.

Currently gas and other fuels can't be used for generating the base load. On that point, nuclear energy and coal are locked into together.

France is the only country to achieve total base power generation from nuclear energy. Had the nuclear disaster not happened then by 2050, Japan would have increase its use of nuclear energy to about 40% which still wouldn't generate the base load.

Nuclear and coal power plants take many hours, if not days, to achieve a steady state power output. In general it is not economical for large thermal installations such as nuclear power plants to practise load following.

In other words, nuclear and coal fired power plants can't just be turned on and off like gas turbines and that's why they are used for base load power generation.

Last month, Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe said in a policy speech that he wanted the country’s dependency on nuclear energy to be reduced “as much as possible” through the creation of an “advanced energy-saving society” and the maximum possible introduction of renewable energies. http://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2014/03/04/japan-ministers-approve-nuclear-as-key-baseload-power

Both nuclear energy and coal-fired thermal power are positioned as “important base-load energy sources,” according to the gov't's energy policy.

But at no point can you claim that nuclear needs coal.

Yes I can and I just did?

That's been the situation for the past 50 years, but hopefully, in the near future, the country can end its use of both nuclear energy and coal.

"In this country, nuclear energy has lost the PR battle" Yet in a recent NHK poll only 30% wanted a complete removal of nuclear power. And when you consider what the percentages were three years ago it's clear that not only has nuclear entry not lost the PR battle, it's regaining popularity. Only 30%.

I think its very clear that even if the reactors are restarted, which is likely to be limited to about 16 of them with more than 20 being decommissioned, eventually those 16 will have to be decommissioned and replaced with new builds. There's the problem. While people might support the restart of the reactors would also support one being built in their backyards?

Even last year in Yamaguchi Prefecture with its newly elected pro nuclear energy governor, the building of a new atomic power plant was cancelled.

I think nuclear energy could eventually just end by default.

The central gov't have had a similar problem since 2002 with trying to find a location to build a storage depot for spent nuclear fuel and other highly irradiated waste but all the prefectures have refused the offer to build it in theirs. The central gov't has now decided to take its own actions and will itself decide the location and will pass a law to ensure it will happen.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

willib My comments keep getting deleted so i have to be carefull in what i type here but here is a nice link for you , hope it can change your opinion about nuclear. http://agreenroad.blogspot.mx/2012/04/list-of-countries-closing-down-all.html

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think its very clear that even if the reactors are restarted, which is likely to be limited to about 16 of them with more than 20 being decommissioned, eventually those 16 will have to be decommissioned and replaced with new builds. There's the problem. While people might support the restart of the reactors would also support one being built in their backyards?

The NIMBY syndrome is hardly new. But the facts remain that the vast majority of the Japanese public are pro-turning on the nuclear power plants. Something that wasn't the case 3 years ago and almost certainly wasn't the case even 12 months ago. But it's not unusual for you to make claims that are untrue. You previously claimed 80% were against nuclear, that 1600 died in the evacuation. Anything to prove your point. Even though it's simply not true.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Even if the reactors are restarted in future it won't be a baseload power since it will only generate about 6-15% of total power demand. All nuclear power plants consume an enormous amount of power which is delivered offsite and comes from fossil burning plants, mostly the coal fired ones since the plants need their power 24/7. Nuclear plants need to use fossil fuels to generate power from nuclear energy?

The most recent Japanese opinion poll on nuclear restarts is the March 18 survey by the Asahi Shimbun. It indicates that 59% of the Japanese public oppose restarts of any nuclear capacity, whereas only 28% support restarts. The poll’s results not only confirm that the opposition to nuclear is holding; it also shows a great sensitivity to risk. According to the poll, a mere 12% of the Japanese public have either no or only minimal concern regarding the risk of further nuclear accidents at facilities other than the infamous Fukushima Daiichi. By contrast, 50% have a fair degree of concern, and 36% have a very high degree of concern. In addition, the poll shows that only 4% of respondents regard the lack of nuclear waste disposal facilities as of no or only minimal concern. By contrast, 19% believe it is to some extent a problem. And a massive 76% regard it as a serious problem.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

59% said they were opposed to restarting the plants now.

The poll didn't question whether they would be happy if the plants passed tests before going on line or ask if the respondents were completely against the starting of the reactors in the future.

It's a very simple poll that was written in a way that was designed to get the result if did.

The NHK poll was much more precise. 30% said they wanted a complete removal of nuclear whereas 69% were undecided/wanted a reduction/status quo.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

You previously claimed 80% were against nuclear

um???

The results show that 80% of the respondents are in favour of scrapping some or all of the existing nuclear reactors in the country.

http://japandailypress.com/survey-says-80-of-japanese-dont-want-nuclear-plants-anymore-1045537/

But what does any poll matter to anyone living more than 5,000 miles from any reactor?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Seriously, is that all you've got? I live 5000 miles away from any reactor so therefore I've no opinion. I guess as you've never been to Fukushima that voids your opinion does it? Never been to the temporary houses. Never met the people first hand. Never spent all night driving to deliver some food and water. Nope, all that bluster from the safety of your own warm living room.

80% are in favour of scrapping all OR some of Japan's nuclear power plants.

30% are in favour of scrapping ALL of them. 44% want SOME of them scrapped

That should not lead ANYONE to conclude that 80% are against nuclear.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Yes, and in Fukushima, the people are not 30% against nuclear energy, and not even 80% but more likely 100% with the previous governor stating no reactor will ever again operate there, and the new governor hasn't changed on that, with Fukushima becoming a place for renewable energy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@kimuzukashiiiii - you want to MAKE every company put up solar panels? Did Japan just suddenly become state-controlled China? Sorry, but the only way you can get a person or a company do something in a democracy is to incentivize it with subsidies, tax breaks, etc. Japan already is doing this, by offering to pay 42yen per kwh, or 38kwh (now) (roughly 4 times the cost of coal power) guaranteed fixed for 10-20 years AND offering cash back on the equipment.

@Viking - how can you criticize Japan for having two Sendai (with different spellings) when US has something like 50 Centervilles (and Kentucky alone has several)? Let's be reasonable here.

@bruinfan - please note that "dai" is not ateji for "uchi". Both "nai" and "dai" are proper on-yomi for "uchi". E.g. "keidai" for "inside (dai=uchi) the boundaries (kei=sakai) of a shrine etc"

@sumobob - head of local prefecture = governor

@everyone else The points I see missing from this discussion are:

On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced one of the strongest earthquakes that humans have ever recorded, and nevertheless, the nuclear power plants at DaiNi Fukushima properly went into shutdown mode with NO PROBLEM despite the oldest reactor being 29 years old. This is proof that there is no concern about having nuclear power in Japan. They already passed the worst-case scenario test.

On the same day, DaiIchi Fukushima would have been fine if the backup systems were not flooded. The problem was the tsunami, not the earthquake - forget fault lines.

The problem at DaiIchi Fukushima was not a natural disaster, it was a human one, otherwise they would have shut down like DaiNi with no problem. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, TEPCO did research and determined that a 15 meter tsunami could hit their facility. They also determined two years later that it would cost about Y8bn (about $80mn) to build a wall to protect it. But instead they chose to save the Y8bn resulting in a disaster that will cost Y8tn or more.

Nuclear power is not dangerous - the management of TEPCO is! Every member of upper management at TEPCO should at least be sitting in prison for the rest of their lives (I would prefer something much more sinister), since they essentially are terrorists that blew up a dirty bomb in Fukushima through their gross negligence.

Renewable energy is great, but it is also very expensive (now), and it is not "base load energy" - solar only works in the daytime on a sunny day, wind only works in medium to strong wind, etc. These renewables cost several times what properly managed nuclear costs (and, unfortunately, several times what coal costs.) If we turned off all coal, all LNG, and all nuclear, and used renewables, our already expensive electric bills would go up approximately 400%. Most businesses and most households simply cannot bear that burden.

Regardless of whether you are worried about the effects of greenhouse gases or not, in the absence of base load nuclear, Japan has been restarting coal-fired plants, and even commissioning new ones and as per the following, pollution from coal kills people. http://www.nature.com/news/china-s-coal-burning-cutting-lives-short-by-years-1.13360 As others have pointed out, the weak yen has exacerbated costs for importing energy.

Conclusion - right now, Japan cannot do without nuclear energy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

shiboritate ""{On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced one of the strongest earthquakes that humans have ever recorded, and nevertheless, the nuclear power plants at DaiNi Fukushima properly went into shutdown mode with NO PROBLEM despite the oldest reactor being 29 years old. This is proof that there is no concern about having nuclear power in Japan. They already passed the worst-case scenario test."''

During spanish flue millions died but still billions are still alive ,, so it passed the test , lets celebrate the spanish flue .

"' On the same day, DaiIchi Fukushima would have been fine if the backup systems were not flooded. The problem was the tsunami, not the earthquake - forget fault lines.''

yepp tsunami was unexpected ,,,not taken into account as the risk factor ,,and there will always be 'unexpected risk factors' and thus nuclear accidents will keep happening in the future as well .

"" The problem at DaiIchi Fukushima was not a natural disaster, it was a human one, otherwise they would have shut down like DaiNi with no problem. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, TEPCO did research and determined that a 15 meter tsunami could hit their facility. They also determined two years later that it would cost about Y8bn (about $80mn) to build a wall to protect it. But instead they chose to save the Y8bn resulting in a disaster that will cost Y8tn or more."''

Ohh those cost and profit calculations ,, aren't they a killer .

"' Nuclear power is not dangerous - the management of TEPCO is! Every member of upper management at TEPCO should at least be sitting in prison for the rest of their lives (I would prefer something much more sinister), since they essentially are terrorists that blew up a dirty bomb in Fukushima through their gross negligence."''

There will always be negligence ,, nuclear accidents will always keep happening .

"" Renewable energy is great, but it is also very expensive (now), and it is not "base load energy" - solar only works in the daytime on a sunny day, wind only works in medium to strong wind, etc. These renewables cost several times what properly managed nuclear costs (and, unfortunately, several times what coal costs.) If we turned off all coal, all LNG, and all nuclear, and used renewables, our already expensive electric bills would go up approximately 400%. Most businesses and most households simply cannot bear that burden.""

Hmmmm expensive electricity ,,, or ,,, cancer ,,, let me think ,,, cant decide . Btw its all false information , what you are saying ,, you can make green energy much cheaper ,, you can store energy and use it intermittently ,, and variuos energy sources can be used complementarily .

'"'Regardless of whether you are worried about the effects of greenhouse gases or not, in the absence of base load nuclear, Japan has been restarting coal-fired plants, and even commissioning new ones and as per the following, pollution from coal kills people. http://www.nature.com/news/china-s-coal-burning-cutting-lives-short-by-years-1.13360 As others have pointed out, the weak yen has exacerbated costs for importing energy.""

Yepp coal is bad ,, doesn't make nuclear good ,, its a falacy used to promote nuclear energy ,, they are both bad ,, green renewable sources are the way to go . Nobody is claiming that japan or any other country could switch to green sources over night ,, the decision to make the change is the first step ,, and slowly , in decades it is possible to go from coal and nuclear to renewables ,, of course if THE DECISION IS MADE!!! and that s why we are discussing here , right ?

"" Conclusion - right now, Japan cannot do without nuclear energy.""

But japan can choose to phase it out ,, or can also choose to keep risking new fukushima s .

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Johndpugh

Firstly, in your earlier post your economics re: cost of nuclear vs cost of renewables is way off the mark - US kindly did the nuclear R&D for military application - renewables don't have this benefit and are still much more costly.

Your comment about spanish flu is meaningless - nobody died as a result of the fukushima meltdowns. Designed and regulated properly nuclear power is safe and cheap and keeps your internet link operative. Look at france.

I guess you did not read my point 3 before commenting on point 2 - the tsunami WAS expected by tepco, hence human error that proper regulation could have prevented.

Yes, coal is bad - did you read the article I linked? Can you show me evidence of all the people getting cancer from nuclear energy in the normal course of operation? Even following the second worst nuclear accident of all time (3/11) UN scientists say it is unlikely to lead to a rise in the number of people developing cancer (Japan Today, apr 3) On a deaths per kwh basis there is absolutely no comparison between coal (according to WHO, 7 million deaths per year due to pollution, a large part of which is coal) vs nuclear (roughly zero).

I am all for renewable energy - but as you pointed out it will take decades to get there. For now we need tightly regulated nuclear power in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Zichi,

Even if the reactors are restarted in future it won't be a baseload power since it will only generate about 6-15% of total power demand. All nuclear power plants consume an enormous amount of power which is delivered offsite and comes from fossil burning plants, mostly the coal fired ones since the plants need their power 24/7. Nuclear plants need to use fossil fuels to generate power from nuclear energy?

First, even if the generated power is in the range you say, it will still be a baseload power - just not the only one. Second, so nuclear power plants need external power? So do most large-scale power sources. And like the other power sources they will get their external power from the grid - so not fossil fuels per se, but the mix of sources that feed into the grid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

johnpungd:

" One thing is for sure , for the same money invested in nuclear and coal (fossil) it would be possible to produce green energy "

No, that this not "sure" at all. In fact, that is plain wrong, unless and until some major technological breakthrough happens. You keep repeating this mantra as if it was true, but it is simply only what you want to to believe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Willib I dont think you get the point . Investment in green energy does not mean only building green energy plants , also inverstment in developing the technology for better performance . That is not what i want to believe ,, that s what it is , and that s what it has to be . We have to invest in green energy sources or there wont be anymore "' us "' on this planet . The technology of green energy is allready there ,but i agree it is still more expensive than traditional sources at the moment because there hasn't been enough investments in its development untill now . Instead of trying to make the production of green energy cheaper , men chose polluting sources like coal and nuclear , just becasue , the decisions are made on short term cost/profit bases. We do not have the choice to continue poisoning this planet and killing all life . If you haven't seen that , you are missing the whole point . Energy is not an issue of economics , its an issue of life and death ,, not for japan , but for all life on the planet . Still complaining about the costs and benefits ? Shiboriate Dont believe in everything you hear on the media . If you see fukushima disaster , with three meltdowns , as a test "' well done "' for nuclear energy , then i cant help you . Get informed.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@johndpugh Nuclear, properly contained, does not pollute. Can you please show me the nuclear pollution you are imaging in say, france? I'm still on the edge of my seat waiting to read your research about how using nuclear energy in france is causing cancer. Re: the three meltdowns - please do not bother to reply to my posts until you have actually read them - daini passed the test and daiichi also would have were it not for tepco. It was human error. My point is that the nuclear plants themselves passed the test but tepco, who KNEW what to do to protect daiichi, failed. It was not unexpected and it was no surprise - it was gross negligence.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

shiboritate Nuclear can not be properly contained , its a myth . Its like saying traffic accidents can be avoided if all the drivers would drive properly . It is impossible to do , just like no matter how careful , how well trained the car drivers are ,, how good and safe the cars will get ,, the fact is car accidents WILL happen . The more cars you have the more accidents ,, the same with nuclear plants ,,and nuclear accidents ,, its in itself a fallacy to pretend one can think of all the possible outcomes ,, all the possible risks at a nuclear plant , Its not possible ,, its a myth . Nuclear pollution in france ? How about the thousands of used fuel rods in france in US in all the used fuel pools in all the nuclear plant sites in the world ? How about tons of waste poured into oceans ? ( haven´t you ever watched a green peace video on that ? ) How about problem of nuclear waste ,, a problem with no solution ? Just putting nuclear waste in pools filled with water is not a solution ,, you are kidding yourself if you think it is . It is short sighted thinking i have been mentioning about . Think in millions of years of storage ,, not possible . Cancer cases in any country are partly because of radiation ,, its a scientific fact ,, but take any cancer patient and prove it for THAT patient that his-her cancer was caused by radiation ,, its impossible .

It is hard to convince anyone cause there is a very strong pronuclear lobby promoting nuclear energy and people are kept misinformed.

The tests ? The standards ? who decides the standards ? What is a safe nuke plant ? The tests are relative and we all know it . They are good and up to date until an accident like fukushima happens ,,, and then they make more stricter rules and better tests ,, until another accident occurs ,, and then they make even better tests ,,,,,, and so on and so on ,,,,,.

Chernobyl ,, three mile island ,, fukushima,,, are going to repeat themselves unless we stop believing we can create TEST proof nuclear plants . We have to stop believing in myths . It s not as easy as just blaming it all on TEPCO and get over with it ,, It is the responsibility of the governments ,, of decision ,makers ,, of scientists and in fact all of us ,, to try to switch to renewable sources. Its the future of all life at stake here. Not only an issue for an electric company .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

also inverstment in developing the technology for better performance

And you realize Research & Development is called that because if we knew how to do something it would be Production & Manufacturing. R&D does not come with a guarantee that anything better or new will result, it is a gamble and gambles often times fail.

-3 ( +2 / -4 )

Mike o brian We already know how to do it . SOlar , wind etc green energy production methods do exist . They are more expensive than traditional sources at the moment , but we need to get our priorities right . We need to realize what is at stake here . Its not just a matter of costs . It is possible to make the technology cheaper ,, in fact its been going on from the beginning ,, better solar cells with more performance ,, better batteries to store energy , better wind turbines , etc to make energy production cheaper , on one hand and on the other better performing products , machinery cars lamps etc . In fact there is even a rule to predict how much more light an LED will produce by advances each year for the same costs ,, just like the moore s law for chips you can predict how cheaper LED light production will get each year . Its not a gamble . Its using the technology in a clever way .

Besides nuclear energy is not cheap at all . People realize how expensive it is after an accident like fukushima . What is the real cost of fukushima plant ,, including clean ups , decomissioning ,law suits , etc , dealing with the disaster ? How much does fukushima cost to japanese tax payer and how much will it still cost ? Nobody is talking about that kind of costs .

Even with the costs of today , even if green energy is more expensive ,, isnt it worth it ? How long can we keep on destroying the earth to produce cheaper energy ? We cant go on like this . At some point we have to realize what is at stake here and change our ways , or we will not survive . Its not just a cost benefit calculation ,, we have to see the larger picture .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

johndpugh, if we already know how to do it then why do you say we need more money to make it cheaper? That is R&D and R&D comes with no guarantees. No matter how much is spent on R&D there is no assurance that they will ever make any significant improvements. Oh and what we don't know is how to efficiently and cheaply store the electricity for those times (like the night) when there is no solar or when the wind is too low or too high.

just like the moore s law

Moore's "Law" is no such thing. It is an observation and the industry experts don't consider it correct and expect it to get further from the truth as time goes on.

you can predict how cheaper LED light production will get each year

People can predict anything, doesn't mean it will happen.

Nobody is talking about that kind of costs .

Lots of people are talking about those exact things.

we have to see the larger picture

Except the picture isn't as clear as many people claim.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

//// if we already know how to do it then why do you say we need more money to make it cheaper? /////

We know how to produce green energy (you must have heard of solar cells , wind turbines ) , we just need to make it cheaper , that s where we need research .

/// No matter how much is spent on R&D there is no assurance that they will ever make any significant improvements////

They already are doing it ,, better batteries , better solar cells , greener products etc .

/// Oh and what we don't know is how to efficiently and cheaply store the electricity for those times (like the night) when there is no solar or when the wind is too low or too high.////

There are many different ways of storing energy . We just need to make it cheaper .

///Moore's "Law"////

You can read all about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law#Other_formulations_and_similar_laws

///People can predict anything, doesn't mean it will happen///

But we know it will never happen when the investments are not there .

I am not denying that green is still more expensive than the tradiational sources . All i am saying is that it can be made cheaper (and it is getting cheaper each year ) but most of all we don't have a choice , cause the alternative is not an option . That s how clear the picture should be to everyone .

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And all I am saying is that R&D does not come with a guarantee. So no matter how much money is spent we may never achieve the goal. And there are a number of alternatives that are options. That's know as science and fact, making a clear picture that some people refuse to see.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

/// And there are a number of alternatives that are options. ///

All i am saying is there are not. Alternatives as options when you ONLY consider the financial aspect of it . This is not a financial issue . R&D Does not gurantee that green will get cheaper , but even in the worst case , even if there would be NO tehcnological developments , all research would stop now and we would be stuck with todays technology forever , even then green must be our choice , a bit more expensive , so be it .

You dont seem to believe in R&D in green technologies but look at the last couple of decades and see how far its gone . Even a few decades ago you could mention electric cars in mass production and people would laugh at you . Car companies believe in it , energy companies believe in it , scientists believe in it hell even governments are beginning to see the light :)

. We see improvements everywhere ,, appliances that use much less energy , and work much efficietnly ,, batteries which are developed enough to power cars ,,fuel cells and hydrogen as alternatives ,, most of the technology today did not exist a couple of decades ago . It is not just the production process but everything that s related to energy , how to store it , how to use it , transport it etc etc So many aspects of it can be developed , and to think that none can be achieved is unrealistic . Even commercial companies , like car companies can see the future switching to electric cars , fuel cell cars etc and they invest in those technologies ,, i am sure they believe in it .

Again ,, it is getting cheaper and cheaper every day ,, but even if you were right and there would be no improvement , even if science would stop today ,, no technology no research nothing ,, it is still worth it to invest in green energy ,, cause the alternatives can be attractive in financial terms only but the real cost is far beyond that ,, i hope you can see that . I think we have been discussing long enough on this subject ,, moving on to the next one . Take good care .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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