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Which form of renewable energy do you think is the best alternative to nuclear energy?

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5speedracer:

Could you stop monopolizing the forum here? You can just write one big post. You seem very angry. Just what is wrong with someone wanting the landscape to look natural?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ramenbaka, totally agree with you. If there is a safer alternative than wind I think it should be used. Also, I heard that once those monstrous wind turbines are put up they can emit a sound that nearly drives people insane and never stops. Why even go there when solar is so approachable.

On the other hand, there may be a small market for more compatible wind devices that are not a nuisance with sound and danger to animals such as narrower ones like a turbine for places with little sunlight.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Reckless ... Agree. The Audubon Society says that wind turbines kill up to 328,000 birds annually in North America. That's horrible. Although I must confess that I enjoy bird watching, so there is some bias on my part.

In any case, I do think that solar panels are better because they can be put almost anywhere like on top of roofs. I just read recently that Tesla is taking pre-orders for solar roof panels, which can generate more than 1000 USD worth of energy annually per household.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wind has many problems. Unsightly, can be noisy and danger to birds.

Solar seems most likely to proliferate as it can be fitted to structures, does not cause noise or unsightly structures, probably does not endanger animals, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan can benefit from both solar power and wind power.  In the US, it is now common practice for new homes to have solar voltaic panels, and excess energy goes back to the grid, and homeowners, receive discount on their energy bill as a result.  Japan has many windy areas which can benefit from wind mills . . . in the US wind mills are usually placed in plain areas where such mills will not disturb other activities . . . .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nuclear energy has the future, but not on Earth, it can be used very efficiently in outer space and orbit to generate a huge amount of energy that can be stored, transported to Earth or used as a non-chemical fuel for spaceships (e.g. ion propulsion). Such nuclear power plants can be charging stations for them in outer space or geosynchronous orbit. Earth is too vulnerable to environmental disasters and too important for the humanity, we should act more responsibly and use only safe energy generation technologies here, such as solar, wind and geothermal. Remember that we have only one Earth so far.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"My Dad was a coal miner. I know about coal. I have no illusions about the coal industry or the effects of bring coal, and you will not find me pushing coal. I know personally a number of families who lost fathers, brothers and sons to the mines. Please do not presume to tell me what I do and do not care about."

Ok. Well, let me explain the logic behind my presumption, specifically for your case, but more generally too. For your case, I present the information above, which is certainly special and sad. I presumed that you did not know about the suffering that coal causes simply because you have tirelessly advocated policies and protests that would eliminate nuclear generation and bring back coal to Japan. I didn't advocate coal use in Japan. I never would. You did. You have. A lot of people have. That must cause a lot of cognitive dissonance for you. Japan's carbon footprint is HUGE compared to pre-3.11, and that is the result of coal burning, which is the result of anti-nuclear hysteria. Why would someone, such as yourself, choose coal?

But most people have not suffered as you have from the evils of coal, so let's be clear. Just go to Wikipedia and look for "mine disasters" or "industrial accidents" and you can find long lists of the worst ones. Guess what. Japanese coal mine disasters are PROMINENT. And a lot were in Fukushima. Most people do not know that. Far more people have been killed by coal than by nuclear worldwide, and even just in Fukushima. Why would ANYONE want to go back to that? Nuclear jobs were a godsend to everyone in Fukushima who did not look good dancing in a grass skirt. Most people don't know that. Coal kills more people every hear than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined! Those are WHO data!

Your litany of personal horror is moving. But your posts are exclusively anti-nuclear ergo pro-coal. Instead of being pro-nuclear ergo anti-coal. If you think I presumed you did not understand how AWFUL coal is, I am sorry. Most people don't get that.

OK. Why is this topical? Because the question is about alternatives to nuclear and the consensus is that no renewable resource can provide baseload power as coal and nuclear can. So the "choice" is between nuclear and coal. The people have spoken and they have chosen coal. Secondly, the nuclear resources are already paid for, but the coal isn't, and neither are the renewables. So in terms of cost going forward and infrastructure in place, replacing nuclear, with coal or anything else, is not a course to be preferred.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There is no alternative to nuclear plants for now if keep in mind current and future power consumption.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I did not answer the question in this poll as I do not see this as a valid question at all. They all are good alternatives depending on what is available in a specific geographical location. Even in Japan, a small country, the best alternative in Kyushu will be different than the best alternative in Tohoku.

Japan can live without nuclear power as the demand in Japan is nowhere near what it was during the Showa time when the country was much more industrialized. On the other hand the cost of no nuclear is an increase in CO2 emissions. We all know the cost of nuclear power is obvious.

Keeping the generating source as close as possible to the load is also desirable (thus capitalizing on locally available resources being a good option). Quire a bit of energy is dissipate as losses due to transmission, distribution, and transformation up to transmission voltages and back down again. Solar is great and it is ubiquitous. Even though I am a libertarian at heart I would support mandating solar panels in building codes for new construction (or even retrofits in some cases). Wind is a very viable resource in coastal areas and in northern Japan. Hydro is limited as most resources have been tapped (I did commission some very small hydro plants on irrigation ditches in the past which I thought were pretty cool). Geothermal would seem to be good in Japan but it will emit CO2 and these plants are generally expensive to build.

Hydrogen is mentioned above as an alternative and hopefully this will be viable sometime soon. NASA has been promoting this (fuel cells) as a possible terrestrial power source for a while now. There are some technical challenges and safety concerns but perhaps one day this could be a reality. More efficient appliances are also part of the equation (look home much less energy a LED light uses compared to an incandescent).

The answer will come...we just need to decide which energy bridge will be left in place to allow technology to catch up (i.e., coal, natural gas, nuclear) as a bit more time is needed to meet the current and projected demand.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The cost of decommissioning the reactors. The cost of storing high level radioactive waste for 100,000 years and putting that cost and burden on future generations without even using a single watt of power generated from nuclear energy.

This is going to cost us regardless of what source of energy we use. Transitioning to renewable is going to cost on top of what we decommissioning and storage of high level radioactive waste which can't fulfill base load.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The answer is to develop more energy efficient appliances !

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

We need to replace nuclear power sometime. The question is with what and when?

Just looking at Washington State's Hanford news today we can see that nuclear waste disposal is neither clean nor cheap, where

"...a massive cleanup that has been under way since the 1980s and costs more than $2 billion a year. The work is expected to take until 2060 and cost more than $100 billion." Japan Today, World

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The answer is, at this point of time, none.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to the Fukushima government there have been more than 1600 deaths from those who were evacuated, stress related, suicides. Some of the old people died from the evacuations itself. More than five people have died from the nuclear disaster site. The nuclear disaster will last more than 50 years.

1600 deaths from measures taken by the goverment, not directly related to the dissaster, and I wonder how many of these had also to do with the fact that there was a more inpacful and deadly natural dissaster going on at the same time.

The people who died at the site, died from the Tsunami, so don't try to claim that because they happened to the in the reactor at the time of the Tsunami, it can be said that they died because of the Fukushima dissaster.

No one has had any radiation related death from this dissaster, if I may be exact so that you don't try to play semantics.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Back on topic please. This is not what the question asks.

Yes, no one has ever died because of this disaster. 

According to the Fukushima government there have been more than 1600 deaths from those who were evacuated, stress related, suicides. Some of the old people died from the evacuations itself. More than five people have died from the nuclear disaster site. The nuclear disaster will last more than 50 years.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The only real world alternative to Nuclear is Fossil fuels.

That is because, even thou people like to imagine a world were we can produce all the energy we need with the so called "renewable energies" (which is actually kind of a misleading name), the sad truth is that if we pretend to continue with the same life style as we do today, we just can't.

The cost performance of these energy forms are make them not suitable for replacing a highly cost effective energy form as nuclear power.

Also, I don't like the way this question is made. It is made in the idea that "we need to replace nuclear", to which I respond with "why?".

Because there was a nuclear dissaster that killed no one on Fukushima? Yes, no one has ever died because of this dissaster. Not to mention that the aftermentioned disaster was caused because of a Tsunami that killed over 15,000 people.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@Tiring

“Yeah but at what cost? Presently we are burning coal, but once we stop we need an alternative and that is going to cost a bucket load. Basically you just evaded one without answering to the other.”

At what cost of the nuclear disaster which will eventually cost more than ¥50 trillion and over 100 years could even reach ¥100 trillion. The cost of decommissioning the reactors. The cost of storing high level radioactive waste for 100,000 years and putting that cost and burden on future generations without even using a single watt of power generated from nuclear energy.

With the question of the post I didn’t even consider the cost side because first is it technically possible for renewable energy to replace nuclear energy and I have stated several times that with its current methods of use it cannot replace nuclear energy even if all were to be used. Nuclear energy is used to generate the base load power, the power that is generated 24/7. I think it can only possibly be used to replace nuclear energy if the majority of renewable energy is used to produce hydrogen which in turn can generate base load power 24/7.

Since the reactors have been shut down, the base load power is being generated from coal. The use of coal although cheaper than other fossil fuels is not good for the environment.

According to PM Abe and the governments energy road, it intends to actually increase the use of coal even with the use of nuclear energy. Their plan is to increase the base load power to 60% of total power demand of 1,000TWh. That’s seems very high for a base load since it runs overnight too when demand is lower.

Base load power will be generated from coal at 26%, nuclear at 22% and LNG for peak demand at 27% and renewables 22%.

Coal will provide 56% of the base load power.

You and others can read the facts more on 

http://cornerstonemag.net/coal-fired-power-generation-in-japan-and-the-world/

 A 1000MW (1GW) reactor in one year at 90% capacity generates 7.9 billion kWh. That would be enough to supply 3,160,000 homes using 200kWh/month for a whole year. Generating that much power from other fossil fuels would be 13.7 million barrels of oil, or 3.4 million short tons of coal, or 65.8 million cubic feet of LNG.

Solar power in Japan can generate about 5kWh/sq meter per day. To generate 7.9 billion kWh would need about 434,065 sq meters of solar panels. 0.43 sq kms. 

But even so most of the renewable energy sources are not 24/7 and therefore cannot be used for base load power.

An important point since the nuclear disaster changed to an increase in renewable energy. Prior to that it was the government intention to increase the nuclear capacity to 50% of total power from about 27%. The power utilities had no interest in renewables, why would they, they had nuclear energy.

Nuclear energy might solve problems but it also causes them like the ¥50 trillion nuclear disaster and the storage of nuclear waste.

The future is hydrogen generated from renewable energies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Those people in Fukushima were dying in coal mines before you were born. They died by the dozens and nobody cared

My Dad was a coal miner. I know about coal. I have no illusions about the coal industry or the effects of bring coal, and you will not find me pushing coal. I know personally a number of families who lost fathers, brothers and sons to the mines. Please do not presume to tell me what I do and do not care about.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Triring and Zichi are having a disagreement, and this might help. The utilities have done several things since 3.11. First of all, they brought back all of their old plants if they had them. They contracted for huge amounts of gas and coal and started burning it. Then some instituted brown outs. Then after a year passed, they built a few more plants and wondered if the nuclear plants would come back online. All the while they were drawing down their capital to pay for more and more fossil fuels. They expected that would end. So basically they went broke. Utilties in "western Japan" were hit the worst because they had no good fall back. They went to GAS, which was hugely expensive.

When it was clear that would NOT end, they built even more plants and started charging customers more. Rates were boosted 20% or more. Fuels got a little cheaper. Nuclear was replaced with cheap coal burners or expensive gas plants. Then they started a fuel surcharge and renewable surcharges. And here we are.

The upshot is that fuel bills are something like 50% more, even AFTER people try to cut consumption, because of taxes and surcharges. The surcharges fluctuate and are largely unregulated, so they can go as high as needed.

Utilities lost a lot of money they could have used for something else, like renewable. And they paid it all for fuel and they have to keep doing so. They will pass that on to consumers. It will get worse and/or the environment will suffer. Let's say that utilities "coped," but they got gutted.

And that problem basically VANISHES if nuclear plants come back online. Coal plants will be the first to be shut down, and utilities won't have to pay for fuels or decommissioning. Don't know what happens to the renewable surcharge, but it is conceivable that base rates will drop by 10 or 20%.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Every new house and apartment complex been must be equipped with solar panels on the roof and on the balcony. This must be a law. Time to move away from using huge power plants to a distributed, more efficient power generation network. Large solar and wind farms, including the projected orbital facilities, should be used only for industries, which are more energy-consuming.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"ou talk about people making 'personal sacrifices'. Ask th"

Those people in Fukushima were dying in coal mines before you were born. They died by the dozens and nobody cared about their personal sacrifices then. They stopped dying and started living the good life for two generations when nuclear came to town. Nuclear power was a welcome alternative to coal so many years ago, and they had steady, stable lives with employment by the nuclear industry.

The personal sacrifices they have made since 3.11 are nothing compared to the 16000 people who died on 3.11 and the families they left behind. The personal sacrifices made by people evacuated in Fukushima have been exacerbated by people in the press who use them as a convenient political tool. But still, I won't say that people who lost their homes in Fukushima after 40 years of nice suburban living are unlucky compared to the people wiped away in the rest of Tohoku.

And you know what? How does THEIR personal sacrifice have anything to do with the rest of the country? The rest of us have to go on living, right? Who is acknowledging Fukushima's sacrifice by buying LEDs or putting panels on their roof? Anybody? I sure did. With a vengeance. Is everyone else just going to point fingers and move backward forever? Why bring up Fukushima evacuees when the rest of us have to look to the future and try to cobble together a working energy grid? This poll question presents a TECHNICAL ISSUE. On a TECHNICAL and QUANTITATIVE basis, peeling away all the hysteria, there is no need to replace nuclear. You and others have had ample opportunities to present an alternative, and you haven't.

Holding up a few evacuees in Fukushima does not make any particular case for any future policy. Nuclear hysteria does not work on anyone anymore. It is fake. Fake news that causes bullying.... of evacuees. See today's headlines.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

since the reactors were shut down my monthly power bill hasn't been the triple it was prior to 3/11, not even double, not even 100% more. Just a few hundred yen. We haven't had a single black/brown out, not even in the immediate months following the nuclear disaster.

I have already stated that renewable energy used in its current will be unable to generate the baseload of power, which is currently being generated from coal. But that does not mean it can't be achieved.

Yeah but at what cost?

Presently we are burning coal, but once we stop we need an alternative and that is going to cost a bucket load. Basically you just evaded one without answering to the other.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I have read every post. The answer is just NONE OF THE ABOVE. There is no renewable mode of generation that can be an "alternative" to nuclear, and that will be true for at least the next 20 years, which, coincidentally, is about the life of Japan's current nuclear fleet. Government and scientists therefore recommend that nuclear be used, and that coal use (which is more dangerous and produces more radiation in the environment than nuclear) be heavily curtailed. It IS a consensus. Ignore the consensus if you choose.

But who knows? In 20 years, we will have more choices, and the road ahead will be clearer. Cheaper and more efficient solar are coming. Hydrogen is a cheap alternative to batteries AND fossil fuels. Better relations with North Korea might finally make offshore wind power a reality for NE Asia.

Why look for "an alternative" to nuclear power? We just need to find the best resource to do the job that nuclear has been designed to do. Clearly, the "alternative" to nuclear power is coal right now. So demonizing nuclear is just cheering for coal.

Finally, people need to get beyond the gee-whiz dreaming stage. Finance. Policy. Implementation. Management. Utilities can do all of that. People think that beating them over the head is accomplishing something. It is counterproductive. If utilities collapse or simply decide to be uncooperative, you can kiss a renewable future goodbye. Creating the system all over again is something nobody can afford.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, I already gave away the answer. If you wanted to use SOLAR to replace 54 GW, then you would have to use about 1.5 to 2 times as much land as you would use for wind, so figure about half a Nagano, something like 10 Manhattans, and 30 or something Fukushima no-go zones.

Shout out to zichi who bothered to check my figures and come up with 37 GW for what we might expect to eventually come back online. I concede that. Frankly, I just went to Wikipedia and added up all the capacities of Japan's current nuclear reactors. Anybody could have done it. If I had started nit picking, other people would have too. So I just left it. The results are not changed much.

Because the main point is that when someone says "a 1 MW wind turbine or a 300 W solar panel," they are not talking about 24/7. Zichi will find with his models that arranging to STORE more power will require something like a battery, which is extremely expensive, in addition to EXCESS capacity to charge the batteries. It is a crazy Rube-Goldberg way of solving a problem.... that society has already solved with nuclear power.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@cleo

Because they've realised that 20,000 years of looking after radioactive waste for a bit of electricity now, 

Not really. After 40-50 years the heat and radioactivity have fallen to one thousandth of the level at removal.

Every 22 tonnes of uranium used avoids the emission of one million tonnes of carbon dioxide, relative to coal.

That is directly heating up our planet.

I agree that we should invest in renewables as much as possible. But now. Before these technologies come online. We need nuclear energy to save our planet.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How about merge of all?

Not all parts of the world has an earth crush thin enough to tap into the heat source without too much of investment.

Hydro and you need water fall like Niagara falls or even tides or some form of flowing water.

Solar only works well on places with lost of sun light. Places mostly winter and under cloud is only milking the taxpayers for subsidizing the inefficient method of power generation and subsequently killing its local industries.

Wind requires constant breeze and if the wind is too string they have to lock down the turbine so that it does not break apart. Never mind killing migratory birds and bats.

Also, add in conventional power generation as backup.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Solar energy is slowly making progress towards being more efficient - though it's not there yet, and without continued Government Support is going to be out of reach for the average household.

The remaining choices are clearly going to be Government projects, though quite long term.

I agree, there should have been an "All the above" option.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tripling the power bill is not acceptable and neither is constant black/brown outs. Both sides require to accept a compromise and not go totally partisan like American politics.

since the reactors were shut down my monthly power bill hasn't been the triple it was prior to 3/11, not even double, not even 100% more. Just a few hundred yen. We haven't had a single black/brown out, not even in the immediate months following the nuclear disaster.

I have already stated that renewable energy used in its current will be unable to generate the baseload of power, which is currently being generated from coal. But that does not mean it can't be achieved.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The points 5SpeedRacer5 made are valid and without substantial facts to support rebuttal it is basically the same as a wolf howling at a pale moon or in Japanese 負け犬の遠吠え.

Realistically speaking renewable energy alone is not going to replace nuclear/fossil power considering all the land, cost and manpower it is going to require and more for maintenance.

Tripling the power bill is not acceptable and neither is constant black/brown outs. Both sides require to accept a compromise and not go totally partisan like American politics.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The reason the nuclear power plants were built in the first was to supply more atomic material to America so it could increase its number of atomic weapons. They were also built because of the public money given to the power utilities to build them, and enormous funds for research and devopment. All of it generated greater profits for the power companies for decades until the s*+^ hit the Fukushima fan.

The slogan of nuclear power being safe, clean and cheap is a failed one.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Traditional economics are based on the assumption that humans are greedy, wasteful and will always want more.

Personally I feel that we need a) the science to make systems more efficient (LED use, etc.), and b) as humans we need to gently adjust our lifestyle to live closer to nature and the movement of the sun. It ain't gonna happen overnight, and we may blow ourselves to pieces before it happens, but just saying.

I wish we could replace nuclear, but if we can't then let's keep it to a minumum. The long-term cost in money and nuclear waste is untenable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Depends on the country. For Japan, I'd say geo-thermal and then the others as supplementary. We all know the nuclear nutbags don't want any of it, but they've proven to be just that -- nuts.

5Speedracer5: "Please tell me how you replace 54.3 GW of power generation running 24/7 starting today."

You mean the NPPs that have already not been running since the man-made disasters in Fukushima? Because, that would mean replacing 'zero', not 54.3 GW.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not geothermal because onsen is most important, besides onsen operators wouldn't allow it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Personally, solar power. But if it's Japan, then geothermal and wind power would seem more appropriate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I bring up these points because there is nobody left to do so. They are all gone. Does anyone wonder why that is?

Because they've realised that 20,000 years of looking after radioactive waste for a bit of electricity now, with the ever-present chance of another Chernobyl or Fukushima, isn't a very good equation?

You talk about people making 'personal sacrifices'. Ask the people driven from their homes by nuclear accidents about 'personal sacrifice'. Ask the people living under the nuclear plumes about 'personal sacrifice'. Ask the people who lost their livelihoods when the land they farmed was declared unfit to produce food for human consumption about 'personal sacrifice'. I will happily make the personal sacrifice of a few fewer neon signs in the streets if in return my grandchildren and their grandchildren can have a safe world to Iive in.

Put your math ability where your mouth is

Your reasoning is no different from the criminal who reckons it's better to rob a bank or scam old folk because that's easier and more profitable than getting a proper, boring, job.

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The form submitted did not originate from the expected site

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Even after the safety inspections and reactor updates according to the NRA, in future only about 20 reactors will be operated to generate about 15-20% of total power. That would be about 20GW but not all would operate at the same time. The reactors are shut down every 18 months for an inspection taking 3 months. 

The current reactor capacity isn’t 55GW, its about 37GW and that could be further reduced with more reactor decommissions. All the reactors never ran 22/7 nor all at the same time, only about 80% capacity. The current 37GW is the installed capacity not the amount being generated.

Decommissioning has been applied for 5 reactors and others will follow. Nuclear energy someday will end by default when the plants are not replaced. The government current energy road is about 20% for nuclear energy.

Since 2011 power generation from nuclear energy has been basically zero. There are about 3 reactors operating and another 3 ready to come online generating less than 5% of total power demand.

Looks like the country survived for 6 years without the use of nuclear power. But coal for baseload power was increased which is also not good.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And next we come to solar. The prodigal sun. I used to have this idea that if you just kept doubling solar installations every five years, well, you would have the energy crisis licked in no time. Even THAT rudimentary math seems to be more than most people can handle, but let's just say that the magic of compounded interest.... is magic.

But it won't happen. Mostly because it hasn't. But also because NIMBYism will just get worse. We have already plucked the low hanging fruit. Most roof hardware is too heavy for a building to support. We can't afford or service that many batteries. Utilities cannot handle that much intermittent power. It will take too long. And they won't give enough power 24/7. So just build more right?

But just for fun. And I want to challenge everyone here who is not a nuclear "nut," to show us your stuff. Put your math ability where your mouth is. What surface area would you need to cover to supply 54 GW of power at PEAK generating capacity in ideal conditions?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please skip the condescending remarks on this thread. There are no challenges on the discussion board.

I was entertained by a post two days ago by a person who REALLY LIKES the scenery near his house, but never paid anyone a dime for it. And then some guy who owned some forest land had the GALL to cut down some scrubby pines and put up a solar array. And another farmer nearby decided to put up some panels in his field. The NERVE! This person concluded that government policy for renewable energy has failed because nobody consulted him before they decided what to do with their own land.

Let that settle in a little bit before we talk about wind and solar and how great they are. Because even though the Japanese government has COMMANDED that the utilities pay people for the solar and wind power they produce, and even though people are willing to put up their own money to make it happen, there are plenty of people who will block it, and a lot of them are libby lib libs. Even the Kennedy family is an enemy of wind power if it blocks their view. If you think that Japanese people are any better, you have not been to a neighborhood association meeting like.... ever.

So YOU think that there is a policy by which we are going to get huge amounts of wind and solar power without you personally making a sacrifice? You are dreaming. And knowing how willing people are to make personal sacrifices, I can only be more pessimistic.

So let's talk about WIND. Just for the sake of argument, let's say that 1 pylon is one megawatt. There are huge 5 MW pylons now for use in the ocean, but, do we need to go there? OK. I will come back to that. Now 1 MW is still pretty big, and you can put maybe one per football field. So you could have 55,000 football fields to give you 55 GW of power under ideal conditions. How big is that? Looks like 275 km2 to me. Is that right? sounds about right but I will have to go back and check my zeroes. A fourth of Nagano. Manhattan is about 60 km2. The no go zone now in Fukushima is about 20 km2.

Now assuming that people are going to let you do that, how are you going to finance it? How long will it take? How many liberals will you have to crush?

And let's not forget that you are STILL not supplying enough power all the time to replace nuclear, which is running 24/7. Wind power is only an "alternative" to nuclear under ideal conditions. So just build more, right?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Hydro. Hmm. Wikipedia says 50 GW of installed capacity. Impressive. But that is not going to get any larger because, since 2011, development has pretty well taken care of even the smallest resources. And you certainly cannot run that 24/7. Add in environmental issues, and hydro has just about peaked. On this list of renewable resources, this is the best it gets.

Geothermal? Let's just drill some holes, says someone above. No. It does not work that way. In fact, in Tohoku, only two weeks before 3.11, a geothermal plant exploded and killed two workers, so it is at least as dangerous as nuclear. But putting that aside, the resource is not going to meet Japan's needs. Iceland and New Zealand might feel cute giving Japan advice about how to use its resources, but Japan is the world's third largest economy. Putting THAT aside, we have to remember that most readily available geothermal resources are owned by someone, and they are making more money than they can by selling power anyway. If you want to take it and use it by force, go ahead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The pro-nuclear nuts"

Oh. They are all gone. They left this site and now all that is left is this echo chamber of math challenged dreamers.

You know, I used to be able to come here and see some people use numbers and ACTUAL operating data related to energy policy. That kind of knowledge and experience is costly to aggregate and process, and costly to communicate. But you know, after a while of being called murderers by most, and "nuts" by others, they just left. They DO have better things to do. And here we are.

I have let this thread go on for awhile to watch people put forward their best ideas. What do you think? What is missing from this discussion? Cost perhaps? Regulation? Performance data? I lament that there is so little of substance despite everyone's best efforts. How did that come to pass?

OK. Here is a figure. All of the posts above related to the question. 20 PLUS posts have expressed an opinion about "alternatives to nuclear power," but the only snarky post about nuclear power is an ad hominem attack on anyone who knows anything about it. How about this?

54,274 MegaWatts, people. That is 54.3 GW and that is the size of Japan's nuclear fleet. If we are going to talk seriously about an ALTERNATIVE to that, please START from there. Please tell me, and especially you, Cleo, because you have got to be smarter than a "nut." Please tell me how you replace 54.3 GW of power generation running 24/7 starting today. And if you can't do that, tell me how you can do it in 20 years and assume we will be sitting in the dark in the meantime.

Discussion starts now.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

What we need to replace is coal and gas.

Agreed. Get rid of the really bad sources first and then focus on limiting nuclear power. I wish Okinawa Prefecture took greater advantage of their solar and wind power capability but I cant remember the last time I've seen a wind tower spinning or a solar panel here. They use mostly coal and some gas.

Writing this post, I'm thinking the problem with a lot of the renewable resources is that they're expensive to maintain and in turn will cost more to customers receiving power. A good balance of renewable and nuclear could help keep cost low while limiting pollution.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't know why this is a question to replace nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is fine, they just need to upgrade the plants to modern safety standards. Nuclear energy is clean and doesn't pollute the planet with carbon.

What we need to replace is coal and gas.

Let's look at the options:

Geothermal. This is actually quite limited, which is why it hasn't been exploited. Iceland, one of the most volcanic places on earth, generate less than 700 MW electricity from geothermal. A drop in the ocean. New Zealand generate more electricity from geothermal: 850 MW. It powers about 13% of their electricity needs.

Wind. This looks the most promising. Onshore and offshore potential total 750 GW. This is a good area to explore.

Hydro. Japan already has many hydro-electric power stations, so the potential for expansion is limited.

Solar. This is a technology intensive area that Japan could do well in. It is already the second biggest market for PV growth.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

John-San

There are 12 pumped hydro stations generating 15GW of power but I don't know the TWh?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@John-San

The current situation with hydro is near maximum available. Pumped hydro predates turning the reactors off for better use of the overnight baseload. Does not need a river just a reservoir on a mountain or hill to store the water and a reservoir at the bottom to collect the water. Pumped up in the night released at peak demand for additional power. More plants have been built since 3/11 but I think are also limited.

Better use of the power we have, better systems for heating water and the greater use of solar and others will reduce the overall power demand. Smart grid systems. Baseload will always be 20-25% of total power demand. Hydro with dams or pumped stations cannot replace it.

The problem with solar and wind is the limited daily availability. Don't think batteries can solve the major problem although on a domestic level it could be better to use the solar power generated rather than selling it.

The permanent long term solution will be hydrogen, so freely available. Can be used for transport, heating, power generation. It would make best use of the renewable energy.

Country also needs a smart grid system.

For renewable energies to replace nuclear and coal it will have to be able to generate the baseload 24/7. On that I didn't vote above because there isn't just one.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Zichi :Japan has invested big in Hydrogen technology because of the need to replacing Nuclear but that can take years. New Hydro is reusing the water that go down stream by storaging then pumping back up to the Dam. Battery Technology is add and power is store to run to pumps these Battery can also store solar wind and thermal power. To pump back up before these new reusable technology it cost to much. Now with new Battery technology has cut that costs. Plus you can add it on to existing hydro power with in a few years. Still invest in Hydrogen, but this can be up and going soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Iceland benefits from a massive amount of geothermal to provide 26% of power generation, and 87% of hot water and heating. Renewable energy provides 87% of electricity. Hydrogen is also starting in Iceland.

Its also a small country with a population of only 350,000 people compared to Japan with 130 million.

Japan should use all of its renewable energies sources.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Jordi...

Iceland has a huge advantage... the heat of Earth is just on the surface...

In Japan you must drill a lot (around 5 years give or take)... I am not saying Japan should not do it... it should. But compared to Iceland, there is a big disadvantage.

Also... the list of renewable energies should include Kinetic ...and consider the option (if the news is true though) of Fusion reactor

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

We should learn from countries such as Iceland.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

John-san

A combine of the above can produce the base load but intermitent. New Hydro can 24/7 with the but if some impact. Battery storage has advance and combine with hydro is the best alternative for base load while combining all can replace Nuclear with-in a few years. ...

Used with the current methods, I don't think power from renewable energy can replace base load power. Base load must never be intermittent. Hydro is limited and most of the available locations are already being used. Not quite sure what you mean by New Hydro unless you mean pumped hydro which is using overnight power but in some locations could be used with renewable energy but again I think it would be limited. Battery cannot replace baseload which needs to be a constant power supply.

Realistically, I think renewable energy can only replace the base power if its used to produce hydrogen which will become the cheapest way.

I would not like to see street lighting reduced because of safety issues for the old and young. I do see many now with solar panels and a battery.

The total power demand from central power plants could also be reduced with new methods of water heating which accounts for about 30% of domestic demand.

The lack of nuclear energy has reduced installed power from about 282GW to 240GW. The caseload is being generated by coal, about 25% of total power or about 200-250TwH

The country needs to stop the nuclear and the coal so I think the third prong is hydrogen which could be used in so many way including cars and is limitless and clean.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I find with Japan on top of a MAJOR Geological HOT SPOT it is very easy to drill down in multiple areas to get HydroThermal energy cheaply. Drilling in locations where nuclear plants have been shut down for multiple years for upgrades to comply with Earthquake awareness preparedness will be the best way to make a safer change to energy production using existing equipment.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes Tiring. Led have the full spectrum now. hydroponic are now using LED grow lights, and replace HPS lighting. They work very well and haft the power out. I know from first hand experience. I have not yet seen any LED street light in the Iwate, they are still very busy building tsunami walls. I really don't see the need for street lights yes on corners but not every 50 meters. I think is a habit left over from victorian age, when only horses and most people walk and to carry a light torch or lantern which was dangerous and inconvenient. I think street lights should be on corners and are LED. The above is question is really asking what reusable can to replace a base power of Nuclear. A combine of the above can produce the base load but intermitent. New Hydro can 24/7 with the but if some impact. Battery storage has advance and combine with hydro is the best alternative for base load while combining all can replace Nuclear with-in a few years. ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry, I just realized most posters here said all of the above, so I agree with most everyone here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I think solar is the one moving forward the fastest and voted for it, but have to agree with dictator-combine.  Why choose one over the other?  Invest in all and let the world have a surplus of clean energy

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Simple... all of the above.  Hybrids of each of those that work well with each other depending on the region that produces more of one type than the other.

COMBINE THINGS!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Solar power is really only when the sun shines, wind when the wind blows.

Hydro and geothermal require public investment, but the other two do not.

Still, it always amuses me to see so many solar panels and farms without any adjacent wind generators. Common sense would suggest that one compliments the other, well most of the time.

I agree with Borscht - all of the above!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Probably all of them because there isn't really any which currently can replace nuclear energy. Generation of electricity from coal and nuclear energy provides the base load of power needed 24/7, the amount needed all day and all night because they can't be turned up and down, only on or off which can't be done instantly and takes several weeks to start and stop.

Overnight power is just the base power which is about 25% of the total power demand. Currently that's about 50GW. So the electricity is mostly not used. Street lights would not save that power in terms of electricity needed but could save money if the electricity came from another way. Overnight power is used for pumped hydro, water is pumped up a hill so the following day it's released during peak demand to generate additional power.

Renewable energy can't replace the base power load generation, especially overnight unless we change how we use it. If it was used to produce hydrogen which in turn is used to generate base power then it could replace nuclear energy.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I agree with borscht - All of the Above, aka not putting all your eggs in one basket.

The pro-nuclear nuts like to tell us that no one alternative can produce as much power as nuclear, i.e. we need as many clean, safe alternatives as possible.

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3 ( +5 / -2 )

John-San

The local governments are replacing street lights with LED all over the place. The ones near my home are all LED. As for color, LED can shine in various spectrum so what you think are HPS may already be LED.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I voted for geothermal, as did most people. However, hell will freeze over before the onsen industry allows this to happen. I think there is so much potential (see Iceland), but greed and monopoly rules here.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I see a lot of waste, Like street lights, Japan have a very low crime rate. Like most people walk around with their reading theirs phone and everyone has a phone with a torch. Replace needed lights with LED, At the moment they use HPS ( high power sodium ) those orange light at interchanges, They burn massive amount of juice and LED technology can easily haft the out put. I notice most stop/go lights have been replace with LED. Hydro technology has advance were storage batteries are use to pump the water back up to the holding dam and reused. Reuseables are great and can sustain a community needs but not industry. Base power needs in Japan are wide disbursed. Japan receives a abundance's of free natural resource ,snow At the moment is used and channels to rice fields. If used with new hydro technology and battery storage technology this can be a dependable base load supply with minimal environments impact with the infrastructure needed. So my vote is for looking to save on waste and new Hydro.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Where's the "All of the Above" button?

19 ( +19 / -0 )

I think its always going to be combinations until we find a good storage medium/system.

I truly wish Japan would take the opportunity to become a world leader in this, there was a golden chance after the tragedy in 2011 for Japan.

Japan doesn't always invent well but it is excellent at taking a technology or field and refining it for excellent yield and reliability.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

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