Germany's scaring example
I see a lot of praise for the German "Energiewende" in some of the comments. As a German, I am witnessing how this works out, and I advice all daydreamers to take an objective and unbiased look at the Germany example. The reality is this: replacing fossil and nuclear energy with so-called "renewables" (there is no renewability in nature) means replacing an efficient energy system with an inefficient one. It is inefficient by nature, because wind, solar, biomass have a very low energy density. The worst of all is biomass; transforming solar energy via bio mass to fuel or electricity has an efficiency of less than 1 percent. In today's Germany, corn for bio energy grows on millions of hectares to contribute just a few percent of German energy consumption.
Renewable energy facilities are more expensive, require larger amounts of all sorts of raw materials and cover large areas. The German citizens have already paid several hundred of billion euro for wind, solar and bio energy facilities. What they received is an unreliable supply which cannot replace the closed nuclear plants. Instead the country has turned from an exporter of electricity to an importer (Where would Japan import electricity from?). Some more facts: Germany has the second-highest electricity prices in Europe, an increasing burden for households and industry. The annual capacity factor for windmills is about 15% and for solar is 8% on average (the best nuclear plants have 90%). Large back-up capacities (about 80% of the renewable capacities) are needed. Coal and natural gas plants have to provide them. Anything else for back-up is an illusion.
Germany has by now more than 25.000 wind mills. Several times as many are needed to replace nuclear energy. More and more windmills (up to 200 meters high) are being constructed in forests, on mountain ridges, in natural parks, in areas which before were designated as landscape and nature protection areas. An additional negative impact will be provided by several thousand kilometers of new high-voltage transmission lines. Renewable energies have resulted in an unprecedented thorough and sustainable uglification of the country.
This list of cruelties could be continued. In Germany, the real and ugly implications of large-scale renewable energy production are becoming more and more obvious. And an increasing number of people is becoming more and more skeptic. Japan would be ill-advised to also move into this dead-end.
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What is wrong with (most of) you people? There is a report from a respectable organisation, the WHO. One can assume that the people responsible for that report are experts in their field, no self-appointed experts, but real ones. One can also assume, or better, deduct from reading some of the comments, that most commentators here only have a vague, often biased knowlegde of the field.
So, the WHO report confirmes what has already become obvious in the past months: No one died from the Fukushima nuclear acciden, and no one will die from it in the future. What is this? This is, plain and simple, good news, GOOD NEWS ! Everybody should be happy about it and happy for the people of Fukushima-ken instead of keeping on whining and lamenting.
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