Cars

Published on July 28th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan

438

The Electric Vehicle Revolution Is Nigh (Infographic)

July 28th, 2014 by  

Actually, the electric vehicle revolution may already be in progress. Electric vehicles (EV) on the roads globally jumped from ~25,000 in 2010 to ~80,000 in 2011 to ~200,000 in 2012 to ~405,000 in 2013. That’s not linear growth, folks!

I recently wrote an article for Fix.com about the likelihood that electric vehicles will dominate car sales within 10 years. I’m convinced they will, and it’s hard to see how that wouldn’t happen. You can check out the full article here. But some of the key points are captured in this infographic that the folks at Fix created:


Source: Fix.com

As it shows, a Nissan Leaf is easily cheaper than a Ford Focus FWD over the course of a few years thanks to lower “fuel” and maintenance costs. Of course, you have to actually compare the electric vehicle you want with the gas vehicle you would buy and you have to use your own specific lifestyle and cost assumptions in order to get a real cost comparison.

You should also take other factors into account: the convenience of never having to go to a gas station again (simply charge up at home as you sleep), the ease and fun of driving with all that electric torque, the clean conscience you get from not polluting your local air or destroying the climate. Naturally, these are all things that I discuss a bit more in the Fix article. Check it out if you want more. (Or scroll through our 2,247 electric vehicle articles here on CleanTechnica for an even broader picture!)


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.



  • Bob_Wallace

    Juan, I’m still waiting for you to back up your ‘weeks of low wind and solar’ claim.

    I’m also still waiting for you to give me your working number for cost of storing so that we can do our wind/solar/nuclear math.

    You seem to have a follow-through problem.

  • Juan tome

    Well Dirk the obvious answer to your question is that wholesale electrical prices do not represent the full cost of electricity, see first graph below.

    And in the second graph we can see that German power sector emissions are nearly 6 times per kWh as France, and again cost at the outlet (where it matters) is much higher as well.

    Lastly, in the final graphic we see the majority of “renewable” energy actually added in Germany has been biomass, not wind or solar.

    So yes I think things seem rather clear for this particular round of comparisons.

    • eveee

      Um, You are trying to slip a fast one. EU countries are heavily CO2 regulated. Biomass cannot be net CO2 or it will be stopped.

      • Juan tome

        The logic behind biomass being CO2 neutral is that throughout their lives the plants sequester an equal or greater amount of CO2 as they release in combustion – that logic clearly falls apart if one considers that if the cropland were not used for combustible biomass, a different type of CO2 sequestering plant would instead exist there and would sequester CO2 without eventually giving a large portion of it back through combustion….. therefore Biomass is indeed a net CO2 contributor.

        Biomass has been widely reported as environmentally damaging.

        • eveee

          What? Your circular reasoning is … just incredible. There is biofuel that is CO2 neutral. Do you thing the researchers never thought of that? Show some peer reviewed references to support your … uh, idea.

          • Juan tome

            pbs and the bbc have both reported on this.

            Its a simple concept – if you let primary vegetation decay naturally it won’t release as much CO2 as it would were it burned, though it will sequester a similar amount into the soil either way…..

            So by burning biomass you may not be adding net CO2 to the atmosphere (though you would be in the case of energy intensive fuels such as ethanol), but you are not effectively sequestering as much CO2 with the cropland as you could if you didnt burn all of the vegetation.

            In other words, its better from a emissions reduction standpoint to leave forests alone than to burn wood for energy – which Germany does a lot of.

  • Bob_Wallace

    You might update your numbers for French nuclear electricity….

    May 27, 2014

    “Production costs from the existing fleet are heading higher over the medium-term,” France’s Cour des Comptes said in a report to parliament published today.

    The report, which updates findings in a January 2012 report, said that in 2012 the Court calculated the cost of production of the current fleet for 2010, which amounted to EUR 49.5 per megawatt-hour.

    Using the same method for the year 2013 the cost was EUR 59.8/MWh, an increase of 20.6 percent over three years.

    http://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2014/05/27/france-s-state-auditor-says-edf-s-nuclear-costs-are-increasing

    EUR 59.8 = $81.37

    About $0.08/kWh

    • Dirk Knapen

      Yes, I am aware of these cost calculations, but those are not necessarily what the nuclear power producers would get on the market. The 42 €/MWh or 56 $/MWh are what EDF actually gets even though the whole sale market price on neighbouring German Market is only 35 €/MWh or 47 $/MWh. The figures by the Cour des Comptes only mean that actually, in spite of a 20% subsidy compared to prices on the German market, EDF is still losing money on its 40 year old existing nuclear power production. Nuclear cheap? That is not even counting storage of nuclear waste or decommissioning.

      • Juan tome

        Actually Dirk it does count the costs of waste storage and decommissioning as these are by law passed on in the per kWh charge.

        And please acknowledge my response and graphs below before making more silly uninformed claims based solely on the wholesale component of electrical cost.

  • We have been waiting for these electric (Hybrid) vehicles for years now..Lets hope performance isnt sacrificed..http://southernselectrical.com/

  • ABell

    The chart stating that the ford focus uses 0 kWhs per year is wrong as it doesn’t take into account the incredible amount of energy to make a gallon of gasoline. It seems to only compare the average CO2 emmisions of electricity charging and what comes out of the tailpipe of a gas car. In California it can be 6 kWh to make a gallon of gasoline from source to pump, and here in Alberta it is a disgusting 13 kWh. It takes over 40% MORE energy just to make a gallon of gasoline here in Alberta that if that energy was used to charge an electric car to propel it the same respective distance. So with that, the CO2 emmisons stated between a Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus is no only misleading, it is wrong!

    • Juan tome

      here is a breakdown

      • ABell

        So if we were to take these charts as correct, my Prius is less polluting than a Nissan Leaf charged with coal energy. That is wrong because the gas I use is also made with coal and natural gas energy. Over 40% MORE coal based energy just to make the gas than if I were to charge a Nissan Leaf. The DEFRA need to re-look at their charts.

        • Juan tome

          Your point is accounted for in the graph in the “petrol upstream” section of the various bars as represented in the legend. See above.

          To your point it does require about 2.73 kWh per gallon to refine oil into gasoline, HOWEVER it is important to note that these are largely thermal kWhs, not electric. The process of converting thermal energy from a coal plant to electricity is only about 34% efficient, so directly using the thermal component of fossil combustion to refine fuels is not a huge thermodynamic loss in comparison to creating electricity from a thermal source. A gallon of gasoline itself has about 33.5 kWh of energy in it.

          Diesel fuel has slightly higher energy density at ~37kWh a gallon, and emits less carbon per gallon than gasoline, so oddly enough a fuel efficient diesel vehicle can have comparable emissions to an EV in a gas and coal heavy grid (see the United States), but the particulate pollution from the specific diesel needs to be taken into special consideration as this varies greatly among models.

          • eveee

            Uh, no. The electrical kwhrs to refine gasoline are real electricity, not equivalents. Refineries do use electricity. What are you smoking? In 2001 California oil refineries used over 35,000 GWhr. That aint hay.

            http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/comments/5_23_08_attachc_oilrefinerysector.pdf

            California oil refineries purchased 35,000 GWhrs of electricity in 2001. An average electric vehicle travels more than 3 miles per kwhr.

            35,000 GWhr x 10e6 kwhr/Gwhr = 35e9 kwhr

            35e9 Kwhr x 3miles/kwhr = about 100e9 miles

            If it was a fleet of 1e6 EVs, then each would travel

            100e9 miles/ 1e6 EVs = 100e3 miles per EV @ 1e6 EVs

            Thats a million EVs traveling 100 thousand miles each in a year. Or if you prefer, 10 million EVs traveling 10,000 miles each.

            http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/comments/5_23_08_attachc_oilrefinerysector.pdf

            page 26, Figure 16.

            Electricity purchased by oil refineries in California in 2001 from Figure 16.

            Also in 2001, the electricity demand of several individual California refineries was 100 MW each.

            http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/virtual_disk_library/index.cgi/4265704/FID1578/pdf/oil/electricshort.pdf

          • Juan tome

            Actually eveee, only a fraction of the energy used to refine gasoline is electric…

          • eveee

            And that amount is so huge it could operate millions of EVs annually. It shows how wasteful putting electric energy into refineries is, and how much better served by charging EVs instead. Those figures are California only. They do not include East Coast, Texas, and northwest refineries.

            In August 1997, ExxonMobil and Southern California Edison jointly constructed a combination oil refinery and storage facility. The plant continues to operate as a refinery while at the same time storing a healthy oil reserve. The refinery and storage facility works in tandem with the wind farm to utilize the energy created in the necessary processes in the refinery process.[4]

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gorgonio_Pass_Wind_Farm

    • eveee

      ABell. You got my interest. I know the data on US refinery electricity consumption, but not per gallon. Some of the calculations per gallon online are not clear. Do you have references for the Alberta and California data?

      • Bob_Wallace

        I’ve also had a problem finding a clear breakdown of electricity consumption per gallon of gas. I often see the “6 kWh” claim but the supporting math is fuzzy, if present at all.

        I attempted to calculate the energy inputs per gallon of gas during the refining process using 2010 California numbers.

        I ended up with 3.14 kWh of energy per gallon refined but only 0.16 kWh of purchased (grid) electricity. Now, that’s only refining and not extracting and distributing but it’s hard to see where 5.8 kWh would be used to pump out the crude and then pump gas into the vehicle.

        Perhaps you might take a look at my math and see if you spot an error.

        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Akc8l3C_MXzwdFBBNlBnNTRHOWhUMkxMRlN4Z3p5TUE&usp=sharing

        And at this article which states 6 kWh of “energy”, not 6 kWh of “purchased/grid electricity”.

        http://electricmini.blogspot.com/2011/10/it-takes-lot-of-coal-to-make-gasoline.html

        • eveee

          Since that is confusing, I did a lengthy research on the amount of energy consumed by refineries in the US. Its spread over several blog posts. I calculated that according to references from early 2000s, California refinery electricity use was good for millions of EVs at 10,000 miles a year. That seems like a better way to pose the issue. Seriously. It shows how utterly inefficient it is to use electricity to refine gasoline to drive cars. I can give you the information.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I posted a reply a few days ago via email. Just noticed that it didn’t appear.

            Electricity purchased by US refineries in 2010 = 46,227,000,000 kWh

            0.3 kWh/mile x 11,100 avg miles driven (2013) = 3,330 kwh per car.

            Just under 14 million cars could be powered by US refinery purchased electricity. Roughly 5% of the cars on the road.

          • eveee

            Thats right. An impressive number. That is electricity directly consumed by refineries.

      • ABell

        eveee. I don’t have the California data but have seen ‘6kWh’ around a few places and told directly by Plug In America’s Paul Scott over lunch last Spring that it was about 6 kWh. My main interest was for Alberta as that is where I live and couldn’t get this information for some time. It is not readily available. Marc Brooks who used to work for the Alberta Oil Industry broke it down and put it in an article. Here is the link: http://www.hybridcars.com/the-oil-sands-surprising-new-nemesis-plug-in-vehicles/
        Interesting reading!

      • ABell

        Hi Evee, Here is the reference I use to show the kWh to make a gallon of tar sands based gasoline.
        http://www.hybridcars.com/the-oil-sands-surprising-new-nemesis-plug-in-vehicles/
        Everyone I have shared this article with here in Alberta who is involved in the energy sector directly has said the numbers seem sound.
        I do not have the same for California, but am going on what I have been told by those in the EV sphere who live there.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Recognize that the author talks about takes the natural gas used to process oil, uses it to generate electricity and adds those kWh to his total.

          49 kwh of grid electricity per barrel of oil with 19.6 gallons motor grade gasoline per barrel. 2.5 kWh of grid electricity.

          13 kwh of grid electricity includes using the NG to produce the other 10.5 kWh.

          That’s different from the claims that if we quit using oil we would free up 6 kWh of electricity. Even with tar sands oil it’s about half the 6 kWh.

          • ABell

            Yeah, I understood all that from the hybridcars.com article.
            The article is taking into account the value of all the energy sources and presenting that total value in kWh format, to compare charging with an EV for those here in Alberta. The 6 kWh figure for California is what I was understand for the same comparative of all energy sources involved to make a gallon of California produced gasoline. Not just grid electricity. Grid only electricity is not valid to present on it’s own as a comparative as it would not make gasoline on it’s own.
            If one was claiming that 6 kWh California grid electricity is required for to make a gallon of gasoline, it is not the only energy kWh value source to make that gallon so the overall figure would be higher that 6 would it not?

          • Bob_Wallace

            What I see floating around the web is the claim that if we simply quit refining (or extracting, refining and distributing) oil/gasoline we could run all EVs on the 6 kWh per gallon of electricity used in the oil/gas process.

            That’s simply wrong. I’m all for EVs and getting off oil. But we need to be careful about using bad information. Anytime the fossil fuel or nuclear industry can find a misstatement on the part of renewable energy or EV proponents they will likely use that as a weapon to beat up on the clean energy side.

            The actual facts work. We need to avoid mistakes.

            There may well be 6 kWh of energy used in getting oil from well to gas tank, but not 6 kWh of electricity purchased from the grid. For US refineries it’s about 0.16 kWh per gallon of gasoline produced.

            2010 EIA data –
            46227 million kWh purchased electricity
            286,517.7 million gallons of gas produced
            0.161 kWh per gallon

            http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pnp_capfuel_dcu_nus_a.htm

            That’s about half a mile of EV driving per gallon’s worth of refinery grid-purchased electricity.

          • ABell

            Agreed, thanks for the feedback.

  • Bob_Wallace

    $295 + $2,400 = $2,695 / 0.21 = 12,833 miles.

    $1,416 + $3,673 = $5,089 / 0.31 = 16,416 miles.

    Zach, I think you need to ask for a do-over. It’s not clear that these folks got anything right.

  • Ronald Brakels

    Looking at annual CO2 emissions that Nissan Leaf is either being charged entirely by low efficiency coal power or it is driving a lot more than the average amount of kilowmeters a year for a US car. And the emissions from the Ford seem low and only make sense if the emissions from refining and transporting oil isn’t included. It’s comparing emissions only from buring the gasoline in the tank of the Ford to emissions from charging from a 100% coal powered grid which does not exist. This is not a good infographic.

    • A Real Libertarian

      7,359 pounds of CO2/3,618 KWh = 2.03 pounds of CO2 per kilowatt-hour.

      Coal produces 2.08-2.18 pounds of CO2 per kilowatt-hour according to the EIA:

      http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=74&t=11

      They are.

      • Ronald Brakels

        Yep, about a kilogram a kilowatt-hour. And with a Leaf getting about 5 kilometers to a kilowatt-hour it would have to more or less be entirely charged with coal power. But I did make a mistake and wrote low effciency coal power when I should have just written coal power. I didn’t intend to write low efficiency, it just ended up in there because it was on my mind.

        • Juan tome

          __

          • Ronald Brakels

            Thanks for the graph, Juan. Do you have any information on why the Nissan Leaf is shown to have almost twice the emissions from manufacturing as a gasoline vehicle when it only weighs 11% more than a Ford Focus? While creating the battery pack and control module would be an energy intensive process the Leaf also saves on energy intensive materials by having a much smaller motor than a comparable gasoline car, no exhaust system, a simple cooling system, etc.

          • Juan tome

            I believe from mining to production to recycling battery cells remain more energy intensive than metals.

          • eveee

            Provide a reference.

          • eveee

            The claim is that Li EV batteries cost more in CO2 than the manufacture of conventional autos. Many of the studies that were done on EV LCA were flawed by assumptions of 60k mile battery pack replacement at 10k, and unwarranted vehicles weights and manufacturing inefficiencies based on very underdeveloped small scale manufacturing. Those analyses are going to be outdated by the Tesla Gigafactory and the advent of mass electric vehicle manufacturing. The non battery part of EVs should be on par or lower CO2 than conventional batteries. It is generally considered that operational lifetime CO2 is much greater than production. The BEV has such little lifetime operational CO2 that it handily beats conventional vehicles. One more thing. I doubt the figure for conventional vehicles includes CO2 for refinery electricity source from FF. For more than you ever wanted to know about the subject..

            http://getenergysmartnow.com/2013/10/28/dispelling-electric-vehicle-myths-1-about-that-co2-footprint/

          • Ronald Brakels

            CO2 emissions from burning gasoline in the vehicle appear EPA correct and the “upstream” emissions from refining and transporting oil also appear about correct, although this figure is growing as increasing amounts of oil products are created from asphalt, filthy sand, and other things that grandad would not recognize as oil.

            The EPA figures seem just a little low to me, but maybe US oil is lighter than average.

          • eveee

            Yes. EPA is reliable. Sometimes estimates do not take into account the decreasing CO2 in electricity. I suspect battery carbon will drop as manufacturing efficiency increases. Same with using renewables for battery manufacture a la giga factory.

  • Benjamin Nead

    I did a similar thumbnail sketch of this EV vs. ICE operating cost thing a while back. The eMPG number can be confusing, but it’s not necessarily inaccurate. It’s also a combined city/highway average for the Leaf and is stated to be 99 eMPG.

    To make a direct comparison to the ICE Focus, you would want to add the city MPG rating (26) and the highway MPG (36,) as stated in the article, and divide in half for the average (26 + 36 = 62 . . . 62 ÷ 2 = 31 MPG)

    Far simpler for the mathematically challenged (yours truly included) to get their head around when comparing these two different type of vehicles is to determine cost per mile in cents.

    The Focus’ 31 mpg city/highway average @ $3.65 per gallon works out to 11.7¢ per mile.

    What’s missing in the above article is the retail cost of electric per kilowatt hour (kWh.) Here is Tucson, we pay 11¢ per kWh. The Leaf’ has a 24kW battery. At 11¢ per kWh, it cost $2.64 to fully charge the battery. The Leaf’s EPA combined city/highway range is 73 miles. Divide $2.64 (cost to fully charge the battery @ 11¢ per kWh) by 73 (EPA combined city/highway range) and you get 3.6¢ per mile.

    If anything, the “pennies per mile” calculation end up being a slightly more conservative number than eMPG. But the comparison between a Leaf and an ICE Focus is still roughly a factor of three. Here again, though, I’m not sure of the exact price per kWh the EPA uses when figuring out their eMPG number.

  • Juan tome

    Recently I have been noticing that the community commenting here holds some clear misconceptions about Fuel Cell vehicles and their viability vs Battery powered vehicles.

    The largest of these misconceptions is that it is significantly more efficient and less polluting to charge a battery than to create hydrogen. This simply is not true, as it is actually more efficient to electrolyze hydrogen using a thermal source (up to 80%) than to create and distribute electricity from a thermal source (50-60% for CCGTs, lower for other methods like biomass geothermal etc). And it just so happens that most of the originating energy in the world is thermal.

    Other misconceptions about FCEVs surround the fuel economy, the weight, the cost to manufacture, the reliability, and the material lifecycle (recyclability). In the latter 4 areas, fuel cell vehicles hold a significant edge over battery powered vehicles.

    Toyota and Honda are betting on fuel cell vehicles because they have as much experience with auto scale batteries as anyone else (toyota actually owns lithium mines) and they realize that bringing the cost of lithium ion batteries down significantly in the near term for international scale is extremely difficult if not a fools errand entirely. They also understand that the cost of electricity would not remain low if EV adoption was significant, and that the getting the range and resale value to be reasonable will be necessary for common adoption.

    Fuel cells on the other hand are a very immature technology with great potential to benefit from economies of scale that batteries already have.

    If Toyota and Honda are doing something I would take note.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “The largest of these misconceptions is that it is significantly more efficient and less polluting to charge a battery than to create hydrogen. This simply is not true, as it is actually more efficient to electrolyze hydrogen from a thermal source (up to 80%) than to create and distribute electricity from a thermal source (50-60% for CCGTs).”

      Anyone can set up a bogus situation in which they can force their desired outcome.

      “Thermal source” = nuclear. Building a large number of nuclear plants in order to cook up some H2 = fail.

      “Other misconceptions about FCEVs is the fuel economy, the weight, the cost to manufacture, the reliability, and the material lifecycle (recyclability). In the latter 4 areas, fuel cell vehicles hold a significant edge.”

      Fuel economy. FCEVs aren’t winners if they take over twice as much energy to generate their fuel. Weight is not as important as overall cost to operate, again FCEVs come in a distant second. Cost to manufacture, the jury is out on that one and will be for several years. Right now one can buy a luxury long range EV for about the same price that a rather ordinary FCEV is expected to be brought to market next year. Material lifecycle, hard to know how FCEVs win here. Batteries are recyclable, more or less than fuel cells? Everything else in the two is a wash.

      “Toyota and Honda are betting on fuel cell vehicles because they have as much experience with auto scale batteries”

      Really? Both started their FCEV programs back when batteries wouldn’t do the job. Now they are continuing with a program that has likely failed, but we’ll see.

      “Fuel cells on the other hand are a very immature technology with great potential to benefit from economies of scale that batteries already have.”
      Economy of scale is expected to bring the cost of EVs below that of ICEVs. Doubtful that FCEVs could move significantly below that. We’ll have to wait to see.

      ​”​
      If Toyota and Honda are doing something I would take note.
      ​”

      ​Take note. Over the next few years we’ll see this drama unfold. If FCEVs can reach ICEV levels first and get an adequate number of fuel stations up and running they might have a chance.​

      ​ But only a long term chance if a) battery prices don’t drop as expected and/or b) FCEVs can be sold cheaper than EVs, cheaper enough to cover their higher operating costs.

      But, good job trying to sell snake oil. You might want to look at a career in door-to-door vacuum cleaner marketing.​

      • Juan tome

        Bob if you were not aware the majority of the energy globally is thermal in its originating source. Electrolyzing hydrogen is also advantageous because unlike an BEV storing hydrogen can have a larger practical charge cap without as large of an investment as batteries, which allows for the excess generation that may occur as a result of larger penetrations of renewables

        The Honda FCEV coming out will have a fuel economy rating of around 80 miles/ kg hydrogen, which is actually pretty stellar. The regenerative breaking system really helps.

        Another misconception BEV advocates have is that if the platform were widely adopted electricity costs would remain similar to what they are today – thats simply untrue. Add on top of that the shorter lifecycle of the battery pack compared to the fuel cell stack and the overall cost of maintenance is similar with a resale advantage going to the FCEV.

        Bob, research Li Ion battery recycling, you may be surprised to know that only a small percentage of the battery material is salvaged in current recycling methods due to economics and the difficulty in seperating the materials.

        “Really? Both started their FCEV programs back when batteries wouldn’t
        do the job. Now they are continuing with a program that has likely
        failed, but we’ll see.”

        and note that both have discontinued their EV offerings.

        I think it is funny that you equate calculated investments of billions by Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai into fuel cell technology as “snake oil”. Toyota reported that the 2015 FCEV they are releasing has a 95% cost reduction compared to the model they released in 2002.

        Here’s some final food for thought: How many billions of lithium ion battery cells have been produced for commercial use globally? How many thousands of Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell stacks have been produced for commercial use globally? What would one expect this to mean in terms of the future cost curve of each? Which is more resource intensive? Which functions more like the technology that has dominated the market for the past century?

        • Bob_Wallace

          Juan, I am so aware that the majority of the world’s electricity comes from thermal – fossil fuels.

          I am also so aware that we must cut the use of fossil fuels by a very large percent over the coming years.

          Nuclear is too expensive to consider. Fossil fuels must go. The heat from neither is a route to affordable and responsible hydrogen.

          Hydrogen from renewable electricity is too expensive to be competitive with EVs.

          Perhaps H2 FCEV will take over from ICEVs. I don’t see that happening.
          I do see Toyota and Honda selling some FCEVs for a while during the time we foolishly run FCEVs (indirectly) on natural gas and pump carbon into our atmosphere. FCEV advocates are screwing the environment by pushing FCEV which won’t be run on clean H2 until we use up a few years of shale gas and the price of NG rises too high to keep using it for hydrogen.

          At that point hydrogen will become expensive. During that time batteries will enjoy increased capacity and falling prices. And, IMO, FCEVs will go the way of the dodo bird. Of course a couple of car companies will have made some money and helped warm the planted in the meantime.

          • Juan tome

            Bob, a majority of global primary energy consumption is for the purpose of generating heat – like industrial processes and chemical processes or heating residences and buildings, or creating fuel or desalinzing water…. So we aren’t going to turn to purely electric generators to create that heat as that would be a step backwards in efficiency, and of course thermal sources are much cheaper than non-hydro electric sources which is why they dominate 90% of the market. So I find it unlikely that expensive and marginal intermittent sources will be able to reach a high penetration against thermal sources that are so vital to so many economic processes.

            Toyota, Honda, and GM have each spent well over a billion dollars in FCEV research and development, so I don’t think they are in it for the niche profits that will be available in CA. They are in it because they actually believe in the future of fuel cells. If they believed in batteries they wouldnt be allowing Tesla to take the lead in that area.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I disagree.

            As renewable becomes cheaper we’re going to see, we’re already seeing, thermal heating being replaced by heat pumps.

            Thermal sources are not cheaper if we’re talking fossil fuel thermal and doing full accounting.

          • Juan tome

            Thats a good point, heat pumps are great for residential heating. but in the north most have to supplement heat pumps with natural gas, though there is certainly a reduction in usage.

        • eveee

          You have not even considered the lack of water to operate all the thermal PP. That is a limitation.

          • Juan tome

            Not necessarily. Smaller reactor cores of SMRs dont require continuous introduction of water for cooling, instead maintaining a single pool is adequate.

          • eveee

            Not just to cool the reactors, but to create hydrogen.

          • Juan tome

            That would be a consideration for a hydrogen economy, but wide scale use of desalination is an inevitability anyhow as Im sure you are already aware that the Western US will continue to be water constrained without it.

    • First of all, no one here mentioned FCVs until you brought them up.

      2nd, FCVs aren’t even as clean as a Prius, let along an EV!

      http://cleantechnica.com/2014/06/04/hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-about-not-clean/

      http://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/20/fuel-cell-vehicle-ghg-emissions/

      FCVs are a dead end, thankfully. But you can drive down that road if you want…

      • Juan tome

        Yes I did bring them up.

        Allow me to educate you Zachary Shahan:
        Hydrogen can be either steam reformed from natural gas or electrolytically produced from water using thermal input such as geothermal, biomass, solar thermal, or nuclear power. Today the vast majority of electricity produced globally is from thermal sources. The efficiency with which we can derive Hydrogen from thermal sources is actually higher than the efficiency with which we can create electricity. Concerning roundtrip efficiencies FCEVs powered by thermal sources are similar in efficiency to EVs, and they offer better range, refill time, and resale value to boot. The telling factor will be whether they can come down in price enough.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Learn some physics, Juan.

          It takes a lot of energy to crack water into hydrogen and oxygen. It takes energy to compress hydrogen in order to haul it around. It takes more than 2x as much energy to drive FCEVs per mile on clean hydrogen as to drive an EV per mile.

          • Juan tome

            As an engineer I’ve taken a fair share of physics courses….. have you Bob? What is your occupational or academic experience?

            H2 production from Steam Methane Reformation or Electrolysis can achieve efficiencies up to 80% and 85% respectively:

            http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/
            http://www.iea.org/techno/esse

            Generating electricity from a CCGT is about 50- 60% efficient depending on load profile and before accounting for transmission losses. A typical single cycle thermal plant is half as efficient: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C

            According to the EPA, automotive fuel cell vehicles operate at efficiencies between 40-70%, though new models incorporating the added efficiency of regenerative braking are going to be close to the top end of that range.
            http://www.epa.gov/fuelcell/ba

            According to Tesla, their vehicle efficiency from charging station to wheels is about 88% depending on driving habits. http://www.teslamotors.com/goe

            Average transmission and distribution losses for electricity in the US were estimated at 6.5% in 2007. http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/

            If carried by pipeline hydrogen distribution losses can be around 0.2% as evidenced by the previous use of “towngas” in Germany. If carried by vehicle the losses are closer to 7% (assuming inefficient ICE delivery). Compression losses are reported to be between 8-10% of hydrogen energy content. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy99o

            so lets assume:

            75% H2 production * 92% compression * 93% delivery by truck * 70% FCEV efficiency = ~45% overall FCEV efficiency

            55% CCGT electrical production * 94% transmission * 88% BEV efficiency = ~45.4% overall BEV efficiency

            So the two technologies are actually pretty close in efficiency when we account for the fact that the common generation method available at peak EV charging times is a thermal plant, and delivering H2 by pipeline as has been done extensively in the past may actually give FCEVs an
            efficiency edge.

            I’d hazard to say that Toyota and Honda have each
            thoroughly gone over such calculations with the best data available, and the R&D and deployment commitments of each on this issue speak for themselves.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You can do a lot of math but if you leave out facts you end up with a wrong answer.

            I’m not sure what your links are suppose to tell us, both they both lead nowhere.

            Show us data on H2 produced via electrolysis at efficiencies in the 80% to 85% range. Not hypothetical, but proven.

            We cannot afford to run our vehicles on NG. Both for climatic and economic/supply reasons.

            I’d say that Toyota and Honda started a FCEV program back when EV batteries weren’t very promising and that program built an adequate amount of momentum that carried it forward.

            Now Toyota and Honda, having spent the big bucks on research, are playing out their not very promising hands just in the event that somehow battery tech crashes. Sort of like being the minority candidate in a “can’t win” election. Might as well go through the motions in case the obvious winner stumbles crossing the finish line.

          • Juan tome

            Sorry these are downloadable PDF links so I am having trouble linking them for some reason – but rest assured they are real if you are willing to google search as such:

            “Hydrogen production using Geothermal energy”
            – a downloadable file from digital commons at Utah State University. Page 50 is the discussion on obtained efficiencies.

            “Hydrogen Production & Distribution (No.5- April 2007)” from the IEA. Methods and efficiencies for virtually all practical and less practical methods of hydrogen production are discussed.

            The thing about your argument above that doesnt quite add up is that both Toyota and Honda are more than capable of beating (pummeling even) Tesla in the EV market due to the sheer amount of resources they have in comparison. Tesla is a very impressive company…. but they are not Toyota, not even close, and if the future prospects for Battery vehicles were such a sure thing I am extremely curious as to why Toyota and Honda would not be trying to corner the market from the start especially when both were pivotal with introducing batteries into hybrids and Toyota happens to own Lithium mining operations…..

        • eveee

          You are ignoring hydrogen transmission infrastructure, storage, and conversion to mechanical energy. All lossy functions. Even if electrolysis where suddenly magically 100% efficient, FCEV would still be less efficient than EVs. Note that FCEV has EV at the end of it. All the FC part is additional expense and loss. By the time (if ever) FCEV efficiency, cost, and infrastructure issues are ironed out, EVs will have too much range to bother with FCEVs and the whole range argument will be dead. It strike on as almost humorous to sell a vehicle to someone and say, I filled it up with hydrogen, but there are only a few filling stations, so better fill up every chance you get. Does not seem to matter what range they have if you have to drive 400 miles to find a filling station.

          • Juan tome

            Im not ignoring those things.

            H2 production from Steam Methane Reformation or Electrolysis can achieve efficiencies up to 80% and 85% respectively:

            http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1038&context=etd
            http://www.iea.org/techno/essentials5.pdf

            Generating electricity from a CCGT is about 50- 60% efficient depending on load profile and before accounting for transmission losses.

            According to the EPA, automotive fuel cells operate at efficiencies between 40-70%, though new models incorporating the added efficiency of regenerative braking are going to be close to the top end of that range.

            According to Tesla, their vehicle efficiency from charging station to wheels is about 88% depending on driving habits. http://www.teslamotors.com/goelectric/efficiency

            Average transmission and distribution losses for electricity in the US were estimated at 6.5% in 2007. http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=105&t=3

            If carried by pipeline hydrogen distribution losses can be around 0.2% as evidenced by the previous use of “towngas” in Germany. If carried by vehicle the losses are closer to 7% (assuming inefficient ICE delivery). Compression losses are reported to be between 8-10% of hydrogen energy content. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy99osti/25106.pdf

            so lets assume:

            75% H2 production * 92% compression * 93% delivery by truck * 70% FCEV efficiency = ~45% overall FCEV efficiency

            55% CCGT electrical production * 94% transmission * 88% BEV efficiency = ~45.4% overall BEV efficiency

            So the two technologies are actually closer in efficiency than one might think, and delivering H2 by pipeline as has been done extensively in the past may give FCEVs an efficiency edge.

          • eveee

            You just ignored them again. Pumping losses to transmit the hydrogen through pipes, compression into cylinders and conversion back to mechanical energy. BEVs are equivalent to the last FCEV step. You are ignoring transmission and storage losses. Not to mention all the costs and weight of high pressure vessels and the cost of the fuel cell. Those are all unique to FCEV. FCEV even needs a battery because it has low power output. Face it. FCEV are just toast. All you did was discount the electrolysis loss by using heat. That does not even mean the heat was cheap, either, or the conversion was not a loss. What do you think that does the electrical efficiency of a NPP? It drops. That is to speak nothing of the actual capital and development costs. The system still has to be designed and there are no such combines nuclear, hydrogen units. That does not even consider the dangers of operating a hydrogen generation in combination with nuclear. What could go wrong?

          • Juan tome

            reread – I account for compression and pipeline losses above.

      • Juan tome

        Zach, when I read the articles you link I cringe at how they simply don’t provide information about the calculations and graphs provided.

        For instance: One graph shows the Hyundai Tucson is substantially less efficient when it comes to using renewable energy…. but what type of renewable energy are we talking about here? Because if it is biomass, solar thermal, geothermal, or nuclear then the Hyundai Tucson is comparable to a BEV….. As of today over 90% of global energy is thermal in source, a large share of the non-thermal electricity is hydro, and Biomass usage world wide is greater than wind and solar combined.

        And the estimates for fuel economy are likely off as well. Take for instance Hondas latest FCEV which is estimated at 80 miles per kg H2, a substantial improvement over previous models…….

        all in all I find it highly unbecoming of a site to declare a clear winner based on so little information, and to present graphs and figures in such a way that obscures the basic assumptions for input values.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “Because if it is biomass, solar thermal, geothermal, or nuclear then the Hyundai Tucson is comparable to a BEV…..

          Show your math, Juan. I think you’re tossing bull. Show us how one extracts H2 from water,compresses, and distributes it for the same per mile cost of running an EV.

          • Juan tome

            Here is my math with sources for all figures, let me know what you think:

            H2 production from Steam Methane Reformation or Electrolysis can achieve efficiencies up to 80% and 85% respectively:

            http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/
            http://www.iea.org/techno/esse

            Generating electricity from a CCGT is about 50- 60% efficient depending on load profile and before accounting for transmission losses. A typical single cycle thermal plant is half as efficient: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C

            Accordingto the EPA, automotive fuel cell vehicles operate at efficiencies between 40-70%, though new models incorporating the added efficiency of regenerative braking are going to be close to the top end of that range.
            http://www.epa.gov/fuelcell/ba

            According to Tesla, their vehicle efficiency from charging station to wheels is about 88% depending on driving habits. http://www.teslamotors.com/goe

            Average transmission and distribution losses for electricity in the US were estimated at 6.5% in 2007. http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/

            If carried by pipeline hydrogen distribution losses can be around 0.2% as evidenced by the previous use of “towngas” in Germany. If carried by vehicle the losses are closer to 7% (assuming inefficient ICE delivery). Compression losses are reported to be between 8-10% of hydrogen energy
            content. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy99o

            so lets assume:

            75% H2 production * 92% compression * 93% delivery by truck * 70% FCEV efficiency = ~45% overall FCEV efficiency

            55% CCGT electrical production * 94% transmission * 88% BEV efficiency = ~45.4% overall BEV efficiency

            So the two technologies are actually pretty close in efficiency when we account for the fact that the common generation method available at peak EV charging times is a thermal plant, and delivering H2 by pipeline as has been done extensively in the past may actually give FCEVs an
            efficiency edge.

            I’d hazard to say that Toyota and Honda have each
            thoroughly gone over such calculations with the best data available, and the R&D and deployment commitments of each on this issue speak for themselves.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Can we get real?

            We will not build coal plants in order to produce H2. Coal is a dead man twitching.

            It makes no sense to use NG to produce H2. First, there’s the energy loss and, second, there’s the carbon problem. Willing to burn NG to power your car? Then burn the NG is a fuel cell, don’t go through all the energy loss steps that H2 would involve.

            You can do all the math you like with NG, but it does not solve the GHG problem. Furthermore a NG transportation system would be short lived. We’d simply run out of NG much sooner than we already will.

            What you’re left with is nuclear. And nuclear is too expensive.

          • Juan tome

            It makes as much sense to use NG to produce H2 as it does to create electricity from NG to charge a BEV, and the FCEV potentially offers range, refill, and resale advantages over the BEV.

            Nuclear doesn’t appear to be too expensive, another 2 reactor constructions are going to be announced by years end in the Southeast.

            Nuclear + renewables is the best policy. Will probably need some CCS for fossils and biomass in the interim.

    • JamesWimberley

      What Bob says on nuclear, etc. The majority of the world’s energy sources today are carbon-emitting fossil fuels. The whole idea of the energy transition is to replace these. If you are going to wreck the climate anyway by burning fuels, why bother with doing it the expensive roundabout way through hydrogen rather than just shoving the hydrocarbons into an ICE? You would admittedly cut vehicle-generated smog, a significant but local problem. This is looking at the globe’s energy through LA spectacles.

      • Juan tome

        Three reasons:

        1. Biomass, nuclear, geothermal, solar thermal, and fossil fuels with CCS are likely to play a substantial role in the future when it comes to regulating the grid. You may cringe when I say CCS but consider the enormous investments China and India have made recently in coal capacity, these countries will not shutdown these heavy capital assets to react to climate policy, they will instead retrofit with CCS technology as it a) makes more economic sense than investing in completely new capacity of any type, and b) there is an entrenched and powerful coal lobby in these regions.

        2. FCVs offer range, refill time, and maintained resale value that thus far batteries seem unable to achieve.

        3. We have produced a fraction of a fraction of PEM fuel cells when compared to Li-ion battery cells, and if either has a more promising cost curve it would seem to be fuel cells. Add to this that fuel cells are much less resource intensive and have a cheaper over all lifecycle and I think there are numerous numerous reasons why Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai are so bullish on fuel cells.

        • Bob_Wallace

          CCS is not cheap. One does not simple bolt some capture device to a smoke stack.

          It will not make financial sense to either convert existing coal plants or build new plants with CCS.

          I don’t think you understand how inexpensive wind and solar have become.

          • Juan tome

            I think Steven Chu would tend to disagree with you.

            Great if solar is cheap, that means it will account for more than 0.5% of our domestic electricity soon right? Should pass the 1% mark really quickly right?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes. Faster than nuclear gained it’s first 1%.

            Nuclear appeared in 1957. By 1970, 13 years later, nuclear had grown to 0.3%.

            Solar had a token presence (0.01%) on the grid starting in 1989 but didn’t start it’s present growth spurt until 2008 In the 5 years between 2008 and 2013 solar grew to 0.23%.

            That’s roughly twice the growth rate of nuclear.

          • Juan tome

            The discovery of the photovoltaic effect actually predates the discovery of nuclear fission by 99 years, and Western electric was selling licenses for practical silicon PV cells as early as 1955.

            PV is also much easier and less capital intensive to perform research and experimentation on than nuclear fission due to the federal sensitivity of radioactive elements and the large cost for equipment and over-sight involved with the latter.

            I would say we have hardly scratched the surface of the potential of either technology -nuclear for innovation or PV for sophisticated practical deployment. So I see a future where both will play big roles…. but in the interim we need to go with what works to replace coal today – and that is nuclear.

          • eveee

            When it was discovered has nothing to do with market introduction and growth rates. First, it has to come down in price to parity with existing competitors. At that point, adoption is rapid. Remember the introduction of cell phones? Seen many phone booths lately? Nuclear has had decades to show whether it is useful or not. Construction cost are rising and the history of cancellation, early shut down, etc. shows a dismal pattern. Currently, nuclear generation is in decline. Against that backdrop, nuclear cheerleaders insist that a miracle is just around the corner. Its a dream. Nuclear energy began declining before Fukushima.

            http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-global-decline-of-nuclear-energy-by-mycle-schneider-and-antony-froggatt

          • Juan tome

            Yes and as noted Western Electric was selling licenses for practical silicon PV cells as early as 1955.

          • jeffhre

            Chevrolet’s battery pack replacement cost is $2400 after the 100,000 mile warranty, and Nissan’s is $5500. Like putting a new motor and transmission in an eight year old car? Why?

          • Bob_Wallace

            You mean the Chevy Volt? If so, much smaller battery pack.

            The Volt is a PHEV with about 40 miles of range.

            I’m not sure about the Volt price. There was a large discussion some time back but no conclusion as best as I can remember.

        • dgaetano

          “…maintained resale value that thus far batteries seem unable to achieve.”

          The reason EVs don’t maintain their resale value is because the tech is changing quickly (their most pricey component keeps getting cheaper). That’s unfortunate for those who are selling used ones, but great for those who are buying new ones (better product for less money, just like computers, cell phones, etc).

          Perversely once the technology stagnates you’ll start to see them maintain their value.

          • Juan tome

            actually they lose resale value because the battery pack is so expensive. A vehicle with 120k miles on it that needs a new $10,000 battery pack (parts+ labor) does not have a whole lot of resale value.

          • eveee

            When a Nissan Leaf is sold, its list price is 29k. The buyer pays considerably less given the incentives, about 22k. Dealers are selling new ones for that price if they get the government incentive. Taken in that context, the depreciation to 22k looks a little different. After that point, the depreciation is more in line with conventional autos.

          • Juan tome

            I doubt a Nissan Leaf at 100k with original battery pack would call for nearly as much as a fully loaded Accord, or Altima costing a comparable amount. It seems that that is the prevailing opinion among analysts.

        • eveee

          FCVs? You are beating a dead horse. Where are the affordable FCVs? Where is the network of hydrogen filling stations? How much is it going to cost? Its pointless to have a longer range if you cannot even drive to a hydrogen filling station. FCEVs use 3 to 4x the energy of BEVs. How is that cheaper? How will 3X the energy of BEVs be provided? Earlier you mentioned how most energy consumption is not electrical as detractor for wind and solar. Then you left out nuclear having the same disadvantage. Now you throw in FCEVs and again come with bias. Get with a consistent argument. EVs are an argument for electrical generation. That includes wind and solar. Now you are arguing for the least efficient and most energy intensive transportation, FCEVs. You are mixed up.

          • Juan tome

            “Then you left out nuclear having the same disadvantage”

            Nuclear is a thermal source, it can create hydrogen with a thermal efficiency that is as high or higher (depending on method) as it can create electricity. Same with Geothermal or Solar Thermal. And hydrogen, unlike electricity, is an energy storage medium which provides the plant a greater ability to optimize capacity factor.

    • Steve Grinwis

      When hydrogen fuel stations are as ubiquitous as EV chargers are now, hydrogen will become borderline feasible. So we’re going to need a couple thousand stations at a couple million each.

      By that time, I expect there to be a big a/c charger in every coffee shop parking lot. The infrastructure for hydrogen is too expensive.

      • Bob_Wallace

        We really don’t need chargers at coffee shops.

        About 50% of all drivers already have an available outlet where they park (either at night or during the day). Some of the remaining people will need to install an outlet at their home. That is not a major expense. Just a simple 120 vac or 240 vac outlet.

        For the others we’ll need metered outlets at workplaces, schools and along sidewalks. Nothing but an outlet that will measure the amount of electricity used and bill the EV owners account. Mass produced, those outlets should cost under $100.

        With its internal 6.6 kW charger the Leaf can charge up about 18 miles per hour from a 240 vac outlet. That’s 144 miles during an 8 hour work day.

        Just outlets. That’s all we need.

        (And L3/supercharers along our major travel routes for our non-routine days when we take long trips.)

        • Steve Grinwis

          EVSE ‘S which the EV community refers to as chargers, are really just outlets, but with lots of built in safety equipment. You want EVSE’S running at 240 volt, so that the internal chargers on the car can charge as quickly as they are able.

          If you put up outlets, then EV drivers have to supply their own portable evse, compatible with the plug. Better to just install the whole evse, and have the plug be a standard J1772 SAE . evse can be made pretty cheap, with 60 amp units going for $500. That’s cheap enough.

        • Michael B

          6.6kW should provide closer to 25 miles per hour for any reasonable driving of a LEAF. (No?)

          • Bob_Wallace

            I just used Nissan’s time to charge data (from Wiki) and the EPA range number. I would assume it not hard to improve on the EPA range and feedback from the cars information system may train drivers to save. But I figured using standard numbers would be the most “defensible”.

        • jeffhre

          There is a company in Germany that has software that measures EV electricity use at common $3.25 120 Volt outlets like those from Lowes or Home Depot – without modification.

      • Juan tome

        We’ll see Steve. You see a hydrogen network as an economic chore, I think entrepreneurs will see it as an opportunity.

        • Bob_Wallace

          And would investors see H2 infrastructure as a good investment?

          Let’s see. You’re going to invest many, many billions to create an industry that is likely to be undercut by EVs if batteries do nothing other than continue to improve as they have been over the last few years.
          Yep, that sounds like a good place to invest. We all look for places with a good chance of failure to put our money.

          • Juan tome

            I guess Toyota and Honda are just being lead by idiots then, throwing away billions on FCEV research and discontinuing their EV offerings even though EVs are the sure thing right? These companies clearly don’t know what they are doing right?

          • Bob_Wallace

            It definitely could be that Toyota and Honda are being led by idiots.

            Most other car companies have made their bet on PHEVs and EVs. It could be that they are being led by idiots.

            (Neither are idiots. Just people making the wrong call.)

            I suppose we’ll have to wait and see which group ends up on the losing end. Based on what we know about the two technologies at the moment my guess is that Toyota and Honda are investing a idea that will fail.

            All EVs have to do is to produce an adequate range (min. 150 solid, all conditions miles) for under $30k and the checkered flag will drop.

            FCEVs, according to Toyota, need to reach 100,000 units per year in order to make them affordable. As they won’t even be on the market until next year, at the earliest, they’d have to find an enormous number of people who would be willing to pay well over $50k for a run of the mill quality car in order to hit 100k. I just don’t think there are than many H2 fanboys.

            Anyone with $70k to spend on a ride is likely to go with a luxury car with great performance and almost as much range as a FCEV.

          • Juan tome

            according to toyota what now? do you have a source for that?

            Ive read reports Toyota expects the FCEV cost to drop another 50% by the mid 2020s. It dropped 95% from 2002 to the 2015 model.

            We will see indeed… important to note that the new FCEV is a hybrid with battery technology for regenerative braking – so a plug in hydrogen vehicle might be the best platform of all.

          • jeffhre

            No. That is why Toyota and Hyundai are demanding that governments put vastly more funding into stations that use steam reformed natural gas.

            In lieu of building their own networks like tiny Tesla.

          • Juan tome

            Actually as part of the CA ZEV program Tesla was required to build a certain amount of charging stations to qualify for the rebate their products got….. only they never held up on their end of the bargain to build as many fast charge stations as mandated by the state.

            Give it 5-10 years and we will have a better idea. Until then we are spinning our wheels.

          • eveee

            The EV wheels are spinning on the road. The FCEV wheels are fake for the cameras. Your statements appear more biased over time. First you argue that there is not enough wind and solar market penetration and they are not doing enough, then you claim FCEVs are whiz bang wonders despite doing nothing of note. Your commitment to the principle of ideas is weak.

  • JamesWimberley

    The cumulative cost of ownership chart does not strike me as fair. You have to take account of the capital cost of the vehicle. If you are paying cash up front, the Leaf costs $4,890 more. The running costs are lower by $1.273 a year, so the lines cross at 3.84 years. With no discounting, you are in the money after 4 years. With discounting, better say 5. The car will last 15 years, so it’s still a good deal. Not quite so good if you have to replace the battery half-way outside the warranty; it’s hard to estimate a risk or price for this. You can’t of course put a price on saving the planet.

    • Bob_Wallace

      We know the price of a Leaf battery replacement. $5,499 (with trade in).

      Looks like if you make it to a bit over 8 years with the original battery and have to replace you’re still ahead of the Focus.

      If you’ve worn out your battery in 8 years you’ve probably also driving more miles than average and enjoyed more fuel savings.

      • Steve Grinwis

        We have every indication that these fairly advanced chemistries with their advanced battery management systems are doing very well in the field.

        • Mint

          Field data for batteries is, IMO, the most important thing needed for EVs/PHEVs to take off.

          Once fleet managers are sure that EV batteries last, they’ll be flocking to the savings.

          Once automakers are sure they last 10+ years, we’ll see them adopt the smartphone model: Sell EVs at a discount (cheaper than ICEs), but charge $3 per “eGallon” every 35 miles for the life of the car.

          I could even see a third party doing this, possibly using crowd-funding like Mosaic. Help someone buy an EV, get gas savings back as payments.

          • Steve Grinwis

            That pricing model is terrible. I’d never buy an EV with a pricing strucure like that. I want the savings in my pocket, and am capable of doing enough math to work out the break even poitns.

          • Mint

            You are capable, but most people aren’t.

            I always thought the idea of a $200 iPhone was laughable, but people bought into the ludicrous notion. That’s a $2000+ contract. I’ve always been on prepaid because I’m a numbers guy, but I’m clearly in the minority.

            People don’t like doing math. But if they see a lower up-front price and lower fuel price, then it becomes a no-brainter.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Sell EVs at a discount (cheaper than ICEs), but charge $3 per “eGallon” every 35 miles f or the life of the car.”

            How do they do that?

          • Mint

            It’s very easy for a car to be connected and monitor both mileage and charging current, and for the owner to get a bill for usage or even autopay. “eGallon” is just a name for the concept as opposed to anything physical.

            Even better is for the automaker to strike a deal with utilities for a low power rate at night, so that your utility bill shows “EV charging: X kWh, paid by GM”. No separate meter is needed for the EV. Electricity costs would only consume a small part of the $3 per 35 mile charge.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I suppose that would be a good deal for a low mileage driver.

            People who drive average miles and more would likely go for a straight purchase.

            A few people won’t understand the math. At least their first time around.

          • JamesWimberley

            Battery leasing is the feasible route.

          • Jason Willhite

            Wasn’t that Shai Agassi’s failed vision for Better Place? People would own the car, but the lease the battery and swap it at swapping stations. He had compared their EV to a cell phone. People buy cell phones, but they pay their provider to maintain service…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes. Renault built some EVs for the battery swap system, but no car company really seems to have warmed up to the idea.

            My guess, based on that, is that the battery specialists inside the car companies are fairly certain that we won’t need swapping. That we will have higher capacity batteries within a short time frame.

            Companies can sign non-disclosure agreements and see what is happening behind doors that we can’t open.

          • jeffhre

            I think it adds more evidence that car companies, aside from Tesla, do not want to be involved in any infrastructure investment, apart from dealerships.

      • JamesWimberley

        We know the battery replacement price today. That gives us an upper bound, which is useful But the future price after the warranty expires is still guesswork. It will very probably be lower in 8 years, but by how much?

        • beernotwar

          If current trends continue the replacement batteries are likely to be cheaper, have greater capacity and be lighter. It will be like when the hard drive in your computer needs replacing: it sucks to pay to replace it but you’ll get a better system out of the deal.

        • phoenix

          I also think it will be lower in 8 years, but Nissan has admitted that the replacement price is currently a loss-maker for them, so it’s not clear-cut as an upper bound.
          http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1093463_nissan-leaf-5500-battery-replacement-loses-money-company-admits

    • Yeah, that cost of ownership chart looked odd to me. They apparently used this DOE calculator: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/calc/

  • 1TrueOne55

    What I am shocked at is that EV’s are not cheaper to maintain ie fuel or charge costs. When EV manufacturers get off the external chargers and update their designs to include rolling chargers ie take the rotational engine or driveshaft components and add EV charging circuits that would recharge battery while driving. You have four corners/wheels that could do that chore.

    It’s the surprising lack of that kind of technology that makes these vehicles less inviting for me…

    • Bob_Wallace

      Have you obtained a patent on that perpetual motion design of yours?

      • 1TrueOne55

        Really don’t need a patent just attach an alternator near a rotating shaft on the drive line like those pumps on NASCAR racers or even take brake rotors and add parts to generate current while moving. ETC.

        • Steve Grinwis

          Dude. Lrn2Phsyics.

          What you are describing is provably impossible.

          Regen is pretty efficient but doesn’t result in net energy gains. Because physics.

        • Bob_Wallace

          First, EVs have regenerative braking. The drive motors serve as generators when the car slows/brakes.

          Second, you’re violating the laws of physics if you’re thinking we could take power from the battery, use it to propel the car, use the forward motion of the car to drive a generator, and put more power back into the battery.

          That would require a large dose of magic.

  • Steve Grinwis

    Your co2 emissions for your leaf are shockingly high. But I’m somewhat spoiled by the low co2 intensity of Ontario power. We have a large proportion of power provided by hydro, and no coal plants.

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    • Juan tome

      Dont forget nuclear, it accounts for about half of Ontario’s electricity and is emission free.

      • Doug Cutler

        Sure, keep existing nuclear under tight safety regulation. But Ontario recently reviewed the expansion of existing nuclear capacity then balked when costs threatened to balloon to $24B – this based on past experience with cost overruns of double and triple initial estimates. Ontario is also phasing out sales of incandescent lighting in favour of LEDs. Mid-size Ontario city I live in just finished replacing all street and traffic lights with LED. This should keep demand flat for the near term. By the time new gen is required, falling cost of wind and solar combined with the prospect of affordable grid storage will look more and more like the future.

        • Juan tome

          Yes the nuclear capacity additions didnt seem to make much sense according to demand forecast.

          But this common narrative that grid storage is sure to be cheap enough to be mated with wind or solar to make a dispatchable plant is more wishful thinking than anything else, once one actually studies the costs involved and the capacities and utilization of said storage: http://theenergycollective.com/schalk-cloete/421716/seeking-consensus-internalized-costs-energy-storage-batteries

          Batteries have yet to break the cost barrier where they are economically viable in a functional regime where they see high utilization on the grid – such as frequency regulation. They are an order of magnitude too costly yet to be directly mated to wind or solar plants to create a dispatchable output, because in this instance they would need to exist in very large capacities to fill resource gaps and would see very low utilization meaning the capital cost recovery or ammortization period for such an investment in batteries would be very long and expensive. http://theenergycollective.com/schalk-cloete/421716/seeking-consensus-internalized-costs-energy-storage-batteries

          The thing about predicting cost reduction curves for electrochemical storage is that the area is extremely extremely mature in terms of research, production, and deployment…. So without an unforeseen breakthrough in material science it is simply unlikely that battery storage is going to be a practical addition to a wind or solar farm in the near future…. and climate change is a battle that needs to be fought now.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “But this common narrative that grid storage is sure to be cheap enough to be mated with wind or solar to make a dispatchable plant is more wishful thinking than anything else.”

            Let’s see, new nuclear cost from 11 cents upward. With subsidies. (I’ll be super fair to nuclear and let it keep its subsidies while removing them for wind and solar.)
            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/citigroup-says-the-age-of-renewables-has-begun http://www.energypost.eu/age-renewables-begun-solar-power-continues-shoot-cost-curve/
            New wind costs about 4 cents without subsidies. New solar costs about 8 cents without subsidies.
            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/The-Price-Gap-Is-Closing-Between-Renewables-and-Natural-Gas http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/big-solar-now-competing-with-wind-energy-on-costs-75962
            So how expensive would storage have to be in order for nuclear to be an option?

            It’s reasonable to think we’ll get about 40% of our electricity directly from 4c wind. And 30% directly from 8c solar. So we’d need to store a mix of 6c wind and solar for the other 30%. (BTW, solar prices are going to continue to fall.) Let’s do some math –

            0.4 * 4c + 0.3 * 8c + 0.3x = 11c. Now let’s solve for x in order to see how expensive storage would have to be to allow nuclear to be a player.
            x = 22. Storage would have to be 22 cents/kWh to allow nuclear in the game.
            We have storage for under 10 cents.

          • Juan tome

            Lol

            alright allow me to go hop on my pig now and fly to Tijuana.

            The way you tell it solar and wind are soon going to be powering our nation…. yet as of today they provide 2% of our primary energy combined.

            I have a feeling if they were as cheap as you insist they are then we would see a much higher usage. PV panels have been cheap for some 4 or 5 years now and the growth relative to total energy share hasn’t been all that big.

            Please respond with whatever you want, but its not going to change reality.

          • jeffhre

            2% combined – in what year?

            PV Panels have been “cheap” for some insolation regimes, for about 18 months. Have you examined the growth rate in the last 24 months?

          • Bob_Wallace

            2% combined in 2009.

            Just to get a fact on the table…. ;o)

            Just for reference installed solar in Germany was € 4110 per kWp at the beginning of 2009. As of this month it has dropped to € 1,350. A 3x drop in cost.

          • Juan tome

            2% of our primary energy today.

            What has the growth rate been like in the past 24 months? Below is what it was like in 2013 global energy additions.

          • eveee
          • Juan tome

            impressive rates of growth are fairly simple to achieve when the technology that is growing has small levels of deployment to begin with. There are a dozen or so cases now where similar rates of PV growth were as unsustainable as the policies that propped them up – Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia to name a few.

            Its like if I take the rate of growth in FCV adoption next year I could demonstrate impressive rates of growth as well, but when weighed against all vehicle sales and for temporary policies that make the situation possible the rates of growth will obviously be unsustainable. Its the exact same with PV.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Actually wind and solar provided 4.3% of US electricity in 2013.

            Things are changing and you aren’t keeping up Juan. You’re advocating for nuclear and H2 based on the reality of a few years back. I’d suggest you update your numbers and recalculate.

          • Juan tome

            4.3% is a pretty small share for electricity, let alone overall energy especially after all this time.

            And the vast majority of that capacity is wind, for which deployments post Production Tax Credit expiration have sharply fallen off.

            If things are changing they are certainly moving at a global pace.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Come on Juan. Get your game up and discuss as an objective person. Not as a fanboy.

            You claim to be an engineer. Act like one. Use the data rather than throwing out what doesn’t fit your desires.

            You made claims about wind and solar penetration. They were wrong by 2x.

          • Juan tome

            2x wrong? Note I said 2% of global energy, not US electricity.

          • eveee

            Percent of total energy? Electricity is a small fraction of total energy consumption. Thats a nice trick to make solar and wind appear smaller. The problem is that most energy consumption is heating and transportation. In 2008, world energy consumption was about 150,000 Twh. Since electricity today is only about 20,000 Twh, electricity is less than 20% of the total. As FF become scarce and fuel prices rise, electricity will begin to be more important for transportation in the form of high speed rail and electric vehicles. In 2008 renewables represented 20.6% of world energy consumption. The trend for renewables is up. The trend for nuclear is down.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_consumption

          • eveee

            Don’t look now Juan. Solar, wind, and renewables are growing fast.

            “In the first five months of 2014 – the latest data available – those numbers have not only grown but swapped. Solar, wind and other sources made up about 7.4 percent of all U.S. generation,”

            http://www.ibtimes.com/solar-wind-power-poised-overtake-hydropower-largest-source-us-renewable-electricity-1646120

            You exaggerate when you say after all of this time. Nuclear has had 60 years. Where is it now? Costly and declining. Wind and solar have only just begun to catch on. Its not a fair comparison since wind and solar have only started. Only R and D can be compared. Production and investment credits are hardly substantial compared to other generation which has enjoyed them of the better part of a century.

          • Juan tome

            Solar PV still around a quarter of a percent, and not growing much outside of CA. Wind not growing very fast post IPC expiration. about 2.5% of that total is biomass, Geothermal, and Solar thermal. So it only took about 2 decades of 30% government sponsorship to get wind and solar to combine for 4.25%. How long do you reckon it will take for them to make up the balance without 30% subsidies from the federal gov? A couple centuries? Pretty fast I do reckon.

          • eveee

            Not growing much outside of California? Not in Germany? Not in Australia? Nowhere else in the world? Not in Arizona?
            Exaggeration.

          • Juan tome

            Australia scrapped FiTs and C price recently:

            ” Australia’s solar PV fleet has grown from less than 10 megawatts in 2005 to about 3.2 gigawatts as of February, according to the Australian PV Institute. But based on the latest market data from Australian Energy Market Operator (AMEO), the country’s energy management entity, the 500 megawatts of solar PV connected between January and October last year was down nearly 30 percent from the amount of PV installed in the same period in 2012.”

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Is-the-Australian-Solar-Market-Slipping-as-Tariffs-Recede

            German PV deployments have been down for a couple years now.

            Arizona PV growth is moderate considering the huge solar resource there.

            Right now PV is growing rapidly in CA and China, but not so much in other locales.

          • eveee

            Update.

            “For the 12 months through April 2014, the electricity produced from wind power in the United States amounted to 174.7 terawatt-hours, or 4.25% of all generated electrical energy.[3]”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_the_United_States

            “In the first five months of 2014 – the latest data available – those numbers have not only grown but swapped. Solar, wind and other sources made up about 7.4 percent of all U.S. generation,”

            “EIA projects that 2014 will be the first year in which annual nonhydro renewable generation surpasses annual hydropower generation,”

            http://www.ibtimes.com/solar-wind-power-poised-overtake-hydropower-largest-source-us-renewable-electricity-1646120

          • eveee

            Here is the reality you overlooked. And no, your statement is no going to change reality.

            ” PV panels have been cheap for some 4 or 5 years now”

            Here is what PV has actually been doing.

            http://rameznaam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Naam-Limits-of-Earth-Part2-Figure07.jpg

            The cost drop has been substantial and implementation has soared when costs drop below conventional. So adoption has been mercurial at that point. Speaking as if it has been low all the time misses the point. In fact, almost all the growth in solar has been post 2011, rapid, and in only a few states.
            Despite the natural lag, growth has been extremely fast. Expecting solar to suddenly reach levels of energy share of 10% in three years would be to expect an accomplishment that no other energy source has experienced. We are talking growth rate comparisons here. Growth in excess of 40% annually for years. Saying solar has not achieved for example 10% yet, misses the point that if it is 1% now, and doubles in 18 months, it will be how much in 6 years? 8%. Your expectations and comparisons are not inline with reason.

            http://i1.wp.com/cleantechnica.com/files/2014/07/Top_5_Solar_States.png

          • Juan tome

            Wow what amazing graphics…. but then I remember that PV still accounts for a quarter of a percent of domestic electricity despite the costs being low for a few years now and the federal gov paying for 30% of each project.

            Your second graph goes up to 1.4GW, which when adjusted for capacity factor amounts to the output of a single typical gas plant…. perspective is required.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Wow what amazing graphics…. but then I remember that PV still accounts for a quarter of a percent of domestic electricity despite the costs being low for a few years now and the federal gov paying for 30% of each project.

            Your second graph goes up to 1.4GW, which when
            adjusted for capacity factor amounts to the output of a single typical gas plant…. perspective is required.

            So the the growth rate of renewables doesn’t matter and neither does the price decline, just how much is installed at this instant?

            Let me give you some advice:

            If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.

            Number 80 on the Evil Overlord List:
            http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html

          • Bob_Wallace

            The slow initial growth rate of nuclear, the way it never became cheap, and the way it has plateaued and fallen has no bearing.

            Only the amount of solar installed right now is meaningful.

            That’s the Juan-rule.

          • Juan tome

            Slow?

            We have quite a few domestic reactors creating cheap electricity right now.

            The completion at Watts Barr alone will add about as much annual electricity to the grid as all of the rooftop residential PV in CA.

            PV is an important part of the future, but it cant provide a clean and controllable output for an affordable price, cant provide much of anything in the evening, at night, or in the morning, or during cloud cover. We will need nuclear power if we are to actually decarbonize.

          • A Real Libertarian

            The completion at Watts Barr alone will add about as much annual electricity to the grid as all of the rooftop residential PV in CA.

            Nearly all of which has been installed in the past 5 years: Watts Bar 2, on the other hand, has been under construction since 1973.

            And California rooftop is growing fast.

            And you’re excluding utility and probably commercial solar too.

          • eveee

            “That means the world will have to build around 394 additional reactors between now and then just to maintain existing capacity. And if nuclear power is to expand above current levels, we’d have to build more than that.”

            “Nuclear electricity generation kept rising during the 1990s until it hit a peak of 2,660 terrawatt-hours in 2005. But then it started falling — and generated just 2,359 Twh of electricity in 2013.

            What’s more, nuclear power has been eclipsed by other energy sources — particularly coal and natural gas. Back in 1996, nuclear power provided 17.6 percent of the world’s electricity. Today, that’s down to around 10.8 percent.”

            Feast your eyes, nuke fanboy.

            http://www.vox.com/2014/8/1/5958943/nuclear-power-rise-fall-six-charts

          • Juan tome

            Also relevant to note that we are currently constructing more reactors globally than we have in any time in the past 25 years.

            Of the 30 countries that already use nuclear power, all but a handful are either building new reactors or planning to build new ones.

          • Bob_Wallace

            And closing them faster than we’re building them.

          • Bob_Wallace

            More of your crap. Using the cost of paid off reactors to reflect the cost of nuclear going forward is, as you well know, dishonest.

          • Juan tome

            What exactly is that growth rate of PV in terms of TWhs of gen added per year? How does it compare to other sources?

            Is it a real growth rate or a temporary subsidy bubble? – see graphic below.

          • eveee

            The growth rate of solar is vastly more than any other source. Solar is 42%. US nuclear during the heyday was under 20%/annum, in the low teens or less. Bad example for nuclear.

            http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?product=nuclear&graph=production-growth-rate

            http://costofsolar.com/solar-power-growth-charts/

          • Juan tome

            and it contributes a quarter of a percent of our electricity.

          • Bob_Wallace

            19%.

          • Doug Cutler

            You said: “electrochemical storage [ ] area is extremely extremely mature in terms of research, production, and deployment…. So without an unforeseen breakthrough in material science it is simply unlikely that battery storage is going to be a practical addition to make a wind or solar farm dispatchable in the near future….”

            Have you looked at Isentropic pumped heat electrical storage or PHES? Currently under $20M pilot scale build funded by UK, completion in 2-3 years. Two silos of gravel pumped full of argon gas. One silo hot the other cold. Put them just about anywhere industrial. High efficiency heat engine recovers energy in reversible system. Claims cycle efficiency or 70 to 80% and projected costs as low as 3.5c kwh.

            Existing system components have had costs and efficiencies verified by reputable 3rd party engineers at Parsons Brinckerhoff:

            http://www.isentropic.co.uk/news/77/66/New-electricity-storage-technique-developed-by-Isentropic-Ltd-to-cost-less-than-30-of-Pumped-Hydro-Storage

            Now, I’m not saying this will pan out. Many things don’t. I’m just wondering if you’re aware of this initiative.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Or Ambri’s liquid metal battery. Prototypes have proved concept. Factory design is now being done.

            Of course we have a very strong and affordable safety net. – PuHS – Pump-up Hydro Storage.

          • Doug Cutler

            Yes, Isentropic is my favourite storage black swan to watch but in reality Ambri is further along the implementation road.

            Key point you make for cost calculation: we only need to store renewables not directly used. Advance of EVs could absorb a lot of direct renewable juice.

          • Bob_Wallace

            EVs will be dispatchable loads. Just yesterday it was announced –

            “For more than a half-decade, the utility-funded Electric Power Research Institute has been working on this universal technology concept, via pilot projects with individual automakers and utilities. On Tuesday, EPRI announced it is taking this technology platform to the next level, working with eight automakers and fifteen U.S. utilities to connect EVs to a common tech platform meant to communicate with them no matter where they’re charging.

            EPRI’s cross-country demonstration will include Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi as EV test partners. On the grid side, mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM will join utilities including Detroit’s DTE Energy, Texas’ CenterPoint Energy, CPS Energy and Austin Energy, California’s big three investor-owned utilities, Chicago’s Commonwealth Edison, federal power entity TVA, Canadian utility Manitoba Hydro, and multi-state utilities Duke Energy, Southern Company and Northeast Utilities.

            ​”​
            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Networking-and-Aggregating-EVs-with-a-Universal-EV-to-Grid-Control-Platform

            ​EVs will be able to utilize supply peaks.​ That means we can “overbuild” wind and solar without having to throw away unneeded power. Which will raise the percentage of electricity we use direct (unstored) and reduce the amount of storage we will need.

            Other load-shifting will also reduce storage needs by moving loads to times of higher supply.

          • Bob_Wallace

            My other ‘watch’ is flow batteries. They appeal because they could apparently store large amounts of energy for long periods for little cost.

            Ambri and Isentropic aren’t, as far as I can see, good ways to store for that mythical week when the Sun doesn’t shine nor the wind blow. But a tank of inexpensive chemicals should make for great long term storage.

          • Juan tome
          • Bob_Wallace

            The Energy Collective is not a reliable source.

            Cloete, the author of that author, is in the coal business. He works on CCS.

          • A Real Libertarian

            More specifically:

            I am a research scientist searching for the objective reality about the longer-term sustainability of industrialized human civilization on planet Earth. Issues surrounding energy and climate are of central importance in this sustainability picture and I therefore seek to learn more from the Energy Collective community. My current research focus is on second generation CO2 capture processes because these systems will be highly suited to the belated climate action that will probably start once climate change really starts to affect the average member of the democratic electorate.

            http://theenergycollective.com/users/schalk-cloete

            And he’s just a PhD candidate:
            https://www.facebook.com/ntnu.edu/posts/10151733741253511

            Which is different in Norway:
            https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/10972/phd-candidate-vs-phd-student

          • Bob_Wallace

            From the Book of Faces –

            Cloete “is attracting attention in the US with his provocative posts on The Energy Collective blog.”

            Sort of reminds one of Lord Mockton, Rush and others who like to gain attention by saying ridiculous stuff, eh?

          • A Real Libertarian

            Sort of reminds one of Lord Mockton, Rush and others who like to gain attention by saying ridiculous stuff, eh?

            Like “I’m a member of the House of Lords”?

          • Juan tome

            Actually he is a PHD candidate and research scientist at Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He originally hails from South Africa and has worked previously as a Chemical Engineer. He does not work for the coal industry, and has chosen CCS to research for practical reasons – which are that global investments in coal infrastructure are enormous as is vested interest among political parties and other – so unfortunately an adequate response to climate change will likely have to include rather than exclude the very large and powerful global factions that make a living off of the extremely cheap fuel source.

          • Bob_Wallace

            He works on coal issues. He’s looking for ways to make coal more usable. That, in my book, is being in the coal business.

          • Juan tome

            He freely chose to look at CCS because he believes it will be necessary to globally reduce emissions. Many smart and accomplished people in energy do agree.

            Clean coal is not the most desirable choice, but huge economies are so tightly tied to coal it will almost have to be a part of the solution for an interim period at least.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Coal will be part of the world’s energy mix for a long time. But it’s highly unlikely we would convert existing plants to CCS, it’s not like one can bolt a filter to the top of the smokestack.

            Renewables have become so inexpensive that it makes no sense to build a new coal plant, especially one that has the additional cost of CCS.

          • Juan tome

            Actually if you research CCS a little bit retrofitting technology is largely what is being developed and there are big international players involved. For now we are only building pilot plants to prove the concept, but a “bolt-on” concept is certainly the goal, though it will obviously be much much more involved than bolting a filter to a smoke stack. And the bad part is that it will likely only make coal as clean as natural gas in terms of carbon emissions, and won’t necessarily remove potentially carcinogenic radionuclides from the exhaust.

            Id agree coal unfortunately will be a staple for a long time, and for that reason we’d better hope CCS is adopted until it can be phased out altogether. For now the economic value for coal reserves is just too immense to overcome completely.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If someone builds a functional bolt on, reports an honest cost, and develops a safe way to store the CO2 for extended periods (centuries) we can talk.

            Until then we’re talking unicorn farts.

            You might want to learn about what is happening in the world of coal. It’a a collapsing market with lots of expectations of stranded assets. Coal may be around for another 20 years, but most likely only as a very small niche player. It almost certainly won’t be a staple.

          • Juan tome

            “Coal may be around for another 20 years, but most likely only as a very small niche player. It almost certainly won’t be a staple”

            based on recent trends and investments thats clearly a far-fetched assertion.

            speaking of unicorn farts does that statement also apply to the fabled battery storage for PV and wind? Is there a double standard going on?

          • Bob_Wallace

            The US is shutting down around 200 coal plants. China is in the process of stopping the growth of coal generation with the goal of getting there by 2017 and then reducing use going forward. Australia has just closed a very large coal plant due to lack of demand (efficiency and solar). Germany is cutting coal use. India is working to reduce coal use.

            The World Bank and many large global investment banks will no longer finance new coal plants.

            I’m not sure what your issue is with grid battery storage. We have several technologies being developed. If none of them pan out we can store with PuHS. It’s not a matter of whether we can store, it’s a question of what will be the cheapest way to store.

          • Juan tome

            The things you have said about coal above may be true, but the statement about coal being a small niche player in just two decades time is still far fetched. Policy may slow growth in Asia, but coal will still rule the roost for some time in annual energy added. And not only does its annual growth continue to be the highest in Asia, its existent capacities there dwarf everything else. So if coal is going to become a small niche player ever I would suspect it would take more like 50+ years, when much of the capacity built recently is fully ammortized.

            There is a new bank called BRICS, a coalition of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which is financing coal capacity and a lot of it.

            My issue with any technology is that it has to be cost competitive to be deployed, and energy storage whether pumped hydro or otherwise needs to see high utilization to be economic.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We’re both guessing about the future.

            But let’s face it, Brazil is wind + hydro and about to start adding large amounts of solar. China intends to cap and decrease coal. India is trying to cut coal use – they’ve got a major fresh water problem (as does China). South Africa is starting to install renewables. Russia? Who can predict Tzar Putin?

            Now, this BRICS bank. You think their bankers are so out of touch that they’ll invest heavily in a dying industry?

            “My issue with any technology is that it has to be cost competitive to be deployed, and energy storage whether pumped hydro or otherwise needs to see high utilization to be economic.”

            Sticking with US prices, wind and solar are now competitive. Nuclear is not.

            We will install storage as it makes sense. Right now we need little. At the moment we’re using small amount of new storage to firm solar and wind and to replace the most expensive gas peaker hours. As the cost of storage drops (which it almost certainly will) more NG generation will get pushed aside. Somewhere down the road when wind and solar generate far more than 35% of our electricity we’ll have to address the large scale storage issue.

          • Juan tome

            “Sticking with US prices, wind and solar are now competitive. Nuclear is not.”

            Bob I thoroughly outlined with sources such as GTM NREL etc how Nuclear is significantly more cost effective in GA than PV, and GA is relatively sunny compared to most of the US. Its not a matter of a debate its a fact. Do you need me to go over it again step by step? Seriously lets be grown ups here and observe the facts as they lie. If GTM reports the installed cost of utility PV is above $2 a watt, and NREL reports the financing is above 9%, then nuclear has a significant cost advantage before considering any storage at all. Thats the reality.

            btw south Africa is committing to nuclear projects. China is about to committ to 34 new reactors with westinghouse alone – if you understood the licensing deal the got with westinghouse, and how the FBI caught them cyberspying on westinghouse, you might have a better grasp of what China is trying to do.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If one tried to run a grid with nothing but solar and storage then the cost might be higher than nuclear. But that’s not how we run grids.

            Solar has high value because it tightly co-varies with demand.

            Since almost all capacity needs are for peak hour delivery nuclear is further hurt by its need to sell into low market hours and that makes 11 cents even worse.

            Southern Company is in trouble. GA is getting ready to import wind from Oklahoma. It has recently been realized that GA has significant wind resources which can be captured using 96 to 110 meter towers. GA is starting to install solar. And GA demand is being curtailed via efficiency, like in most places.

            GA made a mistake building reactors. If nothing else they missed the impact of lower NG prices. An analyst working for state regulators found that the with hindsight they shouldn’t have started building more nuclear. http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/ec2837333c9c429bb62719d0a266d430/GA–Nuclear-Plant-Costs

            GA is oversupplied.

            “The fact that Georgia Power is not fully using its present capacity was recently exposed in analysis of financial and operating data from Georgia Power’s 2002-2013 annual reports. The data show that both retail and wholesale electricity sales are flat, and Georgia Power’s utilized capacity has fallen to just over 50 percent. (83 percent capacity utilization is the industry’s norm.) The 6 percent additional capacity from Vogtle is simply not needed.”

            There has already been at least one meeting by the GA Public Service Commission to consider stopping construction on the Vogtle reactors and abandon the project.

            http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/24/article/101448/

          • A Real Libertarian
          • Juan tome

            lol all of those points seem to be awfully incorrect when Southern company just announced it will finalize the construction plans on an additional two reactors by years end.

            Lol exactly how much wind is being imported from Oklahoma, how much of a drop in the lake is it comapred to overall demand?

            Georgia will have both low emissions in the power sector, and long term affordable electricity prices relative to other states. That speaks for itself against the off-the-wall claims you are making.

            Sure GA is still incentivizing wind and solar, but seemingly you dont know much about the region and realize that the manufacturing base is strong and grown in recent years. that requires baseload power as will EVs.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m not sure what the people at Southern Company are smoking.

            If GA is oversupplied then why would they build other generation? GA is not a ‘free market’ market so perhaps they figure they can build more reactors (with the help of seized customer funds) and the state will force consumers to pay the higher cost.

            We can’t be sure that the decisions being made are rational. Nor can we assume that the decisions made are not in some way backed by the ability to social risk and privatize profits.

            Did you read this part of the piece I linked?

            “Once again, follow the money. Look at how the project is funded. Georgia Power is using a financial instrument called Construction Work In Progress. CWIP allows Georgia Power to bill its customers for the electricity they are using now, and in addition, to bill in advance for electricity supply Georgia Power hopes to generate in the future, if and when and Vogtle reactors Nos. 3 & 4 come on line.

            CWIP funding gave Georgia Power an edge in borrowing $6.5 billion tax dollars from the U.S. treasury, with no down payment and 0 percent interest. The PSC allows Georgia Power to automatically make an 11 percent profit, so the federal government is figuring the massive loan will be repaid because Georgia ratepayers are on the hook for the money.

            But here’s the clincher! Even if the new reactors are never completed, the extra money Geogia Power has and will collect stays with Georgia Power.
            Remember, this is $20 billion in public money that’s being squandered on unneeded Vogtle reactors. It’s customers’ money, U.S. taxpayers’ money, not Georgia Power stockholder money.
            ​”

            Now I do not know how accurate that might or might not be. Certainly the CWIP part is. That is public knowledge. The part I don’t know about is whether GA Power would get to keep the collected money in the event of non-completion. And if no GA Power stockholder money is at risk.

            That certainly is the case in other states where utilities have been allowed to overcharge in advance and would be allowed to keep the overcharge even if they never build a reactor.​

            ​​

          • Juan tome

            Sorry, the new reactors I speak of are not going in GA, the site is yet to be determined but there will be two additional reactor constructions announced within a few months.

            “CWIP funding gave Georgia Power an edge in borrowing $6.5 billion tax dollars from the U.S. treasury, with no down payment and 0 percent interest”

            Correction – the interest on Vogtle loans is something like 7.7% and is included in the overall cost which after recent cost overruns is now ~14.7 billion. To create an equivalent amount of energy from utility scale PV would require over $23 billion before accounting for interest charges.

            I don’t claim that there are no special interests involved in the reactor builds in GA, but it is undeniable that they were a cheaper option than PV, and will maintain exceptionally clean power and stable prices in the state for decades to come. Why be anti-nuclear when it is clearly a good thing?

          • Bob_Wallace

            The 0% interest was for the period from beginning construction to when the federal loan guarantee was granted. The project was given a no interest bridge loan by the government.

            Yes, interest is part of the overall cost. But nuclear fans generally like to talk about overnight costs and try to ignore the impact of financing over the construction period.

            7.7% financing would double the cost of construction over 9.4 years, which is not out of the possible range for completing a reactor. Vogtle is going to be spending heavily to keep the build time as low as possible.

            I don’t believe that we know how far over budget Vogtle is. I recall that they announced a few months back that they would not make any more cost information public until after the reactors came on line. Perhaps they were forced to retract or perhaps data was leaked.

            “it is undeniable that they were a cheaper option than PV”

            Juan, you are starting to serious damage what credibility you had hung on to. It is very clear that PV solar, installed at SW US rates, is already cheaper than new nuclear. PV solar, installed at better European rates, is far cheaper than new nuclear.

            Don’t let fandom turn you into a dishonest person. As an engineer you should be a very strong defender of using accurate numbers.

          • Juan tome

            perhaps in the Southwest it is approaching a similar LCOE, but PV does not provide the same grid services, and the Southwest has stellar solar resource compared to the NW, NE and MW….. My comment was meant to pertain to Georgia if the reactors are completed close to the expected date, they will indeed be cheaper in LCOE than PV would have been. Simply acknowledging the latest reported $/watt cost from GTM can quickly tell you that.

            PV is valuable, dont get me wrong, but your desire to kill nuclear technology which seems so inherently valuable to minimizing the human footprint of some soon to be 9 billion people on this planet is soo odd it is strange. And please spare me some ramble about how wind and solar and biomass can do it all… because they can’t. There are a huge amount of industrial processes requiring large thermal inputs that electrical generators are simply unfit for. There are aspirations for space exploration that would call for nuclears energy density, and as of right now there is a grid system with very limited capabilities which is still heavily reliant on baseload sources during a time in which we need to move away from the primary baseload source – coal.

            You should support nuclear and PV, a giant weight will be lifted off of your shoulders if you come to that enlightenment.

          • eveee

            Lets see if Vogtle and Summer ever get built and commissioned or are shut down as a waste of taxpayer money in a market glutted with power first.

          • eveee

            Juan – then you should read this.

            “Department of Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory estimated that “CCS technologies would add around 80 percent to the cost of electricity for a new pulverized coal plant, and around 35 percent to the cost of electricity for a new advanced gasification-based plant.”[31]”

            That pretty much kicks coal out of competition. There is a reason that CCS is not used much. It makes generation expensive.

            http://www.c2es.org/technology/factsheet/CCS

          • Juan tome

            And the cost of technology can never change right?

            Guess thats why our current administration and the last two secretaries of our energy department have made statements on the importance of CCS globally.

          • eveee

            Yes, technology can become cheaper. But no one is banking on CCS just yet. And how does coal plus CCS compare to renewables? Well coal is already more expensive. Even if CCS was free it would not compete. Dead end.

          • Doug Cutler

            Right, Isentropic is overnight storage only. Still, if it can deliver on such low costs it would be an excellent means to double existing capacity factor of wind and solar. Wind could jump from 40% to 80% CF which would be huge.

            Still, as you say, there will also be a need for longer range storage.

          • Juan tome

            Not really mythical, just look at the available CAISO data for renewable production throughout the year. http://www.caiso.com/green/renewableswatch.html

            For instance, without even doing a detailed search for the worst case, I found that between Oct 27th 2012, and Nov 3rd 2012, wind and solar combined to contribute just 1.9% of demand over that period, well below the average annual capacity factor for existent capacities at that time.

            There were certainly periods throughout that winter and this past winter in CA, a geographically expansive state, where combined wind and solar capacity factors were even lower for several days at a time. Its just the reality of weather.

          • eveee

            Distorting again, juan? Why is it necessary to exaggerate? Could it be your argument is weak? California is large, but the geographic spread of wind is not wide. Most wind is in Southern California. Newer, larger wind turbines were installed there, not N. California. Go ahead and find the references. Even in Northern California, wind turbines are all in one location. There is essentially zero wind resource outside those two locations and none in the lucrative North Coast.

          • Juan tome

            The wind resource is higher in S CA. The north coast isn’t particularly strong in wind resource, though there are projects in the north.

            If you want we can analyze reported wind speeds throughout the state for the periods under scrutiny. That would give a good indication if the resource was particularly strong in other areas to compensate for lack of wind in the richest resource areas.

          • Juan tome

            Ambri – primarily funded by Bill Gates.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Gates is one of the investors. I can’t tell from your post whether you think having Gates as an investor caries some meaning or whether you just wanted to post something.

            Gates puts money here and there. I don’t think he has a particularly strong backing in energy.

            “Ambri is supported by top-tier investors including Khosla Ventures, KLP Enterprises, Bill Gates, the energy company Total and Building Insurance Bern (GVB).”

          • Juan tome

            Bill Gates understands energy quite well as do the expert advisors who work for the single wealthiest investor in the world.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Is there any meaning in your statement?

          • Juan tome

            Yes

          • Juan tome

            Yes Doug thats an interesting tech, but note that since it is a thermal storage medium it would achieve higher efficiencies if used in tandem with a thermal generation source than an electrical one.

          • Doug Cutler

            I’m afraid you’re not making much sense here, Juan.

            First of all, thermonuclear and fossil thermal always boast of their lack of need for large scale storage. The chances of this tech ever being coupled with such sources is slim to non and slim just got hired by Tesla.

            Secondly, why would you even bother? Why take a decade to build expensive nuclear with all its attendant hazards and eventually added cost for waste storage and decommissioning or build dirty, life threatening fossil fuel then back it up with thermal storage when you can build comparatively cheap, fast, clean wind or solar and then massively extend their availability for pennies on the kwh? Just doesn’t make sense.

            Finally, solar also has numerous thermal modalities.

          • Juan tome

            Because storing off-peak generated kWhs from a thermal plant running at full capacity factor and selling them during peak demand is an economically advantageous situation. It is the basis of the largest pumped hydro storage facility in the world, Bath Creek: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_County_Pumped_Storage_Station

            Asset utilization is a key economic parameter, and dispatchable plants mated to storage can assure that asset utilization is optimized – intermittent renewables cannot. Bath Creek allows nuclear plants nearby to maintain higher capacity factors by providing a sink for their excess off-peak energy, which in turn reduces the ammortization period for the nuclear plant and increases its revenue. The Pumped storage facility if sized correctly can then generate revenue at peak every single day of the year.

            If you study large scale wind and solar output you will discover that even over large regions the aggregate generation is variable, and there fore it is much more difficult to ensure high utilization of the storage source they are mated to.

            In regards to Nuclear waste notice that the Russians and Indians already have sodium cooled fast reactors that can utilize said waste for energy and eliminate 99% of its volume. The US is sitting on a relatively small volume of U-238 “waste” that has enough energy content in it to power the country for over 6 centuries using fast reactor technology, and the reactors are incapable of runaway meltdown and have a proliferation resistant fuel cycle to boot.

            If you ask why would we bother with nuclear – well the answer lies with the cleanest industrialized regions in the entire world – France and Ontario. Global warming is why.

          • Doug Cutler

            You hold up Ontario nuclear as an exemplar for the future. You’re trying to pass off a gelding as a stud horse. By that I mean it may run well now but there’s no way its going to sire any offspring.

            As I’ve already informed, Ontario has already looked at new nuclear and turned it down because of outrageous cost projections. I live in Ontario. A recent election saw the province turn its back on pro-new-nuke Progressive Conservatives instead choosing a Liberal majority committed to LEDs, efficiency, renewables and EVs (what this thread’s supposed to be about).

            Progressives Conservatives would need a clear majority – an unlikely prospect for the foreseeable political future. It will be many, many years before the possibility of new nuclear will even be raised again in Ontario – if ever. By then, continued falling costs for wind, solar and grid storage could confirm nuclear’s role as yesterday’s energy. (BTW, Ontario LIBs are also commited to exploring storage. They just announced $50M funding for promising new forms of grid storage.)

            I am aware that nuke plants occasionally make use of storage like pumped hydro. I think I alluded to this in my previous language. But the clarion call of nuclear and FF gen has always been 24/7 power that renewables cannot match. Now, we are both arguing from the assumption this Isentropic thing might come through (I’m still uncertain) but assuming it does it could massively expand renewable capacity factor bringing them into direct competition with more conventional sources. Wind could move from 40% to 80% CF. ANY conventional power source including nuclear would be proud of a 80% CF. So much then for “intermittent” renewables.

            Yes, there would still be a need for deeper storage for stretches when sun or wind is a no show. The pumped hydro you describe works equally well renewables. As for other new deep storage Bob Wallace addresses the issue in some of his posts in this thread.

            As far a gen IV nuclear that eats existing waste, I’m all for it. Not an area I know so much about but it seems it might be worth it just for dealing with the waste issue alone. But for mass power consumption gen IV nuke will still have to compete on cost with increasingly competitive renewables. Even in full steam ahead nuclear China, nukes are being badly outpaced by new wind – and that’s on actual power production, not just nameplate.

            Also, when you toss out pro-nuke lines like: “a fuel source with a million times the energy density of anything else,” its pretty meaningless out of context. How about the energy density of the sun for a comparison? What matters most, as always, is all-in life cycle cost per unit of energy. In that calculation for nuclear please include disaster costs of $500B for Chernobyl and at least another $250B and counting for Fukushima.

          • Juan tome

            The problem with the premise of your entire argument is we are not particularly close to having a grid storage medium which can economically compensate for extended lulls from wind and solar capacity output – which certainly do occur especially in Ontario.

            If you are convinced that nuclear plants are so expensive perhaps you should do the math for providing baseload output from wind and solar? Hint: Nuclear is significantly cheaper to provide that grid service.

            Using wind generated electricity to generate heat to then store isn’t going to make as much sense efficiency wise as storing thermal output from a thermal source to begin with.

            And nuclear plants do run 24-7 but their capacity factors can be increased and off-peak generation can be shifted to peak with some storage.

            Assuming that we will be able to store and dispatch several days worth of energy for entire industrialized regions, and betting the futures of our grand children on such an assumption is plainly irresponsible especially after a clear lack of progress in that area. While it could happen and we should certainly continue to research it and support renewable deployments, we have to make use of the tools that work at scale right now – chiefly hydroelectric, nuclear, and geothermal where suitable.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “The problem with the premise of your entire argument is we are not particularly close to having a grid storage medium which can economically compensate for extended lulls from wind and solar capacity output – which certainly do occur especially in Ontario.”

            Pump up hydro. We’ve been using it for 100 years and the US has about 20 GW on line right now.

          • Juan tome

            and its being used with coal and nuclear because they can regularly utilize it which helps the rate of return and operational cost for the storage facility. The challenge of using wind or solar with a pumped storage facility is that the utilization would drop.

            Also we haven’t built a sizable pumped hydro site in the US in almost 25 years. I’m for building more, but can’t realistically see it as a legitimate option to store huge quantities of national energy demand over the period of a day or more.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “utilization would drop”?

            Cycles would roughly double from the single night -> day supply shift with thermal plants to a night -> shift for wind and a day -> evening shift for solar.

            Lake Hodges Pump Storage Project came on line in 2011. We have multiple other PuHS facilities in the planning and permitting stages.
            Eagle Mountain (a closed loop system) received its license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month. Now final design can be completed and construction initiated.

          • Juan tome

            You are right, Lake Hodges is new…. however it was built primarily as an emergency reservoir for San Diego, an area that imports a lot of water. And the peak electrical output is 40MW.

            notice that during winter in much of the country overcast days are typical, and solar output is weak.

            refer to CAISO data even.

            Wind regularly has lulls that can several days or weeks.

            And then each of these sources can produce nameplate peak at times. The reasons why matching storage capacity to this type of output and getting high utilization from it are obvious, I know you understand but I don’t expect you to come out and admit it.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Show me that multiple week wind lull data. And make sure you are presenting data for a large geographical area. Oh and make sure that weeks of lull also has a very low solar input.

            And you might want to read this paper.

            https://docs.google.com/file/d/1NrBZJejkUTRYJv5YE__kBFuecdDL2pDTvKLyBjfCPr_8yR7eCTDhLGm8oEPo/edit

            The authors used four years of actual demand, wind and solar data for the largest wholesale grid in the US to model an all wind/solar/storage grid.

            (They are not suggesting that a grid be limited to wind and solar. Just dealing with the “too variable to use” issue.)

          • Juan tome

            uhh I showed you yesterday, you seem to have forgotten…

            here is the CAISO almanac: http://www.caiso.com/green/renewableswatch.html

            Oct 27 to Nov 3 2012 wind output is pretty low, solar nothing to write home about. Combined they accounted for less than 2% demand during the period…..

            And that wasn’t even based on a real search on my part for worst case lull. I just found a low wind day by randomly clicking in October and sure enough there were a string of 6 or 7 of them in a row.

            No need to get mad in this argument… its just kind of a matter of reality that wind power is highly variable. If you want me to provide more examples I’m sure I can come up with dozens. Dont shoot the messenger because you dont like the message, or the weather in this case.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Give me a specific link for weeks of low wind and solar, not a generic link. I’m not interested in fishing for the data you claim to have found.
            6 or 7 days is a week. You claimed weeks. Plural.

          • Juan tome

            this is a specific link http://www.caiso.com/green/renewableswatch.html

            the data I am speaking of is under the “reports and data” heading, just scroll down and click on the links for the specific days… I haven’t verified wind lulls last 14 days or more, but then again how does one define a lull?

            If you take some time to click through a few of the months you will see that indeed wind is highly variable and it is not atypical to see either high or low outputs statewide for several consecutive days.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Inadequate.

            I’m not going through a database day by day looking for your “weeks” of low wind and solar input.

            If you found them then list the weeks by start and stop dates.

            If you did not find them then man up and admit it.

          • Juan tome

            Did you get enough sleep last night? I gave you dates twice now this will be the third time.

            Oct 27th 2012 to Nov 6th 2012.

            See table below, wind and solar combined for just 1.77 percent of electricity during that 11 day period. Verify for yourself: http://www.caiso.com/green/renewableswatch.html

            And that is by no means an extreme case, I hardly spent any time searching for an instance of low wind output and still readily found 11 days of relatively low ouput strung together, I am certain there were worst cases.

          • eveee

            It’s capable of constant sodium fires and poor economics just like every sodium cooled reactor. It’s a failure. Dream on. Talk about non real world. You have lost it.

          • Juan tome

            So are the Russian fast reactors being run right now perpetually on fire? Are they such an economic failure that the Chinese hired the Russians to build one there? Are sodium cooled reactors such a bad idea that the brits are going to have GE build one in their country?

          • eveee

            Sodium cooled reactors have a track record of fires and economic failure. I am surprised that you even dared mention them.

          • Juan tome

            The Russians are operating two such reactors with little issue. The US EBR II operated for decades.

            Early airplanes had a track record of fatalities. We don’t condemn technologies because of problems with prototypes, we account for instead objective scientific and engineering analysis on the ability to improve. By that measure Fast sodium cooled reactors can certainly be safe.

          • eveee

            The BN-800, like all breeder reactors, can consume waste fuel. The entire BN-xxx line has been a boondoggle and disaster. All the sodium cooled reactors have had frequent fires and down time. Its surprising that you even dared mention the sodium reactors. They have been a failure. Monju, Phenix, … poor economics, faultily operation, fires….

            Just amazing. Hope springs eternal in the dizzy mind of nuke fanboys.

            http://daryanenergyblog.wordpress.com

          • Juan tome

            Was the EBR II a failure throughout its decades of operation? When did the BN-800 fail? Was it such a failure that China had to have one? Is the indian fast reactor that will come online this year sure to fail as well. Are Bill Gates and GE-Hitachi largely committed to a failing technology?

            You must be a expert on nuclear power reactors to make such a judgement. Glad I can consult with your expertise which consists of making generalized statements about entire lines of technology based on a glossary understanding of a few articles that popped up in google search. Real profound stuff. Sodium fire = scary, right? What else is there to say?

          • A Real Libertarian

            When did the BN-800 fail?

            Not yet, due to the fact it hasn’t started yet.

            Let’s check its brothers:

            BN-350? Shut down due to being too expensive.

            BN-600? By 1997, there had been 27 sodium leaks, 14 of which resulted in sodium fires.

            BN-1200? Only exists on the drawing board.

            Sodium fire = scary, right?

            Very scary:
            http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2008-06/let-burning-metals-lie

            Now remember the molten sodium is radioactive and the fire must be put out.

          • Juan tome
          • A Real Libertarian

            Once this most important stage of the start-up work is done, the reactor will be gradually prepared to achieve the desired 880 megawatts output expected to be reached in October, when the reactor will be commissioned for industrial use.

            [..]

            The start of commercial operation of the new reactor is planned for early 2015.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Juan, you can try to talk down to us but what you don’t realize is that you are coming off as just another nuclear/H2 fanboy wearing the requisite club blinders.

            Stored wind and solar are cheaper than nuclear even without storage. Stored nuclear is even more expensive.

            All your other stuff is wasted words. As soon as you embrace a false premise you’re done. You started going off the rails in your first paragraph and crashed into the ravine in your third.

          • Juan tome

            If wind and solar plus storage are cheaper than nuclear why dont we see some meaningful capacities of unsubsidized storage on the grid? aside from pumped hydro used in tandem with coal and nuclear there is none.

            If wind and solar mated to storage are cheaper than nuclear why are for profit utilities like, Southern Company, opting to go through the extremely expensive permitting process for yet another nuclear plant in the upcoming year?

            I wasn’t born yesterday, I know how to do research, and I certainly know that wind and solar mated to storage to create a dispatchable output remains quite expensive relative to other options.

          • A Real Libertarian

            If wind and solar plus storage are cheaper than nuclear why dont we see some meaningful capacities of unsubsidized storage on the grid?

            If nuclear is so cheap, why don’t we see any unsubsidized capacity of it?

            If wind and solar mated to storage are cheaper than nuclear why are for profit utilities like, Southern Company, opting to go through the extremely expensive permitting process for yet another nuclear plant in the upcoming year?

            Step 1: Start permitting process.

            Step 2: Use permitting process as excuse to levy fees to pay for nuke’s construction.

            Step 3: Use complete lack of financial sense to justify stopping construction of nuke.

            Step 4: Pocket the unspent “construction” fees.

            Step 5: PROFIT!!!

            Step 6: Laugh maniacally.

            Pro-Tip: If you don’t know how to play to game, don’t play the game.

            I wasn’t born yesterday

            Considering how often you demand other people clean up your shit, I doubt it.

            I know how to do research, and I certainly know that wind and solar mated to storage to create a dispatchable output remains quite expensive relative to other options.

            “I don’t know what the numbers are, but, by golly, I know they support me!”

          • Juan tome

            lol. Shall we calculate a the cost of a new nuclear reactor vs PV without storage? We can do that if you like. I’ve got all of the figures with sources to do that calculation, including costs of capital.

          • A Real Libertarian

            I’ve got all of the figures with sources to do that calculation, including costs of capital.

            Let’s see them, with your sources of course, otherwise you make up any number you want.

          • Juan tome

            k here goes, we’ll analyze the Vogtle reactors currently being constructed vs PV starting with sources for financing costs, and followed by math for energy and per watt costs for PV:

            Georgia Power Company (GPC) is the developer and has a 45.7% share in the ownership of the Westinghouse AP1000 Vogtle 3 and 4 units (the other owners are municipal entities). The construction cost of the contract is $9.8 billion while including interest during construction the cost is estimated at $14 billion. GPC’s share of the plant is being built against a price approved by the Public Service Commission of Georgia, and the cost will be included in the rate base and allowed a WACC of 7.8% nominal post-tax. Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia is another investor which is financing the project through bonds issued to ratepayers which were agreed to by the communities in the consortium.

            http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmenergy/742/742vw20.htm

            According to NREL, the Weighted Average Cost of Capital for utility scale PV in 2014 is 9.2%.

            http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/59155.pdf

            Vogtle units 3&4 – $14.7 billion USD right now, let’s assume $15 billion

            http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2014-06-03/story/georgia-power-cos-plant-vogtle-nuclear-expansion-schedule-and-budget

            Will produce 17.6 TWhs of electricity annually for 60+ years assuming a 90% CF

            http://www.iaea.org/PRIS/CountryStatistics/ReactorDetails.aspx?current=1042

            At an 18% CF it would take approximately 11 billion installed PV watts to Create an equivalent amount of energy annually – or somewhere around 34 million 300 watt panels.

            Math: 17.6 TWh / 365 days / 24 hours / .18 CF = ~11 billion.

            Multiply 11 billion watts by the installed cost – $2.10 and you have a project cost of
            —— 23.2 billion USD before accounting for financing costs.

            Low end utility PV per watt costs as reported by GTM in report “PV Pricing Outlook 2014: Value Chain Trends, Global Drivers and Regional Dynamics”

            O&M for PV is about 0.85c/kWh, O&M and fuel for a Vogtle is projected to be 1.1c/kWh.

            http://energyseminar.stanford.edu/sites/all/files/eventpdf/AHazlehurst_Solar%20Economics_102809.pdf

            http://web.ornl.gov/sci/nsed/outreach/presentation/2006/Belles_Seminar_R1.pdf

            But we also have to consider that PV does at such a scale would not meet the load profile of the area or to replace the coal capacity being replace – and PV has half the operational life of the reactors – Georgia is a forested state (shade) – PV panels degrade and drop output over time etc.

            PV is a good thing, but its really not even close to being competitive with nuclear in most states before we even consider storage. Like it or not, those are the facts with fully referenced figures.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “PV is a good thing, but its really not even close to being competitive with nuclear in most states for the purpose of large scale baseload energy before we even consider storage.”

            You create a false situation in order to support your bias.

            No one (except pro-nuclear and pro-fossil fuel advocates) talks about PV solar as baseload.

            An all solar or all wind grid makes no sense, and you well know that. If you want to engage in serious discussion then you need to be honest in your arguments.

          • Juan tome

            Exactly, now we are getting somewhere….

            So according to what you have said above hydro where it can be expanded, geothermal where vents are cheaply accessible, and nuclear power all make a lot of sense to expand right now in response to climate change in order to provide the large baseload component of our grid electricity without GHG emissions.

            Of course we can add wind and solar on top of these things, but if we are going to be responsible about climate change we must offer a lot of support for the expansion of the three technologies above in addition to wind and solar.

          • Bob_Wallace

            No, I made no such statement.

            New nuclear is priced off the table.

            Hydro is good, and most of it can be dispatchable which brings extra value over the simple $/MWh price.

            Geothermal may be worth installing. It’s cheaper than nuclear. Whether it carries enough value to override its cost is unclear. Geothermal has the same downside as nuclear, it produces during low demand hours which makes it more expensive.

            We don’t need “baseload” generators. That’s last century thinking.

          • Juan tome

            the guy promoting EVs is saying we don’t need baseload generators… I think there is some cognitive dissonance going on.

          • Bob_Wallace

            No, a lack of understanding on your part.

            The average EV will need less than 3 hours of charge time on a 240 vac outlet. By giving utilities the ability to control charge time for a larger portion of EVs they become massive dispatchable load, with some of them (assuming we’re talking 200 mile range EVs) able to skip multiple days of charging.

            That makes EVs wonderful partners for wind and solar. We can greatly “overbuild” wind and solar based on non-transportation loads, then use the supply peaks as charging times.

            EVs will be extremely beneficial with onshore wind, creating a new market for late night production. That new market will bring additional investment and more building which, in turn, will bring more inexpensive wind to daytime demand.

          • Juan tome

            no misunderstanding Bob, I have actually researched the topic and offer real insight rather than conjecture. Sure demand side management can make the whole thing more efficient but no EVs will not be a massive dispatchable load or reverse load as time of use research (have you bothered to look at consumer trends for usage) clearly shows that charging regimes will be steady and only slightly flexible due to range concerns and access to charging – acknowledge that most people often park in parking lots or garages, or on the streets, or in multiple car households, and that extending charging flexibility in all of these circumstances is no minor obstacle and probably won’t happen. Acknowledge that people are at the pumps and on the roads around the clock. Acknowledge that wind does not blow reliabily throughout the year or night.

            Does the unicorn fart thing apply to the affordable 200 mile EV as well?

            If anything EVs will serve as a boon to existent offpeak baseload generators, and wide adoption of them would almost certainly result is an upward trend in the cost of electricity, but it may still be better than paying for gas.

          • Bob_Wallace

            First, I said nothing about “reverse load” or V2G as I don’t think it likely to happen. Utilities are likely to be able to store cheaper than renting EV batteries from owners.

            Next, you may have researched demand side management, but you missed some things. Dispatchable load EV charging is already shaping up. And big boys are on board.

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Networking-and-Aggregating-EVs-with-a-Universal-EV-to-Grid-Control-Platform

            52% of all drivers already have an available outlet where they park. 56% at home and 14% at work. (There’s some overlap which brings the number down to 52%.) Many of the people who park on the street or have an otherwise hard to service parking spot at night are good candidates for work/school charging. It will be in utilities best interest to work with businesses and schools to install charging outlets and create daytime dispatchable load.

            I assume an affordable 200 mile range EV based on progress being made. If that doesn’t happen then, of course, things change. I try to never predict at 100%, one is trained as a scientist to avoid ‘always’ and never’ predictions.

            “If anything EVs will serve as a boon to existent offpeak baseload generators, and wide adoption of them would almost certainly result is an upward trend in the cost of electricity, but it may still be better than paying for gas.”

            Yes, a large number of EVs would firm up the late night market and eliminate coal and nuclear having sell close to or below zero. Past that, I think you’ve got it wrong.

            If EVs create more demand that demand will be met mostly by wind and solar. Those are (will be) very low cost providers and more wind/solar will push expensive dispatchable generation off the grid.

            In all your calculations do remember that our thermal plants are aging out. While paid off coal and nuclear plants can give us some fairly cheap (if we ignore subsidies and external costs) electricity they are dying off and will have to be replaced.

          • Juan tome

            only 14% of drivers have access to outlets at work….. I would say that number is inflated but lets take it at face value anyhow — what does that mean for using PV to charge EVs? it means that most will need to plug in on offpeak solar hours at home because they will be at work without outlet access during peak sun. Extending 240V charging capability to entire parking lots and streets is not at all economically trivial. Perhaps doable but for now in the realm of unicorn farts.

            As far as wind it is highly variable as I clearly demonstrate in another comment using CAISO data so we would need duplicative capacity to meet EV evening and night time charging demand in the event of low wind which does occur. Thats a non-economic proposition.

            Firming up the late night market plays into the hands of baseload generators, it is with dwindling nighttime demand that they have problems generating enough revenue… do you not understand that?

            thats a nice chart but coal and nuclear capacity will typically last 2-3 more decades than the operating life of wind and solar in the first place sooo…

            and again you keep insisting that PV is cheaper than nuclear….which is clearly not the case for most of the US based on the reported financed costs of the new reactors and the GTM reported installed cost for PV. Lets go through the calculation, shall we?

          • Bob_Wallace

            14% is what a survey of drivers found. You may not like that number but it’s the most objective we have. I can live with it.

            “it means that most will need to plug in on offpeak solar hours because they will be at work during peak sun”

            Huh? What’s an “offpeak solar hour”?

            What it means is that with a large number of dispatchable EVs plugged in during the solar hours we can greatly increase the amount of solar on the grid, use more solar direct for non-transportation demand, and dump the rest into waiting batteries.

            You’ve proved exactly zero when it come to wind because you have failed to support your claim with data. After multiple requests.

            “but coal and nuclear capacity will typically last 2-3 more decades than the operating life of wind and solar in the first place sooo”

            The average lifespan of coal and nuclear plants in the US is 40 years. We’re now pushing some nuclear plants past 40 years but none have yet made it to 50 and some of the oldies are dropping away as their maintenance/repair costs soar.

            We’re just now replacing the 30 year old turbines at our first wind farm (Altamont Pass). Newer turbines with their sophistacated sensor systems should last significantly longer than our first generation turbines. We know a lot more now about engineering and material selection. We even have the ability with newer wind farms to see abrupt changes in wind speed coming in advance, thus allowing us to minimize the stress on systems.
            Our oldest solar array is now 40 years old and going strong. At age 35 it had lost about 0.1% output per year. Post 2000 manufactured PV panels are expected to loose less than 0.4% output per year in the most extreme conditions (mostly high UV levels).

          • Juan tome

            if only 14% of drivers can plug in during work, and most people work when the sun shines brightest…. then how the hell do you conclude that solar can contribute a ton to EV charging…. Not to mention that most inverters are not capable of providing the amperage requirements for the chargers, and the grid would step in to fill the void.

            AANd actually i provided sources for all of my data. I’ll provide it all again below:

            k here goes, we’ll analyze the Vogtle reactors currently being constructed vs PV starting with sources for financing costs, and followed by math for energy and per watt costs for PV:

            The construction cost of the contract for the reactors is $9.8 billion while including interest during construction the cost is estimated at $14 billion (now 14.7 due to cost delays).

            http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmenergy/742/742vw20.htm

            According to NREL, the Weighted Average Cost of Capital for utility scale PV in 2014 is 9.2%.

            http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/59155.pdf

            Vogtle units 3&4 – $14.7 billion USD right now, let’s assume $15 billion total when all said and done.

            http://members.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2014-06-03/story/georgia-power-cos-plant-vogtle-nuclear-expansion-schedule-and-budget

            The two reactors will produce 17.6 TWhs of electricity annually for 60+ years (the operational life according to Westinghouse) assuming a 90% CF

            http://www.iaea.org/PRIS/CountryStatistics/ReactorDetails.aspx?current=1042

            At an 18% CF (accounting for shade and degradation in the humid state) it would take approximately 11 billion installed PV watts to Create an equivalent amount of energy annually – or somewhere around 34 million
            300 watt panels.

            Math: 17.6 TWh / 365 days / 24 hours / .18 CF = ~11 billion.

            Multiply 11 billion PV watts by the installed cost according to GTM for low end Utility solar – $2.10/watt and you have a project cost of
            —— 23.2 billion USD before accounting for financing costs.

            23.2 > 15

            Low end utility PV per watt costs as reported by GTM in report “PV Pricing Outlook 2014: Value Chain Trends, Global Drivers and Regional Dynamics”… note that due to tarriffs enacted since the report PV prices are expected to be up 14% on average from the figure I used,
            which again was a low end figure.

            O&M for PV is about 0.85c/kWh according to the Stanford report below, O&M and fuel for a Vogtle is projected to be 1.1c/kWh.

            http://energyseminar.stanford.edu/sites/all/files/eventpdf/AHazlehurst_Solar%20Economics_102809.pdf

            http://web.ornl.gov/sci/nsed/outreach/presentation/2006/Belles_Seminar_R1.pdf

            But we also have to consider that PV without storage at such a scale would not meet the load profile of the area in the remotest sense especially since it would be replacing baseload coal capacity – and PV has half the
            operational life of the reactors – Georgia is a forested state (shade) -PV panels degrade and drop output over time etc.

            PV is a good thing, but its really not even close to being competitive with nuclear in most states for the purpose of large scale baseload energy before we even consider storage. Like it or not, those are the facts with fully referenced figures. A wise person is one who yields to facts.you add peak shaving solar on top of clean baseload (be it hydro, geothermal, nuclear, or potentially solar thermal), dont put the cart before the horse

          • Bob_Wallace

            Juan – your rate of posting seems to have exceed your ability to think clearly.

            14% of all drivers have a daytime available outlet. We build off that. We install enough metered outlets (not expensive) where people routinely park all day and they become our daytime dispatchable load.

            We would charge off the grid, not off dedicated inverters.

            Now, as to your nuclear numbers, I simply don’t have time to deal with them now but I’ll try to make time later.

            Let me point out that you have gone from LCOE/real world PPAs prices to lifetime costs. If you want to do that for nuclear then you have to do the same for solar. I’ll show you how that works….

            Twenty years of nuclear 11 cents plus 40 years at about 2 cents O&M (probably rising as the plant ages) = 5 cents/kWh lifetime.

            (I think 30 years is more common for nuclear plants which would drive the lifetime average price to 6.5 cents/kWh.)

            Twenty years of solar at 6.5 cents plus 40 years at less than 1 cent O&M (I’ll use 1c to allow for the small drop in output) = < 3 cents/kWh.

            (Of course solar will almost certainly be cheaper by the time any new nuclear might come on line.)

          • Juan tome

            well if solar panels lasted 60 years maybe 😉 in humid GA im not so sure, and there are limits to which degraded panels will provide adequate input to inverters….

            According to Westinghouse the operational cost of the AP1000 is actually 1.1c/kWh.

            According to Stanford the O&M costs of PV are ~0.85c/kWh

            I included these facts cited above with many other relevant figures.

            Would be ideal if you read through my calculation step by step before insisting it was incorrect.

            PV and nuclear actually work well together, PV only generates during elevated demand periods, and nuclear generates in a baseload mode for which PV is incapable. They are complementary technologies and will both be a big part of the future.

            Wind is only really useful to save fuel costs, and when the fuel costs for generators is cheap like in the case of hydro, geothermal, or nuclear, than wind is really pointless and its sporadic output just interferes with the profitability of reliable generator assets.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We don’t know if solar panels will last 60 years. We know that some will last 40 years since the already have.

            We don’t know if nuclear reactors will last 60 years.

            We know that one US reactor made it to the age of 43 before it closed.
            We know most of the closed US reactors shut down before they were 20 years old.

            We know that a few US reactors are in their early 40s. The oldest US reactor, Oyster Creek, is scheduled to close in 2019 the year it turns 50.
            We have no AP1000 reactors in the US. 1.1c is an estimate. But even if that turns out to be true, 20 years of 11c plus 40 years of 1.1c is more than 20 years of 6.5c and 40 years of 0.85c.

            “Wind is only really useful to save fuel costs,”

            Well, dud. We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time talking about how to gen the electricity we need at the lowest price. Wind is cheaper than new coal and new nuclear. Wind is even cheaper than some existing, paid off nuclear plants. Wind is cheaper than all coal plants if we include external costs.

            “PV and nuclear actually work well together”

            That’s meaningless. A combo of solar, wind, and storage is cheaper than 11c. There’s no reason to pay extra for electricity when we have cheaper, faster to install and safer options.

          • Juan tome

            Actually there have been long term exposure tests for PV modules going on since the 1970s. To your point we have seen some modules in AZ that have had very low levels of annual degradation, and we can expect some higher quality panels to surpass 40 years in operational life in certain circumstance…

            But the catch is that the panels that will perform as reliably are sold for a premium price.

            And the primary mechanism of panel degradation is corrosion of metallization (ohmic losses). The rate of such corrosion is directly related to heat and humidity, and real world data strongly indicates that panels in Georgia wouldn’t last as long as panels in say Colorado.

            Based on the science of material embrittlement caused by radiation we know with an extremely high level of confidence that most nuclear plants constructed in the 1970s, if maintained properly, can operate as designed well beyond 50 years. With new reactor designs that degree of confidence is even higher. For the reactors that were shuttered aside from SONGS it was a matter of economics and not operational abilities.

            Your statements about wind ignore the high variability, sure wind is cheap, but it its reliability is nil and that fact has a huge cost tied to it. PV is a much more legitimate source to scale up because unlike wind PV shows some correlation of output to elevated demand. Wind will sporadically peak during off-peak hours and undercut the clean baseload generators that we should be focusing on. Wind only makes sense if natural gas is the rule of the land, and natural gas is a GHG from the well to the exhaust stack.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) performed a meta-analysis of studies that examined the long term degradation rates of various PV panels. They found that the 1% per year rule was somewhat pessimistic for panels made prior to the year 2000, and today’s panels, with better technology and improved manufacturing techniques, have even more stamina than their predecessors. For monocrystalline silicon, the most commonly used panel for commercial and residential PV, the degradation rate is less than 0.5% for panels made before 2000, and less than 0.4% for panels made after 2000. That means that a panel manufactured today should produce 92% of its original power after 20 years, quite a bit higher than the 80% estimated by the 1% rule.

            Crystalline silicon modules located in extreme climates showed high degradation rates. For very cold climates, panels subjected to heavy wind and snow loads suffered the most. On the other hand, panels in similar climates that were installed in a facade, eliminating the snow load, had very low rates of degradation. At the other extreme, panels in desert climates exhibited large decreases in production over time – close to 1% per year – mainly due to high levels of UV exposure. Panels in more moderate climates such as the northern United States had degradation rates as low as 0.2% per year. Those panels could retain 96% of their production capabilities after 20 years.

            Degradation rates are used in solar site assessments in order to estimate the energy production over the life of a system and to calculate the payback period and return on investment. Like everything in engineering, we always assume the worst and hope for the best, so overestimating the degradation rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the other hand, we want realistic estimates so we don’t scare away potential customers who think they’ll need to replace their modules after 25 years. Given the results of NREL’s analysis, it may be beneficial to adjust the rule of thumb so it accounts for the conditions under which the panels will operate.

            http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51664.pdf

            ” For the reactors that were shuttered aside from SONGS it was a matter of economics and not operational abilities.”

            Yes, economics are killing nuclear.

            “Your statements about wind ignore the high variability, sure wind is cheap, but it its reliability is nil.”

            No, wind is variable and the Sun does not shine all the time but with load-shifting and storage we are making good use of the low cost electricity they provide.

            You have yet to acknowledge the problem with always-on generation such as nuclear. If nuclear penetration is more than the annual minimum demand then storage is needed to shift output to hours of demand.

            Nuclear is expensive. Storage makes it more expensive. Wind and solar are much less expensive and even with storage cost less than nuclear without storage.

          • Juan tome

            Scaling nuclear past 50% or so becomes an economic challenge, the average annual demand is between 45-50% of peak, so nuclear still has some room to grow to offset coal retirements.

            As far as panel degradation – you are preaching to the choir. I know the topic very well.

            Demand side management can certainly help us better utilize intermittent energy, but I would encourage you to study energy flows at scale – both demand and solar/wind resource in real time – all the while remembering that frequency and voltage of the grid must be regulated at all times. Technically speaking integrating large amounts of intermittent resources is a technical challenge. Economically speaking it is an undesirable proposition. If we could eventually get 15% of our electricity combined from wind and PV (most of it from PV), without overly inflating the cost of electricity, that would be a great accomplishment.

            Your comments about storage are like comedy, they are so void of actual analysis yet delivered with straight-face. Real knowledge > wishful thinking

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, Charlie. The NREL set wind and solar penetration much higer, at 35% for the western grid. And that was before we converted a large amount of coal to NG.

            A mix of wind, solar and storage is cheaper than new nuclear for the “baseload” portion of our supply. Glad you acknowledge that if nuclear penetration were to be high enough to require additional storage it would be much too expensive to consider. Most nuclear advocates are unable to admit that fact.

          • Juan tome

            this solar wind and storage stuff being cheap baseload is high comedy.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, let’s do some more math.

            What number do you want to use for PuHS, frequently cycled?

          • Juan tome

            Its complicated math, I’ve seen you’re work… dont find you capable. Take a stab though I could use a laugh.

            brookings institute though… care to comment?

          • eveee

            Scaling nuclear past 50% of demand is more than an economic challenge. Its an engineering problem. Nuclear does not ramp output well and when it does it loses economy. French reactors have some ramping capability, but it is limited. Under those constraints, nuclear needs to be less than the annual minimum demand. The annual maximum is more than 2x the annual minimum. Nuclear does not ramp output well and when it does it loses economy.

          • Juan tome

            actually modern nucelar plants are quite capable at ramping at a rate of 1MW/S, which is more than adequate to be used as part of a load-following component of a larger grid.

            I wouldn’t think it is ideal to have more than 45-50% nuclear in a given country, but the closer a country gets to these capacities the greater of an advantage they have in overall emissions reduction. For instance, it will be very very difficult for California to ever become as clean in the power sector as Ontario, or Georgia, or South Carolina, especially if they shut down Diablo Canyon.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Load following only makes already too expensive nuclear power even more expensive.

            It’s not about California having trouble becoming green. California is only one part of the Western grid. Has been for a long, long time. A lot of California’s “non-green” supply came from other states that burned massive amounts of coal and shipped the power to CA.

            Going forward CA will import more clean energy from PNW wind and hydro, geothermal from Nevada (and possibly Utah), as well as wind from wherever it blows the most at the times most needed. Work is underway to connect wind-rich Wyoming to CA.

          • eveee

            NPP in the US are not capable of ramping like this. Their economics would also collapse. Some NPP in France can do some limited load following, and CF drops affecting economics. There are how many new, modern NPP in operation in the US? Zero. You are counting chickens before they are hatched. If Vogtle gets completed and still is not cancelled, there will be one.

          • Juan tome

            and Summer 🙂 there are a few in Canada as well. and most every reactor can vary output in block fashion.

          • A Real Libertarian
          • Bob_Wallace

            Thanks.

          • A Real Libertarian

            No problem.

          • Juan tome

            Preaching to the choir with panel degradation stuff, if only you knew more about it.

            Brookings institute just released a study today showing NG and Nuclear as best values for replacing coal emissions: http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21608646-wind-and-solar-power-are-even-more-expensive-commonly-thought-sun-wind-and

            Basically echoing what I say about intermittent sources….

          • Bob_Wallace

            Oh please, Juan, don’t turn this thread into a joke.

            I gave you a major study on panel life from the NREL and you try to rebuff with a piece from a right wing political site?

            http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51664.pdf

          • Juan tome

            Do some research on brookings institute…. not at all right winged. Their work is cited as often on the left side of the aisle as the right.

            Your study on panel degradation is nothing new to someone who worked on PV reliability. You don’t know the half of it.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Is your nickname Pinocchio?

          • Juan tome

            No its bazumba

          • A Real Libertarian

            Bazoomba?

            Well, you are a gigantic boob.

          • Juan tome

            Thanks for the compliment

          • Bob_Wallace
          • Bob_Wallace

            “you keep ins isting that PV is cheaper than nuclear….which is clearly not the case for most of the US based on the reported financed costs of the new reactors and the GTM reported installed cost for PV. Lets go through the calculation, shall we?”

            OK, here’s my math –

            Wind – $0.04/kWh average 2011 and 2012 PPA

            DOE “2012 Wind Technologies Market Report”
            http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/pdfs/2012_wind_technologies_market_report.pdf
            Wind – $0.021/kWh average 2013 PPA. Unconfirmed number but from a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/The-Price-Gap-Is-Closing-Between-Renewables-and-Natural-Gas
            Solar – $0.05/kWh PPAs being signed in the US Southwest. Working backwards through a LCOE calculation extrapolates a cost of about $0.02 higher for the less sunny Northeast.

            Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory entitled “Utility-Scale Solar 2012: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States” http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/big-solar-now-competing-with-wind-energy-on-costs-75962
            PPA prices for wind and solar are lowered about 1.5 cents by PTC (Production Tax Credits). Both wind and solar are eligible for 2.3 cent/kWh tax credits for each kWh produced during their first ten years of operation. Half of 2.3 is 1.15, but getting ones money early has value. http://energy.gov/savings/renewable-electricity-production-tax-credit-ptc
            An analysis of the Vogtle reactor costs by Citigroup in early 2014 found the LCOE for electricity from those reactors will cost 11 cents per kWh. That is assuming no further cost/timeline overruns.

            They also stated that reactors build after the Vogtle units would likely produce more expensive electricity as they would not be able to receive the low financing rates as Vogtle has obtained.
            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/citigroup-says-the-age-of-renewables-has-begun http://www.energypost.eu/age-renewables-begun-solar-power-continues-shoot-cost-curve/

          • Juan tome

            PPAs are not a valid measurement, they are not transparent on financials subsidies concessions grants etc.

            You need to speak in $/watt or LCOE if this is to be a valid discussion

          • Bob_Wallace

            PPAs are real world numbers. Prices in signed, long term contracts.

            LCOEs are estimates of the cost of generation.

            PPAs include both the cost of generation as well as other costs such as owner profits which are not included in LCOEs.

            PPAs may include subsidies which need to be subtracted to get a better handle on actual cost. (You’ll note that when I use PPA numbers I subtract out the subsidy in a very public manner.)

          • Juan tome

            PPAs are contracts, If I agree to sell my car for $100 to a needy person off the street because I feel like doing a good deed, that doesn’t mean the value of my car is $100.

            The analogy is synonymous with how PPA contracts may have generous parties involved in the financials, but the contract price does not change the reported $/watt that firms like GTM Research are reporting.

            $/watt to install PV is $/watt. It isn’t magically 70% lower in some case without someone taking a 70% hit on the project out of generosity or because of public policy etc.

            So in the cases where PPA purchase price of Solar is being reported below 5c, the installed price was still above $2/watt and some party or public entity is paying for the difference….

            and that children, is why we dont mistake PPA contracts with obscured details for the real cost of electricity.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Juan, it seems that this exchange has pretty much exhausted its usefulness. When you start trying to defend nuclear on the basis of selling your car at a loss to some deserving person would make you feel good you, my friend, have jumped shark.

            Today I ran an LCOE using GMT’s EOY 2013 average price for utility solar. $1.96/watt. Using the CF for the SW the price per kWh was 6.5 cents. Subtract out 1.5c to allow for subsidies and you hit the 5 cent PPA. Full circle.

          • Juan tome

            And obviously you omitted the cost of capital (not to be confused with the capital cost).

            According to NREL this is around 9.4% for utility solar in 2014.

            Typically PPAs obscure more than just the federal tax credit, there are various state, municipal, utility and other concessions made including often land and transmission grants to help meet renewable portfolio standards.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Where’s your weather data, Juan?

          • Juan tome

            Huh?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m waiting for you to either produce your ‘weeks of low wind and sunshine’ data or to admit that you made that up.

          • Juan tome

            This will be the 4th time in this comments section that I provide the dates to you along with the link to verify the data and a table below summarizing it.

            Oct 27th 2012 to Nov 6th 2012.

            See table below, wind and solar combined for just 1.77 percent of electricity during that 11 day period. Verify for yourself:
            http://www.caiso.com/green/renewableswatch.html

            And that is by no means an extreme case, I hardly spent any time searching for an instance of low wind output and still readily found 11 days of relatively low ouput strung together, I am certain there were worse cases throughout the course of a given year.

          • Bob_Wallace

            This is one more time where you attempt to send me looking to find the data you seem to be unable to produce.

            You claimed weeks. You present days, a week at best. Even an 11 day period does not support your claim.

            As for the 1.77% number, CA obtained roughly 5% of its electricity from wind and solar in 2012. Presenting the 1.77 number out of context makes it seem much more drastic than it is.

            If we want to play number games then I should use CA’s very poor nuclear availability? After all two of the four CA reactors were off line for almost all of 2012. Nuclear was about 50% for an entire year.

            Find the data or man up. I’m tired of your slams at my honesty when you won’t don’t hold yourself to a reasonable standard.

          • Juan tome

            I clearly linked the data above, but I will link the 11 days specifically below to allow you to verify reality.

            The fact that CA obtained 5% of its electricity from wind and solar in 2012 proves my point. For 11 straight days the combined sources only contributed 35% of their average output… that clearly becomes a problem if we were to rely on them for large shares of our energy.

            To further the point look at the graphics below – wind and solar combined are contributing essentially nothing to the grid during peak of these particular days…. meaning that the capacities that they represent have essentially no effective load carrying capacity – which is an economic problem when it comes to scale.

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121027_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121028_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121029_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121030_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121031_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121101_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121102_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121103_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121104_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121105_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

            http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/20121106_DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf

          • Bob_Wallace

            You are now repeatedly posting false information.

            You claimed “weeks” but are trying to sneak through with single days.

            Stop it if you want to continue to participate on this forum.

          • Juan tome

            Bob if I posted weeks can you verify that? reading above that doesnt seem to be the case.

            You shouldnt threaten to ban someone just because they have opposing viewpoints.

            In any case I am rather sure there has been a period of two weeks where wind resource has been below average.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You are right, Lake Hodges is new…. however it was built primarily as an emergency reservoir for San Diego, an area that imports a lot of water. And the peak electrical output is 40MW.

            notice that during winter in much of the country overcast days are typical, and solar output is weak.

            refer to CAISO data even.

            Wind regularly has lulls that can several days or weeks.

            And then each of these sources can produce nameplate peak at times. The reasons why matching storage capacity to this type of output and getting high utilization from it are obvious, I know you understand but I don’t expect you to come out and admit it.

            From (before you edited it) here:
            http://cleantechnica.com/2014/07/28/electric-vehicle-revolution-nigh-infographic/#comment-1516328335

            Now what where you saying about Bob dishonestly rewriting his comments?

          • Juan tome

            I think that is likely true. Without much searching I found an instance of 11 straight days.

            Do you want to challenge me to find an instance of 14 days?

            How many PV watts would it take to generate 17.6 TWh of electricity in the state of Georgia in one year?

          • Bob_Wallace

            You will note that this last comment of yours has disappeared.

            I’m taking no more of your attempt to weasel out of backing your claim or admitting that you lied.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Jonathan – would you please post the ‘before and after’?

            I really want to see what was changed.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Before:

            You are right, Lake Hodges is new…. however it was built primarily as an emergency reservoir for San Diego, an area that imports a lot of water. And the peak electrical output is 40MW.

            notice that during winter in much of the country overcast days are typical, and solar output is weak.

            refer to CAISO data even.

            Wind regularly has lulls that can several days or weeks.

            And then each of these sources can produce nameplate peak at times. The reasons why matching storage capacity to this type of output and getting high utilization from it are obvious, I know you understand but I don’t expect you to come out and admit it.

            After:

            You are right, Lake Hodges is new…. however it was built primarily as an emergency reservoir for San Diego, an area that imports a lot of water. And the peak electrical output is 40MW. Its something, but not exactly the model for an entire nation, and dare I say its powering its pumps with the typical grid mix in San Diego or imported coal electricity from Arizona.

            notice that during winter in much of the country overcast days are typical, and solar output is weak.

            refer to CAISO data even.

            Wind regularly has lulls that can last several days or more than a week. That too is clear by studying the CAISO data for a fleet of wind turbines that are well dispersed over a large state.

            The reasons why matching storage capacity to this type of output and getting high utilization from it are as obvious as the difficulties in economically sizing an off-grid battery bank without any backup generator, I know you are smart enough to understand but I don’t expect you to come out and admit it.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Thanks.

            Pretty slimy, Juan.

          • A Real Libertarian

            No problem.

          • eveee

            California has only two highly concentrated areas of wind turbines. By far, the bulk of wind energy comes from one locale in southern california. That is not the best conditions for wind output, but even so, the wind displays a high anti correlation with solar. California solar capacity was more than three times less in 2011. Results from that year would be expected to be low since solar was barely starting by then in the state. A look at 2013 reveals a different picture. While wind suffers from the lack of geographic diversity, solar puts out respectable amounts of energy during the peak daylight hours. Comparing output in 2011 is misleading. A lull of 1.7% in a pattern of 5% average is not so spectacular. You have correctly assessed that winter is the lowest average output for wind and solar in California. It is just the opposite in the Midwest. But in so doing, you have mislead and neglected to mention that the system has not been optimized for wind, and took the solar data at an early stage when it was not fully developed in an attempt to mislead. By placing the numbers out of context, you create a false impression. By citing only the variable portion of renewables, you also overlook the non variable ones. All in all, a poor attempt at obfuscation.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_California

          • Juan tome

            A lull of 1.7% in a pattern average of 5% amounts to a 76% under-performance. If these sources were majority contributors to the grid that would indeed be spectacular, and it is the reason why they are not majority contributors.

          • A Real Libertarian

            34% = 66% under-performance.

          • Juan tome

            66% it is

          • Bob_Wallace

            I used a lower rate. I’ll redo later with the NREL number.

            Link to the number, please.

          • Juan tome
          • Bob_Wallace

            (This may show up in another post with a jumbled format. I forgot about pasting as plain text.)

            “you keep ins isting that PV is cheaper than nuclear….which is clearly not the case for most of the US based on the reported financed costs of the new reactors and the GTM reported installed cost for PV. Lets go through the calculation, shall we?”

            OK, here’s my math –

            Wind – $0.04/kWh average 2011 and 2012 PPA

            DOE “2012 Wind Technologies Market Report”

            http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/pdfs/2012_wind_technologies_market_report.pdf

            Wind – $0.021/kWh average 2013 PPA. Unconfirmed number but from a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/The-Price-Gap-Is-Closing-Between-Renewables-and-Natural-Gas

            Solar – $0.05/kWh PPAs being signed in the US Southwest. Working backwards through a LCOE calculation extrapolates a cost of about $0.02 higher for the less sunny Northeast.

            Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory entitled “Utility-Scale Solar 2012: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States” http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/big-solar-now-competing-with-wind-energy-on-costs-75962

            PPA prices for wind and solar are lowered about 1.5 cents by PTC (Production Tax Credits). Both wind and solar are eligible for 2.3 cent/kWh tax credits for each kWh produced during their first ten years of operation. Half of 2.3 is 1.15, but getting ones money early has value.

            http://energy.gov/savings/renewable-electricity-production-tax-credit-ptc

            An analysis of the Vogtle reactor costs by Citigroup in early 2014 found the LCOE for electricity from those reactors will cost 11 cents per kWh. That is assuming no further cost/timeline overruns.

            They also stated that reactors build after the Vogtle units would likely produce more expensive electricity as they would not be able to receive the low financing rates as Vogtle has obtained.

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/citigroup-says-the-age-of-renewables-has-begun

            http://www.energypost.eu/age-renewables-begun-solar-power-continues-shoot-cost-curve/

          • Juan tome

            PPAs are not LCOE

            If we plug GTMs reported estimates for installed cost per watt fpr utility solar and NRELs reported interest rates into an LCOE calculator we will arrive close to the LCOE reported by the US DOE – which is between 13 and 24 cents/kWh depending on region.

            If you want to try me on that then lets take the GTM and NREL numbers and plug them into an LCOE calculator.

            in other words, at $2 a watt (lower than GTM reports) and 9.2% interest per NREL, PV is more expensive than the 14 billion dollar cost of Vogtle.

            The equation is easy to make because the annual output of vogtle is equal to about 10.5 – 11 billion PV watts depending on a variety of installation factors. Take those watts time the reported installed cost per watt and wham we have some transparency… unlike PPAs which are highly complicated contracts that hide all cost transparency.

            If youre not speakin $/watt or LCOE you’re trying to hide something.

          • eveee

            You are using todays situation with low number of EVs and low grid solar to conflate future use. Right now, with limited number of EVs it makes sense to charge at night. Given the collapse of daytime wholesale prices already started by solar, it becomes inevitable that utilities will try to sell the excess wit lower costs. That means all rooftop PV will be available to contribute to charging EVs daily. As solar and EVs become ubiquitous, workplace charging will increase.

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Youve-Got-to-Charge-Your-EV-While-the-Ducks-Are-Quacking

          • Juan tome

            aaaannd back in reality PV contributes a quarter of a percent to domestic electricity production and most rooftop PV systems lack amperage to power EV chargers……

          • eveee

            Aaaaand back to understanding growth rates. At 2x growth every 2 years, how many years, how many years to go from 1% to 32%. Ten years. Wake up.

            Most PV systems lack amperage? Whats this?

            http://www.hybridcars.com/tesla-promises-free-supercharger-access-forever-for-all-its-future-cars/

          • Juan tome

            notice how the solar powered Tesla charger stations are 2x the cost of the non. Like I said, Most PV systems lack amperage to charge EVs, an IEEE member interested in EVs should understand why.

            If you dont understand sustaining rates of growth then I dont need to talk to you about it.

          • A Real Libertarian

            notice how the solar powered Tesla charger stations are 2x the cost of the non.

            Notice how the solar powered Tesla charger stations never have to pay an electricity bill?

            You can’t do a cost comparison without counting costs of running the damn thing.

            At least not an honest cost comparison.

          • Juan tome

            Not quite:

            “The estimated cost of each station is $150,000 per non-solar station, and $300,000 for the solar-equipped ones. It was not clear whether grid storage would add to this cost.”

          • A Real Libertarian

            Not quite:

            “The estimated cost of each station is $150,000 per
            non-solar station, and $300,000 for the solar-equipped ones. It was not clear whether grid storage would add to this cost.”

            Here is George Takei to explain why you are wrong:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yytbDZrw1jc

          • Juan tome

            obviously the video applies to you because a fast charging station for Tesla’s could not be entirely off-grid powered and remain under $300,000.

            We know this because the cost of battery storage to charge one single car is about equal to the cost of the battery pack of one single Model S (get it?).

            Well if the amount of cars the station could charge in one cloudy day was capped then i suppose

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, I’ve spent a little time with your numbers. I’m not exactly sure what you included or did not include so I’ll lay things out as clearly as I can.

            First, years financed. Normal for reactors seems to be 30.

            Discount rate. 7.7%. I’ve used that as the during construction and the after completion number.

            Capital cost. $15 billion. Then increased by about five years of financing to $21.7 billion. I’ll report it both ways.

            CF. 90%. It’s high for US reactors, but I’ll play along.

            Now if capital cost is $15B and there are five years of financing at 7.7% that’s $9,714/kW.

            30 yr, 7.7%, $9,714/kW, 90% CF, 1.1c O&M = 11.7c/kWh

            Or if you are estimating $15B as including financing, that’s $6,714/kW.

            30 yr, 7.7%, $6,714/kW, 90% CF, 1.1c O&M = 8.4c/kWh.

            I ran the numbers at 20 years just for comparison.

            20 yr, 7.7%, $9,714/kW, 90% CF, 1.1c O&M = 13.4c/kWh

            20 yr, 7.7%, $6,714/kW, 90% CF, 1.1c O&M = 9.6c/kWh.

            Citigroup reported 11c/kWh. Since they are experts at things like cost estimates and most likely had access to data that you and I won’t ever see, I’m going to stick with their 11c until I see a convincing reason to not.

          • Juan tome

            Southern Company and the DOE are expecting around 11c/kWh as well. No argument from my side on that.

            The pre-interest capital cost is not 15 billion, it is actually 9.8 billion. The 15 billion figure includes financing costs as is corroborated by multiple sources such as the one below:
            http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmenergy/742/742vw20.htm

            I have no ill-intentions against PV as a technology, but it is quite clear that if the prevailing installed price for utility PV is around $2.10 a watt on the low end, then its not really competitive with the nuclear plant in this region, nor was it fit for the grid regime of replacing a coal plant in the first place.

            So if we are to have mature conversations about actually tackling the climate problem we best support nuclear power as one component of grid electricity, and PV as another.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Average utility scale was $1.96/watt at the end of 2013. (Greentech Media 2013 Solar Report)

            Since that was an average, it’s highly likely that the low end was lower. And that was six months ago.

            “So if we are to have mature conversations about actually tackling the climate problem we best support nuclear power.”

            You may have taken some engineering courses, but you seem to have missed Logic 101. Nuclear, as you admit, is much more expensive than solar.

            Please do not set up false premises such as implying an all solar grid. That’s junior high school debate crap.

          • Juan tome

            According to GTM the median utility scale cost at the end of 2012 was between $2.50 – $4.00 per watt installed
            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/can-u.s.-solar-pv-costs-keep-falling

            And I am not aware of any reports that the median price fell by 60% between the beginning and end of 2013….. So Im going to go ahead and call you on your bluff that $1.96 is now the MEDIAN price for utility PV installations… especially since you neglected to provide a link to your source.

            GTM reported the cost of silicon PV modules to be up 9% on the year before the recent tarriff rulings which are projected to increase the average price by an additional 14%….

          • Bob_Wallace

            Quarter-over-quarter, the national average system price declined by 15%, falling from $3.05/W in Q3 to

            $2.59/W in Q4, while dropping 14.8% from $3.04/W a year earlier.

            This capacity-weighted number is heavily impacted by the volume of utility-scale solar installed in a given quarter. Utility PV capacity accounted for more than two-thirds of all new capacity installed, and for that reason, it had a relatively larger impact on the blended average system price. Individually, the residential, non-residential, and utility segments all saw price decreases on a quarter-over-quarter basis. (It should be noted that prices reported in this section are weighted averages based on all systems that were completed in Q4 across many locations and that the weight of any individual location can influence the average.)
            From Q4 2012 to Q4 2013, residential system prices fell 8.8%, from $5.03/W to $4.59/W. Quarter-over- quarter, installed prices declined by 3.2%. Installed prices came down in most major residential markets including California, Arizona, New Jersey, and New York. Non-residential system prices fell by an impressive 16.3% year-over-year, from $4.26/W to $3.57/W, while quarter-over-quarter installed costs decreased by 11%.

            Higher-priced school and government projects with prevailing wage requirements drove up average installed costs in Arizona’s non-residential market. Amidst this uptick, however, the non-residential market on the whole benefited from an influx of large ground-mount systems completed in Massachusetts and New Jersey, with $3.00/W average installed prices and prices that ranged as low as $1.94/W. Utility system prices once again declined quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, down from $2.27/W in Q4 2012 and $2.04/Win Q3 2013, settling at $1.96/W in Q4.

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/research/ussmi

            I said nothing about median. I stated “average”. That is the central tendency measurement GMT reported.

            Might be wise to avoid the “call your bluff” stuff since you aren’t able to back up your claim.

          • Juan tome

            Ummm Bob, read what you pasted above, it does not state $1.94 is an average value, rather it explicitly states $3 for non-residential ground mount systems… and clearly states prices “ranged as low as” $1.94. Language that obviously indicates $1.94 is on the low end.

            So I do indeed call your bluff.

            Moreover the cost of panels was reported up in 2014 before recent tariff announcements. And PV systems do not offer much in the way of effective load carrying capacity, so comparing them to a source such as nuclear is pointless to begin with.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Here’s what I posted…

            “Average utility scale was $1.96/watt at the end of 2013. ”

            These are quotes copied from the GMT report…

            Non-residential. Commercial.

            “… the non-residential market on the whole benefited from an influx of large ground-mount systems completed in Massachusetts and New Jersey, with $3.00/W average installed prices and prices that ranged as low as $1.94/W”
            Utility scale.

            “Utility system prices once again declined quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, down from $2.27/W in Q4 2012 and $2.04/Win Q3 2013, settling at $1.96/W in Q4.”

          • Juan tome

            Yes and that language in obvious terms pins the average price at $3/Watt.

            $1.96 is directly referenced as the low end of the range.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Those nuclear fanboy goggles are working great!

            $3 is the weighted average for residential, commercial and utility solar. (Do you need me to explain what a weighted average is?)

            Any objective reader would instantly understand that GMT is talking about average prices, not the low end price.

          • Juan tome

            Well you added that last line after the fact….

            And please provide a link.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Utility system prices once again declined quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, down from $2.27/W in Q4 2012 and $2.04/Win Q3 2013, settling at $1.96/W in Q4.

            $1.96/W is the average for Utility Solar.

            $1.94/W is is the low end for Commercial Solar.

            You weren’t paying attention because you obviously know better then us stupid hippies, and thus you made a stupid mistake.

            Then, when called on your mistake, you ignored it and pretend that you’re still right.

            See, this is why nuclear is unpopular.

            Because nukes are astoundingly dangerous and thus can not be trusted in the hands of arrogant children who keep insisting that they didn’t take the cookie that’s smeared all over their face and actually believe that everything will be fine.

          • Juan tome

            The quote which you outlined above wasn’t in Bob’s original post, nor have I been provided a link that verifies it to be true.

          • A Real Libertarian
          • Juan tome

            Either case my original comparison used 2.10/watt. Change that to 1.96 and the outcome is the same – nuclear is cheaper in capital cost for the same amount of annual energy in Georgia before considering storage.

          • eveee

            What? By ignoring the cost of finance, insurance, etc.? That attempt at calculating costs you came up with before? And you want to stand that against Citigroups financial experts? Why dont you take a few courses in finance first then get back to us. If your calculations don’t match Citigroup, they are wrong.

          • Juan tome

            Financing accounted for: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmenergy/742/742vw20.htm

            “Georgia Power Company (GPC) is the developer and has a 45.7% share in the ownership of the Westinghouse AP1000 Vogtle 3 and 4 units (the other owners are municipal entities). The construction cost of the contract is $9.8 billion while including interest during construction the cost is estimated at $14 billion. GPC’s share of the plant is being built against a price approved by the Public Service Commission of Georgia, and the cost will be included in the rate base and allowed a WACC of 7.8% nominal post-tax. The price is based on an Engineering Procurement Construction contract, and the amount allowed in the ratebase will be subject to a performance bonus/penalty. The contract is open book to the Commission, who have recruited an experienced nuclear engineer to assist with the formalized monitoring procedure. In December 2010 the Commission authorized expenditure of $1 billion on GPC’s share of the work so far. As of the first week in March both the company and the Commission expressed satisfaction with the arrangements”

          • A Real Libertarian

            “As of the first week in March both the company and the Commission expressed satisfaction with the arrangements”

            The first week in March 2011.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Prove it.

            And bring your weather data or admit you lied.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Utility system prices once again declined quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, down from $2.27/W in Q4 2012 and $2.04/Win Q3 2013, settling at $1.96/W in Q4.

          • Juan tome

            He modified his post to include that last line…. and Im not finding it in the link unless you can publish graphics from the executive summary….

            Nonetheless, at $2 a watt the capital cost is still higher to create an equivalent amount of annual energy from PV as the Vogtle additions before we account for the financing cost of PV.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I modified exactly nothing. I do not edit any post (except for spelling errors) and change the text.

            You’re moving into jerk-land Juan.

          • Juan tome

            Alright well my calculation used 2.10, use 1.96 and the capital cost for PV is still more expensive than the new reactors.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’re attempting another ‘duck under and slip through’.

            The cost of electricity is determined by not only capex but also by finex and operating costs.

            You know that. And we know you know that.

            Less used car salesman and more objective engineer, please.

          • Juan tome

            Ok so the capex and finex combined were reported originally as 14 billion for the vogtle additions.

            After 700 million in cost over runs due to delay lets now put that number at 15 billion.

            15 billion is factually less than the cost of providing an annual production of 17.6 TWhs from PV at an installed cost of $1.96 under the Georgia sun… The math is fairly straightforward to verify that. and that is before analyzing finex or the fact that such a capacity wouldn’t comply with load profile.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Nuclear doesn’t fit load profile. Don’t try to run that crap past us. Solar produces during high demand hours.

            Solar is more valuable than it’s actual price due to when it delivers. Nuclear is actually less valuable than it’s actual price because it produces a lot of power which can’t be curtailed during low demand periods.
            GA is zone 4, 4.5 solar hours average per year. 19% CF. The sunniest parts of the US (excluding Death Valley) are 23%.

            17% less solar isn’t going to drive 6.5 cents up to over 11 cents. In fact, only to 7.6 cents.

          • Juan tome

            solar does produce during high demand hours but actually produces little during peak demand in the late evening.

            And baseload clearly fits the load profile in the void left by the retiring coal plant Vogtle is replacing. baseload is the economic engine of the modern world.

            The average minimum demand is about 45% of peak, so their is obviously a niche for baseload.

            How many PV watts are required to produce 17.6 TWhs in a year in Georgia?

          • Bob_Wallace

            So since solar doesn’t do it all we should ignore what it does well?

            Vogtle is replacing nothing. GA has no need for Vogtle – you got the link.

            Vogtle will likely push cheaper generation off line due to the way GA’s utility business is run.

            “How many PV watts are required to produce 17.6 TWhs in a year in Georgia?”
            Quit trying to plan games. If you’re going to disassemble into troll you’ll be shown the door.

          • Juan tome

            I didnt say we should ignore solar, I think we should deploy it, but we have to remember reliable sources are important as well.

            How is asking this question playing games? How many PV watts are required to produce 17.6 TWhs in a year in Georgia?

          • eveee

            Peak demand in the late evening? Thats a fiction. That is the net demand minus variable renewables. The peak demand is still the same. It did not change because of generation. Except for rooftop PV of course, which is not counted in Californias PV generation in caiso numbers. How could it? The utility does not have dual meters one attached to the rooftop solar PV and another measuring residence demand so it can tell the difference.

            “CaISO measures only those large energy generators that are hooked up to the grid without a consumer’s electric meter in between them. That means that none of the residential or commercial rooftop solar in the state counts toward that 4,566-megawatt total.”

            http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/another-solar-peak-california-passes-4500-megawatts-monday.html

          • Juan tome

            meant to say peak demand in early evening – which is non-fiction.

            Yes a lot of rooftop PV is unaccounted for by CAISO, but a lot of the rooftop PV will also have low output relative to nameplate between 5-6:30 PM when demand is at peak.

          • eveee

            No. I gave you a clue. The finance costs. In order to do this calculation you have to do the time value of money. You need to estimate a series of equal payments in the future ten years and a series of equal outlays in ten years for operation and maintenance. Then you need to calculate that against the first cost taking interest into account. There is a reason that finance professionals do these calculations, not you. Its because they not only know how to do the calculations, they know what calculation is the right one for the circumstances. You obviously don’t. Its actually much more complex than that and has to be done on the basis of estimates. The cost that the plant will get for power are variable, not fixed. At 4AM the paid cost for electricity is lower than at 4PM. Nuclear now operates a lot of the time when there are low electric rates, since the daytime peak has been squashed by solar. In fact, and analysis of running costs shows that present nuclear is having trouble competing with wind because its O and M is higher.

          • eveee

            No. The cost is over 20 billion. Its been delayed. Thats finance cost. 10 years at 7.7% for an initial loan principal of 9.8B is over 20B dollars. Get it straight. Quit talking fantasy numbers. The project is already delayed and behind schedule. That does not include the cost of the lawsuit or any additional costs.

          • Juan tome

            The project partners didn’t finance the entire project amount.

            Saying the project cost is over 20 billion is simple dishonesty as there is not legitimate source to back that claim.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That is true. The state government allowed them to grab money from customers and use it to build reactors. They do not have to refund that money nor will they pay financing costs on that portion of the costs.

            That, however, does not change the LCOE calculation that a organization like Citigroup would make. They would include the seized money and calculate the cost of financing. Whether that money came from company pocketbooks or taken from others. The cost of money.

            We don’t know what current costs are, but it’s very likely Citigroup has a very good idea.

          • Juan tome

            What do you actually know about Citi? What makes their opinion more important than those in prominent energy positions in government?

            http://greencorruption.blogspot.com/2013/02/citigroups-massive-green-money-machine.html#.U9_dxWMYQqM

          • Bob_Wallace

            It’s not Citigroup’s opinion. It’s their numbers.

          • Juan tome

            Its most certainly an opinion. The raw numbers for cost per installed watt from GTM show that PV is certainly a ways a way from being competitive with fossil fuels. Understanding of the lack of effective load carrying capacity of PV decreases its value further.

            Instead of arguing why don’t we just check back in in a year. If solar is still under 1% or even 0.5% of domestic electricity then you probably have to temper you expectations and assertions.

          • Bob_Wallace

            ​I don’t expect solar to hit 1% in a year. Probably not 0.5% in a year, but close.

            I need to temper nothing. I’m working with real world numbers.

            Under $2/watt installed makes solar competitive. That makes it cheaper than new coal and new nuclear. I

            And by offering fixed rates for 20 years solar is very competitive with NG.
            You have little understanding of how grids operate. A cheap power source has value even if it’s not “always-on”. Always-on sources drop value due to the fact that they are always on.

          • Juan tome

            Uhh theyre called control rods, stop the fission process, make it not always on.

            And if PV is competitive with Natural gas then we would surely be seeing it grow its share of US electricity rapidly… Its not happening because its not true whatsoever.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Uhh theyre called control rods, stop the fission process, make it not always on.

            Thus taking out the reactor for days at the least.

            Most nuke operators wouldn’t do that and instead would pay utilities to take electricity off their hands.

            And if PV is competitive with Natural gas then we would surely be seeing it grow its share of US electricity rapidly… Its not happening because its not true whatsoever.

            40% annual growth rates is not “growing rapidly”?

            Did anybody ever tell you that, unlike the boogeyman, covering your eyes doesn’t prevent reality from seeing you?

          • Juan tome

            “Thus taking out the reactor for days at the least”

            Incorrect. Control rod systems can make modern reactors load follow. Most plants change output in block fashion according to demand. Since minimum average demand is sizable there is not really an instance where a nuclear plant would need to be completely shutdown.

            Where is your data for 40% annual growth? Is that in the US or worldwide? Does the small scale of PV electrical market share (less than a quarter of a percent) and the temporary subsidies that it depends on not temper the hope for sustaining such a growth trend…. or do you also lack common sense?

          • A Real Libertarian

            Incorrect. Control rod systems can make modern reactors load follow. Most plants change output in block fashion according to demand. Since minimum average demand is sizable there is not really an instance where a nuclear plant would need to be completely shutdown.

            And thus they sell for a loss.

            And that’s why nuclear power is doomed, because it makes no financial sense.

            Where is your data for 40% annual growth? Is that in the US or worldwide? Does the small scale of PV electrical market share (less than a quarter of a percent) and the temporary subsidies that it depends on not temper the hope for sustaining such a growth trend…. or do you also lack common sense?

            Worldwide, in America it’s a lot faster:
            http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_1_01_a

            Solar is growing at a massive rate.

            A 40% annual growth rate means in 11 years solar will pass nuclear:
            http://www.miniwebtool.com/exponential-growth-calculator/?n1=1&n2=.4&n3=&n4=80

            Solar doesn’t need subsidies, it just makes it easier to compete against the big boys.

            Don’t like it?

            Then give up nuke & fossil subsidies and we’ll talk.

            As for common sense?

            Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down by the mind before you reach eighteen.
            – Albert Einstein

          • Juan tome

            Mmhmm, and what percentage of total installations are happening inside of California? On top of the 30% federal tax rebate how many other State, municipal, and utility programs apply to photovoltaics in the state of California? How does the solar resource in metropolitan CA compare to the US at large?

            Why did the rates of growth for PV in EU dissipate rapidly?

            Pertinent questions to ponder when one entertains sustained growth.

          • eveee

            How much can they follow? 15% maybe. And not very fast. They cannot shut off or they take days to turn back on.

          • Juan tome

            minimum average demand is considerable, so not sure why they would need to shut off.

          • eveee

            Nuclear is inflexible. That’s why it can’t get high rates. Why would nuclear shut down? Loss of outside power. Happens frequently. Also, demand drops. That’s one reason baseload plants are shutting down. Inability to vary with load and other sources.
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=deWtgpheDJM

          • Juan tome

            Yea not going to happen. Later alligator.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Juan, you’ve pretty much worn out your welcome. You’re just repeating the same old disproven statements.

          • A Real Libertarian

            He modified his post to include that last line

            Really?

            Because I’m looking at the update E-Mail and it’s in there.

            Meaning it was in the comment when first posted.

            Lying again? Naughty, naughty!

          • Juan tome

            Im pretty sure it wasnt

          • A Real Libertarian

            Im pretty sure it wasnt

            In the same way you’re “pretty sure” nuclear is cheaper then renewables?

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’re all goggled up Roger.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “So instead of providing the absolute best of the best case scenarios, why don’t we take a dose of reality.”

            You mean like using Hinkley Point as our nuclear price? 16 rather than 11 cents?

            Or how about we use completion data from Olkiluoto 3 in our projections of the LCOE for Vogtle?

            I’m accepting a ‘best case’ number for Vogtle. I see nothing wrong with using the lowest real world prices for wind and solar when they are indicators of where prices are heading. Especially when the numbers are repeated over multiple projects.

          • Juan tome

            If we reference Hinkley point we also have to reference the cost and capacity factors for PV in the UK. And Hinkley and Olkiluoto are both on the high end of nuclear plant prices, if we reference high end utility PV prices we are near $4.00 a watt and 20c/kWh + LCOE.

            I suggest referencing median values, not high or low end.

            I think using US prices for nuclear is quite realistic. The cost of reactors in China and India are a fraction of the overall cost of Vogtle and Summer, so America seems to be a good median value between some spots in the EU and Asia.

          • Bob_Wallace

            No. You seemed to be accusing me of cherry-picking favorable prices for solar and wind. I pointed out that I was using the most favorable price assumption for new nuclear. And I pointed out that the prices I have been using for solar and wind are real world prices with multiple cases, not a cherry-picked “best case”.

          • Juan tome

            $1.96 according to the very data from GTM that you provided was indeed on the low end. If you wanted to use favorable price assumptions for new nuclear we would look at China or UAE, not the US.

          • A Real Libertarian

            $1.96 according to the very data from GTM that you provided was indeed on the low end. If you wanted to use favorable price assumptions for new nuclear we would look at China or UAE, not the US.

            http://cleantechnica.com/2014/07/28/electric-vehicle-revolution-nigh-infographic/#comment-1520113707

          • Juan tome

            Could you provide a link that states the average cost for utility solar in 2014 (or 2013) is 1.96/watt?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I gave it to you, Juan.

            Download and read.

          • Juan tome

            thank you, your hands are soft 😉

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yeh, right.

            They get that softness from building and pouring concrete.

            You got nuclear mittens as well as goggles?

          • Juan tome

            well according to the IEEE it seems like energy experts are wearing nuclear mittens as well: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/nuclear/experts-favor-retiring-coal-keeping-nuclear

          • Bob_Wallace

            The Hansen Four are not energy experts.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Download the report and copy out the sections which prove that $1.96 is the low price rather than the 2013 EOY average.

            Otherwise you’re walking a very thin rope….

          • Juan tome

            I verified $1.96… still doesnt change the outcome of the original comparison I did between the new reactors and PV in the particular Georgia region.

          • eveee

            There is a lot you are unaware of:

            “Nutting also pointed out that in Q2 2013, the national average installed cost of utility-scale PV solar was $2.10 per watt, according to the GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight report.”

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Is-Utility-Scale-Solar-Really-Cheaper-Than-Rooftop-Solar

            “Installed costs fell 27% in the first three months of this year alone, compared with the corresponding quarter last year, shows an RTCC analysis. – See more at: http://www.rtcc.org/2014/04/30/us-solar-power-installed-costs-on-course-for-2020-target/#sthash.TjC4di2i.dpuf

            Solar PPA offerings are now in the $50/Mwhr range.

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Five-Things-You-Should-Know-About-the-US-Utility-Scale-PV-Market

          • eveee

            The finance cost does not include the delays. If it did, the cost is over 20 billion. The costs shown are for the initial 5 year plan which is no longer valid.

          • Juan tome

            Georgia power testified before state regulators a month ago that delay costs including interest totaled ~$700 million.

          • eveee

            You are one among many in a long line of flawed nuclear cost analysis attempts. If you do not compute the cost of finance, it is meaningless. Your assumption of 60 year lifetime operation is optimistic and assumes the plant won’t be put down for high O and M as it grows older. That is not a safe assumption. By far, the worst mistake is to not consider interest costs. Since nuclear takes ten years to build (Vogtle anyone?), there is no rate of return for ten years. That expands the cost to double the first cost at 7%. But that is just the beginning. Now you have to compute the cost of the delayed payback that starts in 10 years. Those payments are stretched far into the future, hurting the bottom line. Even a rookie financial expert knows that a decent cost analysis includes, but not limited to:

            First cost
            Interest costs
            Insurance
            Operation and Maintenance
            Fuel Costs

            For nuclear, you can add more.
            Waste storage and disposal.

            For nuclear, because of the lengthy construction times and payback period, interest costs are substantial.

          • Juan tome

            What is the capacity of PV watts needed to yield 17.6 TWhs annually in GA for 50 years?

          • eveee

            Because there is no need for storage. You are creating a straw man argument. The first result of large amounts of solar on the German grid was to kill the market for overnight pumped storage. That would not happen if more daily storage was needed. Further, why would solar and wind use storage when base load does not use storage to meet demand variation? Are utilities adding storage because they have to with large amounts of wind in Denmark, Spain, Germany, or Iowa? No. If anything will be used for variation, it will be the peaker plants in reserve that are already there. NREL proved that the changes in system reserves needed for renewables are small. Persisting with this storage argument makes no sense. None of the other sources are required to have it, when utilities have wind and solar they don’t use it. Its a myth. Maybe when sizable areas are served by over 30% renewable generation it could be considered along with demand management and reserves.

          • eveee

            Sodium cooled fast reactors? An economic and functional disaster. You are drinking the nuclear koolaid.
            “However, FBRs are a special problem, as proven globally. The International Panel on Fissile Materials says, “A large fraction of the liquid-sodium cooled reactors that have been built have been shut down for long periods by sodium fires. Russia’s BN-350 had a huge sodium fire. The follow-on BN-600 reactor was designed with its steam generators in separate bunkers to contain sodium-water fires and with an extra steam generator so a firedamaged steam generator can be repaired while the reactor continues to operate using the extra steam generator . Between 1980 and 1997, the BN-600 had 27 sodium leaks, 14 of which resulted in sodium fires… Leaks from pipes into the air have also resulted in serious fires. In 1995, Japan’s prototype fast reactor, Monju, experienced a major sodiumair fire. Restart has been repeatedly delayed, and, as of the end of 2009, the reactor was still shut down.

            France’s Rapsodie, Phenix and Superphenix breeder reactors and the UK’s Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) and Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) all suffered significant sodium leaks, some of which resulted in serious fires.” If FBRs had such problems even in normal conditions , imagine what could happen in an unanticipated disaster like Fukushima.

            We cannot trust safety assurances from the nuclear establishment because it cannot be expected to reveal the skeletons in its cupboard . In the US, private sector companies operate nuclear plants while a government agency regulates them and makes sure they are safe. But in India, the same nuclear establishment that designs and operates reactors also handles safety assessment, monitoring and evaluation. Notions of patriotism and secrecy override transparency.”

          • Juan tome

            EBR II operated in the US for decades. The Russian reactors are both and operating quite fine right now.

            GE has their own sodium cooled reactor and are quite confident in its safety accumen.

            This is a reactor design incapable of meltdown afterall.

          • eveee

            How about incapable of sodium fires? Not. You optimism is unwarranted. Every breeder has been a financial failure. Show some references. Talk is cheap. Tell us about Monju. Tell us about Phenix. Not even the French could stomach them.

          • Juan tome

            Engineering has provided methods of greatly limiting such low-consequence accidents. There have been entire research programs devoted to the subject. GE-Hitachi offer a commercial ready sodium cooled fast reactor that is under consideration for construction in the United Kingdom. Its called the PRISM. Opening your mind is a good thing, technology changes, problems are solved. The world progresses.

          • Juan tome

            Yes thats a very interesting storage medium – but note that it is thermal storage and as such it is much more economic to store thermal output from a thermal plant than to use electrical generators to create heat to in turn store.

          • Doug Cutler

            Solar can go direct to thermal but not wind. Isentropic’s pumped heat can store both. Plus, solar thermal needs to be at utility scale. This system could use both distributed solar PV or utility PV.

            Speculation: they don’t seem to be considering it for now but since their system is basically stored heat I wonder if they couldn’t adapt it to include direct solar thermal at some point.

            I don’t know if Isentropic will ever deliver on their crazy low cost projections. I’m not a shill, just a loopy fanboy across the pond in Canada. But they claim credible 3rd party engineers have verified the efficiency of major components of their system – just not yet at full scale. 3rd party firm is Parson Brinckerhoff. Isnetropic:

            http://www.isentropic.co.uk/News/New-electricity-storage-technique-developed-by-Ise

      • Steve Grinwis

        I question your affordable metric. The plants ran into massive cost overruns in construction, and the disaster insurance is held by the provincial government, which is an enormous subsidy. They may not charge much per kW, but no one I know claims they were cheap.

        • Juan tome

          The cost overruns funnel directly over to the per kWh cost as part of the capital recovery cost, so you’re already paying for that and it is indeed affordable.

          Disaster insurance doesn’t actually cost much of anything without a disaster, and with newer designs not only is a disaster extremely unlikely, the consequence of such a disaster in terms of radiation release is pretty small due to a smaller reactive core and larger containment. Core is also void of oxygen which prevents fuel cladding metal to yield the types of hydrogen explosions we saw at Fukushima http://www.nuscalepower.com/safe.aspx

          Ontario has one of the cleanest grids worldwide, as does France. You should be proud and not gloss over the roles that nuclear power, hydroelectric power, and wind power play in making that affordable.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Disaster insurance doesn’t actually cost much of anything without a disaster.”

            Are you dishonest or ignorant?

            I’m unaware of a third option.

          • jeffhre

            I was simply going to paste that line in quotes with the statement, show some numbers with your assertion. Yours will do fine 🙂

          • eveee

            Both.

          • Juan tome

            I think it is quite an honest statement. We have never had a nuclear disaster in the US after half a century of using the tech, and its only becoming much safer. We have had dozens die from pipeline and rail explosions related to gas in the past year alone, yet you guys aren’t picketing the gas industry – what gives?

          • Bob_Wallace

            What gives is that we’re very interested in shutting down the gas industry.

            Coal first. Then NG. Let the (proven safe) reactors keep operating until they are worn out.

          • Juan tome

            building some new ones and adding wind and solar on top of it seems to make an awful lot of sense too.

          • eveee

            So TMI was not an accident? SL-1 was not an accident? Church Rock was not an accident? SSFL was not an accident? There was large fuel melt down at TMI. SSFL was also a meltdown. When you don’t look, you don’t see. And what you see, you don’t count.

          • Juan tome

            Notice how I used the word “disaster”. Notice how I didnt use the word “accident”.

          • A Real Libertarian

            260 deaths isn’t a “disaster”?

            Page 19:
            http://www.ssflpanel.org/files/SSFLPanelReport.pdf

          • Juan tome

            Extremely unlikely 260 deaths resulted from TMI radiation exposures. If you want to review a body of literature on the topic then refer to the wikipedia page below containing a littany of links to reference material.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile_Island_accident_health_effects

          • A Real Libertarian

            What does the Sodium Reactor Experiment at Santa Susana Field Laboratory have to do with Three Mile Island?

            As for Three Mile Island (per your source):

            Wing later noted that in order to obtain the relevant data, the Columbia study had to submit to what Wing called “a manipulation of research” in the form of a court order which prohibited “upper limit or worst case estimates of releases of radioactivity or population doses… [unless] such estimates would lead to a mathematical projection of less than 0.01 health effects”.

            So, apparently “objective scientific and engineering analysis” requires discarding inconvenient evidence to ensure the proper, non-industry destroying answer is found.

          • Juan tome

            There are dozens of high level peer-reviewed studies on the topic that also conclude that attributable deaths to the accident are at a very low level if at all.

            I wouldn’t think one fringe opinion of account would out-weigh mainstream science on the issue.

          • A Real Libertarian

            There are dozens of high level peer-reviewed studies on the topic that also conclude that attributable deaths to the accident are most likely zero.

            Name them.

            I’m aware of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Advisory Panel Report, the Makhijani Analysis and Boeing’s Report.

            The first two support the lethality of the reactor, and of course Boeing wouldn’t acknowledge fault, they owned the remnants of Atomics International and thus are liable for the damage.

            Again, what does the Sodium Reactor Experiment at Santa Susana Field Laboratory have to do with Three Mile Island?

          • @juantome:disqus : “the consequence of such a disaster in terms of radiation release is pretty small.”

            I hope you never have the balls to write that again.

          • A Real Libertarian

            I hope you never have the balls to write that again.

            I hope he does, again and again and again.

            Because the more Fallout Boys explain that Chernobyl was no big deal and all health problems were caused by fear and stress of the evacuation rather then the radiation, the more people realize that nuclear power is based on a psychotic denial of reality.

            Would you accept a cost estimate from someone who insists that Chernobyl is harmless after all?

          • Juan tome

            Chernobyl had no containment and a positive reactivity coefficient. We have never built such a reactor again.

            Newer reactors are going to have a smaller core and the same robust containment.

            There have been dam bursts that have killed thousands and displaced millions, yet we dont insist that all hydroelectric dams must be shut down.

          • eveee

            Fukushima had reactors the same as used in the US from US mfrs. They were American reactors. A stunning triple full melt down. No big deal to you. Sure. I get that.

          • Juan tome

            The positioning of backup generators in the instance of Fukushima and the unwillingness to build a seawall was sheer incompetence.

            Notice that the Onagawa reactor of the same design was nearer to the epicenter of the quake/tsunami and survived just fine. It wasnt a reactor design fault, it was an auxillary power fault.

          • Bob_Wallace

            It was human failure.

            You can build an uncookable reactor in your mind, but Home will find a way.

          • Juan tome

            So should we stop flying airplanes and driving cars? Should we stop installing PV systems because a human error in installation could lead to an electrical fire?

          • Bob_Wallace

            If we find a better, cheaper, safer way to get places than using cars and planes then we should quit using cars and planes.

            It’s fairly clear that EVs are going to be cheaper than ICEVs and better for the planet. So if “cars” means today’s gasmobiles, we’ll quit them.
            It’s also fairly clear than HSR is better for the environment than are planes. So, yes, in some circumstances we should quit flying. And if the hyperloop or a similar form of transportation emerges we might be able to quit flying except across oceans.

            Why stick with a technology that is more expensive, takes longer to bring on line and creates safety/radioactive waste when we have better, faster, cheaper, safer solutions? That would be pretty dumb, don’t cha think?

          • Juan tome

            PV being safer is a highly questionable assertion. We have had nil fatalities related to radiation exposure of nuclear powerplants in North America, yet we have had several electrical fires from PV panels despite the fact that we only generate a fraction of a percent of our electricity from PV. Reactors are becoming an order of magnitude safer now that the cores are becoming smaller and passive cooling systems are being integrated….. PV systems to contribute largely to our grid will need to be extremely common, and some incidence of malpractice in installation, fault in manufacturing, and electrical fire as a result would be unavoidable. Throw battery storage into the mix and the problem becomes larger.

            So long as PV lacks effective load carrying capacity its not going to be cheaper. at $1.96 a watt installed in utility fields its not cheaper, and the price for rooftop PV is considerably higher.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Bull, Juan.

            We have multiple layers of safety that we have to build around nuclear reactors. We need nothing even remotely similar for wind and solar.

            You misrepresent the danger of nuclear.

          • Juan tome

            over 50 years of commercial NPP operation in North America represents the danger of Nuclear for me, I represent nothing. The history shows that the Danger of commercial Nuclear in North America has been quite low, statistically lower in terms of fatalities per unit energy than ANYTHING else. And implementing passive cooling and smaller reactor cores only increases the safety by an additional huge margin.

            The only people you scare are those without common sense.

          • eveee

            Excuses, excuses. Is that the excuse you will give when a US reactor does the same? Rhetorical. We already know the answer.

          • Juan tome

            Let me know when that happens.

          • Juan tome

            “the consequence of such a disaster in terms of radiation release is pretty small”

            Oh I have the balls, and the brains.

            You have to understand the context of that statement. The small modular reactor designs maintain such a small reactive core and such overbuilt containment that the theoretical realease of radiation in a worst case event would not be substantial. Its called science, it helps to objectively consider it before getting emotional pokey.

          • Good gods, don’t patronize me. And definitely don’t act like you are the smartest little boy ever.

            You are either completely clueless, or emotionally stunted. You really, seriously can’t comprehend the *human* toll of a nuclear accident?? WE DON”T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE FULL CONSEQUENCES WOULD BE. You seriously compare that to a dam bursting? Sure, any disaster has the potential to be horrific. But they all end fairly quickly (well, except a massive volcanic eruption, perhaps). But the fallout from anything nuclear could have an impact many generation. We still don’t know what is going to be the long-term effects from Fukushima. There are still a number of really bad worst case scenarios from that. (What’s that? Fukushima shouldn’t count? Riiiiight.)

            You’re a cold, crass human who thinks he is smarter than he really is.

          • Juan tome

            A dam bursting actually has worse consequences – compare the death toll, property damages, and relocation toll of the Banqiao dam burst to Fukushima.

            Fukushima resulted in zero deaths, The Banqiao Dam burst caused 26,000 direct deaths and an additional 145,000 subsequent deaths from epidemics and famine amongst the over 11 million displaced from their homes.

            We actually do know pretty well what the long term effects of Fukushima are going to be – you see there is this medical science known as radiology that studies the effects of radiation on biological systems. According the the World Health Organization future deaths attributable to the Fukushima Radiation release will be undetectable compared to societal norms.

            Im not cold nor crass, I am simply informed I suggest you refer to science as well rather than just being deathly afraid of things you don’t understand.

          • eveee

            You are off the rails, man. Trying to overlook the displacement of over 100,000, the direct economic impacts of that, and the gigantic sums of money used to patch up the leaky reactors is gross. Your concept of gravitas is broken. You read from the same sound bite scripts heard and debunked endlessly. The Banquio damn disaster. That one is old. You must be dismissing all the dams used by France to operate their nuclear fleet so that they can meet peak demand. You are pretty cold and crass to claim no one died in Chernobyl and that non fatal effects don’t even cross your mind. Forget the false comparisons with coal. We don’t need to chase that paper tiger. Today, nuclear is not displacing coal. Its not displacing anything. Its in decline. We know what the long term effects of Fukushima will be and WHO says forget it, no big deal. You are drinking the nuclear kool aid. WHO has the lowest estimates of any source. If that is your idea of balanced perspective, then you have revealed yourself to be biased.

          • Juan tome

            So just to recap : I am biased because I subscribe to reports from the United Nations and World Health Organization.

          • eveee

            Yes. IAEA has right to veto WHO. Nothing gets out harmful to nuclear. No answer to why WHO has the lowest claimed effects? No answer why you picked the lowest claimed effects? No mystery. Bias.

          • Juan tome

            Is that so?

          • eveee

            Yes.

            “Fifty years ago, on 28 May 1959, the World Health Organisation’s assembly voted into force an obscure but important agreement with theInternational Atomic Energy Agency – the United Nations “Atoms for Peace” organisation, founded just two years before in 1957. The effect of this agreement has been to give the IAEA an effective veto on any actions by the WHO that relate in any way to nuclear power – and so prevent the WHO from playing its proper role in investigating and warning of the dangers of nuclear radiation on human health.”

            http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/may/28/who-nuclear-power-chernobyl

          • And to repeat myself, since you seem incapable of comprehending this part… WE DON”T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE FULL, LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES OF FUKUSHIMA WILL BE. And yet you proclaim it to be safe and harmless, because no one ‘died’… *smh*

          • Bob_Wallace

            Nix the all caps. Our eyes art offended….

          • eveee

            Does your car insurance cost nothing unless you have an accident? What are you smoking?

          • Juan tome

            The NRC requires NPP operators contribute to an insurance pool. When I say that American taxpayers don’t currently and haven’t historically contributed significant funding to NPP insurance that is a statement of fact.

          • Bob_Wallace

            A major Fukushima type meltdown in a US urban area (Indian Point, for example) could run far in excess of $500 billion.

            The nuclear industry is required to pay only $12 billion. Anything over that is on the taxpayer.

            Accepted risk is a cost. A cost taxpayers are bearing.

          • eveee

            First, the Feds were sued and some utilities refused to pay because deep storage was on hold. Second, the insurance is nowhere near big enough to pay for decommissioning, long term storage, and disasters. Nuclear is not paying it’s way. Vogtle is a boondoggle and taxpayer boat anchor.
            http://climatecrocks.com/2013/02/12/georgia-nuke-becoming-boondoggle-poster-child/

          • Juan tome

            thats why the NRC requires operators to fund decommissioning, pay largely for TEMPORARY storage (nuclear spent fuel is a fuel source, not a waste), and we haven’t had any North American commercial NPP disasters and the likelihood decreases with each generation of reactors.

            Vogtle will power a strong manufacturing sector and the 9th biggest metro in the US with clean electricity for decades.

      • Bob_Wallace

        “nuclear … is … affordable”

        Sure. If someone gives you a nuclear plant for free.

        But if you have to pay for it nuclear is priced off the table.

        • Juan tome

          Ontario paid for their plants.

          New plants in the US will generate at a price between 11 -12c/kWh for several decades, over that same period new capacities will see inflationary increases, and fuels will be subject to inflation plus supply volatility and eventually a meaningful carbon tax.

          Add some wind and solar to the nuclear and gas in Georgia and South Carolina, and those states will be the cleanest non-hydro states in the States by a wide margin.

          • eveee

            And Ontario took one look at estimates of new nuclear and said forget it, we’re building wind. New capacities will see inflation. Get real. It was just showed that solar and wind are dropping in price rapidly. Your credibility is dropping. You forget that Georgia has a power glut. The additional wind and solar will price nuclear out of the market. The chances of default are real and considerable. The only way nuclear can compete is in a rigged market. And in that case, the ratepayers and taxpayers will get soaked.

          • Guest

            _
            _

          • A Real Libertarian

            What are you trying to say?

          • Juan tome

            ..

    • Rob G

      The way I plan to go is to hook it up when my roof top solar when it is producing and basically power the car for free. That way I also avoid Co2 emissions.

    • A Real Libertarian

      7,359 pounds of CO2/3,618 KWh = 2.03 pounds of CO2 per kilowatt-hour.

      Coal produces 2.08-2.18 pounds of CO2 per kilowatt-hour according to the EIA:

      http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=74&t=11

      They’re assuming a 100% coal grid.

    • GCO

      Indeed those CO2 figures look very suspect: nowhere in the US did I found a grid as dirty as is assumed above. http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/egrid/

      Another aspect: not only PEV drivers tend live in areas with a cleaner-than-average grid (esp west coast), but also buy green(er) electricity or go solar.
      I only have some numbers for California here: 32% of plug-in owners already have PV, with another 16% working on it. http://energycenter.org/clean-vehicle-rebate-project/vehicle-owner-survey/feb-2014-survey/
      That’s another 1/3 to 1/2 less CO2 right there.

      Not sure what hat Fix pulled their cost of ownership numbers from either, but surely taking into account the high penetration of solar would improve those as well.

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