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PostPosted: Feb 15, 2014 9:59 am 
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S Korea is not a low wage country for large industry.
The unions are very strong and very well organized.
I dont have up to date numbers but in 2011
Credit Suiise put the all-in wage rate for the Korean shipyards
at close to 100 USD/mh.

When Samsung looked into taking over the effectively defunct
Avondale yard in 2013, they found the wage rates
on the Gulf Coast well below those at home.

The Koreans due it on productivity, smarts, and slightly less
out of control regulation.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 4:16 am 
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Germany and S Korea are industrialized countries contrasting in their attitude to nuclear power. Koreans, like pre-Fukushima Japan, on the other side of straits, are keen to develop nuclear power. Germans decided to go off nuclear power post- Fukushima. It is a great loss of nuclear knowledge.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 5:24 am 
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I think the anti-nuclear stance of Germany is very damaging, Engineering is held in high regard in Germany and it is very sorry to see that German knowledge and expertise, with regard to nuclear engineering, is decaying. For example, the Germans were experimenting with thorium fuel in high temperature reactors in the 1980s.

It is also bad for EU policymaking concerning nuclear energy. At the moment, there is an anti/pro-nuclear fault line in the heart of Europe, with Germany, Denmark, Italy and Austria in the anti-nuclear camp and France, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and the UK in the pro-nuclear camp.

Russia is, of course, not in the EU, but is, being a European country, also a strong proponent of nuclear energy. It is building a new reactor in Kaliningrad (Russian enclave; former East Prussia) and is also influencing nuclear policymaking of East European countries.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 11:07 am 
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camiel wrote:
I think the anti-nuclear stance of Germany is very damaging, Engineering is held in high regard in Germany and it is very sorry to see that German knowledge and expertise, with regard to nuclear engineering, is decaying. For example, the Germans were experimenting with thorium fuel in high temperature reactors in the 1980s.

It is also bad for EU policymaking concerning nuclear energy. At the moment, there is an anti/pro-nuclear fault line in the heart of Europe, with Germany, Denmark, Italy and Austria in the anti-nuclear camp and France, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and the UK in the pro-nuclear camp.

Russia is, of course, not in the EU, but is, being a European country, also a strong proponent of nuclear energy. It is building a new reactor in Kaliningrad (Russian enclave; former East Prussia) and is also influencing nuclear policymaking of East European countries.


The Germans will eventually have to come to the conclusion that they can't be dependent on solar power. It's only a matter of time, really. But still, it's a shame that they're exploiting the most of their expertise at this time. Every year passing by that they don't do anything new is wasted time.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 12:10 pm 
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Gilliam wrote:
camiel wrote:
I think the anti-nuclear stance of Germany is very damaging, Engineering is held in high regard in Germany and it is very sorry to see that German knowledge and expertise, with regard to nuclear engineering, is decaying. For example, the Germans were experimenting with thorium fuel in high temperature reactors in the 1980s.

It is also bad for EU policymaking concerning nuclear energy. At the moment, there is an anti/pro-nuclear fault line in the heart of Europe, with Germany, Denmark, Italy and Austria in the anti-nuclear camp and France, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and the UK in the pro-nuclear camp.

Russia is, of course, not in the EU, but is, being a European country, also a strong proponent of nuclear energy. It is building a new reactor in Kaliningrad (Russian enclave; former East Prussia) and is also influencing nuclear policymaking of East European countries.


The Germans will eventually have to come to the conclusion that they can't be dependent on solar power. It's only a matter of time, really. But still, it's a shame that they're exploiting the most of their expertise at this time. Every year passing by that they don't do anything new is wasted time.


When I was learning to fly, I was told that if you attach enough horsepower, you can even get a house to fly.

If the Germans are willing to throw 1 trillion euro on this problem, they will solve it, regardless of the fact that we could do it with current Gen III nuclear for 100 billion euro investment in nuclear, plus another 100 billion euro to operate those nuclear reactors over 40 years. The Germans are as crazy green as Vermont, don't you forget all the shutdown yankee reactor protests.

In the end they will have something like 150 GWe solar panels + 150 GWe wind turbine + 1TWh worth of pumped hydro total capacity to produce 60GWe of peak electricity demand (plus whatever Hydro, geothermal and biomass they had to begin with).

The astonishing fact is they aren't deluding themselves that this will be cheap, they know how much it will cost and they are willing to pay for that. I posed the statement that if you put aside 10 billion euro per GWe for a new nuclear power plant, you can build, operate over 40 years and dispose of it, and there will still be billions left in the end.

One guy I was debating over this in slashdot kept telling me that Germany is all prone to 6 pointer earthquakes, so it's unsafe for any nuclear reactors, I said, maybe places that could get 8 pointer (100 times more energy) could be somewhere you would want to avoid putting nuclear on, but 6 pointers are not a factor.

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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 12:30 pm 
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Mac - the issue that I have with your reasoning (which seems to be the Greens argument as well) is that clearly 1 trillion will not actually solve the problems.

The Germans will get what they are paying for - wind and solar.

They are not asking for a fossil fuel free electricity grid, so they will get fossil fuels as well.

These two lines are not mutually exclusive; if the focus of the German plan was on decarbonizing the grid, they would have to use nuclear and would have used only a small amount of wind and solar (much likely not even grid connected).

150 GWe of solar means you're generating too much power at noon during the summer, and still zero power at night and too little during winter days. You can in fact average only 1 GWe over a cloudy winter day (there are many of those in germany). Germany has most electricity demand in winter, so this is "exactly wrong". The capacity credit of grid connected solar in germany is actually negative; in a sane world we'd be paying to get rid of solar panels off the grid.

The answer is not months of energy storage (this will cost a large multiple of 1 trillion). The answer is more fossil fuels. This is the REAL problem of Germany foolishness (which oddly enough everyone is celebrating as a renewable success story). They are deluded. If all the world would copy Germany's energy plan, we will end up with at least TEN TIMES the fossil fuel usage (run some numbers here - 7 billion people times a German level fossil fuel consumption). This is what I call "the big picture". Almost everyone is missing it.

already the germans are building more coal plants, and they have only begun at shuttering the nuclear plants.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 12:40 pm 
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A ref to support my contentions.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e6470600 ... z2tVXhr3mi

Notice the graph - coal use is basically constant, only dropping slightly with economic downturns. There is no effect whatsoever of renewable energy buildout on coal use.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 2:05 pm 
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This paper contains a lot of informations about electricity generation in germany in 2013 :

http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/downloads-englisch/pdf-files-englisch/news/electricity-production-from-solar-and-wind-in-germany-in-2013.pdf

We can see that there is more wind generation in winter, that compensates a part of lower solar generation ( you can see the sum "wind +solar" page 13). But there is still some variation between the months.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 4:21 pm 
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fab wrote:
This paper contains a lot of informations about electricity generation in germany in 2013 :

http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/downloads-englisch/pdf-files-englisch/news/electricity-production-from-solar-and-wind-in-germany-in-2013.pdf

We can see that there is more wind generation in winter, that compensates a part of lower solar generation ( you can see the sum "wind +solar" page 13). But there is still some variation between the months.


No it is far worse than the monthly aggregated data shows.

If Germany had 1 month of electricity storage, then monthly aggregated data would be useful and honest.

In reality the variation within a month cannot be dealt with. There is no storage at that scale.

Monthly data is not an honest way to portray variability. Hourly data is. An hour of storage at full country grid load is reasonable. If you do this, you're in for a shock. See the Ireland wind data from Mackay for an example.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 4:58 pm 
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Well it's true that monthly data didn't show the problem of instant variability. There is also the daily data, page 37, we can see more variability, and an example of hourly data page 101 (maybe smoothed). So Germany need more than weeks of energy storage or a lot of overcapacity for a total renewable system.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 5:16 pm 
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fab wrote:
Well it's true that monthly data didn't show the problem of instant variability. There is also the daily data, page 37, we can see more variability, and an example of hourly data page 101 (maybe smoothed). So Germany need more than weeks of energy storage or a lot of overcapacity for a total renewable system.


Overcapacity will be a lot cheaper and a lot riskier than storage. Cheaper because battery cost are high and not declining fast (pumped hydro is not available in the amounts needed). Riskier because even with overcapacity, there will be many hours during which there is no sun or wind at all, and many hours even that both will occur at the same time. Germany is currently benefitting from huge amounts of domestic and neighbouring countries fossil fuel capacity. If they follow Germany's lead they'll be in the same boat, so that won't work anymore. Europe had then better get ready for continent scale blackouts.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 5:27 pm 
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What do you think about the fraunhofer institute's plan : energy storage by converting the electricity of renewables into synthetic gas (power to gas, methane I guess) and inject this gas into the already available gas system (with additionnal storage capabilities), and then use central gas power plants (some with heat cogeneration) ? Economically unrealistic ?


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 5:57 pm 
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fab wrote:
What do you think about the fraunhofer institute's plan : energy storage by converting the electricity of renewables into synthetic gas (power to gas, methane I guess) and inject this gas into the already available gas system (with additionnal storage capabilities), and then use central gas power plants (some with heat cogeneration) ? Economically unrealistic ?


That, and the fact that the amount of renewables needed becomes so big as to be unrealistic. Round trip efficiency is so poor that it becomes quite crazy. This capacity isn't there. Already there is major restance in Germany to large expansion of wind power, for example. So in case of wind, talking about crazy overbuild and throwing away 2/3 of it through some crazy inefficient storage scheme is not realistic.

Environmental organisations, in their great internal inconsistancy, are very enthusiastic about these wasteful schemes. They don't like big V8 engine powered cars but quite like a similarly inefficient scheme for energy storage.


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PostPosted: Feb 16, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Let us hope that they get a lot of battery operated cars and flow batteries, powered by solar in summer and wind in winter. By that time they will be ready to supplement it with nuclear.
The Japanese seem to be ready to go back to nuclear in three years!


Last edited by jagdish on Feb 17, 2014 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Feb 17, 2014 12:54 am 
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fab wrote:
What do you think about the fraunhofer institute's plan : energy storage by converting the electricity of renewables into synthetic gas (power to gas, methane I guess) and inject this gas into the already available gas system (with additionnal storage capabilities), and then use central gas power plants (some with heat cogeneration) ? Economically unrealistic ?


this sounds nuts. Producing H2, CH4 or CH4O from H2O and CO2 just to burn it later back into grid electricity.
If you are going to do that, use those to offset gasoline. Brazil has millions of cars burning natural gas right now, and they still have gas tanks, so they can operate most of the time on natural gas and do long range trips on a mix of petrol and natural gas.

the only somewhat logical solution is to put half of their investments on electric vehicles, do a smart grid, such that the vast majority of EV charging happens only when the grid is overproducing. But that's not a quick solution, since EV production is 100% li-ion battery constrained. It would have to be a 20 year plan, and the first step must be to build huge li-ion battery pack plant capacity. Tesla alone is planning to build a li-ion plant that will double current worldwide li-ion battery pack production. We'll need dozens such factories to migrate 20% of worldwide auto production to EVs.

But then, why bother with all of this solar and wind, if you can nudge economically EV charging to be done overnight, than you can use nuclear far more effectively.

If this plan was sane, they would have already migrated Hawaii 100% to solar, wind and biomass, since they do baseload with low efficiency oil thermal. Yet, there are still far away.

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