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PostPosted: Jun 19, 2014 9:10 am 
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A sad day for France as the country clearly goes mad with its energy policy.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Ne ... 06144.html

They are going to limit nuclear but they also want another 7 million electric vehicles. They think that they can power these vehicles with fickle energy sources, even though the demand is clearly flat (winter distance driven is similar to summer distance driven on a national scale).

They also set an absurdly unrealistic energy efficiency target: using half the energy by 2050! This will severely constrain economic growth.

I guess France has fallen in the role model trap of a spoilt kid, whose hard working parents spoil the kid with everything he or she wants, the kid doesn't know what hard work is.


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PostPosted: Jun 19, 2014 11:04 am 
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Cyril R wrote:
I guess France has fallen in the role model trap of a spoilt kid, whose hard working parents spoil the kid with everything he or she wants, the kid doesn't know what hard work is.


Exactly. Across the world we have a generation of idiots coming into power who have no comprehension (nor even a desire to comprehend) how the marvelous world they were given came into being.


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PostPosted: Jun 19, 2014 11:52 am 
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The experts in France are very pessimistic about the plans of the French government. This was in the news a couple of weeks ago:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/06/0 ... OP20140605

France has no real choice but to continue with nuclear energy. The realistic alternative would be to go back to coal or natural gas, which would be bad for the environment and for France's balance of payments (just look what has happened to Japan's trade deficit after the shutdown of its reactors). Actually, France should be very proud of its energy record since the mid-1970s. In my opinion, it has already achieved what its German neighbors are trying to achieve with their "Energiewende", only by other means: nuclear instead of wind turbines and solar panels.


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PostPosted: Jun 19, 2014 12:09 pm 
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The political landscape has changed drastically even since the 80s.

We are a long way from the Parliament of 1945 when half of them were Coal Miners or Steel workers.


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PostPosted: Jun 19, 2014 4:23 pm 
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The French social democrats, to retain power, must periodically pucker up and kiss the Greens. But the social democrats represent big business. They will not do much to anger their basic constituency, and hampering nuclear power will most definitely do that. And so, the tragicomedy unfolds: the SDs pretend to kiss the Greens; the Greens pretend to not notice that they will be left at the altar yet again, in order to appear "powerful". Treachery abounds in this love affair. Tempest in a teapot.


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PostPosted: Jun 19, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Give it another 2 or 3 years, by then we'll be able to show that Solar is still decades away from becoming a reliable energy source (with TWh worth of electric batteries to store the excess production). By 2050 we won't need fusion, we'll have 50% efficient solar pv at very low prices, which would mean that a 10Km X 10Km piece of land in an equatorial/tropical place would produce 45GW worth of electricity for 10 hours every day, around 500GWh worth of daily production, couple that with 500GWh worth of batteries (should cost 90% less than today). Still not a solution for Canada, northern Germany, Nordic countries, but a totally viable solution for 2/3 of the earth's land.

I'm not against solar/wind, I'm just against radical environmentalists lunacy !

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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2014 3:30 am 
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Well unfortunately that 2/3rds includes all the deserts where almost noone lives.

Putting Solar Panels in the Sahara causes more problems for Europe than it solves.


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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2014 4:27 am 
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From the WNN article:
Quote:
Now, following a national energy debate, his government has announced that the country's nuclear generating capacity will indeed be capped at the current level of 63.2 GWe. It will also be limited to 50% of France's total output by 2025.


So they want to keep the nuclear capacity, but reduce the capacity factor. Somebody has to tell them that once a nuclear plant is financed and staffed, the power output costs almost nothing.


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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2014 5:38 am 
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François Hollande's Energy Minister ( and former partner ) Ségolène Royal, demonstrated her ignorance of the subject a few years back when, in a nationally televised debate between candidates for the presidency of the country - she was standing against Sarkozy - she insisted that nuclear was only providing 17% of the country's electricity. The true figure was 78%. Maybe now that they're in power some reality will percolate through.


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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2014 1:44 pm 
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@macpacheco
Quote:
By 2050 [...] 500GWh worth of batteries [...] should cost 90% less than today
I don't know where you got that "90%" number. Do you have citations? Did you pull it out of thin air? Given my knowledge of the state of battery research and technology, I am highly dubious of this claim.

PS: Please read:
http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/201 ... d-battery/


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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2014 9:42 pm 
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Joshua Maurice wrote:
@macpacheco
Quote:
By 2050 [...] 500GWh worth of batteries [...] should cost 90% less than today
I don't know where you got that "90%" number. Do you have citations? Did you pull it out of thin air? Given my knowledge of the state of battery research and technology, I am highly dubious of this claim.

PS: Please read:
http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/201 ... d-battery/


Not from thin air, but a realistic projection:

Li-Ion batteries are getting 6-8% cheaper every year since its introduction.
We're talking 30+ yrs of cost reductions. 6% year over year = 85% price drop.
Even without a newer battery chemistry should be doable.
One would think that iron-air batteries could be perfected over a decade or two, no ?

Stationary batteries need to get cheaper, not lighter/smaller.
I can't state with 100% certainty, but it's one of those 99% sure things, everything conspires in its favor.

We must keep in mind that computer/tablets/phones/everything cordless, the list of equipment that benefits from cheaper/higher density energy sources is huge, so the market has enormous incentives to keep getting cheaper.

There is no shortage of Lithium or Aluminium or Iron (for current or future battery chemistry).
Li-Ion batteries use very little Lithium, like a few % of the weight.
Here's one quote:
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/arti ... of_lithium
"A LEAF uses just 4Kg worth of Lithium for its batteries"
Also as more and more li-ion batteries gets discarded, the more raw material is available for recycling (much cheaper than mining and purifying new materials).

The concept of needing 7 days worth of storage for 100% of produced electricity is non sense. It's necessary only if you go huge on wind, which is a flaky energy source, but solar provides predictable power production, so it should be necessary to store less than a days worth of solar production. I'm not, nor I will ever advocate for a 100% solar electricity world, that would be nuts. Even Elon Musk states Solar will be the largest electricity source, perhaps providing 50%, but perhaps not quite that much. As long as the rest has mostly baseload sources, electricity storage demands is greatly reduced.

I'm not defending installing lots of solar PV at high lattitude areas. Solar production should be maximized from areas like southern CA, TX, FL, Portugal, Spain going south until as far south as Rio de Janeiro-Brasil, northern Australia, although some solar in high latitude areas match the air conditioning electricity demand.

Of course I am counting on hydro (big/medium and small), biomass (only from waste), geothermal and lots of nuclear. Natural gas from biomass can be stored and burned only in the night turning CSP powerplants into baseload sources (heat the energy store in the day with solar, in the night with biomass natural gas). Hydro would be the best load following source.

Contrary to the radical environmentalists, I only aim to end coal burning for electricity and perhaps reduce natural gas burning 80%, nuclear should be greatly increased.

Also one assumes that very little stored solar power would be used after peak demand hours (like after 9PM), that's the purpose of baseload sources like Nuclear, Geothermal and partially hydro.

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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2014 11:36 pm 
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Energy policy has to be a mix. Lack of new build has blunted the nuclear skills in the US and Europe less France. The French are wise in giving some importance to wind and solar. One only hopes they do not go as far as Germany, virtually banning the nuclear. They should, in fact go to gen IV instead of more EPR's.
The French have a cycling system which needs up-gradation in place of abandoning as in the US. Factional distillation of chlorides of used fuel could be an adequate new way of reprocessing. Recycling as U-Pu MOX in existing reactors could be replaced by:-
1. Th-Pu MOX.
2. Water cooled and partially moderated MSR. This could result in dual-mode fission.
Renewable energy with storage has to be a part of the mix. It has a niche use in distributed generation and use, optimizing the grid costs.


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PostPosted: Jun 21, 2014 6:04 am 
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Solar is useless in Industrialised Northern Europe, you don't just need a week's storage.

You need months worth of storage since there is essentially no sunlight in the Winter.
INsolation drops by an order of magnitude even at London's latitude.

We can't put PV in the Sahara because we would have to garrison the Sahara to a ludicrous extent to secure the supply, which is politically impossible due to the costs and risks of being seen as Neocolonialist.


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PostPosted: Jun 22, 2014 1:28 am 
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There are some areas (niches) which are best served by distributed generation. A combination of wind and solar will be suitable in these areas. These will also need battery back up. They will find a proper balance once they start.
Remember the French took the wisest decision to go for nuclear in the 1970's. I hope they progress to gen IV in nuclear. Maybe they will develop new used fuel burners!


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PostPosted: Jun 22, 2014 6:41 am 
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Those niches are shrinking all the time though.


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