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The Average Price of Electricity, Country by Country

 

Average electricity prices $/kWhAustralia and Germany each just had an election. In both cases electricity prices were an election issue. That seems fair enough given that in both countries they are paying significant more $/kWh than most countries.

But now Nova Scotia is heading to the polls and electricity prices are a key issue because they have ‘rocketed’ to 0.15 $/kWh (Canadian). That is indeed high by Canadian standards, but it is a bargain globally.

Out of curiosity I thought I’d crunch the numbers to see who really is paying a lot for their power.

Electricity prices around the world in $/kWh

It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, people love to moan about the cost of electricity.

This begs the question, where is electricity actually expensive and where is it cheap. Or better yet, is my electricity cheap or expensive?

To try and answer this question I’ve collected average electricity prices from 17 countries around the world, and converted them to $/kWh (US). All the data is based on average prices and exchange rates for 2011, and I’ve graphed them in US cents/kWh to keep it tidy.Average electricity rates

Let’s start with the obvious. Denmark, Germany and Spain have expensive electricity. In fact in straight dollar terms Denmark is trumped only by small island countries dependent on imported diesel for power.

Canadian electricity is cheap at 10 US cents per kilowatt hour, which is reflected in their high average electricity usage. US electricity prices at 0.12 $/kWh are also quite cheap internationally. In India and China they are very cheap.

I find this comparison pretty useful. And the reasons behind the differences are quite diverse. But there are two issues with this. One, electricity prices are on the move in many places, South Africa, Australia and Nigeria come to mind. And secondly, basic exchange rate conversions aren’t always the best measure of how expensive something really is.

The first is just something to be aware of.  And despite my best efforts I couldn’t gather consistent data for 2012. The second however can be accounted for by considering purchasing power parities.

The relative price of electricity

Our initial comparison of electricity prices didn’t account for the fact that price levels vary a lot between countries. For example a US dollar will go a lot further buying goods and services in relatively cheap India than it will in relatively expensive Australia.

If we look at the same average electricity prices for 2011 but this time adjust them to US dollars using purchasing power parity the picture look slightly different.

Relatively electricity prices

Once you adjust for the different price levels between countries Canadians have the cheapest electricity and Germans the most expensive.

Places like Nigeria and India have jumped up the list due to their lower price levels, while countries including Denmark, Australia and Japan have fallen because they are relatively expensive places to live. In general accounting for purchasing power lessened the difference between countries, but significant differences remain.

Which brings me back to Nova Scotia. Paying 12 US cents/kWh is expensive in Canada.

Just don’t moan about it abroad!

Content Discussion

Josh Nilsen's picture
Josh Nilsen on September 25, 2013

8.5cents per kwh, midwest US.  I’d trade cheap electricity for cheap healthcare though.

Randy Voges's picture
Randy Voges on September 25, 2013

Not exactly a selling point for the Energiewende.

Max Kennedy's picture
Max Kennedy on September 25, 2013

Maybe the comparison should not be the average selling price but the average true price including externalised costs such as health problems, environmental damage, resource depletion, subsidies etc.  Bet on a TRUE cost basis Germany is doing better than US or Canada!

Randy Voges's picture
Randy Voges on September 25, 2013

That argument doesn’t fly because there will never be consensus about what the “true” cost should be.

Max Kennedy's picture
Max Kennedy on September 25, 2013

Only because energy compnaies want to muddy the water!  We can do a hell of a lot better than the selling price which is so much BS it isn’t funny!

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on September 25, 2013

Max, since 2011 Germany’s coal output has increased. Is there any doubt that health problems, environmental damage, resource depletion, and subsidies haven’t?

On any basis you choose (except misplaced fear of nuclear energy), Germany is going backwards.

Bobbi O's picture
Bobbi O on September 26, 2013

 Without comparing the percent of disposable income used for electricity in different countries, this kind of comparison is not that relevant. Average disposable incomes from China and India are a long way from Denmark or Germany.

Pete Stiles's picture
Pete Stiles on September 26, 2013

Virtually everyone has disposable income! It just depends on what one thinks are the non essentials.

The author has done a great job here and nitpicking is not needed.

Lindsay Wilson's picture
Lindsay Wilson on September 26, 2013

I tried, but couldn’t get something consistant for all the countries I wanted

Pete Stiles's picture
Pete Stiles on September 26, 2013

My average  consumption (that for which I have to pay) is $1 per week, ranging from $3.50 summer to $0 Winter, Fall and Spring.  l just love solar.

Spec Lawyer's picture
Spec Lawyer on September 26, 2013

How in the world is Australia so expensive?  They have all that coal.

Pete Stiles's picture
Pete Stiles on September 26, 2013

“If you are off the grid, then you would not care about the price of electricity…

We all need to think about what is best for average Americans not just ourselves…”

 

Wow! those two statements really fit together well!

jan Freed's picture
jan Freed on September 26, 2013

Yet again.  It is typical that these analyses omit the “externalities” costs of coal.  The Harvard Medical School estimates (in the U.S.) 300-500 billion dollars per year in over 70 negative impacts of coal energy produciton that would add $0.18 per kwh.  Just because we cannot see the damage directly or see it on our bill does not mean it isn’t real.

Past a certain age even young children know when you hide something (say, under a blanket) it still exsits.

 

 

James Hopf's picture
James Hopf on September 26, 2013

Also in reply to Max Kennedy……

You’re right about the huge external costs of coal.  For that reason, however, if a country wants to reduce its external costs (i.e., reduce public health and environmental impacts) the focus should be minimizing the use of coal (and oil), as opposed to maximizing the use of renewables.

External cost studies (e.g., the European Commission’s ExternE project – www.externe.info/) show that external costs are a fraction of a cent/kW-hr for both nuclear and renewables (that’s right, nuclear’s external costs are similar to renewables).  Gas comes in at ~1 cent (although that may not include global warming impact).  Estimates of coal’s external costs range from ~6-8 cents/kW-hr up to the 18 cent value that you quote.

The two countries with the highest power costs, Germany and Denmark, are the same countries that have created a silly combination of coal and renewables, which results in a spectacular combination of both high economic cost and high health/environmental (i.e., external) cost.  The problem is their policy of persuing renewables (only), regardless of cost, and their giving no consideration at all to differences between non-renewable sources with respect to environmental impact.

It is far more important to use gas (or nuclear, or anything else) instead of coal than it is to use renewables.  They could have achieved far greater reductions in external costs at a MUCH lower economic cost if they kept their nuclear plants open, and focused on replacing coal with gas, and perhaps some renewables and new nuclear, if (and where) it made economic sense.

If external costs were counted, Germany and Denmark probably would fare even worse.  It’s not clear at all that their external costs are lower than the US, given that their coal percentage (really the only parameter that matters) is even higher than the US.  Meanwhile, countries like France (80% nuclear) would shine to an even greater degree, as their external (as well as economic) costs are far lower.  Switzerland and the Scandanavian countries (hydro + nuclear) would also do very well (even better).

jan Freed's picture
jan Freed on September 26, 2013

Most comparisons I have seen puts wind at a lower /kwh cost than nuclear.  And there are no safety/nuclear waste issues. 

Of course, nuclear production may someday reduce its costs, but it has had 50 years to do so and billions in government subsideies and R and D, so I don’t hold out too much hope.  It seems the plants are often way over budget and way behind schedule.

In fact, I read one study that maintains the subsidies of nuclear are greater than the value of the energy produced.  But, I didn’t bookmark it, so..sorry.

As far as AGW goes, I would be down with niuclear, but as solar/wind/geothermal/biofuels costs keep dropping I see a better pathway there.

donough shanahan's picture
donough shanahan on September 27, 2013

This is done because that is what the current market is. Are you suggesting that people would be happy to pay the externalised costs of the energy they use? I do very few governments would stay in power for long if they enacted such policies as the cost of energy would skyrocket. Thus considering the market, it is a perfectly valid comparison.

Alain Verbeke's picture
Alain Verbeke on September 27, 2013

” It is far more important to use gas (or nuclear, or anything else) instead of coal than it is to use renewables. They could have achieved far greater reductions in external costs at a MUCH lower economic cost if they kept their nuclear plants open, and focused on replacing coal with gas, and perhaps some renewables and new nuclear, if (and where) it made economic sense. If external costs were counted, Germany and Denmark probably would fare even worse. It’s not clear at all that their external costs are lower than the US, given that their coal percentage (really the only parameter that matters) is even higher than the US. Meanwhile, countries like France (80% nuclear) would shine to an even greater degree, as their external (as well as economic) costs are far lower. Switzerland and the Scandanavian countries (hydro + nuclear) would also do very well (even better). “

Some facts grounded in the reality over there (I live in Belgium, next to Germany and France, and watch their TV programs through cable networks, understanding both languages).

1. coal lignite extraction in Germany is heavily subsidised. That makes it the cheapest fuel available domestically, cheaper than free wind, water, sun, biomass, biogas and earth heat. Those subsidies are included in the electricity price, as are the taxes on each ton of emitted CO2 from burning that lignite. No wonder electricity prices in Germany are expensive.

2. natural gas in Germany is 100% imported, costs over $12/MMcf, while in the USA it is below $3/MMcf; thus 4x more expensive than in Frack Country. That is why the German utilities are shutting down a whole fleet of brand new extremely efficient NG plants who can only run less than 2000 hours per year, because they are not competitive against renewables like hydro power and wind, or solar PV at midday peak power demand, and are forced out by subsidised lignite coal plants that run cheaper than imported natural gas.

3. Nuclear is not the panacea that you claim. Waste storage cost are born by the community (taxpayers), not by the utilities. Many of the isotopes residing in spent fuel rods have a half-life in excess of several thousand years. So I can’t help but laugh when I hear other professionals talking about “safe” storage of such materials. What about the Everest mountain of contaminated work gloves, shoes and outfits, contaminated waste cleaning products from maintenance, the mountain of radioactive spare parts replacements, discarded radioactive items? Bury them in your garden?Let your dog play with them ?

4. Sweden and France are now discovering that nuclear power that would be “too cheap to meter”, according to their government salesmen, is now indeed extremely expensive to mothball. Both have a black eye. Decommissioning cost ARE relevant for a radioactive plant. You simply can mothball any power plant and recycle the materials (cement, steel, copper, silicon, etc). No so with radioactive elements. They require special handling, making it more expensive thus VERY relevant to the overall cost picture. The French have now mothballed a couple, and the foreseen dismantling costs for their 56 plants are in the tens of billions euro UNDERestimated. The cents/produced kWh levy over decades won’t cover those costs. Taxpayers will have to cover those unforeseen costs, utilities are walking away after receiving the money during decades, and given that the French pay 75% income tax for incomes over $1 million and Swedes 50% tax for incomes above $150 000, you understand why nuclear power is sooooo popular in cable networked Europe right now. The Germans are seing what storage works are needed to store their wastes for thousands of years in a really safe way, and they do not like the price tag or the measures taken at all.

5. France has also it’s issues with running it’s nuke power plants. Did you know you can’t ramp down or up a Nuclear plant so Off Peak it still produces full power and much has to be dumped (shorted to ground) or given away or stored in pumped up hydrostorage if water is available. They regularly have to shut down plants due to technical problems, like blocked sea water intakes for core cooling forcing emergency core shutdowns, jammed fuel rods during extraction when shutting down a core, too hot cooling water intake temperatures because the lakes water is getting too hot during summertime, strong river dry up during summer due to high hot water exhaust levels into river from NPP’s forcing the shutdown of the NPP’s just when their power is much needed, and so on. France use their NPP plants to cover up to 80% of their electricity supply, and that wear and tear NPP’s enormously while following peak load demands up and down during the day.

6. Finland is building a new NPP. From Areva, French model. It is a disaster. The same model is getting built in France, it is also a disaster. Only the model in China is going ok, it needs 6 years from start to completion, costs $10 Billion with a B, and is that cheap only because it gets built with zero chinese safety regulation plus people working for $15 per day, instead of $15 per hour as in Finland or France….The story of the few new NPP’s being built in the USA is similar: hugely over budget, hugely over time, and the taxpayer has to come to the rescue of the utility.

http://nuclear-news.net/2013/03/12/first-fuel-produced-for-chinese-epr-by-areva/

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50308

Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 is also facing an explosion of construction costs. Initially, it was estimated that the plant’s construction would cost three billion euros ($4.1) – but now the bills amount to well over 5.3 billion euros ($7.2 billion). How much the plant is actually going to cost remains unclear. These costs must be added to the revenues losses TVO had budgeted as electricity sales, but which were never realised due to the non operation of the plant. The delays in completion and the explosion of costs have led to litigation between the Finnish operator TVO and the manufacturer AREVA. The Citibank survey concludes that without taxpayers money there is “little if any prospect that new nuclear stations will be built … by the private sector unless developers can lay off substantial elements of the three major risks. Financing guarantees, minimum power prices, and/or government-backed power off-take agreements may all be needed if stations are to be built.”

7.in the meantime we are 2013 and not 1971 or 1991. The French went recently to war in Mali to protect their uranium ore supplies from African Talibans, who threatened their neighboring North Niger based Imouraren mining operation. Even without that issue, the price to be paid for the ore was getting more expensive by the day, since the Chinese are willing to pay Niger a lot more for the same ore than the French. Niger is a third world country, who therefore play both against each other to increase its revenue streams. The USA is importing 90% of it’s ore from Russia, from mothballed missile heads. A nuclear power plant located on earth needs to be stopped for refuelling every two years…. A renewable energy power plant does not.

8. point 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. is leading to a discovery in France, that electricity prices will have to be RAISED by 30% to 50% between 2013 and 2020, to cover all those “unexpected” nuclear costs. So much for clean nuclear that is cheaper than renewables. That is why the French are now investing into 2000 MW of offshore wind turbine parks forecasted to operate 50% of the time, according to 2 years of windspeed measurements done 10 miles offshore. It is cheaper than building one new NPP with current French laws and decommissioning prices, while providing the same amount of kWh’s.

 

 

James Hopf's picture
James Hopf on September 27, 2013

It’s well documented that the overall cost of Germany’s renewables (esp. solar) are FAR higher than that of fossil or nuclear generation, particularly from existing (already built) plants.  No, renewables are the source of Germany’s high power costs, and everyone knows it.  Even at $12/MBTU, it would be far cheaper to reduce environmental impacts by replacing coal with gas than by building renewables.  Of course, using renewables to replace nuclear (as opposed to fossil) accomplishes nothing.

All waste management and plant decommissioning costs are fully covered by a charge of less than 1 cent/kW-hr of nuclear electricity.  This is well established, based on decades of operation and several plant decommissionings, in the US and elsewhere.  The operational (total going forward) costs of France’s existing nukes is at most ~3 cents/kW-hr, FAR lower than that of new renewable generation.  Any move away from nuclear (or renewables construction) by France is entirely politically motivated.

As for Finland’s “disasterous” EPR, it still produces power at a small fraction of the cost of German renewables ( http://theenergycollective.com/alextrembath/224666/cost-german-solar-four-times-finnish-nuclear?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20TheEnergyCollective-TwitterHandleFeed%20%28The%20Energy%20Collective%20-%20Twitter%20Handle%20Feed%29).  If it was so bad, why are the Finns opting for one or two more new nuclear plants for most of their new generation needs?

Of course, the best way to sort all this out is to apply external costs and then let the market decide the best way to minimize overall (economic + external) cost.  That is, then let the utilities decide what to build.  Apply external costs though pollution and CO2 taxes, and eliminate all subsidies and (most of all) mandates for the use of certain energy sources.  Renewables advocates always fight such proposals tooth and nail, and instead insist on massive subsidies for renewables (only) and outright mandates for renewables use.  They do this because they know that renewables would not succeed (significantly) in such a free, fair, and objective market.  Nuclear and gas would be the big winners in such a market, with gas probably being the main winner over the shorter term, and nuclear over the longer term.

Robert Bernal's picture
Robert Bernal on September 28, 2013

Solar is good because millions can get clean power… some of the time. Nuclear is good for all the other times, especially if we do what the French do… reprocess (to reduce wastes by a factor of 20 times). It is best to have solar, wind and nuclear, not “and coal” because mountains of waste is more applicable to excess CO2 than low level radiation contminated gloves and what not. If done properly, most wastes would be radioactive FREE in a few centuries, whereas the non nuclear global path will most certaintly cause (quite literally) mountains of injected CO2 leaking back into the biosphere (and ground water) as it is much too large to isolate forever from the biosphere in the same kind of proper containers that the nuclear wastes would require. Unfortunately, we are headed towards this cheaper and far more perilous CCS path than that of nucler, I think, because of cheap costs of fossil fuels… and the politics of fear…

Forever Eleminate Advanced Reactors in favor of Forever Excuse Altrocious Resources…

Most nuclear plants are not load followers…

In France, however, nuclear power plants use load following. French PWRs use “grey” control rods, in order to replace chemical shim, without introducing a large perturbation of the power distribution. These plants have the capability to make power changes between 30% and 100% of rated power, with a slope of 5% of rated power per minute. Their licensing permits them to respond very quickly to the grid requirements.

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

Lindsay Wilson's picture
Lindsay Wilson on September 28, 2013

This post is discussing what people pay, so naturally all the prices are for residential (I could have made that clearer).  China is curious in that in most places the residential cost is much higher.  All the OECD data came from the IEA, additional countries such as China were from the individual electricity boards.

Alain Verbeke's picture
Alain Verbeke on September 28, 2013

” Renewables advocates always fight such proposals tooth and nail, and instead insist on massive subsidies for renewables (only) and outright mandates for renewables use.  They do this because they know that renewables would not succeed (significantly) in such a free, fair, and objective market.  Nuclear and gas would be the big winners in such a market, with gas probably being the main winner over the shorter term, and nuclear over the longer term. “

There is no such thing as a free fair and objective market. Never will. It is a power issue, for those in power. So get over it. Yes the Germans did a lot of mistakes, especially with their solar PV investments. The rest of the world located in sun drenched areas is thanking them for reducing the price of solar PV by a factor 10 in a decade. Look however at other countries, as I listed here under, and what they are doing. I just looked at mine, and read hereunder what happened the last decade. The world, if it wanted, could go over to full renewables in half a century, without even sweating the part, just by implementing sensible tactics. After all, in your country, Washington and Oregon are mostly hydropower, the North East could go full Quebec hydropower instead of burning coal, California is already getting there (read herunder), and the Central Plains are the Saudi Arabia of wind power and biomass / biogas energy, if they ever wanted to run on those free local resources.

 

 

I pay 59% taxes on my income, and do not get 59% benefits from those taxes, since we are in perfect health, live frugally, and do save a lot so that we won’t have to depend on a meager government pension payment once its time to retire. The country we live in (Belgium) imports 100% of it’s fossil and nuclear fuel since the 70’s. All were rising in price year after year after year, if I read my electricity bills from Electrabel up until 2004. The EU also voted for the Kyoto Protocol, putting an added CO2 tax on my grid electricity bill, which became even more expensive. Then the EU ordered the liberalisation of the European electricity markets, freeing it for private consumers starting from 2004, corporate consumers being able to switch since 2000. I switched to a cooperative (EcoPower cvba) in 2004 because they promised 100% renewable sourced electricity to my home, through the grid, and they would be much cheaper than my current Electrabel utility. They asked me to become a member of their cooperative by buying a share for $250. I became a member, and got a 6% dividend on that $250 each year. In 2004 we were less than 5000 users, today in 2013 we are more than 100 000. My electricity bill instantly became 20% cheaper, no fossil fuel import duty taxes, no CO2 taxes, no fossil fuel and nuke waste recycling taxes anymore, because I used 100% renewable sourced electricity produced 100 clicks around where I lived, that was just put on the existing grid. In 2010, I put solar PV panels on my home roof, a 4kW plant, getting a FiT subsidy for doing that. The government gave us a once in a lifetime opportunity to use their services and being paid for it, so I didn’t refuse the offer. Remember, I pay 59% taxes on my income and do not often use government services. The FiT system is now almost canceled, new solar PV installation in 2013 are basically not FiTted anymore over here, and by 2015 it is completely over. The FiT that I receive is $1000 a year, for the next 20 years, then it stops. I pay $350 per year to my grid supplier for use of the grid at night, when my home solar PV panels are not producing, and this till I die. I paid 100% of the PV installation installation cost, no rebates excepted $2700 in income tax reduction on my 59% in paid taxes. I now pay zero for my electricity consumption and the plant wil be paid off in 2020. Without the FiT it would be 2027, if FF and nuke grid supplied electricity prices stay the same as in 2010. They are not, we import it all, and it gets more expensive year after year after year. So even without a FiT, I would have done it, because grid electricity prices only go up, while my solar PV panels production is capping it all at a fixed price of $20 cents/kWh up until the plant is paid off, after which it becomes 0 cents/kWh. This $20cents/kWh is today in 2013 already cheaper than Electrabel’s FF and nuke power supplied by the grid ($22 cents/kWh for retail users). Belgium now imports 12% of it’s electricity from Germany, who has a constant surplus, selling it to “us” for peanuts, which of course discourage the construction of new local FF or nuclear plants, given the cost of capital… My solar PV panels are guaranteed for the next 20 years, they will last 40 years, given how sturdy the EU manufactured panels are assembled, and given that there are zero moving parts, no tornadoes, hurricane and such endeavours to destroy them in Belgium. I will lose 0.5% in production capacity each year due to “lost silicon electrons”, meaning in 20 years, they will produce 0.005×20= 10% less than now. I do not need no stinking NPP or fossil fuel power plant in my backyard. I have solved it otherwise.

 

 

http://www.iea.org/files/energy_subsidies.pdf

 

http://www.grist.org/article/2010-06-07-iea-stunner-global-subsidies-dirty-energy-top-550-billion-year/

 

IEA stunner: global subsidies to dirty energy top $550 billion a year. The IEA estimates that energy consumption could be reduced by 850m tonnes equivalent of oil — or the combined current consumption of Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand — if the subsidies are phased out between now and 2020. The consumption cut would save the equivalent of the current carbon dioxide emissions of Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, and Spain. Fossil fuel subsidies average out to 2.1% of GDP of the 37 countries surveyed.

 

 

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Sweden

 

The share of renewable energy in per cent in Sweden was 48% in 2012 and 38% in 2000. Wind power accounted for approximately 2.4% of the electricity use in Sweden in 2010. Hydroelectric power accounts for more than half of energy production, more than 1900 power stations operate all over the country. More than 35% of the energy is produced by 10 Nuclear reactors, previously 12. They are spread out on 4 power stations

 

 

 

 

http://www.ree.es/ingles/sala_prensa/web/notas_detalle.aspx?id_nota=180

 

https://demanda.ree.es/demanda.html

 

http://www.windpowermonthly.com/go/windalert/article/1059397/?DCMP=EMC-CONWindpowerWeekly

 

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011/01/spain-generated-3-of-its-electricity-from-solar-in-2010#readercomments

 

31 March 2011 – Spain’s central government objective for renewables to cover 40% of total electricity supply by 2020 is achieved in 2010. Red Electrica reported that in the first quarter of 2011, the renewable technologies covered 40.5 percent of the demand, a little less than in the same period in 2010 when it reached 44 percent.

 

In March 2011, 57.9% of Spain’s electricity was generated by technologies which do not emit CO2, and wind power energy was the technology with the largest production of electricity. Spain generated nearly 3 percent or 6.7 TWh of its electricity from solar energy, wind turbines generated 21 percent or 55 TWh, and hydroelectricity’s share was 17 percent or 44 TWh.

 

The new renewables of wind and solar in combination provided nearly 24 percent of supply. Together both new and conventional renewables delivered 40.5 percent of Spain’s electricity. Cogeneration (15 percent), natural gas CCGT (17 percent), coal (13 percent) and nuclear (19 percent) provided most of the rest.

 

Spain’s climate, geography, and population are similar to that of California.

 

 

 

http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1209704/windeconomics-records-tumble-uk-us?DCMP=EMC-CONWindpowerWeekly&bulletin=windpower-weekly

 

The California Public Utilities Commission reports that it is on target to meet the 25% by 2016 milestone as mandated by the renewables portfolio standard that aims for 33% by 2020. A recent report from the commission also calculates wind’s procurement expenditure as $80/MWh. The only procurement expenditure that is cheaper than wind are biogas ($66.6/MWh), geothermal ($65/MWh) and small hydro ($58.9/MWh).

 

The UK National Grid has provided typical estimates of the short-term operational reserve required for wind. In its absence, the requirement was about 3.8GW and the addition of 20GW of wind increases this by about 50%. Wind of 20GW corresponds to a penetration level of about 15%. Other utilities report similar requirements.

 

National Grid has also estimated the amount of additional short-term operating reserve (including spinning reserve and other types) required between April 2011 and September 2012 to cover for wind output being lower than forecast. National Grid estimates that 10.9 million tonnes of CO2 was saved by wind energy during the period, with the abatement due to the extra short-term reserve being only 8,800 tonnes, or 0.08%.

 

 

http://theenergycollective.com/josephromm/210896/70-percent-renewable-power-possible-portugal-just-did-it-3-months

 

April 15, 2013. Portugal Achieves 70 Percent Renewable Energy in First Quarter. Hydroelectric power supplied 37 percent of total electricity. Wind energy represented 27 percent of the total share.

 

 

http://www.windpowermonthly.com/go/windalert/article/1043722/?DCMP=EMC-CONWindpowerWeekly

 

http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/12389/renewable-energy-growth-in-portugal-anticipated/

 

Portugal continues to improve RE grid capabilities. Five years ago only 17% of Portugal’s grid power originated from clean and renewable energy resources, but that number is now half of the nation’s grid power (2010).

 

 

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/09/latin-america-report-chiles-road-to-solar-grid-parity?cmpid=SolarNL-Thursday-September12-2013

 

September 11, 2013. Chile’s Road To Solar Grid Parity. High electricity prices ($0.15-0.25/kWh), high irradiation, and rising energy demand all play in Chile’s favor. A third of the overall country is hydro-based, but almost all of it is in the south. Most of the coming solar capacity will be in the north which is currently dominated by hydrocarbon generation (45 percent coal, 8 percent oil), as opposed to the central’s nearly 50 percent hydro portfolio. Only 3 solar projects with 3.5-MW grid-connected capacity are currently operating in Chile; 70 MW of projects are under construction, and there’s a 3100 MW pipeline backlog. Most projects are debt-heavy (70-80 percent), but equity-funded solar installations achieved permitting to generate LCOEs of $0.12-$0.18/kWh, cost-competitive with other forms of energy generation. Chile’s mining sector produces a third of the world’s copper, representing more than half the country’s annual exports and a fifth of its GDP. Mining companies have been signing long-term solar PV PPAs in the $100-120/MWh range, which is competitive with gas (~$120s/MWh) and coal (~$80s/MWh), with no commodity risk. All these factors point to increasing investment in large PV projects. An early example of Chile’s solar grid parity: SunEdison’s 50-MW project in the Atacama region, with a projected cost of $142 million (helped by World Bank funding), and generating electricity at an LCOE of $0.12/kWh using mostly equity financing — and selling into the spot market without incentives.

 

 

http://africaresearchonline.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/morocco-investing-in-renewable-energy-in-the-southern-desert/

 

May 28, 2013. Morocco on May 10th officially launched the construction of a 160-megawatt solar power plant near the desert city of Ouarzazate, the first in a series of vast solar projects planned in the country. Meanwhile the country is also ploughing ahead with a programme to boost wind energy production, particularly in the southern Tarfaya region, where Africa’s largest wind farm is set to open in 2014.

 

The kingdom, with no hydrocarbon reserves of its own, hopes to cover 42% of its energy needs with renewable sources by 2020, and has launched a plan to produce 4,000 megawatts.

 

Half of this will come from solar energy while wind power will supply the remaining 2,000 MW, and Morocco’s wind-blown southern coast, where many of the new farms will be built, already resembles a huge building site.

 

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Scatec_Solar_Grid_Connects_South_Africas_First_Renewable_IPP_Project_999.html

 

Sep 19, 2013. Scatec Solar Grid-Connects South Africa’s First Renewable IPP Project. Scatec Solar’s 75 MW solar PV plant is connected to the regional grid, 3 months ahead of schedule. The 135 million kWh annual production cover the electricity demand of 33 000 South African households. The capital investment for the project is financed through South Africa’s largest commercial bank, Standard Bank. Scatec Solar has been awarded a total of 3 projects with total capacity of 190 MW.

 

 

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/09/development-banks-lend-record-108-9-billion-to-clean-energy?cmpid=SolarNL-Thursday-September12-2013

 

September 10, 2013. Development banks worldwide lent a record $108.9 billion to renewable energy and energy-efficient technology last year, as they scale back investment in coal-fired power plants, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said. Development banks furnished $424.8 billion of clean energy finance between 2007 and 2012, according to the report. About half of that was disbursed in Europe, excluding Russia.

 

 

http://www.epuron.de/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-204/414_read-531/

EPURON, a member of the Conergy Group, is currently developing a 1.79 megawatt biogas installation in Jüterbog, Germany (near Berlin in the state of Brandenburg). Energy generated would be sufficient to supply the entire Jüterbog community with electrical power. The installation, which will go on stream in April, is designed to handle the fermentation of approximately 24,500 tons of pig liquid manure and 31,500 tons of corn silage per annum. Input feedstocks will be supplied by a neighboring pig farm and the Jüterbog agricultural co-operative society. A long-term supply has been contractually secured. The fermentation substrates by-product from the power generation process will, in turn, be purchased by the agricultural co-operative society and used in local fields as organic manure. This mass has less odor compared to conventional manure and does not pollute the environment. Six and a half million cubic meters of biogas will be produced annually in three fermenting vats with a total capacity of 7,500 cubic meters. The biogas will thereupon be converted to approximately 13.7 million kilowatt hours of electrical power in three block power heating stations. The electrical power will be fed into the E.ON.edis grid over a period of at least 20 years. The annual electrical power output is sufficient to supply some 4,000 households; i.e., more than the population of Jüterbog. In addition, e.distherm, a partner company of E.ON.edis, has agreed to purchase a large portion of the heat produced by the power generation and feed this into its long-distance heating network.

 

http://www.powergenworldwide.com/index/display/articledisplay/8561149016/articles/powergenworldwide/nuclear/retrofits-and-upgrades/2010/10/New-Brunswick-upgrade-delayed.html

Oct 15, 2010 – A refurbishment project at the Canadian Point Lepreau nuclear generating station has been delayed 3 years. NB Power, the owner of the power plant, said that work there would be complete by the fall of 2012, three years behind schedule. The project initially was supposed to be completed in September 2009. The utility said the recent delay is because Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. recommended the removal and replacement of 380 calandria tubes. The new tubes were inserted in the reactor between December 2009 and April 2010, but dozens of the tubes flunked air tightness tests after being fused with special inserts designed to hold them in place.

 

http://www.powergenworldwide.com/index/display/articledisplay/4762232773/articles/powergenworldwide/nuclear/reactors/2010/09/progress-down.html

10 September 2010 — A control problem with a turbine at the 714 MW H.B. Robinson nuclear power plant in South Carolina shut the reactor down September 9 until the issue can be fixed. It’s the third shutdown this year. Plant spokesman Andy Cole told the Associated Press the shutdown was triggered by a control problem with a turbine unrelated to the nuclear side of the plant. Earlier this year, two fires in Robinson’s electrical system led to a nearly four-month shutdown of the plant that included a planned refueling outage and some needed repairs. The reactor was restarted in mid-July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.powergenworldwide.com/index/display/articledisplay/6493223568/articles/powergenworldwide/nuclear/reactors/2010/11/Vermont-Yankee-leak.html

Entergy Corp. said its Vermont Yankee nuclear plant shut down November 7 because of another leak. Plant officials said an access plug that had been welded over on a pipe in the feedwater system started leaking radioactive water into a floor drain. There is no threat to the public, officials said. Workers had to wait 13 hours for the plant to cool before they could get into the area where the leak was spotted during routine surveillance. The repairs are expected to take 24 hours and then the plant will be restarted. Two tritium leaks were found in June and three other leaks were found at the plant in March. Because of those leaks, Vermont regulators denied the plant’s request for a license extension, effectively shutting it down in March 2012. Entergy announced November 4 that it was looking into selling the Vermont Yankee plant.

 

http://www.powergenworldwide.com/index/display/articledisplay/7769405125/articles/powergenworldwide/nuclear/retrofits-and-upgrades/2010/11/Refurb-over-budget.html

Nov 4, 2010 – TransCanada said the retrofit of two mothballed reactors at one of Bruce Power’s nuclear power plants in Ontario Canada is C$2 billion (US$1.995 billion) over the original estimate. The company said that refurbishing the two nuclear power units at the Bruce A plant has cost C$3.8 billion to date. The final cost is expected to be C$4.8 billion (US$4.788 billion). The project originally was estimated in 2005 to cost C$2.75 billion (US$2.743 billion). The Ontario Power Authority said an agreement signed in 2009 makes TransCanada and its partners solely responsible for any costs in excess of C$3.4 billion (US$3.392 billion). Overruns up to $3.4 billion in total costs had been shared. The plant was mothballed in 1997 and the original target for the restart was the end of 2009. That was changed to 2011, with commercial operations expected in 2012. TransCanada said its share of the total project cost is expected to be C$2.4 billion (US$2.394 billion). It owns Bruce Power in partnership with the OMERS pension fund and an employee group with a small minority stake. Bruce Power has a long-term lease of the nuclear facility.

 

 

 

http://www.powergenworldwide.com/index/display/articledisplay/1925889998/articles/powergenworldwide/nuclear/reactors/2010/08/Nuclear-dependent-on-loan-guarantees.html

17 August 2010– New US nuclear development will depend on federal support such as loan guarantees, especially as natural gas prices remain depressed, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) said in a report released August 16. A nuclear plant costing $6,500/kW to build is likely non-competitive without a federal loan guarantee at prevailing forward gas prices, S&P said. For regulated utilities, reactor construction may be easier to obtain, since they can make the case to regulators that nuclear costs are more stable than gas-fired units and argue that emissions regulations that would favor nuclear may be forthcoming, S&P said. However, the report said it expects unregulated companies that generally do not receive loan guarantees to defer or abandon the projects because they are too expensive or uneconomic to build. In addition, costs are generally higher in the US because fixed-price turnkey EPC contracts have been unavailable, S&P said.

 

 

Alain Verbeke's picture
Alain Verbeke on September 28, 2013

” All waste management and plant decommissioning costs are fully covered by a charge of less than 1 cent/kW-hr of nuclear electricity.  This is well established, based on decades of operation and several plant decommissionings, in the US and elsewhere.  The operational (total going forward) costs of France’s existing nukes is at most ~3 cents/kW-hr, FAR lower than that of new renewable generation.  Any move away from nuclear (or renewables construction) by France is entirely politically motivated. “

It is not entirely politically motivated. France has received the order from the European Union to increase it’s renewable energy supply portfolio to 23% by 2020, that’s it, no more. The second reason can be read hereunder, it is all about MONEY, or more precisely, EXPLOSION of COSTS. The article is in French, I translated it through Google in English for you. You can find dozens and dozens of such articles on French internet blog and official sites. As I said, I live in Belgium, do watch French TV regularly since I speak French, and they are very worried about their nuclear bet from the early 1980’s getting very expensive right now. And do not forget to read the last paragraph, if you want to puke.

 

 

 

http://www.environnement-france.fr/0328-hausse-prix-tarif-electricite-nucleaire

 

28 march 2011. Rising electricity prices: The hidden side of nuclear power?

 

EDF (French National Electricity Utility) asks the state to increase the price of electricity by 30% in five years. Main reason for this new increase: EDF must invest in aging nuclear power plants, the site of the future EPR and the Bure central waste storage facility are much more expensive than expected. While the French electricity giant recognizes itself that electricity prices in France are underestimated, France Nature Environnement analyse the real costs of nuclear energy.

 

With the sharp increase in electricity tariffs in France, EDF implicitly admits that current electricity prices are below its real costs. This is a first. The myth of cheap nuclear power collapses and illustrates the vulnerability of our energy system. The question that now arises is: what is the real cost of nuclear power?

Contrary to popular belief nuclear energy is expensive and to calculate the true price we must take into account all costs of research and development, mining and import of uranium, operation, maintenance, transportation of high voltage power lines, waste, security, risks, dismantling, insurance … All this with limited effects on the labor market.

 

Nuclear costs, how much?
• In 1999, a report by Jean -Michel Charpin , Benjamin Dessus , and René Pellat amounted cost for research and development as well as for the exploitation of French plants between 418 and 446 billion euros.
• The cost of building a power plant is also excessive and difficult to estimate. Proof with EPR projects in Finland and Flamanville who both accuse 2 to 3 years delays, with a price that has risen from 3.3 billion to more than 5 billion euros for the Flamanville plant. Total ( for Finland and Flamanville ) Areva has set aside 2.6 billion euros in assets due to delays, in addition to the 423 million of losses in 2010 for Areva.
• It should be added that a dismantling costs amounted to € 63 billion by the Court of Auditors ( 2005 report ) that concerned about the lack of financial provisions by EDF and Areva to cover these expenses .
• The fuel , uranium imported mainly from Niger – which provides neither energy independence or sustainability – is also expensive. Its total cost tends to increase – the cost of uranium from Niger doubled in 2008 – because of its scarcity and aggravated by the threat of terrorism and kidnapping of employees of Areva working in difficult operating conditions.
• To this is added the cost of maintenance , which increases with aging plants and increase the cost of insurance. This is the reason why the Fukushima plant in Japan was no longer guaranteed since August 2010. Its operator , Tepco , who considered “too excessive” the price proposed by the insurer. Insurers are reluctant to take that chance alone and are forced to band together to try to cover it.
• The cost of transport by voltage lines of electricity generated by power plants and energy losses ranging from 10 to 20% energy capacity during long-distance transport also weigh down the bill.
• Waste storage must be provided for the duration of their radioactivity ( 100,000 years). No solution currently exists and attempts are extremely expensive : the price of the deep storage Bure increased from 15 billion to more than € 35 billion in a few years .
• Remain still to estimate indirect costs or negative externalities radioactivity , pollution of soil and water, health risks … covered by taxpayer money. Not to mention that the bill exploded in an accident !
• For comparison : the AZF disaster has cost $ 2 billion, the purely economic costs of the Chernobyl disaster it rises to more than 500 billion euros … while EDF is only insured for accidents up to 91 million euros.
• This economic cost is added a social cost which tends to infinity.

 

According to estimates, taking into account only the cost of research and development, construction, operation, repair, electricity transmission and dismantling, MWh costs produced by nuclear would be equal to that of onshore wind, but more expensive than biomass, hydro or fossil fuels. Regarding the labor market, nuclear power would be 100,000 direct and indirect jobs in France.

 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on September 28, 2013

a v, I have no idea where you’re getting your estimates for decommisssioning/waste storage in France, but you’ve inflated official estimates by 300%:

“At the end of 2009, EdF was reported to have EUR 11.4 billion in its dedicated back-end fund, compared with an estimated liability of EUR 16.9 billion.”

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/France/#.Ukb0BLwWWq4

You follow a time-honored tradition in the anti-nuclear movement of posting sheaves of irrelevant, inaccurate, or simply invented talking points, apparently hoping readers will accept a poorly-referenced (or completely unreferenced) mountain of garbage at face value.

Please refrain from the lengthy multiple and repetitive rants, which are becoming annoying to people who want to share in honest discussion. Quantity is not quality.

Alain Verbeke's picture
Alain Verbeke on September 28, 2013

” a v, I have no idea where you’re getting your estimates for decommisssioning/waste storage in France, but you’ve inflated official estimates by 300%:

“At the end of 2009, EdF was reported to have EUR 11.4 billion in its dedicated back-end fund, compared with an estimated liability of EUR 16.9 billion.”

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/France/#.Ukb0BLwWWq4

You follow a time-honored tradition in the anti-nuclear movement of posting sheaves of irrelevant, inaccurate, or simply invented talking points, apparently hoping readers will accept a poorly-referenced (or completely unreferenced) mountain of garbage at face value.

Please refrain from the lengthy multiple and repetitive rants, which are becoming annoying to people who want to share in honest discussion. Quantity is not quality. “

 

I concur that your information is absolutely out of date, and that your rants about how great Nuculear power is are becoming annoying to people who want to share in honnest discussion. Quantity is quality, if you want to go to the bottom of issues. You are clearly not used to read much, TV guy. 

France has received the order from the European Union to increase it’s renewable energy supply portfolio to 23% by 2020, that’s it, no more. The second reason can be read hereunder, it is all about MONEY, or more precisely, EXPLOSION of COSTS. The article is in French, I translated it through Google in English for you. You can find dozens and dozens of such articles on French internet blog and official sites. As I said, I live in Belgium, do watch French TV regularly since I speak French, and they are very worried about their nuclear bet from the early 1980’s getting very expensive right now. And do not forget to read the last paragraph, if you want to puke.

http://www.environnement-france.fr/0328-hausse-prix-tarif-electricite-nucleaire

 

28 march 2011. Rising electricity prices: The hidden side of nuclear power?

 

EDF (French National Electricity Utility) asks the state to increase the price of electricity by 30% in five years. Main reason for this new increase: EDF must invest in aging nuclear power plants, the site of the future EPR and the Bure central waste storage facility are much more expensive than expected. While the French electricity giant recognizes itself that electricity prices in France are underestimated, France Nature Environnement analyse the real costs of nuclear energy.

 

With the sharp increase in electricity tariffs in France, EDF implicitly admits that current electricity prices are below its real costs. This is a first. The myth of cheap nuclear power collapses and illustrates the vulnerability of our energy system. The question that now arises is: what is the real cost of nuclear power?

Contrary to popular belief nuclear energy is expensive and to calculate the true price we must take into account all costs of research and development, mining and import of uranium, operation, maintenance, transportation of high voltage power lines, waste, security, risks, dismantling, insurance … All this with limited effects on the labor market.

 

Nuclear costs, how much?
• In 1999, a report by Jean -Michel Charpin , Benjamin Dessus , and René Pellat amounted cost for research and development as well as for the exploitation of French plants between 418 and 446 billion euros.
• The cost of building a power plant is also excessive and difficult to estimate. Proof with EPR projects in Finland and Flamanville who both accuse 2 to 3 years delays, with a price that has risen from 3.3 billion to more than 5 billion euros for the Flamanville plant. Total ( for Finland and Flamanville ) Areva has set aside 2.6 billion euros in assets due to delays, in addition to the 423 million of losses in 2010 for Areva.
• It should be added that a dismantling costs amounted to € 63 billion by the Court of Auditors ( 2005 report ) that concerned about the lack of financial provisions by EDF and Areva to cover these expenses .
• The fuel , uranium imported mainly from Niger – which provides neither energy independence or sustainability – is also expensive. Its total cost tends to increase – the cost of uranium from Niger doubled in 2008 – because of its scarcity and aggravated by the threat of terrorism and kidnapping of employees of Areva working in difficult operating conditions.
• To this is added the cost of maintenance , which increases with aging plants and increase the cost of insurance. This is the reason why the Fukushima plant in Japan was no longer guaranteed since August 2010. Its operator , Tepco , who considered “too excessive” the price proposed by the insurer. Insurers are reluctant to take that chance alone and are forced to band together to try to cover it.
• The cost of transport by voltage lines of electricity generated by power plants and energy losses ranging from 10 to 20% energy capacity during long-distance transport also weigh down the bill.
• Waste storage must be provided for the duration of their radioactivity ( 100,000 years). No solution currently exists and attempts are extremely expensive : the price of the deep storage Bure increased from 15 billion to more than € 35 billion in a few years .
• Remain still to estimate indirect costs or negative externalities radioactivity , pollution of soil and water, health risks … covered by taxpayer money. Not to mention that the bill exploded in an accident !
• For comparison : the AZF disaster has cost $ 2 billion, the purely economic costs of the Chernobyl disaster it rises to more than 500 billion euros … while EDF is only insured for accidents up to 91 million euros.
• This economic cost is added a social cost which tends to infinity.

 

According to estimates, taking into account only the cost of research and development, construction, operation, repair, electricity transmission and dismantling, MWh costs produced by nuclear would be equal to that of onshore wind, but more expensive than biomass, hydro or fossil fuels. Regarding the labor market, nuclear power would be 100,000 direct and indirect jobs in France.

Robert Bernal's picture
Robert Bernal on September 28, 2013

Had the United States continued with the proving stage of the already developed molten salt reactor experiment back in 1969 at Oak Ridge National Labs, the world could have unlimited (almost) clean energy. Proponents call it LFTR (liquid fluoride thorium reactor). It is a meltdown proof concept which used molten salt as the fuel which negates the disadvantages of solid fuel (which are orders of magnitude more wastes and inherent safety issues).

I used to be against nuclear because of the obvious radioactive waste problem. But I am still against coal because of the obvious excess CO2 problem. And I like renewables, except that it will take about 400,000 sq miles of CSP solar (alone) to power 10 billion people at a decent standard including industrial, agricultural, commercial and transportation (assuming electric “everything). This is about 1% of Earth’s land space and I would be thrilled… IF there wasn’t a problem with cleaning such an expanse of mirrors on a regular basis, IF it wasn’t too expensive, IF it wasn’t environmentally taxing and IF countries such as yours would be willing to import much of it. Yes, there would be some toxicity issues from such a vast scale up of the diffuse and intermittant resources.

PV and wind can not be stored unless a 3x build up is deployed. This is because molten salt storage (such as with CSP solar) entails an efficiency loss of about 65% due to the conventional steam turbine process. This approach to storage is about 10X cheaper than batteries. This means that advanced machine automation MUST be developed that can make all the various different renewable energy collection devices for that much cheaper. Problem  though, is the same problem we have with LFTR. The political will is NOT there and profiteers will want to make as much money as they can from each and every little kWh (thus, negating the advantages of advanced machine automation)! Perhaps, there is a way through?

Sooo, the world has two options, sit around and let politics interfere with the free markets OR demand the least expensive, most abundant clean energy source. We could allow a CO2 tax and hope that things will get better… or we can impose a “use the most scientifically sound resource” decree. If we accept CO2 taxes, then excess CO2 will be pumped back into the ground, literally mountains of it with devastating results for the future… If we choose nuclear, we have to modularize its manufacture (too avoid the high costs of non-uniformity), since there is really no reason (from a materials standpoint) that such a power dense source cost more to build.

Centuries from now, our desendents and ALL OF THE BIOSPHERE will be dieing in a world with acidified ground water and re-emergent global warming on an even vaster scale than we could ever imagine now. This is because, as the world grows and all the developing nations use coal, up to 8 x the amount of fossil fuels we already burned… will be burned… and much of the excess CO2 pumped back into the ground. Major environmental problems dwarfing our own happens when only a small percent resurfaces.

In the meantime, LFTR wastes would have become radioactive FREE (and would be contained in an volume of space on the order of 1,000,000 x smaller in proper containers).

Sooo, if we do the renewable energy thing on a large scale, chances are, it will only work up to the 20% “max grid” limit, before storage costs (and inefficiency) doubles its price and forces coal with CCS to remain the dominant source. But if we do the LFTR thing (on the global scale) there will be NO accelerating global warming and NO fear of acidified ground water due to CCS of excess CO2. There will also be NO coal pullution. There won’t be the hich costs of carbon taxation and best of all, there won’t be any limitation that comes from rationed energy supplies… that obvious result of choosing the wrong path. Best yet, your country would not have to import any energy!

There is a way to sequester CO2 safely… but that won’t happen because it is cheaper to just inject it into the ground. It’s called mineral sequestration (into a carbonate). And even though, there is still the other coal pollution to deal with such as mercury, sulfer, etc. Did you know that coal ash, outside the plant, is more radioactive than the outside of a nuclear plant? Also, there is MORE potential energy from such ash than the power produced from the coal it came from (if fissioned in a molten salt reactor or fast reactor)!

This low level radiation is allowed from coal plants but is “screamed about from the rooftops of the environmentalists” if from nuclear. From a scientific (rational) point of view, this FEAR of nuclear, is not only just plain silly, but actually a real threat to the survival of the biosphere at large (because this fear promotes accelerating FF use)!

Sooo, I propose that we seek to scale up the least expensive, most abundant energy source capable of power a growing planetary civilization AND of cleaning up the excess CO2 mess. If that costs more than coal, then we need to make sure that whatever carbon taxes imposed goes towards implementing that best source and NOT CCS.

Remember, the objective is to develop the least expensive, most abundant (almost) clean energy source.

Alain Verbeke's picture
Alain Verbeke on September 28, 2013

” a v, I have no idea where you’re getting your estimates for decommisssioning/waste storage in France, but you’ve inflated official estimates by 300%: “At the end of 2009, EdF was reported to have EUR 11.4 billion in its dedicated back-end fund, compared with an estimated liability of EUR 16.9 billion.” http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/France/#.Ukb0BLwWWq4 You follow a time-honored tradition in the anti-nuclear movement of posting sheaves of irrelevant, inaccurate, or simply invented talking points, apparently hoping readers will accept a poorly-referenced (or completely unreferenced) mountain of garbage at face value. Please refrain from the lengthy multiple and repetitive rants, which are becoming annoying to people who want to share in honest discussion. Quantity is not quality. “

Well, if you want one liners, go watch Fox TV. If you want to get informed read what I post. Given that you are too lazy to research yourself what I posted hereunder, and that shows that I am not posting sheaves of irrelevant, inaccurate or simply invented talking points, because I didn’t spend the required 30 minutes to find the references you are craving. BE HAPPY to be able to get an alternative view. It’s 30 US dollars, please, for my con_sulting.

 

1. coal lignite extraction in Germany is heavily subsidised. That makes it the cheapest fuel available domestically, cheaper than free wind, water, sun, biomass, biogas and earth heat. Those subsidies are included in the electricity price, as are the taxes on each ton of emitted CO2 from burning that lignite. No wonder electricity prices in Germany are expensive.

 

http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/49820/coal-subsidies-in-germany

 

http://en.sxcoal.com/58/DataShow.html

 

Apr 10, 2002. Hard coal production has remained a viable industry only through heavy subsidization, which is being reduced, but not ended. Lignite, or “brown coal,” production, however, is inexpensive in Germany. Germany is the world’s largest lignite producer, with about one-fifth of global output, though output of lignite, most of which comes from the former East Germany, has fallen by about 40% since reunification.

 

 

 

http://ekopolitan.net/news/coal-report-state-subsidies-coal-power-sector-germany-1950-2008-euro-4321-b

 

Report: State subsidies to the coal power sector in Germany 1950-2008: Euro 432.1 billion. This includes both Bitumen (tot. Euro 330.7 billion) and Lignite coal (tot. Euro 101.4 billion). Subsidies in former East Germany are not included.

 

– With the price level of 2008, the German state has payed Euro 187.2 billion directly to the coal sector; i.e. sales aid (Euro 145.1 billion), upgrading (Euro 16.4 billion), interruptions (Euro 7.3 billion) and other.
– The coal sector was given
Euro 153 billion in tax deductions.
– The coal sector was also given
Euro 81.7 billion in indirect subsidies; electricity price increases due to emissions trading (Euro 11.9 billion) and the lack of competition on the German electricity market (Euro 69.8 billion).
– The German State has also subsidised the lignite coal sector for
environmental cleanup with Euro 10.2 billion.

 

 

 

2. natural gas in Germany is 100% imported, costs over $12/MMbtu, while in the USA it is below $3/MMbtu; thus 4x more expensive than in Frack Country. That is why the German utilities are shutting down a whole fleet of brand new extremely efficient NG plants who can only run less than 2000 hours per year, because they are not competitive against renewables like hydro power and wind, or solar PV at midday peak power demand, and are forced out by subsidised lignite coal plants that run cheaper than imported natural gas.

 

http://www.mongabay.com/commodities/price-charts/price-of-russian-natural-gas-in-germany.html

 

http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/statistical-review-of-world-energy-2013/review-by-energy-type/natural-gas/natural-gas-prices.html

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-12/europe-gas-carnage-shown-by-eon-closing-3-year-old-plant-energy.html

 

Mar 12, 2013. Europe Gas Carnage Shown by EON Closing 3-Year-Old Plant. As Europe’s weak economy holds back electricity demand, cheaper coal, requirements to buy renewable energy and the collapsing cost of carbon permits are undercutting gas-fired plants. The pattern is repeated throughout Europe as utilities including France’s GDF Suez SA and Centrica Plc mothball gas plants.Gas plants are also unprofitable in France, the Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the U.K., they’re barely breaking even. Utilities in Europe need to shut more than 30 percent of fossil-fuel fired stations to counter increasing production from wind turbines and solar, UBS analysts led by Per Lekander said in a note last week. Gas-fired plants will lead shutdowns, they said.

 

 

 

Alain Verbeke's picture
Alain Verbeke on September 28, 2013

” a v, I have no idea where you’re getting your estimates for decommisssioning/waste storage in France, but you’ve inflated official estimates by 300%:

“At the end of 2009, EdF was reported to have EUR 11.4 billion in its dedicated back-end fund, compared with an estimated liability of EUR 16.9 billion.”

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/France/#.Ukb0BLwWWq4

You follow a time-honored tradition in the anti-nuclear movement of posting sheaves of irrelevant, inaccurate, or simply invented talking points, apparently hoping readers will accept a poorly-referenced (or completely unreferenced) mountain of garbage at face value.

Please refrain from the lengthy multiple and repetitive rants, which are becoming annoying to people who want to share in honest discussion. Quantity is not quality “

 

I already replied to all the other open standing issues, this one remained opne, the point is now closed. Hope you learned something.

 

5. The French are now investing into 2000 MW of offshore wind turbine parks forecasted to operate 50% of the time, according to 2 years of windspeed measurements done 10 miles offshore. It is cheaper than building one new NPP with current French laws and decommissioning prices, while providing the same amount of kWh’s.

http://www.alstom.com/gsw/press-centre/2013/5/france-invests-in-large-scale-offshore-wind-power/

2013. Jean-Yves Grandidier presented the ambitious French program to introduce large-scale offshore wind power off the coast of Normandy and Brittany. The first phase of the program which includes 2,000 MW was negotiated in a “reverse auction” by the French government during 2011-2012 where the lowest price for electricity produced was decisive. The consortia that participated in the bidding were thus both power companies and wind power producers.

http://www.icis.com/heren/articles/2013/01/09/9630410/power/edem/france-prepares-second-offshore-wind-power-tender.html

09 Jan 2013. France’s environment and energy ministry will launch its second offshore wind tender in March, and the government is keen to increase competition for this round, following incumbent EDF’s success in the first tender. The tender is for a projected 1GW of capacity to be developed on sites off the coast of western and northern France, with Tréport accounting for 480-500MW and Yeu and Noirmoutier the same amount. Candidates will have until September to place their bids.

 

 

Robert Bernal's picture
Robert Bernal on September 28, 2013

It is the fear of nuclear that will ultimately destroy the biosphere (and cause higher electricity prices)…

Alain Verbeke's picture
Alain Verbeke on September 28, 2013

” Sooo, if we do the renewable energy thing on a large scale, chances are, it will only work up to the 20% “max grid” limit, before storage costs (and inefficiency) doubles its price and forces coal with CCS to remain the dominant source. But if we do the LFTR thing (on the global scale) there will be NO accelerating global warming and NO fear of acidified ground water due to CCS of excess CO2. There will also be NO coal pullution. There won’t be the hich costs of carbon taxation and best of all, there won’t be any limitation that comes from rationed energy supplies… that obvious result of choosing the wrong path. Best yet, your country would not have to import any energy! “

My country is on it’s way to become 100% renewable energy based by the end of this century. As is much of Europe, one kWh at the time. Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Austria are already halfway or much more than halfway. So your statement that renewable energy on a large scale can only go up to 20% “max grid” limit is already debunked in Europe. By the way Brazil, a huge country and landmass, achieves almost all it’s electricity generation using ONLY hydropower, wind and the sun…..

The LFTR things sounds fantastic, but again, it requires taxpayer money to get of the ground. As usual with nuclear power based on earth. I prefer the one based 150 million km from where I live, or the one several kilometers under my feet. 

 

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/1733&format=HTML&aged=0&language=en&guiLanguage=en

 

Brussels, 18 November 2009. The agreement will strengthen the building codes and energy performance requirements for buildings across the EU and fixes 2020 as deadline for all new buildings to be nearly zero energy buildings. Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of EU CO2 emissions. It is estimated that, by strengthening the provisions of the Directive on energy performance, the EU could achieve a reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 70% of the current EU Kyoto target. In addition to this, these improvements could save citizens around Euro 300 per annum per household in their energy bills, while boosting the construction and building renovation industry in Europe.

 

 

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/09/dutch-wind-turbine-purchase-sets-world-crowdfunding-record

 

September 24, 2013. Raising 1.3 million Euro in just 13 hours, 1700 Dutch households that came together to buy shares in a wind turbine have set a new world record for crowdfunding. All 6648 shares in the electricity from the Vestas V80 2-MW wind turbine were sold, at a share price of 200 Euro. Each household bought single shares or blocks of shares, with each share corresponding to an output of around 500 kWh/share per year. The electricity is sold through energy company Greenchoice, which was founded in 2003 as one of the first green competitors to the major Dutch utilities and now has 350 000 customers.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/12/brazil-conducts-first-wind-only-power-auction?cmpid=WindNL-Tuesday-December29-2009

 

December 17, 2009

 

Brazil this week held its first wind-only power auction. More than 1,800 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity was contracted. The average selling price for electricity from these projects was US $84.88/MWh. The auction will allow for the building of 71 wind power plants located in five states of the northeastern and southern regions of the country. In the 20 year period in which the contracts will run, the projects are expected to drive investments of more than $11.2 billion.

 

This auction shows that the price difference between wind and thermoelectric sources of energy is diminishing and today they are closer than ever. It also shows that from both an economic and environmental perspective, wind energy is viable option for complementing Brazil´s hydraulic generation,” said Mauricio Tolmasquim, president of the Brazilian Energy Research Company, Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE).

 

http://theenergycollective.com/zachshahan/231951/brazil-receives-requests-392-mw-solar-power-projects-within-one-week?utm_source=tec_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&inf_contact_key=e0b5cff38e80239037e0b101a1632251e869edd4d6e62e5c24161010296d900c

 

Brazil’s surge in a solar power focus has come (incidentally or on purpose) in conjunction with the upcoming FIFA World Cup that will be located there. But one of the key drivers of solar in Brazil is that it has become cheaper than the cost of grid electricity in the country. In December 2012, we noted an influx of 21 solar power project applications in the country totaling nearly 1,000 MW (1 gigawatt) of solar power capacity. In mid-May 2013, 13 requests were put in for the 392.4 MW total mentioned above, following about 300 MW across 12 requests not long before that.

 



Bill Woods's picture
Bill Woods on September 28, 2013

And you’d lose that bet:

 

Canada:

Coal/Elec:92 kg/kW-h

Coal/Pop:1400 kg/cap

Coal/GDP:30 g/USD

 

USA:

Coal/Elec:230 kg/kW-h

Coal/Pop:2800 kg/cap

Coal/GDP:57 g/USD

 

Germany:

Coal/Elec:470 kg/kW-h

Coal/Pop:3200 kg/cap

Coal/GDP:80 g/USD

 

Robert Bernal's picture
Robert Bernal on September 28, 2013

 Hi,

“My country is on it’s way to become 100% renewable energy based by the end of this century”

I hope nature will give us time for the accelerating burning of fossil fuels in the meantime, because most other countries are NOT on such a good low carbon track, especially in the U.S. Like I said before, we need to develop the least expensive, and abundant low carbon options

By the time 2099 comes, I expect my grandchildren to live in a world where utility scale and EV batteries are mass produced by machine for almost free. I expect the same with more efficient solar panels (and just about every other material object). I also expect the various different nuclear power plants to be robotically decommisioned and isolated from the biosphere for about 300 years. I expect spent fuel from today’s light water reactors (LWR or BWR, PWR, ect) to have already been reprocessed many decades ago (like now!) so as to reduce radioactive decay time from hundreds of thousands of years to “just” hundreds of years (and to generate like 20 to 100 x the energy of the conventional LWR). By that time, I expect there to be at least 15 billion people living at western or better standards and with almost perfect population stabilization, thus I expect space solar power to have become the number one clean energy source (if not fusion). These power requirements would still take close to 1% of the Earth’s land space, even though there would be more people and more efficiency.

How do we get to this almost perfect world? By using nuclear and reprocessing (or better yet, by using LFTR). Because we need MORE energy in order to achieve the collective ability to build space solar (or fusion, if developed), in order to build the advanced machine automation needed to raise net global productivity and in order to raise the economic output required to surpass global debts. From there, we clean up the huge excess CO2 problem by machine automation of mineral sequestration into carbonates (and by good old fashioned putting biomass back into the ground). We decommission the LFTR’s and whatever other nuclear plants, and finally get on our way to becoming a true space based race.

We can’t do these things on renewables alone. But we can’t do the battery thing if we don’t pursue renewables, either. Thus, we need to do both.

We can not yet power just one large city (nonstop) on renewables alone. I’ll promote LFTR (as I should, because I don’t want limited energy) and you can promote anything you want, as long as it favors renewable energy and its storage. Then we’ll have 2 good back up plans!

Bty, good English!

 

Robert Bernal's picture
Robert Bernal on September 28, 2013

It will if its the quickest way to low carbon… unless politics and fear gets in the way.

Anyways, about solar, that’s cool, but we need unlimited battery storage (for wind, too), like 10x cheaper!

Robert Bernal's picture
Robert Bernal on September 28, 2013

The only bad things about nuclear is the requirement of isolating ionizing radiation from the environment. And eleminating proliferation concerns. It is for these reasons I like LFTR.

ALL the other stuff, like high price and powerlines are to be expected from all the other city powering sources.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKG6wZtcVVQ&list=PLl7wz1JXaNOzHzDbclSuvBhtcMV53deQe

Robert Bernal's picture
Robert Bernal on September 29, 2013

For these reasons, we need to redevelop LFTR or some other meltdown proof molten salt reactor. We will need about 1,500 large LFTR’s in order to have (like 99%) carbon free electricity necessary to make Dimethyl ether (DME) or ammonia for carbon free liquid fuels. This will also give us the extra power needed to “factory up” (as that is the ONLY way to rise above national debts)!

Since solar panels take about 3 years for energy recoup, we should use the nuclear electricity to make those too, and to power the advanced machine automation to cover close to 1% of the Earth’s landspace needed to replace nuclear (or today’s FF) to power 10 billion at a near western standard. Also, advanced machine automation to make efficient utility scale and EV batteries… for like dirt cheap. Yes, we need nuclear power to do these awesome and required things, and become low carbon!

Eventually, the excess power from 1,500 large meltdown proof reactors would inable the expansion out into space (since it takes a lot of energy to climb out of Earth’s gravity well) and into the realm of fusion…

Without vision, the nations perish.

Joris van Dorp's picture
Joris van Dorp on October 10, 2013

a v says: “If you want to get informed read what I post.”

Riiight. Your posts are cherry-picked, and very misleading!

For example, you committed the deadly sin of claiming that fossil fuels receive more than $500 billion in subsidies, while blatantly ignoring the fact that the same study that calculated the $500 billion figure also calculated that fossil fuels tax revenue are more than $800 billion!

So society is up $300 billion per year of tax revenue.

Source: http://www.oecd.org/env/49090716.pdf

“Based on energy demand, price and tax data published by the IEA, OPEC estimates that, between 2005 and 2010, around USD 850 billion were raised annually by OECD countries through taxes on petroleum products, including goods and services taxes and value added taxes (VAT). This compares with an estimate of USD 800 billion in the years between 2004 and 2009, as reported in the June 2010 Joint Report. (IEA 2010)”

Please try to actually read and correctly convey the purport of studies and reports.

And I agree with others posting here. You are clearly copy-pasting your posts (and including misleading nonsense in them). That is a no-no. If it were up to me, I’d delete your posts and tell you get with the program and write considered and original posts.

You are not helping the discussion here. You are misleading people and confusing issues. Please improve yourself.


Paul O's picture
Paul O on August 28, 2014

I’m puzzled,

1) Are you inferring the Germans don’t subsidize their EXPENSIVE energy

or

2) Are you saying French and American energy have Terrible Electric service since they are subsidized?

This is not a logical argument.

Paul O's picture
Paul O on September 7, 2014

SO your reference to India’s poor (but cheap) electricity supply was spurious, and you gloss over the FIT benefit at the expense of the poor who cannot afford solar panels.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spurious

 

Jenny Sommer's picture
Jenny Sommer on May 31, 2015

The price includes the fit (EEG Umlage), 53% taxes, offshore Umlage, gridfees and the premium we pay for exempted industries (those pay between from 3.7c/kWh up and a little over 10ct average for industry…also EEG Umlage). The EEG Umlage includes more positions like a compensation for sinking wholesale prices. Read up on the EEG law if you are interested in details. The height if the EEG Umlage is adapted every year.

Actually you are free to choose your provider. Everybody who really cares will change anytime he can get cheaper power. The lowest prices are about 21ct/kWh for 100% RE – checked just now. The average German bill is about 1/4 lower than the average US bill.

Jenny Sommer's picture
Jenny Sommer on May 31, 2015

I don’t understand why people are too lazy to change their utility.

Just checked and the lowest price is 21ct/kWh

Including

 

Strombezug, Vertrieb und Services

 

      EEG-Umlage, § 19-Umlage, Offshore-     Netzkosten       Umlage, AbLaV-Umlage und     Konzessionsabgabe       KWK-Belastungsausgleich     Stromsteuer      

Umsatzsteuer

jan Freed's picture
jan Freed on May 31, 2015

That strikes me as a bit delusional:  It’s like saying “The real cost of coal is actually 2-3 times what you think you are paying for it, but because you don’t know about that, because the costs are hidden, you won’t mind paying for it”.

It still costs the citizen hundreds of billions of dollars per year.  I don’t doubt the ff companies had a hand in creating these subsidies and avoiding charges, rather than sage economists looking out for the citizen.
If a pollution fee was attached to each ton of coal, and all fees rebated to households, it would hold ff companies accountable for the social cost, and the rebated fees would enable citizens to purchase other forms.  Coal use would go down, emissions would go down, jobs would be gained, our health would improve, and the rebates would buffer us from dirty fuel price spikes.

This approach is described by George Schultz Sec of Treasury under Reagan:

http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/George-Shultz-pushes-for-carbon-tax-4340917.php

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