December 01, 2016

Building clean solar, wind and nuclear energy keeps costs lower by reducing supply chain pressures

Bjorn Lomborg calculated using the best peer-reviewed economic models show the cost of the Paris promises – through slower gross domestic product growth from higher energy costs — would reach $1 trillion to $2 trillion every year from 2030. U.S. vows alone — to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 — would reduce GDP by more than $150 billion annually.

So solutions that keep energy energy costs the same or lower and provide greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollution reduction would be better.

China's first HTR-PM (pebble bed) reactor will be completed in late 2017 and generate 210 MWe. It is expected to start commercial operation in late 2017. A proposal to construct two 600 MWe HTR plants - each featuring three twin reactor and turbine units - at Ruijin city in China's Jiangxi province passed a preliminary feasibility review in early 2015. The design of the Ruijin HTRs is based on the smaller Shidaowan demonstration HTR-PM. Construction of the Ruijin reactors is expected to start next year, with grid connection in 2021.

Nextbigfuture reader Goatguy posed the several questions about which choices would be better for improving the environment

(3a) Developing as much Wind/Solar as possible
(3b) Advocating for clean 3rd and 4th generation nuclear?

This is a darn hard one: we all know that nominally there is no safer, no cleaner and no more low environmental impact power than modern large-production nuclear. When we go with deaths-per-TWh, it is strikingly low. And safe. So … what is it: spend $100 billion on nuclear, or on PV and Wind?

It will take at least 20 years to ramp up and build enough solar or wind or nuclear generation to replace coal power.

Increasing the rate of spending on one choice causes supply chain problems which increase the cost. This is why it is best to spread bets and build several different types of non-fossil fuel solutions. There is also the bridging to pollution mitigation applied to existing coal plants which we will not be able to ramp up to replace for many years.

Replacing 12000 TWh of coal power and 40,000 TWh of oil power will take decades.

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