The environment group WWF has a report which says that $17 trillion must be spent on renewable energy between now and 2050 to avoid temperatures rising by 2 degrees celsius and irreversible climate change.
WWF does not consider nuclear power to be a viable policy option. The indicators “emissions per capita”, “emissions per GDP” and “CO2 per kWh electricity” for all countries have therefore been adjusted as if the generation of electricity from nuclear power had produced 350 gCO2/kWh (emission factor for natural gas). Without the adjustment, the original indicators for France would have been much lower, e.g. 86 gCO2/kWh.
On page 157 and 158, nuclear power is dismissed even though it currently generates 80% of the very low carbon energy in the world.
On pages 129-142 they have their spreadsheets with gigwatt hours per year by energy source. Nuclear power starts out about 300,000 GWh per year lower than actual numbers. 2321828 GWh/yr which is 2321 Twh/yr for 2010 which is less than the 2600-2650TWh/yr from 2006-2008.
The capacity factors that they used for their assumptions are made up. The current best actual capacity factors are in the USA and South Korea and are 90-95%. They represent 33% of the total nuclear capacity and more of the nuclear generation. By using the wrong capacity factors, they calculated nuclear power generation to be 15% below actual values.
The capacity factors for wind are too high based on current technology and would require development of high altitude wind where wind is more reliable. This site has covered kitegen technology, but that technology is likely at least ten years away from deployment in any significant scale. They have demonstrated a 40 KW unit and have gotten 15 million euro to develop 1 megawatt and 20 megawatt systems over the next five years. If that works out then it could scale.
The 159 pages comes down to how large can they justify a multiplication factor for wind and solar and other favored technologies. They do not look at grid upgrade issues and costs or backup power generation or power storage. They could not justify a continued growth rate beyond 30% per year for 30-40 years for wind energy so in order for wind and solar power to be scaled in their spreadsheet to achieve the replacement of energy, they need to start the multiplier in 2014.
They did not look at any detailed technologies or projects. It is 159 pages of window dressing on a crude and incorrect spreadsheet projection.
The WWF and their reports are comical in their simplicity and bias.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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