There seems to be systemic racism or stupidity in the analysis of the world energy situation. Whenever there is a global analysis of the cost of different energy sources, there is a focus on the cost of energy projects in the USA and Western Europe. The USA and Western Europe have only had about five nuclear reactor projects in the past 30 years. The nuclear construction costs in China are about $2000-2800 per kilowatt. The US and European reactors are 2 to 3 times more expensive. However, all of the energy activity is in China, India, Russia and South Korea. Focusing on US and European energy prices gives an incorrect analysis of global energy prices and global energy decisions.
However, 80-90% of the actual new energy construction action is in Asia and the Middle East.
Over 80% of the reactors under construction are being built by China, India, Russia and South Korea. Those projects are doing fine. They are one-third to one-half of the cost and usually are completed in 4-6 years.
In 2019, China has more energy generation than the US and Western Europe combined. China energy generation will likely double again before 2050. India will be surpassing US power generation in the next decade. China, India and the rest of South Asia are where 90% of the new world energy is being built. The US and Europe are flat in terms of energy construction.
The focus on US and Western Europe energy construction is like focusing on Rolls Royce automobile costs. Almost all of the world’s cars are not Rolls Royce. Who cares how much they cost if they are only a tiny amount of the overall number of global units.
The numbers and the energy activity has been so obvious for the last 15-20 years that the analysis bias seems to be racism, stupidity or laziness.
The analysis of the global energy situation needs to look at the costs and the energy mix being selected in China, India, Russia and South Korea. Russia is building minimally for themselves but Russia exports a lot to build for others.
Various researchers will focus on the Levelized cost of energy from the US EIA (Energy Information Administration). These statistics tend to focus on the cost for energy projects in the USA. Lazard LCOE energy calculations are also often cited by researchers. Again there is a focus on US and Western Europe costs.
There are sources for China’s energy costs. We need to see how energy project costs are playing out in places where the energy is actually being built. The USA and Europe have not built most of the world’s energy for over 40 years.
There is a paper from China on its costs. We see $2700-2800 per kilowatt for nuclear power. This is the price for the forty-five nuclear reactors that China has built over the past 17 years.
China’s Energy Transition in the Power and Transport Sectors from a Substitution Perspective (2017) Shangfeng Han 1,*, Baosheng Zhang 1,*, Xiaoyang Sun 1,*, Song Han 1 and M
Only five out of 52 nuclear reactors are being built in the US or Western Europe. There are also two nuclear reactors in Japan which are facing problems because of the Japanese public irrational response to the Fukushima tsunami.
Most of the nuclear discussions in the USA and Europe focus on the US and Western European nuclear reactor projects. There are two nuclear reactors being built in the USA. There are three being built in Europe using Western European nuclear reactor technology. Two nuclear reactors being built in Japan are also problematic because Japan is scared and delaying the projects.
South Korea is completing four 1400 MW reactors for the UAE. Those reactors are mostly complete. One is completed but the startup has been delayed while the UAE operators are fully trained. The reactors cost about $4 billion per gigawatt.
We need to stop looking and analyzing in places where nothing is happening. The results and conclusions are incorrect and skewed.
SOURCES – EIA, Lazard, Energies, Wikipedia, World Nuclear Association
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
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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