Germany Solar and Wind is Triple the Cost of France’s Nuclear and Will Last Half as Long

France’s nuclear energy spending was 60% of what Germany spent on renewables. France gets about 400 Terawatt hour per year from nuclear but Germany gets 226 Terawatt-hours each year. 45 Terawatt-hours of Germany’s renewable power comes from burning biomass which generates air pollution.

Germany’s solar farms will have to be rebuilt every 15-25 years. The wind farms will need to be rebuilt every 20-25 years. Nuclear plants can last 40-80+ years. This means that it guaranteed that the solar and wind farms will have to be rebuilt in 15-25 years. The maintenance costs will increase as wind turbines or solar panels are replaced. The old turbines and solar panels will need to be replaced.

France completed construction on 76% of its current 58 reactors at an inflation-adjusted cost of $330 billion (€290 billion). The complete buildout of the 58 reactors was less €400 billion. Germany has spent about €500 billion over the last 20 years to get to 35% renewables. 7% of this is burning biomass. France gets almost double the TWh from nuclear than Germany gets from renewables (solar, wind, biomass, hydro). France has gotten about 400 TWh per year from nuclear while all of Germany’s renewables (solar, wind and biomass) amounts to about 220 TWh.

China has a more recent buildup of nuclear energy. China has spent less than $150 billion from 2000 to 2019 to develop 300 Terawatt-hours per year of nuclear energy.

France’s cost was $1 billion to build each terawatt hour per year of clean energy.
Germany’s cost is $2.5 billion to build each terawatt hour per year of relatively clean energy. The 180 TWh per year of solar and wind is clean but the biomass is not. It generates air pollution. France’s electricity is 41% cheaper for its citizen’s than Germany. Germans now pay 30 euro cents per kwh. the French pay 18 euro cents per kwh. This was an extra €24 billion per year. 22 years of extra cost is another $500 billion. This is triple the cost of France and does not include the rebuild of solar and wind over the 50+ year during of the nuclear reactors.
China’s cost is $0.5 billion per terawatt hour per year of clean energy. China’s nuclear buildout is over 5 times cheaper than Germany’s.

From 2006 to 2017, Germany increased the cost of electricity for households by 50%. (per an OECD report) French electricity costs are just 59% of German electricity prices. France produces one-tenth the carbon pollution from electricity compared to Germany.

Germany would need 50% more nuclear energy than France to completely replace all other power generation. This would cost €600 billion if Germany could match France’s build from the 1980s. Costs and safety regulations have increased even though France’s nuclear power has operated without incident for over 30 years. 80 nuclear reactors would now cost €1600 billion euros for Germany. This would still be cheaper than the estimated costs for the solar and wind buildout that is underway.

Over the past five years alone, the Energiewende has cost Germany €32 billion ($36 billion) annually, and opposition to renewables is growing in the German countryside. This was €160 billion to get 70 Terawatt-hours per year. The same portion of France’s spending on nuclear wold be 200 Terawatt-hours per year.

Der Spiegel cites a recent estimate that it would cost Germany “€3.4 trillion ($3.8 trillion),” or seven times more than it spent from 2000 to 2019, to increase solar and wind three to five-fold by 2050.

Germany needs to add 7,700 new kilometers of transmission lines to move the renewable power from solar and wind farms but only 8% have been built. Large-scale electricity storage remains inefficient and expensive.

Germany is 2% of the world carbon dioxide emissions.

Looking Solar Panel Costs Does Not Cost the Energy Transformation Correctly

People do not understand energy or the benefits and risks that relate to energy.

John Gorman was the chief executive of the Canadian Solar Industries Association but now he is a nuclear energy advocate. John indicates that nuclear energy is vital to solving the energy issues related to climate change.

An overly optimistic view of renewables has affected major decisions about other energy sources, particularly nuclear. The global focus on renewables has caused existing nuclear plants to be retired early and has stalled investment in new projects. It’s given people a false sense of security that we don’t need nuclear any more when nothing could be further from the truth.

What’s worse, because wind and solar are variable (they produce electricity only when the wind blows or the sun shines), they must be paired with other energy sources to support demand, and these are almost always fossil fuels. In the absence of enough nuclear energy, renewables are effectively prolonging the life of coal and gas plants that can produce power around the clock.

Nuclear is the only proven technology that has decarbonized the economies of entire countries, including France and Sweden.

SOURCES – Environmental Progress – which collects and cites their sources.. Lovering 2016, Der Speigel

Written By Brian Wang,

111 thoughts on “Germany Solar and Wind is Triple the Cost of France’s Nuclear and Will Last Half as Long”

  1. Not to mention the land requirement of solar and wind farms compared to the relatively small acre footprint of nuclear, especially with the development of SMRs

  2. Dear Brian Wang. Great article on nuclear costs! Do you have a source on the cost of building nuclear power in China?

  3. If you build a combination of 3 GW of solar and 3 GW of wind in Germany today it will generate an average of 1.65 GW throughout the year, somewhat more than a single EPR. The EPR will take 13 years to build and cost about E12 bn, even if they get it right this time. The wind and solar will take 2-3 years and cost about E 6-7 bn. The operating cost of nuclear is around E 35/MWh, for wind and solar about E 15. Even allowing for a longer life for nuclear your numbers are incorrect. The fully absorbed cost of a 60 year life newnuclear plant is around E 100/MWh and wind and solar about E 40.
    That is why the wholesale cost of power in Germany is lower than it is in France. Germany has a surplus in its Energiewende subsidy fund. France has 100’s of Billions in unfunded liabilities for modernisation/life extension for its nuclear fleet

    So basically you have it back the front

  4. “Solar is on the way to be 90% efficient via rectifying antennas.

    Even when the sun only shines a little or not at all.

    As for free energy: let us know when it works. I don’t think there is anybody here who would turn down free energy, but there are few who expect it anytime soon. Though I am trying to find an undetectable way to bypass my meter.

  5. “Be patient, if you are right they will eventually come over to your side.”
    Let’s hope you’re right. But fear and lies are an easy sell, and understanding takes work.
    Refueling outages are just under a month. Other designs like CANDU and many reactors under development will have long refueling intervals or refuel online. Anyway, fleet capacity factors are very high, 90+% availability.

  6. Who told you this lie and why?
    Actually, the costs of waste and decommissioning are internalized in the cost of electricity. No other power source does it that way. So, the additional (unaccounted for) cost is zero.
    Please rely on more authoritative sources.

  7. Hi Tri, That is a good question. The cost of waste and decommissioning are internalized in the cost of electricity. No other power source does it that way. So, the additional (unaccounted) cost is zero.
    France reprocesses its used fuel into MOX and stores the fission products.

  8. Who told you that lie and why?
    John Oneil’s answer is excellent, but what should be added is that the heat rejected from thermal plants is negligible compared to the climate forcing of the CO2 released by combustion; or not released by nuclear.

  9. The Lancet paper for instance is only actual recorded attributable deaths, like accidents. These values do not include the much larger death toll you correctly allude to from air pollution.
    WHO now estimates 7 million air pollution deaths per year which is on a whole different scale.

  10. All power plants must be maintained. Twice a day you have to walk down the plant visually checking everything and checking the gauges. You fill out the daily inspection reports. Then everything is on a preventative maintenance schedule. Minor repairs are made while the plant is running. Major repairs require taking the plant offline. Sometimes a plant can be down for months. Nuclear power plants have to be refuel every couple of years. That is a major event that can last months.

  11. Those with opinions that differs from yours are more numerous and they all vote. Be patient, if you are right they will eventually come over to your side.

  12. They reprocess it to get the plutonium out, and use that to make more fuel – called MOX, made of mixed oxides of plutonium and depleted uranium. This reduces the heat and volume of the spent fuel elements. They propose to bury what’s left over from that in a facility in eastern France, at a guesstimated cost of 25 billion Euros, but they won’t have to do that for another thirty years or so.
    They did have a long term plan to use the spent fuel in fast reactors, which would have given enough energy to avoid any more uranium mining for hundreds of years. The Astrid breeder reactor programme was cancelled this year, though.

  13. Solar panels have a very low albedo – they only reflect less than ten percent of the sunlight that lands on them. Of the light they absorb, about 20% is converted into electricity, and the rest becomes heat. ( They actually work better when it’s cooler, or when they’re actively cooled – as they heat up their efficiency falls.) The albedo of forest or grassland is higher than that – 15-20%, and desert nearly 30%. So if you install solar panels, in most cases you’ll increase local heating.
    Most current nuclear power plants are not particularly efficient at turning heat into power – usually about 33-40%, compared to some gas plants in the high forties. What they are good at is running all the time – 93% capacity factor in the US. Solar has a cf in the low twenties, and is usually backed up by gas plants, so its indirect emissions, from being unreliable, are much more significant than its local heating – which, like nuclear’s, is insignificant compared to CO2 and methane’s greenhouse effect.

  14. greywar, let me quickly point out the problem. Germanys annual consumption of electricity is 550 TWh. Solar production in winter is roughly 10% of that in summer, while electricity demand it higher in winter. Switching to renewables means most of the power has to come from solar, because it is a densely populated country, so A. wind ressources are limited and B. wind installation dropped dramatically this year because of NIMBY issues. So you need to store a huge amount of electricity from summer into winter, probably a lot more than 10% of annual production.
    Lets say battery cost is $100 per kWh. If you are lucky and your battery lasts 20 years, that means 20 charge/discharge cycles =>+$5 per stored kWh, or $0.50 on top of every kWh. If you calculate total capital cost (interest rates), it is at least double that much.
    If you are lucky and live in a sunny tropical island, it may be a different story. But for europe, batterys won’t solve the problem.

  15. And I watched the Simpsons, and now I know everything about nuclear energy and 3 eyed fish. You ought to watch the “Santa Clarita Diet” as well and learn more about the risk of eating mussels and turning into a cannibal.

  16. I have no doubt that your calculation is correct, but of course the major part ( 50% + ) of the petrol price in most countries is tax. Once electric vehicles constitute more than 20% of the vehicles on the road, maybe even long before that, governments will have to find ways to make up for the shortfall in fuel taxes and levies. How that will effect motorists remains to be seen.

  17. Only a quick answer because it is really getting late here…
    Capacity factor of onshore wind in germany is something around 25% (and yes, i meant O&M). Offshore ist MUCH mure expensive per kW.
    6 ct/kWh for nuclear must be wrong because they are not nearly getting paid that much money on the market. Retrieving actual numbers is difficult; last time I checked i found 1.9ct/kWh for american plants. I don’t remember if that was pre Fukushima numbers though.
    We don’t have to argue about +/- single cents though, because large scale grid storage (i.e. power to gas to power) including losses is EASILY above 10 ct/kWh.

  18. Solar and wind take energy out of the environment, and mostly convert it to electricity for reuse. It then filters back into the environment. Net energy added to the environment zero.
    Nuclear takes energy otherwise locked away in atoms and creates heat which is added to the environment, some of which is then used to generate electricity. Net energy pumped into the environment immense.

    End of life clear-up of solar or wind – straight forward.
    End of life clear-up of nuclear – immensely complicated and expensive not only for us but for generations to come.

    So nuclear ADDS to global warming even though it emits no carbon gases.

  19. Germany agreed to shut down stepwise coal and Lignite usage. Goverment is scared of regression/payments they once agreed on in contracts with producers. On the other side is the fear of unemployed labour in the main regions (East and West GY) of Lignite mining.
    Their problem with nuclear power is the final disposal of the waste. The region where the material consistency is regarded as usable are in Bavaria, but they refuse to provide areas.
    The currently used salinas didn’t proove to be usable for depositing.
    And the costs for the disposal zone is hard to transfer in current balance sheets.
    Personal I don’t like the country bashing, we only got one planet.
    And for sure the energy consumption will rise everywhere

  20. Well, if the German people are stupid enough to allow their government to rape their bank accounts to fund their way down the Wind/Solar rabbit hole; then so be it! The French are not only saving their people trillions using nuclear, but they’re working on Fusion too; an energy panacea that will make life cleaner and even cheaper for all…

  21. Germany Solar and Wind is Triple the Cost of France’s Nuclear and Will Last Half as Long

    So the sun is going to go out before France runs out of fissionable material.

    I learn something every day.

    Seriously, I don’t know about windmills, with all their moving parts. But solar is going to get a lot more efficient, cheaper, and involve more common materials (maybe even help pull carbon out of the air). And it’s going to keep on getting more and more durable.

    The only problem being that only a limited amount falls on our little planet. Eventually, we are going to want more, much more, and probably sooner, rather than later.

  22. Why every single comment you make here is absolute drivel, I wonder? oh yea, becuase your moral and philosophical principles make you select information and believe policies that are anti-human garbage. Thats why.

    1. renewables need to be renewed well-constantly when maintance is considered, nuclear is required by law to get trough multiple nonsense procedures-hence its high costs, licensing etc. this overregulation is result of anti human mongers like you. It has nothing to do with safety or reality.
    2. Nuclear energy doesnt produce nucelar waste-if you make them in proper technology, not antiquated 60s and 60s era. there are no costs of storage, all waste is reused as fuel until no radioactive waste remains.
    3. even then comparably it is far lower cost than anything that renewables give within decade. Storage is passive and requires little preparation and almost zero maintance (you need to put guard so that no one can enter). This was enver serious argument to begin with, you run with it because of your deficient philosophy and morals
    4. Solar? in Germany are you high, child? Unless efficent battery storage is solved via technology there are only 5-7 places on this planet where solar makes sense and Germany aint one of them! At this stage solar makes 0 sense
  23. Reality always bats last and minds are fickle. They made up their minds to have nuclear and built them, before they made up their minds to get rid of them, before they made up their minds to have it again, before they made up their minds to get rid of it again (and I may have missed a swing in public opinion since I do not live there). What happens when industry starts a mass exodus due to increasing energy prices with no end in sight? What happens when the solution for storing unreliable piddle power on every time scale from minutes, to hours, to days, to weeks, to seasons fails to materialize and rolling blackouts start from overreliance on unreliables? Energiewende fails and then what? What happens when CO2 emissions start rise because it’s not efficient to match supply and demand with a bunch of fossil fuel generators when most power comes from unreliables (coal spinning reserve, single cycle turbines, shut down of nuclear plants)? What happens when they suck on Putin’s gas pipe and no gas comes out?

    I’d much rather live near the plant boundary of Fukushima than live with rolling black outs. Especially the latter will have a proven and strongly negative effect on my life exptancy and insignificant doses of radiation has little effect according to LNT hypothesis and there are good reasons to doubt LNT to begin with (see e.g. the taiwanese cobolt-60 appartments where medical sources where crushed into steel for rebar)

  24. This is only half true. I live in germany and plan solar panels on my roof. I have very good conditions, a high capacity factor… in the morning. So I need batteries to keep it during the day. To my level, its OK, 4.5 K€ worth device and It’s done, my PC will work with the few kWH. Not industry.

  25. Read “Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air”, on line, by David MacKay, where he clearly corrects the error to which you have subscribed concerning nuclear waste. Since he wrote that book, breeder reactors have begun to be placed in service where the “waste” is consumed as fuel and turned into short-lived actual waste. All the previous “waste” can also be consumed in the same manner. Even better, the nuclear fission resource is the only one that “adds up” in MacKay’s estimate. The 15 years since his book have fully demonstrated that he was correct.

  26. The reality is rather different froim the rosy picture you paint. Read the conclusions from Yale 360 on the destruction of Central Europe’s forests and the burning of American trees. Humanity turned from biofuels for a good reason after 1800… there is simply NOT enough of it to support even the world of 1800. Living standards rose due to fossil fuels. Turning BACK to biofuels means a drastic population decline and grinding poverty for all but the elite few.

  27. The TWO serious nuclear accidents were no accident. They were BLUNDERS. Both were completely predictable, given the choices made in plant construction and in safety practices. Today’s nuclear plants are fail-safe since they shutdown automatically. The NEXT generation of breeder reactors is not even capable of a meltdown since the required fule is never in the reactor. The entire nonsense of Germany, California, etc. turning from nuclear power while embracing renewables means energy poverty and death for millions.

  28. Not only Forbes, but also EU’s ExternE, and the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, and even the Russians found the same thing. Nuclear is far the safest electrical power source.
    Meanwhile, the world does not notice that 1.2 MILLION persons per year die in auto accidents. It is completely disproportionate.

  29. Have you include the calculation of nuclear waste cost? How is France manage it (store the waste)? How about nuclear plant decomissioning (cost and how long)?

  30. O&M prices (operations and maintenance) are $45 per kilowatt (source IHS Markit).
    So a $1600 per kilowatt onshore wind turbine at 34% capacity factor is generating around 3000 kWh in a year.
    So 1.5 cents per kWh for operation and maintenance, not 2 cents just for maintenance.
    You’re also ignoring refurbishment capital costs for nuclear plants. You need to re-up about 25% of the cost of a new plant every 25 years at an amortized cost of about 3 cents per kWh.
    Paid for nuclear plant is more like 3 cents refurb plus 3cents fuel, operation, and dry casking fuel onsite.

  31. Theres actually quite a few worse possibilities, including a large detonation (non nuclear) that would have spread far far more radioactive debris.

    More importantly though is that a modern nuclear reactor wouldnt get nearly as bad as Chernobyl.

  32. why would we need to store 10 years of power for the us? 4.17 TWh was used in 2018. Why not make some sort of factual question instead? Like how much to store 1 day of it? And thats about 1.6 trillion. Assuming we actually would need that much power storage-heres a clue though, we wouldnt. In point of fact the wind doesn’t stop blowing all across the us while simultaneously were at 100% cloud cover.

    Listening to Trumps nonsense about this rots your brain.

  33. Which is a nice sounding bit of nonsense. The wind doesn’t suddenly stop all across the us, nor does the sun except at night. I get my power from hundreds of miles away. And power storage helps provide the power even at night.

  34. ‘Most of French nuclear power stations are reaching the end of their lives. ‘
    Only if you define their lives as being forty years. 74 US reactors, which are mostly very similar, have already been licensed to sixty years, and some are preparing for relicensing to 80 years. If you double their life, there’s a lot more in the kitty to dismantle them with, and the pressure to replace them with something reliable and carbon-free is greatly reduced. Any nightmares involved are the ones experienced by palpitating antinukes. The guys who actually have to do the work are quite capable of handling it.

  35. ‘.. its more expensive than methanol.’
    Not necessarily -they’ve been developing new single-step processes for making DME directly from syngas, instead of via methanol.
     ‘..the unit production cost of DME from the direct, one-step DME processes, most notably the LPDMEtm process, can be lower than methanol (from LPMeOHtm), on a methanol-equivalent basis.’
    DME is far less toxic than methanol, which is important if whole sectors of the economy are using megatonnes of it.

  36. “It is so much energy caught inside nuclear fuel that the accident threaten the entire Europe.” – That’s one of those little creative licenses taken by the show that makes it unwatchable. Chernobyl couldn’t really have been worse than it was. The “rescue” effort didn’t really change the outcome, just exposed a lot of young men to high doses of radiation deliberately. Read the Chernobyl forum report on the health effects of Chernobyl.

  37. It could be gratis and it still wouldn’t be worthwhile to use. If the wind happens to blow or the sun happens to shine I might get a kWh for free (or even negative price!).

    But what happens when that’s not true? I will pay twice of baseload for a CCGT to generate… baseload; and 10 times baseload for peak power from a single cycle turbine.

  38. It doesn’t matter what wind and solar costs; they’re still too expensive. I pay for kWh on demand and I don’t particularly care if a kWh costs 0 whenever the sun happens to shine or the wind happens to blow; because when the sun doesn’t happen to shine and the wind doesn’t happen to blow I will pay out of the ass for a kWh from a single cycle gas turbine.

  39. Yes, lets base our opinions on nuclear power on a shitty Soviet-era design. Lets base our opinion of air travel on the Hindenberg while we are at it and sea travel on the Titanic…

  40. I don’t agree. Germans are the classiest. Göthe, Beethoven, Claudia Schiffer. The French are famous for Camenbert, not very classy when you have to compete against currywurst, the breakfast of champions. Germany may be dummkopfs when it comes to trying to make sun power when it isn’t sunny, but they are very good at it.

  41. Wind turbines are much cheaper to maintain than nuclear plants.
    Most of French nuclear power stations are reaching the end of their lives and are a growing nightmare to decommission and replace.

  42. Yet, € 30¢/kWh ÷ 3.2 mi (or 5.4 km) per kWh is only € 9.4¢/mi (5.6¢/km) for electric mid-sized passenger vehicles. … which compared to paying € 5.0 to € 5.2 per gallon of gasoline in Germany and France, with correspondingly nominal 28 MPG (diesel), well … that corresponds to € 18–20¢ per mile (€ 11¢/km).  

    E-vehicles are substantially cheaper per mile, to be sure. Now, ownership cost, well that’s different.

  43. If the capital cost if the methanol from atmospheric CO2 plant is low it can run when electricity demand is low, & the nuclear plants can run at full power all the time. Any sort of *cheap* energy storage will benefit the economics of nuclear just as much as it will benefit the economics of solar or wind.

  44. If you drink methanol or rub it into your skin, it can cause blindness and even death. Just like drinking gasoline:-)

    Combusting methanol, however, only produces CO2 and water.

    Transporting methanol is much safer for the environment than transporting oil or gasoline since methanol is soluble with water.

  45. While nuclear power plants are good for producing base load electricity, they’re not flexible enough to be used for– peak load– electricity production. That’s why I’d use renewable methanol.

  46. Well Mark, as a German, i am asking you: What ARE we going to do? Because as a result of media brainwash, everybody here is agreeing that we have to spend more money to “achieve a goal” *1), but no one has a solid plan.
    Wind industry has collapsed in the last few years, because Germany is a densely populated country and residents do not accept new windmills anymore. The only renewable source that can, at least in principle, be scaled up, is solar (and to a much smaller extend offshore wind. Note that it’s grid lines face the same NIMBY problem as windmills and we are already a decade behind scedule).
    More power is needed in winter, when solar delivers the least. The demand peak at noon has already become negative at 8% or so grid penetration (annual) of PV. IF the sun is shining, that is.

    *1) Given that Germany only contributes 2% to global emissions and africa increases it’s population by 1.2 * Germany every 2 years, the chances of achieving climate “Endsieg” are rather slim. I would say, the climate doesn’t even care. The impact of destroying our local economy is quite palpable though.

  47. The article is a correct evaluation of the past.
    Wind turbines falling out of FIT are beeing scrapped already. Even if they are still working, maintenance cost ist around 2 ct/kWh, which is in the range of a paid of nuclear plant. Inverters for solar panels are replaced every 10-15 years.
    Energy-intensive Industry is leaving the country or no longer investing. This hidden cost has to be added.
    Considering the future, you also have to add grid storage cost, which you don’t really need for nuclear. Estimations for the total cost of the “Energiewende” are ranging from 2000 to 4700 billion Euros! In fact, this is so much that we now have a discussion about switching to CO2 taxing, since continuing the FIT-style would simply lead to collapse.

  48. Most of the atom spies were idealists – but so were the emigres from Europe who did much of the RnD for the bomb in the first place. Just knowing what was possible was a major help. Apart from that, the Russians were given some of the neutronics info on plutonium etc, but Beria kept the actual designs he had to check up on his scientists. Those guys weren’t dumb – they caught up far more quickly than expected. The Chernobyl design obviously had some major flaws, but it was pretty much the same as some of the Hanford plutonium production reactors, and it was a way for a poor country without huge reenrichment plants to quickly build power stations. There are still ten RBMK reactors making nearly that percentage of Russia’s power, and if you follow the manual, they kill a lot fewer people than a lignite burner.

  49. Yes – dimethyl ether is a better synthetic fuel. It’s two methyl groups with an oxygen linking them – CH3-O-CH3. It is a gas at room temperature and pressure, but with low vapour pressure, like LPG. Burns well in diesels, makes no soot because there are no C-C bonds, and is not a greenhouse gas. Not toxic like methanol, won’t poison water if it leaks, and breaks down fairly quickly. Only disadvantage is, it’s about 30% heavier than hydrocarbons for the same power, and needs a bigger tank than diesel. Much easier to handle, and more energy dense, than hydrogen.

  50. It’s a damning indictment of the early 20th century that communism succeeded as much as it did.

    How nuts were the 1940s Germans? So hopeless that they lost to the USSR.

    How messed up were the imperial Japanese? So useless that they lost to the USSR even before the Germans had a go.

    How riddled with spies and corrupt were the 1940s and 50s Americans? So bad that the USSR and PRC were able to just wholesale copy the most sensitive military secret weapons programs in history.

  51. To be strictly fair, I believe the deaths/trillionkWhr for biomass is highly weighted towards 4th world “biomass power” which is open wood fires pumping smoke into people’s huts and dried cow manure being used to cook food on a barbecue.

    Give the credit where it’s due, a modern “biomass power station” is going to be a million times cleaner and more efficient that the typical Afghan goat dung fire.

  52. Yes, methanol is toxic but you aren’t supposed to drink it.
    It is a substitute for petrol, which is also toxic.

  53. Not only is the cost of decomissioning the plants and the handling of the spent fuel factored into the price you pay per kW/h but Mrs. Merkel also slammed a “Uransteuer” – fuel tax, on the kilograms of fuel loaded into the reactors just to make nuclear energy more expensive. At the same time you pay a green surcharge of about Euro 0.07 per kW/h. So on balance I would say, you are the FAKE.

  54. This Balance is a lie cause any costs of handling poisened radioaktive waste are ignorieren! If one would go dieser Info Details there will be much more FUD and FAKE

  55. Germans don’t aircondition their homes, they just heat. I have lived ( not holidayed) 49 deg north and 37 deg south and some places in between, and in all the places the highest demand for power was on winter evenings.

  56. The German weren’t planting to be 100% solar. And the good thing about solar is that the power is generated when most needed.

  57. Apple and oranges. Must compare current and future prices plus maintenance cost over entire life. Nuclear power plant must go thru refueling outages. Fuel must be reprocessed and waste stored for thousands of years. Nuclear power plants must go thru major refurbishment every 20 yrs and must be relicensed. The lifespan given for solar and wind plants are only estimates for purpose of financing. The plants will last much longer especially solar since it is passive.

    By the way the German people have already made up their minds an it is no nuclear.

  58. What people who never experienced communism do not understand is the fact that most prevalent trait of this system was…

    I hope they will never experience that fully. Just search in Google: “Chernobyl Was Not An Accident?”

  59. You are right to some extent, but Germans were – are – idiotic to close well running nuclear plants before getting rid of fossil fuel plants. And the burning of biomass (importing othere peoples forests) and calling it “green” is of course also stupid. They could save a lot of heating oil and gas imports if electricity were cheaper, but at Euro 0.30/ kwH (a quarter of that is the “green energy surcharge”) that becomes unaffordable even for well off people. This is not a “cherry pick” of the foolish countries, the comparison is between France and Germany and Brian points out the German folly.

  60. Perhaps they’re minimizing the chances of fission products being released in their neighborhoods while maximizing carbon emission reductions.

  61. Nuclear power plants are expensive, not because of high fuel cost but because of high capital cost. And capital cost are high because:

    1. Not many nuclear reactors are built
    2. Those that are built are basically hand crafted structures
    3. Environmental and political concerns can cause significant construction delays

    However, future, small modular reactors, should be dramatically cheaper since they would have to be mass produced just to equal the capacity of a typical 2000 MWe facility (perhaps as many as 30 small reactors). Replacing America’s current nuclear capacity with– inherently safe– small nuclear reactors would require more than 1400 reactors.

  62. I didn’t say France should burn biomass directly in biomass burning power plants. Biomass that is directly burned to produce electricity is hazardous principally because of the toxic air pollution.

    That’s why I advocate converting biomass into methanol. Biomass that is converted directly into methanol through plasma arc or microwave pyrolysis would be substantially cleaner. And methanol used in modified natural gas power plants would only produce CO2 and water after combustion. Plus the resulting CO2 from the flu gasses could be recycled to produce even more methanol.

    France’s largest biomass resource for renewable methanol production would probably be from agricultural biowaste, followed by urban garbage and sewage, and, finally, its forest waste (dead trees and hazardous foliage)

    And some European countries are already converting biowaste into methanol. Bio-methanol is a growing industry.

  63. No one builds reactors like that. Ever. Except for soviets. If they would build solar power plant and something went not OK you would also had catastrophic results. Heck, EVERYTHING that USSR was doing was like that. The amount of damage USSR has done to their own people and to environment of their own country is staggering. The point is Chernobyl is exception-people who build it and operated it had 0 concern for safety, ecology, energy production or common sense. The regime that created Chernobyl and operated it was at the same time killing millions of its citizens in Gulag, impoverishing entire nation, keeping them terrorized and deliberately ignorant. You can pick any product from USSR and come to the same conclusions as you do-about cars, houses, electricity, etc. What people who never experienced communism do not understand is the fact that most prevalent trait of this system was its STUPIDITY of UNTOLD PROPORTIONS, emanating in all directions and soaking all aspects of life. It was like living in surreal, but very depressing dream where the stupider you are the more power and sucess you have. The TV series you watched showed that as well, people like Dyatlov and all that mo rons from those comitees were NORM of this society and they produced many disasters. USSR was Idiocracy, but in real life. This is NOT exageration.

  64. Im dying from laughter. This is typical German pattern of behaviour. 1. They think they are the best 2. they think every thing they do is great 3. they got stupid idea, but since they think they are awesome-no one objects 4. stupid idea is enforced 5. because everyone is like a mindless thrall that follows authority nobody dares to object when it becomes obvious that idea was stupid from beginning (how so?! we are never wrong!) 6. they double down 7. they externalize costs of their stupdity by putting them onto other countries (CO2 limits for EU) 8. they act schocked when everyone starts to hate them 9. they make surprise pikachu face when everyone comes crushing down on them, destroying their country of stupods. 10. repeat with new thing. Like imigration or racism or imperialism. or whatever.

  65. That can be hazardous. Biomass kills 24,000 people/trillionkWhr. Nuclear kills 0.1 people/trillionkWhr
    Cutting down trees and putting them in chippers is not a very safe job. Growing algae and turning that into fuel seems less hazardous to me.
    I think we should char dead trees to prevent the methane release. The charring process can also produce fuels from the vapors. But leave the char right where it grew (shovel a little soil over it) . We don’t want the soil to loose the minerals. And we don’t want the char to catch fire.

  66. Sorry, but accounting 20 years of solar and wind it has no sense. The prices has drop so much around this years that the result numbers are growing up artificially. Even if most power was installed on more recent times, show median numbers instead current costs make this proyections nonsense.

    Even more considering that future renewable plants will be even cheaper.

    The same has occur just for the inverse on nuclear. Classic nuclear reactors has used cheaper fuel not available at that prices on the future, so more complex reactors (and maybe more expensive) like breeding technology will be required.
    Extra security demand after chernobil fukushima and other close to disaster incidents has raised the costs at these points.
    New reactors, presumably cheaper has been proposed, but we have to wait for real data before make blind projections to the future.

    Nowadays the real costs that make renewables more expensive are related to energy manage. Just develop very cheap storage and renewable+storage will be cheaper than nuclear on most cases. Just when land was valuable and you can’t do double function (like buildings +renewables) this extra cost could make nuclear cheaper.

  67. Solar prices have dropped, but the sun hasn’t shone harder.

    germany gets about 10% capacity factor for solar pv. Pathetic, can’t run a modern industrialized civilization off intermittent power that isn’t there 90% of the time. You can try, as Germany has, and find out you need 5 or more joules of fossil fuel for every joule of pv generated electricity.

    most readers here are not from Germany, clearly. You go spend a winter there and come back to me about solar pv in Germany.

  68. I recently watched the Chernobyl show. What struck me was how they apprehended the danger. It is so much energy caught inside nuclear fuel that the accident threaten the entire Europe. Clearly, this is the way to fuel an entire civilization for centuries to come. No solar, neither wind.

  69. Meanwhile, wind in Denmark and Germany is making less than 9% of its installed capacity ( less than 4% in east Denmark ) and solar, zero. Both countries have power emissions nearly double those of the Ukraine, which does not have nearly as much money to throw at renewables, but does get half its power from nuclear.

  70. This website shows the electricity sources, associated greenhouse emissions, and costs, over the last 24 hours, for over eighty countries, regions and islands. The ones that have reduced CO2 output per kilowatt/hour to below 100 grams are all doing it mostly with hydro and nuclear. I’ve linked to Kyushu, Japan, which gives a graphic demonstration of why nuclear is far more effective at replacing fossil fuels than solar. Solar manages to reach a heroic 38% of total power production for one glorious moment at noon, with the fossils politely getting out of the way, then drops as steeply as it had climbed. Meanwhile nuclear is making about 32%, all day, rain or shine. Getting solar to replicate what fossils and nuclear do normally – turn up when needed – will cost far more than any of the ‘levelised costs’ being bandied about.

  71. And what do you do to store all that excess solar power during day time for use during peak demand late in the day? That will worse once people (hopefully) switch to EVs, which they will want to charge at night. And what do you do on days like these?

  72. I think this analysis is wrong. According to Bloomberg, solar cell prices have dropped 85% in the previous 9 years. So the new solar instalments will be much cheaper than those of 20 years ago. In addition, declining prices won’t stop suddenly and the lifetime of the cells could be increased further.
    Comparing with Germany’s solar instalments of the past is not useful. They were in fact funding the development of solar. Now it is at the point where it is commercially competitive and will only improve further.

  73. ignores inflation adjusted cost of operation and fuel on nuclear power plants spent for decades

    ignores subsequent 5x drop in solar prices, 2-3x in wind

    cherry picks countries that foolishly used feed-in-tariffs instead of reverse auctions so overpaid (e.g. China and Germany)

    perpetuates lies about solar farms being 100% gone after 20 years (the equipment has 25 year warranties – do 100% of cars stop working and become 100% irreparable after the warranty is up?)

    I could go on but Brian loves the smell of his own farts in this one. He’s been debunked countless times

  74. ‘..if biomass is allowed to naturally decompose it will release far more methane..’ If it decomposes anaerobically. Which should not be the case for forest slash, or many types of farm waste. If you take the timber but leave the small branches and leaves, most of the elements will remain in the soil for the next tree crop, and the bugs that help to decompose it will feed birds etc. Burning wood for electricity makes more CO2 per watt/hour than burning lignite. Costs more, too. If you claim that the next generation of trees will sequester the carbon you burnt from this one, wouldn’t it make more sense, if possible, to leave that carbon in the trees for the next thirty years, rather than putting it in the air ? That’s the thirty years that are supposed to determine whether our climate stays recognizable, or spirals into a permanent Miocene hothouse.

  75. In a very informative article I take umbrage with “Germany’s renewable power comes from burning biomass which generates air pollution.” I think biomass is far too complex to be dismissed as “generates air pollution”. A biomass burner does release CO2. It releases some particulate matter, but with modern technology, very little. But here’s the rub — if what is being burned is waste then burning it is net positive to greenhouse gas. You see, if biomass is allowed to naturally decompose it will release far more methane than it ever will if burned. As methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 is, then biomass burning is net beneficial.

  76. “France gets almost double the TWh from nuclear than Germany gets from renewables (solar, wind, biomass, hydro). France has gotten about 400 TWh per year from nuclear while all of Germany’s renewables amounts to about...”

    ABOUT WHAT? The sentence has been cut off.

    Can you complete it?


  77. Nuclear power in France could be used even more efficiently if some of the electricity were used to convert urban garbage and sewage, agricultural biowaste, and forest waste into carbon neutral methanol.

    Methanol can be used in– cheaply modified– natural gas power plants for peak load electric power. And that could easily make France’s electric grid– completely carbon neutral.

    Methanol can also be converted into carbon neutral gasoline and jet fuel.

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