EIA: Renewable generation beats nuclear for two consecutive month

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georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
Renewable, especially wind, is becoming more important.. It's not there full time, but it is getting there


"In March, and again in April, U.S. monthly electricity generation from utility-scale renewable sources exceeded nuclear generation for the first time since July 1984. This outcome reflects both seasonal and trend growth in renewable generation, as well as maintenance and refueling schedules for nuclear plants, which tend to undergo maintenance during spring and fall months, when overall electricity demand is lower than in summer or winter.

"Record generation from both wind and solar as well as recent increases in hydroelectric power as a result of high precipitation across much of the West over the past winter contributed to the overall rise in renewable electricity generation this spring, while nuclear generation in April was at its lowest monthly level since April 2014. However, EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) projects that monthly nuclear electricity generation will surpass renewables again during the summer months of 2017 and that nuclear will generate more electricity than renewables for all of 2017.



https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=31932

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/eia...ts-nuclear-for-two-consecutive-months/446575/
 

vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,724
Eastern Long Island, NY
This Bloomberg Energy report says nuclear plants are losing money now

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...a-s-nuclear-power-plants-seen-as-money-losers

"More than half of America’s nuclear reactors are bleeding cash, racking up losses totaling about $2.9 billion a year, based on a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis.

"Nuclear power plants are getting paid $20 to $30 a megawatt-hour for their electricity, Nicholas Steckler, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in a report Wednesday. Meanwhile, it costs them an average of $35 a megawatt-hour to run. That puts 34 of the nation’s 61 plants out of the money, with almost all of the merchant reactors owned by Exelon Corp., Entergy Corp. and FirstEnergy Corp. appearing to be below break-even, he said."


And new nuclear power plants are over budget and behind schedule, so some of those projects are now cancelled, and others will require more subsidies to go on.

https://thinkprogress.org/u-s-nuclear-plants-bleeding-cash-c794e4142597/

The negatives of having the industry wither away is carbon emissions will go up and the government still needs a nuclear industry for nuclear powered Navy ships. This was the point made by Ernest Moniz, former energy secretary.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...woes-imperil-u-s-national-security-moniz-says

With the Trump administration proposing to cut the subsidy program for nuclear power, it seems they are up against it now. But nuclear power has always been cyclical, experiencing highs and lows, and always struggling on.
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
Not clear to me it won't be surpassed by solar ( and wind) . The chief failure of solar is no sun at night. Now that utility scale batteries are being deployed that problem is mitigated


Nuclear, though clean from a co2 pov, is dirty from a radioactive waste pov.

Solar has no equivalent of radioactive waste,is much cheaper to build, and you never have to buy any fuel..
 
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vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,724
Eastern Long Island, NY
Yeah, the next 10 years will be very interesting for the energy sector.

I suspect the government will continue to subsidize the nuclear industry just to keep it afloat for defense/national security purposes, which makes sense. Let's see if we can get some kind of consensus on how to deal with nuclear waste.
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
Yeah, the next 10 years will be very interesting for the energy sector.

I suspect the government will continue to subsidize the nuclear industry just to keep it afloat for defense/national security purposes, which makes sense. Let's see if we can get some kind of consensus on how to deal with nuclear waste.


I agree that the gov will have to continue to subsidize, just to keep a cadre of engineers who know the nuclear discipline

The last director of th DOE (Monniz) , as you pointed out, said as much


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...woes-imperil-u-s-national-security-moniz-says



"The decline of the U.S. nuclear-power industry puts America’s security at risk, according to a report being released Tuesday by former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz that calls for greater federal investment.

The report from the Energy Futures Initiative and obtained by Bloomberg News says a commercial atomic power sector is necessary to keep uranium-processing technology away from terrorists and other bad actors as well as support nuclear-powered Navy vessels.

The report by Moniz, a nuclear scientist who served as energy secretary under President Barack Obama, "
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
I agree that the gov will have to continue to subsidize, just to keep a cadre of engineers who know the nuclear discipline

The last director of th DOE (Monniz) , as you pointed out, said as much


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...woes-imperil-u-s-national-security-moniz-says



"The decline of the U.S. nuclear-power industry puts America’s security at risk, according to a report being released Tuesday by former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz that calls for greater federal investment.

The report from the Energy Futures Initiative and obtained by Bloomberg News says a commercial atomic power sector is necessary to keep uranium-processing technology away from terrorists and other bad actors as well as support nuclear-powered Navy vessels.

The report by Moniz, a nuclear scientist who served as energy secretary under President Barack Obama, "
All I can see in my head when reading this post is Rick Perry prancing around on DWS, and forgetting that there was a Dept. of Energy during the republican debates last year. Yikes!
 
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vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,724
Eastern Long Island, NY
Most US nuclear plants are at least 20 yrs old and need more maintenance. Aging assets.

I remember reading how Indian Point in NY was beyond its original operating life and with upgrades was granted another operating permit but now pressure from community groups made the governor decide to close it in 2021. I wonder how they will replace the 2000 megawatts it produces.

But even the new plants are mired in delays and cost overruns, and priced out of the market because their electricity is more expensive than the other options. I could see a future for nuclear if the new plants were easier to build, safer and provided cheaper power. But they are not cheaper and the market is moving away from them with renewables prices dropping.

Japan is going through this now after they shut down many of their nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster which they are still trying to clean up (underwater ice wall is freaking awesome). But now many of their reactors are reaching end of life and they are not sure what to do.

All it takes is one disaster to shake the entire industry and make people want to shut down the reactors.
 
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vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,724
Eastern Long Island, NY
Don't let science and facts get in the way of decisions.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1B41NJ

The article doesn't give numbers, but it sounds like they are ready to dump a bunch of money at coal and nuclear. I can see deregulation working for coal, but not for nuclear (BOOM). I can't see how, even with subsidies, nuclear power doesn't keep declining because of the burdens of nuclear waste disposal and lower price competition from other, cheap sources. If you are an energy company that has to build a new power plant, do you want the headache of nuclear or gas fired?
 
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WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Don't let science and facts get in the way of decisions.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1B41NJ

The administration had not yet reviewed the early draft, which was written by department staff.

Of course they hadn't reviewed it. Because they already knew what the conclusions were going to be when they commissioned the "study".

What a waste of tax dollars! Unless of course you're the owner/operator of a coal/nuclear facility.
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
Don't let science and facts get in the way of decisions.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1B41NJ


Sigh....

"The department recommended giving baseload plants pricing advantages for their power, as well as making it easier and cheaper to get permits to build more such projects.



...

"The report differed from an earlier draft, which had said big increases in renewable power generation remained possible without undermining grid reliability, and which did not propose added support for baseload producers.
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
Don't let science and facts get in the way of decisions.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1B41NJ


From today's Washington post


"The officials said that the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, essentially the department’s in-house think tank, was essential to coordinating the report. But the Trump budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 would eliminate the office.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,766
South Puget Sound, WA
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WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Thoughts on thorium salt reactors? It looks like China is investing on this tech. The Dutch lab NRG has started testing.
http://www.thoriumenergyworld.com/news/finally-worlds-first-tmsr-experiment-in-over-40-years-started

While it good to see experiments with encouraging results being carried out, the technology is at least 10 (if not 20) years from any hope of commercialization. With the cost curve of solar and battery storage continuing to drop every year, it's difficult to imagine a scenario where TMSR's become commercially competitive. Same with traditional nuclear. If the sun ever dims or quits shining, earthlings have more fundamental problems than where they will get their next kW!
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,392
SE PA
Thoughts on thorium salt reactors? It looks like China is investing on this tech. The Dutch lab NRG has started testing.
http://www.thoriumenergyworld.com/news/finally-worlds-first-tmsr-experiment-in-over-40-years-started

Fun article. But still clear that they are in early stages figuring out how to do the chemical separation of 'hot' isotopes. And only after that can we figure out what it might cost. I'm a still gonna bet on PV getting dirt (or sand) cheap before that happens.
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
There's a good tv series from norway based on a thorium reactor an the political consequences

"Promising to unveil a revolutionary new form of nuclear energy powered by the chemical element thorium, Prime Minister Jesper Berg strikes a very Scandinavian pose by announcing that Norway will lead by example and immediately shut down its considerable gas and oil production."

"......
This upsets the European Union, of which Norway is not a member. In cahoots with Moscow, Brussels secretly threatens Berg with a full-scale Russian invasion unless he commits to maintaining Norway’s fossil fuel extraction under Moscow’s supervision. (The United States, having recently achieved energy independence, has withdrawn from NATO and sits disinterestedly aside.) "


http://www.politico.eu/article/occu...enraged-the-kremlin-norway-russia-occupation/
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,766
South Puget Sound, WA
Hmm, a thorium reactor is not new and a devastating hurricane in Norway?? The program is off to a rough start for me. The theme however sounds more familiar.
Little by little, viewers come to see how a democratic society becomes morally corroded by the everyday compromises regular people are forced to make.
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
Sigh....

"The department recommended giving baseload plants pricing advantages for their power, as well as making it easier and cheaper to get permits to build more such projects.
..

"The report differed from an earlier draft, which had said big increases in renewable power generation remained possible without undermining grid reliability, and which did not propose added support for baseload producers.

There is a more nuanced look at this report at Utility Dive

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/what-to-watch-in-the-wake-of-the-doe-grid-study/503522/


"The study "gives mild support to baseload resources," said Peskoe. "It says baseload resources can add value, but they aren't the only mechanism. ...I don't read the report saying baseload resources are necessary."


quote from Fisher DOE ( I think, could be clearer in the UD report)
 

sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,493
Saratoga, NY
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WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
What is the alternate plan for keeping the lights on in America for the baseload need for industry and homes?

It's certainly not the idiotic idea to subsidize coal and nuclear.

How these people can claim to not be in the back pockets of special interests is beyond me. I guess voters are just so stupid this is what passes for good planning. ;hm
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
What is the alternate plan for keeping the lights on in America for the baseload need for industry and homes?

We get about 20% of our power from nuclear, 30% coal, and 33% natural gas. The next runner up is hydro at 6.5%

The potential is there for sun to meet a good part of the need the need (39%)

https://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2016/24662.html

" <NREL> update its estimate of total U.S. technical potential for rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems. The analysis reveals a technical potential of 1,118 gigawatts (GW) of capacity and 1,432 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual energy generation, equivalent to 39 percent of the nation's electricity sales."

and that's just on roofs.. no commercial sun or wind included.

How much can be handled by the grid this way is another matter (~30% today with "small" changes)

https://www.nrel.gov/grid/ergis.html

"NREL shows the power grid of the Eastern United States—one of the largest power systems in the world—can accommodate upwards of 30% wind and solar/photovoltaic (PV) power."

This second study includes new transmission lines between ISOs, but no utility scale battery storage. There is a graph at this site that shows how power flows during the day between ISOs ( that's really cool)

So the short answer to your question is gas sun and wind, with sun and wind taking over later as we ramp up transmission lines and utility battery storage
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
US produces ,roughly 3,000 TWh or 3*10^12 kWh

These wells could produce a billion kWh, or 1*10^9 kWh

So the geothermal potential is1/3*10^ -3 of US production , or 0.03% of us production

My money is on the sun, unless I misplaced a decimal
 
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sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,493
Saratoga, NY
The potential is there for sun to meet a good part of the need the need (39%)

https://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2016/24662.html

" <NREL> update its estimate of total U.S. technical potential for rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems. The analysis reveals a technical potential of 1,118 gigawatts (GW) of capacity and 1,432 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual energy generation, equivalent to 39 percent of the nation's electricity sales."

and that's just on roofs.. no commercial sun or wind included.

How much can be handled by the grid this way is another matter (~30% today with "small" changes)

A study that says you can get the US to 39% electricity based on solar if you install on EVERY suitable household roof is of what value? The economics of that are staggering.
This is not even the start of a plan, this is a study.
 
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