Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

The most important graph in the world

  • 17-03-2010 10:19am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭ patgill


    As important elections draw near in many places throughout the developed world, opposition parties are making political capital from the embarassment caused to governments, by the over zealousness of the extreme AGW fraternity, so called AGW deniers are in a confident mood, hopeful now that the CO2 debate may be over or at least moderated, for human civilisation that may not be such good news, because our problems are still there waiting to be solved, lets pretend for a moment that the CO2 debate had never even begun, the other problems are still there slapping us in the face every morning, population growth and the effect that this will have on our energy supplies, this is the elephant in the room, sometimes whispered about in the CO2 debate, ( the one we are pretending didn't start ), we already know that the quality of life we enjoy in the first world has been built on the cheap energy we derive from burning oil and natural gas.
    This may be the most important graph in the world, and the measures we take now will greatly influence whether the standard of living trend continues to climb, levels off or plummets.

    4277708824_24b459c564_o.jpg

    What is meant by the term our standard of living?

    Let me attempt an explanation.

    Lets take a snapshot of human civilisation many thousands of years ago, lets say at that point in time when the human population numbered a thousand, physically and mentally they are almost identical to you and I. The total energy available to them was limited to that which they could harvest from the sun, either radiant heat or energy derived from their food. That would be about 2000 kcal each per day, now the best that even Einstein or James Watt could make of that would be gather enough food for some of tomorrow, shelter in a cave or maybe make some very rudimentary tools like a flint knife to make some basic clothes and help with the food gathering, not much really and thats the way things stayed until Humans learned to domesticate fire, at that stage more energy was available and cooked food releases more energy than uncooked food, it enabled small steps to be taken in releasing more of the earth's resources, metals were now available, hunting became easier, and the first attempts at agriculture were made, the first consumer goods began to appear, agriculture meant that villages appeared .....................

    Today in the western world we have an average of 140,000 kcal available per capita everyday and that enables us to have cars and planes and hospitals and housing estates and TV and computers and ..................... None of this would be possible without that 140,000 kcals of energy per day although if we adjusted our technologies we could do the same things with about 80,000 kcals or maybe a little less. The developing worlds citizens have an average of 55,000 kcals per capita available to them every day.

    Our medium term, the next 40 years, goal should be to meet in the middle. Renewable energy can meet that budget of 80,000 kcals per capita per day.

    The problem is that we do not have the infrastructure in place to enable this transition, we have built an infrastructure over the last century to enable us to take advantage of fossil fuels and for the most part this infrastructure needs to be radically changed, can we build it in time.

    I believe that our future economy depends on it


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,347 ✭✭✭✭ MJohnston


    Wow, you'd think if it was that important they could have made it something better than MS Paint.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 7,105 Stinicker


    I would say the most important graph at the moment is Ireland's unemployment and National debt graphs. However I do tend to agree in Principle with alot of the argument. (Except the Global Warming bit!) We need to live more sustainable lives and our entire way of life needs to change. However in Ireland that is not so easy due to the demographic nature of the population and our spattered spread across the landscape which sees us being too car and thus Oil dependent. Even in the cities Public transport is a disaster compared to other European countries.

    Cycling is often touted as a solution in the cities and it can play its part but will never catch on in Ireland due to the fact that it rains so often! Dedicated separate cycling lanes away from roads as much as possible would help also.

    What I think in needed in Ireland is a large scale movement away from Oil and fuel our cars with BioDiesel and BioEthanol and offer tax breaks to filling stations and car buyers to make the transition instead of the lunacy of Hotel tax breaks ala Prime time last night. This will help spur our Agricultural industry to adapt and meet a market which currently is tiny and too volatile, couple this with large import tarrifs on BioFuels from the likes of Brazil & Indonesia where a litre of plant oil has a far worse effect on nature than ten litres of petroleum.

    We can grow our on fuels and this will guarantee Irish jobs and keep the billions spent on Petroleum exports within Ireland, protectionism of our Agriculture is needed also and we must put on large tarrifs of imported food to stop the lunacy of importing so much food when it can be grown at home for far less only distribute the profits to our Farmers more equitably instead of Foreign bank shareholders in the likes of Tesco making a killing of the back off the Environment and Irish industries.

    Simple changes can make a huge difference and help preserve Irish jobs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    Pat - there isn't much doubt about the eventuality of fossil depletion (albeit after several previous "deadlines" were missed because of advances in deepsea undersea drilling, carbon dioxide injection, oil sands heavy tar cracking and the like). The question is how do we replace that oil, and whether the project you champion is the best way to do it for Ireland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭ patgill


    dowlingm wrote: »
    Pat - there isn't much doubt about the eventuality of fossil depletion (albeit after several previous "deadlines" were missed because of advances in deepsea undersea drilling, carbon dioxide injection, oil sands heavy tar cracking and the like). The question is how do we replace that oil, and whether the project you champion is the best way to do it for Ireland.

    Quite apart from S of I, I have studied this problem for well over 20 years now. This subject is like an onion, as you peel back the layers, you discover that its very complexity hides very basic truths.

    For what its worth, later in the thread I will publish very compelling evidence that we have passed peak oil some years ago and are now in a transitionary phase which I label peak oil demand.

    I had a conversation recently with a learned and wise professor in the University of Limerick, who asked had I considered how the graph had in fact affected the subject of slavery, he asked had it been a mere coincidence that slavery was outlawed at the same point in history as we had developed steam power, would society in fact have given up the energy provided by slave labour, if the steam engine had not been available to replace it.

    MJohnstone remarked on the fact the graph was constructed in MS Paint, the actuality is that I prefer the MS Paint version of the graph as it illustrates the problem in a more restrained manner than an Excel or similar graph using the raw data as inputs.

    Stinicker has actually put his finger on the germ of an idea currently trickling through the brains of a few people concerned with the immediate problem of building new infrastructure.

    I can honestly say that this is not a support thread for any one project, rather this is an honest question asked out of a concern for this countries economic future, without an adequate power supply, we cannot have an economy, but this only one aspect of the problem and not solving it in a timely fashion will have an impact on every facet of our lives.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    The clear answer is that there shall be no one solution but a myriad of them. SoI is cleverly looking at devariablising wind and converting it to more valuable base or mid merit electricity. Frankly Gate 3 should be the end of variable wind connections to the National Grid and absent a Euro HVDC grid we should not build any more of these.

    Wave is too far off to plan or forecast anything.

    Biofuel and Fuel Cell in conjunction with overnight battery charging is probably where we will go next TBH and sure we might even introduce road pricing linked to whether the wind blew the previous night :D

    We also need a proper always on broadband network in Ireland, the quickest way to respond to demand is to shed load and only a decent broadband network can do this.

    We are decades away from that right now and the ESB has even scaled its smart meter trial back from 25000 meters to 5000 or less owing to insufficent spectrum and inadequate regulation of same.

    Many interlinked problems need our attention....post peak oil. To make it even more complex Ireland will only become an oil producer AFTER peak oil, certainly not before.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,204 ✭✭✭ Mrmoe


    That has to be one of the crappiest graphs I have ever seen. If you want people to take you seriously, do it properly with supplied references to the data you used to make the graphy. My 4 year old nephew could have drawn that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭ patgill


    Mrmoe wrote: »
    That has to be one of the crappiest graphs I have ever seen. If you want people to take you seriously, do it properly with supplied references to the data you used to make the graphy. My 4 year old nephew could have drawn that.


    And there I was believing that my name alone was good enough to make everyone believe my thesis, for those who need more than a 4 year olds effort at a graph in order to have a debate, here are some referenced links to graphs with go faster stripes

    world total energy demand by fuel
    http://www.iea.org/country/graphs/weo_2009/fig1-1.jpg

    World Energy demand by fuel type in 2030
    http://www.iea.org/country/graphs/weo_2009/Fig5-9.jpg

    Energy consumption versus GDP
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Energy_consumption_versus_GDP.png

    The number of people without access to electricity
    http://www.iea.org/country/graphs/weo_2009/fig2-10.jpg

    World energy comsuption in Terrawatts
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a0/World_Energy_consumption.png/250px-World_Energy_consumption.png

    If you need any more just ask

    For an academic compilation of studies showing the role that energy plays in a countries economy
    http://www.cluteinstitute-onlinejournals.com/PDFs/512.pdf

    I am unable though, to source accurate graphs covering our species energy use over the last 70,000 years and as that covers 99% of the timeline, I suppose I will have to hide for a while. I can though provide estimates of available energy during this period

    This concern about available energy and productivity is not a new phenomenon, here is a paper presented in 1954 by a TCD chappie called Derek Flood and it includes some interesting energy/productivity statistics from the first half of the 20th century

    http://webird.tcd.ie/bitstream/2262/3959/1/jssisiVolXVIXPart2_89100.pdf


  • Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭ jinghong


    patgill wrote: »

    I can honestly say that this is not a support thread for any one project, rather this is an honest question asked out of a concern for this countries economic future, without an adequate power supply, we cannot have an economy, but this only one aspect of the problem and not solving it in a timely fashion will have an impact on every facet of our lives.

    The dutch have shown, having one of the most advanced industrial societies in the 17th century that an economy is in fact possible without 'solving' for steady cheap energy.
    The usual knee jerk reaction to a comment like this would be, no we are not going there, technology will fix everything. Unfortunately there is not going to be an energy intensive future, because post peak oil and its closely straggling fossil fuel cousins, nuclear will be shown to be what it is: an oil subsidised energy source with insufficient EROI to merit investment in its meagre nett energy outputs.
    Current attempts to replace oil are merely damaging excercises in futility, most notably the current algae biodiesel charade

    If its better to bend in the wind than to break, then a resiliant home grown industry not relying on massive energy inputs might be worth looking into


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    jinghong wrote: »
    Unfortunately there is not going to be an energy intensive future, because post peak oil and its closely straggling fossil fuel cousins, nuclear will be shown to be what it is: an oil subsidised energy source with insufficient EROI to merit investment in its meagre nett energy outputs.

    You've got to be kidding, Nuclear is by far the most efficient and highest net energy output source we have.

    There maybe many valid complaints and concerns about Nuclear power, but no one questions it's ability to produce massive amounts of energy cost effectively.


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭✭ luohaoran


    The great thing about the SoI solution is that it plugs into whatever power generation you care to build. We'll have a hand full of massive energy reservoirs, that will give us the smoothest energy supply in the world. That should allow all our other energy sources to be run in their most efficient modes.
    And will encourage massive FDI, for our smooth, constant, affordable energy.

    One day...
    The joy of driving my electric car to one of those lakes, jumping onto my windsurf board and scooting across the water, with the wind in my face, the same wind thats paying into my bank account, charging my car, my home, my toothbrush.

    Still waiting for one single good reason why we shouldn't??


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    bk wrote: »
    You've got to be kidding, Nuclear is by far the most efficient and highest net energy output source we have.

    There maybe many valid complaints and concerns about Nuclear power, but no one questions it's ability to produce massive amounts of energy cost effectively.
    That's sort of the problem though. Nuclear in a small-country context ends up putting all of the electrical need into 4-6 stations - and I can assure you that multiple reactors being down at the same time does happen here in Ontario. The other problem is that you end up with vast amounts of surplus power unless you can find some way of using it at night since nuclear stations are not easy to run up and down like gas plants or pumped storage.

    Contracting with the UK to buy capacity on their west coast nuclear stations gives them a guaranteed customer for power while we get access to their economies of scale and they retain responsibility for decommissioning. What we need is more interconnection to sufficiently protect against a single cable failure, not to embarking on a project that entails very scary capital numbers and a terrible record on overruns with the exception of France who (a) have a nuclear industry to support and thus it makes for industrial policy and (b) build enough of them to have a series of proven designs that work well in their network and construction techniques.


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭ patgill


    luohaoran wrote: »
    The great thing about the SoI solution is that it plugs into whatever power generation you care to build. We'll have a hand full of massive energy reservoirs, that will give us the smoothest energy supply in the world. That should allow all our other energy sources to be run in their most efficient modes.
    And will encourage massive FDI, for our smooth, constant, affordable energy.

    One day...
    The joy of driving my electric car to one of those lakes, jumping onto my windsurf board and scooting across the water, with the wind in my face, the same wind thats paying into my bank account, charging my car, my home, my toothbrush.

    Still waiting for one single good reason why we shouldn't??


    This thread is not really about Spirit of Ireland,

    But the lads and I think we have found the script for our first TV Ad
    luohaoran, its up to you to chase your own royalties.

    Thanks

    Pat


  • Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭ jinghong


    No I'm not kidding. You need to include all energy inputs including storage of waste.
    EROI_Nuclear_schematic.png
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3877
    Some present for future generations where uranium is used up and the decommissioned plants still present an energy overhead - at a time when its most likely there'll be none to spare. We are some piece of work alright. It seems cheap now because we have cheap abundant oil to mine, refine fissile fuel, build plants and so on. Every year there is supposedly some new nuclear technology that is now cost effective, yet few end up getting built, none without massive government subsidy. Well oil and government subsidy are finishing soon. It's hard to tell which will be depleted first. Anything without decent EROI (>20) is not going to happen further out.

    @OP - The world does not want to know. They will do anything to avoid facing up to peak oil.
    BTW don't want to divert attention to SOI, but do you have EROI figures? It would be great if they were decent


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    jinghong that is why you use fast breeder reactors or other new generation reactors designed to consume the waste produced by other reactors.

    The current handling of Nuclear waste is very inefficient as Uranium is so dirt cheap (what with so much of it dumped on the market after the end of the cold war). But with the new generation of upcoming reactors it will become very cost efficient to reuse existing Nuclear waste, thus eliminating it as a problem and greatly improving the energy output.

    Of course if oil really does start to run out soon, it will spur the development of new Nuclear plants over night, as no country and no people will accept a backwards slide in quality of life. Just look to France as an example, 85% of all their electricity produced by Nuclear power, some of the cheapest electricity costs in Europe and a massive electric car network being built over the next 4 years. All as a result of the 1970's Oil crisis, when France decided to never again beholden to foreign energy sources.

    Also many, if not most reports into Nuclear power report EROI's of 20:1 or greater. Your showing a graph of what is clearly one of the most pessimistic (perhaps anti-nuclear) reports.


  • Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭ jinghong


    bk wrote: »
    jinghong that is why you use fast breeder reactors or other new generation reactors designed to consume the waste produced by other reactors.

    The current handling of Nuclear waste is very inefficient as Uranium is so dirt cheap (what with so much of it dumped on the market after the end of the cold war). But with the new generation of upcoming reactors it will become very cost efficient to reuse existing Nuclear waste, thus eliminating it as a problem and greatly improving the energy output.

    Of course if oil really does start to run out soon, it will spur the development of new Nuclear plants over night, as no country and no people will accept a backwards slide in quality of life. Just look to France as an example, 85% of all their electricity produced by Nuclear power, some of the cheapest electricity costs in Europe and a massive electric car network being built over the next 4 years. All as a result of the 1970's Oil crisis, when France decided to never again beholden to foreign energy sources.

    Also many, if not most reports into Nuclear power report EROI's of 20:1 or greater. Your showing a graph of what is clearly one of the most pessimistic (perhaps anti-nuclear) reports.

    Dr. Michael Dittmar, researcher with the Institute of Particle Physics of ETH Zurich, is of the opinion that breeder reactors are as much an unrealistic pipe dream as nuclear fusion


    France got a cheap ride - mined and refined uranium from weapons. Not only could the rest of the world not get its hands on this 'free' fuel, they will have to scrap for the remainder. (EDF (Electricité de France), the Franch nuclear utility, estimates that there exist economically exploitable uranium reserves for 60 years of present consumption (67 kT/year)).

    The claim still stands; the beggars at the last uranium mines will be working on low EROI, unless you can provide meaningful links that directly address these issues.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    jinghong wrote: »
    France got a cheap ride - mined and refined uranium from weapons. Not only could the rest of the world not get its hands on this 'free' fuel, they will have to scrap for the remainder. (EDF (Electricité de France), the Franch nuclear utility, estimates that there exist economically exploitable uranium reserves for 60 years of present consumption (67 kT/year)).

    Funny thing is you can find the 60 years estimate going back to the 70's, yet we somehow still have another 60 years left 30 years later!

    There has always been only 60 years of almost any natural resource you care to talk about. It isn't that there isn't far more, it is just the way the mining industry works, once they have found 60 years worth they just stop looking as it costs money to look.

    jinghong wrote: »
    The claim still stands; the beggars at the last uranium mines will be working on low EROI, unless you can provide meaningful links that directly address these issues.

    And so what, even in the extremely unlikely case that uranium starts running out, you seriously don't think we will just switch to reactors that can burn uranium-238 from all the old nuclear waste lying around.

    Once reactors that can burn uranium-238 start coming online, you end up with 10's if not 100's of thousands of years worth of supplies and you don't even have to mine it, it is just sitting there in the Nuclear waste disposal sites.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    bk wrote: »
    Funny thing is you can find the 60 years estimate going back to the 70's, yet we somehow still have another 60 years left 30 years later!
    QFT. Mining companies share prices are 'helped' when they 'find' a deposit while under periodic market pressure. The timing of writeons to reserves is a black art and as you said bk the answer is optimally 42 60 .
    Once reactors that can burn uranium-238 start coming online, you end up with 10's if not 100's of thousands of years worth of supplies and you don't even have to mine it, it is just sitting there in the Nuclear waste disposal sites.

    And Thorium instead of Uranium . Watch India whose 300Mw experimental AHWR is to be commissioned soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭ patgill


    jinghong

    @OP - The world does not want to know. They will do anything to avoid facing up to peak oil.

    The fact is that they do not have to acknowledge peak oil in order to experience its effects, peak oil does not mean that we have run out of oil, it means that we have run out of cheap oil.

    We are now in a post peak oil phase which I term peak oil demand and it is defined as the price point at which alternatives to oil become economically viable. As these technologies become mainstream the price of energy will begin to reduce.
    BTW don't want to divert attention to SOI, but do you have EROI figures? It would be great if they were decent

    We have done some calculations on this and the result will in the end be defined by the use we put the facility to.

    If for example we restrict energy inputs to renewable sources only, we are mainly concerned right now with EROI of utility scale wind turbines and the hub height used, as you know the efficiency of wind energy is governed by the cube rule i.e if the wind speed doubles the energy available for extraction increases by 8 times and as wind speed and wind reliability increases with height, hub heights are critical.

    If we make a decision to allow all forms of electrical energy into the facility, we actually increase the EROI of those energy sources, i.e we can increase the EROI of the national power supply by allowing all plants to run in their most efficient configurations.

    dowlingm

    You are theoretically correct in your assertion that by building more interconnection, Ireland could import nuke power without dealing with its problems, the actuality of the situation is that the UK is looking at a gaping chasm in its generation capacity post 2015 of the order of approx 10GW's, there will be absolutely no capacity available for export, except maybe at 2 am.

    bk

    The actual efficiency of an average nuclear station is 0.7%, 99.3% of the energy passes through the reactor process unharvested and once through the reactor the reactions continue in the waste. The EROI of nuclear very much depend on a stable design coming along pretty soon to make best use of this waste resource.
    In my opinion the best hope for nuclear fission as a concept lies with travelling wave reactors, Bill Gates thinks so as well, he has just invested a few bob in this concept which has been developing unnoticed in the background for almost 50 years.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    patgill wrote: »
    You are theoretically correct in your assertion that by building more interconnection, Ireland could import nuke power without dealing with its problems, the actuality of the situation is that the UK is looking at a gaping chasm in its generation capacity post 2015 of the order of approx 10GW's, there will be absolutely no capacity available for export, except maybe at 2 am.

    Ahh but you are avoiding my premise ( expressed in this forum) there PG.

    I said WE should consider building a nuke in Wylfa and WE should contractually control where the output goes....60 miles away to Dublin across these interconnectors in that case.

    In that scenario the UK only hosts OUR Nuke for us seeing as the bloody greens have clouded up the issue of installing one here for the last 30 years :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭ patgill


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Ahh but you are avoiding my premise ( expressed in this forum) there PG.

    I said WE should consider building a nuke in Wylfa and WE should contractually control where the output goes....60 miles away to Dublin across these interconnectors in that case.

    In that scenario the UK only hosts OUR Nuke for us seeing as the bloody greens have clouded up the issue of installing one here for the last 30 years :)

    The definitive Irish solution eh:)

    Its actually a good idea as it would remove the need for developing our own regulatory system, a very significant expense, wonder what the UK authorities would have to say about it though.


  • Advertisement
  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    patgill wrote: »
    wonder what the UK authorities would have to say about it though.


    We won't know till we get rid of the Greens, then we can ask them. :)

    At least if we build it then we dimension the use of the interconnectors for our purposes including the export of energy. The Irish grid then ends in Wales .....and there is plenty of capacity to move electricity further east at that point.

    If the shaggin wind is blowing we can even flog 'our' nuclear to the UK as peaking in certain cases.

    I commend this to the NTMA with interconnectors as one project worth a look :)


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    patgill wrote: »
    In my opinion the best hope for nuclear fission as a concept lies with travelling wave reactors, Bill Gates thinks so as well, he has just invested a few bob in this concept which has been developing unnoticed in the background for almost 50 years.

    Agreed, excellent presentation at TED by Bill Gates, even if your not a supporter of Nuclear Energy, Bill explains the problems faced by the environment in a very good and logical manner.

    It really puts into perspective the problem and how difficult it is to realistically fix with anything other then a technological break through.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    The UK authorities should welcome it if they have any sense, because it would mean that instead of building 2-3 unit sites they could build 4+ unit sites, with one cable going west to Ireland and the others east to UK urban centres. The units could then share a lot of services which would scale at less than 100%, and they get the benefit of the income and other taxes . The more reactors they build the cheaper it gets as long as they do it the French way - build often and build the same. Obviously it would be ideal if we could just skip to fusion but ITER etc. always seems to be 15-20 years from commercial production every time they are asked.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    We will need one more generation of fission nukes before any fusion comes on stream, maybe two.

    I do appreciate that the gap between Fermi smashing an atom and the first commercial nuclear reactor was less than 20 years but fusion is hideously complex compared to fission.

    Secondly there is a need in US/UK/Russia for a generation of Plutonium and U235 eaters that produce something less lethal + electricity as a by product ......EVEN if we get fusion to work tomorrow.

    When the only fusion reactor plan was the ITER tokomak idea I remember over 20 years ago as ITER was being built they then reckoned it would take the power of every other power station on a large grid...eg France...just to kickstart the plasma in a commercial tokomak reactor in 50 years....and that 20 years ago.

    They are looking into laser fusion and recently getting somewhere with it, the lasers are only now able to deliver the power. This could scale through experimental generations quite fast compared to ITER but we cannot really be sure right now and are 20 years away from commercial breakthrough where the ITER model will take longer. Furthermore the laser technology may end up being classified and may never be made available at all for commercial use.


  • Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭ patgill


    We talked earlier about the efficiency of power plants and there is a very interesting link between building an Irish nuke in Wales and power plant efficiency.

    The French nuclear industry depends on having large amounts of pumped storage available in Switzerland. The Swiss, and in the case of German nukes, Austria, earn massive revenue from the fact the nukes must run flat out for efficiency reasons, which does not of course follow the demand curve, and so enormous amounts of energy are poured into storage at off peak rates and sold back to the producing countries at peak demand prices the next day or the next week, Switzerland even manages to bleed off enough cheap power to satisfy 30% of its domestic demand and still make massive foreign exchange revenues.

    There are many ways to skin a cat and the really clever ways have the cat coming back for more.


Advertisement