Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear is the worst possible way to back up wind power

 Letter to Scottish Herald Pete Roche: NUCLEAR is the worst possible way to
back up wind power. Full Stop. Baseload – which Iain Macwhirter in his
Herald on Sunday article “Nuclear is the worst possible option … except
for the others” (September 4) suggests is needed when the wind doesn’t
blow – is an outdated concept.

Renewables should not be described as
intermittent – they are variable, which means their output can be
forecast with good accuracy. Nuclear plants are on 24/7, so can’t balance
the output from variable renewables, and would get in the way of their
expansion, because they are inflexible.

There are plenty of better ways of
balancing the grid. We need a more flexible system with smart grids,
time-of-use tariffs, batteries and storage including heat storage and
hydrogen, made using surplus renewables power. A rapidly growing number of
studies show that 100% renewable energy systems are not only feasible but
also cost effective.

And we are not just talking about wind. Solar would
also be a central pillar, but other sources will include geothermal, tidal
and wave power, all backed up with an ambitious energy efficiency

Nuclear power is too expensive. Building nuclear stations will
put energy bills up. Electricity from offshore wind is currently about £37
per megawatt hour. If the UK Government goes ahead with Sizewell, in about
15 years its electricity would cost around £120 per megawatt hour. An
added problem is that new nuclear stations take too long to build.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says
that we have less than 10 years in which to make massive and unprecedented
changes to global energy infrastructure to limit global warming to moderate
levels. The UK Government first started consulting on building new nuclear
power stations in May 2007, but Hinkley Point C is not expected to start
generating electricity until around 2027.

 Herald 9th Sept 2022

September 10, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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