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kristopher

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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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German Renewable Power Cheaper Than Fossils in 2030, Study Shows

German Renewable Power Cheaper Than Fossils in 2030, Study Shows
By Stefan Nicola - Apr 5, 2012 8:39 AM ET

Germany will pay less for electricity from renewable sources than from coal and natural gas in 2030 if it reaches energy targets, the environment ministry said.
Renewable power will cost 7.6 euro cents per kilowatt-hour in 2030, with hard coal and natural gas rising to more than 9 euro cents per kilowatt-hour, the ministry said today in an e- mailed statement, citing a new study it commissioned.
The 331-page document monitors a plan to exit nuclear energy by 2022 and raise the share of renewable sources to at least 35 percent of the power mix by the end of this decade. It forecasts Germany beating that target to reach a share of about 40 percent renewables by 2020, up from 20 percent now.
The study’s projections show “that the plan to transform our energy mix is doable,” Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said in the statement.



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-05/german-renewable-power-cheaper-than-fossils-in-2030-study-shows.html

How safe is safe enough with nuclear power?

How safe is safe enough with nuclear power?
By Joan King
POSTED: March 25, 2012 12:30 a.m.

...Despite everything I've said about being too old for long day trips, that Sunday found me on a bus with a bunch of anti-nuclear activists - a term I dislike - headed toward a little church in Waynesboro.

There, in the shadow of Plant Vogtle's cooling towers, the ladies of the Fairfield Missionary Baptist Church graciously served lunch - baked chicken, turnip greens, and cornbread - to those of us who gathered for a Day of Remembrance. Some of the visitors had come from as far away as Japan.

In a time when nuclear power is in decline, Georgia Power Co. is trying to engineer a "nuclear Renaissance" by building two new reactors at its Plant Vogtle site. The licensing process has yet to be completed, and there is a good chance the reactors may never produce a single kilowatt of electricity. But Georgia Power already has begun construction and has raised its rates to cover the cost.

...

Anthropology is the study of man, his culture and his institutions. One of the first things the anthropology student learns is that institutions, while not human, have much in common with humans. Institutions grow and evolve. The people who run them die and are replaced, but institutions are basically immortal. An institution, like a human being, has a will to live. It will fight for its life, but unlike a human being, it has no conscience....


http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/21/article/65147/

I'd be ROFL at the predictability if ...

... it didn't represent a diversion of critical resources at a time when we can least afford to go down this path yet again.

Watts Bar reactor construction time and costs nearly double. Who could have guessed?

TVA ups Watts Bar reactor cost to $4.5 bln, online '15
* Reactor cost up from $2.5 billion estimate
* Project was expected to start in 2012
* Bellefonte's new reactor likely also to be delayed

By Scott DiSavino Apr 5, 2012 1:18pm EDT


April 5 (Reuters) - U.S. government-owned Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) said on Thursday it now sees the new reactor at the Watts Bar 2 nuclear power plant in Tennessee online between September and December 2015 at a higher estimated cost of $4 billion to $4.5 billion.

...

TVA decided in 2007 to complete the second reactor at Watts Bar to help meet the region's growing demand for power. The unit was expected to enter service in 2012 at a cost of about $2.5 billion.

"Our estimates on time and cost were wrong," Kilgore said. "While our intentions were well founded, our execution and progress reviews were not."



And no matter what it eventually costs you can count on the following sentiment being expressed by those responsible:
"Watts Bar Unit 2 remains a cost-effective solution for meeting the region's base load power needs with clean energy at a competitive rate." - Tom Kilgore, TVA president and CEO


It is called "bait and switch" or "price bating" and it is standard practice in the nuclear industry.

Let's take a closer look at the available information

From your source:
National Grid , the largest utility in Massachusetts, agreed in November 2010 to buy half of Cape Wind’s offshore output starting in 2013 at 18.7 cents per kWh, with a 3.5% annual increase.
Those terms were approved by regulators at Department of Public Utilities (DPU), who ruled project benefits outweighed costs, and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.
DPU had estimated that electricity over contract life could cost ratepayers between $420m and $695m above market prices. The agency did put a dollar amount for environmental and human health benefits which it said would accrue from substituting dirty burning coal and fuel oil with clean wind power.


From the OP:
The Cape Wind offshore wind project will reduce wholesale electricity prices for the New England region by $7.2 billion over 25 years, finds a new report published by economic consulting firm Charles River Associates.

The report shows that ISO New England, the electric grid operator, first dispatches electric generating units with the lowest-cost fuel. Because Cape Wind's fuel - wind - is zero cost, the report states that Cape Wind will displace higher-priced and fossil-fueled units, thus resulting in an average savings of $286 million per year in New England.


It might be counterintuitive but there is no conflict between those articles.


They have contracted out a certain amount of their output, but not all of it. The rest is sold on an open auction market - probably 24 hours or 1 hour in advance of need.

This spot market electricity is the most expensive part of the power portfolio for any utility. The generators servicing the demand are idle much of the time, and they have to charge high prices to recoup their investment costs.

You claim that a CC natgas plant can produce the "same megawatt" for $30-40 dollars. To arrive at that number you need to figure out all of your costs - investment, operations, maint, fuel etc, and then divide by the amount of time the plant would be expected to produce sellable power during its lifetime as an investment. If it runs 90% of the time, then it will be able to divide the fixed costs by many more hours than if it runs 40% of the time, right?

The generators selling into the spot market often are some of the least used units and consequently they have to charge some of the highest prices in order to meet overhead.

The way the auction works is that the utility sends out a call for a certain amount of electricity to be delivered over a certain period of time - let's say 800MW between 1-5 PM June 30th. All of those who can sell electricity send in their bids. At a very minimum the bid will equal fuel costs for paid off plants but usually the bids will be much higher - sometimes in the range of the contract price quoted in the article you cited.

Since wind has no fuel costs they can and will bid their excess capacity into this system at $0, ensuring that all of their bidded production is accepted.

OK so far?

Here is where the savings come in. The system works by paying all accepted bids at the same rate as the highest price quoted in the accepted queue.

Let's say wind offers 200MW at $0, the next bidder offers 120MW at $40, the next 150MW at $80, the next 230MW at $130 and the final 100MW at a peak of $190.

All of the bidders will be paid $190/MWh

The question we now need to ask is, what would have been the cost of the next 200MW in the queue that wasn't accepted?

By always bidding zero - its fuel cost - and always being accepted, wind puts a strong downward pressure on the market and can act to substantially reduce the overall cost of providing power to a region, even if it's contracted costs are high.

Counter-intuitive but true.

Cape Wind Project Will Reduce Regional Electricity Prices By $7.2 Billion, Study Says

Cape Wind Project Will Reduce Regional Electricity Prices By $7.2 Billion, Study Says

The Cape Wind offshore wind project will reduce wholesale electricity prices for the New England region by $7.2 billion over 25 years, finds a new report published by economic consulting firm Charles River Associates.

The report shows that ISO New England, the electric grid operator, first dispatches electric generating units with the lowest-cost fuel. Because Cape Wind's fuel - wind - is zero cost, the report states that Cape Wind will displace higher-priced and fossil-fueled units, thus resulting in an average savings of $286 million per year in New England.

The increase in price suppression was attributed primarily to an increase in power-plant retirements and a larger price difference between natural gas and fuel oil, the report notes.

Price suppression in wholesale electric markets that occurs as a result of wind power projects has been documented in Europe and in several U.S. power markets. According to Charles River Associates, price suppression from wind power was noted in the 2009 report, which stated, "All of the wind resource potential could provide downward pressure on the marginal prices for energy within the New England electricity market...This price pressure would ultimately benefit New England consumers."

...


http://www.nawindpower.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.9627

Brain eating flies used in war against imported fire ants

Brain eating flies used in war against imported fire ants
By Rob Pavey Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 3, 2012


...“They got here in the ’30s and spread to Georgia in the ’50s,” the University of Georgia entomologist said.

The newest control strategy — pioneered in Florida — involves the introduction of tiny insects known as phorid flies, whose larvae attack, kill and decapitate fire ants.

“We’ve got the state pretty well covered,” he said. “Every county in Georgia has at least one species of the phorid, and we have 40 counties that have two species.”

The fly, native to South America where imported fire ants originated, reproduces by injecting eggs into ants. The larvae eat the ant’s brain before emerging through its head.

Scientists at...


http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2012-04-03/brain-eating-flies-used-war-against-imported-fire-ants?v=1333478699

U.S. Department of Energy must release Plant Vogtle loan guarantee credit subsidy data

U.S. Department of Energy must release Plant Vogtle loan guarantee credit subsidy data
By Rob PaveyStaff WriterThursday, March 29, 2012

An environmental group’s two-year quest for details about the U.S. Department of Energy’s $8.3 billion federal loan guarantee for Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle expansion must be partially honored, according to a U.S. District Court judge.

In a 28-page memorandum of opinion, dated Wednesday and signed by Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth, the Department of Energy was directed to disclose to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy documents related to the project’s credit subsidy cost estimates.

The group filed a Freedom of Information Act request in 2010 for the credit subsidy documents and a host of other information – and later filed a lawsuit when portions of the material were not provided.

The court questioned whether other material sought by the group was justifiably withheld and gave the Energy Department 60 days to supplement inadequate justification for why it either redacted – or refused to release – some of the information sought by the plaintiffs.

In a press release...


http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/government/2012-03-29/us-department-energy-must-release-plant-vogtle-loan-guarantee-credit



Read the complete U.S. District Court ruling:
http://www.cleanenergy.org/images/testimony/032812_FOIA_Decision_Summary_Judgment.pdf


Background:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lawsuit-department-of-energy-hiding-risk-of-833-billion-taxpayer-backed-loan-guarantee-for-proposed-georgia-nuclear-reactors-100361524.html

Nuclear Power and Democracy Don't Mix

Nuclear Power and Democracy Don't Mix
Posted: 04/ 3/2012 11:12 am

On Monday South Korea deported three senior Greenpeace staff, known for their role in our campaign against that country's nuclear expansion plans. This is just the latest proof that nuclear power and democracy do not mix. It's the latest attack on freedom of speech from an industry forged in the furnace of military secrecy, which has over the last 60 years left in it's a wake a legacy of lies, cover-ups and broken promises.

What is it the industry and its government sponsors fear? What do they hope to achieve by excluding peaceful people from Greenpeace? What do they have to hide? What is it that they do not wish the people of Korea to hear?

Surprisingly, as the International Executive Director of Greenpeace, while I was stopped and questioned, I was not denied entry at the airport. Yet, I have been to Chernobyl. I have been to Fukushima. I can tell you firsthand of the devastation, of the ruined lives, and of the ongoing lies and cover-ups surrounding these nuclear power disasters.

Greenpeace scientists have highlighted that the devastation wrought on those communities, the painful legacy of radioactive contamination that I witnessed, was unnecessary. We do not have to run the risk of nuclear accidents. The world and Korea have bountiful renewable energy sources and the ability to use energy in a much smarter way. Even the respected Economist magazine in its March 14 issue ran a cover story calling nuclear power "The Dream that Failed," showing why nuclear is not a viable energy solution for the future.

I will ...


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kumi-naidoo/greenpeace-korea-nuclear-power_b_1399336.html

Google Search Ads Ruled 'Misleading And Deceptive' By Australian Court

I hope this helps solve the problem. The value of the internet is dramatically reduced by the deceptive practice that is being addressed. Google isn't doing it, but maybe they are the right place to start in looking for a fix.

Google Search Ads Ruled 'Misleading And Deceptive' By Australian Court
First Posted: 04/ 3/2012 4:02 am Updated: 04/ 3/2012 8:52 am

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Search giant Google Inc engaged in "misleading and deceptive" conduct by allowing misleading paid advertisements to be shown with Internet search results, an Australian court ruled on Tuesday.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the ruling meant that not only Google, but other Internet search engines, would now be held responsible for "deceptive paid search results".

Google had earlier won a court ruling on the subject, but a full bench of Australia's Federal Court on Tuesday overturned that decision on appeal by the ACCC.

In its judgment, the court said between March 2006 and July 2007, Google published search results for queries related to Honda Australia, with results showing paid advertisements for a Honda competitor CarSales. It said the advertisements suggested CarSales was linked to Honda Australia.

The court said Google should be responsible ...


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/03/google-search-ads-australia-court_n_1398802.html

Japan nuke industry donated millions to safety regulator

Why? Because, and I quote, the agency "is on the industry’s back”...

But don't worry, the nuclear industry everywhere else in the world is a collegial scientific body; only in Japan has it descended to crass commercialism that exemplifies corporate greed. Surely you've heard that "what happened in Japan could never happen here".

Power industry donated millions to influential research agency
April 02, 2012

The electric power industry donated 250 million yen ($3 million) to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency over four years, including 55.1 million yen after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant last year.

The agency, which sends many of its officials to the nation’s nuclear regulatory bodies, disclosed the amount of donations in the four years through fiscal 2011 following a request from The Asahi Shimbun.

Donations to nuclear-related organizations and local governments that host nuclear facilities are reflected on electricity rates. But electric power companies have not released even the total amount of donations they make.

For decades, the electric power industry has made donations to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, an independent administrative agency under the jurisdiction of the science ministry, according to a former executive at the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan....


http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201204020042
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