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1. When the entire fuel cycle is included, including mining, milling, enrichment, transport, decommissioning and long term storage, the carbon footprint is indeed debatable, no?. at least the dozens of authoritative conflicting studies would seem to think so.   Some experts add the cost of heavy water production for those technologies which use that.

Straw dog argument about Jérôme, but if he doesn't believe the issue is debatable, then he might find a fair amount of expert disagreement.

  1. So he wants Germans to fully understand the costs, then proceeds to get them wrong. Why defend that?

  2. Yes, he also got the FIT costs wrong, they're higher, but he still argues it's a subsidy. Without looking at the full cycle cost benefit, the merit order effect, the externalities (which is one of the main reasons a FIT exists), and the actual decrease in long-term cost of energy. He propagandizes the "subsidy" because he takes it in isolation, which does not exist in the real world. for example, national security issues which are avoided by renewables.

  3. He says Germany "is reaching the point of destabilizing the grid," which it is not. further, he ignores the fact that the grid must be upgraded in any case, which is already long underway. he ignores the benefits of renewables on the grid as well, where decentralization and modern fault ride-through and other electrical benefits actually increase the stability of the grid. he's simply looking at the north-south power lines needed in isolation, again, going back to my original post, obfuscation.

  4. Yes, i wish to dispute his points about solar PV, and yours. But northern latitude cloudy solar inefficiency compared with Spain or California ignores a raft of other benefits. Further, FIT costs used to create a manufacturing industry, and they're planned to decrease strongly over time, with the goal of greatly reducing the cost of PV, just as it did for wind.

he simply states solar is not an option to replace 65 terawatt hours, as if that was the goal for PV. So yes, this seems to be another area where his obfuscation is good enough to have clouded you view.

  1. Actually, since he uses the phrase "economically viable" in two sentences in a row would indicate it IS central to his argument.  (Though of course you're correct he's ALSO talking about replacement.)

  2. Well, he is the ambassador, so objective or not, shilling is part of his job description. That he's mirroring Obama's comments to Merkel might be a clue that this is part of planned action to sow discord in the major country in the world which is both accenting renewables and setting out a roadblock for nuclear power which, horror, might gain other countries.

  3. Willful obfuscation and falsification is propaganda, especially when it comes from the highest amurkan officer in Germany, no?


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 06:34:58 AM EST
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I had missed the word "ambassador" in his job description, so at least on the issue of it being his job to promote US interests, I must admit that you were entirely right.

"When the entire fuel cycle is included, including mining, milling, enrichment, transport, decommissioning and long term storage, the carbon footprint is indeed debatable, no?"

I did not, and he did not, say that it was zero (nor is any of the alternatives zero when you take the entire cycle). But it is one of the smallest carbon footprint options available. It is most likely to be replaced by coal.
Plus, I fail to see how the decommissioning costs can be taken into account there: if you stop the plant earlier, you'll still have them. Only way to avoid them is to never start the plant, which is not what is being proposed here.

"national security issues which are avoided by renewables."

He also fails to talk about how nice it is to have the Berlin Philharmonic.
He makes it clear from the start that he takes it for granted that the German public is well aware of the advantages of dropping nuclear, but not the costs.

And from everything I see, it is presented as an absolute environmental slam dunk, when there is a strong likelihood that it will mean much greater use of coal -probably imported, but that only makes it worse in the global picture (I reckon Germany is better at doing things properly than some of their neighbours).
And most studies show coal to be much, much worse than nuclear. If you know something that does not make it so, please elaborate.

"He says Germany "is reaching the point of destabilizing the grid," which it is not."

I take your word for that, and in that case it is a bad thing that he made this false claim.

"Yes, i wish to dispute his points about solar PV, and yours."

Since my only point is that it is not likely to replace much of the current nuclear production, I will be delighted to hear from you where they will be installed, who will pay for them, who will make them. I also note that you failed to scream at his not mentioning the terrible environmental costs that they have when you take the whole life cycle into account. Or is it only a wilful omission when it goes against our prejudice?

"Actually, since he uses the phrase "economically viable" in two sentences in a row would indicate it IS central to his argument. "

Absolutely not. If it were he'd give it a dollar value. It's important only in that if it were not economically viable, then we wouldn't have to replace so much electricity -as it would not have been produced, another source would have been preferred.

The argument is replacement right, left and centre. And I agree that it is phrased in a way that does not do full justice to wind economic viability, although it's rather milder than what we usually read. Plus, remember that the price-lowering returns of wind are strongly decreasing when you add a lot of it (because you are no longer replacing the most expensive type of plant, but the second, third, fourth most expensive one). We are talking about 25% of current consumption that have to be added.

Because it needs to come to that. None of the alternatives would be an improvement, by your own criteria. Yes, I'd like to reduce energy consumption, but we know that it means MORE electricity production (to remove internal combustion engines, mostly).

And only wind is alright, by your own criteria. So, your dismissals of any costs associated with shutting down the nuclear plants means that wind (plus wave energy I guess, plus any yet to be discovered technology) will have not only to replace those 65 terawatt hours, plus all the required additional production. You seem to claim that this will not be a problem.
I'd like to see the plans before I believe them. And I would want nothing more than to actually believe them. I'd really love to.

Because otherwise, it's just the type of hypocrisy we usually saw in answer to Kyoto, claiming to have made the planet cleaner because we exported all the dirt to countries that had no environmental regulation. And if it comes to that, it's Merkel that I would call the propagandist.


Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 04:51:02 AM EST
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