Texas ERCOT power shortages (again) April 13

Mark Tinka mark at tinka.africa
Wed Apr 14 13:37:04 UTC 2021

On 4/14/21 15:04, Mike Hammett wrote:
> ---
> Even as I support renewable plants, I am not yet fully convinced that a
> quick and massive decommissioning of fossil fuels for base load
> generation is feasible.
> ---
> Nuclear is the only way to have a reliable base load generation that 
> doesn't release greenhouse gasses. Thankfully the US drought on new 
> nuclear construction was over a few years ago. Hopefully it continues.

And the good news is that spent nuclear fuel can be recycled (over 90% 
of it). I know the French are doing it, seeing as they have one of the 
world's largest nuclear power plant fleet.

The only problem with nuclear power plants is the cost and time required 
to build them, as a function of the amount of electricity they can 
generate. Take the UK's Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant build, which 
will cost about £23 billion, will only start operating in 2025 (if all 
goes to plan), but will only generate 3,260MW.

This is compared to just under 40,000MW of daily demand from UK 
citizens, more than half of which is delivered by fossil fuels (mainly 
CCGT and to a much smaller degree, coal).

One would need to dot quite a few nuclear power plants around the 
country to make up the difference. And many places don't have enough 
water to make hydro a base load provider.

Noting, of course, that the UK have some 85,000MW of installed capacity, 
which is interesting when you consider that over the past decade, demand 
for electricity on the island has been dropping, even though the 
population has grown quite substantially in the same time.

Lockdown didn't help (any country, for that matter), but I'd expect 
demand to rise over next decade, putting even more pressure on a 
balanced energy source compliment.

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