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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 28,973

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In major shift Japan business lobby wants government focus on renewables, not nuclear

Japan business lobby says Abe government can't rely on nuclear energy


Renewables supplied 14.3 percent of power in the year to March 2016 and the government's 2030 target is 22-24 pct.

"In the very long term, we have to lower our dependence on nuclear. Based on current progress, nuclear power reliance may not reach even 10 percent," said Asada, adding the association wanted measures to encourage private investment in renewables and for public funding of infrastructure such as transmission lines.

The influential business lobby has a membership of about 1,400 executives from around 950 companies.

Andrew DeWit, a professor at Rikkyo University in Tokyo focusing on energy issues, said the push signaled "a profound change in thinking among blue-chip business executives."

"Many business leaders have clearly thrown in the towel on nuclear and are instead openly lobbying for Japan to vault to global leadership in renewables, efficiency and smart infrastructure."...


Stop the Blank Check’ Coalition

‘Stop the Blank Check’ Coalition forms to oppose SCE&G rate hikes
South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce President Frank Knapp announces his organization is joining a group of environmental and social work organizations to oppose a rate increase by South Carolina Electric & Gas to pay for cost overruns on two new nuclear plants. The nuclear plants are $4 billion over budget and years behind schedule. Jeffrey Collins AP


A statewide coalition has formed to fight SCE&G’s ability to raise electric rates in South Carolina for nuclear construction when a project goes over budget and falls years behind schedule.


Stop The Blank Check is a coalition of organizations that want the South Carolina Public Service Commission to deny SCE&G’s pending request to increase the cost of the two reactors by $846 million and to raise electric rates by 3 percent.

“This coalition has come together to oppose both of those (requests),” said Frank Knapp, president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and a coalition organizer. “We ask, if they are going to have a rate hike, let it be smaller. If they are going to have an increase in costs, which they will, that it be smaller.”


The total projected cost of the nuclear construction at V.C. Summer has risen by $2.46 billion since 2009, Boomhower noted, rising from $11.4 billion to $13.8 billion currently, a 21.6 percent increase. The Unit 2 reactor completion date has slid from 2017 to 2019 and the Unit 3 reactor completion has fallen from 2018 to 2020....

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/business/article90377452.html

The Myth of the Nuclear Renaissance; The game is already over for nuclear energy.

The Myth of the Nuclear Renaissance
The game is already over for nuclear energy.

July 18, 2016, at 2:00 p.m.

Dear editor,

Desperate times for the nuclear industry call for desperate rhetoric. Hence the reach, once again, for "renaissance," even though the facts support no such thing and the industry itself dare not even resurrect the mythological moniker.

With nuclear power priced out of the market – not only by natural gas but, more importantly for climate, by renewables – die-hard nuclear proponents are dressing up old reactors in new propaganda.

Sodium-cooled, fast and even small modular reactors are all designs that have been around – and rejected – for decades.

Sodium-cooled reactors are prone to fires, explosions and super-criticality accidents. A rapid power increase inside the core of such a reactor could vaporize the fuel and blow the core apart. Far from "walk away safe," these on-paper designs have not been submitted to the kind of rigorous "all scenarios" testing that could definitively designate them as meltdown proof.

The reactor that consumes its own radioactive waste as fuel is not the waste management panacea its sounds like...


My dream from Aug 2015

13. I had a dream about Stewart and Trump the other day

In my dream Trump was massively popular with the GOP but before the primary was decided he announced he was dropping out of the race...

<dream gibberish about people angry>

Next he is onstage getting ready to speak and huge crowd of people are chanting Trump Trump Trump...

He starts speaking by calling Jon out on stage...

He then tells everyone that his entire campaign was a plan hatched between the Jon and himself to punk the idiots in the GOP (politicians) that were ruining the country.

Plan was:
- Tell them (the tea party crowd) anything they might want to hear - truth is no obstacle.

- Conduct a campaign designed to be completely lacking in any substantive information about what kind of president he might be.

- Offer 'policy solutions' that are as unrealistic as possible - the crazier the better.

Last part of plan - tell the political class of the GOP - publicly and to their faces - what idiots they are and how their approach to elections is what creates most of the real economic problems that make the lives of regular people so frightening.

I still have this rattling around in my brain. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw the predictable and dishonest defense by Fox of Melania's plagiarized speech.

It would be a nation-changing event if Trump aired such a documentary as part of his acceptance speech. Dumb, I know, but if only...

Trump's hair found to be map of known universe


We Can Stop Searching For The Clean Energy Miracle. It’s Already Here.

We Can Stop Searching For The Clean Energy Miracle. It’s Already Here.
BY JOE ROMM MAY 12, 2016 2:40 PM

Key climate solutions have been advancing considerably faster than anyone expected just a few years ago thanks to aggressive market-based deployment efforts around the globe. These solutions include such core enabling technologies for a low-carbon world as solar, wind, efficiency, electric cars, and battery storage.

That’s a key reason almost everything you know about climate change solutions is probably outdated. In Part 1 of this series, I discussed other reasons. For instance, climate science and climate politics have moved unexpectedly quickly toward a broad understanding that we need to keep total human-caused global warming as far as possible below 2°C (3.6°F) — and ideally to no more than 1.5°C. But the media and commentariat generally have not kept up with the science or solutions and their utterly game-changing implications.

This post will focus on the light-speed changes in clean energy technology that have left even the most informed journalists and experts behind, which in turn means the public and policy-makers are receiving outdated information.

The Clean Energy Miracle Is Already Here
Consider solar power. In recent days, both the Council on Foreign Affairs and the New York Times have published claims that were literally out-of-date the instant they were put on the internet.

Last week, Varun Sivaram, a smart young physicist who has worked on advanced solar, wrote this on the Council on Foreign Relations’ “Energy, Security, and Climate” blog:
Indeed, just this week, a Saudi-backed consortium placed an astonishingly low bid to build a solar farm in Dubai for only 3¢/kWh, half the local price of power from natural gas. Existing technologies may surprise us, as Dr. Romm suggests, especially if this bid turns into a contract and Dubai’s prices can be replicated elsewhere in the world. (I am skeptical, though, of the latter possibility).

This was part of a response...

‘An ugly mess’

‘An ugly mess’
U.P. ratepayers might still be on hook for millions in power plant refunds

July 10, 2016
By RYAN JARVI - Journal Staff Writer , Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Some Upper Peninsula electric customers may see rate increases if a federal oversight committee approves a compliance filing related to millions of dollars in overdue subsidy payments for the operation of three coal-fired generating facilities, including the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette.

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, which oversees the electrical grid in the Upper Midwest and part of Canada, filed a cost allocation plan in mid-June with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.

The plan allocates to multiple utilities System Support Resource payments, or SSR payments, of nearly $50 million, which was the total cost of operating the Presque Isle, White Pine and Escanaba power plants for a period between April 2014 and June 2015.

Andy Schonert, spokesman for MISO, said MISO previously assigned the costs but was ordered by FERC to create a new cost allocation method, which was later supported by FERC....


UK Hinkley nuclear plant estimate skyrockets $30 billion in past year.

Estimated cost of Hinkley Point C nuclear plant rises to £37bn
Critics point to volatility of scheme but energy department says price ‘will not affect bill payers’

Terry Macalister Energy editor Thursday 7 July 2016 15.57 EDT

The total lifetime cost of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant could be as high as £37bn, according to an assessment published by the UK government. The figure was described as shocking by critics of the scheme, who said it showed just how volatile and uncertain the project had become, given that the same energy department’s estimate 12 months earlier had been £14bn.

The latest prediction comes amid increasing speculation about the future of the controversial project in Somerset, whose existence has been put in further doubt by post-Brexit financial jitters.

Hinkley has been a flagship energy project for the British government and in particular for the chancellor, George Osborne, who lobbied hard and successfully for China to take a stake in the scheme.


... experts said the extra money, if the cost did remain at £37bn, would have to come from somewhere – probably the taxpayer – or be shaved off other DECC budgets available for different energy projects, such as windfarms and solar arrays. “This whole-life cost of £37bn is a truly shocking figure. It is an extraordinary ramp-up from last year’s figure, and just underlines how hard it is to get a real handle on the long-term cost of Hinkley,” said Paul Dorfman, senior research fellow at the Energy Institute, University College London...


Lithium-ion prices down 70%, opening up storage market opportunities

Stem: Lithium-ion prices down 70%, opening up storage market opportunities
By Robert Walton | June 30, 2016

Dive Brief:

- Greentech Media spoke with Stem Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Larsh Johnson, who revealed the company has seen a 70% decline in lithium-ion battery prices in the last year and a half, helping to open up new markets for storage that were inaccessible at higher price points.
- Stem has now installed 68 MWh of commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage, as improvements to energy density and discharge have attracted attention for their potential in providing grid services.
- GTM Research predicts average li-ion costs to decline to $217/KWh by 2020, but some battery makers are already below those prices, analysts say.

Dive Insight:
A decline in storage prices is expected to set off a boom similar to the solar industry, as panel costs fell, but several key companies are already finding lower prices and more opportunity as the technology advances.

"It’s happening. The capacity is out there," Stem CTO Larsh Johnson told GTM. Prices are down 70% in the last 18 months, and "the momentum continues...There are new markets opening up because of what we've seen in battery pricing."....


Real estate values increase near wind farm, Colorado assessor finds

Real estate values increase near wind farm, Colorado assessor finds
By Peter Maloney | June 27, 2016

Dive Brief:
- New data out of Colorado claims the real estate values in areas close to a large wind farm have risen, Fox 21 News reports.

- The data, from El Paso, Colorado County Assessor Steve Schleiker, tracked 931 single family residential sales with an assessed value of $173.8 million that sold for an aggregate $239.1 million.

- El Paso County is home to NextEra Energy’s 249 MW Golden West wind farm that began operation in October 2015 and earlier this year was the target of complaints from nearby residents concerned that the turbines were making them sick.

Dive Insight:
Concerns about wind power are often focused on the intermittent nature of the electricity they produce, but some critics say that wind farms can cause health problems that can prompt people to sell their houses and move, thus lowering property values. The phenomena has engendered a several reports.

The latest data in that debate comes from El Paso County, Colorado, where County Assessor Steve Schleiker has studied the results of recent home sales....
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