I’ve just been sent a document from a reader of this blog. The document is worrying, in that it’s conclusions are that we need to build new nuclear plants. And quick if we’re not going to build more coal and gas powered generating plants. Here’s just a small segment of the article.
This is from the paragraph headed “Reducing emissions”.
It needs to be appreciated that the fossil fuel removed has to be replaced by electricity because this is what nuclear, wind, wave, solar deliver. On these figures, by 2027 we would need to build 140 + 288 = 428 TWh of new electricity output; by 2050, 428 + 653 = 1081TWh. These figures should be compared with the total UK electricity production in 2008 of around 360 TWhr.
The number of installations required to generate the electricity to replace fossil fuels (see Table 2) depend on their capacity and availability. A 1,600 MW Areva-type nuclear reactor working at 80% availability generates 11 TWh/y, so around 13 would need to be built to meet the 2020 target; an impossible task. A 3 MW wind turbine with 75m blades on an 80m mast onshore has achieved average availability of around 24%,while for offshore 30% future availability is claimed yielding 6.3 GWhy and 7.9 GWh/y respectively. To meet the 2020 target would require 20,000 and 16,000 turbines respectively; an equally impossible task over the next nine years (six to be built every day). The 2027 target is even further out of reach.
I think I can safely say. We’re screwed. I’m off to buy some more candles.
There’s a little bit more over at Bishop Hill