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Old 07-31-2010, 06:14 AM
Location: Tower of Heaven
4,023 posts, read 7,254,548 times
Reputation: 1450


PARIS — Solar photovoltaic systems have long been painted as a clean way to generate electricity, but expensive compared with other alternatives to oil, like nuclear power. No longer. In a “historic crossover,” the costs of solar photovoltaic systems have declined to the point where they are lower than the rising projected costs of new nuclear plants, according to a paper published this month.
“Solar photovoltaics have joined the ranks of lower-cost alternatives to new nuclear plants,” John O. Blackburn, a professor of economics at Duke University, in North Carolina, and Sam Cunningham, a graduate student, wrote in the paper, “Solar and Nuclear Costs — The Historic Crossover.”

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Old 07-31-2010, 07:12 AM
Location: Long Island
31,734 posts, read 18,695,650 times
Reputation: 9277
now if we could only get the cost down at the consumer level (ie the cost to put in a solar electric system on your house) that for some reason keeps going UP, we would be in businesss
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:14 AM
Location: San Diego, CA
4,885 posts, read 8,195,684 times
Reputation: 1911
I honestly don't believe this to be true. There is the issue that most of the output estimates for solar use mythical "peak output" numbers which literally never ever occur. Even if you estimate the peak output to be 80% of the claimed number you're still talking about peak output only during about 30 minutes of each day going only the way down to zero output for half of the 24 hour cycle. That means the utilization rate of solar in down in the single digits. You spend all this money building a solar plant and you have to pay for it day in, day out but you're only getting a certain amount of utilization out of that equipment. With nuclear (or any traditional power source) you routinely and easily get 99.9% utilization rates and that's the kind of numbers real corporate managers are going to go for not 8%-10% utilization rates with solar.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:58 AM
1 posts, read 839 times
Reputation: 10
Default Technical Consulting Services


The reactor type you are describing is not available. A lot of research and development would be needed to develop this technology for productive applications. We probably talk about a time frame of 30 to 50 years, if not even longer.
The costs for the development are very difficult to estimate and therefore the costs indicated above might be (and probably are) wrong. In the history of nuclear power, the cost of development have always been tremendously under estimated.
We should only use as much energy as we are able to produce with sustainable technologies. Demand of energy has to follow available supply of sustainable energy. This will have many positive side effects, too.

[URL="http://www.sterling-energy.com"]Technical Consulting Services[/URL]
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:27 AM
3,554 posts, read 7,735,414 times
Reputation: 2346
And yet ALL OF THEM cost more than the;

...least expensive,
...most cost effective,
...cleanest environmentally,
...safest, method of "generating" more power.


Why is this? Because every time any serious person tries to bring up conservation they get painted as "trying to make us freeze in the dark, like Jimmy Carter did". Of course the truth is much different.

I just looked at my electric bills for the first 8 months of 2010. The low was 243 kwh and the high was 357. This is not a small place, it's about 2799 square feet, has a 30 cu ft refrigerator, we do an average of 4 loads of wash per week the computer is on an average of 8 hours a day, many times in the evenings both TVs are on simultaneously, electric garage opener etc.

We are never uncomfortable, we run the heater in winter but have not turned on the A/C the last two summers. We have good window shades, great insulation, gas heat but an electric stove.

The energy provider (city) sent crews around to chat people up regarding signing up for the program where they could remotely shut off the A/C during peak hours. I showed the team our consumption during the summer months and suggested they pinpoint households to talk to based on consumption rather than just going door-to-door.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:15 AM
33,389 posts, read 34,046,814 times
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golfgod is right, we really need to reduce the amount of electricity we use. and while solar is getting less expensive, it still has a long way to go to be a viable energy source. with nuclear energy, we at least have a reliable source of energy, and uranium, being a metal, is 100% recyclable. the problem s that right now we use only 5% of the available energy from nuclear fuel rods. we really need to get that up to 80% for nuclear to be truly economical.
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:15 PM
3,554 posts, read 7,735,414 times
Reputation: 2346
I'm not sure that I believe any of the numbers (at least in the US) about the cost of nuclear energy. I was involved in supplying some items to the South Texas Nuclear Plant in the '70s/'80s. This was a joint venture between Houston Lighting and Power, City of Austin and IIRC another user. The cost overruns (Brown and Root I think) were something that would have made a thief blush.

I remember after it was completed and on-line reading or hearing somewhere that STNP comprised 90%-95% of HL&P's CAPITAL, and produced about 5% of its energy.

Hard to tell how it's all shaken out this many years later. Texas deregulated electric rates when Bush was governor so the price per kwh is all over the board. A couple of years ago a buddy of mine was bragging that "the free market is helping me" my rate is around 11 or 12 cents" He isn't saying now because I've heard horror stories of people paying 15-18 cents/kwh lately!!!!

For the record the lowest electric rates in TX are, and as far as I can tell pretty much have been for years in San Antonio. Of course theirs is a CITY OWNED utility. Ah yes, another case of that "horrible inefficient government" doing a better job for rate payers than the vaunted private sector.
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:34 PM
1,290 posts, read 2,529,379 times
Reputation: 686
Hmmmmm, how big a solar panel does one need. Reason I ask, I'm sitting on almost 2,000 megawatts of atomic juice. the whole place is sprawled all over about 30 acres. Not to mention the 13,000 acre lake that was built for the place, now enjoyed by countless homeowners and visitors. 800 acre state park, and we just sit here nice a quietly making the lights work. I'm all for alternatives, but I think solar would be better on a small scale rather than trying to compete as a replacement.
For the record, right now natural gas is cheaper to burn through turbines and retrofitted coal plants than nukes are. That's one of the reasons you here talk of additional reactors all over the country, but few ar moving dirt right now.
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