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  1. #141
    Quote Originally Posted by Masark View Post
    The prime problem with nuclear is that it is really fucking expensive. EIA figures put the cost at just under $6000/kW for construction, and about $100/kW/year in O&M.

    For comparison, wind sits at about $1900/kW and $40/kW/year.

    Solar is about $2700/KW and $23/kW/year

    Combined cycle natural gas is $978/kW and $11/kW/year, plus $3.50/MW-hour.
    Do not be fooled by the cost rhetoric. This is how CGN (one of the largest nuclear construction companies), approximates construction costs of nuclear power stations from companies around the globe. Reactor type and cost:

    Image is from the CGN conference meeting
    Note that for example the VVER-1000 reactor has a constant close to a 1000MW+ output (3000 MW of thermal energy, actual electrical output depends on turbine efficiency, which is somewhere between 32 and 37%, depending on a model). This is a case when nominal power output means actual power output.
    When they say that solar power costs 2700 / KW, they conveniently do not mention that this is nominal power. And in this case, this point is very important, because actual power is going to be somewhere in the region of 15-20% of the nominal output over an average day. Basically, a solar plant operates only for a few hours per day, and spends the rest being idle. So even if we completely discard the notion of needing to store your power for those 18 idle hours to average out your output, actual costs of KW/h are going to be at the very least 5 times higher than stated. Add costs of storage to that. Add the fact that if you use storage, you will have enormous energy losses (under 50% is the best non chemical storage I am aware of in terms of efficiency, best chemical is 90% -ish, but it is extremely expensive to run and totally not green).
    Germans and french actually did calculations regarding this issue some years ago. Not sure if it was published anywhere though. I think it was mentioned in one of the debriefings we got regarding a possible project in Crimea (they plan to expand wind farms there). Basically, to go solar+wind Germany needs to increase electricity prices by about x13 from the current ones. That is if they would be able to exchange enough power with France to transfer excess power during day time, and siphon enough during night time (from their nuclear power stations) for a mutual 0 balance. But do not quote me on that. I might be completely off. Just seems plausible if we factor in all of the above. Optimistic even. That is going to screw with France's energy grid in a royal way though. So even if it is theoretically possible, practical issues (like coming up with a new nuclear reactor that can power up and down in a 24h period) are just too severe.
    PS: Also, regarding the VVER-1000 costs per KW, this number is a little larger than it should be. Belorussian NPS got a contract in 2010 for 2400 MW power plant construction, based on V-392B VVER-1000 reactors for under 6 billion. That makes it around 2500 per KW for a recently updated model.
    Last edited by Gaaz; 2017-12-23 at 01:03 AM.

  2. #142
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaaz View Post
    Add the fact that if you use storage, you will have enormous energy losses (under 50% is the best non chemical storage I am aware of in terms of efficiency, best chemical is 90% -ish, but it is extremely expensive to run and totally not green).
    Some 96% of the grid connected storage existing today is pumped hydro. Round trip efficiency of pumped hydro is 70-80%.
    "There is a pervasive myth that making content hard will induce players to rise to the occasion. We find the opposite. " -- Ghostcrawler
    "Almost every time I have gotten to know a critic personally, they keep up with the criticism but lose the venom." -- Ghostcrawler
    "Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome." -- Samuel Johnson

  3. #143
    Quote Originally Posted by Osmeric View Post
    Some 96% of the grid connected storage existing today is pumped hydro. Round trip efficiency of pumped hydro is 70-80%.
    Ugh... Not going to argue with that. For example, Dinorwig Power Station claims a 75% efficiency cycle. For some reason I was fixated on small scale storage that is less efficient. I really need to go to sleep . These things cost like a nuclear power station though. The Dinorwig Power Station has a 9GW total storage (9 hours of a single VVER-1000 running full capacity), and cost $5.6 billion in today's money. As I mentioned before, you can really build a 2.4 GW nuclear station for this amount. And it will not run out of juice in 4 hours. But yeah, I stand corrected. You can store 75% -ish with those.
    That actually got me thinking - 9GW is about the capacity that is needed for the OP solar plant to store 10 days of energy reserve. Guess they should add something like that to the bill.
    Last edited by Gaaz; 2017-12-23 at 02:50 AM.

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