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. . . and that coal and nuclear are the cheapest?

In the current issue of Nature, page 872 shows a comparison of costs of producing electricity.

The cheapest is coal without carbon capture storage ("CCS"). Then nuclear. Followed by coal "with mature CCS", then municipal solid waste, then wind onshore, biomass, wind offshore and finally, at the extreme end of cost is solar photovoltaic.

So - if you don't like coal, then it seems that nuclear is the way to go. Or do you disagree with the findings presented by Nature?
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EDIT @ gcnp58

No, I don't want to ask that. You go off into your tie-dyed world of living by candlelight if you like, and good luck to you. But please don't try and force the rest of the world to conform to your vision for it. There's a word for that.
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The real question here is why not build more Coal Power stations, all with catalytic converters and filters so that only CO2 and water vapour are vented - no acid rain, no particulate carbon, no pollution. Coal can be cheap and clean if you ignore the Warmist bogeyman of CO2. Are you willing to force everyone in the world to pay four times the current price for electricity to eliminate harmless CO2 emissions?
This will cause poverty and deaths through freezing in Winter and heat exhaustion in Summer.
PV Cells are nearly as dirty to build as the mercury long life fluorescent bulbs that wamists seem to like so much: both are major polluters of land-fills with heavy metals.
If you realy want to save electricity you would change building codes to make 1 metre eaves mandatory (Cheapest Air-con possible) and ban down-lights in ceilings, punching holes through your ceiling insulation is just plain stupid, and 1 pendant light casts the same illumination as 4 downlights.
 
There's nothing wrong with nuclear, and AGW proponents are generally in favor of it. It is certainly better than coal, but it does have its problems. Deciding which is better should be based on a reasonable cost-benefit analysis, comparing construction cost, operating cost, storage of waste, insurance, and anything else that you can think to throw in there. The Greenpeace types who oppose nuclear at all costs do not help, but neither do the Limbaugh types who insist that it is cheaper than dirt and always will be.

But anyway I find your interpretation of the graph a little misleading. It clearly shows ranges for prices, and virtually all of them overlap with each other. PV has the largest range of all of them. I don't know why that is but suspect that part of the reason is that PV is much more viable in some places than others.

Here it is for those who'd like to see, reproduced shamelessly without permission:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4373254543_8739b8bac1_o.jpg

And just to be extra nitpicky, these are not "findings" from Nature. The article is just about CCS, it was not a study of the costs of various energy technologies. The graph came from Bloomberg, not Nature.
 
$ per Kw, absolutely, unless its a passive system.
 
Nothing really new. That is why the utility industry was trying to shift over to Nuclear in the 70's and 80's until our well educated "Environmentalists" killed our Nuclear program. All studies done then (there were millions, if not billions spent on research) resulted in the same conclusion. Solar, Wind, Geo, etc. were all good, but had limitations and could not practically supply the massive amount of reliable 24/7/365 power needed for our society. Same as today. Physics and Math stay the same. Politics sways in the breeze.

Now we find ourselves in a fix. We could be sitting pretty and not producing a lot of CO2 as well as telling the mid east oil merchants to **** off. Countries like France were smart. They produce most of their power with Nuclear.

That is what we get for listening to "Environmentalists" instead of Engineers, Chemists, and Economists.
 
they wont be saying that when petrol is $20 a gal
 
Typically those costs analyses don't factor in disposal of nuclear waste. The range on those costs are also quite large, and CCS/coal and nuclear overlap, so you are misinterpreting the results. A more correct way to state it is that CCS/coal costs roughly the same as nuclear, except the former does not have the hidden costs of long-term storage of nuclear waste. Of course, there will also be issues associated with CCS technology that are unknown at present.

But your question displays a very simplistic take on the article, and one slanted by your political bias.

The real question you should be asking is that if all available power generation technologies are expensive, impractical, or will entail unforeseen and possibly large drawbacks, why is there so much resistance to large-scale energy conservation and use-reduction programs? But you don't want to ask that, do you?
 
True now (although not by that much), as a general rule but it won't be later. Even now, solar is cheaper in an isolated rural area than running power lines to a single house.

Right now, we do need nuclear, simply because the risks of global warming are clearly greater than those of nuclear power. The eventual goal should be truly renewable energy; solar, wind, geothermal, etc. But that will take 30-50 years, and we need to get away from fossil fuels sooner than that..
 
Yes, solar is currently the most expensive in most cases.

However, comparing 'mature CCS' with current PV is silly. It makes as much sense as comparing 'mature PV' with current CCS, in which case the PV would look fantastic and the CCS awful.



You notice the graph has a very large spread for PV; this probably accounts for the large range in prices (CdTe modules are about half the price per kW of silicon ones), and in how sunny places are (Californian panels will produce over twice as much as British ones). The cheapest PV panels, according to Nature, need to drop in price by about 35% in order to match the price of the most expensive normal coal. (and the price of coal they demonstrate doesn't appear to include externalities, which more than double its real cost anyway)

Iirc, FirstSolar contracts are based on a price fall of 8%/yr for the next few years. 'Mature' PV is likely to see significant further price drops which may well make it cheaper than CCS in many areas (eg areas that are sunny, but don't have nearby geological storage sites say).


Solar is worth investing limited amounts in now in sunny areas to encourage the market to continue to develop the technology - it's one for the future and I think the signs are pretty encouraging that by 2020 (and possibly before) it'll be cost effective in sunny areas.
 
Yes, at this time solar is more expensive then fossil fuels.Any alternative energy is more expensive,our society and economies depend on oil.The easy oil has been found,now we go for the deeper and harder oil. There is still lots of oil out there(it took 150yrs to get to this point it will take another 150yrs to use up whats left)As oil gets more difficult to find and refine it will get more expensive,we are going to have to decide whether we want fertilizers or fuel.Its a real good time to be exploring the possibilities of alternative energy
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