Shell Pulls Out of Wind Project
Here’s the latest example: Royal Dutch Shell has decided to pull out of a huge off-shore wind energy project known as the London Array because of skyrocketing costs. The London Array is a proposed 1000 MegaWatt, or 1 GW wind farm that is slated to be built off the southeast coast of the
· Let’s assume the cost for the 1GW London Array is $2B BSP – we know it is more, but let’s use that round number. That’s about $4 Billion.
· Wind has a best case capacity factor of less than 30%, but let’s give this project the benefit of the doubt and assume the London Array will achieve a 30% CF.
· That means the usable electric energy will be 300 MW.
· $4 Billion for 300 MW? No one in their right mind would spend $4B for 300 MW! By comparison, a single
I know this is a bit of a simplification. I’ve used round number and back-of-the-napkin math, but it’s certainly not that far off. I used optimistic cost and capacity factor values for wind, and still wind is five times more expensive than nuclear generated electricity. The anti-nuclear crowd has been very successful in creating a perception that nuclear plants are very expensive to build. However, when you compare the cost of new nuclear plants with other forms of non-GHG emitting sources, it is the lowest cost and most reliable option available. I learned something else about the
Oh yea, and you’d have electricity when the wind isn’t blowing!
My last thought on this story is this: when are we going to change the definition of “green renewable energy” to include nuclear power?
The mainstream media has done a good job of associating images of large parabolic cooling towers with nuclear power plants. It's an inaccurate association because cooling towers are used in many large fossil fueled power plants, and many nuclear plants do not use cooling towers. Some examples in the
It's an example of anti-nuclear misinformation aimed at creating negative images and negative branding. Unfortunately the
The truth is the loss of a cooling tower might limit the power level to which the reactor could operate, but it would not prevent reactor operation. Even without the cooling tower the North Koreans could operate the reactor at low power levels.
But worse, the
Davis Geisen, an engineer who worked at the Davis Besse nuclear plant was sentenced to three years probation, four months house arrest, and a $7,500 fine for misleading the NRC about the status of the plant's reactor head in the fall of 2001. He was convicted in October of 2007 by a jury that deliberated for 26 hours, and faced up to $250,000 in fines and five years in prison. In 2006 the NRC banned Mr. Geisen from working in the nuclear industry for five years because he had willfully provided false information to NRC inspectors.FirstEnergy, the owner of the plant, has paid a record $33.5 million in fines for its role in the event in which severe corrosion was found on the reactor vessel head.