Estimates of comparative costs for weather dependent Renewables in Europe

Posted: July 9, 2016 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

Introduction This article is concerned with the two main forms of weather dependent Renewable Energy, Wind Power, (Onshore and Offshore) and Photovoltaic solar power.  In the UK this amounts to ~75…

Source: Estimates of comparative costs for weather dependent Renewables in Europe

  1. oldbrew says:

    And the winner by a long way is: natural gas.

  2. Stephen Richards says:

    I would prefer to the whole life costs specifically mentioned rather than the maintenance costs. I don’t know what is in the ‘maintenance’. How many of the wind and solar resources will need to be renewed in the 60 yr period and how is that accounted for in the estimated costs

  3. More grist for the (wind)mill.

  4. The winner should be Nuclear. According to an IEA/OECD report it is already the cheapest electricity producer in Asia and Europe. It is the cleanest, and has the smallest footprint. It is the most reliable and if one takes the whole supply line, and the energy produced it is also the safest.
    If one counts water vapor as a “greenhouse” gas then electricity generation with natural gas is a greater emitter of “greenhouse” gases than coal. There are no technical problems with nuclear energy that can not be overcome by good engineering. The only drawback with nuclear energy is political scaremongering and lack of competent people in politics.

  5. Curious George says:

    There don’t have to be any costs. Just revert to a pre-industrial-revolution lifestyle, as Greens want us to. Why they don’t lead this march I can not understand.

  6. oldmanK says:

    On the basis of 60 years you can make the numbers say what you want, with a little tickling.

    By far the major cost in CC plant generation with distillate is the fuel. The cost of that has changed dramatically between 1995 and 2015, the economical lifetime for such plant. Gas, on the other hand was available dirt-cheap (particular opportunity) on 20 year contracts, if one was smart enough to act in time.

    With nuclear, it will take hundreds of year to fully quantify the maintenance costs, and these have many times proved to be high– even if you build in someone else’s back yard.

  7. Sorry oldmanK get the OECD/IEA report. Look at the actual costs of relatively new nuclear power stations in South Korea, Hong Kong or Taiwan and older power stations in France, Finland or Switzerland. In one of the Cantons of Switzerland the people voted in a referendum to continue with nuclear power and install another unit. I recently saw a video on a a US nuclear submarine. It could stay under water and circle the globe for 20 years. Russia has 6 nuclear powered ice-breaker- one just launched has two reactors. One of the latter nuclear reactors could be producing cheap safe power in the Isle of Mann. The future is with nuclear power and the sooner there is a recognition of that and governments allow research and development the better.

  8. oldmanK says:

    @ cementafriend: As a power unit, and in the right hands-important- nuclear is beautiful. It is when things go wrong (and there are now quite a handful of examples) then the costs go through the roof. And that without consideration (financial and technical) of the problem of what to do with the spent fuel, which then seriously detracts from its beauty.

    To me, dumping the spent fuel and other contaminated material in the oceans or using it as projectiles is absolutely No-Go.