This climate change thing

So what\’s stopping us? Partly cost, says Wolff. Hovering at around 10-20 US cents per kilowatt hour, CSP \”looks a little bit on the expensive side\”, compared with gas at about 5 cents. But this is likely to change when the volumes increase, he says. Indeed, three studies carried out by the German aerospace industry suggest that CSP could eventually become one of the cheapest sources of electricity in Europe. \”Until about 2017, electricity from CSP will probably be more expensive,\” concludes Wolff. But then, as economies of scale kick in, it will become cheaper and increasingly attractive.

As I keep noting, I really don\’t think that, even if we take everything the IPCC is saying as gospel truth, that climate change is going to be as big a problem as everyone else seems to think. As and when non carbon (solar isn\’t non carbon but it is low carbon) electrcity generation is as cheap as fossil fuel including carbon costs then we\’ll all naturally switch to it.

We\’re not far off that point as it is. When we get there then all we have to do is wait as the capital cycle replaces the wearing out fossil fuel systems with the new cheaper non fossil fuel systems. Here in Europe we\’ve already got the carbon taxes/cap and trade permits needed to price carbon properly. The technological advances are creating those non carbon generating systems at the right sort of prices.

We\’re done pretty much. The systems we needed to put into place to generate these technologies have done so: we\’ve already done what we needed to do.

No, I mean it. Once we\’ve got cheap non fossil fuel electricty everything else falls into place.

6 comments on “This climate change thing

  1. Someone, somewhere has to “create a market” in clean alternatives. At the moment, this needs a subsidy.

    All we need to do is wait until the technology matures, having let someone else pick up the bill.

  2. This CSP in the Sahara idea (Desertec Industrial Initiative) – do the cost estimates include the price of the military bases we will have to build there to ensure the local regimes are (and remain) friendly to us? If we get 15% of our electricity from this scheme, what is the cost of providing backup generating capacity locally in case supply is interrupted? Remember, we can have strategic reserves of oil and gas, but it’s not currently practical to do this on a large scale with electricity, so the effects of a break in supply are felt immediately.

  3. World Nuclear Organisation figures show French nuclear at 2.54 cents. There is enough radium to keep us going till the sun goes Nova & waste disposal is not a technical problem (merely a political one).

    I have no doubt that with a sane regulatory regime (nuclear is by orders of magnitude safer than any other generating method since falling off a 300ft windmills is terminal) the cost would be at least halved & if modern nuclear plants were being turned out on a production line much lower yet.

    When we have an unlimited source of very cheap non-polluting, CO2 free power demanding an unknown & probably mush more expensive alternative is daft.

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