The Low Carbon Kid closes down the entire renewables industry.

Nuclear power can\’t happen without subsidy. So it shouldn\’t happen.

Facepalm.

There is absolutely no argument where this is true of nuclear but not of renewables.

21 comments on “The Low Carbon Kid closes down the entire renewables industry.

  1. Let’s be clear: the green Left doesn’t hate atomic power because of the cost, but because it works. The existence of atomic power destroys their claims that we need to dismantle Western industrial society and dramatically impoverish ourselves in order to reduce CO2 output. With nuclear, there’s no need to have an increasingly intrusive and authoritarian green priesthood micro-managing the lives of others in order to bully them into reducing their carbon footprints.

    That’s why they’re determined to lie and to lobby and to regulate the atomic energy industry out of existence.

  2. You’re being rather unsophisticated. I presume that the argument is “nuclear power can’t survive without subsidies forever, so shouldn’t happen”. Whereas with renewables the argument is that they need subsidies to get them started. You don’t have to agree, but to miss the difference is careless, or to gloss over it, deceptive.

  3. Low Carbon Kid claims that the cost of nuclear waste in the UK is £73 billion a year! Any evidence for this?

  4. Bad things are subsidised. Good things are investments.

    The Progressive mind tirelessly sorts the world into good and bad; everything is wheat or is chaff, is a sheep or a goat. There is nothing neutral. Everything must either be actively encouraged or actively discouraged. There are various criteria. Steve writes-

    Let’s be clear: the green Left doesn’t hate atomic power because of the cost, but because it works.

    This isn’t really the primary criterion here. The primary criterion is naturalnessness. As a rule of thumb, to a Progressive that which is natural is good whereas that which is not natural is bad. For instance, tobacco is an unnatural industrial product so is bad, marijuana is a natural product so is good.

    Nuclear power, as a pinnacle achievement of science and industrialism is profoundly unnatural. Windmills are natural, powered by the natural gifts of Mother Earth. So, the former is an unnatural subsidy, the latter is a natural investment.

    Or to put it another way, this is the usual addle-brained 18th century Romanticism in typical form.

    Anyway, it’s probably best at this stage of history to use neither of them and stick with the most efficient form of energy generation, fossil fuels. Unfortunately that triggers another Progressive criterion, this time derived primarily from 19th century Puritanism- the criterion of “dirtinessness”. We all know what cleanlinessness is next to…

  5. “I presume that the argument is…”

    This is a new and useful definition of sophistication: making stuff up instead of defending what was actually said. I’ll try that the next time one of my pet pigs gets questioned by someone better informed.

  6. The actual argument is even more nebulous than Connolley presumes:

    And to those who say we need nuclear newbuild to combat climate change, I say with the billions saved from scrapping all the currents subsidies listed above we could build the equivalent amount of new renewable generation plant and install more energy saving products far quicker and with far better value for money and far more British jobs.

    How many windmills is that? And the Severn barrage – presumably to perform that necessary Green function of devastating the ecosystem of the river.? And the chimeras of tidal and wave energy.

    And is it true that the British workface has a special aptitude for whatever jobs are required in the renewable energy sector?

    And of course, no costings or workings are supplied.

  7. Ian B, I agree. There is a sizeable proportion of the green movement that is obsessed by the idea of ‘naturalness’. It’s always bothered me.

    They never seem to have any problem with things like electric light, modern surgical techniques, drugs that actually work when it comes to providing for their families. They never have the courage of their convictions like say religions that prevent their adherents from having even life-saving surgery.

    Extolling naturalness as a virtue is an extremely stupid concept. Dying of plague, violence, rape, territoriality, most disease, natural toxins like dangerous mushrooms and poisonous berries are all natural and have been overcome by man’s desire to bend nature to his will.

    This is the main thing that has always creeped me out about the Greens.

  8. ” They never seem to have any problem with things like electric light”

    I find it amusing that you wrote that during Earth Hour.

  9. “I find it amusing that you wrote that during Earth Hour.”

    Point being that they’ll turn it off for an hour. Not do without. Also, there’s nothing ‘natural’ about a carbon filament in a vacuum tube or a hugely toxic eco-bulb.

    Or a campaign on the internet.

  10. Oh, I agree with you completely. It’s just amusing that you wrote that at the exact time some greenies were doing without light for a *whole hour*. The suffering, the sacrifice.

  11. I bet the bastards have all lit candles as well. Candles, made from paraffin.

    Tim adds: The organisers insist they should be beeswax or soy.

    And it’s 8.30 to 9.30 pm.

  12. I’m sure nthe irony escapes the eco-loons. Without electricity to power our lights and pcs, we might as well go to bed at sunset. Solar power, by definition, commits us to going to bed at sunset. North of the tropics, that entails a lot of wasted hours.

  13. William M. Connolley – “You’re being rather unsophisticated. I presume that the argument is “nuclear power can’t survive without subsidies forever, so shouldn’t happen”. Whereas with renewables the argument is that they need subsidies to get them started. You don’t have to agree, but to miss the difference is careless, or to gloss over it, deceptive.”

    Except that is almost certainly not true. Some forms of renewable may need up-front funding – hydro-electricity for instance – that is hard to get from the market in sufficiently large sizes. But it can be done. Some need funding to become economically viable. Solar may be in this situation.

    Nuclear has had that development funding. It does not need a lot any more although the design of new reactors is always nice. It is also true that like hydro-electric dams, nuclear reactors have huge up-front costs, but once they have paid those off, their power is cheap. Fuel costs are low. If reactors are designed properly, they should have life-expectancies running to 100 years or so – generating massive amounts of cheap power all the while.

    The problem with nuclear is largely the problem of Green obstruction and know-nothingness. That is why they need government support. Remove that and they will produce cheap clean power for decade after decade.

  14. Stuck-Record – “They never have the courage of their convictions like say religions that prevent their adherents from having even life-saving surgery.”

    Doesn’t even have to be life-saving surgery. I will take the Greens seriously once I meet once committed to renewable organic dentistry.

  15. the Green verdict on hydro is still out – take the Aswan dam and the Hoover Dam as exemplars of this. And bear in mind that the Colorado River is dammed in multiple locations. Similarly, the Tagus and Douro/Duero Rivers have been dammed many times for hydro….but I am unaware of any ecological assessments. The reason being that they will all condemn these Franco/Salazar projects. The UK has no rivers that get anywhere close to the Colorado, Tagus or Duero. And people still think that hydro is an option?

    And if you are still in favour, then you need to vote for a Fascist or Marxist dictator

  16. So what is the minimum flow rate to generate hydro power and can that kind of flow rate be created by engineering?

  17. Like Ritche, he doesn’t seem to like discussion and debate. Zero comments there, many comments here. I’ve tried to leave a comment – it’s not appeared.

  18. Martin Davies – “So what is the minimum flow rate to generate hydro power and can that kind of flow rate be created by engineering?”

    Is there a minimum flow rate? Power is directly related to the flow rate and to the height of the dam. The question really is how small is small. How small do you think it is worth it? Any flow can be used for hydroelectric power. But is it cost-effective to do so? There are mini-power schemes available, but I wouldn’t bother for most of them. Is a metre or so worth the time and trouble? Depends on what you want I suppose. If the flow rate is enormous, then probably. This is what tidal power schemes rely on, but I wouldn’t bother if you have a pre-Victorian mill race near you. Unless all the construction has been done and it all still works. And you want to make a statement.

    Costs tend to rise either in a linear fashion or in an exponential one. As a rule of thumb, linear costs apply to units getting bigger. Exponential ones to needing more units. The latter is often more important. One larger engine is thus often cheaper than two smaller ones. The number of parts has doubled and that tends to be more important than the fact that otherwise the parts would be bigger.

    So engineering is needed to create that height and sometimes that flow rate. We build dams for instance. A big dam contains a lot more concrete than a small one, but if it has about the same number of generators, the costs are lower per kilowatt generated. Also the amount of water they can impound is relatively larger. Thus with dams, the bigger, the better. If you build a huge dam then after you have paid off the cost of the construction, you are left with a huge asset that produces reliable power for centuries. This is why if we want to waste aid money, we ought to be wasting it on things like a dam on the Congo, which is one of the last great potential sites left in the world.

    We also sometimes dig tunnels and channels to move water from other watersheds to where the dams are. That is improves flow rates. So yes, we can.

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