Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A short letter today comparing the costs of nuclear & windmills. I had a previous series of letters debating the cost of nuclear in which Professor Salter claimed my statement about French nuclear electricity costing 1/4 as much as from windmills in which he was proven wrong & indeed in which another writer proved that I had also understimated the disparity through omitting the carbion levy subsidy. This costing is higher because offshore windmills are more expensive tnam normal ones & taking the base cost of new reactors which is, or at least van be if government let it, even cheaper than French.
The tenfold reduction in the energy efficiencies Professor Stephen Salter seeks to explain (Letters, 19 September) is an automatic result of the renewablists trying to find new and innovative ways to measure "efficiency".
I have seen them using thermal efficiency, efficiency of input fuel, payback time in terms of CO2 (measuring production in myriad competing methods), cost per construction, cost in continuous optimum wind levels etc, all of them misleading.
In the real world, we use cost because money very efficiently correlates all the various inputs required to pay for things.
In money, the 8,000 offshore windmills the UK government intends to build will cost at least £100 billion, while six off-the-shelf-nuclear reactors would produce the same power and cost under £6 billion – a 17-1 cost ratio. If the renewablists want to pay that much more on what they consider ethical grounds, let them say so.