BBC News – German nuclear review throws up new problems

Simple mathematics.

P = (N + F + W + S) + I

P = power consumption.
N = nuclear generated power.
F = fossil fuel generated power.
W = wind generated power.
S = solar generated power.
I = “imported” power. And this power’s source is an unknown, but probably cheapest possible.

If P is to remain constant, and nuclear power is to be minimized or reduced to 0 the following is true:

F, W, and S must increase proportionally to maintain P constant.
– AND/OR –
I must increase.

BBC News – German nuclear review throws up new problems.

There’s always a rub. In this day and age when our world’s energy consumption is rising at an alarming rate, and with the NIMBY attitude held by… well held by everyone, where is the solution? What is the end game in this dangerous game of chess with the environment, and the world’s citizens who do not have voices?

Regardless of your political, or idealistic thoughts on nuclear power, it is important to look at all aspects of the energy picture.

Just after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in March, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a review of energy policy and ordered Germany’s oldest reactors to be shut down immediately, and perhaps permanently.

Only a few months earlier, she had decided to keep the reactors running past their original shutdown dates.

But only now comes the hard bit. Power companies have warned of higher prices because of the shutdown; Germany has imported electricity to meet peaks in demand; analysts have warned that coal-fired power stations will be boosted – and nuclear ones in the nearby Czech Republic and France.

And right in the heart of the country, protest groups are raising their voices as they realise that rejigging a country’s energy industry means redirecting the transmission lines through their picturesque backyard.

This is the problem. First a knee-jerk reaction because of the terrible accident at Japan’s Fukushima reactor sites. I think a reaction is important, and required, but to categorically make decision of this magnitude without the proper forethought is rather rash, and will make it difficult to enact intelligent policies for the actual reduction of nuclear power. Let alone the increase of wind power. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about increasing “green” energy (whatever that is).

Secondly, it’s one thing to reduce one’s own generation of nuclear power, but if the consumed power is to stay constant, then you will have to rely on imported power. And interestingly that’s something that you, as a sovereign country, have no control over. If you buy power from the Czech Republic, then you have no say in how that power is generated.

Lastly, we all want a solution, we all want the comfort of the conveniences we have now. But, NIMBY comes back to bite you. (Not In My BackYard) As long as I don’t have the transmission lines running through my yard, as long as I can’t see the frightening cooling towers of the nuclear plant, as long as I can’t see the fossil fuel plants with the convoys of trucks carrying coal daily.

There is only one thing we all can do to help this planet. And that is every single one of us must reduce. Forget this silly “carbon footprint” bullshit. If you want to lose weight, don’t count points… eat less and get more exercise. It’s that simple. We must all reduce our power consumption. It will be inconvenient, but we must do it. And unlike many who criticize others because they aren’t doing “enough”, I just ask everyone to do something. Anything. Please. I will do the same. I’ve already started, I am not using my A/C, and it’s hotter than forty hells, but I’m persevering! I’m also going to string up a clothes line. I’ll keep you posted, and I’ll be honest too.

As you were.

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