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Nickel phosphide nanoparticle shown to be efficient non-noble metal electrocatalyst for hydrogen production

In the electrochemical reduction of water to molecular hydrogen, the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is facilitated by noble metal catalysts such as platinum (Pt), which generate large cathodic current densities for this reaction at low overpotentials.

A research team led by Raymond Schaak, a professor of chemistry at Penn State University, now reports that nanoparticles of nickel phosphide (Ni2P)—the two component elements of which are inexpensive and earth-abundant—have demonstrated among the highest HER activity of any non-noble metal electrocatalyst reported to date. A paper on the work is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Schaak’s team came to investigate Ni2P as an HER catalyst by first recognizing commonalities between HER and hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalysts; Ni2P is a well-known HDS catalyst.

One non-precious-metal alternative to Pt is MoS2, which has high HER activity and exhibits good stability in acidic solutions. MoB and Mo2C have also been identified as active HER catalysts in both acidic and alkaline solutions.

The first-row metal nickel, which is significantly more abundant than Mo, is often used as an electrocatalyst for the HER, with active electrocatalysts produced by use of alloys such as Ni−Mo, Ni−Mo−Zn, Ni−Fe,9 and Ni−P. These Ni-based catalysts are not, however, stable in acidic solutions, in which proton exchange membrane-based electrolysis is feasible and operational. Addition of nitrogen to Ni−Mo, to form Ni−Mo−N composites, has been shown to significantly improve the acid stability of such alloys, but such systems still show significantly lower HER activity and/or stability in acidic solutions than noble metals such as Pt.

MoS2, an active earth-abundant HER electrocatalyst, is also highly active for hydrodesulfurization (HDS). Both HDS and the HER rely on the catalyst to reversibly bind H2, with H2 dissociating to produce H2S in HDS and with protons bound to the catalyst to promote the formation of H2 in the HER.

...These commonalities between the mechanisms and putative active sites of MoS2 for both HDS and HER catalysis suggest that other materials that are known HDS catalysts may also provide active electrocatalysts for the HER. Nickel phosphide (Ni2P)...is a well-known HDS catalyst, and Ni2P also produces H(g) via the water−gas shift reaction.

—Popczun et al.

To create the nickel phosphide nanoparticles, team members began with metal salts that are commercially available. They then dissolved these salts in solvents, added other chemical ingredients, and heated the solution to allow the nanoparticles to form. The researchers were able create a nanoparticle that was quasi-spherical—not a perfect sphere, but spherical with many flat, exposed edges.

The small size of the nanoparticles creates a high surface area, and the exposed edges means that a large number of active sites are available, Schaak explained.

Team members at the California Institute of Technology test the nanoparticles’ performance in catalyzing the necessary chemical reactions. Led by Nathan S. Lewis, the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, the researchers placed the nanoparticles onto a sheet of titanium foil and immersed that sheet in a solution of sulfuric acid. Next, the researchers applied a voltage and measured the current produced. They found that not only were the chemical reactions happening as they had hoped, they also were happening with a high degree of efficacy.

They tested more than 20 individual Ni2P electrodes and found that the HER activities were highly consistent. Their overpotentials compared favorably to the behavior of other non-Pt HER electrocatalysts in acidic aqueous solutions with similar mass loadings, including bulk Mo2C and MoB, Mo2C nanoparticles deposited on carbon nanotube supports, MoS2 nanoparticles anchored on reduced graphene oxide, and unsupported Ni−Mo−N nanosheets.

Faradaic yields for hydrogen evolution of the Ni2P nanoparticles and of Pt nanoparticles were estimated by maintaining catalyst-loaded Ti foil working electrodes at a cathodic current of 10 mA for 50 min, resulting in passage of 30 C of charge. Over 50 minutes, Ni2P and Pt produced identical amounts of H2, and the amount of H2 evolved agreed closely with the theoretical value based on Faraday’s law, implying a quantitative faradaic yield.

In summary, nanostructured Ni2P, with a high accessible surface area and a high density of exposed (001) facets that have been predicted to be active for catalyzing the HER, is indeed an active HER electrocatalyst. Because Ni2P is also a well-known HDS catalyst (as is MoS2), these observations suggest that other known HDS catalysts are also interesting candidates for identifying new highly active, earth-abundant HER electrocatalysts.

Furthermore, chemical substitution and additional nanostructuring efforts, both of which have been demonstrated to improve catalytic HDS performance, are promising routes to possibly obtaining further improvement in the HER activity of Ni2P, as well understanding in detail the relationship between the HER activity and the quantity and characteristics of different exposed facets of Ni2P in such systems.

—Popczun et al.

In addition to Schaak and Lewis, other researchers who contributed to this study include Eric J. Popczun, Carlos G. Read, Adam J. Biacchi, and Alex M. Wiltrout from Penn State; and James R. McKone from the California Institute of Technology.

The research was funded by the US National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy. The team has filed a patent application.

Resources

  • Eric J. Popczun, James R. McKone, Carlos G. Read, Adam J. Biacchi, Alex M. Wiltrout, Nathan S. Lewis, and Raymond E. Schaak (2013) Nanostructured Nickel Phosphide as an Electrocatalyst for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction. Journal of the American Chemical Society doi: 10.1021/ja403440e

Comments

HarveyD

Future hydrogen filling stations could use this technology (or others) to transform e-energy locally produced with a wind turbines of PVs (or e-grid energy only when required)?

In practice, such hydrogen stations would used very little energy from the grid?

Davemart

@Harvey:
That is essentially what the German's are doing, electrolysing wind, only without the benefit of this new catalyst.

The fly in the ointment is that the electrolyser only gets used when it is very windy and there is surplus power, which means that the costs for the electrolyser are amortised over fewer hours per year and costs go up.

Cheaper catalysts would obviously help, but there is still a very large disadvantage compared to using dedicated nuclear plants which use the electrolysers all the time.

Bob Wallace

Hydrogen is already a lossy way to store electricity compared to batteries.

We'd start with higher cost (nuclear) electricity, lose a bunch of energy in the water -> conversion and in compressing the hydrogen. Then we'd lose some more energy turning it back into electricity to run a motor.

That doesn't make sense to me.

Install a lot of wind turbines. Use cheaper off-peak/low demand electricity to charge batteries when EVs are parked at night.

More wind turbines charging EVs at night would mean more cheap wind energy on the grid during the day which would bring down the cost of grid electricity.


Davemart

Bob:
The problem is one of scale.
Building batteries to take the amount of power needed to cover renewables means that battery capacities way, way above anything remotely doable is needed.
Analysis here:
http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/08/nation-sized-battery/

Note that I was not saying that electrolysis and hydrogen is anything other than very lossy, it is just that that is the desperate straights that renewables get into because they are such a flawed resource for other than a minor role.

That is why the Germans are emphasising hydrogen with all its failings.

I said that nuclear and hydrogen is more efficient, which it is, as the electrolyser is utilised much more of the time.

This is inherent to the technology, and not a chance thing.

Using nuclear though it is relatively easy to avoid needing to convert to hydrogen at all, as using UK figures as those are the ones I am most familiar with, summer minimum demand is around 30GWe, winter maximum around 60GWe.

Running the UK light vehicle fleet on batteries would take around 8GWe.

We would like to charge them at night mostly though, so for the six hours of minimum demand at night we might want ~32GWe.

So the boost in demand from running cars on electric would mean that the proportional difference between summer and winter is much reduced.

No such considerations apply for renewables, as the solar component assuming that as in Germany virtually 100% of daytime demand in summer is taken up by solar.

Since that more or less does not exist at all in winter the gap to start with is coming on for 60Gwe not 30GWe, before we start trying to run cars.

As for your comments about wind, the Germans have thought of that.
If you have a look around, you will find out why they have been reduced to trying to store the wind when it is blowing hardest inefficiently as hydrogen.

The numbers don't work out.
That is why the Germans reckon they are going to have to throw 1 trillion Euros at it, incidentally enough to not only supply the vast majority of their power from nuclear, but to buy battery electric cars for most of the population.

Engineer-Poet

Your wind turbines would have to be backed up by combustion turbines to keep the EVs at an acceptable state of charge.  That's the problem with wind:  all our regular ideas of how to store energy are at too small a scale.  Then you've got the issue of long-distance transmission from the parts which have wind to the parts which do not.

Maybe hydrogen electrolysis has a future, but I suspect it is not going to fly for combustion fuels until I'm long gone.  High-value stuff like monomers will become economic first, and will sequester carbon in durable products.

Bob Wallace

Dave, I'd recommend being a bit cautious using Tom Murphy's math. He tends to set things up so that they will fail.

He did a real hatchet job on pump-up hydro.
--

It will all come down to math.

Nuclear shows no signs of being cheaper per kWh than wind, solar, geothermal, or hydro. Probably not cheaper than tidal.

Electricity from any of those sources can be stored "long term". Wind at 5 cents per kWh stored at 10 cents will be cheaper than nuclear at 12 cents stored at 10 cents. 15 < 22.

Will hydrogen storage be cheaper than pump-up hydro or CAES for long term storage? We don't have that answer yet.

Will hydrogen storage be cheaper than battery short term (two daily cycle) storage? Likely not.

We've already probably got 'two-cycle' battery storage at 10 cents/kWh with prices likely to fall. (Eos)

That's a LCOE price which includes financing, losses, profits, taxes, etc. It does not include the price of input electricity.

The question is whether hydrogen could be put in place and sell itself for less than 10 cents/kWh. I've seen no one generate that number.

Our 'best storage' answer is far from being answered. And there are at least three different types of storage needed - grid smoothing, 'two-cycle', and long term.

Bob Wallace

"Your wind turbines would have to be backed up by combustion turbines to keep the EVs at an acceptable state of charge."

No. You set up a failed argument.

We could back up wind turbines with some form of storage such as pump-up hydro. We might use turbine backup due to lower cost, but that's a financial decision, not a technical issue.

Plus we probably need much less EV/wind backup than you imagine. 100 mile range EVs are sort of like Henry's T that didn't have an electric starter or fuel pump. Just a temporary condition in the evolution of the beast.

When we have 200 mile range EVs most people will be able to skip one or multiple nights of charging. On a widely connected grid there is usable wind far more often than many people realize. It's not the wind doesn't blow for a week.
--

We're building HVDC transmission lines right now. There's a new line leading out of Texas. One is underway moving wind from Oklahoma to Tennessee. One is being worked on to move wind from Wyoming to the West Coast. And Tres Amigas is being developed, right now they are acquiring real estate.

Davemart

Bob, dismissing an argument such as Tom's because he disagrees with you is not on.
You have made no substantial critique at all.

Some of your statements are also without foundation of any sort.
You claim:
'Nuclear shows no signs of being cheaper per kWh than wind, solar, geothermal, or hydro. Probably not cheaper than tidal.'

Umpteen levelised cost analysis show this is not the case.
Here is one of them:
http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/levelized-costs-of-new-electricity-generating-technologies/

Most levelised costs do not even take into account the costs of making up for the intermittency of most renewables, and that is an additional huge burden.

In view of the fact that I can frequently see no relationship at all between your claims and anything which is recognised by energy analysis from the likes of the DOE and every other respected source, it would seem that further discussion will not be profitable.


As for the rest, if you think that wind is easy to integrate, you had better get on the phone to the Germans fast, as they are expending huge sums and using all means imaginable to do so, including as mentioned a heavy reliance on electrolysis and hydrogen.

Why on earth do you think they are doing so if it is all as simple as you claim?

Engineer-Poet
We could back up wind turbines with some form of storage such as pump-up hydro.

"Such as", but pumped hydro cannot scale so it would have to be something else.  Like what?  (Hand-waving doesn't generate enough breeze to fill the calm spells, sadly.)

We might use turbine backup due to lower cost, but that's a financial decision, not a technical issue.

Turbine backup means you either need lots of renewable fuel, or your "renewable" energy grid, isn't.  You would be far better off with nuclear.

Plus we probably need much less EV/wind backup than you imagine. 100 mile range EVs are sort of like Henry's T that didn't have an electric starter or fuel pump. Just a temporary condition in the evolution of the beast.

Pardon me if I don't accept this hand-waving as an answer either.  The battery pack for the Chevy Volt (Opel Ampera) costs several thousand dollars, but absorbing Germany's current solar-PV generation peaks would require roughly half a Volt per capita.  Buffering RE cycles lasting several days would require many times more capacity.  I expect battery prices to fall by a factor of two, but a factor of ten seems far less likely.

Vehicle batteries are an excellent solution to grid regulation problems involving cycles of seconds to minutes.  They are a very poor solution to generation booms and busts lasting days.

When we have 200 mile range EVs most people will be able to skip one or multiple nights of charging.

Given how much a 90-mile EV costs today, and that a 200-mile EV would cost about the same even after a 2x battery cost reduction, I don't see this as being a solution.  Besides, a penetration of 60 kWh EVs at 10 million per year only creates 600 GWh/yr of storage, or about 80 minute's worth for average grid load.  To get up to storage for a couple of days would require ~40 years of vehicle production and all the batteries remaining in use (and not losing capacity)... assuming that their entire capacity was always available for grid backup.  This shows you just how hard it is to scale conventional ideas up to the required size, and hard=expensive.

We are much better off with nuclear power, because nukes have capacity factors as high as 90%.  Nukes benefit from storage even more than RE does.  That storage can be cycled daily, which lowers capital cost per kWh.  There is a reason that the Ludington pumped storage plant isn't far from the Palisades nuclear plant.

Engineer-Poet

I mean US grid load, if that wasn't clear (~450 GW average).

JMartin

EP, Your argument that we are better off with nuclear power may be technically and financially accurate, on paper. Unfortunately, someone has to step up with substantial capital investments looking for a 30-50 year payoff. When private investors are willing to do that, fine. In this environment of technology change, I do not see that happening. The cost of solar will be much lower before many nuclear plants ever get built. It is just too much money for too long a period of risk (financial risk).

Bob Wallace

Dave - do you really want to use the IER as a factual source? Check into them before believing what they post.

"The Institute for Energy Research (IER), founded in 1989 from a predecessor non-profit organisation, advocates positions on environmental issues including deregulation of utilities, climate change denial, and claims that conventional energy sources are virtually limitless."

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Institute_for_Energy_Research

It's funded by the Koch brothers and other fossil fuel interests.
--

I gave you fair warning about Tom. Up to you.
--

"Most levelised costs do not even take into account the costs of making up for the intermittency of most renewables, and that is an additional huge burden."

LCOE never includes backup or storage. When you see a LCOE for nuclear it does not include the cost of backup and storage.
--

"In view of the fact that I can frequently see no relationship at all between your claims and anything which is recognised by energy analysis from the likes of the DOE and every other respected source, it would seem that further discussion will not be profitable"

Here's the DOE/EIA LCOE plus transmission for new generation placed in service in 2018.

As you can see they state that the cost of wind is less than nuclear. Including transmission.

That is what I've been saying and what you seem to not want to hear.

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

I will point out that they are wrong about PV solar at $144.3/MWh unless they are averaging a lot of solar in very cloudy places. Utility solar PPAs are already being written for under $111/MWh.

Between CCNG at $65.6/MWh and wind at $86.6/MWh nuclear at $108.4/MWh stands no chance.

That's very simple math. It would be necessary to put at least a $50/MWh carbon price on NG to put nuclear into the game.

Furthermore with utility solar approaching $100/MWh and residential rooftop solar coming on line at the price of the off-peak repay the merit order ceiling is dropped to the point that nuclear and coal can no longer reap large profits during peak and peak-peak hours.

Bob Wallace

" but pumped hydro cannot scale"

Of course it can. We've got 80,000 existing dams in the US. We use only 2,500 for power production. Many would be usable for pump-up.

Closed loop pump-up can be built in hundreds of places.

"The battery pack for the Chevy Volt (Opel Ampera) costs several thousand dollars"

Not really. 16kWh. Battery prices seem to be under $300/kWh. $4,800 is a few thousand. We seem to be very close to breaking the $200/kWh level. Tesla may already be there.

Look, you're in love with nuclear reactors. I get it.

Bob Wallace

"We are much better off with nuclear power, because nukes have capacity factors as high as 90%. Nukes benefit from storage even more than RE does. That storage can be cycled daily, which lowers capital cost per kWh. There is a reason that the Ludington pumped storage plant isn't far from the Palisades nuclear plant."

Take a look at what you wrote, EP.

They built the pump-up because they needed it in order to make the reactor usable. Why would they have built it further away?

There's no logic to your statement.

Come on, think like an engineer and not a fanboy.

Work out the math. Show us how a new nuclear plant can compete with cheaper wind and NG.

Don't go throwing all sorts of dis tractors such as storage and backup into the mix. We don't need any of that stuff if we're talking increasing grid capacity.

We've got more than enough dispatchable generation on most grids right now to accept up to 40% wind and solar inputs with no changes. Bring on new renewables and throttle back fossil fuel inputs. Save money on fuel and emit less CO2.

Nuclear simply would cost more. Output capacity is not the issue. Cost is.

That's why the nuclear industry isn't building new reactors in free markets unless they can get massive help from the government.

Darius

Bob,

No real power plants under construction in US since no power is needed. Even coal power plants have been reserved due to cheep NG input and consumption reduction. Wind power cost is higher than other options but customers are ready accept extra cost. That is not the case with solar. To your knowledge in bigger part of western world power sold on power exchange.
There are some exemptions like Germany where solar and wind power havily subsidized and nuclear is simply forbiden.
Use EV and electric things without any hestitation - lot of capacity is available and nothing else is needed. Especialy if you prefer night charging. 240 milions EVs even tonight could be charged without any problem in US.
Besides lot of wind power coming online and capacity of those new wind turbines manyfold exceeding power need for new EVs.
All those discussions concerning storage is so far away from reality that I am too lazy discussing. EV itself just charging at night is perfect storage and the power will be used during day. No st.... hydrogen is needed.

Engineer-Poet
Unfortunately, someone has to step up with substantial capital investments looking for a 30-50 year payoff. When private investors are willing to do that, fine.

Standard amortization is 20 years, and IIUC almost all of today's operating nuclear plants in the USA have fully paid off their bonds.  The plant has decades of useful life after it's paid off.  Contrast to a wind farm, which may not even last 20 years.  Who'd finance a wind farm except for tax benefits?

The cost of solar will be much lower before many nuclear plants ever get built.

Tell me the cost per average watt at 3 AM in January at 45 degrees north.

LCOE never includes backup or storage. When you see a LCOE for nuclear it does not include the cost of backup and storage.

Because nuclear provides dispatchable power without it.  "Renewables" cannot back each other up, because the energy source cannot be dispatched and has highly correlated availability.

We've got 80,000 existing dams in the US. We use only 2,500 for power production. Many would be usable for pump-up.

You think a substantial fraction of dams are sited with a suitable lower reservoir, and the users and wildlife will tolerate large daily variations in reservoir level?  What color is the sky on your planet?

Battery prices seem to be under $300/kWh. $4,800 is a few thousand. We seem to be very close to breaking the $200/kWh level.

Fine.  Do the math, show me that you can scale this as big as we'd need it to be.  Until you do, you're just hand-waving.

Engineer-Poet
They built the pump-up because they needed it in order to make the reactor usable. Why would they have built it further away?

No, they built it so they could displace expensive-to-run peaking plants with stored nuclear power at a fraction of the marginal cost.  This also got them power reserves without having to keep any boilers hot.  1872 MW is more than the nameplate generating capacity of any other site in the state.

The upper reservoir at Ludington is fenced off.  It is not safe for recreation, and fish from the lake have to be excluded by netting to avoid kills.  Pumped hydro excludes all other uses of the reservoir, and there are very few sites where this is acceptable.

There's no logic to your statement.

You're just full of irony today.

Work out the math. Show us how a new nuclear plant can compete with cheaper wind and NG.

The current glut of gas in North America is due to a financial bubble and contract obligations.  There's also a lot of demand developing from LNG, both for heavy trucks (displacing diesel) and for export.  When that bubble pops, nobody will drill for gas if the price is lower than about $8/mmBTU.  The world price of LNG is about $16/mmBTU, and heavy trucks are paying around $30/mmBTU for diesel fuel.  These markets will sustain much higher prices than we are seeing.

$8/mmBTU gas is 4.6¢/kWh fuel cost in a CCGT, 6.8¢ in the usual simple-cycle plant.  Add 5¢/kWh for O&M and amortization, and you're well above the cost of nuclear.  Fuel plus O&M in a nuke plant is about 1.7¢/kWh.

"Wind" power means 70% gas power.  It cannot compete except under "must take" regimes or when the remaining generation is diesel or hydro, like Kodiak island.

That's why the nuclear industry isn't building new reactors in free markets unless they can get massive help from the government.

If nuclear wasn't held at a legal disadvantage for 40 years, we'd have almost nothing else on the grid.  And that would be a GOOD thing.

Kit P

“have to be backed up by combustion turbines ”

Wrong again E-P, SSGT existed long before the first wind farms. Load following is done with steam plants when hydroelectric is not availabile.

“Nuclear shows no signs of being cheaper per kWh than wind, solar, geothermal, or hydro. Probably not cheaper than tidal. ”

BS Bob makes an art form out of being wrong. The 20% of base load power we get from nuclear is the lowest cost and most reliable.

“cheaper than nuclear at 12 cents ”

Nuclear is 6 cents/ kwh until it is paid off, then it is less than 2 cents/kwh. There is no reason to talk about storage because we only produce enough power to meet demand.

Davemart links a flawed study.

“The levelized cost for each generation technology are calculated based on a 30-year cost recovery period, ”

New nuke plants will last 100 years while new solar will last 5 years and wind 10 years. The assumed solar CF = 25, while actual best is 20% first years. The average is less than 10%. Wind claims 34% but that is only for the first few years with a good wind resource.

The reason that we will never need storage for wind and solar is that the cheap junk will break down faster than it can be built.

“When private investors are willing to do that..”

At the moment, new nukes being built in the US are over subscribed with investors and not using federal loan guarantees.

“The cost of solar ”

Solar is nothing more than toys that do not work. I use solar path lights but not on the north side of my house. Jmartin can you figure out why? That is right they do not work.

“nuclear and coal can no longer reap large profits ”

The power industry is regulated. We never had large profits. The cost of producing power is past on to the customers.

Kit P

“No real power plants under construction in US since no power is needed. ”

Darius may want to check his facts. Five 1200 MWe+ reactors are under construction with many more planned. The problem is the large number of coal-based sources that either will need very expensive modification to meet new environmental regulations. As CCGT replace coal, the price of NG will increase. At some point, more new new nukes will start construction moderating the price of NG.

The mix of nuclear, hydroelectric, coal-based, and CCGT/SSGT serves us well. We have the luxury of adding a little wind and solar but it will never be a significant part of the North American grid.

HarveyD

Facts versus posters' claims.

Nuclear can produce cheapest electricity....that is not true.

An extensive recent $$M study concluded that the cost of refurbished and/or new nuke facilities are above $0.11/kWh and increasing fast. That is the main reason why more nuclear facilities were closed in the last 10+ years than new facilities were built. Even China, with much lower building cost, is finding nuclear facilities too costly and is turning to coal, NG and Hydro.

France, with almost 80% nuclear power, is the living proof that nuclear energy is not cheap. Their domestic rates are 2.+X ours.

That being said, increased energy efficiency is much cheaper than new production and distribution facilities.

Notes:

1. 200 million BEVs using 1.0 kWh per 10km could reduce consumption over 200 million BEVs using 1.0 kWk per 5 km.

2. 1,000+ million SEER 26+ Heat Pumps could reduce consumption over as many current SEER 10 A/C enough to feed aa many as 1B higher efficiency BEVs

Roger Pham

This article is about potentially low-cost and abundant catalysts for H2 production via electrolysis. This will reduce the cost of H2 as bulk seasonal energy storage for RE and nuclear energy.

Solar PV's energy cost can significantly be reduced if the direct current (DC) is used exclusively for electrolysis, without requiring expensive grid-tie-quality inverter, and eliminating the efficiency loss in the inverter and the rectifier. Thus, northern countries with cooler summers will find little electricity demand from solar PV. HOwever, the solar PV output can be used inexpensively to produce H2 that can be stored for FCV use year round and for residential FC-CHP for winter home heating use and hot water heating.

Southern countries will find that solar PV's output will match the summer peak electricity demand quite nicely, thus can avoid expensive peak-demand electricity rates from single-cycle gas turbines. In that respect, solar PV output can also reach grid parity with fossil fuel energy.

These above will allow for independency from Natural Gas for countries without domestic NG resource.

Kit P

“Nuclear can produce cheapest electricity....that is not true. ”

Of course it is true. When ever a nuke plant shuts down it is replaced by more expensive power. That is the facts. There are lots of crackpot studies and some reasonable one too but projections are just that projections which are not facts.

“why more nuclear facilities ”

More than what? Not coal, not NG, not solar, not wind! As nuke plants reach their design life it is almost always the lowest cost option to replace components to keep them running 20 more years.

“Even China, with much lower building cost, is finding nuclear facilities too costly and is turning to coal, NG and Hydro. ”

Until just recently, China had only a few nuke plants now they have a very aggressive construction program. China is building nukes as fact as they can.

“Their domestic rates are 2.+X ours ”

When domestic rates are high it more about taxing energy than it about the cost of generation.

While it is just silly to argue conservation is the same as production, it is no longer cheaper. All the cost effective choices have been made. Replacing a 20 year old SEER 9 heat pump with a new SEER 15 is easy to justify based on saving. However, a SEER 26 heat pump is a case of diminishing returns.

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