Hydrogenics and Alstom Transport to develop and commercialize H2 fuel-cell commuter trains in Europe; €50M, 10-year agreement
27 May 2015
Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and hydrogen-based power modules, signed a 10-year exclusive agreement to supply Alstom Transport with hydrogen fuel cell systems for Regional Commuter Trains in Europe. Alstom Transport is a unit of Alstom, a France-based global leader in power generation, transmission and rail infrastructure with sales of €6.2 billion.
The agreement, valued at more than €50 million, includes the supply of at least 200 engine systems along with service and maintenance as necessary over a 10-year period. The fuel cell systems, based on Hydrogenics’s Heavy-Duty HD series fuel cells, will be developed to meet European train compliance regulations. The first units are expected to be delivered in 2016 following prototype work slated for late 2015.
Hydrogenics offers a range of fuel cell systems for heavy-duty transportation applications. Celerity and CelerityPlus are optimally designed and configured for vehicles requiring a standard engine bay installation. Celerity requires minimal drivetrain engineering while CelerityPlus offers the industry’s first drop-in solution. The HD90 and HD180 fuel cells, on the other hand, are suited for vehicles with an existing electric drive platform (certified to European Directives).
The HD Series units feature a liquid-cooled MEA (membrane electrode assembly) PEM stack; an integral fully integrated BOP (balance-of-plant); lower voltage/higher current; and low temperature start/shutdown. The power module does not require onboard water for humidification.
Rated electrical power for the HD180 is 198 kW continuous; peak efficiency—based on the LHV of H2, 25 °C, 101.3 kPa, including onboard parasitic loads, excluding radiator fan and water pump—is 55%.
The selection by Alstom Transport of our technology platform is a strong validation of our team and our products as the best fit for heavy duty propulsion applications. Our proprietary, innovative technology allows our systems to operate at best-in-class efficiencies, without humidification or compressor systems, thus providing a compelling value proposition for our customers. Hydrogenics’ experience in the supply of large, reliable propulsion systems for challenging applications was an important consideration in Alstom’s decision.—Joseph Cargnelli, CTO and co-founder of Hydrogenics
A promoter of sustainable mobility, Alstom Transport develops and markets the most complete range of systems, equipment and services in the railway sector. Alstom Transport manages entire transport systems, including trains, signaling, maintenance and modernization, infrastructure and offers integrated solutions.
This could be a worthwhile technology for USA and Canada to replace our dirty Diesel-Electric locomotives.
Current locomotives could be modified by replacing the diesel ICE with FCs + ultracaps.?
Posted by: HarveyD | 27 May 2015 at 06:47 AM
I'd like to see some numbers comparing fuel cell trains to simply electrifying the tracks. Europe has a lot of electric rail, it's working well for them.
Fuel cells won't be cheap. Fuel will be expensive.
Hydrogen packs so little energy. Would these trains need to pull fuel cars for themselves so that they wouldn't have to stop for refueling frequently?
We could move to electric rail in the US as well. Having a lot of hybrid diesel-electric engines would make it easy. Just add a pickup to the existing engines and run off overhead electricity when available, switch to diesel when running on parts of the system which have not been electrified.
Russia electrified the Trans Siberian railway. It's long enough to cross the US twice and carries an immense amount of freight.
Posted by: Bob Wallace | 27 May 2015 at 09:05 AM
BW: And much track near wind and solar installations could benefit from nearby electric generation. That would simply add stretches of electified line. And/or, the railroads could install renewable generation along rural right-of-way.
Posted by: JMartin | 27 May 2015 at 01:49 PM
Many rail lines run relatively close to highways (at some points) and could share H2 stations with FCEVs, with very short pipeline in most cases.
Of course, trains could have an H2 fuel car much the same as they had Coal fuel cars.
Hybrid locomotives (Electric + Diesel-Electric) do exist. Many exising Diesel-electric units could (possibly?) be modified to pure electric and/or hybrid units?
Battery locomotives are not very suited for long haul while FCs will soon be
Posted by: HarveyD | 27 May 2015 at 03:07 PM
Alan Drake supplied me some figures for the cost of rail electrification, which I posted at The Ergosphere.
The upside of H2FC trains is that the rolling stock is not subject to property taxes of the localities on the route.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 27 May 2015 at 07:20 PM
European infrastructure investment has historically been at twice the level of that in the US.
As a late-comer to rail electrification it makes sense for the US to do it in a piecemeal fashion.
There is often not a clear cut answer to questions like would it be more economic to electrify the line or the trains, the answer in the case of fuel cells will clearly alter with time as costs are dropping fast, and it depends on how heavy the traffic is on the particular line.
What fuel cells enable it the piecemeal electrification of rail, when the large capital investment in complete line electrification might not happen.
The weight/fuel balance is fine for trains, which carry less of a penalty for more weight than road as the tracks impose less rolling resistance.
In conjunction with batteries and capacitors they also enable very efficient use of regenerative braking, giving very large energy savings for trains.
Posted by: Davemart | 28 May 2015 at 12:29 AM
Regenerative braking in trains in the Netherlands:
Of course you do not have to have a fuel cell train to use regenerative braking, as it can be used in either fully electrified lines or in diesel trains.
In the latter case though regen braking is cheaper than in a diesel, as you already have the electric motor in the train.
Posted by: Davemart | 28 May 2015 at 01:32 AM
FC trains also use e-motors + buffer ultra-caps or batteries good for regen braking.
FC locomotives may be cleaner than electrified rails, specailly where electricity is produced with polluting CPPs like in USA?
Sharing H2 stations with highway FCEVs would be an advantage.
Posted by: HarveyD | 28 May 2015 at 06:10 AM
Here is some information on a very simple way to hybridize commuter trains in the US that will cost 1/5 or less the cost of conventional catenary electrification. http://railpac.org/category/railtechnology/
Additionally it allows converting the infrastructure over one train and one station at a time. It also eliminated the issue of having to change trains when you get to the end of the catenary wire.
Posted by: DC | 28 May 2015 at 08:25 AM
"FC locomotives may be cleaner than electrified rails, specailly where electricity is produced with polluting CPPs like in USA?"
Coal is on its way out in the US. Electrified rail would be powered by natural gas, renewables and nuclear. The Sierra Club has a campaign to get rid of US coal by 2030 and they are a bit ahead of schedule.
Here's an excellent read -
In the sort term the H2 for trains would come from 100% natural gas reforming. Fuel cells are not all that efficient. CO2 from H2 fuel cell trains would be high.
In the long, long term the H2 for trains could come from electricity/water but it would mean building about 3x as much renewable generation as running directly with electricity.
Fuel costs for fuel cells is a major problem that fuel cell advocates need to understand. Fuel cells are wonderful pieces of technology and their costs are likely to continue to drop. But unless someone can find a way around the laws of physics and discover a low energy way to crack H2O and compress the H2 the math just isn't going to work.
It could be that several decades of H2 purchases would be cheaper than adding catenary but I'd need to see some math.
Posted by: Bob Wallace | 28 May 2015 at 02:53 PM
'In the sort term the H2 for trains would come from 100% natural gas reforming. Fuel cells are not all that efficient. CO2 from H2 fuel cell trains would be high.'
So let us see your sourced data and figures, which you might find tough to do as it is a series of errors and unsubstantiated assumptions from start to finish.
1: How do you know that hydrogen for fuel cell trains will come exclusively from NG reformation?
2.What are your sourced figures for the efficiency of fuel cells, allowing of course for the opportunities they offer for regenerative braking?
3. What are your sourced figures for CO2 in producing the hydrogen?
Allowing of course that the almost NOx free stream of CO2 allows much easier reclamation and use of it?
Posted by: Davemart | 29 May 2015 at 01:49 AM
1. Coal is still used to produce about 40% of all electricity used in USA.
2. The use of coal and CPPs may increase shortly after the coming USA Fed election (Historical trend).
3. USA may have plenty of low cost NG for the next 10 to 20 yeatrs.
4. In USA, the majority of H2 may be extracted from low cost NG for the next 10 years or so.
5. In USA, many existing CPPs are or may be upgraded to NGPPs.
6. In USA, recent added e-power generation has been from NG, Wind and Solar.
Posted by: HarveyD | 29 May 2015 at 09:52 AM
1. Market forces. Rail companies are not going to pay massively more per mile for H2 just in order to be green. In fact, rail companies would have to be forced to move from diesel to much more expensive H2.
Moving to cheaper electricity would be a much easier sell. It might mean using federal funds to help install the catenary, but that money could be recovered over time by via a use fee that kept the per mile fee below what diesel would cost.
2. Fuel cells are 40% to 60% efficient.
3. Nine tonnes of CO2 per tonne of H2.
8.62 tons of CO2 emissions per ton of hydrogen production
You're suggesting we could collect the resulting CO2 and put it someplace where it would never enter the atmosphere? That has not worked with coal CCS. We have no affordable sequestration technology.
Posted by: Bob Wallace | 29 May 2015 at 10:03 AM
All good reasons to make H2 from clean electricity and water.
Use NG to replace CPPs, home/office HVAC, cooking, hotwater etc,
Posted by: HarveyD | 29 May 2015 at 02:38 PM
1. Mandates mean that renewables are common even where they are not the most economic means - for some reason you assume that this will not apply to hydrogen for fuel cells.
That is aside from the fact that costs of alternative means of production including but not limited to biomass and waste from landfill and sewage are dropping rapidly towards full comparability with reformed natural gas.
2.Fuel cells are indeed 40-60% efficient.
They work superbly well in conjunction with batteries and regen, as the typical load on a train is very light, but the peak load buffered by batteries is very high.
That sort of load variability is precisely what diesel engines do not like.
So what are your comparable figures for diesel engine efficiency under real world loads in trains?
That is aside from the pollution especially particulate issues with diesel.
3. To the extent that hydrogen for rail is generated from NG, which as I argue is very unlikely to be the 100% you claim even though that is currently the cheapest way, any more than the grid is 100% NG as that is also the cheapest way, the CO2 stream from fuel cells is nearly pure, without the NOx which makes capturing the carbon difficult and expensive both in financial and energy terms if you burn NG, or diesel.
So the possibilities of capturing it, and utilising the stream are a totally different ball game to combustion.
The assumption in the figures you give for NG reformation are also that all energy for reforming is supplied by NG.
In fact in a distributed production system for hydrogen there are extremely good possibilities to use renewables for process energy, and also to utilise the 'waste' heat for local water heating.
So you are remarking that it is not very efficient and produces lots of CO2 simply by assuming inefficient high CO2 methods.
Posted by: Davemart | 30 May 2015 at 02:12 PM
There is no one making 'green' H2 on a commercial scale. As far as I know no one has demonstrated the ability to make low CO2 H2 at an affordable price. If someone does, some day, then we can redo the math. Until that happens the market will not pay more than necessary for fuel.
Capturing and sequestering CO2 from methane reforming is a possibility but would add to the cost. At this point it is not financially viable to capture CO2 from coal smokestacks. We'd need another technological breakthrough.
I'm not addressing diesel vs. H2 fuel cells. Diesel needs to go.
The issue is the comparative cost of electric trains vs. low CO2 H2 fuel cell trains. I'm not arguing for or against either. I've seen no cost comparison. My gut instincts suggest wiring tracks would be cheaper, but data overrules guesses.
Posted by: Bob Wallace | 03 June 2015 at 09:34 AM
A general comment -
The grid will get cleaner. It will take years to get coal off our grids but about 20% of it will disappear over the next year and a half.
Here's a very interesting and informative article about what is happening in the battle against coal...
When we talk about electric vehicles/trains using today's generation mix does not make sense. We're moving away from a grid dominated by fossil fuel generation. By the time we get a significant number of EVs on the road or trains converted to electricity the grid mix will be very different than what it is today.
Posted by: Bob Wallace | 03 June 2015 at 09:36 AM
USA has a slot of cheap coal and may very well use CPPs till 2100+. However, the percentage or energy mix will progressively change in favor of REs. Unfortunately, nulear (NPPs) may die before CPPs.
Posted by: HarveyD | 09 June 2015 at 02:27 PM
I suspect the US will be using little to no coal by 2030.
The energy world is undergoing very rapid changes and the rate of change is accelerating. Some of our nuclear plants will likely be in operation post 2030 but we're probably building the last generation at the moment.
Posted by: Bob Wallace | 10 June 2015 at 11:17 AM
The lifespan of a modern LWR is ultimately limited by damage to non-replaceable components, but the much lower-than-projected rate of neutron embrittlement and advances like cavitation peening of reactor vessels suggests that 80 to 100 years is not out of line for a useful lifespan. This means that a unit licensed in 1980 may not permanently shut down until 2060 or even 2080. Should we ever get a real fee on carbon emissions the economics will be there to keep them running (unlike the current situation with subsidized wind and cheap gas).
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 10 June 2015 at 07:17 PM
Pushing some of our reactors which were initially licensed for 40 years out to 60 years will probably happen. But it won't make financial sense to extend the lifetime of all the existing reactors. Clearly we are now seeing some reactors being closed rather than being refurbished for another 20 years of use.
Wind, without subsidies, has now dropped under 4 cents per kWh and after a 20 year payoff should provide 10 to 30 years of < 1 cent per kWh power.
Solar prices continue to fall and should soon be under 5 cents per kWh without subsidies. Under 3 cents, new, is not overly optimistic with another 30+ years of < 1 cent per kWh power.
Thermal plants that have to average 5 cents per kWh on a 24/365 basis are going to find rough sledding as more and more "penny" power becomes available.
Posted by: Bob Wallace | 11 June 2015 at 02:42 PM
Certainly will happen. If anything like a legitimate version of the EPA's carbon rule goes into effect (not the one which only gives 5.8% credit to existing NPPs), it will be very costly to replace any NPP with even a fraction of fossil power. All "renewables" are reliant on FF backup; the grid has great difficulty going below 40% generation from rotating machinery due to stability constraints.
What's the "social cost" of CO2 emissions, Bob? At $50/ton, just the direct emissions of an LM100 gas turbine (46% efficient, 430 g/kWh) are in excess of 2¢/kWh. That was double the revenue shortfall that felled Kewaunee. The upstream emissions of natural gas might double that. When your "renewable" capacity factor is maybe 1/3, you'd pay that on 2/3 of consumption.
That is cost at the farm gate. The cost of firmed, delivered power is several times that much. That's why adding "free fuel" wind always raises electric rates.
The economic lifespan of wind turbines thus far has been much less than 20 years; the 18-yr-old machine about 25 miles SW of me was nearly scrapped because of the unavailability of repair parts. The municipal utility that owned it more or less gave it away.
So what does solar power cost in a January cold snap at 45° north? At night after a cloudy week?
What you ignore is that your "renewables" don't work without either 100% fossil backup or massive storage. Your cost claims ignore storage, firming and even transmission.
"Renewable" plants require high feed-in tariffs or tax credits to make them pay. If wind farms had to take real-time wholesale prices, most of their output would have to be sold at close to nothing because the times they are producing are the times when grid prices plummet because they are producing. If the playing field was not grossly tilted in their favor, they'd all be broke. If wind power is so clean and cheap, why did Germany's carbon emissions soar while customers paid some of the highest rates in Europe?
Know what was running at close to 100% during the last two years of cold snaps, and had zero issues with fuel availability? Nuclear. Wind and solar are worthless in New England winters (and most winters from Washington to New York).
Thermal powerplants have two advantages: they're 24/7/365, and they're thermal. The former gives them value in providing capacity, and the latter has other uses. One NuScale reactor could both light and heat the entire city whose utility just gave away that wind turbine, carbon-free and without taking a gram of biomass from the environment. Nothing you've proposed can make that claim.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 11 June 2015 at 09:58 PM
"What's the "social cost" of CO2 emissions, Bob? "
That's not the question that we must answer. The question is "What is the least expensive and least problematic technology we can use to get our CO2 emission levels to zero".
As you know, the cost of a nuclear supplied grid would wreck our economy. We can't afford to increase our wholesale cost of electricity by 3x or more.
The cost of integrating wind and solar onto our grids has been miniscule.
"In ERCOT’s calculations for 2011, Goggin said, “the total cost for integrating wind came out at about $0.50 per megawatt-hour.” And, he added, without 2011’s anomalies in July and August that accounted for 80 percent percent of all costs, the total costs in 2012 for the necessary balancing reserves and other expenses associated with the integration of large amounts of wind are expected to be even lower."
The nuclear industry has received massively more subsidies than have wind an solar. For all years up to the end of 2013 US taxpayers subsidized nuclear energy more than $185 billion. During the same timeframe wind and solar received about $25 billion combined.
In 2013 nuclear produced 19.4% of all US electricity. Wind and solar produced 4.33%
Nuclear has received 7.4x as much subsidy over time and yet is produced only 4.5x as much electricity as wind and solar in 2013. We are currently getting 1.6x more electricity per dollar subsidy with wind and solar.
The turbines at Altamont Pass are now being replaced after 30 years of production. New turbines are being designed for 40 to 50 year lifespans.
As we move to a 100% renewable grid we will need a combination of storage and dispatchable generation but that's how we run today's grid. Don't forget, the US built over 20 GW of PuHS in order to integrate thermal plants during the time we were building nuclear. And that nuclear/coal plants require spinning reserve to jump in when they go offline without warning. Wind and solar are much more predictable and do not require spinning reserve.
German CO2 emissions went up slightly (didn't "soar") following the decision to close reactors ahead of schedule following the Fukushima disaster. Your graph shows a 4.5% increase and cuts off at 2013.
This was an unplanned nuclear shutdown and resulted in a 3% increase in coal consumption. By 2014 additional renewable capacity had been brought on line and fossil fuel consumption in Germany dropped to an all time low.
German CO2 emission levels fell to their second lowest level since 1990 in 2014. "Germany emitted 912 million tons of carbon in 2014 - 4 percent fewer than in 2013, and down 27 percent on 1990 levels, according to provisional figures from the German Environment Agency."
"For the second time in two weeks, wind power once again kept consumers’ energy costs down as extreme cold drove energy prices to record highs across much of the eastern U.S.
Electricity and natural gas prices skyrocketed to 10 to 50 times normal across parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states as extreme cold drove demand for electric and gas heating to near-record levels late last week. Fortunately, regional wind energy output was strong throughout these periods of peak demand, producing around 3,000 megawatts (MW) on the evening of Jan. 22 when supply was particularly tight, and roughly 3,000 to 4,000 MW for nearly all of Jan. 23 as electricity prices remained very high."
There will be cold spells with little wind. There will be heat waves during which nuclear reactors have to be shut down. These are grid design issues.
Most cities are not going to allow anyone to site a nuclear reactor in their midst.
Posted by: Bob Wallace | 12 June 2015 at 09:20 AM
When the "Green" Danish grid has the highest consumer rates in Europe and still emits over 380 gCO2/kWh generated, that is very much the question.
"Problematic" in the engineering sense, or "problematic" in the post-enlightenment sense? The two definitions are disjoint, and my experience with you and your enthusiasm for censorship pretty much proves you mean the latter. Your blog "Cleantechnica" is an ideologically-pure bubble free of such "problematic" things as inconvenient facts which might induce cognitive dissonance in the Green Faithful.
As it happens, we do have a number of examples of countries and regions which have pushed grid-related CO2 emissions close to zero. Quebec and Sweden are very nearly at zero; France is within striking distance, and Ontario is not much further away. The thing they have in common is they rely on hydro and nuclear power. They do not use the "renewables" you are pushing, namely wind and solar. Wind and solar are unreliable and require dispatchable (nuclear or combustion) generation to balance them. Germany's use of lignite to balance "renewables" increased its CO2 emissions by 12 million tons per year over just 2 years.
Many scientists have quietly agreed that there is no way to meet the 2°C warming target without nuclear power. It doesn't matter how much it costs, you can't do without it. The only way to make it happen is to stop pandering to fear-mongers and ideologues like you. The USA was on course to a zero-carbon grid until you fear-mongers replaced the pro-nuclear AEC with the anti-nuclear "nuclear safety at any cost, regardless of the dangers of what replaces it" NRC. You must bear the responsibility for the situation we are now in.
You are projecting; it's in Germany under the Energiewende that consumer rates have already tripled. Southern Company has recently downgraded their estimate of rate increases from the construction of the Vogtle units from 4-12% to 0-8%. Germany is razing historic villages to mine lignite to balance its "renewables". THAT is your "alternative" to nuclear power, Bob.
An "all-renewable" grid requires massive energy storage. Impoundment-fed hydro incorporates the storage behind the dams, but wind and solar require it as an add-on. We don't have the land to build it as pumped hydro, and batteries for even 3 days of storage would cost several times as much as nuclear plants of the same output... with a lifespan of just years, and being net energy sinks as well. Your insistence that we MUST go "renewable" isn't just wrong, Bob; it is energetically, financially and climatically insane.
If you ignore the cost of the new transmission lines rolled into the rate base, and the lower efficiency of the balancing generators due to their off-optimum operating points, you mean. Otherwise you can't explain the rate hikes while natural gas has gotten dirt-cheap.
More weasel-words. The "nuclear industry", counted as the non-fossil part of the DOE budget, includes the US nuclear weapons and fusion programs. There is a small part devoted to e.g. testing of nuclear fuels, but advanced programs were killed in 1994 and never recovered.
Nuclear has steadily produced about 20% of US electric generation for several decades, during which time wind and solar were mostly down in the noise. Comparing only 2013 figures is grossly dishonest even for you. Have you no shame, Bob?
Speaking of "problematic" claims:
Were you honest, you'd have admitted this up front... but I have learned never to expect honesty from you.
- Wind is still eligible for a 2.15¢/kWh PTC, which some developers take in lieu of a 30% investment-tax credit for which they are also eligible. The ITC can all be taken in 1 year, making it very attractive to passive investors. As Warren Buffet said, "I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate. For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit."
- US nuclear plants have consistently generated on the order of 800 TWh/yr for the last 30 years, roughly 24000 TWh total. Even granting your $185 billion subsidy figure, $185 billion divided by 24000 billion kWh is 0.77¢/kWh. This is roughly 1/3 of the wind PTC, and a far smaller fraction of the subsidy given to solar. (In actuality, the benefits given to commercial nuclear power are much smaller and are overwhelmed by taxes, not to mention ridiculous regulatory costs.)
- Nuclear plants have paid tens of billions of dollars to the US government for spent-fuel disposal services they have not received.
About time. When I drove through that area in 2006 I don't think I saw a single pylon tower (all raptor-magnet lattice towers) and some of the ancient units had Dutch-style pinwheel tails for steering them into the wind! Lots were conspicuously non-operational, too. From an energy point of view it would make more sense to recycle them into pressure vessels and containments for NuScale IPWRs, but California is ideologically insane to the point of forcing half its carbon-free baseload generation to be dismantled.
Wait a second, Bob. "Renewable" is a granfalloon, a term for things which have nothing in common except the term itself. There are grids that are 100% hydro, but you employ the fallacy of ambiguity to imply that grids of 100% wind and solar are possible. Well, where's one doing what France's 78%-nuclear grid does? I'll take anything over 5 GW average load (USA=~450 GW) as an existence proof. Can you name three? One?
The latter providing a guaranteed market for fossil fuels as far as the mind can see, which is why the new Natural Gas Initiative at Stanford University was financed by the fortunes of men who made them in petroleum and none other than Robert F. Kennedy Jr. declared that "the plants that we're building, the wind plants and the solar plants, are gas plants".
20 GW of storage to well over 90 GW of capacity is a very favorable ratio, made possible by nuclear's 90%+ capacity factor. You can't do this with wind at 34% CF, or PV at ~20% CF; you need a storage-to-capacity ratio closer to 1. Worse, you need storage capacity (load*time) of days, not hours.
Which can be provided by other nuclear/coal plants. How do you crank up a wind farm when another wind farm is becalmed, or shuts down due to overspeed? Oh, wait... you can't. Combustion plants do that.
You've got two lies in one sentence. The first is that you imply that "predictable" is the same as "meeting demand", which it emphatically is not. The second is that the unreliable generators do not require spinning reserve. The "balancing generation" they must have is the same as spinning reserve. Bob, you have no shame.
Why was there any increase at all, when the essential goal is "to get our CO2 emission levels to zero"? The Wikipedia list of reactors in Germany shows 7076 MW of capacity (Biblis 1a, Biblis 2a, Brunsbuttel, Isar 1a, Neckwarwestheim 1a, Phillipsburg 1a, and Unterweser) shut down in August 2011. At 90% capacity factor and 900 gCO2/kWh displaced, 7076 MW of nuclear would have cut emissions by about 50 million tons per year. In other words, Germany's 2011-2013 increase would have been a much larger decrease save for anti-nuclear paranoia.
Japan has abandoned its GHG targets under Kyoto; Germany's had been rigged from the beginning. Neither have any viable plan to get to zero CO2 emissions. They would rather destroy the livability of the planet than split atoms. So would you.
In other words, nearly 2/3 of German carbon emissions were unrelated to the electric grid. How do you propose to get THEM to zero, Bob? My plan involves nuclear-powered district heating from SMRs in urban areas, and electric-driven heaters with RDF backup elsewhere. Industrial process heat would also rely on nuclear. Transportation would be mostly electric, using the 24/7/365 availability of nuclear power to guarantee 95% or better availability of services. Molten-salt heat batteries can buffer delivery across the daily cycle for a few tens of dollars per kWh. What's your plan? Do you even have one?
Driven by capacity constraints of natural-gas pipelines, which SHOULD be irrelevant on an all-renewable grid... but the Inconvenient Truth remains that "the plants that we're building, the wind plants and the solar plants, are gas plants". If you weren't deaf to facts, the cognitive dissonance would be too much for you.
Yes, a whole 3-4 GW out of a peak load upwards of 120 GW. In other words, the entire region's wind capacity barely out-produced the two reactors at Indian Point and wasn't even able to hold above 80% of nameplate. The nuclear plants in the region were running at 100% of WINTER capacity, which is greater than summer capacity.
Reactors cooled by seawater or cooling towers don't have much in the way of ambient or effluent temperature constraints. Unreliables like wind and solar are major issues for the grid, since they produce instability due to lack of inertial energy storage. They create problems that other plants are forced to solve; this alone makes the "100% renewable grid" of wind and solar a pipe dream.
Nuclear plants are safe enough to operate in a steel tube with several tens of people living just yards away inside. Industrial wind turbines must remain hundreds of yards from homes because of the risk of thrown parts or ice. The only reason people aren't clamoring for nuclear power to light and heat their cities is because of paranoia inculcated by disinformation from the likes of you. This is YOUR FAULT.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 16 June 2015 at 10:18 PM