Study reveals that green incentives could actually be increasing CO2 emissions

June 7, 2017
Credit: Concordia University

Globally, from China and Germany to the United States, electric vehicle (EV) subsidies have been championed as an effective strategy to boost production of renewable technology and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

But a new study by Concordia economics professor Ian Irvine shows that subsidizing EVs in the North American context will not reduce GHG emissions in the short-term, and may even increase them—at a cost to taxpayers.

Recently published in Canadian Public Policy, Irvine's study compared the incentives for producing EVs that are found in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, North America's fuel-efficiency regulations, with new EV policies in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

He found that, while the subsidies encourage the production of more EVs, they undermine the efficiency requirements of existing incentives for conventional vehicles. This results in a zero or negative near-term GHG benefit.

"Sometimes you have more than one policy aimed at a particular goal, and usually those policies are complementary," Irvine notes. "But in this case, they work at cross purposes."

In 2012, CAFE was amended to require manufacturers to continuously reduce the average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of their fleets by five per cent a year between 2017 and 2025.

Typically, the amount of CO2 each vehicle is allowed to emit is related to its footprint, defined as the area between its wheels. However, Irvine says, because the annual GHG reduction targets are organized on an average fleet-wide basis, manufacturers are allowed some flexibility in how they distribute the annual efficiency improvements within and across different vehicle categories.

'This is what we call a regressive policy'

Under CAFE's rules, an electric car is considered to have a zero emissions footprint. As an incentive designed to stimulate investment in EVs, a that produces an EV is given a carbon credit that can be sold to another manufacturer, applied to a future year or applied to other vehicles in the manufacturer's fleet.

As a further incentive, the manufacturer is granted a bonus carbon credit over and above the equivalent of CO2 that the sale of the EV removes from the atmosphere. For EVs, this bonus credit, or multiplier, started at 2.5 in 2016 and declines to 1.5 in 2025.

As Irvine illustrates, if a vehicle with a footprint of 50 square feet is allowed to emit 150 grams of CO2/kilometre, then a manufacturer who sold an EV with the same footprint in 2016 is given an credit of 375 grams of CO2/kilometre.

"These carbon credit offsets can be used by a manufacturer to moderate the GHG-related efficiency improvements in the more conventional vehicles that they sell," Irvine says. "So, putting more EVs on the road with subsidies does not translate into fewer GHG emissions."

What's more, the subsidy policies apply to all potential buyers, not just those who wouldn't otherwise have the means to purchase EVs. According to Irvine, this is an inefficient and wasteful use of taxpayer money.

"Research shows that subsidies for purchases typically benefit the top ten percentile of income distribution," says Irvine. "This is what we call a regressive ."

All told, Irvine sees the prime lesson of his study to be caution.

"In developing these types of policies, we need to look before we leap," he says. "In Ontario, we're giving grants of up to $14,000 to EV purchases. That's a lot of taxpayer money. And if people think it's going toward reducing GHG emissions, we should confront that misunderstanding."

Explore further: Federal policy reverses benefits of alternative fuel vehicles

More information: Ian Irvine. Electric Vehicle Subsidies in the Era of Attribute-Based Regulations, Canadian Public Policy (2017). DOI: 10.3138/cpp.2016-010

Related Stories

Questions and answers about US fuel economy standards

July 19, 2016

The U.S. government has issued a report on fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for U.S. cars and trucks that were first established in 2012. The report Monday kicked off a two-year review process leading to a government ...

US finalizes new auto fuel economy standards

April 1, 2010

The US government Thursday finalized new automobile fuel economy standards starting with 2012 models, a move officials said would save billions of barrels of oil and reduce greenhouse emissions.

Recommended for you

Startup Pi out to slice the charging cord

September 19, 2017

Silicon Valley youngster Pi on Monday claimed it had developed the world's first wireless charger that does away with cords or mats to charge devices.

68 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

StephenBeare
4.1 / 5 (9) Jun 07, 2017
It sounds like there's one assumption and one subtly mentioned here; that all manufacturer's are going to use that credit toward their non-EV lineup, and that this stresses short-term. Long-term is more important. And even if the credit is entirely used on non-EV products, they still need to produce some EV products to get it - which is far better than none at all.

I'm sorry but the logic of this article makes no sense... and with no counter-suggestions on ways to improve it's simply a bunch of whining.
Dingbone
Jun 07, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 07, 2017
It sounds like there's one assumption and one subtly mentioned here; that all manufacturer's are going to use that credit toward their non-EV lineup


That is a reasonable assumption. Energy efficiency in regular cars comes at a cost of performance, safety, size and price, since engines cannot be made significantly more fuel-efficient as such without incurring unreasonable costs. People simply don't want to buy these cars, so the manufacturers basically shift the CO2 credits into selling people more SUVs.

they still need to produce some EV products to get it - which is far better than none at all.


The article points out that it isn't, because of the credit multiplier. The EVs sold aren't forever - they expire in half the time compared to their conventional counterparts, and they are largely charged from fossil fuel sources anyways, so they're already at a balance whether they make any sense in the short or long term as they were.
AGreatWhopper
1 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2017
As usual the deniers miss the headline, "Scientists Follow the Data as You Don't". When was the last time they published anything contrary? It's down to one simple thing. Intellectual integrity. They'll never have a clue what that is.
Eikka
2.8 / 5 (9) Jun 07, 2017
There's also a great misconception that spending money on buying electric vehicles somehow advances the technology and makes it better faster, so that buying electric cars now would somehow still be better than not.

It doesn't. Spending your money on something like a Tesla does nothing to advance electric vehicles, because the singular issue of electric cars is the battery, and Tesla as a company does not develop batteries - they buy them off the market, or as it happens they manufacture them with technology bought from Panasonic.

Batteries are already sold to million other uses and the technology would advance as it does - slowly - with or without you buying an EV, so purchasing the cars now is just a waste of money.
eachus
3 / 5 (4) Jun 07, 2017
The EV subsidies focus on the wrong part of the energy market. Putting the money currently going into these subsidies into building a (new) prototype Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (also known as a LFTR) would give power companies a new alternative to combined cycle natural gas or coal fired power plants. There are companies in the US and Canada working on this, and also in Norway, India, and China. With adequate funding the time to convert all US power production away from coal would be reduced.

Don't talk to me about unicorn farts and other fantasies. Electric power plants come in three flavors: peak power, base load, and undependable. There is nothing wrong with collecting undependable power and converting it into peaking power through storage. But you still need base load, and that is primarily coal, hydroelectric, or nuclear.

Since the molten salt does not need high-pressure vessels and containment buildings, the cost is much lower than current nuclear plants.
greenonions1
4 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2017
Eikka
Tesla as a company does not develop batteries
Yes they do. http://bgr.com/20...ff-dahn/ Tesla is building the largest battery plant in the world. Musk is clear that the main benefit of doubling the world's capacity with one factory - is to drive down the cost of batteries with increased scale. Recently Musk announced their plans to build 10 - 20 more such plants (I think this will be both batteries and solar panels). Tesla has yet to make a profit - and part of the reason for that is their R and D budget. Supporting Tesla by buying one of their cars is definitely a vote for progress.
greenonions1
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2017
eachus
But you still need base load, and that is primarily coal, hydroelectric, or nuclear.
Solar and wind can supply base load. http://renewecono...a-99364/ Given that Hinkley Point is going to rake the British tax payers for 18 cents Kwh - it is a pretty good bet that as we go forward - the falling costs of wind and solar (currently at around 3 cents Kwh) will squeeze nukes out of the market - based on cost. Let's wait and see.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2017
that all manufacturer's are going to use that credit toward their non-EV lineup, and that this stresses short-term

I don't think that that is going to happen. Some countries already tax car insurance based on emissions. It makes little sense for a manufacture to produce two lines of cars with one being engineered to be as clean as possible and leaving that tech out of the other line.
Consumers will be looking for MPG values no matter what. Higher MPG means less emissions. I can't see consumers suddenly going for the low MPG cars where the previous generation had higher MPG.

In any case the article stresses the important part: If anything this is a short term effect. It's an investment in a cleaner future. And, of course, lawmakers can easily remedy this by forcing automakers to not include EVs in their fleet emission calculations.
dogbert
2.8 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2017
Carbon taxes have, since their creation, been a means of transferring resources. As an incentive to reduce carbon production, they fail because any arbitrary cost can be shifted to a perceived arbitrary gain.

The proposed gain in efficiency of gasoline vehicles is simply not realistic while maintaining minimum functionality. Alternative vehicles are cost prohibitive and the technology is not comparable to the reliability of gasoline vehicles. So, of course, EVs are produced, often at a net loss, to provide for the necessary production and sale of useful gasoline vehicles.

The same carbon intensive energy production is used to build EVs and standard vehicles and the batteries of the EVs are charged by predominantly carbon intensive energy production.

Carbon taxes/credits is a shell game that manufacturers are forced to play. They play to win. The net effect is an increase in the cost of product without a commensurate increase in value.
ECOnservative
3 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2017
Taxes, whether corporate or personal, are a blunt instrument with which to shape behaviour. The law of unintended consequences definitely applies to EVs and Carbon regulations.
WillieWard
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2017
Solar and wind can supply base load.
Environuts should be compelled to use solar panels/windmills instead of diesel/gasoline generators to recharge the batteries of their electric vehicles.
https://pbs.twimg...sio1.jpg
https://uploads.d...f818.jpg
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2017
Environuts should be compelled to use solar panels/windmills instead of diesel/gasoline generators to recharge the batteries of their electric vehicles.
Why? I thought you conservatives did not like government interference. If driving an electric car reduces the pollution you create - that should be a good thing. As more and more renewables come onto the grid - it gets even cleaner. You can charge an ev for 5 cents Kwh in my state - and there is quite a lot of wind in that mix. Willie would rather we were all forced to use 18 cents Kwh power from all the Hinkly Points he thinks the gubermint should build - http://www.theene...ar-plant "cont.
dogbert
1 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2017
WillieWard,
Environuts should be compelled to use solar panels/windmills instead of diesel/gasoline generators to recharge the batteries of their electric vehicles.


Sounds good, but not something which is going to happen. Something which will soon happen if we continue to see EVs on the road is that the EV owners are going to be charged for the use of the roadways in some manner. Gasoline and diesel taxes pay for the roads and bridges now from standard vehicles. EV's are going to have to shoulder their share.
EmceeSquared
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2017
Concordia economics professor Ian Irvine's study's conclusion is wrong. He says that incentives for EVs cause EV manufacturers to make more EVs, which count as zero-emissions vehicles, which reduce the overall emissions from all that manufacturers vehicles. OK so far.

He then says those EVs compete with non-zero but low emissions vehicles from the same manufacturer which are made to get different incentives. Also OK. So some incented ICE vehicles won't be sold, instead losing to EVs.So the ICEs and their incentives are undermined by the EVs. OK - but so what?

That's not increasing CO2 emissions, just because those incented low-emissions ICEs aren't being sold or driven instead of high-emissions ICEs. The low-emissions ICEs are replaced by zero-emissions EVs. That's *lower* CO2 as a result.

Sure, it undermines the ICE incentives. So what? The incentives are designed to lower emissions, which the winning EVs do better. Lower CO2, victory for the policy goal.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 09, 2017
Solar and wind can supply base load.


That's an oxymoron, as baseload is steady 24/7 output that attempts to utilize the maximum output of a generator (thereby minimizing its cost), and renewables are not.

If you dig into the baseload portion of your supply with renewables, you will displace things like highly efficient co-generation plants with a combination of load following gas turbines along with the renewables, in proportion to their capacity factors, which in practice means roughly 3 parts fossil fuels to 1 part renewables, and the CO2 output and cost of production rises.

Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2017
s. The low-emissions ICEs are replaced by zero-emissions EVs.


Except the EVs are not zero emission, because they get their power from the grid, which is not CO2 free. In the current energy mix, EVs are actually very close in emissions to regular cars - sometimes less, sometimes more.

By the time the grid CO2 emissions have dropped significantly to make the case, the current crop of EVs has been long since scrapped, having served no purpose.
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2017
Eikka
That's an oxymoron
No it is not.

https://www.skept...hp?r=374

But it is hard to understand the need to keep telling the tide to go back. The transition has begun. Wind and solar are currently the cheapest forms of energy - and countries around the world are shifting over. One example - http://renewecono...-201617/ I just don't get the need to be King Canut - when it is interesting to just watch it happening.
StephenBeare
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 09, 2017
Eikka
Except the EVs are not zero emission...

By the time the grid CO2 emissions have dropped significantly to make the case..., having served no purpose.


That depends where you live and what alternative infrastructure you have in place; for example, Tesla has been building solar-charging stations in the US and Canada. Many provinces/states also have a large amount of solar or wind currently in place and always increasing.

There is definitely a purpose to this generation of EVs; emissions-free infrastructure wouldn't be growing so quickly without motivation, and contrary to this article, they help to reduce overall emissions created by vehicles. You have to start somewhere and it's very political.
EmceeSquared
3 / 5 (6) Jun 09, 2017
Eikka:
Except the EVs are not zero emission


My post is talking about the logic in the paper that is the subject of the article. The source (at the grid generators) emissions of EVs are not part of that logic, so your point is irrelevant to my debunking the paper's logic.

But even if you include the EV source emissions they're still lower than the low-emissions ICEs, so the point still stands.

If you want to start a debate about EV emission go ahead, but trying to do so in the context of my comment is a nonstarter.
WillieWard
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2017
Greentards cognitive dissonance is ever worse, they are doing a complete disservice in the fight against Climate Change.
"It takes a lot of carbon to build and power an electric vehicle"
"including the extraction and processing of raw materials, and shipping parts and vehicles across oceans in filthy bunker-fuel burning cargo ships."
"In fact, the U.S. Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that it takes about 15 percent more embodied carbon to produce an electric vehicle (EV) ... largely because of the materials and fabrication processes used to make the battery packs."
"Sorry, Tesla owners, but your electric car isn't as green as you think it is"
http://www.salon....ric-car/
greenonions1
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2017
Willie - instead of childish insults - like calling someone a tard - perhaps you should read your own links. Let me help you -

When the time comes to buy a new car, you should buy a nice, small electric car, and you should still keep the mileage down. You should still try to find other forms of transport when you can, and you should share transportation as much as you can

That was from your own link - http://www.salon....ric-car/
EmceeSquared
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 10, 2017
WillieWard:
Greentards


Trolls use insults because their troll posts are designed not to discuss, but only to disrupt, typically to incite flame responses. Then they "teach the controversy". Also they're used to talking that way about their targets with fellow trolls in their troll echo chambers, where they'll never hear a contrary fact or logical process.

Even in articles they cite to appear honest: The Salon article says:
"However, Reichmuth is quick to point out that while an electric car is modestly more polluting to manufacture, it more than makes up for the difference over the life of the vehicle."

Besides, EVs are just coming within sight of scale economies that radically cut embodied carbon. Indeed the large majority of innovation and development is for cheaper, lower impact batteries.

The ramp to lower embodied carbon is necessary, as is burning fuel to get us out of the pollution industry rather than spinning in circles polluting with petrofuels.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2017
"Why electric cars are crap : at 1.5 MJ/Kg, a ham sandwich has a higher energy density than a Li-battery"
https://uploads.d...e03c.jpg
greenonions1
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2017
Willie's numbers as always are behind the times. It is easier to disparage an emerging technology - if you use yesterday's numbers. Latest generation 2170 cells from Tesla - are coming in at 975 Wh/Liter. This translates to around 3.5 Mj/liter - so you can see Willie's chart is out of date. But the energy density of the cell is not the critical metric. Current generation cars (Bolt, model 3 etc.) are coming in around 230 mile range - and you can charge them for around 2 cents per mile - compared to a gas car of 7 cents per mile. Obviously there is still a ways to go to - but progress is being made - and to call cars like the Bolt, and Tesla "crap" - is just stupid.
EmceeSquared
3.2 / 5 (9) Jun 11, 2017
greenonions1:
Willie's numbers as always are behind the times.


Of course WillieWard's troll posts are just stupid. They posted a quote that isn't from the link they posted, while the link is to some chart image without its own citations (or even a date). It's just mindless propaganda.

Besides, who cares whether a ham sandwich has higher energy density than a battery. If we had engines that consume ham sandwich without emitting pollution we'd run on the sandwiches. It's a purely arbitrary red herring fallacy. Trolls provide only fallacies.
Dingbone
Jun 12, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Dingbone
Jun 12, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
greenonions1
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 12, 2017
His claims are still factually correct - the energy density of lithium batteries is about 1 kWattHour/liter
First off - his claim did not say that. 1 Kwh per liter is approx 3,5 Mj/liter. Look again at his graph. Secondly - yes it is correct to say that the energy density of batteries is significantly less that gasoline. So what? Electric cars are currently not able to fully replace gas cars. But many people are finding them sufficient - which is why there are currently about 2 million of them in the world. The transition has just begun. Tesla has just announced that almost all of their superchargers are going off grid - and on to solar. Again - the transition has just begun. The cost of batteries is falling fast. An electric car charges for 2 cents a mile - far cheaper than gas cars. No oil changes. The world is changing....
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 12, 2017
and to call cars like the Bolt, and Tesla "crap" - is just stupid.

Recently had the (unfortunate) experience of riding in a tow car twice in one day. So I took the opportunity to ask the drivers what their experience with Tesla cars was. Turns out they have none. From posts of their their germany-wide facebook group -where they discuss issues with different cars- they know that these break down extremely rarely. Most run-ins with a tow truck happen due to someone driving theirs until it's empty.
EmceeSquared
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 12, 2017
Dingbone:
His claims are still factually correct


The energy density of Li batteries vs ham sandwiches is irrelevant, a red herring fallacy. Red herring. "Some people say the cucumbers taste better pickled." - Dave Chapelle

EVs are already more pollution efficient than ICEs, as other comments here have detailed, including the quote from the troll's disconnected and demonstrably misrepresented citations. That means there's also quite a lot of improvement coming as battery production scales up and innovates, beyond mere superiority over ICEs.

Those are their fallacies I ID'd I've also detailed how they post designed to disrupt, not to discuss, which is the definition of a troll. They ignore the facts about their fallacies even when it's shoved in their face, post uncited Twitter graph images they misrepresent. I posted those arguments, in this article's threads and elsewhere.

Mine was no red herring, nor any other fallacy. Now retract your lost points.
EmceeSquared
3 / 5 (6) Jun 12, 2017
Dingbone:
Sorry, Tesla owners, but your electric car isn't as green as you think it is
Tesla car still utilize the energy, which comes from fossil fuel sources (by 86%) and they also have much higher material source demands (neodymium, copper, lithium) which reflects the facts


Are you reading this discussion you're posting in, or the articles you're citing for your arguments? I already posted the other sentence from that Salon article:

"However, Reichmuth is quick to point out that while an electric car is modestly more polluting to manufacture, it more than makes up for the difference over the life of the vehicle."
EmceeSquared
3 / 5 (6) Jun 12, 2017
Dingbone:
If your car is more expensive, than the average gasoline car and its fuel consumed during its lifetime together, it also means, it's environmentally more demanding, because the price is just the expression of environmental load.


The prices are not simply proportional to environmental load. If only that were the case we'd have dropped these filthy industrial systems years ago. Or rather never have gotten into them, but we did because of a myriad subsidies. How much subsidy do you think the global petroleum reserves system costs to keep gas and manufacturing prices stable and low? Maintaining the USGS and many other agencies to do so? All kinds of government subsidized R&D and other industrial policy expenses, including national labs? Practically free drilling licenses from public real estate?
$TRILLIONS in Greenhouse damage from the pollution? $4B in direct cash handouts?
EmceeSquared
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 12, 2017
Dingbone:
This technology in similar way like most others only increases energy consumption of the civilization and the share of fossil fuel sources http://data.world...MM.FO.ZS because of it.


Of course EVs reduce energy consumption of civilization, they're extremely more efficient in consumption, centralized generation, direct consumption of solar/wind electric even avoiding transmission losses when charged under onsite solar panels. Of course that decreases the fossil fuel sources share total energy consumption, shifting transit energy from fossil fuels to other sources.

That graph doesn's show EVs increase the energy consuption of civilization and the share of fossil fuel sources. It shows what it's titled: "Fossil fuel energy consumption (% of total)" per year. Again, are you reading this discussion you're posting in, or the articles you're citing for your arguments? You're defending the troll's posts while indulging in some of their defects.
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 12, 2017
Or rather never have gotten into them, but we did because of a myriad subsidies.

Not to forget military expenditures. Or does anyone still think that having such a huge military isn't (at least partially) a subsidy for keeping oil flowing? Particularly after the Gulf wars?

Now imagine how much military you need to safeguard PV panels and wind turbines so that other countries don't steal your wind and sunlight. (Try as I might, I cannot come to an estimate above zero dollars)
EmceeSquared
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 12, 2017
antialias_physorg:
a myriad subsidies.

[...] huge military is[n't] (at least partially) a subsidy for keeping oil flowing?


Indeed the huge US military, especially the Navy, is the global security force for oil extraction, delivery and consumption. By itself US domestic military operations represent over 1% of US Greenhouse pollution, excluding all foreign bases and operations including wars, so likely 3-5%+ of US petrofuel consumption. The military/petrofuel complex is a perpetual money/pollution machine, helping guarantee both baseload and multiplied demand pressure when supply pressures start to increase prices during crises. Then consider all the damage done by the military and the fuel consumed to rebuild. And all the other costs along those lines spent through the petrofuel industry. Guaranteed business especially during maximum profit phases is a vast subsidy.
greenonions1
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 12, 2017
huge military is[n't] (at least partially) a subsidy for keeping oil flowing?


This is a fascinating article on the relationship the Trump admin has with the oil and gas industry. Gives some interesting opinion on current geo-politics.

http://www.altern...es-green
WillieWard
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 13, 2017
"New Study: Large CO2 Emissions From Batteries Of Electric Cars"
"The report shows that battery manufacturing leads to high CO2 emissions. For each kilowatt-hour storage capacity in the battery, emissions of 150 to 200 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent are generated, already in the factory."
https://www.thegw...ic-cars/
Naturally occurring, abundant, high density energy storage: uranium
https://pbs.twimg...5A6Q.jpg
EmceeSquared
3 / 5 (6) Jun 13, 2017
WillieWard:
"New Study: Large CO2 Emissions From Batteries Of Electric Cars"


Why would anyone bother to read what you link? You always quote something you're asserting, with a link (if any) to something that doesn't say what you're quoting. You often link to an article that completely rejects whatever BS you're asserting.
greenonions1
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 13, 2017
About 19.6 pounds of CO2 are produced from burning a gallon of gasoline that does not contain fuel ethanol. About 12.7 pounds of CO2 are produced when a gallon of pure ethanol is combusted.
That's a shit load of C02 over the life of a car Willie. You only have to burn about 20 gallons of gasoline - to offset the C02 produced by making 1 Kwh of lithium ion. Makes your numbers look pretty stupid - troll.
EmceeSquared
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2017
greenonions1:
Makes your numbers look pretty stupid - troll.


A troll is someone who posts designed to disrupt, not to discuss. They want predictable responses, preferably flames. There is no chance of them learning anything, however wrong they might easily be proved, because they're not there to discuss. This is WillieWard, among other trolls who infest these boards.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Jun 14, 2017
stupid - troll
The "ad hominem argument" and personal attacks are the last refuge and tool of impotent intellects that already have lost the reason. Lamentable!
EmceeSquared
2 / 5 (4) Jun 14, 2017
WillieWard:
Lamentable!


It's the troll behavior I'm talking about which is all that matters. The troll dishes the fallacies then projects the fallacizing onto the messengers of their trollery.
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) Jun 14, 2017
stupid - troll
I said that the numbers make you look stupid - troll. You are a troll. You have a specific agenda - and you post and post and post - lies. What lies - well you said that wind turbines kill whales. That is just one example. When one person demonstrates the ignorant behavior that you do - to keep posting the same lies over and over - no matter how many times they are refuted with facts - it is certainly a valid observation that this person is a troll.
eachus
3 / 5 (2) Jun 15, 2017
Given that Hinkley Point is going to rake the British tax payers for 18 cents Kwh - it is a pretty good bet that as we go forward - the falling costs of wind and solar (currently at around 3 cents Kwh) will squeeze nukes out of the market - based on cost.


First, you missed that I was not arguing for (conventional) PWR nuclear power, but for MSR aka LFTR technology. Using molten salt as a heat transfer medium can occur at near atmospheric pressure. This among other factors reduces the cost relative to nuclear--or any other available technology.

Let's wait and see.


BTW part of paying attention is that the cost of a power plant needs to be multiplied by its capacity factor. This is above 80% for current nuclear (and coal), closer to 20% for new solar and wind today. (Most of the best locations are already taken. In the US wind is moving offshore to get high power factors. Even if it doubles the cost per peak Megawatt, it is less expensive in the long run.)
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2017
Intermittent renewables: waste of money, destruction of untouched wildlife habitats.
"Still not competitive: Solar PV & wind need $125 billion in subsidies this year Total: $3.2 trillion (2016-2040)"
https://www.faceb...6303968/
http://www.worlde...eo-2016/
"Paris agreement will cause devastating economic costs trillions of $ and keeps poor nations poor."
https://pbs.twimg...6Llf.jpg
"Only nuclear power can lift all humans out of poverty while saving the natural environment."
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Jun 16, 2017
Still not competitive: Solar PV & wind need $125 billion in subsidies this year Total: $3.2 trillion
They don't get subsidies because they are not cost competitive. They get subsidies because their business lobby does exactly the same as the business lobby of every other energy industry - and that is manipulate in order to get supports. Notice that you fail to mention the subsidies of your favorite industry - the nukes - http://www.theeco.../2986749 /after_60_years_of_nuclear_power_the_industry_survives_only_on_stupendous_subsidies.html
Unsubsidized power at 3 - 5 cents Kwh - sure beats 18 cents at Hinkley Point - and it isn't going to come on line until 2023 - http://www.reuter...CN10E1JS
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2017
Unlike intermittent wind/solar(trillion-dollar fiascos in curbing CO2 emissions), carbon-free nuclear power deserves all subsidies as the only source of clean energy that really decarbonize modern grids in a safe and fast way.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2017
carbon-free nuclear power deserves all subsidies
Well at least you are honest. You are a complete hypocrite. Wind and solar can also decarbonize the modern grid - in a safe and fast way. Your opinion and mine mean nothing. It is happening as we speak. Mean time - the British tax payer is going to get screwed for 18 cents a Kwh - where as the folks in states like Texas - will get clean/cheap/abundant/home grown energy.
EmceeSquared
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 17, 2017
WillieWard:
nuclear power deserves all subsidies as the only source of clean energy that really decarbonize modern grids in a safe and fast way.


Here we see the true reveal of the nuke fetishist troll: Nukes are always "the only way" to do this or that, in their fevered imagination. Fetishists require their object to "get off". Nukes fetishists aren't posting to get nukes built, they're just engaging in their porn fetish. It's pure fantasy, obsession. Hence they're fact proof.

They don't read for the articles, but for the hot imagery.
EmceeSquared
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 17, 2017
WillieWard:
nuclear power deserves all subsidies as the only source of clean energy that really decarbonize modern grids in a safe and fast way.


Nukes are far from clean: making their fuel, storing their waste, leaks from their operations are among the filthiest ways of doing anything ever.

Nukes aren't safe either: apart from the radioactive poison in their normal operations, they're one of the worst security risks of all time. They're uninsurable, which is one of the hugest subsidies they get - incomparable to any sustainable generation.

Nukes aren't fast to do anything to the grid: it takes a decade or more to build them really badly, and longer to build them with all the systems and quality that's still dirty and dangerous.

Everyone knows all this for generations. Nuke fetishist trolls are fact proof.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2017
Wind and solar can also decarbonize the modern grid - in a safe and fast way.
It is almost impossible because wind and solar have poor energy density and are inherently intermittent, it takes almost all their lifetime to pay back the fossil fuel energy employed to mine, manufacture, transport, and to install them, and even worse yet taking in mind the tons of fossil fuels used to compensate intermittencies, with capacity factor around 30% it means 70% of energy is provided by fossil fuels.
Moreover, real data already confirms that intermittent renewables are a complete fiasco in terms of CO2 reduction, while carbon-free nuclear power is a success.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2017
Nukes aren't safe either
Carbon-free nuclear power is statistically recognized as the safest per unit of energy produced, fewer fatalities and ecological impacts than renewables. No one has ever been killed from used fuel from a commercial nuclear power plant. Fukushima and Three Mile Island resulted in zero deaths from radiation exposure.
https://uploads.d...f808.jpg
"In truth, nuclear power is the best energy source, in all respects. That's why greens are forced to use lies to fight nuclear power."
EmceeSquared
1 / 5 (4) Jun 17, 2017
WillieWard:
Carbon-free nuclear power


Here we see the troll proving they're fact-proof. Of course nukes emit carbon pollution throughout their lifecycle. Especially during the several generations it takes to decommission their filthy sites after finally even huge subsidies can't prop up their profitability anymore.

Trolls don't care. They're not interested in discussion. They're interested only in disruption, so legitimate people interested in facts and logic don't count to them.
eachus
5 / 5 (1) Jun 17, 2017
EmceeSquared said:

Trolls don't care. They're not interested in discussion. They're interested only in disruption, so legitimate people interested in facts and logic don't count to them.


Speak for yourself. If however you are interested in facts, the state of the art is building nuclear power plants fifty years ago is not the state of the art today. The same thing has happened in roads, automobiles, aircraft, and rockets.

The consensus today is that LFTRs are the reactor for the future. The fuel is literally as cheap as dirt (thorium not enriched uranium), they can run at much higher temperatures with much smaller turbines using supercritical CO2! as a working fluid. And oh yes, they can burn up current nuclear wastes. Molten salt reactors were first built in the late 1950s and were 50 years ahead of their time. There are projects now to build all of the needed pieces for a thorium nuclear economy, but some government regulations need to be changed in the US.
EmceeSquared
1 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2017
No
EmceeSquared said:

Trolls don't care. They're not interested in discussion. They're interested only in disruption, so legitimate people interested in facts and logic don't count to them.


Speak for yourself.


I speak objectively of trolls. You think trolls are interested in actual discussion?

Are you saying that LFTRs will not generate carbon pollution at all during their entire lifecycle, from construction through fuel production, consumption and waste management, then eventual decommissioning?
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2017
Hydro and geothermal have geographical limitations.
Low-carbon nuclear power is the only proven scalable way to deeply decarbonize modern grids, e.g. France and Sweden; while wind and solar have failed miserably even after trillions of dollars spent, e.g. Germany and California.
https://pbs.twimg...Uh8B.jpg
https://actinidea...info.png
https://uploads.d...bfe4.jpg
http://www.tandfo..._oc.jpeg

Nuclear Power is the quickest, cheapest, only legitimate path to solve both Climate & Poverty.
eachus
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2017
Are you saying that LFTRs will not generate carbon pollution at all during their entire lifecycle...?


Depends on how you count certain costs and benefits. In particular LFTRs are much more efficient when using supercritical CO2 to operate turbines instead of steam. (But the turbines and heat exchangers are much smaller.) Waste fuel rods from PWRs can be burned up in LFTRs along with most other high-level nuclear waste, and degraded Plutonium from nuclear weapons or reactors with highly enriched fuel can be used to start the thorium breeding cycle. LFTRs convert Th232 to U233, along with some U232 which makes it useless for bombs.

LFTRs are hot enough to replace oil in producing ammonia, and for that matter alcohols from CO2 to be used in transportation fuels. There is a lot of engineering and scaling up from when MSRs were dropped in the sixties. That is underway, but what is most needed now is to change the laws in the US.
eachus
3 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2017
What is wrong with the laws? Back when the battle between MSRs (molten salt reactors) and LMFBRs (liquid metal fast breeder reactors) was going on as to which would be the future of nuclear energy, politicians in favor of building LMFBRs wanted to drive a stake through the MSR program. Part of how that was done was to treat mined thorium as highly radioactive and dangerous, and (depleted) uranium as perfectly safe. In practice thorium, natural uranium and depleted uranium give off about the same amount of radiation, and living in NH I can tell you that the radon from uranium in the granite is a real problem.

Anyway, the uranium or plutonium (if added for startup) in an MSR are the more dangerous--but not really--part of the salt mix. The real important part is that the salt is chemically processed during operation. When necessary, the salt can be dumped out of one core, moved to another and pick up where you left off, adding Th from time to time.
EmceeSquared
3 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2017
eachus:
Are you saying that LFTRs will not generate carbon pollution at all during their entire lifecycle...?


Depends on how you count certain costs and benefits.


No it doesn't. It depends entirely on the purely objective fact that of course LFTRs will generate carbon pollution during their entire lifecycle. Yet you answered a completely different question.

Since you are not discussing that with me, I am not discussing it with you.
barakn
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 19, 2017
WillieWard, are you ever ashamed of using your own rbrtwjohnson sockpuppet to upvote your comments?
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jun 19, 2017
Nuclear Power is the quickest, cheapest, only legitimate path to solve both Climate & Poverty.
I guess you have not looked at the economics of nukes recently Willie. How about 18 cents Kwh for Hinkley Point - all going out of the British tax payers pocket - into the hands of EDF and the Chinese. Check out this money pit - http://www.theene...ar-plant
Renewables are the fastest growing energy source in the world - which is a win win win win - cheap/clean/abundant/home brewed power.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) Jun 19, 2017
I guess you have not looked at the economics ... How about 18 cents Kwh for Hinkley Point
It is worth the price if climate change is a serious issue.
Hinkley Point is a specific case controversial even among supporters,
but the general case is that renewables are neither cheap nor clean(completely dependent on fossil fuels to mine/manufacture/transport/install and to keep lights on) and are failing miserably to curb CO2 emissions everywhere even after trillions of dollars spent.
Economics do not matter so much if Climate Change is an urgent question, even though most of nuclear power plants are economically affordable.

WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) Jun 19, 2017
Faux-greens and environuts should be ashamed of promoting wind/solar(bird-choppers/landscape-destroyers) that are ruining natural landscapes, annihilating millions of birds and other endangered species, disrupting wildlife habitats, while failing miserably to reduce carbon emissions at cost of trillions of dollars from poor taxpayers.
EmceeSquared
1 / 5 (2) Jun 19, 2017
WillieWard: Still with the birds? You hate birds!
eachus
not rated yet Jun 19, 2017
No it doesn't. It depends entirely on the purely objective fact that of course LFTRs will generate carbon pollution during their entire lifecycle. Yet you answered a completely different question.

The answer I gave you looks like this: A nominal LFTR will use some concrete during construction, less than a tenth of other nuclear plants. (Most LFTR designs have the reactor underground with concrete just used to seal the hole against ground water. The plant does use steel, but less than coal, gas cogeneration, or wind. Once the facility is build, you start putting carbon IN. The core of the reactor is graphite, and the coolant in the secondary loop is carbon dioxide. Now run the plant for 50 years. There is already enough mined Thorium as a by-product of rare earth mining, and a plant will use less than one truckload. Every five years or so the graphite (carbon) in the core needs to be replaced. How do YOU count that in your carbon accounting?
eachus
not rated yet Jun 19, 2017
Now look at the fact that many industrial processes that use high heat can use heat directly from the (secondary) molten salt coolant loop. Such industrial plants would probably be set up for dual-use. Some process heat, and electricity for running the industrial plant.

Some of these industrial processes would replace natural gas or oil. Other processes would use CO2 as a feedstock. A single LFTR could not consume enough CO2 to be significant. But if enough LFTRs are built, companies that currently release CO2 into the atmosphere would start collecting it for sale.

Once as a chemist, or any kind of engineer, you understand how a LFTR works, you are amazed that any other kind of nuclear power was ever developed.

If you actually want to understand what is going on, start here: http://energyfrom...verview/ Note that from a state power commission perspective, the alternative to nuclear is natural gas.
WillieWard
5 / 5 (2) Jun 20, 2017
What should matter is the overall CO2 avoided per trillion-dollar invested: renewables are an expensive fiasco; nuclear is a success, worth the price.
"despite building a large amount of wind and solar capacity there has been no meaningful reduction in emissions."
"significant drop in the numbers of songbird species in Germany, and several species of birds of prey have now become endangered."
"German Energiewende: a billion euro mistake?" - 30 January 2017
http://watt-logic...iewende/
"Study Reveals Solar Panels Contribute to Global Warming"
http://conservati...ronment/

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.