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Signs of Hope – A continuing series November 7, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?

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1. alanmyler - November 7, 2019

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world

I used to be anti nuclear power, even had a (Catalan language) “nuclear power no thanks” sticker on my car, but it seems that the times are changing in that regard. Good to see Monbiot come out against anti-nuclear anti-science.

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WorldbyStorm - November 7, 2019

Ah funny, I have always been cautiously pro-nuclear. Fusion would be great, but fission if used sensibly and carefully can help make up a deficit. I remember being at a GP organised event in the late 1980s (this one here. https://www.clririshleftarchive.org/document/1138/) when David Bellamy much to the surprise of the hall made the point nuclear power might be essential as part of the energy mix in a greener society. But… it requires massive safeguards and should be overseen by state and regulation.

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tafkaGW - November 8, 2019

I used to be a bit in favour of publicly owned and transparently managed nuclear fission power, with a paranoid and open safety culture.

But now I think we know how to do long term storage for renewably generated electricity (i.e. power-to-gas).

Uranium is scarce, has a military aspect, nuclear power takes a long time to build etc. etc. without getting into the more emotive reasons against.

Fusion is probably worth continuing to experiment with.

But the way to go is a massive build of renewables (which are getting cheaper and cheaper) and linking these to power-to-gas storage near gas-fired stations. With gas infrastructure build-out if necessary. All faster and cheaper than nuclear power, as well as being more distributed and therefore robust.

From this Wikipedia article on power-to-gas:

Power-to-gas systems may be deployed as adjuncts to wind parks or solar-electric generation. The excess power or off-peak power generated by wind generators or solar arrays may then be used at a later time for load balancing in the energy grid. Before switching to natural gas, the German gas networks were operated using towngas, which for 50–60 % consisted of hydrogen. The storage capacity of the German natural gas network is more than 200,000 GWh which is enough for several months of energy requirement. By comparison, the capacity of all German pumped storage power plants amounts to only about 40 GWh. The storage requirement in Germany is estimated at 16GW in 2023, 80GW in 2033 and 130GW in 2050.[5] The transport of energy through a gas network is done with much less loss (<0.1%) than in a power network (8%). The storage costs per kilowatt hour are estimated at €0.10 for hydrogen and €0.15 for methane.[6] The use of the existing natural gas pipelines for hydrogen was studied by the EU NaturalHy project[7] and US DOE.[8] The blending technology is also used in HCNG.

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2. Paul Culloty - November 8, 2019
WorldbyStorm - November 8, 2019

Now that’s good news!

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3. EWI - November 9, 2019

The good attendance over the packed schedule of the ICHLC conference in Galway is certainly a sign of hope (less so, maybe, was a certain Dublin trade unionist’s claim that Richard Mulcahy was the only man to successfully arm the Irish workers).

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