Solar Power
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*New update v2.0*

- Easier reading, more analogies, more discussion
- More comprehensive discussion on economic costs
- New Chapter dedicated to Practical Renewables
- More Nuclear myths debunked

Even with free solar cells and batteries, solar power is too expensive.

If safe nuclear power is expensive, solar power is a disaster (and so is wind). Here I present an analysis with these key findings:

- Solar utility scale power is too expensive even with free solar cells and free batteries
- Fossil fuels are much cheaper but less environmentally friendly
- Wind with storage is better, but still economically unfeasible.
- 100% Solar / Wind hybrids on the utility scale are economically unfeasible to operate
- Geothermal, hydro, clean coal and nuclear energy are the likely candidates for a greener future
- Nuclear energy is cheaper than clean coal in the long run (30 years)
- Clean natural gas is the most economic low emissions option if natural gas remains cheap

Wind and solar are NOT the way to go in terms of economics.

The only candidates left for large scale economically feasible power generation are geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear and fossil fuel power. And in places without geothermal and hydroelectric resources, which would you rather generate electricity for you?
Fossil fuel power or cleaner nuclear power?

And is there such a thing as safe nuclear power?

Absolutely! I'll be discussing more on that in my next book.

Published: Theodore Ong on
ISBN: 9781310168291
Availability for Solar Power: Economic Disaster
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    Solar Power - Theodore Ong

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    Preface

    Before you Read

    This book is structured to facilitate easy reading on e-book devices. It's best to view this document as a pdf or doc file.

    You may find the following features in this book helpful in facilitating your reading experience:

    1. Content Page Links: In case you lose your way or get tired of scrolling, I've put Content Page links at regular intervals to help you find your way around the book. Click on any chapter in the content page to go to that chapter.

    2. Sources: I've intentionally departed from the usual style of writing where sources are compiled at the back of the book. This makes it easier for you to visit internet links to verify what I'm saying instead of scrolling pages of material. This may be subject to change in future editions.

    3. Internet links: The book is designed like a wiki-article where there are plenty of links to other relevant source pages on the internet. You may choose to verify my sources by clicking on the links provided.

    Second Edition

    I've received feedback that arguments in the first edition were lacking. Though I wanted to present a purely economic cost-based perspective, it appeared that readers needed and wanted to see more from a book such as this.

    The second edition comes with improved editing, more detailed explanations, and arguments to provoke thought. It attempts to cover the economic aspects of the power plants described more broadly. I hope you enjoy it.

    Content Page

    Introduction

    Content Page

    Background

    I'm an energy enthusiast. I used to love the idea of renewables, nuclear fission and fusion working together to power our planet.

    But after Fukushima, my views on nuclear fission were forever changed. I was anti-nuclear.

    Two years later, they changed again - I was pro-nuclear, and up till now, still am.

    What happened?

    I found out about safe nuclear power in the form of Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) (pronounced lifters). I was fascinated and went on look more into this technology. This was what I found so attractive about it:

    - Meltdown proof

    - Lack of explosive power

    - 200x more fuel efficiency

    - 100-200x less waste

    - Shorter lived waste (that can be made useful and profitable)

    - Unlimited, sustainable fuel that outlasts the sun (thorium)

    - Minimal environmental cost

    - Cheaper and safer than previous reactors (once research is done)

    Furthermore, I stumbled upon films, such as Pandora's Promise, which make strong environmental cases for nuclear power. In the film, we see formerly anti-nuclear environmentalists and activists becoming pro-nuclear because they saw compelling evidence that nuclear power could save the environment. Even the film's director is a former anti-nuclear activist.

    Advanced nuclear power was so interesting I decided to write my own book about it. But this book isn’t what I’m talking about, the book you’re reading is a spin-off.

    Inspiration and Provocation

    Though films such as Pandora’s promise convince the majority of their audiences to go pro-nuclear, there are those who remain anti-nuclear. Having lost the ability to make environmental cases against nuclear power, opponents of the film often use economic arguments for solar and wind power in an attempt to bring down the film's case for nuclear power as a practical, environmentally friendly energy solution.

    We see this argument play out in videos like these. Here we see the film's director, Robert Stone (who was himself an ex anti-nuclear activist), face off with the Sierra Club arguing about the economics of power generation and debating how well solar power has actually fared in removing carbon emissions.

    In another video, we see Robert Stone facing off with Dale Bryk. Bryk argues that nuclear power is too expensive, and that solar and wind are getting cheaper, and will out compete nuclear through economics. Anti-nuclear advocates like her support the notion that we'll only need wind and solar to power the world.

    In response to such arguments, I've decided to write this book to contest the economic claim of solar power. In this book, I will not place emphasis on issues outside economics since the case has already been made in films such as Pandora’s Promise.

    Why Discuss Economics

    Economics are an important indicator of how practical a solution will be. Economics, costs and returns on investment (ROI) will generally dictate which form of power generation people ultimately use. Like it or not, it is the profit driven in charge of power generation, and there's very little you or I can do. So if a green solution is to be widely utilized by these companies, a strong economic case for such solutions must be made.

    Additionally, the major energy users in the 21st century will be newly industrializing countries and nations with fast growing economies (eg. BRICS). Economic prosperity will top their priority list, not the environment. Hence, it's important to have economically feasible and environmentally sustainable energy solutions made available to them. Otherwise they will burn dirty fossil fuels (mainly coal) by default.

    And to the common man, power plants costing more translate into higher electricity bills. And if the government is serious about energy