Better energy technologyThe largest, most unknown and unloved, "energy source" is: saving energy and energy efficiency. The potential of this is certainly 75 per cent of the current energy use.
Take the energy use by the current existing buildings that appraoch 40 per cent. According to reports from the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and the Dutch Centre for Technology and Innovation TNO [ËRGO programme] all Dutch, and therefore all European, buildings can be energy neutral in the time period from 2040 to 2050. Only that would already mean a saving of the total energy use and the total CO2 emission of about 40 per cent around 2050!
In 2020 a saving of 50% in this sector is possible: a decrease with a factor 2. More than enough to meet a post Kyoto treaty easily, without nuclear power.
Take transport, the sector with the fastest growing energy use, which is now more than 20% of the total energy consumption, in the short term 25%. Years ago Volkwagen built a prototype car that drove 1 on 100, the current average is 1 on 12. Nowadays this can be apparently better by a factor of 8! If the energy prices are high enough or if the government makes sharper requirements. Around 2020 an improvement of 1 on 12 to 1 on 24 must be feasible (factor 2). Around 2050 at least a factor 4 better.
Simply a question of determining European measures or guidelines. Because of the current high energy prices this will be also economically, ecologically and politically very interesting: think about less import, less dependency on oil producing states, less CO2, less costs.
The same counts for lighting, LED lamps are saving energy by a factor 4 and their life span is much longer.
A similar story can be held for all other sectors, whether it concerns industry or agriculture. A decrease of the current energy use of 75% in 2050 is feasible.
The remaining 25 per cents can be covered by renewable or permanent energy sources.
Renewable energyThe following energy sources are counted to renewable energy: wind energy, on-shore and off-shore; solar energy, active and passive; water power, among which tidal energy; biomass and earth heat.
The potential of this is big and yet scarcely utilized.
- Wind mills parks on land and sea, potential of 50% of all electricity use. In Denmark the share of wind energy is already more than 20% of the total electricity use.
- Solar panels with high efficiency, such as now on satellites and the NUON sun car, on all roofs and south walls of all buildings, which meet the other 50%.
- Solar collectors for the production of warm water and heating of rooms.
- Water power: utilizing of wave blows and tidal energy are still in the experimental stage and has a huge potential.
- Biogas production by efficient fermenting of all released biomass, can fill the holes in the electricity production in quick started Geothermal Power Generation installations, when there is little wind and sun.
EfficiencyThe increase of the efficiency of nuclear power stations is has stayed behind compared with other methods for electricity production. That electrical efficiency for nuclear power stations is 33% for decades. A modern conventional power station, like the STAG (Steam and Gas) turbine have already an electrical effeciciency of 60%. Heat Power stations have a total efficiency of 80 to 95%.
Of course most of the existing stations still have a relatively low efficiency, 35% at average (especially caused by the low efficiency of brown cabbage, coal and nuclear power stations). But that also means that the efficiency, by replacement of all these old power stations en by building new ones, can increase with 50% to 100% in the forthcoming 20 years! That would cause a much stronger reduction of the CO2 emission than the building of 100 new nuclear power plants in Europe!
It is easy to calculate: Currently there is 704 Giga Watt (GW) on power stations in EU. Suppose there is replacement and new buildings for 400 GW in the coming 20 years with an average efficiency of 65%. That would mean a saving of the energy use for power production, and therefore of the CO2 emission, of nearly 50%. That is a much bigger saving of energy use and CO2 emission than the building of 100 GW on new nuclear power stations, namely 50% against 14%!
Introduction minimum efficiency requirements
Suppose that within the EU requirements are made to the minimum efficiency, like now for houses, and suppose that these are fixed at 60% in 2010. Then there would be no room anymore for new nuclear power stations….
Exit nuclear renaissance.
Being right is one thing, putting in the right is another thing