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January 13, 2011

How the world will decarbonize energy

Joe Romm had 1 full wedge for nuclear and 700 GW for nuclear in his 2008 decarbonize energy plan.

It shifted to half a wedge 350 GW in 2009 and then had half a wedge for advanced nuclear 350 GW.

It is now back to 700 GW and one wedge for his 2010 plan.

Joe Romm has not changed his tune on nuclear.

He has now tried to slightly de-empasize coal's one wedge and added a wedge for white roofs and roads and a wedge for WW2 style mobilization and sacrifice.



NEI nuclear notes discusses this

A wedge represents an activity that reduces emissions to the atmosphere that starts at zero today and increases to 1 gigaton per year of reduced carbon emissions in 50 years, a cumulative total of 25giga tons of emission reduction over 50 years.

Coal energy generates about 950 grams of CO2/kWh more than nuclear energy

Nuclear 441 reactors are producing 370 GWe and 2600 billion kWh.

Instead of 700 GWe by 2050, there will be over 1300 GWe of nuclear power by 2030

China will be at 48 GWe in 2015 (up from 10 GWe now) and 110 GWe in 2020.
I think China will be at 350 GWe in 2030 based on new reactor construction.
India will be at 70 GWe in 2030.
Russia will be at 80 GWe in 2030.
South Korea will be at 50 GWe in 2030.

China, India, Russia and South Korea will all be competing throughout the 2020-2030 timeframe with inexpensive nuclear reactors. China will start exporting in 2013 reactors that are one quarter to one half the cost of current French and developed country reactors.

Gulf Coop will at 50 GWe in 2030.
France will be at 75 GWe in 2030.
The USA will be at 125-180 GWe in 2030. We can use the lower number because the political uncertainty in the USA.

Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Ukraine, UK, Pakistan, Vietnam will add 20 to 30 GWe each.

Factory mass produced small reactors will see some units prior to 2020.

* China's 200 MW pebble bed reactor should be done by 2015 with more units following
* Hyperion Power Generations 25 MWe unit should be developed by 2013-2018.
* Russia SVBR100 should be produced by 2020.

The smaller factory mass produced units should add 100-300 GWe by 2030.

There should be about ten breeder reactors by 2020 and 50 large breeders by 2030. This does not include the smaller factory mass produced version of breeder reactors.

South Korea will have new 20% nuclear power uprates from annular fuel deployed by 2020 and annular fuel uprates will be adopted by other reactors by 2030. More advanced annular fuel uprates can increase power by 30-50%.

The uprates can add another 40%. 10% from conventional uprates and 30% from annular fuel.

1800-2200 GWe of nuclear power by 2030.

China will have 430 GWe of hydro electric power by 2020 and maybe 500-600 GWe by 2030 (more pumped hydro after all the commercially viable rivers are dammed).

4 wedges from nuclear power and maybe 1 wedge from hydro by 2030. What would need to be 700 GW for a wedge in 2050 need only be 400-500 GW in 2030- longer time to avoid carbon.

Wind power could have 1 wedge by 2030.

Solar power could have 1 wedge by 2030.

Efficiency in buildings, industry and transportation could have 2 or 4 wedges. I have increased confidence in building efficiency because of the deployment of Broad groups efficient factory built buildings.

Any other decarbonization will have to be done in the 2030-2050 timeframe.


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