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Beyond Growing Pains: Germany's New Normal in Renewable Energy Policy

Johannes Urpelainen's picture
Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Johannes Urpelainen is the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment at Johns Hopkins SAIS and the Founding Director of ISEP. He received his Ph.D. in Political...

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  • Aug 23, 2016
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In July 2016, the German government decided to abolish the country’s feed-in tariff (FIT) for renewable electricity generation. Instead, the government now plans to auction contracts for renewable electricity deployment to the lowest bidders.

The FIT is a policy that basically forces electric utilities to buy renewable electricity from generators for a premium price. Since 1990, the German FIT had played a key role in making the country a pioneer in the use of renewable energy. Why did Germany replace the FIT after almost three decades of unparalleled growth in renewable electricity generation?

As a policy, the FIT has many virtues in the early stages of renewable electricity generation. It reduces uncertainty for electricity producers as the FIT guarantees a fixed, above-market price for a defined time period, such as ten years.

The German law also gives priority to renewable electricity, thus granting grid access to renewable producers. This design protects independent small-scale producers by preventing electric utilities from closing the electricity market. Politically, this feature is key to understanding the FIT’s popularity: it creates benefits to a large number of small generators.

No wonder, then, that the FIT has been the most critical driver behind Germany’s aggressive growth in renewables. In fact, renewable electricity generation since 1990 increased by a factor of ten, with renewables now accounting for almost a third in the country’s electricity mix.

However, the cost of the FIT policy increases over time, as the cost of generating renewable electricity declines. This development typically shows in increased electricity prices for household customers. As a result of the FIT, average retail prices have soared, at least over the last decade. Residential consumers are charged about 35 cents/kWh compared to about 13 cents/kWh in the United States, making Germany the country of some of the highest electricity prices in Europe.

Germany’s decision to drop the FIT policy and to become an auctioneer is thus an attempt to control the rate and cost of growth in renewable electricity generation. Auctioning not only promises to reduce the cost of renewable electricity generation, but it also gives policymakers more flexibility in achieving their goals.

The German government can now create “deployment corridors” by setting renewable energy production targets for different technologies. In turn, the “breathing caps” adjust the premium for renewables depending on how well actually installed capacities match targets.

The move into auctions also shows political acumen. Now that renewable electricity generation is much cheaper than just a decade ago, rapid growth in the sector is no longer the overriding priority. Now the question is whether Germany can keep increasing the share of renewables in the power sector without continued increases in electricity prices and other problems, such as outages.

Indeed, the German FIT had recently drawn a lot of fire. Critics of the FIT point to the continued use of polluting coal in Germany, as renewables have reduced the use of natural gas and nuclear power. Others note that electricity has now become a “luxury good” in Germany, no longer affordable to the poor.

Now that cost-effectiveness of renewable production is becoming more and more important relative to mere growth, tailoring cash incentives towards the government’s strategic expansion plans is key to success. Auctions enable continued growth in renewables at a low cost relative to the FIT, while giving the government more control over technologies and types of renewables. In this sense, auctions promise to be a useful tool in Germany’s pursuit of a “new normal” in renewable electricity production.

In applauding the Merkel government’s policy choice, we do not want to belittle the challenges of designing auctions. It remains to be seen if – and how much – the German auctions reduce the cost of renewable capacity installation and whether the disappearance of the certainty provided by the FIT creates problems.

A particular challenge for Germany is that auctions are not suited for supporting the growth of small-scale, distributed renewable electricity generation. Because small producers cannot compete on cost basis with major players or do the complicated paperwork in bidding, different policies are needed to support this segment. The goal here must be to continue to support distributed electricity generation in the country of Bürgerenergie – citizen energy. The German government recognizes these issues. For example, small installations still benefit from an FIT up to a certain limit.

To sum it all up, the German government is again leading the way in renewable energy policy. Auctions are the future for renewable energy now that the sector has left growing pains behind. However, much depends on the design of auctions and finding the right complementary policies for small-scale, distributed renewable electricity generation.

Note: This post is written together with Patrick Bayer (School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow). Follow him on Twitter at @pol_economist.

Photo Credit: Sheila Sund via Flickr

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Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 26, 2016

According to BP, the Belgian nuclear share 2010 to 2015 is like this: 50% 53% 49% 51% 46% 37%. The poor 2015 figure was temporary, and multiple reactors was brought back online in the last days of 2015, so the 2016 figures are expected to fall back in line.

Granted, Belgium has said they’ll abandon nuclear by 2025. Still, it’s no doubt that it’s currently one of the nuclear leaders by penetration.

Helmut Frik's picture
Helmut Frik on Aug 26, 2016

Compensations for damages do not follow any cost/benefit analysis, they have to be done € for €. Which was never done for Tschernobyl, and is according to my information, not yet done for Fukushima. The main cleanup part for both reactors is still missing, at both places work is so far about keeping damages fro spreading further.

Nuclear power starts in france – in which year 7 new reactors were started to build or were conneced to grid?
MAximum nuber per year I find worldwide is 33. Too few to keep pace with renewables. First nuclear systems in France and plans to expand them I find are from 1956. Latest constructions ended in 2002, nearly 50 years later, and Flamaville is not yet completed (but is not intended to expand the nuclear fleet, so I don’t count it). So time scale is similar. In 1973 plans were accelerated due to the oil crisis. Electricity production in france was heavily dependend on Oil then, and these Oil fired power plant were to be replaced by nuclear power plants, that was the plan, since coal was not available sufficiently. No idea about climate or similar.
Same as in sweden which also did not have significant amouts of coal at hand.

And again you just count people in a country and do not explain how the factorys to build important parts of the nuclear power plants fall from heaven or so to produce significant numbers of nuclear power plants fast enough to do anything of relecance to the climate.

Here some data to production capacity: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-23/solar-industry-braces-... forcasts for china for the second half of the year are rising again due to dropping prices for equipment.
So far more than 100GW/year installation rate are expected for 2018. which will cover a rising share of the global power market.

Helmut Frik's picture
Helmut Frik on Aug 26, 2016

Well the intermittend power production of nuclear power plants went on in 2016, there were serveral switch off’s again. So we will have to see to which production nubers this will lead at the end of the year.

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 26, 2016

Compensation follow evacuations, and evacuations were exaggerated. Also compensations for Fukushima has been extreme. So much that people doesn’t want to move back for fear of losing compensation. The actual reactor handling in Fukushima is not that expensive, even if that too is made unneccessarily expensive by political interference. For instance they haven’t been allowed to release treated water and they have been pouring money into an ice wall that won’t do any significant difference in the grand scheme of things. Evacuations and remediation efforts where you replace topsoil is expensive.

In France, 7 reactors started in 1980 and 8 reactors started in 1981. That the timescales would be comparable to Germany’s is not a reasonable assertion. The absolute bulk of France’s nuclear construction was 1973-1992 and in the following year, they were at 78% nuclear, and only 8% fossil (with the rest being hydro). They were more than done, compared to Germany’s goal which is 2050 as an 20% fossil grid.This is a nice graph of electricity generation uptake in pioneer countries, btw:
http://media.nejdetkanviinte.se/2016/06/uptake-pioneers-2016.png

Yes, thanks, 33 reactors per year would today provide some 300 TWh. Solar added 60 TWh and and wind added 125 TWh last year. So I think 33 reactors would not only keep pace with renewables, but leave them in the dust!

Then we should consider that world real GDP has doubled since then (I guess the 33 reactors were in 1984 or so). So today, easily 66 reactors with the same level of relative effort, which would give 600 TWh. That would take 2.5% market share per year, which is a reasonable pace considering they have a 60 years design life.

I don’t understand your talk about factories falling from heaven. France did it. Others can too. China has capacity to produce at least 8 sets of reactor components per year and can certainly expand that. The US can obviously do the same, and France has done it. Germany could too. South Korea has capacity to provide one set per year to tiny UAE. And so on. What’s the problem?

Yeah, 100 GW solar installations in 2018 I can believe, no problem. That’ll take some 0.5% market share. Still too little, and it’ll soon level off after that.

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 26, 2016

Whichever exact numbers we get, Belgium is undoubtedly one of the currently leaders in nuclear penetration. And that was what we were talking about.

Helmut Frik's picture
Helmut Frik on Aug 26, 2016

No the start in France was not from nothing, but just a acceleration of existing programs, similar programs were running at the same time in germany and nearly all inustrialised states too, so this is more comparable to the situation in germany in 2011/2012. Which is just 4-5 years ago, where several regulations have been changed to speed up development, which happened especially for wind power. The TWh you reference belong to equipment installed in 2014 mainly, so increases by production by equipment installed in 2015 is accordingly higher, and now we have 2016, wehhre the nubers are again already higher.
And the driving powers behind the expansion of wind and solar, which is price today, are getting stronger not wekaer, so there is no leveling out in sight.
And still you have no idea where to get the facories to manufactore the neccesary parts for the nuclearr power plants in time, including the experienced workers for this kind of work. In 1973, they were already there due to the projects of the 1960’s. In germany i count 24 construction starts for nuclear power plants of variable size before 1972 If you look at UK or the US, it will be even more.
If your question is: would it be possible to build renewables faster in Germany?- sure it would be possible. Especially with the french law for building big projects, where population has only small influence on projects in their region. This would make it very easy to add grid extensions, which again would make it much more easy to use the best wind ressources faster.

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 26, 2016

Why choose 2011-2012, the very last years of the German solar bubble (and with some 8% wind already)? Why not choose 2031 as start year of the German energiewende? If you choose that year and are done 2050, you take 19 years to decarbonise, just like France!

Or when do you think German RE will exhibit a steep growth trajectory like that of nuclear pioneer countries in the graph above?

I still don’t understand the problem with scaling nuclear large component production. It’s just industry. If you pay for it, it will appear. China is eyeing expanding capacity to 20 sets/year with a view to export, for instance. Again, nuclear is cheaper and thus long-term faster. Also, it doesn’t have the stoppers in terms of intermittency, need for long distance grids with country/state integration, storage and so on.

Of course solar TWh growth will continue expanding. Perhaps 2016 will give some 75 TWh additions and 2017 100 TWh additions, if lucky. But nuclear is still far ahead, historically.

Of course solar will level out. China, Japan and the UK has started to burst their bubbles this year by reducing subsidies. They join the ranks of such prominent bubble-bursters as Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Denmark, Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, Czec Republic and Slovakia.

The US, India and much of the rest of the world are inflating their bubbles and that, along with some residual growth in the burst countries, will have solar installations growing for some time yet. But remember wind power stopped growing exponentially in 2009, at some 1.4% global penetration. That’s where solar is now. So how long can it keep it up? I think we’ll see installations level out very soon!

Helmut Frik's picture
Helmut Frik on Aug 26, 2016

Because neither Industry nor trained industry worker make “Plopp” and appear the next day when you start spending money on that topic.
You may Ask Kompanies like Müller Weingarten / Schuler how long it takes till they deliver their most heavy products after Order – this takes years, not days. As well as the planning and building of the factoris where they should be located, including ship, rail, road connections to them. And only when these things exist you can really start training the staff with then new machines collect experience till they can produce the largest possible parts which are needed for the nuclear power stations.
Saarschmiede Gmbh for example is at the momne the only company I know which can make the core components for the EPR’s Generators. And they only have the capacity to produce one at a time, which takes very long, and thay have orders from other customers too for quite a long time in the future.
Wind Turbine manufacturers had similar, but much smaller problems to ramp casting for very large parts (Hubs) up and to get the gears they need in sufficient numbers. This was just a ramping up by two digit percentages, and took years. Not multiplying several times.
You forget ime is a important factor when talking about infrastructure changes. If you start ramping up nuclear power plant production with a worldwide decision today, large numbers of capacities will show up in the middle of the 2030’s.
I did choose 2011 because there was a change in speed for Enegriewende due to Fukushima. IT was not driven by the incredible costs France had with its oil fired power plants from 1973 on. This is not happening in germany now. So why do you expect germany to be so much faster than the US, Poland, UK, etc when decarbonisation is concerned? until not so long ago the US did not wnt to move towards this direction at all. Also remeber Energiewende also includes decarbonisation of heating and traffic, which has to be done in parallel with electricity.
And that legacy nuclear pwoer stations still produce more power than renewables today is to be expected, having started 50 years more early. Do the same comparison again in 35 years.

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 26, 2016

I’ll quote a relevant part of a text from 2010 that illustrates that heavy forging capability can be ramped fairly quickly, like in three years to create a new press, and of course several can be done simultaneously. And each can do 3-4 sets of reactor forgings per year. And let’s remember there is substantial capability already. I’m unclear why you think it’d take 20 years to ramp. It would absolutely not.

“April 2010 saw the completion of a new forging shop including a 14,000 tonne press at JSW’s Muroran plant. The forging shop is the first part of a three-stage expansion project launched in 2008 that should see JSW’s nuclear capability tripled to about 12 reactor pressure vessels per year by 2011. JSW has supplied the heavy forgings for the first two EPR reactors currently under construction in Finland and France. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is in the midst of work to double the capacity for reactor pressure vessels and internals at its Kobe shipyard.
China currently boasts the world’s most ambitious nuclear reactor construction programme, with 20 reactors under construction and many more planned. It is hardly surprising, then, that its heavy engineering industry is also gearing up for expansion. Ten engineering enterprises were announced as qualified to provide equipment for Generation III nuclear plants by the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) in early 2010. Chief amongst them is CFHI, which already has a 15,000 tonne press and is in the process of expanding its capacity from three sets of PWR equipment per year in 2009 to five sets by 2015.
Russia’s heavy engineering sector has also been expanding for more energy sector work. The commissioning of a furnace complex able to produce 600 tonne ingots and 5.5 m-diameter forging shells for reactor components at OMZ’s Izhorskiye Zavody plant at Izhora in mid-2009 is a major step in expansion plans that should see a doubling of large forgings capacity to 3-4 sets of reactor components per year from 2011.
Moving on to new capacity, Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) is set to install the UK’s first 15,000 tonne forging press after securing a funding package worth £140 million, including £80 million from the UK government. Much of the remainder – up to £50 million according to some reports – is from AP1000 constructor Westinghouse, in the form of forward orders. Construction is likely to begin later in 2010, with the press becoming operational within three years.”

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 26, 2016

Why I expect Germany to be faster than others? I don’t, since you have been betting on the wrong horse.

One example of the general problem, though, is that you ask me to have a look again in 35 years. That’s 100,000 coal pollution deaths in Germany alone, plus health care costs, and several lost decades in combating AGW. As an example to the world, it is terrible and deterring! A school-book example of how not to do.

But astonishingly, it is held up as a good example. Germany is widely applauded in green circles all around the world for being a renewables leader. Though everybody knows Germany is one of the major polluters, all is forgiven since it has burnt a lot of money. It’s like sacrifices, symbols and rituals are far more important than actual results. And its like greens don’t care about the environment or AGW, just about old dogma and social prestige! Because if they cared, they would have slaughtered that old holy cow of anti-nuclearism ages ago.

Even people in Sweden, who have had a near-optimal electricity production for 30 years, are saying “oh, look, solar works for Germany, we have as good insolation as they do, let’s go that way”. But it doesn’t work for Germany. The resource waste has been enormous, the results meager and in the end Germany couldn’t take it anymore and gave up.

I’m getting a bit desperate here, as you can hear. But yeah, I’ll have a look in 35 years and see if you got anywhere. But as I seem to have a bit more urgency than you do, I think I’ll take a few sneak peeks before that as well.

Engineer- Poet's picture
Engineer- Poet on Aug 27, 2016

Is the reason for RE leaders lagging behind in EVs that they’ve wasted all their money on extremely expensive intermittent sources, to little effect?

It’s interesting that this is exactly what the fossil-fuel interests would have wanted, isn’t it?

Darius Bentvels's picture
Darius Bentvels on Aug 27, 2016

Germany’s Energiewende provided a great meaningful benefit to the world!

It created the PV-solar mass market, which established the great price decreases as predicted by German scientists in the nineties!

PV-solar went from ~100cent/KWh in 2000 (start Energiewende) to ~7cent/KWh in Germany and other countries with poor insolation (3-4cent in areas with high insolation such as Dubai, Chile, Arizona, etc)..

Thanks to their endeavor:
– the world now has ~300GW PV-solar installed. Similar as nuclear.
And PV-solar is expanding with ~20%/year, reaching >1TW before 2025.
– PV solar becomes competitive (without subsidy) in ever more regions.
Not only in regions with high insolation (Dubai, Chile, S-USA, etc).

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 27, 2016

Global nuclear electricity production in 2015 was almost precisely 10x that of solar.

Solar is still very much driven by policy. As soon as subsidies are withdrawn, which happens in more and more countries, installations goes to near-zero.

I’d say Germany’s energiewende might have doomed the climate. The lower solar prices gave new hope to those wanting to avoid nuclear. That might lose two decades or so in the fight against coal and AGW.

Darius Bentvels's picture
Darius Bentvels on Aug 27, 2016

10years ago global solar capacity was 6GW, now it’s ~300GW
10years ago nuclear capacity was ~360GW, now it’s ~350GW

It’s widely expected that solar will continue to grow with ~20%/a!
Nuclear is expected to decline further in coming decade.

The increase of renewable in Germany was much higher than the decrease of nuclear. So fossil (coal, gas, etc) use for electricity generation was also reduced significantly.

Jarmo Mikkonen's picture
Jarmo Mikkonen on Aug 28, 2016

US area is 9.629 million square kilometers, Germany 0.357 million square kilometers. The US has 27 times larger area than Germany with only 4 times larger population. There is simply a huge mileage of exposed overhead power lines in the US compared to Germany. Germany has one of the highest percentages of underground cables in Europe. In the US, 97% of transmission lines are installed overhead.

Germany also pays a steep price to keep the grid stable despite renewables. In 2015, wind generators in Germany were paid over 300 million euros to curtail their electricity generation. The cost has grown 100% annually in recent years.

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 28, 2016

Strange numbers. In January 2007 (earliest figure I had at hand), nuclear had 369 GW installed and 23 GW under construction. In August 2016, nuclear has 389 GW installed and 65 GW under construction.

In the time period, lots of countries increased, but the major ones were China +23 GW, India +2 GW, South Korea +6 GW, Russia +4 GW. Those who shed major amounts were Germany, Japan and the UK. USA actually increased capacity with 3 less reactors.

Solar will continue to grow, but its growth will soon go linear. Likely, it will never catch up to nuclear power.

German fossil share in electricity has decreased a little bit, but I wouldn’t call it significant. Also, the reason is that it cowardly put most of the rest of the nuclear phase-out in 2020-2021. Then the fossil share will jump back and any gains will vanish.

Darius Bentvels's picture
Darius Bentvels on Aug 28, 2016

The numbers are from THE WORLD NUCLEAR INDUSTRY status report 2016. It excludes capacity that is in Long Term Outage such as part of the Japanese nuclear fleet.

The decline is also shown by nuclear ‘s production:
10years ago 2,660TWh/a (~15% of global electricity)
Last year 2,441TWh/a (~11% of global electricity).

So while global nuclear capacity declined ~3%, nuclear production declined ~8%.

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 28, 2016

That report is an anti-nuclear production aiming to portray nuclear developments as badly as possible. Of course they’d choose to use the Japanese fleet like that. When the Japanese reactors restarts, however, you can be sure that the report will switch metrics so that it doesn’t look like nuclear is expanding rapidly!

BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 has global nuclear production in 2015 at 2577 TWh, btw.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Aug 28, 2016

Bas Gresnigt, refreshing to see “provided” in past tense – that (albeit belatedly) you’re finally admitting Energiewende is kaput. Its “great meaningful benefit” aided in establishing solar’s expensive, insignfiicant, meaningless contribution of 1% of global electricity.

Darius Bentvels's picture
Darius Bentvels on Aug 28, 2016

Then either you read BP wrong or BP was wrong as the pro-nuclear World Nuclear Association (WNA) also states 2441TWh for nuclear’s production in 2015.

I no longer use the pro-nuclear WNA reports because they contain far less info and their info was repeatedly highly biased and sometimes even plain wrong!

Didn’t see a fault in the WNI reports yet!

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 28, 2016

Probably the reason for the discrepancy is that BP includes electricity generated that is used at the plant itself. So BP is gross production and WNA net production.

Since you accept the junk science of Scherb and Voigt, I’m not surprised that you see no faults with WNI. However, there are plenty, especially around the science of accidents. But of course, most easily verifiable numbers are correct, but cherry-picked and discussed with the goal of giving a negative portrayal of nuclear and a positive of renewables.

One example of many is this “The average construction time of the latest 46 units in ten countries that started up since 2006 was 10.4 years with a very large range from 4 to 43.6 years. The average construction time increased by one year compared to the WNISR2015 decennial assessment.”

This is probably correct, but the median would be more interesting and would probably not have moved at all. The reason average construction time increased by a year is that Watts Bar 2 was completed, and that’s that endpoint of 43.6 year, which obviously will add almost a year to the construction time average of 46 units. Of course, active construction on Watts Bar 2 hasn’t been that long. Most of the time, it has been sitting in a mothballed incomplete state. In my mind, completing Watts Bar 2 is an achievement, not a reason to suddenly inflate expectations of construction times.

Helmut Frik's picture
Helmut Frik on Aug 31, 2016

Well and the timeframes mentiont in the text you cite fit exactly to what I told before. To publish such anouncements, some years of plannings usually have passed, and according to your texts getting the machinery takes some years, as I told, and after that some years of training for new staff follows till they can produce the hugest parts.
And e.g. sheffield forges tell on their homepage, that they can produce axis for small and medium to large generators, but not the very large generators for nuclear power plants, which would explain why these parts for the EPR come from germany. And they do not offer nuclear pressure vessels as it seems, which explains why these parts for the EPR come from Japan.
On the other hand similar pieces are needed by the chemical industiie for example and are manufactured on the ame machines, reducing available capacity for nuclear plants significantly.
Which tells that exising capacitys for nuclear plants fits to todays build rate, and it would take many years to expand it to higher build rates. Experience in many industrie als tells that it is not possible to expand production significant over 20-30% per year withot quality problems – which is again the expansion rate of solar, and of wind (also a part of the expansion in the wind sector goes into significant higher capacity rates and not into nameplate capacity)

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 31, 2016

There are plans available to act upon, and training is done in parallel with getting machinery in place. So we’re talking about three years or so to get a doubling in place, and another three years for another doubling. And that will be plenty – we won’t need more than that.

(Remember we have 60 reactors under construction and with quadrupling capacity with the additions being solely for nuclear purposes, that could be increased to 300 or so, for a completion rate of 50 reactors a year.)

Also, that the presses are used by other sectors too gives nuclear the possibility to outbid others to increase its deliveries with no additional heavy forging capability. You make it sound like it’s the other way around.

Of course, what I outlined will not happen, at least not that rapidly. I’m just saying that it would be no big deal if there was some political will.

Helmut Frik's picture
Helmut Frik on Aug 31, 2016

The numbers of reactors “under construction” does not matter at all, since there are not few among them which are in this state for a eternity. What matters is the completion rate. for which I see capacity for 5-10 per year if a premium is payed to get almost all available capacity for this tasks.
Training perople for these tasks is not so easy, they have to start with less “important” parts before they come to parts for nuclear poewr plants. Which means they have to have a machine which is in same size, but not working on nuclear parts, to get trained over time. Also no company can afford to hire double staff while not having earnings and machinery for them. You would have to spend extreme subsidies for such things to happen, and due to lack of real training with real parts still there would be the quality problem.
So ramping up would be a process which takes many years, followed by the time to build, and partly to plan the equipment. Which would delay any reall feellable effect towadrs the late 2030’s if not later. Which is by far too late.

Jesper Antonsson's picture
Jesper Antonsson on Aug 31, 2016

You say: “The numbers of reactors “under construction” does not matter at all, “since there are not few among them which are in this state for a eternity”

But that’s simply a myth. The reactors listed under construction has active ongoing construction. They are completed in an average time frame of 8 years or so, so there’s some 7 reactors equipment sets produced per year, at least. And this is at very low utilization rates – this could be ramped with no additional investment in presses and so on. China can do 8 sets already. Japan, Russia and France also has capabilities. South Korea, Japan, Czech Republic and Russia is building additional capability. China, India, UK have plans.

You keep making excuses, but I maintain nuclear is easily ramped and I proved it to you by the texts I cited. A very heavy press is not _that_ different from a less heavy press, so there’s trained people available that can proceed to learn some new equipment.

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