Dead Germans Don't Count

At least not to the German Government or the Green lunatics who call the tune over there.

Angela Merkel caused a flurry when she buckled to Green lunacy and ordered the safe and boringly reliable German Nuclear fleet to be shut down.

Consequently she is going to kill a lot of Germans.

When asked how they were going to make up the shortfall from closing the nuclear plant the German government just mumbled and looked at their shoes. Then we found out that their grand plan involved building 5800 MW of Lignite burning coal plant.

That's right. They are building Lignite burning coal plant to replace nuclear....

A German government minister enthused that the new coal plant would be easier to throttle than older coal plant so could be used in conjunction with wind and solar.....

No I'm not making this up. (honest)

But there is also another 12.2 GW of nuclear yet to close. I expect a lot more mumbling and shoe viewing from the German government in the near future.

Anyway, back to the main thrust of this post.

How many Germans are going to be killed by this madness?

Well, Professor Hansen of the Goddard Space Research Center (one of the most respected scientists in the world) has calculated how many respiratory deaths have been averted by nuclear power. The number is currently 1.85 million (and rising).

But of course, you can always work the figures back the other way and figure out how many people you will kill by replacing nuclear plant with dirty Lignite burning coal plant.

Professor Hansen in his paper (HERE) references another peer reviewed paper by Markandya &  Wilkinson (HERE) and particularly this table.


Notice that for every TW/hr of nuclear you replace by Lignite you kill an extra 32.6 people per year. You also cause 298 cases of severe cardio-vascular distress and over 17000 lesser illnesses.

These Lignite burning monsters are new. So their capacity factor should be around 70%.  So we get about 36 TW/hrs of power in a year from them.

Every year, this madness (so far!) is killing (32 x 36) 1150 people and causing 11,000 more serious respiratory illnesses. Minor illnesses come in at over half a million. That is EVERY YEAR.

AND that is just these few new stations that do not even make up the current deficit from closing the 8 nuclear plants in 2011 !!

The German nuclear Fleet is/was 20GW in total. Replacing that lot is going to need a helluva a lot of Lignite. And a mountain of dead Germans.

Clearly, it will not just be the German Nuclear Industry that will have it's name followed by the initials R.I.P. in the near future.

2 comments:

Hanno Böck said...

Already answered you on twitter, but some more details here:

You write: "Then we found out that their grand plan involved building 5800 MW of Lignite burning coal plant."

That's just plain wrong in many ways.

Here are the facts:
* There were 10 coal plants built in the past years or are still in construction, but none of them in response to the post-fukushima nuclear phaseout. Power plants don't get build overnight. These are old plans.
* After the 2011 nuclear phaseout decision not a single new coal plant construction was started.
* From those 10 plants, only 2 are lignite. The rest is hard coal.

That said: I think a lot is going in the wrong direction with the german "Energiewende" and especially the role of coal. The construction of these coal plants was a mistake. And hard coal is only slightly better than lignite.

But discussing that makes a lot more sense if you get the basic facts correct.

BilloTheWisp said...

An interesting exchange on Twitter Hanno. But I'll just put up here a link or two to data regarding how regressive this all is.

See: Der Speigel here http://bit.ly/1eXSidZ

In 2012 alone, 3GW new Lignite was commissioned and there is more in the pipeline. As the Der Speigel article accurately points out the lost nuclear
capacity has been made up by coal both brown and hard. The consequence of this is people will die - and your CO2 emissions will go up.

One twitterer pointed out that actually I was wrong and that 8GW coal (both hard and lignite) was going to be commissioned not 5.8GW.
Link here: http://bit.ly/1g6sNth So maybe my figure is too low.

However you seem to be pedantically obsessed with the 5.8GW I quoted. True I said it was lignite. You seemed to assert that it would hard coal instead. That hardly makes it all better does it? The difference is Lignite kills 32 people per TW/hr whereas hard coal kills 26. I hope you do not find that minor difference acceptable. I still think your wrong but 26 dead and several thousand sick from per TW/hr is more than enough for me anyway.

I was a little alarmed by your twitter phraseology as suggesting that the two highly regarded peer reviewed papers I quote above were actually not so. That seemed a little like a political ploy to suggest that the whole of this data was wrong because my 5.8GW was itself not actually "peer reviewed"
Of course it was not! This is blog not a peer reviewed paper! Even so the figure is about right. I got the figure off the web, but as you fully know it IS roughly correct.

But whether it is 4GW or 8GW is immaterial. Thousands of people have been condemned to an ugly death by closing down the German Nuclear plant. Many more (10,000's) will suffer years of ill-health. Quibbling about whether its brown coal or hard coal or whether my figure is marginally incorrect smacks of defending your agenda much in the same way the tobacco and asbestos companies once did.

If you can see any serious flaws in my calculation, or if you can prove your lignite burning plant is somehow miraculously non-polluting please enlighten me.

Otherwise I suggest you analyse your motives for denying the science and condemning thousands to an early grave.