Friday, April 22, 2011

Wind Power Can Supply Energy Equivalent to 950 Nuclear Reactors in Japan: "Research on Potentials of Renewable Energies" by Japanese Department of Environment

I was confirmed that we do not need nuclear energy in order to maintain current level of daily lives. I can say that we have used tremendous amount of tax money, given too much power to these pro-nuke groups, been in this serious crisis due to the nuke, contaminated land and ocean, made our food products uneatable, allowed the government to create a safety standard that could kill 1 in 25 children by cancer, and left increasing amount of radioactive materials and waste that could remain on the earth for who-knows-how-long gazillion years irresponsibly, all by believing in what we actually do not need any…..nuclear power plants. If we do not decide to change what we believe in and what we will believe in after the 311, this country (or the World I should say) will follow a course of decline with uncontrollable amount of artificial radioactive materials surrounding us. But, let's still keep our hope because the change is on its way.

The Japanese Department of Environment released a report the other day that is called "Research on Potentials of Renewable Energies." The report says inn Japan wind energy itself can create electricity equivalent to 950 nuclear reactors. Japan has tremendous potential in yet-invested natural energies so we actually can maintain sufficient electricity without any nuclear plants. It is so clear by reading this report that "we must rely at least 30% of electricity on nuclear power" got no logic.

The report covers solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energies though I believe that we should include wave-power energy by considering Japan's geographical characteristic. It talks about both "reserve" (amount of deposit) and "potential" (potential amount calculated by geographical and sociological factors) of natural energies. These "potentials" are estimated in realistic approach by the government officials, so it can be even more if we consider societal changes and technical investment/improvement in the field.

So the report indicates these amazing potentials by wind power.
Source: 104-108

Onshore Wind Power
Scenario3 (area of wind speed 5.5m/s or over • capacity operating rate 26%): 683.8 billion kWh/year (=133 nuclear reactors)
Scenario2 (area of wind speed 6.5m/s or over • capacity operating rate 31%): 458.8 billion kWh/year (=89 nuclear reactors)
Scenario1 (area of wind speed 7.5m/s or over • capacity operating rate 37%): 225.8 billion kWh/year (=44 nuclear reactors)

Bottom Mounted Offshore Wind Power
Scenario3 (area of wind speed 6.5m/s or over • capacity operating rate 30%): 800.9 billion kWh/year (=156 nuclear reactors)
Scenario2 (area of wind speed 7.5m/s or over • capacity operating rate 35%): 290.3 billion kWh/year (=57 nuclear reactors)
Scenario1 (area of wind speed 8.5m/s or over • capacity operating rate 41%): 18.3 billion kWh/year (=4 nuclear reactors)

Floating Offshore Wind Power
Scenario3 (area of wind speed 6.5m/s or over • capacity operating rate 31%): 3390.0 billion kWh/year (=661 nuclear reactors)
Scenario2 (area of wind speed 7.5m/s or over • capacity operating rate 36%): 1622.2 billion kWh/year (=316 nuclear reactors)
Scenario1 (area of wind speed 8.5m/s or over • capacity operating rate 41%): 201.3 billion kWh/year (=39 nuclear reactors)

Wind Power Total
Scenario3 Total: 4874.7 billion kWh/year (= 950 nuclear reactors)
Scenario2 Total: 2371.3 billion kWh/year (=462 nuclear reactors)
Scenario1 Total: 445.4 billion kWh/year (=87 nuclear reactors)

Comment: For example, "area of wind speed 5.5m/s or over" at the scenario3 of onshore wind power means the amount of electricity generated by wind power set up in the area where 5.5 meter or more in the velocity of the wind are expected in the high degree 80 meter point. So, the cases of scenario1 are areas where the high velocity of wind is expected (the red area in the below maps), scenario2 includes weaker velocity (the red and yellow areas in the below maps), and scenario 3 covers wider areas including much weaker velocity (the red, yellow, and green areas in the below maps). In sum, the scenario1 areas can create the most wind energy in a short-term period, and the scenario3 areas can be considered their potentials in total amounts of electricity produced in mid- and long-term period. Because wind does not blow consistently, we need to consider the capacity operating rates. The scenarios1 areas have very stable wind supplies, so it can usually have higher capacity operating rates. If we include the scenario2 and 3 areas in the scenario1, the capacity operating rates go down accordingly.

When making comparisons with nuclear power plants, I referred to this site and created the calculation below.
Total Energy Produced in Japan (2009) = 956.5 billion kWh/year
Of the total energy, 29% was from nuclear power = 277.4 billion kWh/year
Divide by 54 nuclear reactors = 5.1 billion kWh/year per nuclear reactor

So even only with the scenario1 areas, where the most stable velocity is expected (the red areas in the map), these wind generators can supply energy created by 44 nuclear reactors (= 25% of total energy supply in Japan). If we expand our investment in wind power much more, the scenario1 and 2 areas total can create energy equivalent of 89 nuclear reactors (= 50% of total energy supply in Japan). Let me remind you that I'm only talking about onshore wind power here. It is so clear how we can continue to live in the same manner without relying a bit on nuclear energy.

Let's go further. If you look at the total supplies of the scenario3, which are the combinations of all 3 types of wind generators, you can see that they potentially supply energy equivalent to 950 nuclear reactors that equals to 5 times of total energy supply in Japan!! This amazing finding well considers current technological level and capacity operating rates, and mind you, this is a conclusion made by bureaucrats who usually like to give only conservative estimates of anything. If we include latest inventions, such as the Spiral Magnus Wind Generator that can create 4 times more energy than current wind generators, the remarkable potential of wind power can even go much higher (and this Spiral Magnus is strong enough to stand still at 50 meters in the velocity and said to solve issues of birds tangling and audio frequency). "Natural renewable energies are weak, unstable, inefficient, and undeveloped," which frequently has been said by pro-nuke groups and scholars, is proven to be a big lie. The true economic cost of natural energies is also much cheaper than nuclear energy (again opposed to what the nuclear industry has said). The economic cost of nuclear power has long excluded vital numbers such as cost for radioactive wastes that remain for million years and compensations in frequent accidents. But the funny thing is that even with these intentional exclusions of vital costs for maintenance of nuclear plants, still nuclear power is more expensive than natural energies. We just have long been tricked by the nuclear industry so let's open up our eyes now and make advantage of natures surrounding us. If we really want, we can stop all the nuclear and thermal power generations, and shift our energies to wind generated power. We can still get more than enough energies with the change. (Dr. Helen Caldicott also talks a lot about how expensive the economic cost of nuclear power is in her book "Nuclear Power Is Not The Answer")

Of course, I'm not recommending to create excessive energies by relying only on wind power. It is better to have various ways, not depending on one source, in order to maximize our potential in sustainable and stable energies. We can definitely take advantage from Japan's geographic characteristic. Japan's surrounding ocean is 10 times bigger than its onshore land. So "hybrid" power generations by combining solar, wave, and wind power could be ideal and the most efficient. This is the way for Japan to coexist with natures by making the best out of its geographic characteristic. Moreover, we can invest more in geo-thermal generation considering its volcanic nature and in hydro generations considering surrounding ocean. (I decided not to include biomass power system into renewable and sustainable energy in this blog because it requires forestation.)

Maps of Areas with Potentialities for Wind Generations

* Velocity : Red> Yellow> Green; Scenario1= Red, Scenario2= Red and Yellow, Scenario3= Red, Yellow, and Green
* These colored areas indicate the most suitable places for wind power, but many uncolored places can also have wind generations.

*Click the images to expland

According to the maps, these potentials suitable for wind generations are less populated isolated areas. Especially, Tohoku and Hokkaido areas have historically been considered to store (or dump!) highly contaminated radioactive waste, and will be so if we continue to live in the nuclear-depended society. But if we shift to natural energies, these Tohoku and Hokkaido will be the most potential areas that can provide much truly clean energies to the country. Shizuoka Prefecture also has much potential in wind power and benefit of its proximity to the big cities like Tokyo and Nagoya. But if it continues with the current nuclear trend, be mind that the prefecture has the notorious Hamaoka Nuclear Plant which is located right above the earthquake fault and the area will surely get disastrous damage from soon-to-come Great Tokai Earthquake. It is not an option of whether we are pro or anti-nuke; it is whether we will flourish or all die. I understand that some isolated countryside areas have survived financially with tremendous subsidy by the nuclear industry for allowing plants in the villages because financial resources are generally unfairly distributed to these less populated areas by the government. If we shift to natural energies, these unfairly treated areas can create more employment opportunities with locally-sustainable energy industries. We also don't have to be afraid of earthquake and tsunami that are now proven to destroy nuclear plants so easily and don't have to pay extra cost to import resources needed to maintain nuclear plants. We, therefore, must nationalize all the power lines and make the energy shift as a priority of national policy. We can't afford paying some trillion yen in order to import finite resource of Uranium or paying 450 billion yen in annual budgets for nuclear plants. Let's use all the money and shift our investment to renewable natural energies.

Renewable energy can meet not only Japanese but also global demands of energies. European countries have already started energy shift to renewable power. The list below is from a newsletter by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in June 2009. It assessed the potential of wind power as a global source of electricity. As you can see clearly, all the countries listed here can meet its energy supplies solely with wind power. For example, in the United States wind power can supply 23 times more energies of what they currently consume everyday.

(billion kWh/yr) Annual Electricity Consumption Onshore Wind Power Potential Offshore Wind Power
Total Wind Power Potential Total Wind Power/ Total Consumption
United States 3816 74000 14000 88000 23.1
China 2399 39000 4600 43600 18.2
Russia 780 120000 23000 143000 183.4
Japan 974 570 2700 3270 3.4
India 489 2900 1100 4000 8.2
Germany 546 3200 940 4140 7.6
Canada 541 78000 21000 99000 183.2
England 349 4400 6200 10600 30.4
Korea 352 130 990 1120 3.2
Italy 308 250 160 410 1.3

Let's all stop living against nature and misusing of science. We must start using the science so that we can harmoniously coexist with natures. Nuclear energy is only for a few people who want to be richer and that's it! Nuclear plants frequently have accidents, emit radioactive materials and gases, and leave poisonous waste that remains on the earth for million years, for which our descendants will be responsible. It is not too late yet. Let's stop all the nuclear plants NOW. Let's stop all the thermal-power generations that require fossil fuels so we can stop global warming NOW. Let's shift to truly clean, safe, cheap, infinite, renewable, natural, and sustainable energies that can also create employment opportunities and fair development to local economies NOW!!!