Electricity Technologies and Generation Data

Global Warming is caused by emissions of Carbon Dioxide and threatens our future existence.
In this website, CO2 emissions from electricity generation are studied.

It is shown to be impossible to eliminate fossil fuel electricity generation which dominates current emissions with wind and solar power alone.
Nuclear fission power is absolutely necessary to arrive at Carbon Zero.
A consideration of nuclear fusion shows that it is not a solution for global warming.

The section Electricity Generation contains analyses of electricity generation data in order to illustrate which mixes of electricity generation technologies give the lowest levels of carbon dioxide emissions. Reducing the carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere is essential to rebalance the heat arriving and leaving the earth caused by the greenhouse effect and so avoid disastrous global warming. 

Data is presented from numerous countries around the world but goes into most detail for countries in the European Union. The analyses explore wind power and solar power data to demonstrate the intermittency due to weather fluctuation is nearly everywhere compensated by fossil fuel generation. The data shows that countries with large amounts of nuclear and hydro generation have the lowest carbon emissions and countries with high amounts of wind and solar usually have relatively high emissions.

A list of the full content in this section together with some details of the data analysis can be found at: Overview of website contents. Below, some example plots with links for details are given.

Carbon Emissions

The plot demonstrates that the Carbon Intensity of emissions in electricity generation is lowest for countries with large fractions of hydroelectric and nuclear. Countries with large fraction of wind and solar generation have medium carbon emissions because weather fluctuations necessitate back-up with fossil fuel. 

Details at:  CO2 Emissions in European Countries

Wind Intermittency

Wind power production is extremely variable due to weather fluctuations. To satisfy consumer demand during low wind periods, fossil fuel generation must be increased. Further, because weather patterns are large scale in Europe the wind variations are often similar in in close-by countries.

Details at: Wind Intermittency Problem

Balancing Demand

Denmark has 50% of wind+solar energy in the local generation mix. In order to meet consumer demand for electricity in the periods with low wind, back-up is provided with fossil fuel generation and imports.

Details at: Denmark as example of large wind capacity

The website section Electricity Technologies contains descriptions of various technologies employed to generate electricity. At the moment, sections exist for nuclear and hydroelectric generation.

A list of the full content in this section together can be found at: Overview of website contents

Nuclear power generation Fusion versus Fission

The Electricity Generation section of the website demonstrates that nuclear power is the best way in most countries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and combat Global Warming. At the present time all nuclear electricity is produced by the nuclear fission technology but the possibility to use the different of nuclear fusion has been explored for 70 years.  Public opinion in many countries is against nuclear fission for a number of reasons and some people advocate for nuclear fusion to replace it. 

The website contains a section: Nuclear Fission which explores the operational nuclear power technology and looks at the reasons for the public objections and responds to them.

Another section of the website: Nuclear Fusion explores the technology which has been under development for 70 years and not produced a watt of electricity. The conclusion is that it is very unlikely the challenges for this technology will ever be overcome.  The pages also show that even if they could be overcome, the technology is inevitably much more expensive than fission and has radioactive waste and risks which are similar to fission.

The impossibility for fusion to ever be more economic than fission is illustrated by the relative sizes needed for a reactor of each technologies needed to produce the same amount of electricity.