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China is Leaving Us in the Dust

December 19, 2010

Every day, a new piece of evidence falls in place, showing how fast China is developing its power generation capability.

Meanwhile we limp along strangled by unnecessary environmental regulations and hysteria about global warming.

Take, for example, a report that China can build new nuclear power plants for $1,500 per KW, while it costs us $4,000 per KW, and climbing.

China has 24 new nuclear plants under construction, while we have only one under construction.

Compare how China is using coal to generate electricity.

China is building dozens of ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants, while we are building only one.

And, adding injury to insult, the Arkansas Chief Justice ruled that ultra-supercritical coal fired power plants are experimental. He wouldn’t allow Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s (SWEPCO’s) 600-MW John W. Turk Jr. power plant to sell electricity in Arkansas.

Perhaps most telling of all was the recent announcement that China has sold power generation equipment to India.

Until now, companies such as General Electric had the competitive advantage when selling steam turbines.

China recently captured a $10 billion order for steam turbines form the Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA Group.

Can gas turbines be far behind?

Dongfang Turbine Co. LTD, claims to make gas turbine generator sets as large as GE’s. Dongfang recently shipped a large gas turbine generator to Minsk, the capital of Belarus.

Power generation equipment had been one of the last remaining areas where the United States had a technological advantage, now that advantage is evaporating.

China is also developing the world’s most sophisticated grid. It has a long way to go, but the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is utilizing ultra high voltage (1000 kV AC and 800 kV DC) transmission. We have difficulty building new transmission lines for fear of hurting habitat or cutting down trees to make way for the transmission lines.

There is no question that China, with its huge population, needs to develop its ability to build power plants and distribute electricity.

Forty years ago there was concern that Japan would leave us in the dust. It was thought that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) could exercise top down control over the Japanese economy. That didn’t happen: We recognized the challenge and fought back, and Japan’s economy, for a variety of reasons, stumbled.

Now, some are saying that China’s top down control will result in advances that we can’t make with a true market based economy. But that doesn’t have to be the case, and we shouldn’t give up our freedoms for fear of losing to China.

We can’t rely on the Chinese economy stumbling in order for the United States to remain competitive and improve job opportunities.

We need to recognize the challenge, and set aside nonsensical regulations, such as the EPA’s CO2 emission regulations, that hamper our ability to create jobs and compete with foreign countries.

[Scroll down for earlier articles.]

© Power America, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power America with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2010 2:06 pm

    We should be building new nuclear facilities, but use the Thorium based technologies. These reactors use the waste products from current reactors along with plutonium from dismantled nuclear war heads for fuel (and with the passage of the START treaty there will be large piles of plutonium that will have to be dealt with).

    It would almost entirely eliminate the need for Yucca Moutain (not saying Im against that project just that the controversy would finally end) saving us billions in storage costs, allow us to take waste from other countries and turn the entire thing into cheap long term power source. Cheap because we can charge a great deal for accepting the waste.

    Even if scientists make ground on fusion reactor technology we would still use our thorium reactors to ‘eat up’ current stockpiles of waste and produce a tremendous amount of electricity in the process.

    Envirnomentalists should be jumping at this new technology but are usually too over-reactive when hearing about ANY nuclear type of reactor. Its time for all sides to listen to what our scientists are telling us and move America towards energy independence.

    • December 26, 2010 5:24 pm

      There are a large number of experts who do not believe CO2 is causing global warming. These experts include climatologists, astrophysicists, meteorologists and a wide variety of PhD’s and engineers in related fields. Over 31,000 scientists and engineers have signed the Oregon petition that states, in part, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”
      Remember, that the head of the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that published all the reports on the climate issue, is a railroad engineer, which certainly didn’t disqualify him from ruling on climate issues. Personally, I wouldn’t disparage him because he was an engineer. I don’t believe the IPCC is correct for many reasons, but not because he isn’t a climatologist.
      If you scroll back to my August 30, article you will see some historic reasons why I do not believe that CO2 is a threat. First, of course, is the fact that temperatures were higher in 1100 AD than they are today, while atmospheric levels of CO2 in 1100 were at pre-industrial levels of around 270 ppm.
      I plan to publish an article on January 17, 2011 that provides some additional scientific information on the subject that also supports the contention that CO2 is not a threat.
      You are correct that some corporations would make huge profits if cap and trade was enacted or if a price was put on carbon. Unfortunately, the average person would pay for these profits through higher prices for nearly everything, including electricity, gasoline and food. It is a way to fleece the general public.
      The nation is best off if we generate electricity at the lowest possible cost with acceptable environmental regulations that do not include restrictions on CO2 emissions.
      Unfortunately, wind and solar are very expensive and also have environmental impacts of their own. I have a number of articles on these subjects which will be included in an index for all my 2010 articles that will be published on December 30th. Please refer to the index when it’s published and review these articles.
      I’ll be covering the grid and smart meters in future articles. I think you will be interested in these articles, and probably disappointed in how little good smart meters can do. Some efforts to improve the grid can improve reliability, which could reduce costs.

      • December 27, 2010 11:26 am

        I will check that out Donn, very interesting

      • December 30, 2010 9:06 am

        Looks like the Oregon petition is primarily made up of people without science degrees and of the1/3 that have PHDs the vast majority are not in this field. I found this information on wikipedia.

        The IPCC should be headed by a climatologist not a person from an entirely different field of study, I was unaware of that. I care about good science, the same science that brought us modern medicine, modern agriculture, computers, quantum physics, landing people on the moon, etc.

        When we stop listening to the experts we will lose in the end. I feel I have to push myself away from the group on this one and go with the experts. Petitions like this one only distract us from the issues at hand.

        The science may not be perfect but when the scientific method is observed and adhered to by using all available data we will very likely get the most accurate picture vs groups outside this field of study.

      • December 30, 2010 9:42 am

        I don’t know how you arrived at that conclusion. In re-reading Wikipedia I see nothing that says most don’t have science degrees. The survey of only 30 PhD’s is hardly representative. Further more, I know that they have made a real effort to eliminate duplicates or phony names, though it’s possible there are a few on the list. I know people who have signed the petition and they are all engineers with Bs or higher degrees. Engineers have the ability to look at data and reach conclusions on subjects such as climate change.
        Though I do not rely on Wikipedia (I have found too many errors) I do use it as the beginning of a search. I will post another article on global warming in a few weeks, that has some additional scientific, rather than historic data. This should help people see that global warming is not caused by CO2 emissions.

  2. January 3, 2011 2:38 pm

    As far as scientists I was primarily referring to the lack of climatologists on the list, I don’t think veterinarians for example carry much weight on the debate about climate change.

    I agree wikipedia is a good starting point, it is always good to check multiple sources.

    Since you have another blog coming related to climate change I will wait till you post it to engage any further here. I think I strayed the conversation to much off the initial topic to begin with, sorry about that 🙂

    I look forward to your next blog

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