Gallery: Sonnenschiff: Solar City Produces 4X the Energy it Consumes

The project's simple envelope design is brightened by a colorful and dynamic façade. Gardens and paths cross through the development as well, linking the inhabitants. Offices and stores expand the livability of the community while contributing a sense
The project's simple envelope design is brightened by a colorful and dynamic façade. Gardens and paths cross through the development as well, linking the inhabitants. Offices and stores expand the livability of the community while contributing a sense of communal purpose.

The project started out as a vision for an entire community — the medium-density project balances size, accessibility, green space, and solar exposure. In all, 52 homes make up a neighborhood anchored to Sonnenschiff, a mixed-use residential and commercial building that emphasizes livability with a minimal footprint. Advanced technologies like phase-change materials and vacuum insulation significantly boost the thermal performance of the building’s wall system.

The homes are designed to the Passivhaus standard and have great access to passive solar heating and daylight. Each home features a very simple shed roof with deep overhangs that allows winter sun in while shading the building from the summer sun. The penthouses on top of the Sonnenschiff have access to rooftop gardens that make full use of the site’s solar resources. The rooftops feature rainwater recycling systems that irrigate the gardens and while supplying the toilets with greywater. The buildings also make use of wood chip boilers for heat in the winter, further decreasing their environmental footprint.

The project’s simple envelope design is brightened by a colorful and dynamic façade. Gardens and paths cross through the development as well, linking the inhabitants. Offices and stores expand the livability of the community while contributing a sense of communal purpose.

+ Sonnenschiff

+ Rolf Disch Solar Architecture


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  1. turtlemom April 29, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    This particular design, particularly as described by other commenters, would not \\\”fly\\\” in the USA. We tend to \\\”live larger,\\\” with larger homes, larger rooms, larger yards. We are also more aware of the needs of the disabled. We don\\\’t grocery-shop daily – most shop once or twice a week only. Walking to do that much shopping is not possible – especially as the groceries are typically over 3 miles from where we live.

    And before Euros criticize our living style, please remember I\\\’m not criticizing the Euro living style. I\\\’m merely saying this particular concept would not \\\”fly\\\” in the USA. Other concept styles should be explored, however, that WOULD \\\”fly\\\” in the USA.

  2. PeterReefman April 15, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I hate to leave a negative comment but as good as this is, this is not an Solar-City. It’s an Solar-Neighbourhood.

  3. helen ej hooper April 14, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Great site.
    Helen Hooper

  4. Eclipse Now February 28, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Hi Ron, I’m afraid in this instance they’re not leading but retreating!

    “(Reuters) – Germany’s plan to shut all its nuclear power plants by 2022 will add up to 40 million tones of carbon dioxide emissions annually as the country turns to fossil fuels, analysts said on Tuesday.”

    Any good this solar-cities experiment might do will be exponentially undone by their closing down of nukes. What short term thinking!

  5. splottboy February 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    How could I do this in Australia ?

  6. Ron Thibodeau February 28, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Once again. Germany leading the way!

  7. PaulArcher August 23, 2012 at 7:09 am

    What happens to a nuclear power plant when there’s an earthquake, devastation, what happens to solar panels, wind and wave power they just break, no permanent damage, no fallout. Localise power grids, minimise wastage, and promote power conservation. I think these guys are on the right track, start with the end result in mind, don’t add on after, most houses built here now have solar hot water panels as standard, eventually it will be PV panels too, prices will drop , efficiency will increase, degradation will drop off and it will seem like the dark ages when we used oil and bought electricity from big greedy companies.

  8. bharati4 July 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Is there any information in terms of any post occupancy surveys that might have been conducted?
    I am also keen to know how the Vacuum Insulated panels perform over time, I have read that their performance deteriorates over time…would have loved to know more on the construction materials used and their performance.

  9. msyin July 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    The variety, efficiency, customization and choice we have today compared to even five years ago is impressive. Healthy, safety, affordability, scale,renewability, are some of the factors we now demand for ourselves and our systems. Health is first because it will come down to that eventually and as many have pointed out, the cost of nuclear seems to expensive on that issue alone. No one has said that the other fuels we will use are perfect which is why a site like this shows us alternatives. I for one am happy to see the growing variety I will have to choose from when I build my next home. The fear that we will not make it in time or that what we have will not be adequate is just that, a fear and so I can only suggest we all allow the great evidence that things are improving to sooth us while doing what we can to feel safe and secure in our NOW.

  10. Eclipse Now January 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    mokshasha says:
    January 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    hhhmmm – sorry to butt into this seeming private blog of “eclipse”, but i wanted to comment on this article about Sonnenschiff – (gosh – hope i’m not off base…)

    my partner and i lived in this development 5 years ago – it is amazing in the efficiency it has achieved -but the lifestyle is very European, would probably not translate well to lifestyle-dysfunctional Amerika – very adequate but small and creative spaces, super efficient materials and pretty comfy, and (OMG) you could astually WALK to a all necessities – grocery, day goods, bakeries. I cannot say it was very overall a very attractive design and the solar on the roof (under which are the bedrooms) was somehow energetically uncomfortable (can’t put my finger on why… – perhaps emf’s??)

    anyway – sorry to disrupt the almost totally Sonnenschiff-unrelated discussion here – perhaps inhabitat and eclipse could take their completely off-subject discussion elsewhere – maybe exchange phone numbers and duke it out there??

    Sorry if I’ve apparently dominated the energy conversation here, and I totally agree with your point! I’m a HUGE fan of New Urbanism and rave about it to everyone.

    Have you seen this youtube? It’s a 4 minute message that sums up all the benefits of walkability to a really funky beat. I might just have to watch it again, the 300th time!

  11. eclipse now January 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Why must we deny silver bullets if they exist? The Gen4 S-PRISM reactor that EATS nuclear waste, and is several orders of magnitude safer than even Gen3 reactors, is coming. It may be 10 or 15 years away, but it is coming. Then we’ll have 500 years of ‘free fuel’ to burn. We’ll eventually close those uranium mines. Then who knows what we’ll have in 500 years? Batteries that actually make a reliable renewable grid possible? Space based solar power? Fusion? Who knows, that is 500 years away.

    The point is getting there!

    And I would much rather live next door to a Chinese AP1000 reactor than a coal power station, which is what you’ll get stuck with if greenies insist on a 100% renewable world. Because 100% renewable grids don’t work yet, pure and simple.

  12. mokshasha January 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    hhhmmm – sorry to butt into this seeming private blog of “eclipse”, but i wanted to comment on this article about Sonnenschiff – (gosh – hope i’m not off base…)

    my partner and i lived in this development 5 years ago – it is amazing in the efficiency it has achieved -but the lifestyle is very European, would probably not translate well to lifestyle-dysfunctional Amerika – very adequate but small and creative spaces, super efficient materials and pretty comfy, and (OMG) you could astually WALK to a all necessities – grocery, day goods, bakeries. I cannot say it was very overall a very attractive design and the solar on the roof (under which are the bedrooms) was somehow energetically uncomfortable (can’t put my finger on why… – perhaps emf’s??)

    anyway – sorry to disrupt the almost totally Sonnenschiff-unrelated discussion here – perhaps inhabitat and eclipse could take their completely off-subject discussion elsewhere – maybe exchange phone numbers and duke it out there??

    i mean – do these threads have a moderator or what?

  13. locavorejulian January 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    So I went there and read all comments…
    I submitted my own but was denied (I think because I did not want to be on their server list)
    So these are my comments:

    Why must we always think there is a ‘one size fits all’ solution to every problem?
    No one wants a nuclear reactor, raised levels of co2, or a smart grid (only for the energy companies), marching through their neighborhood.
    Energy generated closest to its use means you look at your neighborhood and design accordingly. You have much wind, do wind. Sun, do solar. Waves? Geothermal? etc….
    Conservation and improved insulation, the topper.
    Lets get creative and safe!
    …oh, and lets get rid of the profit-motive…
    climate change is a global community problem. Lets get a global community answer.


  14. Eclipse now September 21, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Sorry guys, but renewables just are not going to provide a stable grid.

    Thus storage and sharing won’t allow us to have secure stable electricity, but instead would leave us with large fluctuations (and thus blackouts, if unmanaged) as soon as we introduce wind at a significant share (which might be as low as roughly 10% across entire larger grid areas, not just in small isolated situations like Denmark). With hydro not truly scalable, the only remaining technologies are fossil fuels, mainly natural gas, which for its flexibility and relatively low price work best. Or in other words: in a world without abundant natural gas (or an equivalent flexible stock), large market shares of wind simply won’t work.

  15. eclipse now September 19, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I wish the so called “Smart Grid” were here and now. Heck, one minute it’s the “Smart Grid” that was going to save us, then it is the “Super-Grid” because we’re piping electrons around the planet now ;-).

    Oh, and as well as building the Smart AND Super Grid we’ve got to build out the renewables 5 or 6 times over. It might *just* be technically possible to have a 24 hour reliable renewable grid, but most nations would be bankrupt before they got there.

    When environmentalists like George Monbiot and Dr Barry Brook are bagging out solar PV as a waste or time and toy, then you know something’s up. Again, I’m only a recent convert to nuclear power. I’ve wished for and read up on Smart-Super-grids and how ‘when the sun isn’t shining the wind is blowing, and if that isn’t happening the water is flowing or the wood is ready to burn in the steam generator’ blah blah blah. I’ve been gullible enough to believe in all that stuff. But when Denmark’s wind dies down it buys in electricity from France’s nukes.

    After 10 years of building nukes Frances Co2 output is about 90grams / kWh.

    After 20 years of building wind turbines Denmarks is 650g. Go figure!

  16. CryptoQuick September 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    yeah, but buddy, AP1000 is not a Gen IV reactor, nor is Gen IV anywhere near current deployment. Heck, they’re having trouble rolling out the Gen 3+.
    besides, Mr. Fusion is just a fancy blender. we already have 1.21 jiggawatt windmills, and the smart grid to get it to us above 88 percent. we don’t need to be going back to the technology of 1955, we need to get back to the future.

  17. eclipse now September 17, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    No, but at least I am thinking about what we can practically do with today’s technology. Even with SUPER-EXPENSIVE HVDC lines they lose 3% per 1000km (and that’s optimistic!) How round is the earth again? 😉

    With nuclear power we don’t have to overbuild the wind and solar and wave power by a factor of 5 just to make sure the power is running sometime, some where. With nuclear power we don’t have to rebuild an entire grid system. With nuclear power we don’t have to play games with guessing the weather. We can just mass produce today’s AP1000’s on an assembly line, plug them in to replace coal fired power plants on TODAY’s grid with TODAY’s technology. And when the GenIV plants such as the S-PRISM are finally commercialised, we’ll have all that lovely depleted uranium to feed into GenIV reactors and run the world for the next million years or so as we look for even better solutions. My guess is by the time we’ve burnt today’s waste in 500 years, we’ll have super-batteries and storage mechanisms that will finally make renewable power workable. Or not. Maybe the particle smasher at CERN will have confirmed something exotic about the universe and we’ll have something totally new! But while it is nice to DREAM about worldwide grids and Mr Fusion, I’m talking abot technologies we can use right now. Today.

  18. CryptoQuick September 17, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Eclipse, you’re not thinking 4th-dimensionally. If we had a superconducting smart-grid, we’d be able to pass the solar (and solar-related) energy hitting one side of the planet to the other. :)

  19. Eclipse now September 14, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    And that solar panel will only deliver electricity during parts of the day, as long as it isn’t cloudy, and you’ll get far less electricity in winter when there’s less sunlight / m2. So for reliable baseload? For hospitals and overnight industries to run? How about important DAYTIME industries that need to run all the time, whatever the weather?

    You can’t go past nuclear.

  20. M.Wulfgar September 14, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    It is stupid to talk about nuclear in a solar article. I’m going to stop… after this.

    To play devil’s advocate, listing people is a logical fallacy. You can find a respectable scientist that agrees with almost every potentially valid view, a zone that both nuclear reactors and solar suburban areas fall into. It’s better to make the argument than to appeal to authority on the issue.

    Also, I’m much more likely to put a solar panel on my roof than a nuclear reactor in my basement.

  21. eclipse now September 11, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I love energy efficiency. If you think I’m paying lip-service to energy efficiency, read my blog on the REZONE page listed above… the post you answered. I don’t want energy efficient cars so much as energy efficient CITIES that don’t need as many cars in the first place.

    But energy conservation only reduces the amount of baseload electricity we need… we still need that baseload, reliable power. It’s going to take an awful lot of time and money and ENERGY to build out the energy efficient civilisation I’m dreaming of! We’re already in the frying pan, and I’m looking for a BIG leap out that doesn’t fall half way and land us in the fire.

  22. a green conservative September 9, 2010 at 10:00 am

    eclipse- CONSERVATION is our biggest \”source\” of energy. We waste far too much and need to take an integrated view of manging and meeting demand. This means legislation, policy, inventions, proper energy pricing etc Simply endlessly pumping out supply is just stupid and an unnecessary waste of money.

  23. eclipse now September 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Hi RF,
    good comments, but I do still think we can do nuclear power and ‘density and diversity’ in rezoning our cities.

    Check the top 3 video’s on my “Rezone” page.

    The benefits of passive solar design, diversity of function and density of settlement accumulate with incredible social and local economic benefits.

    So nuclear power for a quick baseload power upgrade, but New Urbanism for all the benefits that can encourage as well.

  24. RF September 1, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Nuclear power has a bad image in this society due to old sci fi movies and one major accident at a plant that was terribly mismanaged to start with. I grew up in North Carolina, not exactly in the shadow of a cooling tower, but pretty close to the reactor. Then I joined the navy and went to an aircraft carrier where I was never more than 200 or so yards from two fully functioning, always running, Westinghouse nuclear reactors. Now this equipment, and the shielding are about 30 years old (while being heavily maintained of course) and if you sat next to the chamber containing the rods, you’d die of thirst before dying of radiation poisoning. Radiation is not going to kill you. As far as the solar city idea goes, it’s a nice idea, but it feels more like a “look at me, i’m green!” move, because this conversion wouldn’t work without essentially wiping every city off the face of the earth, and starting from scratch. The costs, complications, and inconveniences of all this make it next to impossible. Most major cities are already sinking into their own crumbling infrastructures as it is.

  25. Eclipse Now August 26, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    If you take global warming seriously, why do the leading global warming scientists promote GenIV nuclear power? There’s a new global science initiative promoting today’s GenIII and tomorrow’s GenIV reactors.

    Check some of the names.

    * Board of Directors
    * Dr. James Hansen
    * Dr. Evgeny Velikhov
    * Tom Blees, President
    * Dr. Barry Brook
    * Dr. Yoon Chang
    * Steve Kirsch, MIT S.M.
    * Dr. George S. Stanford
    * Joe Shuster
    * Dr. Dan Meneley
    * Dr. Louis J. Circeo
    * Dr. Charles Till
    * Dr. Eugene Preston
    * Dr. Ray Hunter
    * Dr. Baldev Raj
    * Dr. William Hannum
    * Leonard J. Koch
    * Dr. Jeff Eerkens
    * Bruno Comby
    * Dr. Charles B. Archambeau
    * Dr. John Sackett

  26. Eclipse now August 26, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    today’s waste could run the world for 500 years. It does leave some waste, but only 10% of the mass. It’s super-hot waste, much more radioactive than today’s waste.

    Which is a good thing, because instead of storing it for 100 thousand years, we only have to store it for 300. By the time we’d burnt all today’s ‘waste’ in 500 years, we’d be de-commissioning the storage of the first 200 years of *real* waste.

  27. vanHinten August 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Nice back-pedal action there.
    Pretty hilarious that you think you can spread your nuclear lies in the comments of an article that has absolutely nothing to do with nuclear power, and then tell me to shut up when I call you on it; very constructive!

  28. M.Wulfgar August 26, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Maybe NO nuclear waste is a bit much, but you can just seal it away in lead and put it in any number of places without much trouble, as long as it’s done well. It’s better than pollutants (and CO2, I guess) in the sky. Solar will never be able to directly power a large city in the way this neighborhood is powered, because of the high concentration of people using electricity in such a small area, and solar power plants are just ridiculous in most locations.

    Also, there would be no malformed kids, or anything terrifying like that. That’s just sensationalist nonsense trying to drum up fear about nuclear plants. Modern plants are not Chernobyl – even when they break, radioactive superdeath doesn’t go everywhere. You would need to stick your head in the reactor to get a reaction.

  29. vanHinten August 26, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Make me.
    So now we got two people (or at least two accounts) claiming there are reactors that don’t leave radioactive waste behind – then I guess it has to be true 8oP

    Point me to a real, existing reactor that does that, please?

  30. M.Wulfgar August 25, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    vanHinten, if you’re not going to be constructive, shut up and go away. There is no parallel between gasoline and nuclear fuel besides the fact that both store and are used for energy. “Nuclear waste” is just fuel that isn’t used. Older reactors couldn’t reuse that waste; new ones can. You just keep putting in the old rods until you’re left with nothing but whatever the fuel in question degrades to (lead, for uranium).

  31. vanHinten August 24, 2010 at 11:20 am

    >The new reactors eat waste!

    Of course they do.
    Just like the new cars produce gas, and the new cattle plant trees!

  32. mrmobius August 23, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Interesting comments abound. I understand the allure of “Nuk-e-lar” but we have to look at the root problem. Eclipse, I am pretty sure your stance on this “new nuclear” plant is based on current energy projections based on the current standards of energy efficiency.

    That’s just it. The design of this german neighborhood is so efficient that a minimal solar installation produces 4 times the energy that is needed to run this efficient design. It’s not so much about the solar panels but the design of the structures and their orientation. The best solar panels work at most at 20% efficiency yet this entire community is powered by it 4 times over.

    When you design efficient your net energy needs go way down. When energy is generated on site you lose next to none of that energy due to line transmission loss. I have some very good friends ( that design very large homes that use 90% less energy than a home of the same size. At that point a simple solar cell and or small wind turbine will do the trick.

    So the nuclear debate become mute when you reduce the net energy needs. That is the real power plant. If the cost of solar was built into a home mortgage and compared with the overall energy savings the solar cell would pay for itself over time easily. It’s not just the cost of the solar cell but the savings from what one would pay with an inefficient house design and paying for electricity from any external source.

    And if I am not mistaken the cost of building private power plants are sometimes subsidized by taxes akin to baseball stadiums and the like.

    I grew up in southern arizona and why a solar cell is not on every roof is beyond my comprehension. The way I see it the city should be the power plan with several capacity stations spread out absorbing excess energy to store for night use. Then you have your coal plant as a battery backup so to speak. This can be done but it requires the shedding of the single large remote plant paradigm.

    Heck in the future if you built the structure of buildings out of ultra capacitor materials the buildings themselves could be giant batteries.

  33. eclipse now August 23, 2010 at 9:08 am

    What garbage? Do you mean the mine tailings, or the used fuel?

    How many times do I have to repeat that with breeders, there is no ‘garbage’ problem? The new reactors eat waste!

  34. vanHinten August 22, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    @Eclipse now – OK, so you’re pro “nuk-e-lar” as W would say, we get it, it’s just, you’re very much isolated and won’t find a lot of interest here.

    Last time I checked, we (as in Earth inhabitants) had no clue as to what to do with the garbage (I’m in WA, where we have a big dump, luckily it’s downwind on the other side of the mountains, not in my backyard.)

  35. Eclipse now August 22, 2010 at 2:27 am

    OK, a day later and no answer so I’ll finish that rather obviously leading question.

    How much does a car cost? Answer? It depends!

    You can’t critique the expenses of the GenIV reactors which are currently being built in China and Russia as they have all sorts of first of a kind expenses. If you did, I’d have a go at how expensive R&D has been for renewables! But the breeder reactors which will ‘eat’ nuclear waste, today being built in China and Russia, have further development plans.

    They are being made modular. That means that rather than custom building each power plant, they’ll set up a production line to mass produce them!

    So, how expensive is a Nuke? It depends on whether you’re buying a Rolls Royce or a Hyundai.

    Unless a nation has an abundant baseload renewable power source like hydro, or Iceland’s great geothermal resource, renewables will bankrupt them, pure and simple.

  36. Eclipse Now August 20, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    c-bad You’re absolutely right! That’s true! There have been some VERY expensive nuclear power plants.

    Let me ask you, how much does a car cost?

  37. c_bad August 20, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Eclipse Now…your talking about costs? c’mon, state subsidize renewables a FRACTION of the state subsidies for nuclear power and costs no longer become a subject of discussion concerning renewables. Nuclear is the most expensive form of energy avaiable.

  38. Heliotrope: The World's... August 20, 2010 at 1:02 am

    […] brainchild of Architect Ralph Disch, this rotating solar home was the seed for the extraordinary Sonnenschiff Solar Development and the modern solar movement in Germany. The home takes full advantage of the sun by rotating with […]

  39. Alain August 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    “Eclipse Now’s entire point is that there IS no nuclear waste.”

    Hogwash. What is the price of radiation related cancers developing later on due to hidden exposure to such radioactive sources, or the price of malformed kids ?
    So pick your choice.
    I prefer the non-radioactive one. But yeah, I already receive 100% renewable energy supplied by the grid since 2006, my utility Ecopower cvba sources 52% of its electricity generating energy from combined heat and power biomass (using locally grown switchgrass + other agro wastes + local or imported wood pellets) or from biofuels (locally grown oilseed crops, oil burned in ICE power generators, remaining organic wastes recycled as animal farm food or converted in an anaerobe digester into methane biogas for CHP combustion and into compost for farmland improvement), 38% from owned wind turbines, 6% from owned solar PV panels installed on client account homes, 2% from run-of-river hydro power and 2% from a few small scale city waste anaerobe digester producing methane biogas powering gasturbines generators. And in june 2010, Ecopower cvba received building permits to install 45 new wind turbines, to cover new accounts power demand, if I can believe the information provided in their 6 monthly bulletin review send to my postal address.
    The future new plug in battery ICE vehicles can run on solar, wind, geo-thermal and even old fossil fuels and costly nuclear that have waste energy at night. My home GRID tied solar PV system runs my home, help my utility during Peak Hours and I will take on their excess energy at night so it won’t be lost by also charging my PHEV vehicle. If I had V2G I could save the off peak excess and sell it back at a premium on Peak.
    ENGINEER FOR THE BR-3 REACTOR DECOMMISSIONING. The Radwaste Management, Decommissioning & Radiation Protection Group, which is part of the Process & Systems Competence Centre, is in charge of assisting clients of the nuclear segment, with high added value consulting and engineering services for the management of radioactive waste and the decommissioning of nuclear installations. YOUR FUNCTION : You participate to the decommissioning activities of the BR-3 nuclear reactor, located in Mol (about 100 km from Brussels and 50 km from Antwerp) on the premises of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK/CEN), by: Developing an in-depth expertise about dismantling techniques, especially remote controlled ones; Providing our customer, SCK/CEN, with dismantling scenarios you have defined in collaboration with a senior Tractebel Engineering expert; taking into account the necessary safety and security rules & procedures; Implementing these dismantling scenarios in a nuclear controlled zone. Profile : Experience in the nuclear industry and particularly in decommissioning, handling and /or robotics, is an asset.
    August, 4 2010 – While the United States nuclear industry is continuing on its path to expand, there seems to be a roadblock for some companies. Cost. The capital cost for nuclear power plants is not cheap and this had led to some companies cutting back spending and even looking at canceling planned new nuclear development.
    NRG Energy Inc. said it would cut spending on two new reactors planned at the South Texas Project from $7.5 million a month in July to $1.5 million a month. But NRG isn’t alone. Constellation Energy Group announced in late July it would cut spending on the planned Calvert Cliffs III reactor in Maryland. Both are waiting on a decision from the Department of Energy for a federal loan guarantee. Constellation has even stated it could completely shut down operations in Maryland by the end of the year if it hadn’t received a federal guarantee.
    “This shows you the difficulty in this market and how important the loan program is to supporting the projects and getting them off the ground,” said Leslie Kass, Nuclear Energy Institute senior director of business policy and programs.
    Since the DOE awarded Southern Co. an $8.3 billion loan guarantee in February for the Plant Vogtle project, NRG Energy, Constellation and Scana Corp. have been in competition for the remaining guarantee. DOE only has about $10 billion remaining of guaranteed money, enough for only one project.
    “ENERGY: Nuclear Does Not Make Economic Sense Say Studies, By Julio Godoy
    For an average 1,600 megawatt unit, such a range leads to construction costs of up to 5.6 billion euros (7.6 billion dollars). “We see very little prospect of these costs falling and every likelihood of them rising further,” the study says.
    To meet such costs, the operator would need a guarantee of constant electricity prices around 65 euros (88.9 dollars) per MW/hour for a long period of time.
    The Citibank paper cites the British case where prices at that level on a sustained basis have occurred only 20 months during the last 115 months. “It was a sudden drop in power prices that drove British Energy to the brink of bankruptcy in 2003,” the survey recalls.
    In an interview with IPS, Pistner said that most power plants have to be running for at least 20 years to reach the operation period free of depreciation and impairments costs. Only after this period, a nuclear power plant starts yielding returns.

  40. Eclipse Now August 19, 2010 at 1:48 am

    “enchance”… I of course meant ‘enhance’.

    See my blog at:

  41. Eclipse now August 19, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Hi Citizenplus.
    Nice list, apart from vegan and renewables. I could probably eat vegetarian a few nights a week, but there’s no need to ban meat all together. Indeed, Polyface farm illustrates how careful crop and cow rotation can enchance the soil faster than mere crop rotation on its own.

    And renewables? Remember what I said about Denmark? 20 years of wind deployment and it is still at 650 grams Co2 / kWh. 10 years of nukes in France and it is down to 90grams Co2 / kWh.

    Go figure.

  42. M.Wulfgar August 19, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Eclipse Now’s entire point is that there IS no waste; Gen IV reactors can run on what used to be considered waste material. Even if the waste was a problem, there’s so little of it that we could just bury it somewhere, put up some signs, and leave it for later. As long as it’s buried well, it’s a lot better than CO2 all up in our air.
    Renewables will be better, but nuclear IS better.

  43. citizenplusplus August 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    The 5 easy steps to being green, creating local jobs, and adverting the worst effects of climate change and peak oil.

    1) Stop SprawL!!!
    2) R.R.Recycle!
    3) VeganLife!! / ReForest / FoodForest! / VirginForest!!
    4) Wind! / GeoThermal Exchange!! / Solar
    5) Electric &OpenSource: Trains!! / Cars / Media!! / Medicine

  44. holz August 17, 2010 at 12:07 am

    nuke isn\’t clean. it\’s not zero CO2. it\’s not sustainable. but i guess we could get superman to just cycle all the waste into the sun for us, right?

    it\’s rolf disch, btw.

  45. Eclipse Now August 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    This is Barry Brooks FAQ on nuclear power. It’s clean, zero-Co2 and sustainable for millions of years.

  46. Eclipse now August 16, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Jerika, do you have any links to studies that prove uranium mines are deadly for 100 miles? And I know MANY people that would far rather live next to a safe, clean nuclear reactor than next to a foul coal plant which spews out 4 tons of uranium and 16 tons of thorium a year!

    Mona Lisa,
    Dr Barry Brook is an environmental scientist who writes about global warming. He’s out there, fighting the sceptics, and promoting the solutions. Why do the likes of him and Dr James Hansen recommend nuclear power? Because the problems have been solved! No one has to have waste in their backyard: can we have a rational and objective, not highly emotive discussion please?

    Nuclear waste is not a problem. First: there’s not very much of it. If we were to put it in steel oil-barrels the whole world’s nuclear waste would sit one layer deep on one football field. The waste from coal creates incredible mountains of toxic fly-ash, but nuclear? One football field. For the world.

    Now there’s the thing most of you anti-nukies don’t know. That football field could run the world for 500 years! Because of that, it’s worth about $30 trillion dollars, or half the global economy! Nuclear waste is not the problem, it’s the solution. And if you don’t care what James Hansen says, then good luck with getting society to agree to starving to death in the cold. Because that’s what renewables will do to us!

  47. mona lisa August 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    In response to Eclipse Now–

    Just because a technology looks good on paper does not mean it\’s safe. Nuclear power has unsolvable problems: how to safely handle the waste. No one wants it in their backyard, and no one wants it traveling through their backyard by train or highway.

    In addition, the technology is costly and complicated, there are too many ways to make mistakes. Particularly at this moment when environmental regulations are not being enforced by our government, it is not safe to move forward with such a risky technology.

    Solar, wind, hydro, public transportation and a change of lifestyle are the keys to our future.

    I don\’t care what James Hanson says.

  48. Four Electric Vehicles ... August 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    […] it possible to travel the globe in electric vehicles powered by renewable energy offsets? We’ll find out soon — the “Zero Race”, an 80 day around-the-world […]

  49. Jerika August 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    There are huge problems with nuclear from start to finish. No one would want to live anywhere near a uranium mine which can cause severe health problems a hundred miles away. And unless you are willing to live next to a nuclear power plant or nuclear storage facility, it really is hypocritical to be pushing nuclear energy. It\’s about time we started using the \’would you live next door to it?\’ test before embarking on any energy source. The mixed use development in this article generates MORE power than it uses which suggest that extra energy can be sold. A combination of real conservation and SAFE renewal energy is the only energy we should pursue and in several parts of the world, that combination is working with no threat to health or life.

  50. Eclipse Now August 16, 2010 at 8:19 am

    I love all the New Urbanism density and diversity, passive solar, and rainwater recycling. It’s all good. However, with peak oil and global warming bearing down on us, aren’t we going to need the cheapest possible electricity we can get? What did these solar panels cost? What runs these homes at night? What about winter? Overcast? Etc?

    Professor Barry Brook, environmental scientist and global warming author & warrior, has joined the ranks of Dr James Hansen and a host of other environmentalists that are calling for the world to adopt GenIV nuclear power ASAP.

    And according to him and his friends and guest authors, solar just aint going to cut it I’m afraid! Not until ‘super-batteries’ a thousand times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful are invented.

    Peak oil is coming. We need all the electricity we can get. Fast.

    After 10 years of deploying nuclear power in France they were down to 90 grams of Co2 / kWh electricity. After 20 years of Denmark deploying wind they are down to …. 650 grams Co2 / kWh.

    Go figure.

    GenIV nuclear reactors EAT nuclear waste, are safe, are able to be manufactured in a factory and mass-produced to bring the costs down. They could run the world for 500 years just off the nuclear waste we ALREADY have today! E = MC2 is a VERY big number!

    With peak oil making the future look very doubtful indeed, we need a reliable source of baseload power that works all day every day all year around, and can just be plugged into the existing grid. With peak oil bearing down on us, why oh why would we want to risk a variable power source like the wind and the sun, that is affected by the time of day, the weather, AND the seasons, and on top of this requires a massive ‘super grid’ AND a massively ‘smarter grid’? What is all of this going to COST?

    After reading Barry and James Hansen I’m convinced. Based on today’s technologies, it’s nuclear or nothing. You may as well vote for global warming by voting for renewables!

  51. Jphelpsfl August 16, 2010 at 3:26 am

    Any word on construction costs or selling price of units?

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