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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    I think that article is a little over the top. In many cases, electric stuff is running from natural gas fueled power plants, so induction cooking isn’t changing anything. Coal plants are being replaced more by natural gas plants (due to lower fuel costs and lower emissions, as well as quicker build time for the plants) than they are by renewables. Induction cooking does eliminate any need for combustion within the kitchen though.

    I am a fan of induction cooking, but it can’t completely replace gas for everything. The example that pops into my head is cooking in a wok, which doesn’t really work with induction. For most other stuff though, induction is pretty awesome except that the cooktops seem to have issues with long-term reliability. I’m not sure why induction cooktops have this problem since high-power electronics are nothing new, and can certainly be made reliable.

    I also am not in favor of banning gas hookups. In many cases, natural gas is actually a more efficient fuel than electricity. In northern climates, I don’t see all-renewable electricity as being realistic, and certainly not at reasonable cost. Trying to push “one size fits all” solutions tends to be unwise.


    1. Expert Member
      Dana Dorsett | | #4

      I get pretty tired of "...electric stuff is running from natural gas fueled power plants..." type arguments- it's a straw man. The grid trend toward lower carbon emissions and the trend is accelerating. Almost grid in the US is 100% gas (or coal) fired, and will be even lower carbon over the lifecycle of a cooking range.

      Even if it WERE a 100% gas fired grid, the BTU efficiency of a gas range is about 35%, lower than that of a combined cycle gas plant, whereas an induction range puts on the order of 80%+ of the heat directly into the pot/pan. An induction cooker operated on a gas grid has a lower carbon footprint than cooking on a gas range.

      And that is without considering how much MORE ventilation is prudent when using a gas-burner indoors vs. an induction cooktop, and doesn't account for the higher fraction fujitive methane losses of getting the gas to your kitchen compared to getting it to the powerplant.

      Some of this was covered by Marc Rosenbaum's blog here several years ago.

      If for personal or cultural reasons you feel a NEED to cook in wok there is always a propane burner option.

      >"I also am not in favor of banning gas hookups. In many cases, natural gas is actually a more efficient fuel than electricity."

      What has to go is the gas distribution grid (eventually), which is expensive to install and maintain. Simply not installing it for new construction is pretty cheap. Not installing gas on new construction is effectively mandatory in Westchester County NY, where there isn't sufficient existing gas-grid capacity to serve more customers, and the gas utility is subsidizing moving from gas to heat pumps to free up capacity to better serve their existing customers. Building more grid capacity destined to become a stranded asset before the bonds get paid off (due to NY carbon emissions limits) just isn't in the cards.

      Gas is actually NOT a more efficient fuel than electricity when leveraged by a heat pump.

      Dandelion Energy is improving their margins on the Westchester County local gas utility subsidy, selling their 2-5 ton cookie-cutter ground source heat pump (GSHP) retrofits. At a COP of 3.5-4 a GSHP beats condensing gas efficiency even when the electricity for the margin load is coming from gas fired peakers.

      With right sized cold climate air source heat pumps it's about break-even on efficiency compared to non-condensing gas furnaces if running off a peaker plant when it's sub-zero outside, but higher efficiency than condensing gas when it's in the 20sF or warmer. But this still bowing down to gas fired powerplant straw man. The already contracted-for offshore wind in New England/NY is looking like it will be sufficient to replace all of the regional low-carb nukes within the lifecycle of a heat pump, and that's just the tip of the rising offshore wind iceberg. With annual capacity factors > 50% and output that naturally increases during colder weather, much of the marginal power for driving heat pumps in the medium term for the northeastern US will be coming from wind, not gas.

      Similarly, the summertime air conditioning peaks are already being tempered by PV solar, and will be even more so as mandated grid storage gets implemented. Currently the summertime grid load peaks are greater than the wintertime peaks, and largely covered by gas and #2 & #6 oil peakers (at very low single digit annual capacity factors), but those are probably going away sooner than later, now that the ISO New England grid operator has a demand response market.

      1. Expert Member
        BILL WICHERS | | #10

        Actually, the gas piping networks have a lower materials cost than the electric distribution networks now that the gas systems are using HDPE pipe. Surprising but true, and I work in the utility industry and many of my contractors also work on gas systems (the underground stuff installs the same). Gas systems for the most part run the pipe and are done. Electric systems run the pipe (conduit), then install wire inside and that high voltage cabling is NOT cheap. I doubt very much we’ll see the demise of the gas distribution system in any of our lifetimes.

        Oil burners are a terrible choice for electric power generation in this country and there aren’t very many of them. Most peakers, probably nearly all of them, are natural gas turbines which can be brought online quickly for relatively low cost. Natural gas is a much better choice here than fuel oil of any type.

        I agree that electricity is a far more flexible energy source since electricity can be generated from just about anything. I also agree that solar is a pretty good match for summertime air conditioning peaks around midday as has been shown in California for some time. Offshore wind has some future too (not so sure it’s going to replace “all the nukes in the northeast” though. Source?). I am not a fan of mainland wind power though. There are also very real system stability problems when wind exceeds somewhere around 20% of total grid capacity (this has been shown in the Netherlands).

        None of the grid is entirely gas fired. Most electricity in the US still comes from coal. I’d rather see more nuclear. Solar and wind, even with significant amounts of storage, really can’t completely replace the overall generation capacity of the installed system due to scale and stability concerns. That’s not to say that wind and solar don’t have roles to play, but I don’t see them being the sole supplies anytime soon, and probably not ever. The scale is not there, and it’s industry, not residences, that are the largest consumers of electrical power.


        1. Expert Member
          Dana Dorsett | | #39

          The material cost of gas pipelines aren't the issue- it's the lifecycle issue that's at odds with the carbon emissions goals. A new pipeline that is only used at capacity for a decade or two is really REALLY expensive. At any price a stranded asset is still a useless cost, and to meet the NY & regional emissions targets the capacity won' t be needed, with a dwindling number of ratepayers to pay it off.

          Most transmission lines will not become stranded assets, and most of them are not installed in conduit.

          Regarding the capacity of regional offshore wind in the pipeline, perhaps "...all of the regional low-carb nukes..." should have be left at New England, not including New York, but I expect that to also be true for NY/NJ by 2030.

          Currently in MA alone there is a committed mandate for 1600 MW of offshore wind, half of which will begin construction this calendar year. At a 50% capacity factor (conservative at this point) would more than cover the annual energy generated by the retiring Pilgrim plant in Plymouth MA (going off line this June), and the full 1600 MW will be operational before 2025 (maybe before 2022, for the optimists). The MA legislature has already authorized (but not yet mandated) a second 1600 MW in MA, with a more fully developed study & plan for the second 1600 MW to be released this month, the timeline and state committment level of which is still TBD. So it's 1.6 GW for sure in the near term in MA, and another 1.6 GW before 2030 highly likely.

          NY is currently targeting 9000 MW by 2035, though "only" 2,400 MW by 2030 is currently mandated. Even the 2.4GW is good for one full-sized nuke and then some. Given how quickly offshore wind pricing is falling it's likely that those dates will be pulled in, and it's likely that the 9000 MW target will be expanded. But only the 2.4GW can be considered fully in the pipeline for now, but big targets for more.

          About a year ago the NJ legislature bumped their target from 1,100 MW to 3,500 MW by 2030. I haven't tracked the development status in NJ very closely- not sure how much of that is fully committed vs. mere targets.

          At about the same time RI signed up for 400MW to be tacked on to one of Deepwater Wind's MA projects, dwarfing the 30MW Block Island project that is already up and running.

          A few gigawatts here, a few there, it starts to add up! This party is really just getting started.

          An abbreviated (incomplete, out of date) list compiled last year of offshore wind projects in the US can be found here:

          Judging by the competitive lease area bidding levels late last year the wind developers clearly believe that the current projects are just the tip of the iceberg, and willing to make bets that there will be more to come:

          >"Most electricity in the US still comes from coal."

          That is no longer the case- most comes from gas.

          Natural gas and renewables have been eating into coal's market share. Natural gas passed coal as a percentage of annual TWH generated in 2015 and hasn't looked back:

          Even the EIA (usually late to the party on renewable capacity) is projecting that just renewables (hydro inclusive) will outpace coal generation for this month, May 2019, and that will become more frequent as more renewables get built and more coal retires.

          1. Expert Member
            BILL WICHERS | | #42

            All of that is based on governmental mandates. The government can, and sometimes does, mandate unachievable goals. The reality is that the natural gas shortages in New England are basically artificial (lack of sufficient pipeline capacity and resistance to new construction), which in turn affects system stability, and energy costs.

            I looked up the total installed generation for the NYISO for last year. It took longer than expected to find, but it was 41,539MW. The record for wind generation was about 1,700MW and was set in November of 2017. That’s just over 4% of the system supplied by wind. There is an upper limit on what can be supplied by wind of around 20% of the total capacity due to stability issues. Wind can’t replace the rest.

            More than half of the installed generation is natural gas, and the system operators are noting reduced capacity margins since they don’t have enough gas supplies to meet demand. It doesn’t matter how much wind power is mandated, or what carbon targets are mandated, if it’s not possible to meet those demands. How much total offshore wind is theoretically possible? I suspect repairing those offshore systems after major storm damage is probably very difficult too, which means it is prudent to maintain alternate sources of power in case the wind system is offline or reduced in capacity due to damage.

            So far, for most of the power grid, new capacity has been primarily from natural gas, and from reductions of capacity margins which aren’t immediately apparent to customers, but increase the possibility of system problems.

            Artificial restrictions on natural gas capacity will ultimately increase costs to New England residents, and reduce system reliability. I believe it was Long Island that had enough of a natural gas capacity shortfall this past winter that people weren’t able to heat their homes. This is the likely reality we’re headed for when what should be engineering decisions are made instead based on government mandates that are not based in reality. Renewables in their current form are not going to be able to replace more conventional sources of energy in the near future. The scale is just not there.

            Note also that the capacity mix is different in different regions. There are basically four “power grids” in North America. One is Texas, that is their own system. The others are the pacific intertie (most of western US and western Canada), the eastern interconnection (most of the eastern US including eastern Canada), and Quebec’s system in Canada. There is limited ability to move power between these four asynchronous systems. Basically that means solar in California can’t help New England, as one example.


      2. krom | | #14

        Dana, The real reason that several utilities are stopping the installation of gas to new buildings, is the lack of capacity, caused by "environmentalists" who have prevented any new pipeline construction, into or through NY.

        1. Expert Member
          Dana Dorsett | | #37

          Trevor: The "environmentalists" correctly point out that increasing the capacity would guarantee that the new pipelines would become stranded assets in relatively short years, with no way to pay them off if NY is going to actually hit it's emissions targets. In the near term that's a shortage of gas capacity, but it's capacity that won't be needed (or even legal to use) in the intermediate and long term.

          The New England states have the same issue. In Massachusetts the pipeline developers were trying to put the electric ratepayers on the hook for the full financial risk, but got shut down by the state Attorney General on the basis that the electric ratepayers would only see a benefit in the very near term, and that running the pipeline at anywhere near full capacity would put the state in violation of it's own carbon limits well before the pipeline would be paid for. Making the electric ratepayers continue paying for unused/unusable pipeline capacity for a handful of decades was deemed not in the ratepayers' interest.

          It was wide speculated that a primary driver of the pipeline push was the desire to develop LNG export capacity from Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. Had the pipeline developers been willing to take on the bulk of the financial risk themselves it's highly likely that the pipeline crossing northern Massachusetts would have been approved over objections of local environmental lobby.

          1. krom | | #43

            We aren't talking about utilities deciding not to build pipelines because of the potential stranded assets. The state is flat out denying permits.
            Currently XNG is running trucks 24x7x365 to move LNG from PA, and put it in the pipeline in upstate NY (they go right by my house)
            Explain how that is lower impact than running a pipeline...
            The assets only become stranded because of flawed government policies, with little to no basis in reality.
            The long term existence of those policies isn't guaranteed. Right now the idea of splitting NY into autonomous regions is gaining steam, at a surprising rate. If it happens, only NYC will keep any part of the emissions targets. Not sure if you watch the Simpsons, but their recent poke at upstate NY was unfortunately no where near as harsh as reality. GVT policy that create high taxes (income, property, business and more), utility rates, and fuel prices, has made it the worst place in the country to try and run a business, and the #1 state on the list of population outflow, several years running.

      3. _Stephen_ | | #16

        I agree with what you've said, but you haven't addressed the initial cost or reliability angle.

        When we built the new house, we went with a gas stove because an induction cooktop that was well rated was more than our entire budget for kitchen appliances, at over $4500.

        Meanwhile, a nice GE has stove can be had for $1000.

        Then there is reliability. It's really hard to fundementally break fire, and ignitors are cheap and easy to fix.

        I mean, I don't like the fumes, or the range hood, but my budget is limited, and the extra went to increasing the solar array to cover the electric car usage.

        1. josh_in_mn | | #40

          Cost has come down.

          $1k for frigidaire induction range.

          1. irene3 | | #60

            Pretty sure this is the one I wanted. For some reason it's impossible to get in white, though. (N.B. I'm not the one who insists on matching appliances in our house, though I would prefer white and can't understand why everything has to be stainless steel these days.)

    2. NEplumber | | #15

      well said zephyr7

    3. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #22

      Bill. We have a cast iron wok made by Lodge that works well on our induction cooktop.

      1. TimTuckerCom | | #23

        Was going to suggest this as well -- the only downside is that it's one of the heaviest things we have in our kitchen. (Could be an upside if you're looking for a good workout)

      2. Aedi | | #24

        You technically can't properly utilize a wok with any with an induction burner, as you need to allow the aerosolized oils from frying catch fire on the burner while tossing the food in order to develop the proper flavor unique to woks.

        Of course, you technically can't properly utilize a wok with the vast majority of gas stoves either, since they are intended for wok burners with an order of magnitude more BTU output (100k+ is best from what I've heard, but 25k is probably sufficient for making food for two).

        Of course, few people have woks, and even fewer still have wok burners. Even those that have woks and gas stoves are usually not daring enough to light their food on fire. And yet, most people are perfectly happy using their wok on whatever cooktop they have, so I wouldn't worry too much about the importance of gas in that regard.

        I like to use mine in a charcoal grill, as it is both hot and fiery enough. But I can make do on my budget gas range, so long as I work in small batches and leave the windows open.

      3. Expert Member
        BILL WICHERS | | #25

        Thanks for mentioning that. I’m planning to replace our existing radiant cooktop with induction during our kitchen remodel, but my wife has wanted to try wok cooking (I’ve neglected to mention the issue with woks and induction to her...). A cast iron wok would be an interesting solution. Does it work about the same as the more conventional stainless and aluminum woks?

        I imagine a cast iron wok is pretty heavy, but that goes for any cast iron cookware. We have tri-ply pots already, and those aren’t particularly light, so I’m not worried about weight.


        1. Aedi | | #26

          Cast iron is a good solution when dealing with lower-output stoves, as they retain heat better. They are quite heavy (the traditional-size lodge is 12 pounds), and you cannot toss food in it, so it is pretty different from more conventional woks in that regard. With induction that doesn't really matter though, so cast iron would work great for you and is what I would recommend.

          Another traditional option is a carbon steel wok, which is much lighter (though at 4-5 pounds, it still weighs as much as a 10" cast iron skillet). It needs to be seasoned and maintained just like a cast iron pan. The steel should be 2mm thick or more. If you do wind up with gas (or decide to use the wok with a grill) this is the type to go with, but it will also work with an induction burner.

          1. GBA Editor
            Martin Holladay | | #27

            I've never cooked on an induction stove, but I've cooked with a wok for my entire adult life. For centuries, woks have been made from ordinary steel. Of course they have to be protected from rust and rubbed with oil -- but when you're stir frying, you're using oil by definition. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about -- if steel cookware works with induction stovetops, what's the worry about woks? Is it BTU output?

          2. Aedi | | #29


            I did my best to explain in post #24, but the main reason is "proper" wok use involves, essentially, lighting the oil on fire when you are frying. Very few home cooks that use woks do that, so in a practical sense it doesn't matter.

            Additional BTUs is also a reason, but I am not aware of any residential gas stove that has a high enough output, and I don't think insurance companies would stand for it. Even high end stoves with dedicated wok burners have a fraction of the output you see in professional kitchens for this purpose, though having any sort of wok burner is better than just a plain old stove.

            You can also get into heat distribution, as induction only heats the bottom of the pan. But a standard gas stove has a tendency to heat the lower sides more than the bottom, which isn't much better. A wok burner has a centralized, often jet-like flame that focuses heat on the center of the wok, while still distributing a lot of heat up the sides.

            But at the end of the day, most people are perfectly happy using a wok on whatever cooktop they have. The concerns I listed are all very niche, and 99.99% of homeowners should not worry about induction vs gas. Unfortunately, I suspect many buyers will continue to favor high-end gas cooktops over induction at the price point, since they are viewed as more "professional".

            Edit: I have attached an image to show what proper wok-frying looks like. It is better for most homeowners not to attempt this.

          3. GBA Editor
            Martin Holladay | | #30

            I've eaten a lot of street food in Hong Kong and Taipei, so I know what wok cooking looks like. I was just surprised by the description of a carbon-steel wok as an "option" -- it's the only kind of wok I'm familiar with.

          4. Aedi | | #31

            That is fair -- carbon steel is absolutely the standard. Unfortunately, when I was wok shopping a couple years ago I had a hard time finding a good quality carbon steel wok here in the states. Take the fancy cookware site Sur La Table:


            They have nearly two dozen woks on that page, and only two are carbon steel. Many of them are even non-stick, which is absurd. When you start looking at other requirements, like steel thickness, a flat bottom for use on an ordinary stove, a textured interior, and non-meltable handles, options get scarce pretty quick. I ended up having to buy one with plastic handles, but I was able to remove and replace them with wood.

          5. GBA Editor
            Martin Holladay | | #33

            You have to shop in Chinatown. I got mine in Boston, but most large American cities have a neighborhood with Chinese markets.

            For French omelettes, a steel omelette pan beats a cast-iron pan. But steel omelette pans are hard to buy outside of France. The good thing about steel is it's cheap.

          6. Aedi | | #34


            That's good advice, and I suspect I would have had better luck had I tried that. Alas, I was putting it on a wedding registry, so I was stuck with more conventional shops :p.

            I hope to get a good steel skillet soon! For now, I make my french omelettes on a cheap nonstick. It's a little sacrilegious, but it does work better than my cast iron.

            Re-reading your original response to me, I think I might have misinterpreted what you were trying to say. The reason cast iron is a little better for induction is the shear mass of it. Any ordinary cooktop can get the bottom of a carbon steel pan to 650F or more given enough time. But once you add the food, the temperature will drop rapidly to ~400F, and weaker cooktops will take a while to get it up to temperature again.

            Since the cast iron wok is so thick, it is able to hold more energy. Adding the food will only drop its temperature to 500F or so, so it'll provide slightly better results. Since tossing the food is not important for an electric cooktop, most people will probably have better results on a cast iron. Honestly, most people with electric cooktops are probably better off stir-frying in a cast iron skillet, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

          7. GBA Editor
            Martin Holladay | | #35

            I understand what you're saying about the thermal mass of cast iron. It makes sense.

            Over the years, I've learned that there are many myths about cast iron. It's really not a very good conductor (especially compared to a heavy copper pan) -- which is why you will get a donut-shaped hot spot when you use a cast-iron pan. Cast iron retains heat a long time, but it doesn't conduct as well as is needed for cooking.

            These days, it's easier than it used to be to buy unusual cookware -- thanks to the invention of the internet. I found French style steel pans online: Carbon Steel Fry Pans.

          8. Aedi | | #36

            You are absolutely right on the thermal properties of cast iron Martin. Interestingly, carbon steel has nearly identical thermal properties to cast iron; the only advantages the lodge wok has in this specific application comes from its unusual heft.

            Those Vollraths are exactly what I was looking for though, thank you. I've had good luck with other pans by them.

          9. tundracycle | | #45

            Our steel frypans are all Matfor. I really like cooking with these. I've forgotten who suggested them but I owe them a huge debt of gratitude. One thing I noticed about induction is that it often does result result in a more even heat distribution across the bottom of a frypan.

            One problem with induction is that the frypan or wok need to be very close to the top and ideally right on it or you get immediate heat loss. Some people seem to be able to get use to it, others not. If you flip stuff in your wok rather than use a spoon or spatula then you you'll have quite a bit of retraining. Similar for a frypan where, as mentioned above, the sides don't get as hot so sometimes flipping stuff results in things sticking to the sides.

  2. Aedi | | #2

    The NYT is a decent paper if you know how to read it, with good reporting. This, however, is an opinion piece. It is important to note that the opinion section does not represent the view of the NYT, or any of its employees, and so the post title is a little misleading. It is also worth noting that the NYT op-ed section is garbage and always will be. That's not entirely its fault -- newspaper op-ed sections in general are terrible and should not exist, though the NYT seems to go above and beyond to prove that notion.

    I saw the headline for this piece earlier and the word "opinion", and had the good sense to ignore it. But seeing it again here, I could not resist. I don't even disagree with it in premise -- electrification is the future, and gas stoves are rarely given adequate ventilation and pollute the interiors of homes. I even support the government taking measures to discourage gas hookups in new homes and promote all-electric houses. But saying everyone needs to get rid of their stoves to protect the climate is a dumb, self-defeating point to make that obscures the driving forces of climate change (industry) while placing the onus on the individual, and advertising an (expensive, luxury) product as a solution to boot. While favorable to the neoliberal perspective to which the paper often caters, that is a very good way to turn ordinary people against taking action on climate change.

  3. Zdesign | | #3

    I am going in the opposite direction with my new house due to High Electricity prices from National Grid. Propane Combi Boiler, kitchen stove, and back up generator due no ability to sell back to the grid with Solar Panels. Until more environmentally friendly batteries are main stream and cost effective, such as salt water batteries, its not worth the investment in the systems for an electric bill that's under $100 a month.

    1. Expert Member
      Dana Dorsett | | #8

      Low mass propane combi boilers aren't "right sized" for very many houses, and are terrible solutions for better than code or smaller houses. They're a better match for homes with large heat loads and moderate or low domestic hot water needs.

      Many (or even most) combi boilers currently installed in my area are being short-cycled into lower than advertised efficiency and destined for an early grave. Before committing to the combi boiler route read this:

      In most markets heat pump leveraged grid electricity is far cheaper for space and water heating than condensing propane.

  4. Expert Member
    Peter Yost | | #5

    I do quite a few building investigations in my work and increasingly in high performance homes, the gas cooktop and oven is becoming a significant source of moisture and moisture problems.

    All hail induction....


    1. _Stephen_ | | #17

      Can you expand on that? Won't all the moisture be removed by the range hood?

      1. JC72 | | #18

        Not if they install a recirculating range hood. IMO the biggest issue with gas ranges is that the vast majority of the housing stock built in the last 40 yrs have kitchens with recirculating range hoods.

        It's one of my pet peeves.

  5. Jon_Lawrence | | #6

    I really dislike my gas stove regardless of the environmental implications. Looking forward to lighting up, I mean turning on, my induction stove in a few months.

    1. josh_in_mn | | #7

      You're going to love it. I have one and it works fantastic!

      1. Jon_Lawrence | | #11

        Thanks Josh.

    2. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #9

      Make sure to leave some clear ventilation area in your cabinets in the area of the induction cooktop, especially around any vents on the cooktop. Lack of sufficient ventilation seems to be one of the reasons for induction cooktops to fail early.


      1. Jon_Lawrence | | #12

        Thanks for the heads-up Bill.

      2. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #49

        Induction cooktops require clearance underneath, but how much varies widely. When designing our kitchen, we chose our induction cooktop because it only needed an inch or so clearance, which meant I could put a drawer under it, as opposed to a fake drawer front. Some we looked at needed six inches.

  6. tundracycle | | #13

    This was a tough decision for us in our new house. For many reasons above I preferred induction. We snowbird for 3 months each winter (advantage of being a journalist and photographer) and every other year this is in a Florida home w/ induction so we've been able to use induction a fair amount.

    For many cooking tasks induction is as good or better than gas. It does fall short in some areas though including Wok and sauté. In the end and having used both, my wife came down staunchly in favor of gas. If it were just me I don't know which way I would have gone.

    A cardiologist friend also recommended that we install a gas line even if we did do induction as there is still some concern about induction with some implants (and we're not getting younger).

    We have a couple of countertop induction hobs that we use. It's easier, for us anyway, to use temporary induction hobs than a temporary gas range top :-)

    We use our thermostatic griddle a lot both as a griddle and a flat top. Electric griddles as accurate as good gas griddles are extremely expensive.

    Finally, a good exhaust hood and make up air is still necessary for induction. While there are not the byproducts of gas combustion there are still odors, VOC's, steam and grease from cooking that should be exhausted. I don't believe the exhaust requirements would be any different.

    1. josh_in_mn | | #20

      You do still need an exhaust hood, but you don't need the same volume of air. You're just dealing with the grease and steam, instead of that plus products of combustion.

      1. tundracycle | | #28

        From my understanding... grease and the odors that are attached to it is the most difficult to contain and exhaust, requires the largest hood aperture and containment area and the greatest CFM. Steam and byproducts of combustion pretty much just go along for the ride.

  7. JC72 | | #19

    Based upon the assumptions the premise of the article is sound however for practical purposes induction has some significant drawbacks such as reliability, cost to repair, and although a rare occurrence is useless during periods of intermittent power outages.

    It's a good choice for those who eschew meat/fish and prefer to live in what is essentially a hermetically sealed house which breathes through a straw (aka HRV/ERV).

    1. josh_in_mn | | #21

      I have a big range hood on mine, and use it when frying or cooking stinky stuff. Not sure why you think having induction means you can't have a vent hood.

      1. JC72 | | #38

        IMO, unless it vents to the outdoors it's not a vent hood.

        HP homeowners prefer induction because they believe it allows them to get away from having to poke another hole in the envelope for the range hood. My sarcasm doesn't always come across so well.

        1. josh_in_mn | | #41

          John, I agree, recirculating is silly. For the number of hours you're going to be using the vent hood, I don't think the energy penalty is really worth sweating. Especially since you don't have to smell fried foods for days afterwards.

          1. JC72 | | #46

            Agree, yet some people obsess over such things.

          2. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #51

            I think the energy penalty is more from the hole in the wall that is usually not well sealed, such that the energy penalty is continuous.

        2. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #50

          I've never heard of anyone choosing induction to avoid a vent hood. We chose induction to avoid the IAQ issues associated with propane and because induction is simply better to cook with.

  8. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #32

    Martin, the concern I’ve always heard about woks is that induction can’t get the pan hot enough fast enough to cook properly. Aluminum woks obviously won’t work at all, but steel should be useable. I can’t claim to be any kind of chef, so I’m just going with what others have told me.

    The biggest issue I have with induction is that many of the cooktops seem to die within about 5 years due to component failures in the electronic circuitry. This is irritating to me as an electrical engineer since it should not be a problem to design the power electronics to be reliable. At work I design with 500+kw UPS systems that last for decades so I don’t see why cooktops are a problem. I suspect manufacturers are just doing too much value engineering, although insufficient cooling around the installed cooktops seems to also be a contributor.


  9. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #44

    In response to #42:

    >"All of that is based on governmental mandates. The government can, and sometimes does, mandate unachievable goals."

    And yet, the offshore wind mandate was predicated at pricing much higher than where the actual bidding came in, which has prompted the doubling of the targets for Massachusetts. (At a third the price multiplied by two it's still under what was signed up for.) The price point of the initial 800MW of offshore wind came in at about what was budgeted for the third tranche of investment slated for the late 2020s and WAY under what was budgeted for the first tranche.

    Let's put this one under the "achievable goals" column.

    >"There is an upper limit on what can be supplied by wind of around 20% of the total capacity due to stability issues."

    I dunno Bill, you seem to be repeating a persistent myth of the past. Fortunately the ISO-New England analysts & planners don't actually believe that. (Neither does the MISO grid operator, or ERCOT folks.) Most utility analysts see a fairly straightforward path to 75%-80% variable renewables without excessive curtailment or excessive storage costs, using already existing technology. Xcel energy is using wind power to supply ancillary services and turn off spinning reserves on days when the wind resources are good, taking a small hit in capacity factor more economically cover those other needs. Even in fairly tiny grids like Denmark wind is already producing over 40% of the annual grid power, exporting most of the excess on windy days to Germany or Sweden when output exceeds the load, importing Norwegian hydro on less windy days. The ISO-New England grid is bigger than that, and is not isolated, with daily import/export to NY-ISO and to/from Canada, and more transmission lines coming.

    >"I looked up the total installed generation for the NYISO for last year. It took longer than expected to find, but it was 41,539MW. "

    Nameplate capacity has to be derated by capacity factor for both dispatchable and variable output generators. Most gas generators in the ISO-New England region aren't delivering more than a 50% capacity factor, which is comparable what is expected from offshore wind. The all time peak grid load is nowhere near the 41,539 MW cited, but it was more than half that. The all time summertime peak for the ISO NE grid was 28,130 MW, back in 2006. The all time winter peak was in 22,818 MW in 2004. The ISO New England only counts ~31,000 MW of generation capacity for the summer, 33,000 MW in winter. Since they're responsible for keeping the lights on and grid stable, I'll take their numbers. Source:

    The overall trends on peaks in the ISO-NE grid are downward, largely due to efficiency measures, but also due to behind the meter PV bringing down the summertime peaks.

    Massachusetts (= about half the ISO-NE load) is building a transmission line to access Canadian hydro sources to manage variable output and overall capacity needs, and has already mandated shorter term storage commitments to manage the growth in variable output sources. The transmission line project is way beyond the ""unachievable goals" stage, even if it ends up costing more than anticipated, it will be built. The amount of fast reacting storage that gets built is still TBD, but at the falling price of batteries it's probably close to a done-deal, and might even be increased (the way the offshore wind mandates seem to be rolling out.)

    >"The reality is that the natural gas shortages in New England and basically artificial (lack of sufficient pipeline capacity and resistance to new construction), which in turn affects system stability, and energy costs."

    That's a bit circular. It's only a shortage if there is more demand than supply. That's no different from saying the shortage of hydro power in New England is artificial, due to the lack of transmission capacity to Quebec & New Brunswick. Yup, totally artificial- just build more transmission lines northward, shortage problem solved. (Oh yeah... they're actually going to do that transmission line thingy- who knew? :-) )

    Sure, more pipeline can increase the gas supply, but at what lifecycle cost, and for what time period, in an environment of increasing efficiency and a commitment to reducing carbon emissions? They have been debating the value of increasing gas pipeline capacity in New England since before the LNG port in Boston Harbor was build 48 years ago. The case for increased pipeline capacity hasn't improved much despite lower wholesale gas pricing- if anything it's been markedly worse since the RGGI was formed.

    There are no system stability problems in the ISO New England region related to lack of pipeline capacity. None. Stability has become even easier to control now that there is 3 GW of dispatchable demand response ISO-NE demand response market. I'm pretty sure that's enough- if it isn't the ISO-NE planners can open up the market even further. Combined with the dispatchable storage mandated in MA added in the already low capacity factors on gas and oil peakers will go even lower.

    1. Expert Member
      Dana Dorsett | | #47

      Still kicking a dead horse...

      ... the 3-paragraph version of the NY-ISO's offshore wind plan is on page 40:

      So far there have been bid submitted totaling 1200 MW the initial phase of the 2400 MW, on RFQ for for the initial 800 MW, contracts to be awarded this spring.

      The ISO has run the analysis demonstrating that it won't overload the existing transmission capacity. The analysis for the remainder of the 9000 MW in the master plan is ongoing.

      Offshore turbines are conservatively designed for high winds & waves, and not easily damaged by mere storms. Flying plane or running a ship into a single turbine/tower only takes out 5-10MW. The transmission lines from offshore wind are under water, and completely unaffected by conditions at the surface, more resilient to storm damage than transmission lines on towers. The notion that a gigawatt of offshore wind farm is likely to be taken out by a storm in one go is bit silly. With any generator or pipeline/transmission line there is some vulnerability to sabotage, but that's what it would take to take a gigawatt scale offshore wind farm offline.

      The ISO-NE already has contingency plans for losses of generation in chunks of a half gigawatt and larger have been put to the test multiple times in the past decade, as onshore transmission line faults during big nor'easters have forced coastal nukes (particularly the Pilgrim plant) to shut down. The notion that the best plan is adding more natural gas generation is also silly in the face of already ongoing transmission line projects that have multiple other uses, resources that do it better faster and cheaper than overbuilding gas pipeline infrastructure as backup for somewhat rare events.

      The NY-ISO could benefit from more in-state transmission line infrastructure to take better advantage of the already-built on-shore wind up north that is already running into curtailment issues due to grid congestion & capacity constraint. The greater value would be more north/south capacity to bring Adirondack wind to the the major load centers in the NYC area, but there's a case for more east-west capacity too. IMHO developing grid capacity for better access to zero-emissions generation is a better expenditure of ratepayer & taxpayer funds than more gas infrastructure so that more folks in Westchester & Manhattan could be cookin' with gas, but I'm sure the regulators (and not just the pipeline companies) are doing the math on that.

      1. krom | | #48

        Adirondack wind development is reaching the point where the pro wind folks, are getting push-back from the nimby folks, and the forever wild environmentalists. Several wind farms have been proposed near me, and all have been shut down.
        Words can't express how screwed up NY is. Endless feel good mandates, with no clue how to fund them, or make them work

        1. Expert Member
          BILL WICHERS | | #52

          This is the reality almost everywhere. Everyone wants something, but they don't want to deal with any of the downsides from that something. Wind power is a good example -- offshore is fine, relatively no impact to people living on the land if it's far enough offshore. The downside is increased construction and maintenance costs.

          Wind on land is a problem. There are a number of turbines installed in Appalachia and the people there hate the things (constant noise, visual impact, and problems with radio signals). Those people don't have enough financial or voting power to fight the developments though.

          The biggest issue is that that wind and solar do not have the scale to replace conventional generation. It doesn't matter what is mandated, it's just the physics of how this works. I was away for a few days, but my earlier comment about the NY-ISO being concerned about future system issues due to natural gas capacity shortfalls from lack of pipeline capacity was in their 2018 report. There is a difference between what is sometimes put out for PR purposes and what they put in things like engineering and shareholder reports which tend to be more honest about the real concerns the utilities face. Since these systems take years to build and bring online, by the time the general public really starts to feel the impact of the problems caused by the poor decisions of regulators, it will be too late and will take years to fix.

          The earlier comment about bringing power in from Canada via new transmission lines to access hydropower is valid, and transmission lines can certainly be built. That particular path is likely to need an HVDC link due to asynchronous systems (there is already one in place, but I think it's near capacity so more need to be built), but Canada is not building new hydroelectric capacity. They could complete the James Bay project, but they have their own issues with doing that. No new hydroelectric capacity means no additional capacity to import.


          1. AlexPoi | | #56

            I live in Quebec city and the new government is more than willing to build new dams if they have a deal with NYC and if the new transmission line to Massachusett is built. They have stated it many times since they got elected and they already have a lot of extra capacity anyway. They have more then enough to supply new partners. There is also a new dam "La Romaine 4" in construction. It will be completed in 2020.

  10. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #53

    >"Wind power is a good example -- offshore is fine, relatively no impact to people living on the land if it's far enough offshore. The downside is increased construction and maintenance costs."

    Tell that to the NIMBY fishing industry in New England...

    The cost of offshore wind is higher than on shore, but has a faster learning curve- it's costs coming down more quickly than onshore wind. It's not clear that the maintenance costs are higher per MWh than onshore wind. The number of turbines are far fewer than on shore wind farms per MWh, a function of both turbine size and higher capacity factor.

    Based on early contract bids of the as-yet un-built projects the levelized cost of offshore wind in the US is already lower than new nuclear power in the US, and closing in on even the O & M cost of the existing nuclear power (not counting decommissioning cost), just as onshore wind in parts of the US is now cheaper than the O & M costs of existing coal fired generation. Based on the recent price/cost history & trends of offshore wind in Europe, the US bid numbers are credible.

    >"The biggest issue is that that wind and solar do not have the scale to replace conventional generation. It doesn't matter what is mandated, it's just the physics of how this works."

    Sure it has the scale to replace "conventional" generation. The belief that it can't is cultural, not physics.

    Iowa, Kansas & Oklahoma may be small markets compared to the NY-ISO, but it's fair to say that wind is already delivering the goods at scale in the MISO & Southwest Power Pool:

    Solar production is likely to be even outstripping wind there (and in ERCOT) by 2030, driven primarily by lower cost, despite ongoing wind development in those areas

    >"Wind on land is a problem. There are a number of turbines installed in Appalachia and the people there hate the things (constant noise, visual impact, and problems with radio signals)."

    Is it cherry picking season already? (The trees in my area have barely bloomed! :-) )

    "There are a number of..." generators of ALL types in Appalachia and other regions where abutters and those downwind/downstream hate the thing for some reason or other. So what?

    That makes combined cycle gas on land is a problem?

    Nuclear power on land is a problem?

    Hydroelectric dams on land are a problem?

    Indeed they ALL are a problem (in particular instances), but a manageable problem. As with any other type of generator there are trade offs & siting adjustments to be made. Onshore wind's record is actually pretty good in terms of local acceptance (despite NIMBY activism in upstate NY or Cape Cod MA) but that doesn't mean on siting a few hundred 2-5MW turbines in the Bronx, Brooklyn & Queens would be the "right" solution for replacing the city's existing generation fleet.

    1. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #54

      True enough that NIMBY is always going to be a problem for everything. There is always someone who doesn't like something.

      I would expect offshore wind to be more costly to maintain due to more difficult access (boats instead of trucks...). There are other issues with subsea power transmission and inductive effects, but I don't think the offshore wind is likely to run into those to any large extend since I expect the water depth issues would be more of a problem far enough offshore that subsea cable distance limits would come into play.

      Solar is good for daytime demand, not so much for night :) And in my area, we've had over a week now of gloomy gray rainy weather so I'm sure solar isn't doing much here right now. Really the only issue I see for solar is cost. If the panels can come down, why not have rooftop arrays all over? And whatever happened to the solar shingles? I had a few to play with, but they seem to have disappeared. If those got cheap enough, they were a neat idea.

      Nuclear would cost a lot less if the regulatory environment was not so burdensome. I grew up with that as my dad worked for the utility here and was involved with siting the plants. The classic example is control indicator lamps. There is a concern that panel indicators should be reliable, so they have to be approved for use in the plants. The original lamps were a special dual-filament redundant light bulb. They want to replace them with LED indicators that are even more reliable, but the approval costs are ridiculous so they continue to use the special dual-filament bulbs. This is a real problem.

      Hydroelectric is great, but only works in a few areas where the topography is right. There has historically been a lot of resistance to new projects. NIMBY again...

      I imagine wind would have issues in the near areas to any large city due to wind effects from large buildings. The turbines are always going to need wide open spaces to work correctly.

      BTW Dana, since you are obviously a big proponent of wind power -- there is a MASSIVE wind development in Canada between approximately Windsor and the junction of 401 and 402. Some years ago, it was only around 401 but it has grown and is now up around 402. Apparently it is a combination of several separate projects, but it appears as one from the ground. I've been watching it expand over the past 5-6 years or so making that drive every few months to visit family near Toronto. If you're not familiar with that project, you may want to look into it as you may be interested.


      1. Expert Member
        Dana Dorsett | | #55

        >"I would expect offshore wind to be more costly to maintain due to more difficult access (boats instead of trucks...)."

        Moving big stuff like 300' long turbine blades is easier by boat than by truck or train. But it does take specialized boats & crane. (A lot has been done with equipment originally designed for the offshore oil & gas industry.) The European experience with wind farm maintenance hasn't shown a cost premium for offshore even on per-turbine basis.

        >"Solar is good for daytime demand, not so much for night :) And in my area, we've had over a week now of gloomy gray rainy weather so I'm sure solar isn't doing much here right now. "

        Solar is up when people are up, and using electric power. It's a pretty good match for summertime energy use (particularly peak air conditioning grid load), less so in winter, but nobody is seriously proposing a 100% solar solution. With 4 hours of storage even California's (and New England's) growing "duck curve" problems are readily solved, but even more an be done with demand response, which is now a standard tool in the kit.

        >"Nuclear would cost a lot less if the regulatory environment was not so burdensome."

        Coal would be cheaper with a laxer regulatory environment too, but really, it wasn't the regulators that sent the budgets for SCANA & Vogtle through the stratosphere.

        (Full disclosure: I make at least part of my living from the nuclear power industry.)

        The difference between nuclear and the variable output renewables is that the former is large infrastructure with long construction timelines, the latter is technology with rapid development cycles and scalable. It's pretty clear that the cost of the LED indicator replacements and that sort of issue aren't what's doing-in nuclear. By the time a nuke get's bid and built in the US it's at least 3x the original budget due to everything from logistics SNAFUs and other stuff. By the time a wind farm gets bid out and built the turbines are cheaper and more efficient than anticipated.

        >"I imagine wind would have issues in the near areas to any large city due to wind effects from large buildings. The turbines are always going to need wide open spaces to work correctly."

        Which is why the windswept prairies and windswept flat water get much better capacity factors, and are the prime locations for wind power development. In New England the wintertime capacity factors of offshore wind will be in the 60%+ range, high 40s to low 50s in summer. On-shore wind farms in this region, maybe 30%.

        >"BTW Dana, since you are obviously a big proponent of wind power ..."

        I'm not so sure I'm a PROPONENT as much as that I recognize the potential, realize just how cheap it has already become, and that the cost today is more than what it will be in a few years. On cost the wind power Rubicon has been crossed- even at a 30% capacity factor it's already cost-competitive with new combine cycle gas on an unsubsidized basis. It's relatively cheap now, and will be even cheaper in the future, but the levelized cost crossover with solar is imminent. At utility scale solar is going to be hands-down the cheapest generation anywhere on earth before another decade goes by.

        Whether it's cheaper to over-build renewables and curtail output vs. storing that energy (for a few hours, a few days, or a few months) is an open question going forward. The optimal mix will vary with location and over time, but all of that technology stuff is getting cheaper and better year on year. The New England wind characteristic of having greater availability during the heating season is a valuable characteristic even if solar is cheaper, solar + storage + curtailment might not be. Similarly offshore wind in Houston TX would have a beneficial diurnal output effect, coming on in the evening when the daily AC load peaks and PV is fading, reducing the amount of storage required.

        At bid prices of $65-70/MWh for the first 800MW of offshore wind I'm OK with Massachusetts signing up for another 1.6GW (to a total of 3.2GW by 2030) , even though it's more expensive than the average LMP in the grid region. That's enough to put downward pressure on natural gas prices in winter, and with it lower cost for the combined cycle gas operators during the transition despite operating at lower capacity factors. But more solar and more transmission line capacity (judiciously selected) won't hurt either.

  11. onslow | | #57

    Don't worry about nuclear, the regulators are right on it.....

    1. Expert Member
      Dana Dorsett | | #58

      There's a greenhouse gas case for keeping SOME of the existing nuclear fleet going during the transition, but none for new nuclear until/unless small modular reactors can be proven out and hit the right price points. But it's very hard to make the financial case for keeping some of the big-iron going, with bailout life-support schemes getting flak from all sides (and not always without cause) eg:

      Existing nuclear and coal aren't competitive against wind & combined cycle gas on the raw economics, but nukes would have a competitive advantage over fossil burners if a carbon tax were implemented. (Don't hold your breath on that one.)

      The regulators that continue to refuse to pull the plug on the Vogtle project (especially after the related SCANA project was scuttled) have a lot to answer for. It was sold as a $14B project that should have come on line in 2016, now projected to add up to $27.5B with a November 2021 start up date for unit #3, a year later for #4. By the time they are actually finished (if ever) it may be more expensive for the ratepayer to load up the cores and run them, incurring the decommissioning costs than to just walk away and take the loss. (The US taxpayers are potentially on the hook for the loan guarantees, but the shareholders in the project would also take a hit.)

      Maybe it will cost "only" $27.5B to complete it (nearly 2x the original quote), but there's reason to be skeptical on that. If they hold the line on that and the plant runs 50 years the unsubsidized levelized cost of that energy will be twice last year's bid pricing for New England offshore wind, and 3-5x last year's levelized cost for new utility scale solar & onshore wind, and 2-3x the levelized cost of power from new combined cycle gas plants.

      Since the time the Vogtle expansion project was initially conceived a fracking boom has pushed the cost of combined cycle gas power through the floor, and now both wind & solar pricing has pretty much caught up with combined cycle gas on the way down. By 2021 when unit #3 goes on line the new Vogtle plants may already be stranded assets (unless they engineer a major bailout) despite being all shiny-new, too expensive to ever pay off. Even with a carbon tax on gas fired power it's unlikely to be cost competitive against gas, and gas is going to be facing it's own competition problems with cheaper wind & solar.

      It's hard to shut down a project that size when it's already ~3/4 complete and one of the major employers in the state with lots of stakeholders, but it's the responsible thing to do. There has been a surcharge on Geogia Power bills (GP owns 45% of the project) for several years now to pay for it, but that money should rightly go back to the ratepayers, who shouldn't be shouldering the project risk, and were somehow not protected from that risk by the regulators.

  12. onslow | | #59

    Thank you Dana for saving me the effort of finding more back up data to my little tweak at nuclear power. I would like to add that aside from loan guarantees provided by all taxpayers, I believe the insurance is also a gift provided by taxpayers. As often is the clean up, when our good corporate friends dump their responsibilities through assorted legal tricks.

    Then of course there is a large hole in a mountain out west here that has been fought over for twenty some years as a "final" resting place for the vast amounts of radioactive wastes that are often sitting very close to urban areas and critical water sheds in the power plants yards. Best of all a certain percentage of the total "hot garbage" produced by cheap wonderful nuclear energy (remember how it was going to be too cheap to meter?) will remain deleterious to most life for thousands of years.

    Twenty seven billion before even charging the reactors? Translate that amount of money into solar farms and even the sketchiest flow battery schemes and maybe we can save our grandchildren from living on New Tatoo-ine (spelling made up)

    1. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #61

      Or allow reprocessing of nuclear fuel as is done in all other countries and recycle the nuclear "waste" materials to get more power. The only reason spent nuclear fuel isn't reprocessed in the US is due to proliferation concerns, and that argument makes little sense when every other country in the world does reprocess their spent fuel.

      I do wonder about the cost overruns on some of these projects. I've been involved in multibillion dollar projects before, and while such projects tend to be very specialized and thus surprises tend to come up, going up to double the original projection looks like someone wasn't paying attention. I'd be interested to seeing some detail as to what all those cost overruns really were.


      1. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #62

        Proliferation is a serious concern. Plutonium isn't useful for much, except weapons. Reprocessing is very costly. It generates even more waste, including huge volumes of radioactive water that gets discharged into the environment. The waste doesn't go away. It just changes form. Finland has a new long term storage facility.

        In any event, it doesn't matter going forward, because new nuclear is dead, at least in the West. It's stupidly expensive. It doesn't matter why. Even if small modular designs prove practical, by the time they scale up, we'll either have fixed the CO2 problem or it'll be too late.

        And given the history, cheap nuclear power is unlikely.

      2. Expert Member
        Dana Dorsett | | #63

        The fuel cost and fuel storage/containment cost is the frost on the tip of the iceberg of the levelized cost issue with nuclear. While reprocessing would reduce that marginal cost, it's not going to auto-magically make existing nuclear plants economic against cc-gas or the falling wind/PV cost. It seems likely that the levelized cost of new PV at utility scale will drop even below the fuel lifecycle cost for a nuke at some point in the next decade or so.

        It's likely that the remaining energy in the "spent" fuel rods already stored in casks on-site at generators could fuel the entire fleet for the remainder of their practical lifecycle several times over if reprocessed. But the economic remaining lifetime is considerably shorter than what it might be a technical/practical lifecycle in a less competitive market .

        In 2017 the total cost of power from existing nukes in the US was $33.50/MWh (a decade low net cost for the industry, not necessarily repeatable.)

        Per Lazard's levelized cost estimate, in 2018 the levelized cost of new utility scale PV ranged from $36 - $46/MWh, down from ~$360/MWh in 2009 about a full order of magnitude in one decade.

        New wind was $29 - $59/MWh, down from about $140/MWh in 2009, roughly ~70% reduction in cost in a decade.

        The contracted electricity pricing for the first 800 MW of offshore wind capacity for Massachusetts was bid at $65-70/MWh, half the cost of on-shore wind only a decade ago.

        The learning curves on those two technologies have not slowed down very much (if at all), and this is all about manufacturing volumes + incremental technology improvements, not big breakthroughs. Care to bet one what the levelized cost of new wind (on shore or off) or solar will be in 2030 compared to the O & M costs of existing nuclear?

        Me neither.

        But spending the next $27.5 billion on wind & solar over the 10 years appears to be a safer bet than another pressurized water reactor at Vogtle even if the fuel were free, and an even safer bet than spending $27.5 billion on keeping existing nuclear plants open beyond 2030.

        Had commercial development started 50 years ago there may have been a future for modular fail-safe molten salt reactors, but by the time they are licensed and at a proven lifecycle cost point they're likely to be be irrelevant. Those who drank the Kool-Aid are still holding out hope, but if/when they actually hit the electricity market the grid operation won't look or cost very much than it looks today. It's premature to bet the world's future on that technology.

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