Your ideas are bold and thoughtful and provide a vision for developing
sustainable solutions. While the technology is being developed, people living
in the US must aggressively cut out waste in energy use, adopt energy efficient
state of the art technology, and most importantly elect leaders who will
implement policies that encourage near and long term actions that help the
planet and its inhabitants! Without scaling back energy use through
conservation and efficiency immediately, we will have many new coal and nuclear
plants, not to mention off shore drilling options on the table, to satisfy an
ever hungry-for-energy population!
In my opinion it sounds like a no brainer. Utilize the natural resources and
stop destroying the earth just to save a buck. In the old days, tilling the
grounds and replenishing the land was what people did. With technology
advancements, it is obvious that we have forgotten the importance of caring for
this world. I am not a hippy boy set out against technology, but I am not stupid
either...if we don't become more aware of the environment and how our living
effects it, then soon in the future we will wake up to a day where there is a
serious lack of natural resources. That day will be a crisis that we could have
avoided. Solar power should be researched and advanced with urgency!
Makhidjani's proposals are totally unrealistic and misleading. After oil
depletion, only nuclear power can provide the needed tera-watts of base-load
electricity and heat to help manufacture synthetic fuels (including farm-grown
bio-fuels) and support heavy industries (steel, aluminum, automobile
manufacture, etc). With U-238 breeder reactors and reprocessing, there is enough
uranium fuel to sustain the whole world for more than 2000 years.
Weather-dependent wind and solar energy are fine for supplying small quantities
of energy in remote regions, but could never supply tera-watts of power
economically. When energy storage batteries are added to solar and wind farms
one finds that such installations are four times more expensive than easily
man-controllable nuclear power plants. Coal which is the only prime energy
alternative to uranium should be preserved for our children as a raw material
for making plastics and other organics when oil is gone; it should not be burnt!
Without nuclear power to rescue us, the world would suffer a total economic
collapse by 2035-2045. Read "The Nuclear Imperative - A Critical Look at the
Approaching Energy Crisis", published by Springer(2006);ISBN 1-4020-4930-7.
Utah's wind potential is not remotely as profitable as Wyoming's and solar is
extremely expensive. Let's push for nuclear.
1. The cost of 14 to 15 cents for solar should be compared to the delivered cost
of new nuclear electricity, which will be about the same.2. Investments in
efficiency plus renewable energy if balanced right will mean about the same
total bills, even with a higher per kWh price.3. Reprocessing is costly
and polluting. The French discharge 100 million gallons of radioactive liquids
into the English Channel every year, polluting the oceans all the way to the
Arctic and they pay 2 cents per kWh more for electricity derived from plutonium.
They will still need a repository and do not have one.
The article indicates that wind power can be produced for $8 to $11 per kilowatt
hour and solar for $14 to $15 per kilowatt hour. Both are much more expensive
than the current cost for electric power which is in $4 to $6 per kilowatt
range. Do I detect that there will be a significant increase in the cost to the
consumer if these new sources are developed?
Anon above is right--there are many factual errors in the original letter. I'll
just address one."Mountains of nuclear waste" -- All existing U.S.
spent nuclear fuel would fit comfortably on a football field, only a few feet
deep. The issue of what to do with it is easy -- park it underground where, if
all things go wrong, it will be safe until we can pull it out and reprocess it.
That place is called Yucca Mountain, and it has been shown to be safe in all
peer-reviewed scientific panels and publications.I have had over a
thousand university students do their own research on all the major energy
sources, and 99% of them come out for nuclear power and against solar. Why?
Solar is inefficient and prohibitively expensive, and has severe environmental
issues including heavy metal production and non-recyclable, toxic panels.
Nuclear power has a proven 50 year safety record, including transportation.
Solar and wind need not take up lots of space. Parking lots can be covered and
solar panels placed on the roofs (with the added benefit of having covered
parking). Solar panels can be placed on building rooftops as well. It would
make much more sense to have government buildings with solar roofs than to fight
wars for oil or spend billions on nuclear power plants. The author makes an
excellent point about water. The only place in Utah with enough water for a
nuclear plant would be along the Green River. Do we really want to use that
water to cool a nuclear reactor?
I live near the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon where for the past several years a
wind farm has been in the planning stages. It has been moved from the most
optimal location to another location. It was supposed to be running last year,
but there is still no progress. It seems that wind farms have the same NIMBY
problems as nuclear power. If we are to cut back on coal alternative sources
will never be able to produce the electricity 24/7 to match the need. If solar
power were viable, we would be buying solar powered flashlights. I guess we
would have to learn to get along without at night and calm winds.
I don't understand the often either/or tenure of this debate. It is, and will
be for the long foreseeable future, some combination of all the various energy
sources.Speaking of which, I'm surprised at the near absence in the
article of the barely mentioned geothermal source of energy.Especially for the Western U.S., this has some of the greatest potential of
all yet is often neglected in the discussion.
Actually, there is a very good way to handle nuclear waste - launch it into the
Interesting comments, except there is no climate crisis. There are many good
reasons to improve our energy outlook, but CO2 is not one of them.Mark
For those who have read my posts you know that I am not a fan of "Global
Warming." That being said, a great energy policy is a great idea, and should be
pursued. How many people have died in wars that ultimately boil down to
petroleum.How valid is this article? Take parking lots: How do you
translate that into electricity? Is there new technology that allows asphalt to
act like solar panels? Or imbed miniature solar panels into asphalt? I am all
ears on this.I have said it before and I will say it again, "Global
Warming" is to the left what the War on Terror is to the right. Both have
elements of good policy, and legitimate concerns. Both are completely abused,
embelished and ultimately do far, far more harm than good. Facts are there are
terrorists who would do the US harm. And there are much better policies to be
had when it comes to the environment.Today's paper has a story about
25% of the bills in the legislature having conflicts of interest. Throw in
Huntsman Chemical is likely making money off of credit cap-n-trades, we have
another conflict of interest with the governor.
There are too many unsupported assertions, and questionable propositions, in
this article to take it seriously.
If we would reprocess and reuse our nuclear waste as many foreign countries do,
we would have more nuclear fuel to burn and less nuclear waste. Also there is
serious talk of burying much of the nuclear waste near Salt Lake City. Why so
close to a population center? Don't we own Islands around the world in the
Pacific including Aleution Islands on Alaska where no one lives? Nuclear fuel
would not be so problematic if we would be a little bit smarter in how we handle
Missing from this equasion, is the fact that wind and solar gobble up large
tracts of land, and provide sporadic elec. Also whith todays technology they
cannot provide the elec. used in manufacturing, which is were the majority of
elec. is used.