Electrical Engineers (I’m one) have been so aggravated over the years watching environmentalists demonize nuclear power while at the same time screaming that fossil fuels are going to destroy the earth from global warming. We see completely ignorant politicians, nutty environmentalists, and grant seeking scientists pump out nonsense when it comes to real solutions to energy. Nuclear power is the only viable technology at this time that is able to substantially lower carbon emission. If you think global warming is a crisis, then the only sane position is to advocate for nuclear power. If you don’t, then you are seriously ignorant.
The Breakthrough Institute in Oakland, an environmental group, is FINALLY stating what I’ve been writing for such a long time that nuclear power is really the answer to energy independence, lower use of fossil fuels, and a much higher standard of living for Americans! GOD BLESS THEM. Well most lefty’s don’t like the use of the word God, but oh well. I’m excited that they are on-board. This Breakthrough Institute and the California 2050 Energy report are starting to give me hope that some sanity is returning to the environmentalist movement. Perhaps the lesson of President Obama’s $90B of green wasted effort has sunk in. Now they know that there was no Big Oil and GM conspiracy to prevent green power and electrical cars. Now they know that there really are tough technical and economic problems with solar, wind, batteries, etc.
Let’s review some of the facts.
1. Energy use is going up. Deal with it. Conservation (while good) is not going to solve the world’s energy needs. The reason is simple: many countries abandoned state controlled socialist economies and adopted free market economies. Now billions of people are seeing their standards of livings increase around the globe. As these billions of people get richer, they want the same stuff we in the West have enjoyed. Microwaves, dishwashers, fridges, AC, street lighting, etc. are just a few of the new energy consuming goods being sold in the tens of millions in formerly 3rd world nations.
Even more interesting is that it has been shown that when lights are more energy efficient, people just increase the amount of light they use so the net energy change is zero.
2. Making Fossil fuels expensive is not going to fix global warming. First, American environmentalists and America itself has no control over the vast majority of the world’s fossil fuels. All the US Gov regulations and activists protesting against Exxon, Chevron, and Big Coal has simply hurt these companies while exporting jobs and pushing control out of the USA. Today, not one single US company is in the top 15 in the world in terms of oil reserves.
3. Green Energy with wind, solar, waves, etc. is simply not going to produce the amount of energy necessary to make any substantial difference. The sun still sets and the wind doesn’t always blow, thus the cost of green energy will always been high. President Obama, like so many nutty lefties, actually believes the pseudo-science and environmental conspiracy stories about why green energy never took off. Well $90B dollars of failed investment later, he appears no wiser. As an electrical engineer, I LOVE solar panels and the technology, I LOVE wind energy and the technology behind it. I wish like mad they were wonderful, cheap, reliable, etc. and if some great thinker figures out the right formula, I’ll jump on the bandwagon in a heartbeat.
Friends of mine have a wonderful start up in solar power now that has promise to advance the thin film solar efficiency to in excess of 30%!! This is amazing, I love it and I hope it succeeds. I hope their technology is stable. Thin films often peel sort of like paint so they don’t last as long as single crystal and poly crystal panels. On the bright side, thin film technology is usually cheap.
4. There is enough nuclear fuel in this world to last until the earth is swallowed by the sun. The oceans are loaded with it and it can be retrieved at a cost of only a few cents per kW/h. In fact I want to try an experiment which I’ll try to carry out in the next 5 years in this regard.
All the best,