The Energy We Need

We need to advance carbon free alternative energies — dams, wind, solar, and nuclear. And don’t leave out geothermal.

We need more energy — not less. Conservation and efficiency are important goals, but we can’t get to where we need to be, unless we invest in more energy.

“Nuclear is the only carbon free energy source that we can use almost anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” Bill Gates, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster”

If we don’t support nuclear energy with public policy — we are going to gamble our future on unknown future energy sources. This could be fusion, or some great unknown advance. This can happen.

It also explains why the Government is shutting down the Keystone pipeline.

Let’s examine the nuclear option in more detail. In 2011, a rare tsunami struck the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan. It was a total disaster — the plant was a total write-off, and high level radioactive waste destroyed the nearby region.

What did the Japanese pollicy makers decide? Japan’s Basic Energy Plan, set in 2018 and due for revision in 2021, targets 22-24% of its energy to come from renewables by 2030, along with 20-22% from nuclear power and 56% from fossil fuels.

It is clear that nuclear energy must play a vital role in our energy needs. However, there are two reasons why nuclear is not yet ready. I have already talked about the risk of a nuclear accident.

But the other reason is what to do with the waste — both high and low level waste. High level waste is to go to Yucca Mountain. But that has not been approved, and may never be approved.  And who has worked the high level (and low level) waste issue? Who will?

“What society demands, and appropriately so, is affordable, reliable energy that doesn’t have the emissions associated with today’s energy systems. We’re working on that evolution.” Darren Woods, Chairman Exxon-Mobil

Geothermal can be an option in certain areas. For example, Yellowstone National Park might be a great site for a geothermal power plant. Boise Idaho uses geothermal. 

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