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On Tom Friedman: Clock Cleaner ?

I don' think Friedman had nuclear power in mind when he talks about ET (and I certainly don't - why continue a polluting, extrcation based paradigm that is past its use-by date ?).
July 9, 2009    View Comment    

On The Net Hubbert Curve: What Does It Mean?

I agree that the author of the original article should have said "energy from oil" - but presumably he thought the context already implied this, as the Hubbert curve is one of oil production.

As for Hubbert - he preferred solar to nuclear - end of story.

July 5, 2009    View Comment    

On The Net Hubbert Curve: What Does It Mean?

No - the order in which he published his thoughts is the important aspect.

Originally he fell into the trap of believing nuclear was a worthwhile way to go, instead of being another dead end.

He then realised his error and realised solar power was the way forward, which is the text I quoted.

Go and check the dates...

July 2, 2009    View Comment    

On The Net Hubbert Curve: What Does It Mean?

And as for the statement about energy available each side of the peak, I think David was talking about the energy available from oil alone, not other sources of energy...
July 1, 2009    View Comment    

On The Net Hubbert Curve: What Does It Mean?

Errr - Charles, you know full well Hubbert thought nuclear was the wrong way to go and that solar power could supply all our energy needs :

The biggest source of energy on this earth, now or ever, is solar. I used to think it was so diffuse as to be impractical. But I’ve changed my mind. It’s not impractical…This technology exists right now. So if we just convert the technology and research and facilities of the oil and gas industries, the chemical industry and the electrical power industry—we could do it tomorrow. All we’ve got to do is throw our weight into it.


July 1, 2009    View Comment    

On Giving the Power Grid Some Backbone

Oh - the bit about nuclear power not being subsidised by taxpayers gave me some good laughs - no other energy source has ever received anything close to the amount of taxpayer money that nuclear has devoured over the past 60 odd years,
May 1, 2009    View Comment    

On Giving the Power Grid Some Backbone

I think most people would contest the idea that nuclear power is cheaper than wind - especially if you must compare it to reactors which don't even exist yet.<p>If someone builds a commercial generation 4 reactor we can compare costs then - for now wind is the best option (with solar thermal the next best - especially given their ability to generate maximum power in times of peak demand).
May 1, 2009    View Comment    

On Nuclear Power: More Expensive Than Solar

Charles - nuclear power is very expensive electricity - diversified renewables are not. You don't need 5 times the capacity (of some mythical 100% reliable nuke plant) - thats the point of diversification.<p>rmabelis - smart grids involve dynamic pricing based on supply and demand and empowering consumers to make their own decisions about when to run and not run all their devices that consume power (including their electric vehicle recharges as we shift away from oil dependency). You can run your air-con and plasma TV all day if you are willing to pay market price for it.
April 25, 2009    View Comment    

On Nuclear Power: More Expensive Than Solar

rmabelis and Charles - intermittency isn't really an issue for renewables once you have sufficient diversity of location and type of power (even nuclear plants are down some of the time after all - there is no such thing as "100% baseload").

The key to reaching 100% clean energy is expanding our grids to make them continent wide (or even intercontinental, as Bucky Fuller advocated) and harnessing solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, tidal and wave energy, along with biogas from the most appropriate locations.

Coupled with demand management via a smart grid and some energy storage (which solar thermal plants will include in the coming years, for example) there is no need for old world coal and nuclear power, with all their inherent problems regarding resource availability and pollution.

April 25, 2009    View Comment