There is a little bit of 'weezel wording' here. "Renewables" as a statistic is quite 'dead'. That is, it doesn't really reflect what the gov't is or should do, where social investment should go.
The above cited statistics really don't reflect the growth of 'wind and solar' per say, since it's built on the basis of hundred year old hydro power. Since investments are not generally directed toward hydro as it's already built out, the very small amount of wind and solar...the REAL issue here, doesn't look as good relative to nuclear.
It is quite unclear in the blog whether one is talking about "capacity" or "capacity FACTOR"...that is the real power generated or just as in the case of 'capacity' the theoretical name-plate MWs. This is a huge difference for wind and solar on the one hand, and nuclear on the other. Nuclear isn't going away, you have to get used to this.
What is really growing is very dirty and dangerous natural gas, which is married at the hip to solar and wind. Something to think about.
You know...when I see "The solar industry has grown by more than 50%!"...it makes me laugh. When you start from, say, .01 of all energy produced to .015 (a 50% increase) it's quite silly to use either "50%" or the exclamation mark.
doggydogworld, yes it is unlikely any such low cost nuclear energy is available in the immediate future. But *no* form of energy is built today without certain guarantees, most notably wind and solar, which could *not* be built without massive subsidies for *every* KWhr produced and/or *mandated* by legislation that a certain % of generation in a system, regional or state, be from these sources. How is that "good economics"?
You are talking about US Dept. of Energy/Defense MILITARY WMD sites, not civilian sites.
Jim, there is no 'consensus'. Sure in parts of Europe there is strong majority support for phasing out nuclear. Give it a few years and people will see the increase of their carbon footprint...like what is happening in Germany with their 'phaseout of nuclear' equaling 23 new coal plants and twice that many natural gas plants.
If the 'concensus' was for nuclear...would you agree to move toward it?
The world is still going nuclear Jim, not as fast as before, but more and more countries see this as a carbon-free source of energy. Its quite the mixed bag out there.
Phil, I'm afraid all you are doing is presenting your own opinion as 'fact'. You really can't back up anything you say. Especially on the health effects, or lack there of as the case may be, of nuclear energy. We *know* what fossil fuel does in terms of both the immediate health effects of coal and natural gas and the long term effects on climate change. Nuclear outputs the *lowest* volume of toxic waste than *any* industry. It might be dangerous, but it's the only one that is at all seriously managed. Chinese solar cell production? Dumped in the countryside.
"Distributed generation" is totally supported by all the subsidies from private Fortune 500 companies from GE to Westinghouse. These companies support any gov't subsidized hand outs especially with feedin tariffs s generously handed out.
But are you going to run...New York City or San Francisco on "Distributive Generation"? Are you? How? How much will society invest to do this? The wind farms are not "distributive generation". They are diffuse...but highly centralized in their ownership and control.
Phil, you need to read more. Can you point to spent nuclear fuel being "mismanaged" in the US? Commercial nuclear plants store their SNF on site. There has never been even an incident regarding it. Yet we dump millions of tons of coal waste *everywhere*, unregulated except for river pollution and coal kills 30,000 people a year that we know of according the NIH. What again are your priorities here? They are DEAD because of coal, Phil. I'm only 'yelling' with all caps because I think most renewable energy folks simply don't "get it".
There would be half-million or more alive today if we had phased out coal with nuclear 40 years ago. But no...you are 'afraid'.
You are not keeping up on the reading. If we reprocess, as the French do, we can keep deriving energy from the SNF for decades longer. Gen IV reactors like the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor don't even use uranium, they use thorium, 4 times as abundant. The world, Phil, is passing you by on nuclear technology. Just read more about it.
Right now solar is "boutique" because it still sucks up subsidies for every KWhr produced. You are, unfortunately, pushing more fossil fuel as your last statement clearly indicates. Nuclear is *expanding* in China, Vietnam, Korea, the USA, France, England and other countries. The future looks to be quite "mixed" regardless of the solar-utopians wishful thinking.
Bill, how nice for you. Good to have money, huh? I live in foggy Pacifica, CA. I make a working class income and with some financially motivated CF bulbs, my total electric bill is $45 a month. I've ask two of the very few homeowners in my town that have PV how long it will take to pay it off. They said, basically, never, as they have only halved their bill by (40%). But then I, me, my neighbors, paid for this little boutique luxury they have through our taxes.
"We have the ability to relegate most of our total energy load to solar, wind, geo, hydro and RE biomass today" Bill, IS a lie...it can't be done which is why there is not a country in the world doing this. You are speaking terms of 'empty rhetoric' and fantasy.
Of course without the grid they couldn't do their PV as there simply is no way to store the amount of power they need throughout the dark foggy nights. The *entire* basis of PV is having it Grid Integrated. There would be no solar PV industry *at all* without the regulatory legislation that mandates money back from PG&E.
The factories that make PV can't be powered to even 10% by PV itself...they need the grid. Try making copper and aluminum with "PV". You need a grid 24/7 to make the *massive* industries capable of making everything you use in your little Oz there. Thank the gods for the Grid.
Go "off grid" is a middle-class yuppie fantasy that isn't applicable where most of us live. We can neither afford it nor does it do a damn for lowering carbon emissions. You've presented ZERO facts about saying we can
Bill, I'm not twisting what you said. I'm responding to your seeming advocacy here of "personal solutions" instead of understanding that we need a *societal* solution to generating electricity. That "you do this" is wholly irrelevant to this discussion. It solves nothing as the majority of Americans live in areas that can't do what you are doing. I can't. Industry can't. The development of human civilization has always been predicating on utilization energy in ever more efficient, abundant, cheap and denser ways. In order to run the steel industry in the mid-west or the auto-industry in Ohio and Michigan or a high speed rail network or making refrigerators (and using them) we need a grid that is powered by cheap and reliable energy.
The blog entry here doesn't lead in this direction, it leads away from it. That was point.
Introducing religious themes here, god-belief, etc is totally outside the bounds of this discussion. It's a distraction from the serious issues raised in THIS entry. Really, take it someplace else. If you notice no one is responding to any of this.
It is OFF TOPIC. You could post this nonsense to any blog on the web with your POV. I want to discuss renewable energy, not god, gods or godesses. It is an intellectual arrogance for you to try to HIJACK this discussion.
The term for this is "pollution". When you introduce a theme in a thread that is *obviously* outside the parameters of any discussion. Stop, please.