Seasonal surpluses and nuclear inflexibility seen undercutting incentive for renewable sources
Toronto Star, April 21
Just a few years ago we were worried about having enough power to keep Ontario running. These days, we're paying people to take it.
No new nuclear or coal plants may ever be needed in the United States, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said today.
"We may not need any, ever," Jon Wellinghoff told reporters at a U.S. Energy Association forum.
Wellinghoff said renewables like wind, solar and biomass will provide enough energy to meet baseload capacity and future energy demands. Nuclear and coal plants are too expensive, he added.
He added, "People talk about, 'Oh, we need baseload.' It's like people saying we need more computing power, we need mainframes. We don't need mainframes, we have distributed computing."
The technology for renewable energies has come far enough to allow his vision to move forward, he said. For instance, there are systems now available for concentrated solar plants that can provide 15 hours of storage.
Wellinghoff's statement -- if it reflects Obama administration policy -- would be a huge blow to the U.S. nuclear power industry, which has been hoping for a nuclear "renaissance" based on the capacity of nuclear reactors to generate power without greenhouse gas emissions.
“Clean Coal Clean” and “Good Things Exploding” are especially noteworthy.
Rethinking your opposition to nuclear power?
"The numbers have simply gone flying past our highest 2007 estimates," says Jim Hempstead, a senior vice president at Moody’s, which now predicts new nuclear power plants will cost $7,500 per kilowatt to build. That’s more than double the capital costs for solar power and three and a half times the cost for wind.
As the world confronts the reality of global warming and the inevitable end of oil, the questions of what to do and how to sustain energy without oil or fossil fuels becomes more urgent. Bob McKeown and a fifth estate team travel to Germany to meet Hermannn Scheer, called "Europe's Al Gore," a parliamentarian who is leading the way to increase Germany's reliance on renewable energy sources such as wind power and solar power. To date, 15% of Germany's energy comes from renewable sources. Scheer estimates that if Germany continues on this course, by 2030 that will be 100%. So, if one of the world major industrialized nations can achieve this, why can't a country like Canada? The answer may lie in the fifth estate's investigation of the influence, in this country, of conventional energy industry on politicians.
A Four-Part Radio Series
The audio podcasts described below are all posted at http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/thechoice/
Three Mile Island - Part One (about 1 hour)
Three Mile Island - Part Two (about 1 hour)
From Chalk River to Chernobyl (about 1 hour)
From Darlington to Decommissioning (about 1 hour)
A catastrophe like Chernobyl could happen here. It's the radioactive core of the second biggest lie in US industrial history.
The atomic pushers say such a disaster is “impossible” at a US reactor. But Chernobyl's explosion spewed radiation all over the world. And Sunday’s tragic 23rd anniversary reminds us that any reactor on this planet can kill innumerable people anywhere, at any time, by terror, error and more.
It further clarifies why yet another grab at billions of taxpayer dollars for new reactor construction must be stopped NOW!
If you haven’t signed the online petition yet, do it now! http://www.ontariosgreenfuture.ca/petition.php
And send the link to all your friends!