Monday, September 26, 2005

Stein on Energy Supply: "We need to be diversified."

In Sunday's Boston Globe, columnist Charles Stein made the case for a diverse energy mix -- one where nuclear power plays a larger role than it does today:

There are plenty of specialists around who are firmly convinced that high oil and gas prices are here to stay. Richard Lester suggests we should be wary about such pronouncements. ''Smart people don't get this right," said Lester, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of nuclear science and engineering. In 2003, Lester and some colleagues wrote a report on the future of nuclear power. They assumed natural gas prices -- the main competition -- would stay in a range of $3 to $6 per million BTUs. Last week natural gas was selling for more than $12 per million BTUs.

The solution here is obvious: We need to be diversified. Investors spread their bets around because they don't know which stocks will do well and which will do poorly. We need to do the same with sources of energy because, in truth, we don't have a clue what will happen to their prices in the future. The cheap may become expensive and the expensive cheap.
This is just what we've been saying, and it bears repeating: Saying that we have to choose between nuclear energy and renewables is a false choice. For the sake of energy, economic and national security, America needs a diverse energy portfolio.

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1 comment:

L. Alan Smith said...

I saw the Science Guy on Larry King / CNN last night. In response to an alternative energy question, he proposed the use of more windmills and solar panels, but left out nuclear energy. I am not sure if we have hurricane resistant windmills and solar panels, but it would be nice if the "Science Guy" also include nuclear as an alternative energy supply that also does not produce greenhouse gases.