David Crane, president and chief executive of NRG Energy, has an op-ed up at the Washington Post in which he leaves aside current energy politics and proposes a closer look not only at technologies that are viable now but also where they are most viable geographically.
This last bit strikes us as original if perhaps a touch too definite – after all, he’s right that solar panels and turbines work best in certain parts of the country, but nuclear energy and electric cars aren’t bound by geography. Here are his bullet points:
- The West gets the sun.
- The Midwest gets the wind.
- The South gets nuclear.
- The Northeast gets the electric car.
- Pursue "clean coal" as a national priority.
This method gets a lot of good information on the page in an organized way – we have to conclude Crane really likes organization – his sock drawer must be a marvel - so we’ll take it. Here’s his paragraph on nuclear:
Democratic policymakers have focused like lasers on wind, solar and efficiency. They need to recognize that the South, still one of the nation's most economically dynamic growth areas, lacks suitable wind and solar resources. The geology of much of the Southeast is not well-suited to sequestering the carbon emissions that must be captured by truly "clean coal." On the other hand, the populace of the South (and that includes Texas) is generally comfortable with nuclear power, and its incumbent utilities are deeply experienced in nuclear operations. Nuclear energy should be the "renewable of the South."
He knows whereof he speaks, so okay. These are quick hits for discussion purposes, not a fully fleshed out plan. Crane has a straightforward approach and inclusive view of energy. And for a daily newspaper, it keeps its explanations simple but not insultingly reductive. Good piece.