Skip to main content

Hungry?

Those of you interested in learning more about the myths and reality of "green" energy will want to put the book Power Hungry on your summer reading list. Written by Robert Bryce, editor of the Energy Tribune web site, the book describes the "cold facts" of our power needs. Bryce explores 13 myths about energy on topics ranging from wind and solar to cellulosic ethanol and electric cars.

As others on this blog have made clear, we believe the nation's energy needs require us to pursue all options. Toward that end, we think it important to be clear about the facts and trade-offs involved in energy policy choices. (An illustration of just one of those trade-offs - the amount of land required to replace nuclear generation - is provided on the NEI web site here.) In Power Hungry, Robert Bryce has attempted to share what he has learned about those facts and trade-offs that sometimes does not fit the media "template". We commend it to your reading.

A Wall Street Journal review of Power Hungry is available here.

Comments

DocForesight said…
I first read some excerpts from Robert Bryce's "Power Hungry" at www.masterresource.org where there is also a current series on Power Density by Dr. Vaclav Smil (5-part series). Both series go into the number crunching that leaves diffuse energy sources severely wanting compared to nuclear power.

Also, the gents at www.cleanenergyinsight.org have compiled some informative Fact Sheets and posts.

If we are to pursue an "all of the above" approach to energy supply, let's at least be honest about the materials input, the land-use footprint, the on-demand factor and the scalability of each before throwing more money at a losing horse. Bangladesh is not the going wind and solar route - they're going with Russian nukes (BN-800).
Fred said…
Can't wait to read the book! Most energy analysts agree: any viable U.S. Energy policy for the next few decades must include a combination of:
1. Consumption, Conservation and energy efficiency
2. Fossil Fuels-Oil, natural gas and coal
3. Nuclear
4. Renewables-wind, solar, ocean, biofuels, etc.
5. Geothermal, hydro, etc.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…