Friday, November 12, 2010

On YouTube and Not on YouTube

Thomas Farrell As the post below reminds us, NEI has a thriving YouTube channel where anything regarding nuclear energy is neatly extracted from longer talks or press conferences for your viewing pleasure. Here’s White House Science Director John Holdren during the Q&A after his speech at MIT (our transcript):

I think for a whole variety of reasons the United States needs to stay at the cutting edge of nuclear technology. And in order for us to do that, it would be nice if we had a domestic nuclear industry; building nuclear power plants in this country. I would like to see that happen. Steve Chu would like to see it happen. The President would like to see it happen.

Not least, because if I didn't make that clear enough in this talk, although nuclear energy is not a panacea for the climate problem, there is no panacea, it could make a significant contribution if we could make it expandable again. It would be easier to solve the climate problem with the help of nuclear energy than without it.

And I think it's in our interest therefore to help ourselves and help the rest of the world figure out how to get that done; with the appropriate technologies, the appropriate training, the appropriate regulations.

And:

The Unites States is not yet in any danger of being left in the dust in this domain. But we've got to pay attention. We've got to make the investments. We've got to do what needs to be done to create the environment in which this technology becomes expandable again.

You can watch the whole thing here.

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But all right, just as all your friends have not friended you on Facebook, so it is that every speech doesn’t make it onto YouTube.

For example, Thomas Farrell, Chairman, President and CEO of Dominion Energy, gave an interesting speech to the Harvard Business School Energy and Environment Club’s Energy Symposium 2010 in which he lays out his views on energy policy - very timely given the recent election. It’s a long talk and well worth reading but here’s a bit of the take-away:

Ultimately, I believe, we must center our energy policy on the concept of security – the most meaningful principle, as it recognizes the interdependencies, scale and complexity of the energy supply system.

Energy security is rooted in a number of different things:

Supportive legislation and regulation that provide access to and responsible development of our domestic resource base:  natural gas and oil, both onshore and offshore, as well as coal and uranium.

A modernized, smart power grid – empowering consumers and moving electricity reliably and efficiently to population centers where it is needed most. Here is where conservation may yet have a chance to promote reduced energy demand, lower costs and protect environmental quality.

Robust international relations and trade that help maintain stability and long-term economic growth.

And perhaps most important of all, reliance on the full range of energy sources at our disposal.

Energy diversity is really the key to America’s energy security.  As any decent financial adviser will tell you, the best hedge against a market is a diversified portfolio.   You knew that – even before you came to HBS [Harvard business School].  The same is true for energy.

Thomas Farrell.

3 comments:

SteveK9 said...

'There is no panacea.'

'There is no silver bullet.'

These are cliche's that are now spoken as if checking off a box, without really thinking about it.

Nuclear is a panacea, it is the silver bullet. 50 years from now people will wonder why this wasn't already clear to us by now.

Philip said...

Nuclear is a panacea, it is the silver bullet. 50 years from now people will wonder why this wasn't already clear to us by now.

+100

There is nothing else that can help.

DocForesight said...

I suspect that Holdren, and other government officials, say these cliche's in order to appease certain environmental or industry groups. A nod in their direction, if you will.

I'd like to believe the current administration is serious about encouraging a nuclear renaissance. The loan guarantees are helpful but there appears to be lingering doubt about their continuance. The skilled labor, manufacturing and construction jobs this renewal would produce would go a long way to reviving our economy.

Other countries are clamoring for the technology and we seem to be dithering.