environment,energy,greenhouse,gas,carbon,dioxide,global,nuclear energy,clean energy,emissions,global climate change,environmental impacts, Nuclear Energy Can Save US: Solar Energy Just Will Not Do (Part Three)

Nuclear Energy Can Save US--America�s 100 nukes equal four million barrels of oil per day.

Billions of lives and civilization itself may be at risk from the Global Warming & End of Cheap Oil, Crisis. Rising sea levels and rising oil prices could be the end of civilization as we know it. The problem is so huge that the most powerful answer, many nuclear plants, must be deployed. Currently, America‘s 100 nukes deliver the energy of four million barrels of oil per day. Wind and solar cannot do the job, and may delay the real answer too long. Still, all kinds of clean energy, plus conservation, plus reducing deforestation, will be needed to help the poor half of the world, and for civilization to survive through this century.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Solar Energy Just Will Not Do (Part Three)

As discussed in Part Two of Solar posts, retail type solar energy installations (home-mounted) do not s seem to be a viable part of the Climate Change fight. Besides cost, esthetics have to be considered; remember the anger at roof-mounted TV antennas years ago. Also, "rebound" is likely to happen. A report last year said that several studies showed only 60% (my memory) of expected results were realized because of rebound; e.g., after saving, a person may then make his next car an SUV instead of a hybrid. Last, every transformation of energy causes a bit of energy loss; grid-linked systems lose a bit both times, sending and receiving energy to a public utility, the energy wholesaler.

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants are more likely to work, primarily because they are wholesalers with inherent benefits. However, even here the cost, and scale of manufacturing that they require may be a drawback. Per eia.doe.gov, CSP's, or thermal systems are ten times as prevalent worldwide, as PV arrays.

Getting a handle on the cost of CSP's is a problem. One recent report bragged that an area of 92 by 92 miles could supply as much energy as the world now produces. This is not new; call it 100 by 100 miles, or 10,000 square-miles, 1/300 of continental US, and the sunlight received is 12 times the current total world energy (See Part One, Solar post). The report did not say how they would get 8% efficiency to create the energy, nor how much it would cost to cover 10,000 square-miles with mirrors separated so as not to mask each others sun, and for the mirrors to be precision manufactured structures, not just millions of frame, row houses. Without such data, the real value of these plants cannot be estimated.

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