The ENERGY TODAY section includes most types of energy being used today. It considers fossil fuels (about 80% of the world's energy sources), hydro-electric and nuclear as the most important. Everything else has a less important or even seriously detrimental role. Political leaders the world over must chose the really beneficial energy sources with high energy density in order to continue to build a modern world for everyone.
Michael Shellenberger, Environmental Progress: An all-star group of energy and climate scholars published a scientific article in a prestigious journal pointing out that a Stanford professor’s proposal for powering the United States entirely on renewable energy sources rests upon a gigantic lie. Over the last several years, Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo and many politicians have pointed to Stanford scientist Mark Jacobson’s modeling as proof that we can quickly and cheaply transition to 100 percent renewables. What is the lie? That we can increase the amount of power from U.S. hydroelectric dams ten-fold. According to the U.S. Department of Energy and all major studies, the real potential increase is just one percent of that.
As of February 2017, Mark Jacobson is listed as being in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. He talks about the problems of man-made global warming from fossil fuels and how wind and solar energy can provide 100 % of electrical energy needs in the United States. Many people recognize that wind and solar are extremely low energy density compare to nuclear, highly unpredictable in energy output and have times when they don't provide energy at all. What if the United States adopted his plan? What would that do for the man-made climate change he talks about? What would the rest of the world do, go wind and solar, stick with fossil fuels, go nuclear? What has James Lovelock said recently about man-made global warming, wind energy and nuclear? See his position in other articles on this website.
Rafay Farooq: Human civilization has progressed a great deal in all scientific fields during its journey from the Stone Age to the scientific era. However, with all its achievements, mankind is far from infallible. Dams are created by highly talented engineers with claims that these buildings are built to stay for centuries to come. However, time and again dams have collapsed and some of them have resulted in major disasters. Here is a list of 15 of the world’s worst dam disasters ever:
James Temple, writer for MIT technology Review: Fluctuating solar and wind power require lots of energy storage, and lithium-ion batteries seem like the obvious choice—but they are far too expensive to play a major role. Relying on renewables alone significantly inflates the cost of overhauling energy. At current prices, a battery storage system of that size would cost more than $2.5 trillion. Repeat that every time the batteries are worn out.
Richard McPherson, electrical power and grid security expert. He is pursuing executable humanitarian solutions under the nexus of agriculture, water and energy: America is now living with a horrible electricity supply system. At the same time the nationwide system is vulnerable to the effects of weather, humans, EMP and solar events. A situation created by politicians for their benefits. A system, China, Russia, North Korea and their proxies love.
The only facility in California that does not use any of California’s precious fresh water is the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant which desalinates ocean water for all of its freshwater needs, even running the nuclear reactors. But their desalination plant is only operating at 40% capacity. They can actually produce a million and a half gallons of fresh water a day, and can ramp up quickly to provide the additional 825,000 gallons of fresh water per day to the nearby community. Because the Canyon Diablo nuclear plant produces electricity at only 4¢/kWh, the desalination will cost a fraction of a cent per gallon, cheaper than any other desalination facility. James Conca, Forbes.
John Droz is the publisher of "Energy and Environmental Newsletter." A hundred-plus years ago, wind energy was recognized as an antiquated, unreliable and expensive source of energy – and now, after hundreds of billions of wasted tax and consumer dollars, we find that (surprise!) it still is an antiquated, unreliable and expensive source of energy. This is what happens when science is relegated to a back-of-the-bus status. When a major turbine manufacturer calls a catastrophic failure like a blade falling off "component liberation", we know we are in for an adventurous ride in a theme park divorced from reality.
Kelvin Kemm and Andrew Kenny -Coal stations can only be built near the coal fields. Nuclear can be built wherever we want, including at the coast and in the west of the country, both of which have growing demand. Koeberg has shown the way. Small nuclear reactors of the 100 to 200 MW size range will also come into being in the near future, they will change the world energy scene. Now let a new fleet of South African nuclear power reactors follow. South Africa needs them.
Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times: China’s energy companies will make up nearly half of the new coal generation expected to go online in the next decade. Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal. Over all, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent. Of the world’s 20 biggest coal plant developers, 11 are Chinese.