Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tech Tuesday: Thought Provoking Energy Stories

I have currently been reading Meredith Angwin's Shorting the Grid: The Hidden Fragility of Our Electric Grid. The book challenges us to think about matters we have probably given very little thought to. Specifically, how do our power systems work? Why do the lights go on when I flip a switch? What would our lives be like if we shut down all the power plants? That is, what would happen if the power went out forever?

Here are some article to chew on for today's energy lesson. (I'm not an expert. Just relaying ideas that strike me as significant from this week's readings.)

Our electricity demand is shifting into high gear. That's why we need diverse energy sources. | Opinion

The question isn't whether our country will need more power, but what energy mix is needed to meet our economic and environmental goals.


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In another article
I had a new insight about solar energy that I'd not considered. 
KEY NEW THOUGHT: The more Sun we get to produce energy, the higher the demand to run air conditioners and cooling systems. 

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Regarding the best way to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in Europe, it's apparent that the EU nations are hardly in unison. Here are two excerpts from a thought-provoking article at FairPlanet.com.

France, an ardent supporter of nuclear power, drew 70 percent of its energy from nuclear sources last year, while the Czech Republic relied on its six nuclear reactors for 37 percent of its energy. 

President Emmanuel Macron doubled down on France’s nuclear strategy, announcing a new €1 billion investment in new-generation nuclear reactors. On the other hand, 2022 will witness the shutdown of the last of Germany’s nuclear reactors, completing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2011 plan to phase out the country’s 17 nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

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THIS SKYNEWS STORY proposes that  Climate Change "could be solved overnight" with nuclear. It seems an ambitious claim. Tomorrow evening more details will be spelled out regarding the role nuclear will play in the global effort to achieve netzero carbon.

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In Europe Germany is on the way to phasing out nuclear completely. France leads the EU with 70% of it power generated by nuclear. Which country produces more carbon? Germany by more than 6-fold. Which country best exemplifies the future of energy reliability? France. 

Details HERE.  

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Who among you (older readers) ever imagined that people would one day be "mining" bitcoins using powerful computers? The concept is still elusive for many, if not most, laypeople. 

Well there have been remarkable new developments in the field of nuclear power. Are you familiar with Thorium? Read this introduction to Thorium from the World Nuclear Association. 

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For the record, small scale nuclear power has been around for decades. Nuclear-powered submarines are submarines powered by nuclear power. When Australia recently cut a deal to build a fleet of nuclear powered subs, it did not mean submarines loaded with nukes. 

According to this article in Business Insider, the advantage of nuclear-powered subs is that they can operate at sea for longer, spend more time submerged, and sail at higher speeds than conventionally powered subs.

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There are now Portable Nuclear Reactors That Can Power Over 1,000 Homes

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According to Meredith Angwin, author of Shorting the Grid, a world without coal, oil or nuclear power is wishful thinking. It's a notion suggested by people who do not understand how power generation works. 

To learn more, read my interview with Ms. Angwin. It is amazing what science is achieving in the realm of clean energy today. 

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May all your skies be blue. (Except when we need a little rain.)

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