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View Diary: New Corrosion Research Shows Accelerated Failure At Fukushima Daiichi (33 comments)

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  •  We need a new grid. (1+ / 0-)
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    splashy

    We need a new grid. This is well known. More of the same old thinking and unequal balance in energy generation won't solve it.

    All this hand wringing about how all this is just not realistic is pretty easy to debunk considering countries like Germany and Iceland are mostly there and countries like Denmark and Scotland have a 100% renewable plan already in progress.

    The established power industry will play concern troll all day long because what needs to happen in the US is the grid needs to be handed back over to the governments, it needs a massive modernization and we need an energy policy that looks at what is best for the country and the people first.

    The status quo is failing us and the current dominance in the energy industry is heavily invested in nuclear and fossil and do not want anything to change.
    The poorly presented argument is that we "need" nuclear so badly that we should accept things like Fukushima as routine and necessary. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows how idiotic that is.

    •  Iceland has geothermal heat and hydro (0+ / 0-)

      Lots of it.  Lucky.  Of all the methods of producing power, hydro is the most efficient for both base load and peak load.  Hydro isn't without its environmental consequences either because dams block fish from reaching spawning grounds and turn free flowing rivers into lakes.

      •  Theer are other ways to do hydro (0+ / 0-)

        For instance, using currents without damming the rivers.

        The same techniques can use tidal movement to generate power.

        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:35:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem with any form of hydro... (0+ / 0-)

          is that by very nature of taking energy out of the river, you're killing the river.  It's this energy that aerates and modulates the temperature of the the river, keeps sediment suspended in some areas, erodes new sediment in others, etc.  The energy is the lifeblood of the river.  You can't tap it without hurting the river.

      •  I personally think hydro is pretty awful. (0+ / 0-)

        The dams impound a rather huge area compared to how much power they produce - about an order of magnitude more than solar in a good location for the same power output.  Less then wind if you consider the spacing of the turbines but a ton more than wind if you consider only the physical turbine foodprints and their access roads/power lines/etc.  

        Wind and solar are best built in vast, open, indistinct wastelands.  Hydro is best built in some of the most sensitive, unique, and beautiful areas on the planet (river canyons).

        Wind's effect on the local environment is debatable but even their most controversial aspect, bird kills, is small enough with modern turbines that even the Audubon society generally supports them.  Solar has a number of positive effects, in that the one thing that's usually in the shortest supply in sunny places is shade ("nurse trees" nurture whole ecosystems).  Dams radically alter and generally destroy the whole ecosystem, from the reservoir to far downstream, in a whole host of different manners (temperature, oxygenation, erosion, silting, etc).

        Geo on the other hand I'm generally quite fond of.  It has a rather tiny footprint for how much power it produces.  It's laid out like a wind farm with a bunch of separate wells with access roads (and pipes instead of power lines) but each unit produces an order of magnitude or more more power than a wind turbine, and it's baseload and high capacity factor.  It's partially renewable (there's usually a ton of initial heat, then a decline to a much lower steady state; if a field is abandoned long enough it will recover).  

        Kind of bothers me when lots of people up here protest it.  I mean, yes, you have to build access roads and power lines out to it, and drilling isn't perfect.  But my god, it sure as heck beats the alternatives...

    •  Iceland is essentially 100% renewable (0+ / 0-)

      for electricity and something like 95% for heat (and we just burn through that heat  ;)  ).  Liquid fuels, however, we import and guzzle.  Work to fix this problem is not at all mature.

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