Skip to main content

View Diary: 2013’s Astounding Collapse of the U.S. Nuclear Power Industry: the New Normal (26 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  The Grid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mokurai, wilderness voice, Woody

    I don't believe David Crane's , CEO of NRG Energy,  statement that “in about the time it has taken cell phones to supplant land lines in most U.S. homes, the grid will become increasingly irrelevant as customers move toward decentralized homegrown green energy.”  In Vermont right now, an inadequate grid system has made it impossible to use all the energy available from existing wind turbines.  ISO-NE is planning to close all the old oil and coal fired electrical plants in the region by 2020 but can only do so if it upgrades the grid and finds new generating capacity.

    The grid will increasingly become a battery and switching mechanism for energy, especially from renewables which are intermittent sources.  We need to make it smarter and much more efficient.

    Just slapping enough PV panels on your roof and a wind turbine in the backyard to take care of yourself is not enough.  We need an integrated system that is also capable of adapting to adverse conditions, isolating and islanding itself in the face of storms like Hurricane Sandy.  (CT is the first state in the nation to consider microgrids on a statewide basis.  This conversation is only beginning - here in the USA, in Europe it is probably much more advanced.)

    And remember, according to the latest Lawrence Livermore National Labs flowchart of annual US energy use, we get useful work out of only 39% of the energy we generate (a number that has been dropping over the last few years).  The rest, 61%, is "rejected energy."  Our problem is not really supply.  It is end use efficiency - exergy, exergy, exergy.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site