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An easy way out?

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Henry Craver's picture
Small Business Owner Self-employed

As a small business owner, I'm always trying to find ways to cut costs and boost the dependability of my services. To that end, I've become increasingly invested in learning about energy saving...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Jan 28, 2022

Last week, I posted this list of the most energy efficient cities to this forum. All of the cities are in blue states, and many are in California. Most of the states are all in on renewables, which is one of the factors driving their energy efficiency. Intermittent energies don't afford us the privilege of unmoderated electricity consumption. 

Nuclear energy, on the other hand, pretty much is available 24/7. If you've ever been to France, one of the most nuclear dependent nations, you might have noticed just how fast your cellphone charged. Nuclear has basically freed France from the responsibility of ever developing any serious energy efficiency regulations. 

Now, it seems, many American states are turning to nuclear. This was highlighted in an AP article last week: 

“An Associated Press survey of the energy policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia found that a strong majority— about two-thirds— say nuclear, in one fashion or another, will help take the place of fossil fuels. That momentum could lead to the first expansion of nuclear reactor construction in the U.S. in more than three decades.

Roughly one-third of the states and the District of Columbia say they have no plans to incorporate nuclear power in their green energy goals, instead leaning heavily on renewables. They pointed to advances in energy storage using batteries, investments in the grid for high-voltage interstate transmission, energy efficiency efforts to reduce demand and power provided by hydroelectric dams.”

If states with weak efficiency ratings embrace nuclear, will they ever face the consequences of their inefficiencies? Does it matter? 


Christopher Neely's picture
Christopher Neely on Jan 29, 2022

This is interesting. This is a survey of residents, not lawmakers, yes? Do we know if the 2/3rds are mostly in red states? Is there a political line in the sand when it comes to nuclear energy? Nuclear remains a hard sell, but it’s clear that the advocacy around it has removed the hostility toward it. Still, I know in California, green energy circles don’t see nuclear as an option, putting all of their chips, like the article said, in renewables and advanced battery storage. 

Here’s a fun game, which state do we think would be first to jump on the nuclear wagon?

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 29, 2022

"Still, I know in California, green energy circles don’t see nuclear as an option...

Christopher, you're hanging out in the wrong green energy circles!

Californians for Green Nuclear Power

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 29, 2022

"If states with weak efficiency ratings embrace nuclear, will they ever face the consequences of their inefficiencies? Does it matter?"

If reducing emissions is the #1 priority Henry, no - it doesn't matter. And the major U.S. city with the lowest per-capita carbon emissions, Chicago, Illinois, doesn't even appear on ACEEE's list. That's because Chicago, with five nuclear plants nearby, generates 70% of its electricity with zero carbon emissions - not "net-zero", or "carbon-equivalent" emissions, not with "renewable energy certificates", or any of the other crutches used in renewables + gas states. The only other reason to conserve energy would be to minimize fuel costs, and uranium costs pennies on the dollar.

If states with weak efficiency ratings embrace nuclear it might matter to ACEEE - only because it would put them out of a job!

Steve Ivy's picture
Steve Ivy on Jan 29, 2022

I first want to say that I think nuclear power is indispensable, but really for just one absolutely imperative application, that is direct air capture of CO2. Otherwise renewables and storage will suffice. Many storage options coming on line quickly. Lithium ok to 4hrs, regular pumped hydro good where possible but truly scalable affordable site anywhere LDES requires new technology such as our Earth Pressurized Bladder and Monolith Pressurized Piston systems. EPB in particular is the most viable low carbon cost, low tech solution and unlike the competition it is appropriate for all market maturities and budgets.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 29, 2022

Steve where has "Earth Pressurized Bladder" or "Monolith Pressurized Piston" been tested and proven effective?

These ideas for storing renewable energy just get weirder - and more desperate - as renewables advocates come to realize there is no effective way to store energy that is as energy-efficient as generating it straight to the grid, on demand. Something that is impossible with "renewable" sources of energy.

No, it's not at all that complicated: nuclear power and a strengthened grid are all that's needed. It's time to start building them out before it's too late.

Henry Craver's picture
Thank Henry for the Post!
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