Friday, January 13, 2006

Renewable Energy Sources

We’re into 2006 now and wondering what will happen on the world stage to excite us, make us mad, and drive us to action.   Too often, we get the feeling that we can’t do anything about the economic and political situation.  But, we can talk with others about the way we’d like to see the world turn and we can vote.

California looks like it is going in the right direction in putting the sun to work on top of houses to generate electricity using a renewable resource.  All we’ve got is the sun, the wind, geothermal, and, that old standby nuclear power.  All of these reduce our dependency on oil, but at a cost.   The plan in the US is to have 20 new nuclear reactors in the next twenty years.  Many countries, such as England and Germany are now looking at doing away with old nuclear reactors and not building any more.  France hums along with nuclear supplying 80 percent of their electricity.  

We need a strong national debate on alternative means to generate electricity and to reduce the demand for electricity.  


James Aach said...

I agree completely that we need to focus hard on reducing energy consumption and finding new or exploiting newer (alternative) resources. One of the difficulties with the latter is that they currently make up less than 2% of the total generating capacity in the US, and even with massive conservation it's hard to see the "green" alternatives carrying the full load. So fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro are still on the table for the time being.

As a nuclear energy worker, I've tried to do my part to enhance the energy discussion by writing "Rad Decision", a techno-thriller novel about the American nuclear power industry. It is available at no cost at I have provided an excellent inside look at the US version of the industry (good and bad), including how an accident would be handled. The real nuclear industry is nothing like that portrayed in the media (either good or bad.)

"I'd like to see Rad Decision widely read." - Stewart Brand, futurist and founder of The Whole Earth Catalog.

I'm honestly not sure what our energy future should be, but I think we'll make better decisions if we understand our energy present.

Regards, James Aach

P.S. See the Rad Decision front page Comments section for reviews from satisfied readers.

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