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View Diary: "Climate change: it's even worse than we think." A sobering reality for Thanksgiving ... (114 comments)

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  •  Multiple items ... (1+ / 0-)
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    1.  Yes, that was a 'US' plan.

    2. Scarily, don't underestimate the inefficiencies in the developing world's current production, distribution, and use of electricity.  There is tremendous space, in terms of growth of use, for introducing efficiency to reduce current waste and to lower the demand growth curves.

    3.  There are many other options for moving forward, in addition to what I wrote about. If we were 'smart', we'd be putting some decent resources into 'big bets'.  Space-Based Solar Power (SSP or SBSP or ...) has real promise, with detailed analysis showing paths to near ubiquitous power at 2-3 cents per kWh delivered to the grid. Able to hit a meaningful share of total global energy (not electricity) within 20 years.  And, there is EGS and ... Lots of high-potential options.

    4. Do not lose sight of the question of cost per kWh.  The equation, when it comes to fission, looks like SMRs will likely do better than large plants.

    5.  Look at what I wrote.  Does it "ignore the potential of fusion" or do an 'all of the low carbon' electricity options development path forward?  While I want to be making 'clean energy bets', I don't want to put all of the money on the roulette table on 00.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 03:33:50 AM PST

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    •  Don't get me wrong (1+ / 0-)
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      A Siegel

      I like your work and it provides a some solid foundations to examine these questions.  

      My main point here was that there will be need to meet huge amounts of new demand.  The developing world has a right to lift their populations out of misery, and that is going to take a tremendous amount of energy, especially electricity.  If the choice becomes letting people suffer vs. burning more stuff, more stuff will be burned regardless of our opinions.  We have to generate new options that can compete with fossil fuels.  

      Demand will be coming from places like China and India that will make our choices on carbon reduction look like so much noise.  What's the point of trimming our CO2 footprint if it is only to get stepped on by the elephant that is China? Solutions must be  implemented broadly.  

      The best way for us to have a global impact is to lead the world in new technologies that have a chance of making a huge difference, with the goal being an 80% reduction in carbon emissions in 50 years.  Just as we started a semiconductor / computer / communications revolution that spread around the globe, we need to do something akin to this in energy.

      We need technologies that can effectively run modern civilization without combustion, meet surging demand, and to do this as cost effectively as possible, ensuring coal stays in the ground.  

      I can only see that happening, with what we know today, with a major push to innovate in nuclear technologies.  The potential: with nuclear recycling, fuel for a lifetime supply of energy would fit in the palm of your hand.  SMRs (high-temperature gas reactors, molten salt thermal, molten-salt fast, liquid metal fast, etc.), especially using drop-in nuclear-heat units to retrofit coal plants, thereby utilizing all the balance of plant, makes the most sense.  There is an energy revolution to be had based on the millions-to-one advantage of nuclear processes, and I think the US should get in front of it rather than let China take that lead.

      The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

      by mojo workin on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:52:06 AM PST

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      •  We are overlapping ... (0+ / 0-)

        My point is that, contrary to some, I don't nuclear power as a single point solution.  Nor, contrary to others, do I put nuclear power off the table.

        And, my 'plan' for the US can be modified (in gross terms) for essentially any part of the planet, as a tool to remove coal from existing power generation and to eliminate it from planning to meet tomorrow's (growing) energy demands.

        I am not, in any sense of the world, calling for locking-in the impoverishment of the majority of the world's population.  On the other hand, I believe we should be investing in helping others learn from our own development and leap frog past 20th century energy systems to systems appropriate for the 21st century.

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 07:53:18 AM PST

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      •  the problem is (1+ / 0-)
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        A Siegel

        that current models are already proven wrong by the rate of arctic ice melt.  The positive feedback mechanisms of the albedo change and the AMOC slowdown will prove that we need to reduce global co2 emissions by 80% by 2025.

        so it really will take all efforts on all fronts, because when you have to shift your economy, it takes co2 to produce that shift. a significant amount.

      •  A: We need to set a good example for the world. (2+ / 0-)
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        JeffW, A Siegel
        What's the point of trimming our CO2 footprint if it is only to get stepped on by the elephant that is China?
        B: If we cut our carbon footprint, we have a moral basis for charging import and export tariffs based on carbon content, for coal we export to China and manufactured goods we import from there.  

        Renewable energy brings national global security.     

        by Calamity Jean on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:00:18 PM PST

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