Monday, January 19, 2009

The Next Generation

Power generation is a vital component to our economy. We cannot address many environmental issues without addressing the generation mix. Finally, electrical infrastructure is need of replacement in many parts of North America. What's next?

In my opinion, nuclear is not the answer. A recent report highlights that many nuclear projects are not viable commercially unless they have government support. I realize that these days nothing looks viable without government support but many critics of alternative/renewable energy say that without tax credits they are not competitive. Neither is nuclear. The only one that is cost-effective is coal but that will only last until emissions are priced in cap-and-trade system.

Conservation is the key to all of it. Using less energy is the best way to relieve capacity constraints on generation. After that renewable energy needs to be combined with a distributed generation network. Until those elements are seriously considered little will change.

No comments: