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On Hillary Clinton Is Right on Climate Change and the New York Times Is Wrong

Steven,

The Obama/EPA plan is wrong because renewables simply won't work. They are too intermittent. Additionally they are too expensive. Surely the Earth Institute has analysts who can convert the cost of wind and solare generators to kWh costs. Ignore subsidies; society's outcome does not depend on whether the money comes from taxpayers, ratepayers, or defaulted bond-holders.

The EPA plan is a 1500 page document designed to allow negotiation with trade groups and lobbiests -- the lifeblood of campaign finance. The original EPA proposal was simple -- a max of 454 grams-CO2/kWh for electricity generation.

August 9, 2015    View Comment    

On A Carbon Tax is Not Feasible or Practical

Nathan, thank you for supporting the book THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal. I've now joined up with ThorCon Power, an emerging venture that is about to produce new nuclear powre plants that actually deliver energy cheaper than coal.

The idea of more subslidies for wind and solar is economically impractical and is really counter to The Earth Institute goals of human development. Developing nations desparately need plentiful, affordable electricity for their peoples' prosperity. 1400 GW of new, coal fired power plants are already planned. The only practical solution is energy cheaper than coal, providing the economic incentive for both developing and OECD nations to stop burning fossil fuels for energy.

ThorCon Power has a nearly complete design for a hybrid thorium/uranium molten salt reactor power plant than can be mass-produced. We can undercut coal-fired generation by a nearly a factor of two, both in capital investment and electricity cost per kilowatt-hour. Please visit thorconpower.com for proof.

June 12, 2015    View Comment    

On Carbon Prices Around the World are Consistently Too Low

"Carbon Prices Around the World are Consistently Too Low" ...for the purpose of making energy from burning fossil fuels unafordable. The result of such an "unafordability" strategy would be to forever damn people in developing nations from achieving the lifestyle and prosperity we have in the US and EU. It also reduces economic growth in the OECD nations because energy is an important component of all products and services. That's why it's politically immpossible, as we will see again, soon, in Paris.

The proper solution is to provide a safe, clean energy source that is cheaper than coal. Renewables can't do it, as Google found out in its pioneering RE<C program. Advanced nuclear power can drive fossil fuels out of business. That's why forward thinking philanthropists such as Bill Gates are investing in it. Another example is the hybrid thorium/uranium molten salt reactor mentioned in THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal and now described technically at thorconpower.com .

June 3, 2015    View Comment    

On President Obama Approves Drilling in the Arctic: Should We Be Outraged?

The mistake that McKibben, Obama, and most climate environmentalists are making is focusing on what NOT to do, rather than proposing positive, progressive, pro-environmental, pro-prosperity steps TO DO. You correctly describe the current whack-a-mole strategy as unproductive. Alternative, inexpensive, carbon-free, safe energy sources exist. My colleagues and I are working on mass-produced nuclear power plants to deliver electricity at 3 cents/kWh -- cheaper than coal,  at thorconpower.com. The Naval Research Labs has developed a way to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater to make JP-5 jet fuel at $5/gallon -- a bit more than the current petroleum-sourced fuel, and we can cut that cost with cheap nuclear power. There are great, achievable solutions to our climate/energy/prosperity problems, loudly opposed by thoughtless green ideologues and politicians leading from behind.

May 14, 2015    View Comment    

On India to Allocate 10GW of Solar Under Central Government Schemes This Year?

Where will the money come from to build 10 GW of solar panels?

May 13, 2015    View Comment    

On It's Not Magic, It's Voltage Optimization

EDF is building a fallacious case for justfying forthcoming brownouts, as generation capacity is reduced.

The article says, "Many appliances, including incandescent lighting, work just as effectively, yet consume less energy, when the flow of electricity to them is reduced.", yet you know that the lights dim when the voltage drops.

Reducing voltage supplied actually causes more energy loss in the transmission and distriubtion system, as currents rise as demanded by voltage regulators, computer power supplies, electric motors, etc in response to voltage drops.

Simple resistive heaters like stove-tops will draw less current at less voltage, reducing the rate of energy consumption, but they will operate longer bring a post of water to boiling. 

April 22, 2015    View Comment    

On The Future of Coal Passes Through Kosovo

The World Bank also staunchly opposes loaning money to build carbon-free nuclear power plants. It is becoming irrelevant in solving the global energy problem. Nations are now instead turning to the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank. Some rational thinking at World Bank and it's US sponsor could turn things around.

April 22, 2015    View Comment    

On The LNG Terminal Building Bonanza has Begun

I assume the $10 billion per export terminal included the liquifaction plant. It will take many years to build each. Exporting LNG will increase demand for natural gas, driving up the price for US consumers and power plants.

April 12, 2015    View Comment    

On How to Read a 2015 Article About Electric Power

The article says "Electricity can be converted and stored as potential chemical energy (batteries)". As you mention, electrcity can be used to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen; it can be recombinded chemically (burned) to recover the energy, but the efficiency is well below 50%. Making the burning ammonia, NH3, is another way to convert electrical energy to chemical energy, then back. Fuel cells are another way of harvesting stored chemical potential energy.

January 3, 2015    View Comment    

On Launching a New Way to Explore Energy and Human Development

Also see energyforhumanity.org

November 11, 2014    View Comment    

On Examining Nuclear Energy as Climate Option, Part I

Great analysis and exposition. I'll look forward to Part 2. If you want to see an MSR design in detail, visit http://thorcon-energy.com.

November 11, 2014    View Comment    

On Still No Sign of the Rational Middle?

"Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future.." is the mantra of Australia and more importantly the more populous developing nations. The development of molten salt reactors with energy cheaper than coal will change all this. Economics always wins out. This Facebook page shows how close we are to achieving this. https://www.facebook.com/ThoriumEnergyCheaperThanCoal/photos/a.401743253214503.94464.400192543369574/710085255713633/?type=1

October 20, 2014    View Comment