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Environmentalists Must Make Up their Minds about Renewable Energy

By Charles Kennedy | Thu, 06 December 2012 22:32 | 2

Environmentalists are united in the common belief that the world must phase out fossil fuels and develop the majority of its energy from renewable sources.

Unfortunately renewable energy is still in its relative infancy and as such cannot compete on a price per kilowatt basis with traditional carbon-based fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal. This leaves options limited and is preventing a full scale migration to renewable energy.

You would think that environmentalists, understanding the limitations that still face widespread renewable energy development, would be grateful for any investment, advancement, or installation made, after all … beggars can’t be choosers.

But wait … it appears beggars can be choosers. At least that is what the environmentalists believe, as they favour some renewable energies over others, and even protest against plans for some renewable projects.

In Europe and Japan environmentalists have effectively prevented the production of new nuclear power plants, and even in North America new regulations have made it incredibly difficult to build any new nuclear power generations facilities.

Related Article: Climate Change and the Fiscal Cliff Both Lead to the Same Outcome

Elizabeth May, the leader of Canada’s Green Party, provides another example of an environmentalist getting it the way of renewable energy, as she leads opposition against loan guarantees for the Labrador Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project. She believes that the money would be better being invested in small-scale hydro, wind, etc., rather than one mega project.

You could argue that there are several good reasons to oppose the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project, however, the fact that it is a mega project is not one of them. Renewable energy installations must be huge in order to increase the efficiency to such a level that they are cost competitive with fossil fuels.

If environmentalists truly agree that the world must push for renewable energy, then they cannot get in the way of that push.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • Mel Tisdale on December 09 2012 said:
    Renewable or not, nuclear is a much better solution to the world's energy needs than any array of windturbines or solar panels ever are. If the Green movement had not been so daft about its attitude to nuclear power generation, we would be running mostly on LFTR generated electricity by now, or perhaps some other new nuclear technology and climate change, which is looking ever more dangerous as the days go by, would not be half the problem that it is today.

    If the Greens spent less time hugging their trees and spent the time thinking rationally instead, we would all be a lot better off.

    (The same can be said about their attitude to nuclear weapons, too. It is only the latest ones that are really dangerous because there is no ladder escalation with them. The earlier ones kept the peace for over 40 years, yet the Greens bundle them all in their ridiculous 'if it's nuclear, it must be bad' box. So the discussion, thanks to them, gets stuck in a ban them/accept them dichotomy just when it should be widened to cover a more nuanced one that includes the relevance of CEP size and MIRV delivery in relation to pre-emptive first-strike capability.)
  • Jd on December 07 2012 said:
    err...uranium is a mined resource that gets depleted in the process of creating energy. I think the word renewable refers to the fact that the fuel source doesn't get depleted. So no, nuclear energy might be fantastic to put on your cornflakes and the saviour of the known universe (but probably not) but it definitely isn't "renewable energy".

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