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I don't believe a bridging technology is necessary. We can build all the sustainable technologies right now.

Perhaps. But with what ramp-up time?

Bridging technologies are not useful for bridging the gap to some as-yet-uninvented magic bullet. That is excuse-making, not reality-based strategic planning. Bridging technologies are useful for bridging the gap between where you currently are and where you have good reason to believe you will be able to get using existing technology.

It may be that the ramp-up time for renewables is short enough compared to the design life of a nuclear plant, or the remaining design life of our coal-burning infrastructure, that it is undesirable to build new nuclear capacity. But that is an empirical question, and as such I reserve the right to suspend my judgement until and unless I have empirical data.

not sure "going without electricity" is one of the options.

Oh, it is certainly an option. It is my understanding that people did so for some millennia prior to Volta and Faraday came around.

Just not a very good option.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 01:30:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While solar technologies are not quite as advanced as wind, they are far down the learning curve... as are efficiency and insulation technologies.

The idea that they're not quite ready for prime time is a media concoction by the powers that be. They are ready to be ramped up globally on a huge scale right now.

In both wind and PV, the ability to ramp up hugely has already been proven. The build-up of the supply chain for wind turbines, a highly complex piece of equipment, is the example of how it would be achieved.

The industry has already installed 200 GW globally, 35.8 GW last year. China had 5.9 GW at the end of 2007, three years later had 42.3 GW installed. Global growth outside of China has slowed because of lack of political will, but there already have been periods of similar growth in the west.

At the end of 2007, the US had 16.8 GW, by the end of 2010 40.2 GW. That's 23.4 1,000 MW nuke plants in three years. Globally last year 35.8 plants.

Especially as new markets continue to come online, such as now in Brazil, it would be possible to double output in three years, and hit 100GW/yr in 5, continually increasing where needed.

If there's money to build conventional plants, there's money to build this level of renewable installation.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 03:00:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, my comment didn't address capacity factors, but still, it shows the level of production available. And believe me, there are 100s of companies wishing to get into the wind supply chain, so the manufacturing capacity is there.

Would this help the world grow productive economies?

Solar and efficiency technologies would do the same. and all produced relatively locally.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 03:19:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if we took all nuclear offline the result would not be without electricity as much as rationed electricity. A bit of american television form the Californian electicity scam comes to mind:

Journalist: What do you do to use less power?
Guy on the street: I turn off my television when I go to work. I mean, I like having it on when I come home, but we all have to pitch in.

Had to quote that, but actually the big savings are still in the industry and commercial properties. Wasting are often a form of conspicious consumtion and if it is on the company, then why not?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 at 03:03:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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