As midterm elections quickly approach, questions and predictions continue about which energy issues will garner the most attention over the next two years from Congress and other policymakers and influencers. While some new topics have emerged to dominate energy headlines more recently, other issues, such as nuclear waste management, continue to be relevant. Please share your input on what topics require attention from our federal policymakers.
An analysis has been made to determine if there would be enough electricity in the US by 2050 to support a carbon-free future to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Assuming that carbon capture and sequestration is not practical, a mix of nuclear and renewable energy power plants was examined.
Existing fossil power plants and nuclear plants represent 86% of the electricity that was produced in 2012. By 2050, to be carbon-free, all of these fossil plants would have to be phased out, while all present nuclear plants would have reached the end of their operating licenses. According to … [read more]
A National Energy Program (NEP) is proposed to achieve “equality” between U.S. oil consumption and production in a decade and position our nation for a sustainable energy future. Like the Apollo program, which was designed to win the Space Race with the Soviet Union, America’s NEP will also be implemented as a matter of national security.
According to the Department of Defense, “By 2030 the world will require 118 [million barrels per day] MBD; but may only be producing 100 MBD. The implications for future combat are ominous, if energy supplies cannot keep up with demand and should nations see … [read more]
The lack of alternative energy sources to fuel our vehicles and replace expensive oil, jeopardizes U.S. national security, forces Americans to pay more at the pump, and greatly represses our ability to reduce pollution and address climate change concerns. In my state of California, 74% of all emissions – including CO2, toxic pollutants, ozone forming emissions and more – come from petroleum. Oil accounts for 65% of California’s GHG emissions, compared to 33% from natural gas, and less than 2% from coal. Meanwhile, each year, the U.S. spends more than $600 billion to buy oil and oil products, which is … [read more]
Wind and solar capacity have grown significantly in the last decade, and many believe that significant reductions in carbon emissions require continued expansion of their capacity (see for example recent papers by Jim Williams et al and Jimmy Nelson et al). With the declining cost of wind and solar, the economic case for increasing production from sources whose fuel is free is getting better.
But getting these energy sources on to the grid is not without its engineering and economic challenges. Wind and solar production is both variable and uncertain, and grid system operators need to make sure … [read more]