This is a continuation of my Gubernatorial series.
We have two candidates for Governor, one is full of wind and the other is full of gas. The problem with term limits for Governor (or President) is that the long term national policy for any issue changes very 4 years. The last 8 years, O&G was the energy focus in New Mexico. The next 8 year may see wind and solar as the energy focus for New Mexico. Michelle Lujan-Grisham wants to increase the capacity of wind and solar to 50% of New Mexico’s electricity needs by 2030 and 80% by 2050. Why? To prevent climate change? Renewables are not making a dent on carbon emissions.
But what we can do is stop polluting the planet now and into the future. The only practical method of greatly reducing CO2 emissions from electricity production is replacing fossil fuel with nuclear fuel. Prominent believers in a future global warming catastrophe are supporting nuclear electricity, including James Hansen, Michael Shellenberger, and Stewart Brand. All these popular environmentalist were anti-nuclear at one time in their past. What is needed is more political support.
Wind and Solar farms are only an interim solution to having clean renewable electricity generation. With their intermittent capacity they are required to have backup energy generation and currently that is natural gas, which is not a clean fuel. The only other solution would be to have battery backup which is not available today and won’t be for another 10 years. Development of efficient batteries is possible, but at great expense. For me, wind and solar will be useless in 20 years and will become our next ‘waste’ issue to cleanup.
Advanced nuclear power plants will solve many current electricity generating issues with stored fossil fuels and captured energy. A thousand kilowatt per hour nuclear plant can displace 10 million solar panels or 1800 wind turbines. Stored nuclear fuel is also a million times more energy dense than any fossil fuel (Ref: American Nuclear Society). Advance nuclear will not be our ‘waste’ problem in the future.