Public concern about nuclear power goes beyond an accident at a live plant. What do we do with the nuclear waste? If nuclear is to grow to become a major replacement for oil and gas the question must be answered. James Conca reviews the different methods that have been seriously considered: shooting it into space, burying it in deep sea trenches or under ice sheets, transmutation, or simply digging it even deeper underground. … [Read more...]
SMR reactors: questions the “new nuclear” industry needs to answer
The new energy world is full of ambition about future developments, not least nuclear. At some point hard questions have to be asked and answered. Dan Yurman is asking questions about next generation Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). For example, why take on the unknown material and regulatory risk of SMRs over the known risks of proven LWRs? Which governments and/or investors will back the $500m needed to get an SMR into production? Where are the … [Read more...]
Should electric vehicle drivers pay a mileage tax?
In the U.S., EV drivers don’t pay tax when they buy gasoline. That means EVs have reduced U.S. gasoline tax revenues by $250m annually. It’s only 1% of the total, but that’s because EVs are less than 1% of the vehicle stock. Clearly, as EV numbers increase, so will that lost revenue. As a result, several states are considering imposing a mileage tax on electric vehicle drivers to make up for it. And why not?! EVs are not carbon-zero (most … [Read more...]
Does the U.S. really need new gas infrastructure?
Gas prices within the U.S. vary considerably, largely due to poor local gas infrastructure: Boston’s gas prices can be triple New York’s, and Los Angeles’ over 50% higher than San Francisco’s. Should the U.S. spend billions upgrading that infrastructure? Not if money spent on assets that may one day be stranded is money wasted. Andrew Campbell, Executive Director of the Energy Institute at Haas at the University of California, says the best … [Read more...]
Green New Deal can learn from Obama’s $90bn clean energy plan of 2009
The “Green New Deal” proposal is a 10-year plan to curb climate change by shifting the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels. Will it work? Yes (with caveats) if it’s anything like President Obama’s 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: it invested $90bn to promote clean energy as part of an economic stimulus plan to recover from the bank crash. That's the view of Joseph Aldy, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, … [Read more...]