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Natural Science
NATS 1760
Darrin Durant

NATS 1760 DARRIN DURANT/ JAMES ELWICK Monday, February 11, 2013 NUCLEAR POWER 3: ENERGY, ACCIDENTS, & THE GOVERNANCE FOR TOMORROW  Macfarlane (pg. 227) - Given a business-as-usual scenario of the future, where the world’s population increases to about ten billion by 2100, electricity generation is expected to…quintuple by 2100… and climate warning may produce disastrous results…how can we meet the electricity needs… Nuclear power may provide the answer LOVINS  Lovins (quoting Davy) (pg. 241) - But where do these projected ‘energy needs’ come from? … ‘They are projected up to some arbitrary round-numbered date. Whatever technologies are automatically accepted, along with their social implications, and no though is given to how long the system can last once the projected levels are attained’ - If we choose the hard path we’ll end up with lots of coal and gas, but if we choose the soft path we’ll have lots of coal  But whatever path we choose, that’s the path we’ll have HARD VERSUS SOFT ENERGY PATHS  SOFT - Flexible, resilient, sustainable, benign 1) Renewable (sustainable is best) 2) Diverse (probably decentralized) 3) Flexible (low-tech) 4) Scale and geographic distribution matched to end use needs 5) ‘Energy quality’ matched to end-use needs  HARD - Sustained growth in energy consumption - Maximize supply by squeezing all domestic resources - Structure  Centralized, bypasses the market, concentrated political power, urbanization, huge and high-tech HOW DID LOVINS’S PREDICTION DO?  Projection of how much people will consume, so it looks like what people need (supply issue)  We have not had a massive increase in consumption - It looks like we are using more and more energy as we go along, however, it must be measured per capita (neglect to tell that we have more people/activity) HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE VIDEO  Economics no longer favors infinite growth of electrical consumption but leveling off  Jimmy Carter funded renewable energy, but Reagan after him (1981-1989) did not  Saving energy can be cheaper than buying or generating it  Energy growth flattened out in the 1970’s, and afterwards no longer tracked with GDP - The amount of energy used to produce $1 of GDP has been falling since the late 1970’s - Society only grows via increasing energy production? A myth  Climate protection is profitable, not costly  Need to shift to a pre-industrial state to use energy smarter? NO, that’s a myth too  There are 11% fewer gas stations in the USA in 2012 than there were in 2002 - Commuting less, more public transit, more fuel efficient cars  Energy efficiency creates more jobs than coal, solar and wind  We didn’t leave the stone age because we ran out of stones THE REBOUND EFFECT  ‘It is a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to diminished consumption. The very contrary is the truth’ … - ‘The reduction of the consumption of coal, per ton of iron, to less than one third of its former amount, was followed, in Scotland, by a ten fold increase in total consum
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