Thursday, September 17, 2009

Clean energy outside of Nuke or Hydro?

A couple days after the Uranium Development Partnership released it's public consultation report, and all of the Greenies are crying out in victory for their particular favourites - "renewable energy" - things like wind and solar - energy which, while being clean, is definitely not "renewable".

The problem with these forms of energy until now has been that they are not suitable for base load power - because the sun doesn't necessarily shine all the time, because the wind doesn't necessarily blow all the time, the output of these sources of energy would fluctuate too radically to ensure that the base load power would be covered with just these forms, meaning that they can not reliably replace ANY of the existing plants.

Until now.

I was reminded of an article I read in the National Post approximately a month ago about an advance in battery technology which might solve the problems with installing wind and solar as baseload power. The advance makes use of the element Vanadium, and seems to be a promising way to not only store energy, but also to use in electric vehicles and other applications.

Sounds great, right? There is one problem - Vanadium is not found in large quantities on it's own, and the processes which produce and purify the element aren't things that the Greenies would like - steel smelting, processing uranium and burning fossil fuels.

So, given this choice, which do you think the Greens would embrace, the nuclear option, or the use of a highly toxic element to create batteries to allow for their "clean" energy options to be installed as baseload?

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