There’s no comfort in loss of power
I was surprised by your June 28 “Our View” on “Less dependence on nuclear power a comforting trend.” The implication was that wind and solar power can eventually replace it. This sentiment suggests that there is a lack of understanding of what it takes for utilities to provide reliable electrical power to customers.
Utilities absolutely depend on what is termed “dispatchable power,” i.e. a power source that is under the control of human beings, not the sun or wind. Energy on this scale cannot be stored, yet the utility must keep levels within five percent of demand day or night, summer and winter.
The idea that solar and wind power can replace dispatchable power is an illusion. The Netherlands tried this with wind and found that exceeding 20 percent would destabilize the electrical grid.
The EPA (without Congress being involved) has made it increasingly expensive for fossil plants to remain in compliance let alone attempt to build new plants. Why do you think Colbert fossil plant was closed? That leaves nuclear and hydro power as the only “green” dispatchable alternatives.
Since the TVA hydro provides only about 10 percent of our power, we need to rethink feeling comforted that nuclear plants are being shut down.
Regarding Europe loving clean energy, note that while Germany is only 15 percent nuclear, France is run on 74 percent nuclear. I don’t see France shutting down those plants anytime soon.
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