All our energy options appear to be politically off-limits

The new impossible energy no-fly zone

Thursday, March 17, 2011
By Terence Corcoran, Financial Post ... -fly-zone/

The world is about to enter a no-fly zone for energy policy, a period where nothing gets off the ground. Here we have a globalized economic system filled with unprecedented energy options, but where all options appear to be politically off-limits. If it comes to that extreme, as seems probable in the short-term wake of the Japanese nuclear meltdown, the battle will be fought with mind-spinning claims and counterclaims, distortions, lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations.

Activists and corporate interests on all sides of the energy policy debate bring their own brands of hysteria and manipulation. The media are in full throttle. Politicians are scrambling.

Who can sort fact from fiction even now?

Nuclear’s loss not a worry; the new world power is gas
By Eric Reguly, Globe and Mail ... le1944482/

Well that was predictable. As Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant turned into a smoking, radioactive ruin, the global renewable energy industry launched its assault. Fear not, they said, any lost nuclear power will be replaced by squeaky-clean wind, solar, hydro and biomass power. The German green power lobby, BEE, said its members would be able to supply 47 per cent of German power requirements by 2020, more than replacing the missing juice from the country’s nukes, should they all be unplugged.

And if you believe that, we’ve got an electric car that will go 500 kilometres between charges.

There is no doubt that Japan’s nuclear catastrophe will stall nuclear energy development for years, perhaps decades, just as the Three Mile Island accident of 1979, and Chernobyl seven years later, did. In the United States, no new nuke has been fired up in 30 years. But the green power producers should be just as worried as the nuke industry about their futures, or lack thereof. The reason: Cheap natural gas, and lots of it, is flooding the energy markets.

Japan’s Nuclear Crisis May Doom Global Warming Activists’ Dreams
By Richard Pollock, The PJ Tatler ... ts-dreams/

Anti-nuclear critics may be celebrating the possible death of commercial nuclear power. But as U.K. energy expert Benny Peiser notes this morning, less nuclear power will mean most industrialized countries will increase their dependency on fossil fuels for electricity, not reduce them. This means global warming activists’ goal may be dying a quick death.

Japan’s rebuilding alone will require a new surge in electricity — not less — as it will need high energy aluminum, steel and concrete for reconstruction. The country will probably turn to old coal and oil plants, to liquefied natural gas and to natural gas to power their high tech economic base and to aid reconstruction.

The turn away from nuclear will be felt throughout Europe. Germany itself will see a 4% increase in carbon emissions alone as a result of its new imposition of a nuclear moratorium for their seven plants, which emit zero carbon emissions. The European Union is set to call for a continent-wide moratorium to test all atomic plants for earthquake protection. Some older plants will not return on line out of fear. Even in Washington, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has called for closure of older nukes.