As long as we continue to use more and more electricity, we're going to need to generate more and more.

I went to a talk by David McKay at the Institute of Physics in London last year, he's says however we choose to generate electricity, the numbers have to add up. He says he's not pro-nuclear, but pro-numbers. So if we don't use coal or nuclear power stations, and assuming we don't want to significantly change our lifestyles, we're going to have to use a *lot* of renewables. A few dozen extra windmills and more solar panels just won't cut it, the numbers won't add up, it's going to take country-sized facilities (like huge solar facilities in Libya).

He proposes a number of different plans (for the UK, but of many of the ideas apply to Finland too) where the numbers all add up: one with no nuclear power, one with no nuclear and no coal, the NIMBY plan for those who don't like windmills or solar panels cluttering up their *own* countryside but don't mind piping in the generated electricity from abroad.

Anyway, interesting stuff with lots of graphs. He says we need to start talking about the numbers now, and helping explain this stuff to the people in power who don't necessarily understand all these tricky graphs.

There's a summary of his ideas here:

He has a free downloadable book (I've not read it yet) available from:

--Hugo, 22-Apr-2010

Yup, ramping up new energy sources is going to take time. Nuclear is IMHO perfectly acceptable as a short-term solution while we ramp stuff up.

As long as we do ramp the renewables up.

--JanneJalkanen, 22-Apr-2010

Yeah, ramping up renewables is going to take time.

I am slightly disappointed that the government decided to support the renewables in the form of 'price guarantees' instead of implementing a co2 tax. Co2 tax would also provide incentives to create renewables, it would directly fight the main problem, which is co2 emissions, and it would also bring some money into government coffers (which desperately need additional revenues in the coming years).

I'm slightly more skeptical than you are, however. It's my understanding that since the Greens refuse to support the nuclear, they will not have had any say in the form of the support package. Hence, it is the Central party that has been the major force in forming the package. And they have a long history of creating regulation with a single reason - to push as much money to their supporters as possible. I hope I'm wrong, though.

--Mikko Särelä, 23-Apr-2010

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"Main_comments_220410_1" last changed on 23-Apr-2010 10:45:44 EEST by Mikko Särelä.