Trade-offs reveal no clear favorites in alternative energy market

September 12, 2007

The nuclear power industry is riding the green wave back into public favor with its promise of a low-carbon solution to our growing energy needs. But even as the industry struggles to dictate what role nuclear can realistically play, it is bound by a global energy landscape—from solar to carbon sequestration—that is still predominantly shaped by the marketplace.

Veteran New York Times energy reporter Matthew Wald takes a pragmatic look at the trade-offs associated with investment in a number of alternative energy sources in “Getting Power to the People,” a special in-depth feature appearing in the September/October 2007 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Wald considers variables such as the cost of fuel inputs, capacity factor, and the price of carbon capture technology, and discusses how they affect energy prices for consumers. “There is a future on the grid for almost everything: coal, natural gas, nuclear power, gasified biomass, and probably wind and solar as well,” Wald concludes. “What remains is to determine the proportions.”

Additional materials include selected graphs that illustrate baseline energy concepts and a summation chart that offers energy source comparison at a glance.

Source: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Explore further: Investments reflected shift in environmental views

Related Stories

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

First signals from CALET on the ISS

August 27, 2015

Five days after it launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on board the HTV-5 Transport Module, operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) docked at the International ...

Australia's coal city backs green future

August 26, 2015

Australia's city of Newcastle, which claims to be the world's biggest coal export port, said Wednesday it will pull money out of fossil fuel industries and invest in more sustainable enterprises.

China, US seek 'clean coal' agreement as industry struggles

August 25, 2015

U.S. and China officials took a major step Tuesday toward an agreement to advance "clean coal" technologies that purport to reduce the fuel's contribution to climate change—and could offer a potential lifeline for an industry ...

Recommended for you

For these 'cyborgs', keys are so yesterday

September 4, 2015

Punching in security codes to deactivate the alarm at his store became a thing of the past for Jowan Oesterlund when he implanted a chip into his hand about 18 months ago.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.