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: India vows to cut carbon intensity in Paris pledge

Related Stories

India vows to cut carbon intensity in Paris pledge

October 2, 2015

As the last major economy to submit a target for a global climate pact, India is pledging to reduce the intensity of its carbon emissions and boost the share of electricity produced from sources other than fossil fuels to ...

Fusion reactors 'economically viable' say experts

October 2, 2015

Fusion reactors could become an economically viable means of generating electricity within a few decades, and policy makers should start planning to build them as a replacement for conventional nuclear power stations, according ...

German wind power output tops 2014 total

October 1, 2015

Germany's wind power generation by September surpassed last year's total, thanks to favourable weather conditions and an expansion of wind farms, industry bodies said Thursday.

Recommended for you

On soft ground? Tread lightly to stay fast

October 8, 2015

These findings, reported today, Friday 9th October, in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomechanics, offer a new insight into how animals respond to different terrain, and how robots can learn from them.


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.