Australian news, and some related international items

Media enthuses over “sexy”high tech nuclear energy, but ignores the really effective one – energy saving.

It’s that time of year when editors seem happy to let a few dubious stories
through. Most of the media ran with this one on yet another nuclear fusion
breakthrough- this one at the Lawrence Livermore labs in California, at the
National Ignition Facility.

Well, with the climate change threat looming,
non-fossil energy is a big issue just now- and its certainly cold out! So
is help at hand? Well no, not for some time at least. And at unknown cost.

Even if this laser based system, which was designed primarily for
replicating the physics of H-bomb ignition, can be made to deliver energy
on a large scale reliably and safely, it’s going to take a while- it’s a
very long shot.

An equally familiar but arguably much more welcome
newspaper article was this one on energy saving. As seems to be said almost
every week now, saving energy saves money. And it’s available now. But no
one seems to notice.

Energy conservation is just not sexy. Not like high
tech fusion or hydrogen- which also these days regularly gets star billing.
Well hydrogen may have some applications, but in a wide ranging critique,
Michael Liebreich, BNEF founder, says not that many.

It’s not the
wonder-fuel it’s been billed as. He is not happy: ‘we are going to waste
huge amounts of money on the wrong use cases for hydrogen and the wrong
infrastructure in the wrong places’. Few seem happy either about the
proposed new coal mine in Cumbria, but support for solar farms seems to be
missing in Tory UK, although, in the EU, there seems to be support for
putting solar in space…What an odd world. With Russia still calling many
of the shots: according to a new Parliamentary Briefing Note, ‘it is
currently the only country capable of commercially providing the more
enriched fuel needed for Advanced Modular Reactors’, which some look to the
replace the current type of nuclear technology.

Renew Extra 17th Dec 2022


December 19, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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