Should we invest in wind or nuclear power?
You might be surprised to hear that Monsieur Monbiot is finally making sense. He now supports nuclear power as an acceptable alternative energy. The survival of the Fukushima nuclear facilities, withstanding the most severe combination of shocks imaginable, has convinced him.
A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, knocking out the cooling system. The reactors began to explode and melt down. The disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting. Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.
Some greens have wildly exaggerated the dangers of radioactive pollution. … I’m not proposing complacency here. I am proposing perspective.
It is very good news to see some rationality emerging on the “green” side especially from someone with the credentials of Monbiot. Perhaps the complete failure of wind as an alternative has also had a role to play in his conversion.
German Economics Minister Rainer Brüderle recently warned that Germany faces frequent power blackouts because too much ‘green electricity’ is being pumped onto the grid.
While this is a problem all four of Germany’s major electricity network operators have to deal with one time or another, Belgian-Australian company 50Hertz Transmission is particularly hard hit. It took over the monitoring and protection of the eastern German energy grid – which is home to more than 8,000 wind turbines – from Swedish company Vattenfall last year, and faces the threat of power outages much more often than its counterparts. [read more]
This is only one problem with wind power. It is also not as clean as it is purported to be.
Vast fortunes are being amassed here in Inner Mongolia; the region has more than 90 per cent of the world’s legal reserves of rare earth metals, and specifically neodymium, the element needed to make the magnets in the most striking of green energy producers, wind turbines.
Live has uncovered the distinctly dirty truth about the process used to extract neodymium: it has an appalling environmental impact that raises serious questions over the credibility of so-called green technology. [Read more]