Category Archives: Energy

Stall warning for renewable energy?

A model that estimated the plateauing of nuclear and hydropower to within 20 percent of reality suggests that absent a technological breakthrough, the growth of new renewable energy – that is, wind and solar – will saturate and end when these new … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, History of technology | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

100% renewables and 100% nuclear are both practically impossible

I’ve been following with interest how some nuclear power advocates are suggesting that building anything else than nuclear power is sidetracking us from the climate goals. These advocates claim that variable, non-dispatchable renewables will not be ultimately capable of delivering … Continue reading

Posted in Ecomodernism, Economy and the Environment, Energy, Innovation, Nuclear energy & weapons, Scarcities and constraints | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The bubble of traditional environmentalism has burst; long live pragmatic environmentalism

In case any more confirmation was needed, 11/9 (or 9.11. for us Euros) was the final nail to the coffin of traditional environmentalism – at least when it comes to stopping the existential threat of climate change. For years now, established … Continue reading

Posted in Ecomodernism, Economy and the Environment, Energy | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Why we don’t have the luxury of saying no to low-carbon energy, in one chart

I’ve long maintained that the climate crisis is so acute that humanity simply does not have the luxury of picking and choosing which low-carbon energy sources we’d use. That option was foreclosed perhaps two decades ago, but the idea that … Continue reading

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A Response to Lawrence, Sovacool, and Stirling. (Reblogged)

In the following post, Nicholas Thompson performs a very good examination of the much-publicized study that sought to “prove” commitment to nuclear power slows down CO2 emission reductions. Well, turns out the paper suffers from a basic math error – … Continue reading

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Energy transitions: is everything different this time?

The debate about whether transition to low-carbon energy would be faster or slower than previous energy transitions somewhat misses the point. The real problem is whether this time everything is different and whether the low-carbon energy revolution will be complete … Continue reading

Posted in Ecomodernism, Energy, History of technology | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

The Elon Musk approach to nuclear power costs

Recently, I read an interesting piece about the reasoning process used by the man behind Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk: first principles reasoning. In this mode of thinking, espoused by Aristotle among others, one begins from the “first principles” or … Continue reading

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