Power to the People

It’s the summer time and the
living is not very easy. At least, not as it relates to electricity.
People everywhere are reaping the results of refusing to build more
power plants/conserve eneregy and are facing power outages. Again.
Califonians are facing continuing blackouts. Even here, we have had
recent power alerts in which consumption had to be reduced to avoid
power outages.

Indeed, the founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, in a Washington Post article in April of
this year said the choice is to expand use of nuclear power or suffer
the effects of global warming. Although this is not the place or time
to debate global warming – the point is, according to Moore, the
environmental movement must move off its opposition of nuclear because
there is nothing else, in the foreseable future, that can replace coal
or oil-based power plants.

Although nuclear has its own set of challenges, I don’t know of anything better this side of fusion
power (which probably won’t be usuable in my life time). Yes, here in
Hawaii we can and do use solar and wind power. Even hydrogen
fuel cells
and biofuels
are being looked at for vehicles and electricity generation. Probably
more than any other state, due to our isolation and highest fuel costs,
Hawaii is trying to find alternatives. But for large scale generation
of electricty, nothing seems to be as reliable as nuclear and each of
the alternatives have serious problems.

= = = + + + ===

Speaking of problems, the National Weather Service says hurricane Daniel may be headed our way. It crossed over into our neck of the woods
recently and is now being tracked by the Central Pacific Hurriacne
Center. The current forecast says it should decrease in intensity to
tropical storm level by the time it gets here later this week.
But with MotherNature, you never know what will happen. For all we
know, it could intensify back into a hurricne. Or not. The point here
is to prepare now. Local folks need to get their emergncy kits ready.
Even if Daniel isn’t the BigOne, it’s simply a matter of when, not if,
such a storm hits us. When that happens, things will be very bad for a
long time because help, for us living in the middle of the ocean, is a
long, long way away.



3 responses to “Power to the People

  1. Hawaii has a few advantages that some others countries don’t have.
    With it’s volcanoes it could easily tap into geothermal energy. It’s all islands so usage of tidal energy is a possibility. And it must be one of the best places to harvest solar energy.
    Yes, they all have problems but you cannot say that nuclear has no problems.
    The biggest problem though is making good a political choice and sticking with it.

    But you know ‘good’ ‘sticking with it’ on the one hand and ‘political’ on the other don’t work together. 😦

  2. Mike in Arkansas

    It’s interesting to read someone in Hawaii endorsing nuclear power. While some may disagree, your discussion on the topic, while brief, is very much on target.

  3. Wally Taylor

    I would love to see a nuclear power plant on Oahu. In conjuction with a pumped storage reservoir to cover peak times, to mitigate the problem of nukes not being good swing units, you might be able to get off the oil completely.