Andrew Kenny, physicist and mechanical engineer: South Africa faces energy calamity on two fronts. First is the disaster of Eskom. Second, and potentially worse, is the disaster of our REIPPPP (Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers’ Procurement Programme) and our lunatic IRP 2018 (Integrated Resource Plan). If the market could choose, our future electricity would be nuclear followed by coal, and perhaps gas or imported hydro in the future. There would be no wind or solar on the grid.
[Note by Howard "Cork" Hayden, physicist: Solar and wind are basically worthless without stabilization from the grid. Left to themselves, but with HUGE battery backup, they "could" run the zoo, but the backup systems would have to be able to provide FULL power for days --- occasionally weeks --- at a time. By contrast, a battery backup system to handle conventional power --- increased baseload (possibly all-nuclear) to include charging the batteries at times of low demand --- would have to store about 20% of one day's energy and deliver about 20% of the power demand. Civilization is far more likely to disintegrate from do-gooders trying to save the world from putative climate change than it is from people using fossil fuels.]
[Note by John Shanahan, civil engineer: In the USA, states are vying with each other to be first to have 100% renewable power with no fossil fuel backup. If political leaders don't come to their senses before installing all those wind turbines and solar panels and stick with fossil fuels and nuclear for baseload energy, their costs for electricity will go up, energy stability and reliability will go down and their global adversaries will be jumping for joy that their enemy is destroying itself - already happening in Germany.]
Michael Shellenberger, Founder - President of Environmental Progress: The question is not how humans can gain absolute mastery, since that’s impossible, but rather which machines, on balance, deliver the most good with the least harm. On that metric, nuclear power has always been, inherently, the safest way to power civilization. Michael Shellenberger is an excellent advocate for nuclear power, for improving life for people around the world and for protecting the environment and nature in general. This is an excellent article for people around the world.
Rob Jeffrey, Economic Risk Consultant: Poverty is the single highest social cost to society. There are only three major policy objectives: a) poverty alleviation, b) reducing inequality and c) reducing unemployment. Emerging economies require electricity energy sources that offer security of supply at the lowest possible cost. Conclusion: Unless emerging countries that have fossil fuels use them it will heavily prejudice their future growth and result in increased unemployment and poverty. Renewables and carbon tax are contrary to objectives. They are both taxes on the poor.
David Wojick, Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, CFACT, Washington, D.C., Ph.D. Philosophy of Science and Mathematical Logic, B.Sc. Civil Engineering: I doubt the average customer will be excited about coughing up a billion dollars just so the greens can feel good by forcing use of solar energy. But the utility loves it because, as a regulated monopoly, the more money they spend the more guaranteed profit they make. I can see their stock price and executive salaries going up as a result. Simply put, this is battery trickery.
Andrew Kenny, physicist and mechanical engineer: The time is right for new nuclear power in South Africa. We have already proven ourselves with Koeberg, which works in harmony with nature and which has been delivering clean, safe, cheap reliable electricity for 34 years. But we must study, very carefully, the successes and failures of recent nuclear construction around the world before we begin.
Kelvin Kemm is a nuclear physicist and Chairman of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation and Nuclear Africa (Pty) Ltd: South Africa has had very successful nuclear energy and radioisotope production programs for more than 30 years. They have expertise in all aspects of licensing, operating and managing these facilities. The country is helping other African countries get ready for nuclear power and nuclear medicine. The United States and France may not be available to help with the next generation of nuclear plants. So they will probably have to look elsewhere for nuclear plant design and construction. South Africa is a leading example of what other countries will have to do to have nuclear power.
Jerry Ellis, Chairman of the Saltbush Club, Rod Carnegie, former Managing Director, CEO and Chairman of CRA (Rio Tinto): It is essential that Australia rebalances economic imperatives against populist ideas regarding the release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. A strong Australian economy is crucial to Australia’s welfare and will also make a valuable contribution to world prosperity. Australia produces a tiny proportion of the world’s carbon dioxide. Even total closure of our industry would have no detectable impact on carbon dioxide emissions or global climate. We urgently need new supplies of reliable energy from coal, gas, hydro or nuclear.
Viv Forbes, Executive Director of The Salt Bush Club, Australia: The media loves disaster stories – floods, cyclones, heat waves, droughts and fires - each one “the worst Evaaaah” (evaah since the last one). Each report of catastrophe is usually followed by a religious chant about “man-made global warming”. Pretending we can change global climate by waging a war on carbon dioxide is foolish and dangerous nonsense. When cyclones, floods, droughts and bushfires strike we need disaster-proof helipads, rail links, roads, bridges, water and electricity supply.
Michael Shellenberger, Founder - President of Environmental Progress: This is an excellent review of wind and solar energy. It doesn't work. Michael and his science advisor, James Hansen are determined to stop use of fossil fuels because of their convictions that they are causing catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. John Shanahan points out that this website has hundreds of articles on wind, solar and man-made global warming. Based on these articles, he concludes that the world needs fossil fuels far more than any possible problems with global warming they cause. The problems with stopping use of fossil fuels are tremendous, existential. Extreme environmental and man-made climate change alarmists are determined to save the world with their solutions. They are not the best persons to help the world. China is doing a far better job of helping millions out of poverty by using fossil fuels than extreme environmentalists like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council or James Hansen are doing by forcing stopping use of fossil fuels.
Andrew Follett, energy and science reporter for The Daily Caller: Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of electricity generated than nuclear power plants. They use heavy metals, including lead, chromium and cadmium, which can harm the environment. The hazards of nuclear waste are well known and can be planned for. But very little has been done to mitigate solar waste issues.