Winter Arrives

20141003_185800After and long, mild and beautiful fall, winter came with a vengeance. The wind blew for three straight days out of the canyon and the overnight temps were in the single digits.  Then, on Thursday, the snow came.  It has since warmed up and now it is raining gently.

So, what you say? Unless you live in the Sun Belt, the weather probably sucks were you are too.  In fact, it may suck even worse, like in the Dakotas or Wisconsin or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.IMG_0999The point that I want to make is that so called alternative energy sources like wind and solar are unable to deliver when the energy is most needed, in winter on a cold, cloudy day.

Utah is famous for winter inversions where the overcast traps cold air in the windless valleys for weeks at a time.  Of what use are solar panels and wind turbines then? Can the energy they sometimes produce be stored for weeks to be delivered on those gloomy days?

One small modular reactor of any flavor you prefer (molten salt, thorium, uranium, plutonium, light water, heavy water, fast, slow, or epithermal, etc.) could provide my entire town with electricity and even heat a substantial portion of it, day and night, for decades without refueling.

Most of the US has similarly harsh winters.  They are only endurable because we have access to relatively cheap fossil fuels, but for how much longer?  And, there is no reason why the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of humans can’t be unlocked to make energy even cheaper and more abundant.  Just get the incumbents and their paid federal obfuscators out of the way.

bwr

PS. I wrote this back in November.

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