Monday, September 12, 2011

Controversial Energy vs Alternative Energy

Reading the news today about the explosion on the French atomic power plant (Swedish link but contain links to English and French news) reminded me on how I felt when I heard about the problems on Japanese power plants after the tsunami.

The fact is that I have grown up in a town with a nuclear power plant close upon it, so I have heard arguments for and against it. People for it are claiming that it is the best source of energy, at least in the nordics where we have so little sunlight or other options of energy. Additionally it is clean - from a gaz emission point of view - and surely it is safe - at least here where we have no natural disasters and the storing of nuclear waste is no problem, especially storing it in the solid bedrock that has lasted millions of years.

BTW, there is a great Finnish documentary on this dilemma of storing the nuclear waste, called Into eternity. Trailer here:

However, I can't help feeling a little chill down my spine when thinking of the nuclear waste, becasue if there is an accident there is no way to really guard ourselves against it. Is it really worth taking the risks? Not for me to decide at this moment but I would surely hope there was a better alternative.

Wind energy is, I think, a good alternative. Unfortunately, the wind mills kills birds and bats but it seems they acctually kills less than, for example, windows or oilspills. At least according to this source (in Swedish). That information was new for me.

I was also quite excited about tidal energy but since I read about how tidal energy might affect sealife I am not sure that is a great idea. The oceans already has quite a battle to deal with the overfishing and all the crap we dump in the ocean. Tidal energy does of course require that there is a tide to be used, in the baltic sea this is not gonna work.

Good news though is that there seems to be progress on solar energy all the time. It is becoming cheaper to produce than nuclear energy and it seems a Spanish company, Torresols energys, might have come up with a way to store solar energy.

So let's hope that soon we can rely on an energy that is truly clean and when people come with the lame argument "what will all the people work with that is now working on the nuclear power plant, and how will our town survive economically?". Well, be a little bit more creative, please!

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