Dukeâ€™s problem shows what happens when basic science collides with operational reality. Solar energy is intermittent. Until a reasonable storage technology is available, natural gas plants must operate when solar is brought on and off the grid. Put simply, the gas plant is generating power when the sun isnâ€™t shining. Dukeâ€™s applications reportedly show that, due to the see-saw effect of deploying solar, emissions of the pollutant nitrogen oxide have increased, even though the level is lower than emissions from purely coal-based energy.
North State Journal also reported on Dukeâ€™s concerns about the potential reversal of reductions in another pollutant, carbon dioxide, if North Carolina continues to impose its renewables mandate on utilities. Such a reversal is possible if regulations force Duke to reduce nuclear plant output because it must accept solar electricity instead. It turns out that when...
That's a great point, Neil. This is Post-Fall earth. Every decision has consequences we cannot foresee. There are no perfect decisions except the Holy Spirit's working for us to accept Jesus, and even then our faith is weak. Solar makes the lights work in the daytime, but working hours are traditionally the largest energy usage period.
The writer says, "let's embrace nuclear power now." But it has its own trade-offs, including waste disposal, groundwater consumption (if inland), and need for gov't insurance props because private insurance can't cover potential liabilities otherwise. The latter in particular seems like a Red Flag to me, especially now that we've seen some messy disasters.