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Showing posts from October, 2016

Why There Is No Silver Bullet in Energy Policy

At 4:00 p.m. US EDT, Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI, will deliver a speech in Kennewick, Washington at Energy Northwest’s 2016 Public Power Forum. 

The speech will be streamed live on the company's Facebook page. We're sharing an excerpt below. As always, please follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

The energy business is sometimes prone to the silver bullet syndrome, the belief that there’s a single solution in hand if only we’d embrace it. Back when Spencer Abraham was secretary of energy, in the beginning of the Bush administration, he called it the “flavor of the month” club. He said that at various times, methanol, low temperature fuel cells, high temperature fuel cells, superconductors, thin film pv, ethanol from non-food sources, etc, etc, were going to save us.

Today we’ve got new silver bullets, new flavors of the month. Well, I’d like to be unfashionable here. (Actually my wife assures me that I don’t have to try very hard,…

As Hurricane Matthew Approaches Florida, Nuclear Plants Prepare (Bumped with Update)

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

When hurricanes approach, experts tell people to stock up on drinking water and on food that doesn’t require refrigeration, top off their car gas tanks and batten down the hatches. Nuclear reactors also make preparations, with a more formal procedure. With Hurricane Matthew approaching Florida's coast, those procedures are already well advanced.

Plant operators make sure their fuel tanks are topped off too. In this case, it’s diesel fuel, for the emergency generators that would start up and provide electricity for on-site needs if the high-voltage grid went down. The diesels are tested at regular intervals, in foul weather or fair, to assure a reliable back-up supply of electricity.

Plant workers secure anything that could blow away.

The plants are prepared to house and feed a full complement of workers, who would stay at the sites…