This term Energy Density is appearing with increasing frequency. The message is that non carbon alternatives, solar, wind, bio, etc cannot attain the needed prevalance to ever replace coal, petroleum and natural gas . Energy number crunchers say the energy output from green sources in relation to achievable infrastructure and sustainable cost will be insufficient at maximum realistic development of these sources.
Promoters of Gen IV nuclear, particularly liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTRs) seem to agree with this assertion, and claim LFTRs not only would have sufficient energy density to replace carbon based energy, but do not have the disadvantages of conventional existing and recently supported new nuclear plants. The Thorium crowd say the technology is safe, non-proliferating, reduces radioactive waste to a manageable level, uses fuels that are in sufficient supply, is scalable small to large, efficient in heat production and transfers, most compatible for hydrogen generation, and cost effective.
So what is missing here? If these assertions are confirmable, Would we not have an energy policy in the making that would gather sufficient support to fly? Yes, we must encourage Solar, Wind and Bio to find their own niche, but also admit we need a bigger energy dense response to Big coal/Big oil, namely Big Thorium.
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