This week I had the opportunity again to speak truth to money, a key focus of mine. We need trillions invested the right way quickly in order to get ourselves out of the climate mess we’ve created. My efforts over the past 15 years to gain sufficient wisdom to create projections of what the future will look like means that organizations like Jefferies Group, now the USA’s fifth-largest investment bank, engage me to speak with groups of their clients.
As I reiterated in my introductory remarks, electricity is the future of all energy. It’s vastly more efficient than molecules for energy and so will be much more economically viable in the future. Any pathway for energy that has to flow through created molecules like green hydrogen or synthetic fuels will be more expensive than alternatives that can electrify through batteries or grid ties. All ground transportation and all heat will be electric.
As always, the error bars on multi-decadal projections are very large. This is a likely scenario based on my professional opinion, the lowest tier of the pyramid of evidence because Youtube, X, your drunk uncle and comment sections aren’t even on the pyramid of evidence. Is it right? No. Is it more right than most projections? I think so.China and other geographies are still building hydroelectric and there are still large untapped resources in the north of continents.
But there is a fair amount of nuclear energy in operation today, and some in construction. While China’s renewables are growing exponentially, the, averaging only three reactors a year since 2018 when the program peaked. This year only one reactor has been connected to the grid and it is not in commercial operation, so it is possible China will have no new additions for 2023.
Unlike hydro dams, nuclear facilities aren’t intergenerational assets, they just last a bit longer than wind or solar farms. Their Power management technologies on wind farms that make them well managed contributors to the grid also mean that they can be used as fast response backup for minor variations and for frequency and voltage control. As more and more wind energy is on the grid, more of it will run a bit under maximum potential in order to game peak price spikes and to compete on ancillary services markets like the
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