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Columbia University Earth Institute: Wind energy has “alarmingly high failure rate”

Konrad Yakabuski — Globe and Mail — November 11, 2013

Former NASA scientist James Hansen earned a reputation for hyperbole with his claim that unlocking Alberta’s oil sands would mean “game over” for the climate. So, his latest assertion – that saving the planet requires a big increase in nuclear power – naturally warrants skepticism.

It turns out Dr. Hansen, now of the Columbia University Earth Institute, has illustrious company. Scientists at Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Adelaide joined him last week in signing anopen letter warning that “there is no credible path to climate stabilization that does not include a substantial role for nuclear power.”

The post-Fukushima hysteria that led governments in the developed world to close nuclear plants and halt development of new ones will do major, certain damage to the planet. Despite the tiny odds of a serious nuclear accident, Germany has cranked up production at its coal stations after shuttering eight nuclear plants since 2011.

Politicians who suggest that “renewables” will pave the way to a carbon-free future are either delusional or deceptional. Wind and solar power are unreliable options with short track records. Their power can’t be stored and, unlike new reactors with 50-year lifespans, they have exhibited alarmingly high failure rates.

It is simply irresponsible to suggest that wind, solar or biomass can be more than complementary power sources. They may not even be that green. Ontario’s increasing reliance on natural-gas-fired generation to back up intermittent wind proves that overinvestment in renewables can actually lead to higher carbon emissions. And while the province will soon close its last coal plant, plans to reduce nuclear will result in more carbon over time.   Continue reading here….  (You might hit a paywall)

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  1. Columbia University Earth Institute: Wind energy has “alarmingly high failure rate” | ajmarciniak - November 22, 2013

    […] Columbia University Earth Institute: Wind energy has “alarmingly high failure rate”. […]

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