Bill Aulet, a senior lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management and Entrepreneur in Residence at the MIT Entrepreneurship Center just wrote an interesting over at a new Blog called xconomy entitled What's Wrong with Energy Investing? Part I. In it he says that the problem with energy investing is that too much capital is going into renewable resources which really don't promise to move the energy needle or help the planet anytime soon. Humanity has pressing needs and we aren't working to solve it. He writes:
"The biggest part of the energy riddle that needs to be solved resides-and will continue to reside for the next 50 years-with the hydrocarbon side. How do we find more to meet the booming demand? And, how do we find ways, through technology, process, and/or business-model innovation, to reduce the environmental impact of hydrocarbon usage? Renewables is a rounding error when compared to the 80 to 90 percent of the demand that hydrocarbons (i.e., oil, gas, coal-ah!, there it is the four-letter word of energy) fill and will continue to fill for the foreseeable future."
I was surprised that he never mentioned nuclear as a solution. As I wrote in a previous essay, nuclear is a viable option that has already proven itself. It is a fundamental force in the universe and already produces 17% of the world's electricity from 442 commercial reactors. In the United States, 20% of the country's electricity is produced using nuclear energy.
Boosting fossil fuel extraction and efficiency is a short, short term solution but for the medium and long-term, nuclear energy is the only answer.