A Solar, Nuclear Future

By Robert L. Seale. Robert L. Seale is professor of nuclear engineering . | The Christian Science Monitor, May 11, 1990 | Go to article overview

A Solar, Nuclear Future


Robert L. Seale. Robert L. Seale is professor of nuclear engineering ., The Christian Science Monitor


THE celebration of Earth Day is over, but its enduring appeal reflects a shift in values for most Americans. We want better job opportunities and living standards, and a cleaner, healthier environment.

Fifty years ago, these two goals were linked directly with electrification from urban to rural areas. That also was the first great environment leap. Cheap power from larger plants replaced direct burning of fuels in homes and factories, allowing pollution control at a single source.

Today the strong role of electric power in economic growth and environmental quality is still evident. The reason is massive use of electronic devices, from computers in the home to electro-technology in industry. Nearly 36 percent of our total energy goes to make electricity. Virtually all our energy resources can be used best as electricity.

Electricity's major role is not at issue - only what energy sources will best ensure an adequate supply and promote environmental quality. A recent national survey asked Americans to identify the energy resources they thought would be used most in 10 years. The odds-on choices were solar and nuclear power - both clean-burning, almost inexhaustible energy resources.

Solar. President Carter's promise of solar energy contributing 20 percent of the nation's energy mix by the year 2000 is a distant memory. Last year solar accounted for about one-tenth of 1 percent of our energy. The reasons include the fall in oil prices that dampened solar investment and research, and a cut of 85 percent in government tax credits and loans in 10 years.

Solar also suffers from a gap in public expectations and from its high cost. Photovoltaic systems, which turn sunlight directly into electricity, cost $15,000 per kilowatt (kw), compared to $2,500 per kw at Arizona's Palo Verde Nuclear Plant, for example. What's more, solar takes 30 times more land per unit of power delivered than nuclear.

Some progress is being made, principally because of solar's environmental benefits. Southern California Edison has 275 megawatts (mw) of solar electric on line and is planning 300 mw more. The top developer of solar electric, Los Angeles-based LUZ International Ltd., expects to have 680 mw on line in California by 1994, about half the size of one of Palo Verde's three units. A serious limitation of reliance on solar for a large share of total electric-power needs is the requirement for storage capacity to assure all-day, every-day reliability.

Environmental advantages also have spurred the Department of Energy (DOE) to step up its solar R&D program, including supporting a new research center in Golden, Colo. And the research arm of the utility industry, the Electric Power Research Institute, has carried out extensive solar research for years. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Solar, Nuclear Future
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.