I just read a pithy quote that distills part of my beef with the Amory Lovins school of energy thought – he makes statements about energy supply costs that imply that there is no difference between a kilowatt-hour avoided and a kilowatt-hour supplied and that there is no difference between an intermittent kilowatt supply and one that is steady and reliable.
Here is the quote from Two COLs for new US nuclear:
He noted, “The company’s immediate focus is to maximise energy efficiency programmes and develop cost-effective renewable generation. But in the long run, Michigan still will need new base load power plants. We will never run an auto assembly line or a cold-rolled steel mill using windmills or solar panels. You need big, base load nuclear and coal power plants to keep them running.”
(The word “he” above refers to Anthony Earley, chairman and CEO of DTE Energy)
IMHO, we will not make windmills or solar panels without big, base load nuclear and coal plants either. Actually, I am not such a big fan of big central station coal plants, but I realize it will take some time to replace the ones that are currently operating and supplying 50% of the electricity in the US.