Friday, May 09, 2014
Is support for nuclear energy on the rise?
While the demand for clean, low-carbon emitting energy generation is on the rise, opinions on nuclear power plants have been shifting over the last several years. According to The Energy Collective, some environmentalists are even beginning to advocate nuclear power, as a fast alternative to coal and oil while better solutions get off the ground.
"I used to be anti-nuclear," said Carol Browner, previous head of the EPA under President Clinton and climate and energy policy for President Obama, according to the news source. "But, several years ago I had to reevaluate my thinking because if you agree with the world's leading climate scientists that global warming is real and must be addressed immediately then you cannot simply oppose clean, low-carbon energy sources."
Eileen Claussen, head of the Center for Climate and Energy and formerly of the Pew Center for Global Climate Change, echoed Browner's sentiments. She noted that, until large-scale storage solutions become viable the energy market will only be able to rely on renewable sources of power for a minor part of basic energy needs. The industry, with today's demand, would require only 5 nuclear power plants to produce the same amount of energy as 7,600 wind turbines or 3.7 million consumer-owned solar rooftops.
Even The Nature Conservancy has voiced mild support for nuclear power, or at least questioned the elimination of it as an option to replace higher-carbon emitting solutions.
"Given the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report warning that we have only a decade to halt the worst ravages of climate change on nature and the natural systems people depend on," the group recently reported, "should nuclear power be off the table as an energy option?"
For utility companies, the debate will likely take some time to resolve, but for now, firms can optimize their operations to prepare for whatever solutions take the fore by investing in high-quality smart grid solutions now. Serial to Ethernet converters and optimized network communications will allow utilities to assess their customers' needs and move forward with the best solution, be it nuclear, or solar and wind.
Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.