While I enjoyed the book, I’ve been meaning to check out the Freakonomics blog on the New York Times website. Well I finally stumbled on it and to my pleasant surprise I found a picture of and a guest post by Amory Lovins. Amory Lovins is Chairman and Chief Scientist at the famed Rocky Mountain Institute, a think tank dedicated to weening us off of oil, improving the efficient use of energy and materials, and generally enlightening our senses to the massive amounts of waste embedded in the DNA of the industrial age. In it Amory eloquently exposes the simple logic supporting distributed energy over our antiquated and now quickly aging energy infrastructure. An excerpt is below with a link to the full article. As usual Amory simplifies complexity with a smile and a giggle.
Global competition between big and small plants is turning into a rout. In 2006, nuclear power worldwide added 1.44 billion watts (about one big reactor’s worth) of capacity — more than all of it from uprating old units, since retirements exceeded additions. But that was less capacity than photovoltaics (solar cells) added in 2006, or a tenth what windpower added, or 2.5 percent to 3 percent of what micropower added. China’s nuclear program, the world’s most ambitious, achieved one-seventh the capacity of its distributed renewable capacity and grew one-seventh as fast. In 2007, the U.S., Spain, and China each added more wind capacity than the world added nuclear capacity, and the U.S. added more wind capacity than it added coal-fired capacity during 2003 to 2007 inclusive. [More]
This blog just gained points in my book!
Does a Big Economy Need Big Power Plants? A Guest Post
Stephen J. Dubner & Amory Lovins, Freakonomics Blog, February 9, 2009