Americans are Shutting Down Clean Energy Sources. Why?

Toni Koraza
Photo by Cameron Gibson on Unsplash

The energy crisis is on the horizon.

America is tapering down its energy production. New technology is barely keeping up with the demand. Renewables and fossil fuels lag behind the American need for energy.

One energy source could satisfy all our needs without destroying the planet.

And people can't stand it.

Nuclear energy

New York has recently closed one of its top energy sources. Indian Point nuclear power plant closed after 59 years of supplying electricity to New Yorkers. The plant produced over 270 TWh of carbon-free electricity, according to EIA.

Taking Indian Point out of the picture, New Yorkers need to burn more gas to stay warm and keep the lights on. The city is no less dependent on energy. If anything, New York is using more electricity than ever.

"[Nuclear plant phase-out is] often initiated because of concerns about nuclear power, phase-outs usually include shutting down nuclear power plants and looking towards fossil fuels and renewable energy," according to Wikipedia.

Nuclear energy generates 20% of American power and 52% of clean electricity.

America is trying to move away from fossil fuels but is reluctant to harness the abundance of nuclear energy. When Indian Point closed, natural gas replaced most of its energy production.
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On a positive note

The price of wind and solar is now lower than gas and oil. We have been harnessing fossil fuels for centuries, creating a global economy from oil derivatives. Think about everything from plastic bottles to planes and cars. It's all run on fossil fuels, mainly oil and gas.

This means that we haven't invested in renewables over the past couple of centuries. Some even believe that strong oil & gas lobbies killed first electric cars and renewable energy solutions. We can't attest to this, as many factors are at play.

The only thing we can say for sure is that renewables are catching up with oil and gas.

For now, comparing the two sources at face value is deceiving. If you say that wind and solar energy is not sufficient to power America at the present moment, you are probably right. However, you can say that it won't be sufficient in 10 or 20 years if we continue investing in these sources.

Imagine 100 years down the road?

The renewable energy sector has created tremendous progress in just a few decades. We could soon run everything on cleaner energy.

Our need for energy is stronger than ever.

Would the new direction in the global economy solve the climate crisis? Maybe. The time will tell. One thing is certain. Our energy needs can only continue to grow. More people. More gadgets. More technology. More progress.

More means more energy as well.

Why are we closing nuclear plants and turning down nuclear energy?

People are afraid. The number of nuclear units throughout the United States is decreasing year on year. Fewer power plants are in operation today than 40 years ago.

Nuclear energy is extremely safe. More people die in coal mines and oil rigs than in nuclear disasters.

The problem is somewhat different. Take flying, for example. Planes are safer than cars, motorbikes, and other forms of ground transportation. More people die in car accidents than plane accidents. However, if a plane goes down, hardly any passenger would survive. Death is imminent.

Power plants are similar in that regard. Indian Point was a potential disaster, but not a certain one. If something were to happen to Indian Pint, an attack or unprecedented leak, New Yorkers would hardly have time to evacuate safely. The ecosystem would scarcely survive, and New York could become uninhabitable for decades.

Are you concerned about nuclear energy?

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