One of the pleasures of researching the early years of nuclear power’s history has been observing the idealism of the pioneers. Not that they express it as such, often you have to read between the lines to realize this is a passion. To put it simply: this new technology was seen as a way of improving the world.
In today’s spin world, idealism is another social media attribute. Glimpsing behind the curtain is something I strive towards, mostly with little progress. So this blog, from an analyst with a British energy consultancy, drew my attention, even though it’s not specifically about nuclear power. Listen to Katherine Jackson at https://www.wsp.com/en-GB/insights/exciting-energy-disruption:
Over the last 15 years however, energy has been changing at an increasing pace and sometimes in unexpected directions. Words like transition, decentralisation, digitilisation, democratisation and even revolution are being used to describe what is happening. There is increased uncertainty and a wide range of disruptors. 15 years ago I was modelling the impact of domestic scale generation on UK electricity distribution networks. At that time we thought that it would be Micro CHP that would be straining our distribution networks, in reality it turned out that solar panels would be the domestic generator of choice. This was thanks to a disruptor in the form of an unexpectedly successful government incentive – who would have thought that solar panels would be so popular in rainy Britain! …Incentives from numerous governments and regulators committed to carbon reduction have disrupted energy globally. …I have seen the same disruption happening with wind farms, where technology has improved and prices have dropped significantly. 15 years ago I was part of industry groups discussing the possible grid planning, design and operation issues associated with increased renewable generation. These issues have now been seen in practice and innovative solutions found. Disruption can also come from local government… Consumers are also disruptors. …Disruption is also coming from other sectors and industries. …All of these disruptors make the future of energy harder to predict, but do make it an exciting industry to work in.
If anyone can point me to genuine nuclear power (or even energy) idealism, in naked form, I’d be grateful.