LETTERS: Renewable energy focus


Re: Nuclear technology eyed, May 22.


Re: Nuclear technology eyed, May 22.

Premier Christy Clark is way off-base in promoting fusion power as a next step in the climate-change battle.

I certainly hope that the General Fusion company can develop a workable hydrogen fusion power reactor; if they can pull the required science and engineering together, that would be great.

Fusion power would be immeasurably safer than fission and, once it’s working, cheaper: changing hydrogen into helium is a lot safer than turning uranium into plutonium.

We’ll definitely need fusion power for proper space exploration.

But fusion power is definitely not needed to help us reduce CO2 emissions from coal and oil; the technology to do this is already available through renewable energy from solar, wind, hydro and geothermal sources, and it’s is much cheaper – as WalMart CEO Bill Simon said last year, “The renewable energy we buy meets or beats prices from the grid.”

Already, 600 major organizations – including Intel, Staples, Kohl’s and Unilever – get 100 per cent of their energy needs in the U.S. from renewable energy.

Renewable energy is taking over: China already has enough rooftop solar power to supply the needs of 170 million of their households, and of course they’re installing more every month; Denmark already gets over 40 per cent of its electricity from windpower, and that electricity costs half the price of electricity from its coal or gas plants.

And, note, renewable energy systems create more immediate and long-term jobs than fracking or transporting coal and oil.

So if Clark truly wants to take a step forward in the climate-change battle, and if she wants to ensure more jobs for people in B.C., she should be supporting the installation of solar, wind, geothermal and tidal power in B.C., not just cheering on those scientists and engineers who are still working on fusion.

Geoff Dean, Surrey



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