I think the simple answer is yes. If we continue on our current path.  Look, I’ve got nothing against solar and wind power.  If I had a small hobby farm it would be great to live somewhat off grid.  Wind and solar are part of the future energy mosaic but as we’ve seen out of Texas, they can’t replace current and growing need.

U.S. Representative Mike Simpson’s plot to remove four dams on the lower Snake River would create an energy crisis across Idaho.  I won’t tell you what my last Idaho Power bill was but it makes friends in other states jealous.  Cheap electricity would end without hydropower.  Life in Idaho might not even be tenable along the Snake River Plain. 

Instead of solar panels, which are a recycling nightmare and often manufactured in China, why aren’t we setting up these small scale power plants in the desert?

A few things to unpack.  We’re nowhere near peak oil.  The end is decades away.  If not centuries.  We can’t even fathom the potential volume beneath the oceans and technology could find methods for clean and safe extraction.

Another is the revolution in nuclear technology.  Dealing with the waste had been a driver in opposition to building new plants but there are a couple of options where waste is no longer an issue.  The Navy has been working with a scientist on fusion generation and there are those who believe it could power the planet and at a bargain basement cost.  There are thorium reactors the size of a garden shed and just two could light up all of Twin Falls.  Instead of solar panels, which are a recycling nightmare and often manufactured in China, why aren’t we setting up these small scale power plants in the desert?

Lastly, future power transmission lines need to be underground.  Stringing lines above highways makes them susceptible to solar outbursts and electromagnetic pulse weapons.  Underground is a matter of protecting our modern civilization.  Otherwise, we face an almost permanent situation like the one being experienced in less than a week in Texas.

 

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