Sunday, October 01, 2006

energy news

The Denver Post had a good article yesterday covering some of the current issues in the coal industry. See: http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_4421583#. The issues around future coal usage are complex. Coal is a dirty energy source for sure, but there are developing ways to make it cleaner. Right now, whether we like it or not, looking into the future the one source of energy that will not be depleted anytime soon is coal. Even if the US does not move to become more of a coal economy, there is this country called China that continues a frightening growth in coal demand. Just trivia but I think coal remains the one major source of energy that the US actually exports.

but on the alternatives.... There is actually fairly big and under-reported news in the Nuclear industry. Two scientists at MIT have recently completed research that shows you can increase the efficiency of nuclear fuel by 50%... with some significant safety enhancements as well. What is interesting is that this development gets more media overseas. See the reuters pickup in the Times of India. In other industries you would describe such a development as a disruptive technology. Pittsburgh remains one of the centers of the world's nuclear power industry so this clearly has an impact here.

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