Whether we like it or not it, coal seems to be off the agenda for electrical power generation. So what should we do?
Household solar panels are still inefficient, but sometime in the future they are sure to be much better.
So, too will be household batteries that are needed to make solar a truly viable alternative.
In the short term, without subsidies solar still has a long way to go and no real solution has yet been suggested for the disposal of batteries.
The fact is, the science is not yet there.
Wind and vast solar arrays are an alternative, but in the absence of a storage facility they too are questionable unless we can build huge dams as batteries.
It seems the thinking is that science will provide answers with improved batteries, better solar panels and power management.
While we wait for that, perhaps it’s time to reconsider nuclear power.
The safety of nuclear plants has always considered a problem, so too the disposal of waste.
But, with an estimated 500 nuclear plants in the world today, accidents have been few.
The answer is probable because of waste disposal, but let us again look to science.
Space travel is almost upon us as a “bucket list” item of the rich and famous, but you can be sure that within the next 50 years – the typical lifetime of a nuclear reactor – space travel will be as common as a domestic flight.
Science will see to that.
If indeed this is the case, can’t we blast our nuclear waste into space to ultimately be burned up by the big nuclear furnace in the sky, the sun?
Science has answers and perhaps it will ultimately have one for nuclear waste.
Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the emerging art of opportunity capture: www.innovationtraining.com.au