As a member of a family of engineers and scientists, as well as being an amateur researcher in alternative energy development, I’m adding an opinion to this important post represented by the 2 links appear below. Thanks to my friend Jim Hicks for providing the 1st link.
Lockheed Martin, the largest American military contractor, has quietly been developing a Nuclear Fusion Reactor. A recent press release indicates they will have a working prototype in a year, with predictions of commercial units for sale in 15 to 20 years. These will be scalable, meaning they can be built to any size. Bus sized units for small communities or larger units to power cities and industry. Unlike the dangerous Fission reactors that represent the current level of nuclear power generation, fusion reactors will produce little or no radiation. They also promise to be many times more efficient because there is also very little or no nuclear waste produced in the atomic reaction. Here’s even more good news. If the power generation system is decentralized, the existing grid network of high voltage towers across the countryside will not be necessary, since energy needs will be produced locally.
Lockheed Martin is a highly successful private industry with shareholders and a reputable board of directors. This company has a long tradition of advanced research and development while creating hi-tech hardware for the purposes of making money. They don’t squander millions, perhaps billions, of dollars on “pie in the sky” projects.
Nuclear Fusion is essentially the holy grail of energy production. Expensive experiments have been carried out jointly for decades involving scientists from many nations, but with limited or no success. These are government sponsored projects that lack the motivation of commercial enterprise. The news that Lockheed Martin is making these startling predictions is to me, a complete game changer when speculating about the future use of fossil fuels, natural gas, and wind turbines. Because the infrastructure and distribution system that supports electricity, gas, and oil, is so embedded in the world economy, a break-though of this magnitude would destabilize every nation in the developed world. Such a confident statement by Lockheed Martin including a time frame, could be taken as fair warning, implying that those affected in the energy sector better start preparing now. It’s pure speculation but this highly secretive military contractor may already be using fusion technology in some of it’s advance military hardware. Typically, the application of secret technology for military purposes is 20 to 30 years ahead of commercial adaptations.
The important point of concern in this post is the cost of electricity and our provincial governments commitment to building hundreds and hundreds of wind turbines. Original estimates of maintenance costs and operational efficiency have turned out to be inaccurate. They are unpopular in rural communities. They destroy the distant natural view, make people sick, and are a danger to wildlife. Given these factors, and in view of Lockheed Martin’s timely prediction, wind turbines will be useless towers of unsightly junk in 20 to 30 years. Perhaps sooner. As I understand it, the farmers are responsible for their removal and that promises be costly or perhaps impossible for them to afford.
Looking forward, the generation of electricity using fusion reactors will be safe from serious accidents and acts of terrorism. Operational costs should be much lower because these reactors eliminate the nuclear waste issues and much of the distribution costs. Specific to today’s ongoing turbine construction program, there will be no contracts signed with farmers offering them ridiculously high subsidies, thereby bleeding the public. Farmers can then concentrate on a sustainable activity they know something about. Growing food. Unlike subsidies that have an expiration date, people will always need to eat.