Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Thanks for the link to DeAnander's post.  To be able to answer the question I'd like to have the following information:

a) Global output today
b) Maximum possible global output if everyone gets as much electricity as, say, me
c) Minimum global output necessary to provide, say, lights in the evening, cooking, heating, refrigeration and maybe a computer (or other--one other, I mean--electrical device) running 24 hours a day per person.  I know it's not a good list, but I think some minimum figure is needed so that with
d) Total global output possible from all renewables using current technology (incl. wave which I think is about to come online big time)

Then, following Jerome's list:

  1. Conservation + smart usage
  2. Renewables
  3. Nuclear
  4. Coal, oil, gas

we get:

c) gives us 1)
d) gives us 2)

and if nuclear fills the remaining gap, then that will be the number of nuclear power stations needed, which I still think would become zero as renewables have all kinds of knock on effects...all the greater to the extent that they are widely distributed--the local wind turbine(s) etc...--because they influence c) and also because new tech always creates even more new tech (cf. computers 1948-the present.)

My tuppenceworth.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 25th, 2007 at 07:18:17 PM EST
I'll add that I think it is the "minimum necessary" that causes a lot of political heat.  For me, brownouts (for non essential business and residential) don't sound so bad.  That's because I think: "I have other things I can do apart from use electricity 24 hours a day."  For others, the minimum is whatever they use currently plus 10% for all the extras they'd like to add in (computers, televisions, electric cars etc...)

That division might also partially break down into DeAnander's "left/right" and "technocrat/green"...it mixes the "I deserve as much as I can get--and can pay for"; "Don't make me eat cold porridge, this tech. is great, let's use it!"; "We're all doomed if we keep consuming this much!"; "We'd be happier if we switched off, wandered out, and got back into our bodies"...and all those many points between, beyond, and elsewhere.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 25th, 2007 at 07:24:59 PM EST
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