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Pathway "Absolutely zero technilogical advances happen, but we go low carbon anyway": This means instituting copies of the French, Swiss and Swedish grids everywhere,

That is not possible. Those grids rely on imported load balancing capacity. Please see the diurnal variation figures here.

Pathway: "Very conservative estimates of the technological progress of renewables hold true, and real money is spent on them for the purposes of actually producing power, rather than greenwashing coal/gas" This means no solar whatsoever (in europe),

Uh, no, not unless you assume that doing nothing what so ever for ten years while we build the infrastructure to transport electricity from the Sahara to Germany is preferable to building solar power in Germany during this period.

Ramp-up times are not your friend if you are in the business of selling magic bullet solutions, a point that I have tried and apparently failed to get through to you before.

and chunks of granite the size of small mountains being raised and lowered hundreds of meters to store power enough to power the entirety of the union for weeks on end.

Uh, no. That is not required to load balance a sustainable grid.

All of which will cost us less per kwh than most of europe presently pays.

That does not strike me as a very good reason to ignore even cheaper energy savings. If I can save ten MWh per year for 10 €/MWh, why would I buy ten MWh per year for 12 €/MWh?

Cheaper, safter, and just generally superior  fission reactors via ground up redesign

Cute. Build me one and then turn off all active safeties and prove that it will shut down on its passive systems alone without blowing up. Then we're talking. Something that will pollute like a coal-burner if the operators fuck up is not a sustainable power source.

Small scale fusion: One of the dozens of teams working on achiving fusion via any of a half dozen of esoteric ways to confine, heat and compress very small amounts of plasma succeed in producing a design that is a viable power source. Possibly even the coverted aneutronic boron fusor.

Meh. Even if you had a working prototype tomorrow, the ramp-up time would be similar to that of wind, solar and fission power (and wind and solar have twenty, resp. ten years head start and counting).

There will be lots of electricity. All the electricity you care to pay for.

I can find more amusing ways to use steel and cement than building power plants to supply wasteful overuse of electricity. But maybe that's just me.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jul 22nd, 2011 at 02:40:30 PM EST
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