(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Former Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu came out during a debate at the Silicon Valley Energy Summit criticizing President Obama’s Clean Energy Plan, because of its lack of support for nuclear power. Chu said he didn’t think energy storage could solve the reliability problems of wind and solar quickly enough. Said Chu at the Stanford University event, “We should make a Clean Power Plan that’s based on clean energy, not renewable energy.”
At issue, claimed Chu, is the question of baseload power, the core supply of reliable, round the clock electricity that is there whenever you need it.
Most critics claim that the only way to have renewables carrying a bigger share of the electricity load, is through the use of energy storage. Says Chu, “I don’t see storage coming in for more than maybe peak load shifting, maybe day and night. I don’t see seasonal storage. I don’t see all of those things you need for steady clean power.”
Berkeley professor Dan Kammen, debated back that storage was already economically viable in some areas, something that new nuclear is not. Said Kammen, “The dramatic ramp up in solar resulted in the dramatic realization that a diverse, decentralized system can provide the same critical features that we think about with a baseload highly centralized system. Not tomorrow, but in the time frame that we need it, it’s absolutely there.”