Florida can run on ‘clean energy’ alternatives

06/10/2014 7:16 PM

06/10/2014 7:17 PM

Solar power, natural gas and nuclear power, in conjunction with smart grid are essential to making Florida a leader in the clean-energy economy of the future. Natural gas is one of the world’s most plentiful, cleanest, safest and most useful of all energy sources. In the past few years, new technologies and cheaper costs allowed producers to access gas trapped in parts of the United States previously considered unreachable.

With new techniques for fracturing, and much lower costs from horizontal drilling, companies were able to spend less and learn much more quickly than they would have otherwise. Horizontal drilling has now essentially taken over drilling in the United States.

Natural gas is the future of energy. It is replacing dirty old coal plants It costs far less It lowers CO2 emissions.

Is there another way out to generate electricity at high efficiency? There certainly is. The vast store of energy concentrated in the nucleus of the atom. The energy released from splitting a uranium atom is 2 million times greater than the energy released by breaking a carbon-hydrogen bond in coal.

Nuclear power plants produce no controlled air pollutants or greenhouse gases. The use of nuclear energy helps to keep the air clean preserves the earth’s climate, avoid ground-level ozone formation and prevent acid rain. We need to consider nuclear energy as another possible solution to our energy problems.

It is time for the public to awaken to the enormous, unparalleled benefits of nuclear energy.

In sunny Florida, solar power is part of the solution to back up natural gas and nuclear power.

Manuel Cereijo, professor, department of engineering, Coral Gables

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