Extreme impact. Both the photo and the question. In my humble opinion, yes, until we can't generate high efficiency yields from "green" power (we're almost there with wind, but still a long way to go with solar), I believe, if well taken care of, nuclear power is the immediate solution. We can't survive on fossil fuels much longer, and Nuclear Fusion, as I see it, has still a lot to show for it self (it is still not cost-effective to heat a hidrogen-rich mix in order to trigger the fusion reaction of the sun (H+H -> He (alpha particle) + Neutron). My hopes resides on the recycling of Nuclear Waste - There are good signs that, for example, radioactive Cesium-135 and Cesium-137 can be recycled into a subsequent nuclear reaction, which would yield much lighter elements and much less dangerous.
I personally think that not only "green" power will be the power for the future, since the energy consumption of our civilisation will grow with the density of the society itself, i doubt that only "green" power will be enough.
I don't know if you ever heard about "Thorium-Reactors"
I didn't mention the Thorium reactors as I consider them just an "incremental" leap over the standard fission reactors; not a breakthrough. The principle is the same (controlling a cascading chain reactor of nuclear fission of radioactive elements), so, the greatest danger still lies there: Whereas in a Fusion reactor, you can just pull the plug and the reaction immediately stops, in a fission facility, it can take years or even decades to shutdown one reactor. Furthermore, building a Nuclear fission reactor from scratch which is a technology that we already master for more than 30 years still takes over a decade. If we start building a commercial Thorium reactor whenever it is deemed feasible (unfortunately, Thorium cannot be weaponized, so the motivation to put funding on research is low), we would only see one in operation, in my opinion, in 30 years or so...
True, even with Thorium reactors, there will still be some nuclear and toxic waste to store for some hundreds of years, But not as much as a conventional reactor will produce, so basically the nuclear and toxic waste can be reduced with Thorium reactors.
But to be honest , did you ever see those giant and ugly wind parks ? the natural environment is partly destroyed with it. Water power has the same issue of nature destruction. Of shore Windparks, have issues during the construction and The most "green power" devices are just to big compared to the output power. You need more than 100 Wind Wheels for 500MW power.
Solar parks like the one in Spain can't be used in countries like Germany or Norway to the same extend.
The Geographical question is another issue for "Green Power".
Agree completely. Here in Portugal we have the luck of having a very large west-faced coastline. We are getting around 40% of our electricity from the Wind turbines. And yes, we have around up to a thousand wind wheels and yes, they are ugly as hell. I find them better though than the water dams that we have that completely destroy the surrounding ecossystem. At least the wind turbines have a lower ecological footprint (and in the long run, they pay themselves off very quickly in terms of CO2 footprint and investment).
I wish you a happy new year, and all the best for 2014.
And i completely agree, they might be ugly and we need a lot of those wind turbines, but still better than a nuclear plant or water dams.
Unfortunately Luxembourg is geographically a mess for green power, so we have to get most of our power from "apparently" green resources from Germany, but i doubt that there's no nuclear or coal based power involved, only the electricity providing company knows the truth.