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Ten Improbable Energy Ideas for 2024


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  • The market for Grid-scale nuclear will be dominated by 3 players.
  • This is the year we unofficially abandon climate targets because of the growing recognition they are unobtainable.
  • The world’s lightest element (hydrogen) replaces small modular reactors (SMRs) as the most over-hyped idea but we become more realistic about its appropriate industrial uses.
  • Nowadays, you have to prepare for the unexpected, for the event that seems barely plausible but happens.  Such as the way Russia did not conquer Ukraine in a week. Or how the European economy survived without Russian gas. Or how quickly inflation subsided. Or how the Chinese foreign minister disappeared. Or water shortages develop in the Amazon Basin. So, we put together a list of ten events, all plausible, that could occur in the energy sector. A few, we think, are more than likely.

  • NUCLEAR— Pick up in demand for grid scale reactors from foreign suppliers that can do the job at a lower cost, for a simple reason, they are cheaper, period. if you're going to go nuclear, why do it in the more expensive way?  The market will be dominated by three players: Rosatom (Russia), KEPCO and associated firms (South. Korea)  and by the Westinghouse AP 1000 (Canadian). No new orders however will come from the US—at least for another year unless federal subsidies are increased.
  • FOSSIL FUEL USE— Globally, fossil fuel usage including coal continues to increase. 2024 is the year oil and gas companies appear to win. Gas will be increasingly seen as the cleaner (ie lower CO2 emitting) alternative to coal for power plants including the US. The growth of LNG is unclear in part due to storage and refill limitations. One utility noted it would take a month to refill storage after only one unseasonably cold winter day.:snip:
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