Seeing as we're getting ready to write our papers, I feel that this article complements our research very well by proposing a realistic assessment of the material future of alternative energy in the united states.
the article actually makes a few points:
first, to get our sources strait: it's quoting the International Energy Agency's "outline for world energy future for the next 20 years" - the article explains that this year marks their decision to focus on stimulating clean energy for the future.
secondly, it indicates that while natural gas, solar, and wind power are expected to a rapid increase in demand, nuclear power will continue to play quite a minimal role in the future of alternative energy.
thirdly, this entire report is all based on the assumption that the world will cooperate on environmental policy and carbon taxes will skyrocket among a host of other presuppositions, which makes this report perhaps seem less important than it is. However, even if its based on the above assumptions, if there's one thing i've learned in economics is that public perception influences the demand for a product. If the public percieves that the International Energy Association advocates and predicts a big boom in wind and solar power, they might just believe in it.
I think it is critical to ask why nuclear power is still being left out of the picture as a "clean renewable source of energy" by even a network of informed scientists as prestigious as the international energy association. I hypothesize that it is one of the following:
a. given that nuclear power plants are highly capital intensive and take time to be approved let alone built, so the IEA is skeptical of the worlds ability to stimulate the production of nuclear power plants quickly in the next 10 years. OR
b. nuclear power is still seen as "dirty" or "unsafe" in terms of it's public image despite the massive leaps in efficiency, disposal and safety technologies.
I really hope it's the former, because if it's the latter, we're on the verge of making perhaps the gravest mistake of our time. In a world where we are thirsty for a highly safe, efficient and clean sources of energy - nuclear power should be one of the leading contenders to supplement our energy portfolio.