Reporting from the IEEE Energy Show in Boston

Nuclear powerAs I mentioned, I’m back in Boston for a couple days, attending the IEEEEnergy Innovations show, and meeting a few industry colleagues whohappen to be in the this part of the world.  In a nutshell, the showitself has less relevance to our world than I hoped it might.  Thebreakout sessions are extremely technical – as I suppose I would havepredicted.  But the main sessions are also a bit strange.  Here’s anexample:

Victor Reis, Senior Advisor, Office of the Undersecretary of Energy for Science, spoke for 30 minutes this morning on the future of energy.  His principal message (actually his only message) was how appealing small modular nuclear reactors are: how safe, scalable, and relatively inexpensive.  He explained at greatlength how the DoE itself could be the first customer—going intoelaborate detail about how they had been the first customer of massively parallel computing many decades ago—leaving the audience scratching its head to ferret out a meaning.  When he ended his talk half an hourlater, in which he had projected the future of energy in the US out 40 – 45 years, we all realized in collective horror that he had done sowithout ever mentioning renewable energy once!  Not a world about solar, wind, geothermal – nothing.  Just a steady drone on SMRs. 

After a smattering of polite applause, I asked another presenter howthis was possible, and he just smiled, as if to say, “If you can’tfigure out that this guy has an ax to grind, I’m afraid I can’t helpyou.” 

Bizarre times.


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