The cold blast this holiday weekend across the eastern half of the US exposed the fragility of power grids as soaring heating demand spiked peak total loads to record high in many areas while supplies were tight. Grid operators and utilities told tens of millions of Americans to conserve power -- some conservation efforts are still ongoing Christmas morning -- while Christmas Eve was a mess for many customers in the Southeast states, including North Carolina and Tennessee, as utilities implemented rolling blackouts.
Fossil fuels and nuclear power generation mix across the eastern US saved grids from collapse. Unreliable renewables, such as solar and wind, were just a tiny fraction of the power mix.
What's idiotic is the decarbonization campaign to decommission nuclear and fossil fuel generators for renewables. This weekend's grid chaos is a wake-up call. America has a severe grid problem sparked by the 'green' movement. Thank the climate alarmist, woke corporations, and progressive politicians for ushering in so-called green reforms that have transformed once-stable grids into a third-world country prone to rolling blackouts anytime temperatures fall below freezing.
Readers have been well informed of our view that advanced nuclear reactors will play a critical role in decarbonizing electricity in the US by providing carbon-free energy, and it is a much better form than solar and wind assets.
Perhaps forward-thinking utilities will wise up and even warm up to next-generation nuclear reactors for power generation.
One such design is for a sea-based nuclear reactor that is transportable and can be connected to grids at a moment's notice.
Canada's Prodigy Clean Energy and America's NuScale recently released a conceptual design for the transportable and sea-based small modular reactor (SMR), which "can generate safe, affordable, and reliable electricity at grid-scale at any coastal location worldwide," with the design to be used "for engagement with utilities, regulators, and shipyard manufacturers."
This means a portable and sea-based nuclear power plant that is considered "safe" will connect to shore-based power grids to increase power capacity.
"Utilisation of a transportable marine facility will enable us to deploy the NuScale Power Module at more locations around the world," John Hopkins, NuScale Power President and CEO, wrote in a statement.
Instead of grids waiting 5-7 years or more to construct a new nuclear power plant -- the SMR is a 'plug and play' access to electricity and heat supply for grids.
Similar technology is already in use in Russia. The world's first floating nuclear power plant was commissioned in Pevek, Chukotka region in the Russian Far East in 2020.
Floating nuclear power plants could be the answer to plugging the energy gap on grids after progressives have been hellbent on decarbonizing fossil fuel generators. Capacity needs to increase as electric vehicles on highways are steadily increasing. If not, Americans should get used to rolling blackouts.