"I don't think solar and wind can replace fossil fuel. I'm sorry, it can't be done," Hartley told host Fergus Hodgson during the January 17 episode of the "Gold Newsletter" podcast. "The only thing that can replace it is nuclear. In fact, the only two examples we have of substantial replacement of fossil fuel are the French and Swedish nuclear programs." (Related: Wind and solar cannot replace oil: What we need is for the government to stop suppressing free energy.)
Hodgson agreed, noting that the world is still working on how to make solar and wind replace fossil fuels. The host added that a renaissance of nuclear power is highly likely with the advent of new technologies.
To back up Hodgson's point, Hartley mentioned that a tremendous amount of research has been done on alternative nuclear energy.
"A lot of private companies looking at new nuclear technologies. And we've barely scratched the surface in terms of looking at possible nuclear reactions," said Hartley, a professor of economics at Rice University and a scholar of energy economics at Baker Institute.
"And the point about nuclear energy is that it's incredibly energy dense. The amount of usable energy out of a kilogram of uranium oxide is about 10,000 times the equivalent amount of energy out of a kilogram of diesel fuel."
According to Hartley, nuclear power produces much more energy than chemical reactions that are being used for fossil fuels. He pointed out that wind and solar are incredibly low-density energy sources and the amount of energy produced per square kilometer of land is also very low.
"We don't have enough land to do energy that way," Hartley said.
Hartley mentioned that wind and solar energy systems also need natural gas as a backup. He said this is the hidden dirty secret about wind and solar energy – they can't do the job without natural gas as a backup. The economist noted that the cost of backing up this energy system is causing people to realize that wind turbines and solar panels need a lot of very exotic mineral inputs.
Moreover, solar panels and wind turbines both require very elaborate mineral ingredients.
"And there's just not enough. The whole idea of running the world on wind and solar power can't be done by itself, you need this backup. So, what's the dream? The dream is that we're going to back it up with batteries. Guess what, batteries need a whole bunch of these very sophisticated mineral inputs as well," Hartley said.
He pointed out that fossil fuels still supply about 83 percent of the world's primary energy. "We've got an enormous job at hand to replace all the energy systems with an alternative source of energy," Hartley said.
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This video is from the Gold Newsletter channel on Brighteon.com.