Opinion | Climate change solutions and problems

Industrial facilities on the Chesapeake Bay, just a short drive from Washington, D.C., have been producing large amounts of reliable, non-carbon electrical energy for longer than Kathryn Rampel has been with us, and some of yours too. You may be using it now. This earth.

But her Jan. 3 op-ed, “Will we eventually move away from fossil fuels?”, killed that facility.

Her column on moving away from fossil fuels mentions wind and solar as the only non-carbon energy sources currently available. This came as a surprise to the retired nuclear engineer and former control room operator at a nuclear power plant.

Nuclear power plants like Calvert Cliffs have much to offer in the effort to reduce carbon input into the atmosphere. And newer generations of nuclear power plants will help even more.

It’s a shame that Post reporters almost always leave out nuclear when discussing the climate situation.

As part of the technical team to address climate issues, we will need this reliable non-carbon energy source. On the flip side, Mr. Lampel, wind and solar power cannot get the job done on their own.

William C. Evans, germantown

Katherine Rampel’s discussion of fossil fuels was interesting and informative. However, the graphs associated with this article showing electricity generation from coal, wind and solar (combined) were incomplete in a way that could potentially mislead the broader electricity generation picture.

It’s true and important that wind and solar power are rapidly increasing and on track to overtake rapidly declining coal power. However, the amount of natural gas generation is missing from the graph, and although there was a significant amount even when coal generation was at its peak, it has increased significantly since then, accounting for a significant portion of the decline in coal generation. is making up for it.

In 2007, when coal production was at its peak, natural gas provided 897 billion kilowatt-hours. By 2022, natural gas power generation has increased to 1,689 billion kilowatt hours. As you can see from Lampel’s graph, the 792 billion kilowatt-hour increase represents about 75 percent of the decline in coal generation, or about 1.2 trillion kilowatt-hours of replacement.

Replacing fossil fuels in power generation requires replacing not only coal but also natural gas with solar and wind power, which is a major challenge.

Thomas E. Potter, chevy chase

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