The nuclear power is facing a crisis of confidence following the Fukushima nuclear disaster earlier this year.
Hardly surprisingly, the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster has caused the Japanese government to rethink the country’s nuclear policy. Last week, Japan’s Prime minister Naoto Kan told a news conference that Japan will “seek a society that will does not rely on nuclear energy.”
Germany made the same decision earlier this year — they will phase out all its nuclear power plants by 2022, and try to find alternative ways to replace the 22.5% of the nations electricity supply its nuclear industry is currently producing.
Italy held a referendum in June in which voters decided that no new nuclear plants would be built in the country, and other countries are seriously looking at whether a nuclear future is in their best interest.
The problem these countries will face is that when (fission) nuclear power is taken off the table, something needs to replace it. There is a real reluctance in many counties to build new fossil fuel power stations and people are hoping that the gap can be filled by traditional alternative energy sources, (wind, solar, geothermal, etc.) but there are problems associated with employing some of these alternatives on a scale that will allow them to make up the difference. Cost, space and efficiency issues are always problematic when employing wind and solar plants, and government subsidies are almost always needed to make alternatives competitive with fossil energy production.
It appears, then, that the E-Cat has arrived at an opportune moment. There is a need to find an energy source that is cheap, clean, safe and which does not take up large tracts of land. The main problem that the E-Cat has at the moment is lack of visibility — it’s simply not on most people’s radar screen — but in time that could change. Once the potential of the E-Cat is recognized it will not be surprising to see the leaders of nations trying to figure out how they can most rapidly transform their energy infrastructures to incorporate a form of energy that will solve many of the problems they have been facing for decades. It could be that the E-Cat will provide the nail required to seal the coffin of the old-style nuclear industry, and the means to a much better way of producing nuclear power.