Interesting one this, so rather than rant lets ask ourselves a few sensible questions. For the sake of argument I'm going to be deliberately UK centric as that's what I know most about. Here goes:
1/ Will we be happy with power limits / brown outs? NO!
2/ Is it consistently sunny here? NO
3/ Is it consistently windy ? NO
4/ Always lots of waves? NO
5/ Never a slack tide? NO
Hmm, that kind of sidelides the conventional wisdom of renewables as the entire power source and doing nothing isn't an option. OK lets press on:
6/ Do we have unlimited (100+yrs) Oil / Gas / Coal for our own use? NO, NO, Coal Maybe Yes
7/ OK then, are we happy with the pollution from Coal? NO
8/ Can we mine our own Uranium? NO
9/ Can we fast breed our own fuel with what we already have or can buy in the next few years? YES
10/ Can we produce our own Thorium for that type of reactor? Probably YES
Hmm, that kind of narrows it down to breeder reactors or Thorium for now.
OK more questions, lets be more imaginative now:
11/ Molten Salt Reactors, workable? certainly looks like a YES (thanks Craig etc)
12/ Fusion, via Tokomac style devices? Maybe in 10-40 years!
13/ Fusion, alternatives? Maybe, this one IEC, appears worthy of pursuing:
14/ Geothermal? Maybe it looks promising, (needs trial plants - maybe in economically non viable deep wells.)
So to conclude in the next 5 years we'll have to start building breeder reactors or else accept that the lights can start to go out soon.
However, people don't "like" this technology so we should simultaneously invest far more heaviliy in Thorium reactors, MSR's, IEC fusion & Geothermal (we already spend loads on Tokomac). Conventional "renewable" stuff is just posturing and window dressing if you live in the UK
Just my 2c, or 3 or 4.... now flame me, or vote for me :-) !
PH icon as she knows all about everything!