The Third Wave of Electrification has Begun
By pulling America out of the Paris Climate Accord, President Trump ripped a giant hole in the British deindustrialization/depopulation plan—an opening later pursued by the other leading nations of the world in refusing to submit to the proposed new Royal suicide pact at the recent Glasgow Climate Conference. Beyond that, President Trump redoubled efforts to return America to the status of number one energy producer in the world.
In taking these actions, President Trump acted not as an individual, but as a representative of America’s mission in the world. Of particular importance were his moves to free up the long-suppressed American nuclear power industry, by pushing the world-changing factory mass-production and deployment of small modular reactors to power a growing national and world economy. Such mass production and distribution of cheap electrical power portends the final overthrow of the British Empire, and a third wave of electrification.
We have the power to trip up and defeat the British Empire’s assaults of synthetic mass hysterias like the man-made global warming hoax.
At first the British propaganda machine opposed nuclear plants because of “safety concerns.” Then the Imperial Oracle said that hydroelectric dams, coal, oil and gas had to be shut down to “save the environment.” Absent complete destruction, the Empire demands substitution of “renewable,” “sustainable,” or “appropriate” technologies–inherently inferior technologies which make power too expensive to use. At the same time, regulation, litigation and price manipulation are used to undermine technologies which actually fulfill the mission of electrification. Is the aim of the Empire to save a mythical Mother Earth, or is it to destroy the American System of promotion of progress based upon increasing the power (of every sort) at the command of the citizen/worker?
Increased power is translated, through the human mind’s creation of improved capital machinery, into increased productivity per worker per hour. That increased power and productivity is what produces the wherewithal to support an entire household on one salary. It is precisely the ongoing destruction of plentiful, cheap, continuous power, that underlies the decades-long lowering of living standards in this country.
Why is electricity such a big issue, such a dividing line? Let’s take a look back at the history of electrification, which is a major part of American history. We will see that electrification, along with water purification, have been the two biggest threats to continued British Imperial subjugation of the world.
A Weave of Emerging Technologies
Today, Abraham Lincoln is generally revered as the man who freed the slaves. As true as that is, Lincoln’s intentions were actually much broader. He represented a continuum of Americans before and after, who sought to raise the condition of all people to a level which would better align with their actual human character, as creative beings made in the image of God. Remember that at the time of Abraham Lincoln’s young manhood, power came from animals, human muscle, a few waterwheels, wind, fire, and rarely, a steam engine–which at the time was as other-worldly as a nuclear reactor might appear to be today. Even after the commercial success of Robert Fulton’s first 1807 steamboat, mules pulled the canal boats on the Erie Canal and the other canals which began to be built–especially in Pennsylvania. Even the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad started out in 1830 with horse-drawn cars running on primitive iron-topped wooden rails. Steam engines were esoteric, expensive, troublesome, heavy, noisy, dangerous and rare.
Having rafted a load of goods from Illinois down to New Orleans, and having invented a device for lifting boats and rafts across sandbars and obstructions, Lincoln sought to raise people upward by improving the technology of production and commerce. Throughout his political life, he would first push to link the Mississippi to Lake Michigan with a canal, and criss-cross Illinois with a rail system; then later as President, he initiated the building of the transcontinental railroad. Lincoln was unique in his political activity, but he was not unique in his push for technological and infrastructural progress. We shall mention but a few of the important people and processes leading into our current potentials.
Detail image of the Civilian Conservation Corps’ reconstruction of the New Salem, Illinois wool carding mill. Shown is the oxen treadmill–notice the wooden gearing below. Lincoln lived and worked in New Salem in the early 1830s. Credit: Michael Carr
As steam technology was improved to better meet the requirements of steamboats, railroads, and factories, a technology seemingly unrelated and even more mysterious than steam power made its first contribution–electricity. Later, the two technologies would become intimately tied together in the transformation of our lives.
The first great wave of electrification was powered by primitive batteries–the telegraph revolution. After the telegraph first connected Washington and Baltimore in 1844, by 1861 a transcontinental telegraph line was established, and by 1866 the first permanent transatlantic line was in operation. All this was powered by batteries. From the time of the 1876 Alexander Graham Bell patent for a telephone, until 1890, telephone service was powered by batteries. Both Bell and Thomas Edison began their electrical pursuits by working on telegraph improvements.
In the meantime, a great many people had been working on designs for dynamos or generators which would be powerful enough to run arc lamps. By the 1870s, arc lamps had begun to light a very few public streets and places with a harsh light.
The 1879 Edison patent for the first practical incandescent electric light bulb was tied to his creation of the first central power station/distribution system–powered by a steam engine. George Westinghouse, Nikola Tesla and countless others developed Edison’s early concept into the modern power generation/distribution grid system–with lighting, motors and communications included. Thus began the second wave of electrification.
In 1903 the first steam turbine generator, pioneered by Charles Curtis, went into operation in Rhode Island. The following year, in time for the Saint Louis World's Fair, the local water department’s John Wixford discovered a way to turn muddy Mississippi water into crystal-clear safe water for drinking and all other purposes. Water treatment schemes rapidly spread to cities across the nation, even as great strides were made in wiring the nation’s cities for electrical power. By the early 20th Century, the number one profession was said to be that of electrician.
Although it is rarely acknowledged, every American should understand that the doubling of our life expectancy since 1880, derives from these two technological/industrial leaps: electrification and the provision of clean water. Electricity changed everything: electric lights, electric motor-driven manufacturing, electric water pumps, electric subways and trains, telephones/telegraphs, elevators, and even automobiles.
Before the introduction of electric motor-driven machinery, shops and mills used steam or water-powered overhead shafts, which transmitted power via leather belts down to individual machines. As with your multi-speed bicycle sprocket, shifting speeds was a matter of moving the belt along a stepped cone pulley. Such systems were noisy, inefficient, and in many respects dangerous.
Electric motors are fantastic–instant full torque across a very wide spectrum of speeds which are determined simply by varying the electrical input, high efficiency, safety, and more. Their introduction into manufacturing proved to be a great leap upward to a new platform of productivity in all respects. Electric motors replaced steam and waterwheel power wherever connections could be made to a grid. Even rail systems with regular routes found ways to connect to overhead or third rail power. People also expected that electric motor vehicles would be the wave of the future. Indeed, by 1910 or so, there were more battery electric motor vehicles in the U.S. than any other type. But batteries of the time were slow to charge and had a low energy density. Electricity was generally not available outside of major cities, and the 1901 Spindletop Texas oil geyser led to petroleum distillates such as gasoline becoming relatively cheap.
Thomas Edison worked long and hard on solving the battery problem. He and his friend Henry Ford intended to mass-produce electric cars once Edison arrived at a solution. But this was one problem Edison could not solve adequately. Battery technology for vehicles was outclassed by the technologies brought forward in the Ford Model T, and later in the Cadillac electric starter. But now, a century later, batteries have become good and are rapidly becoming better, as every electronics, auto, chemical, and even aviation company pursues the holy grail of the perfect battery for various applications. The already existing battery technologies are more than adequate for many (but not all) motor vehicle uses, and the auto companies, both well-established and newer companies, are already struggling to produce enough electric vehicles to meet customer demand.
This was a case in which determined engineering outflanked Imperial intentions. Once again, the zero-emission technologies were supposed to fail, or to be so expensive as to short-circuit economic activity. But a number of engineering teams have successfully demonstrated battery-powered vehicles which overcome the Imperial dictates to actually perform better for many uses than their combustion-powered predecessors.
Make no mistake. The attempt by the British Empire, and its current puppet American Presidency, to prohibit production of internal combustion engine-powered vehicles on the pretext of preventing “climate change,” is just another British Imperial anti-human, anti-industrial, anti-scientific, anti-American abomination.
The purpose of the American Revolution was, and is, to finally prohibit such Imperial nonsense from stunting and killing off our society. Gasoline and Diesel engines, gas turbines, jet engines, rocket engines, and nuclear reactors, like steam engines, will have important roles to play long into the future. Barring imperial impositions, customers, both individual and institutional, will gravitate to the systems which best meet their requirements.
The Hole We Need to Fill
Soon, an extremely rapid growth (probably exponential growth) in numbers of electric vehicles on the road, will begin to seriously impact national electricity generation requirements. Other new uses of electricity will include urban air taxis, autonomous robotic delivery systems, humanoid robot workers, plus many uses still unknown. This demand is on top of the rapidly increasing demand which will come from implementation of the LaRouche PAC plan to Re-Americanize the American Economy, when basic industries like mining, steel, machine tools, plus many types of manufacturing which had been outsourced abroad, are re-established in the U.S.A.
So the idiotic Energy Information Administration projections of zero growth in electricity consumption by the industrial base of our country, and maybe a 1% per year overall growth in consumption per year out to the year 2050, are just nuts. We are heading into a new wave of electrification, with rapidly growing requirements.
Notice the nearly flat blue curve of industrial consumption of electricity since around 1980. This is the effect of globalization and deliberate shutdown of our productive economy.
How will we create a non-interruptible stable baseload system, able to reliably produce the increased electricity we will require–not to mention the many areas of the world which still lack a power grid and reliable clean water supply? Now, even long-time greenies are coming to realize that the green ideal of a civilization powered by interruptible sources like solar power or windmills, is a fantasy which could never work, No matter how good the technologies used to extract power from the wind and Sun, the inherent diffuseness and irregularity of such sources is deadly to a society which needs a constant supply of concentrated power.
Although the Imperial suppression of nuclear power has persisted for decades, work has nonetheless gone ahead on a range of new technologies for factory assembly line construction of small modular reactor systems with type certifications (such as those given aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration) instead of today’s individual licensing per reactor. These modules could be easily shipped to a site and quickly set up and put into operation. These technologies are generally grouped together under the term small modular reactors or SMRs. Imagine small to medium-sized, inherently safe, long-lived, low-maintenance nuclear reactors rolling off an assembly line at the rate of one a day, and shipping out on railcars or container trucks for destinations across the world. All designs feature passive safety–in other words no human or mechanical intervention is required to cool a reactor which begins to overheat; excess heat will naturally shut down the reaction process. SMRs range from very small reactors of hundreds of kilowatts output designed for bases on the Moon, to truck-deployable systems sized up to 20 megawatts output, to larger systems rated in hundreds of megawatts of electrical output.
President Trump and Energy Secretary Rick Perry worked to accelerate the development and approval process for these technologies. NuScale is the first company to receive Nuclear Regulatory Commission design approval for its SMR reactor, but dozens of companies are working on designs for SMRs, such as X-energy, Terrapower, General Atomic, BWX Technologies, and HolosGen, not to mention many more internationally.
NuScale will build a 12 unit (60 MW electric output per unit or 720 MW electric altogether) plant at the Idaho National Laboratory in the first SMR deployment in the United States. This is scheduled to go operational in 2029. Other companies are working on gas-cooled, sodium-cooled, or liquid salt reactors–technologies which require more extensive testing than the Nu Scale design.
What we must do is to bring the potentials to light, and promote in every way the rapid deployment of factory built SMRs, along with standardized large reactor designs. Imagine a factory turning out a reactor a day to be delivered by truck as you see below.
http://www.holosgen.com/generators/ - HolosGen is developing a 13 MW electric power generator inside an ISO container which can run for 12 to 20 years before refueling and with a 60-year lifespan.
The potentials are here to be developed. We must bring them to rapid fruition. In the process we will develop deployment technologies which will also be applicable to the deployment of the first fusion reactors. As was the case in Lincoln’s time, progress depends upon political will and positive governmental intervention. Without mass deployment of reliable nuclear power, the third wave of electrification will short out. Let Germany, California and even Texas serve as a warning about the slippery slope we are on.
Domestic and international demand for electricity is going through the roof. Join us in taking the lead to educate people of all political persuasions that nothing but this approach will work. Like Lincoln, drive necessity home to victory!