The hidden costs of energy

In response to a Facebook posting about the 'externalities' of using coal to generate electricity I commented:

The health care costs of coal ... so why haven't we started using nuclear energy? It is the only clean energy source with enough grunt to run our society's power needs.

Has anyone really looked at the real costs of 'renewable' energy? Has anyone really looked at how many wind farms it will take to run the baseload electricity requirements in our country? Are we really prepared to have our country covered with that many? How many solar panels? Do we really want them littering our countryside?

And what about the 'externalities'? What cost to the environment to make them? Both wind farms and solar panels require industries that pollute to make them. Using toxic chemicals. What are the health effects? Already there are complaints about the effects of windfarms on local residents. And the loss of amenity in the despoiling of beautiful vistas. The loss of tourism income because of the visual pollution of windfarms and solar farms?

That's just Australia. How will countries with higher and rapidly growing energy needs be able to cope with 'renewables'? Do you really think that China will run on windfarms and solar panels? Or the USA? Or India? Or Europe?

We need a clean energy source that has the grunt to run baseload power generation for all societies everywhere. The only one that I can see is nuclear energy. I'd be interested to hear of any other energy source that is clean and has the grunt to run baseload systems.

You'd be right in saying that nuclear energy has it's 'externalities' as well. Hidden costs that others pay for. So it is a matter of assessing the externalities of each form of energy and comparing them. I reckon nuclear energy, on the scale needed to run the world, will win hands down.