Originally Posted by Gearhead_318
So, what if we also utilized solar and hydroelectric resources?
They suffer from the same basic shortcomings as wind power- namely energy density. No "renewable" energy technology presently known, including stuff that's being tinkered with in the laboratory, has the ability to come anywhere close to either nuclear or fossil-fuel-based power generation, insofar as the ability to generate a large amount of power, continuously, within a relatively small and cost-effective footprint.
Don't get me wrong- I'm sure that if money (and land usage) were no object, that even given present-day technology we could probably build a sufficiently large number of solar / wind / geothermal / tidal / etc., generating stations to satisfy our demand for transportation energy, and probably put a significant dent into our overall power consumption demands as well.
But we're talking about money and land usage on an almost comical scale here. Beyond the fact that somebody always complains (and files federal lawsuits) every time any utility company proposes to build a wind farm / solar plant in their backyard (or on the spawning grounds of the endangered ring-tailed slug), consider the economic quandary- we're talking about amortized costs which are at least an order of magnitude higher than present-day values.
Hell, everybody in the US thought that western civilization was coming to end end when gasoline hit $4 per gallon. Short of a Mad-Max-style apocalypse, how do you propose to sell the public on the idea of $40 / gallon equivalent?
Yes, it surely is.
Unfortunately, the question was "Which emissions-free energy technology has been set back another 30 years by the recent Fukushima Incident?"
(Sidebar: as of 3 days ago, all reactors at Fuku are officially in a cold-shutdown state.)