That both economic zones can achieve this goal while adding a minimal amount of soot to the atmosphere, however, would.
And the technology that will undoubtedly serve as a key energy-generation component in emerging markets' 21st century power grid? You guessed it: nuclear power -- the power generation form that has lagged in the United States for more than 20 years, due to environmental regulations.
China, India push forward with plant plans
China and India are two emerging market nations that recognize that nuclear power is an essential part of meeting future electricity demand. Nuclear power will account for more than 5% of China's power output by 2020, Bloomberg News reported Monday. Meanwhile, India will start three nuclear reactors this year.
Economist Glen Langan said that while nuclear power is not, strictly speaking, a renewable energy, it has to be considered as part of the next-generation energy mix [along with wind and solar power] to meet the U.S.'s growing demand for electricity.
"Wind power is coming on strong and it could ultimately meet 15-20% of the U.S.'s electricity needs. Solar, barring a breakthrough, is still a generation away from being a major energy supplier. That's why nuclear energy is needed to supplant coal and other, dirty energy forms," Langan said. "There is almost no way the United States can meet a 20-25% increase in electric energy demand by 2030 without more nuclear plants."
Further, Langan said he expects the next decade, 2010-2019 -- "the teens" -- to be the catch-up decade for the United States regarding nuclear energy -- a momentum that will build as soaring oil prices force the price of companion energy form natural gas higher, in tandem, and as the world "gets a more-graphic look at the pollution generated by coal-fired plants, particularly in China," where they are in mass use.
Energy Analysis: In the United States, there are plans to add 30 nuclear power plants, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. Further, as I have noted, while the issue of nuclear waste storage has been a barrier to nuclear plant building in the United States, France (with 59 nuclear plants) has had in place an active nuclear reprocessing program at COGEMA La Hague and Tricastin for decades.
In an era of low commodity prices, the U.S.'s delay in increasing its nuclear plant network was short-sided. In an era of high commodity prices, a failure to build-out the network will prove far more costly and damaging.