Nuclear power proponents keep saying that environmentalists should sing a nuclear tune, and a few enviros agree. Personally I remain "meh", maybe even moreso (moremeh?) over the years as the price of renewables and storage keep dropping. I know that nuclear power cost breakthroughs are scheduled for South Korea and China, but we've all heard that one before.
What did need to change among environmentalists was the attitude towards transmission lines. A generation ago, part of being an environmentalist meant fighting the unnecessary, industrializing, and ugly lines pretty much wherever they went.
They aren't any prettier than they used to be, but times they are changing:
Back before anyone talked about climate change or clean energy, fights over new high-voltage electric transmission lines were pretty black and white: Power companies were for them while environmental groups were not.
But debate over the proposed Badger-Coulee Transmission Line through the scenic hills and valleys between La Crosse and Madison shows how much the energy landscape is changing.
While many living near the potential route of American Transmission Company's 345-kilovolt line remain steadfast against it, the project is drawing support from groups like Renew Wisconsin, which say the line will ease the delivery of wind power from Iowa and Minnesota into major population centers to the East.This isn't to say enviros don't fight or shouldn't fight transmission lines anywhere - right thing in the right place still applies - but there's a recognition by environmental groups of the value of getting renewable power from where it's generated to where it's needed. It's always windy somewhere. The sun is somewhat less generous but the power can still be moved 2000 km from the sunniest to least sunny locations (or even where the sun's not in view). Environmentalists recognize this and have so for a number of years.
It's valuable to recognize there has been a change in tune, where required. It's also been done with no fanfare, a quiet change in campaigns. Maybe that's the way change really happens.