Over the past week, Energy Monitor has run a series of in-depth articles to mark the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan. The climate crisis has injected fresh impetus into the debate over the role of nuclear power in energy production. The nuclear industry wants its slice of the action and is lobbying for its part in a post-Covid green recovery. The numbers tell the story of an industry in global decline. In 2019, for the first time in history, non-hydro renewables like solar, wind and biomass generated more electricity than nuclear power plants. The amount of nuclear power peaked in 2006 and there were fewer reactors operating at the end of 2019 than 30 years ago. These figures headline in the World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR), a detailed annual account of the commercial nuclear power industry led by Mycle Schneider, a prominent international nuclear expert, and nuclear sceptic. However, a similar tale emerges in other studies, including from nuclear adherents such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), which issued its first report on nuclear power in almost 20 years in May 2019.
Energy Monitor 22nd March 2021 read more »
Is Nuclear Energy On The Road To Ruin Or A Sustainability Silver Bullet? Anyone who has seen the TV series Chernobyl knows that when things go wrong with nuclear power the consequences are dire. And while it may seem that matters have evolved since the days of the Soviet Union, the nuclear disaster in Fukushima that happened just ten years ago suggests otherwise. For many, it is a no-brainer that nuclear power should be categorically excluded from sustainable and ESG portfolios. But in our desire to divest from anything harmful, are we overlooking the positive potential in nuclear energy to facilitate the transition to net zero? Mark Campanale, founder of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, says: “Our view is that given so many cheaper renewable energy resources available, why would anyone want to go to the expense of what is an uncompetitive technology on price, one which takes hundreds of years to clear up its waste?” According to Eduardo Monteiro, co-CIO at Victory Hill Capital Advisors, even if nuclear is to play a “robust role” in a country’s energy supply, it has too many shortcomings as a sustainable investment alternative, and should therefore be avoided.
Investment Week 22nd March 2021 read more »