Foratom, the European nuclear trade body, commenting on the European Commission’s ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ plan, says the EU’s aim to decarbonise the economy by over 80% by 2050 cannot be achieved without nuclear power. ‘Nuclear energy accounts for half of the low-CO2 base-load electricity currently generated in the EU. It provides reliable low-CO2 base-load electricity and can provide the flexibility of dispatch required to balance the increasing share of intermittent energy sources, hence continuing to contribute to security of supply.’ It wants an end to preferential treatment and ‘priority dispatch’ rules for renewables. They are not alone in pressing the case for nuclear. The World Nuclear Association is looking to an extra 1000 GW of nuclear capacity globally by 2050, while a Global Nexus Initiative report says it will be extremely hard, if not impossible, to meet the Paris COP21 climate goals ‘without a significant contribution from nuclear power’- globally 4000 GW will be needed by 2100. Given the somewhat constrained situation facing the nuclear industry at present, stuck at around a 11% global contribution while renewables roar ahead to 24% and beyond, with prices continually falling, is there any reality in these nuclear ambitions? With a range of renewables accelerating ahead globally, and their costs falling fast, perhaps it’s time to move on.
Environmental Research Web 3rd Feb 2018 read more »
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) says that ‘New nuclear plants can form a major part of an affordable low carbon transition in the UK with potential roles for both large nuclear and small modular reactors’. However, while Small Modular Reactors ‘could be cost-effective’, more work was needed on them, and it said that its ‘evidence base on energy system planning indicates the best way forward is for the UK to seek to secure the delivery of a programme of contemporary large GW light water reactors’. Although it warns that ‘an inability to “get match fit” and demonstrate cost reductions will result in other options – such as renewables – becoming more prevalent in a future UK energy system.’ Globally, nuclear power is in retreat. It makes you wonder why the UK amongst others is still clinging on to nuclear… Some say, with no other explanation seemingly available, it’s just to keep the technical capacity alive, since that’s needed for the nuclear weapons and the nuclear submarine programme: Surely it can’t be as simple as that? Even in the allegedly more pro-nuclear UK, current BEIS polling suggests that only around 35% support nuclear power and a YouGov poll found that 62% of respondents would be unhappy living within five miles of a Small Modular Reactor.
Renew Extra 1st Feb 2018 read more »