Title
Renewable and nuclear power: a common future? Renewable and nuclear power: a common future?
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Applied Economics
Publication type
article
Publication
Guildford ,
Subject
Economics
Source (journal)
Energy policy. - Guildford, 1973, currens
Energy policy. - Guildford, 1973, currens
Volume/pages
36(2008) :11 , p. 4036-4047
ISSN
0301-4215
ISI
000261020100004
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Nuclear power and renewable energy are the main options to bring down the carbon intensity of commercial energy supply. What technology is unlimited backstop supply depends on its performance on the sustainability criteria: democratic decided, globally accessible, environmental benign, low risk, affordable. Renewable power meets all criteria, with affordability under debate. Maximizing energy efficiency as prerequisite, the affordable sustainable option in fact is the twin efficiency/renewable power. Nuclear power falls short on the sustainability criteria and its public acceptance is low. Nuclear proponents now propose nuclear and renewable energy as a suitable couple to address the climate change challenge. The two antagonists however are mutually exclusive on the five major directions of future power systems. First, nuclear power has been architect of the expansive business-as-usual energy economy since the 1950s. Second, add-on by fossil-fuelled power plants is bulky and expansive for nuclear power, but is distributed, flexible and contracting over time for renewable power. Third, power grids for spreading bulky nuclear outputs are other than the interconnection between millions of distributed power sources requires. Fourth, risks and externalities and the proper technology itself of nuclear power limit its development perspectives, while efficiency/renewable power are still in their infancy. Fifth, their stalemate for R&D resources and for production capacities will intensify. Nuclear power and renewable power have no common future in safeguarding Our Common Future.
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