September 9, 2022
“Carbon-free nuclear power is an absolutely critical part of our decarbonisation equation”
– Jennifer Granholm, US Energy Secretary
The world is in the midst of the first truly global energy crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and resulting in a partial return to coal-fired electricity generation.
At the same time, our total energy needs continue to rise at a steady pace, with McKinsey forecasting a doubling in global electricity demand by 2050. Electrification is a crucial economy-wide tool for reducing emissions, but the generation of electricity must be cleaner in order that countries can achieve their 2050 targets for net zero carbon dioxide emissions.
The pathway to net zero calls for scaling up solar and wind rapidly this decade, but a massive overbuild of renewable power combined with power storage would be required to provide a reliable ‘always-on’ supply of electricity. To achieve the transition to renewable energy, it would be more economically viable to supplement renewables with an alternative baseload source of low-carbon electricity. Nuclear power offers one such pathway to meeting future energy demands while achieving decarbonisation targets.
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