If countries want to lower #emissions
as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power.
That’s the finding of new analysis of 123 countries over 25 years by the University of Sussex Business School and the ISM International School of Management which reveals that nuclear energy programmes around the world tend not to deliver sufficient carbon emission reductions and so should not be considered an effective low carbon energy source.
Researchers found that unlike renewables, countries around the world with larger scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to show significantly lower carbon emissions - and in poorer countries nuclear programmes actually tend to associate with relatively higher emissions.
Published today in Nature Energy
, the study reveals that nuclear and renewable energy programmes do not tend to co-exist well together in national low-carbon energy systems but instead crowd each other out and limit effectiveness.Full story here
Two of the most widely emphasized contenders for carbon emissions reduction in the electricity sector are nuclear power and renewable energy. While scenarios regularly question the potential impacts of adoption of various technology mixes in the future, it is less clear which technology has been associated with greater historical emission reductions. Here, we use multiple regression analyses on global datasets of national carbon emissions and renewable and nuclear electricity production across 123 countries over 25 years to examine systematically patterns in how countries variously using nuclear power and renewables contrastingly show higher or lower carbon emissions. We find that larger-scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to associate with significantly lower carbon emissions while renewables do. We also find a negative association between the scales of national nuclear and renewables attachments. This suggests nuclear and renewables attachments tend to crowd each other out.
Nuclear and renewable energy are considered two of the most important technologies towards decarbonization though it is not clear how their adoption relates to national emission reductions. Sovacool et al. look at data from 123 countries to examine emission reductions associated with nuclear- or renewable energy-focused strategies.www.nature.com