Don’t believe hydrogen and nuclear hype – they can’t get us to net zero carbon by 2050
Big industry players pushing techno-fixes are ignoring the only realistic solution to the climate crisis: renewables
Jonathon Porritt, The Guardian, March 16 2021
Now that the whole world seems to be aligned behind the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the nuclear industry is straining every sinew to present itself as an invaluable ally in the ambitious aim. Energy experts remain starkly divided on whether or not we can reach this global net zero target without nuclear power, but regardless, it remains a hard sell for pro-nuclear enthusiasts.
The problems they face are the same ones that have dogged the industry for decades: ever-higher costs, seemingly inevitable delays, no solutions to the nuclear waste challenge, security and proliferation risks.
The drawbacks to nuclear are compounded by the burgeoning success of renewables – both solar and wind are getting cheaper and more efficient, year after year. There is also a growing realisation that a combination of renewables, smart storage, energy efficiency and more flexible grids can now be delivered at scale and at speed – anywhere in the world.
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