Nuclear Power and Renewables: Strange Bedfellows?

Climate change represents an enormous long term threat to global ecosystems and the world’s economies. The convergence of high oil prices and climate change at the top of political agendas has resurrected many of the energy policy debates of the 1970s. Advocates of different fuels each claim to have the solution, high oil prices are prompting calls for ‘urgent’ action on renewables and the role for nuclear power is back in the spotlight. At this time of increased concern about climate change and high fossil fuel costs, perhaps a new approach is needed to respond to the dual exigencies of climate change and growing electricity demand. Within this evolving and complex debate, many commentators in the media have shown a poor understanding of the different sources of energy, and which fuels provide which energy services. This note aims to breakdown the interfuel debate about electricity supply and show how cooperation might be the best tactic if carbon emissions are to be reduced while maintaining reliable electricity supply.

By: Christopher Joshi Hansen , Robert Skinner