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Following the natural disaster which developed into a nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011, Germany accelerated the phase out of nuclear energy to complete it by 2022. And while a about quarter of its energy was generated by 17 nuclear power reactors back in 2011, by now Germany retrieves only 14% of its energy from eight reactors.
China, on the other hand, has the fastest growing nuclear power program in the world, with 34 reactors operating to date and 20 under construction. Even though China has also the highest installed capacity of Photovoltaic power plants and is planning on investing further funds in renewable energy sources at home and abroad. But China’s plans include intentions to build eight new reactors per year until 2020, in their urgent pursuit to stop their heavy reliability on coal.
Even though the world wide nuclear energy production has been declining by 7% over the last ten years, a lot of the missing electricity is generated by using fossil fuels due to the lack of availability as well as reliability (in some aspects) of renewable energy sources like solar power and wind. Wind and solar power are sustainable sources of energy, however, due to lacking consistency of their electricity generation and the significant losses of energy during storage, these energies (as of current state) might also display a sub-optimal option. The mistrust towards nuclear energy is a significant contributing factor towards alternative energy production. However, can these factors be interpreted as an overall phase-out of nuclear energy?
Keeping in mind the challenges of the disposal of nuclear waste and overall risk to damage and spoil the environment and the threats it imposes to all life forms, can nuclear energy be a sustainable solution for the worlds growing energy needs?
Nevertheless, one must consider the consequences an accelerated phase out of nuclear energy might lead to. In California for example, the premature termination of nuclear power plants has led this government to plug the holes in the energy supply using fossil fuels which have significantly higher emission rates than nuclear energy, even increasing the energy-induced environmental pollution.
It seems that right now is the right time to invest in renewable energy sources and technologies, shaping the ever-changing energy industry and take a lead into the right direction, creating sustainable energy sources and satisfying market demands.
For an insight to what the global energy market hast to offer, head on over to portal.e-nable.eu!
Thomas Helige, 02. February 2017, 15:50