Less nuclear energy has meant higher costs, less clean energy overall and more deaths

Michael Shellenberger explains how less nuclear energy has meant higher costs and less clean energy overall.

* USA has shutdown nuclear plants prematurely because of lower natural gas costs
* this has increased emissions of CO2 and air pollution
* Overall energy costs have increased in the USA which correlate with lower nuclear energy mix
* Germany has 6 times more carbon intensive energy than France
* Germany shutdown nuclear energy and now is even more reliant on coal and fossil fuel
* France uses 80% nuclear power for electricity
* France has half the cost of electricity compared to Germany
* the global decline in nuclear power (-7.5% of energy mix) has not been replaced by solar and wind (4.5%)
* the global decline in nuclear (most of Japan nuclear shutdown, Germany shutdown, some early shutdowns in USA and Europe) has not been made up by the build in China and Asia and appears like future Europe and USA shutdowns (150 GW) will made up by new nuclear in China and India and Asia through 2030.

In 2016, Germany generated 545 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity at an average rate of approximately 560 grams of carbon dioxide emitted per kWh. By contrast, France generated 530 TWh of electricity at an average rate of approximately 58 grams of carbon dioxide emitted per kWh.

The analysis is based on German hourly generation data from Franhofer ISE, and French hourly generation data RTE-France, as of February 6, 2017. Conversion of German generation data to Specific Carbon Intensity uses emissions factors of 1150g, 900g, 369 g, and 983 g of CO2 per KWh for lignite (brown coal), hard coal, natural gas, and biomass respectively. Conversion of French generation data to Specific Carbon Intensity Uses RTE-France’s emissions factors, which are higher for France’s hard coal and gas fleets.

Germany’s overall emissions increased in 2016 as a result of the country closing one of its nuclear plants and replacing it with coal and natural gas, an EP analysis last month found.

German emissions would have declined had it not closed a nuclear plant and replaced it with coal and natural gas.

Not only did new solar and wind not make up for the lost nuclear, the amount of solar and wind electricity produced in 2016 actually decreased from 2015 despite new additions of solar capacity and extensive additions of wind capacity.

This will be self-inflicted global, US and California energy policy that will increase costs, environmental damage and deaths from air pollution and delay the meeting of any CO2 goals by years to decades.

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