To achieve the goal of limiting global temperature increases to just 2 degrees Celsius (°C) by the end of the century, a halving of global energy-related emissions by 2050 will be needed. A wide range of low-carbon energy technologies will be needed to support this transition, including nuclear energy.
Nuclear energy is a mature technology that the current largest source of low carbon electricity in the OECD countries. Why do nothing to improve and extend the leading low carbon electricity solution and only work on hockey stick ramping of wind and solar ? This is the equivalent of not working on getting promotions at your job and developing your career but exclusively depending upon lottery tickets. At the very least it is like starting a new startup company. In which case you should start it on the side while still having your career. Then switch to the startup when it has totally replaced your regular wages.
International Energy Agency Key findings:
* Nuclear power is the largest source of low-carbon electricity in OECD countries and second at global level. Nuclear can play a key role in lowering emissions from the power sector, while improving security of energy supply, supporting fuel diversity and providing large-scale electricity at stable production costs.
* In the 2D scenario, global installed capacity would need to more than double from current levels of 396 GW to reach 930 GW in 2050, with nuclear power representing 17% of global electricity production.
* The near-term outlook for nuclear energy has been impacted in many countries by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) accident. Although the accident caused no direct radiation-induced casualties, it raised concerns over the safety of NPPs and led to a drop in public acceptance, as well as changes in energy policies in some countries.
* However, in the medium to long term, prospects for nuclear energy remain positive. A total of 72 reactors were under construction at the beginning of 2014, the highest number in 25 years.
* Nuclear safety remains the highest priority for the nuclear sector. Regulators have a major role to play to ensure that all operations are carried out with the highest levels of safety. Safety culture must be promoted at all levels in the nuclear sector (operators and industry, including the supply chain, and regulators) and especially in newcomer countries.
* Nuclear energy is a mature low-carbon technology, which has followed a trend towards increased safety levels and power output to benefit from economies of scale. This trajectory has come with an increased cost for Generation III reactors compared with previous generations.
* Small modular reactors (SMRs) could extend the market for nuclear energy by providing power to smaller grid systems or isolated markets where larger nuclear plants are not suitable. The modular nature of these designs may also help to address financing barriers.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.