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NewNuclear? Global Trends in Renewable and Nuclear Power

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Advocates of nuclear energy have long been predicting its renaissance, yet this mode of producing electricity has been stalled for years. Renewable energy, by contrast, continues to expand rapidly, even if it still has a long way to go to catch up with fossil fuel power plants. The chances of a nuclear revival seem slim. Renewable energy, by contrast, appears to be on the right track. But it is clear that renewables have a long way to go before they can hope to supplant fossil fuels as the planet’s principal electricity source. The expansion of sources like wind and solar will have to become even more rapid in order to stave off climate disaster, and that in turn means that their fate cannot be left to the whims of the market alone.

Published in: Environment
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NewNuclear? Global Trends in Renewable and Nuclear Power

  1. 1. I 7 , 4 « git __ *3 H GLOBAL TRENDS IN RENEWABLE AND NUCLEAR POWER X/ ORLDX/ ATCH. ORG
  2. 2. Nuclear energy production has been stalled for years Nuclear's share of global power production declined from a peak of 17.6 "/0 (1996) to 10.8 % (2013)
  3. 3. Renewable energy, by contrast, continues to expand rapidly Renewables' share of global power production rose from 18.7% (2000) to 22.7% (2012)
  4. 4. I '' Economics, safety concerns, and unresolved questions about ' nuclear waste have slowed the nuclear industry Nuclear power generating capacity peaked at 375.3 gigawatts (GX/ ) in 2010. Capacity has since declined to 371.8 GW in 2013. I VI"
  5. 5. In contrast, wind and solar power generating capacities . are now on the same soaring trajectory that nuclear power was on in the 1970s and 1980s Solar photovoltaic is capacity still smaller (140 GW), but growing rapidly Wind capacity of 320 GW in 2013 is equivalent to nuclear capacity in 1990 /
  6. 6. ‘fi-X " -' In recent years. renewables attracted far greater investments than nuclear power did 2000-2013 investments: Nuclear: $8 billion per year Renewable electricity: $153 billion per year
  7. 7. In contrast with investment priorities, research budgets still favor nuclear technologies 1974-2012 R&D spending: 4_ Nuclear: $295 billion per year i’: Renewable electricity: $59 billion annually
  8. 8. Wind and solar power are more . practical and affordable options / for most countries compared to nuclear power reactors 31 countries are operating nuclear reactors At least 85 countries have commercial wind turbine installations
  9. 9. The chances of a nuclear revival seem slim. Renewable energy, by contrast, appears to be on the right track
  10. 10. But it is clear that renewables have a long way to go before they can hope to supplant fossil fuels as the planet's principal electricity source
  11. 11. The expansion of renewables will have to become more rapid to stave off climate gm disaster. That means that their fate cannot be left to the whims of the market alone.
  12. 12. Full analysis, sources. and data available at bit. ly/ NuclearRE
  13. 13. about us WORLDWATCH VITAL SIGNS INSTITUTE ONLINE Through research and outreach that Vital Signs Online provides business inspire action, the Worldwatch leaders. policymakers. and engaged Institute works to accelerate the citizens with the latest data and transition to a sustainable world that analysis to understand critical global meets human needs. trends. www. worldwatch. org vitaIsigns. worldwatch. org

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