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Bob Meinetz's picture
Nuclear Power Policy Activist, Independent

I am a passionate advocate for the environment and nuclear energy. With the threat of climate change, I’ve embarked on a mission to help overcome the fears of nuclear energy. I’ve been active in...

  • Member since 2018
  • 6,980 items added with 268,355 views
  • Jan 4, 2022

"Could this winter’s energy crisis be shocking Europe into climate realism? Believe it or not, the European Union is set to include nuclear and natural gas on the list of industries eligible for “green” investments. Someone please pass the smelling salts to the Sierra Club.

At issue is the so-called taxonomy for classifying environmentally sustainable investments. This new list is intended to create a uniform definition of activities that qualify as green for corporate disclosures, climate-oriented investing, and carbon-related government spending. The Brussels green list represents the largest regulatory effort to date to pin down what 'sustainable' means in relation to finance.

Wonder of wonders, nuclear and natural gas make the cut. The draft taxonomy released late on New Year’s Eve deems investment in nuclear power sustainable as long as the investment is made before 2045 and a plan is in place to dispose of the waste. The draft also includes natural-gas power plants built by 2030, subject to emissions limits and as long as they replace heavier-emitting plants.

The usual suspects are furious for the usual reasons. Berlin lobbied hard against including nuclear energy on the permitted list. That’s the same Germany where households and businesses pay some of Europe’s highest power prices while the government shuts down the country’s remaining nuclear plants, pursues expensive renewable boondoggles, and burns more coal. Some greens bristle at including any fossil fuel on the list."

Rao Konidena's picture
Rao Konidena on Jan 4, 2022

Digging into the details on why Germany is closing nuclear plants faster than coal plants, I find that German opinion has been consistent over the years – shutdown nuclear. Here is a snippet from the World Nuclear Association website – “In June 2012 a poll by the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach asked: “Do you think the federal government took the right decision for Germany to phase out nuclear by 2022?” Here 73% agreed that it took the right decision, and 16% answered no.”

While the German Transmission System Operators analyzed from a reliability lens, it is unclear whether anyone has analyzed consumer prices. If we shut down x MW of nuclear by 2030, it leads to y % increase in your price – would you still want us to shut down nuclear? – that question needs to be asked.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Thank Bob for the Post!
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