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Why the U.S. faces a steep path to a CO2-free grid

Source: 
The Daily Climate

Multiple states and Democratic presidential candidates have committed to slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% or more by 2050. But recent grid and renewable analyses indicate what an uphill climb that may be....

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 21, 2020 1:58 am GMT

The only obstacle to a CO2-free grid is irrational fear of nuclear energy.

Statistically, U.S. nuclear is the safest way to generate electricity - by far (900x safer than global nuclear, the second safest way). Not "new nuclear" - the technology we have in place right now.

U.S. nuclear is the cheapest way to generate dispatchable electricity, and the cheapest of all when necessary natural gas backup is included with renewables.

It requires a tiny fraction of the land use of renewables, and has a tiny fraction of the environmental impact.

It requires only strengthening existing transmission infrastructure.

Nuclear fission uses cheap fuel, extremely efficiently. What should be a benefit is a drawback for energy holding companies that capitalize on the sale of fuel. Contrary to popular mythology, nuclear is suffering not from being uneconomical, but too economical - and so is the envrionment.

What are we waiting for...for renewables developers to reap $billions building more ineffectual solar and wind farms? For the sun to shine all night, and the wind to blow steadily? For oil companies to plug their natural gas wells, and close their gilded doors, out of shame from profiting on environmental destruction? No more waiting, time's up.

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