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New nuclear generation is limited to China and India – and even then …

Which Is More Scalable, Nuclear Energy Or Wind Energy? Forbes, 22 Aug 14 Answer by Mike Barnard, Senior Fellow – Wind, E&PI,on Quora, “………… India is often touted as another great country for buildout of nuclear.  Its track record is worse than China’s; it only has a total of 4.2 GW of nuclear generation capacity in operation after decades meanwhile it built 1.7 GW of wind energy in 2013 alone.

Unlike nuclear power, most countries are perfectly capable of building wind farms and are doing just that, with utility-scale wind generation in 100 states globally so far. For the past five years, wind energy has averaged 40 GW of new operational nameplate capacity according to GWEC or 16 GW of median capacity and that is expected to grow.

Meanwhile, globally nuclear capacity has diminished and is expected to continue to diminish for the next several years as France shuts off 33% of its fleet in favour of mostly wind energy, Germany shuts off its fleet entirely,Ontario intends to move from 55% to 42% supply from nuclear according to its draft long term energy plan and aging reactors globally reach end-of-life with no economic refurbishment possible. Japan will be able to restart at most a third of the reactors it shut down after Fukushima according to knowledgeable sources.

In empirical terms, it doesn’t matter what anybody claims is theoretically possible: wind energy is growing rapidly while nuclear is going backwards. That’s reality……..

Pragmatic reality limits nuclear generation growth mostly to China and India because they both are existing nuclear powers and both have vast disparity between demand and supply so will pay a premium for expensive nuclear energy. Similarly, refurbishing reactors in the developed world often makes economic sense. But there are a lot of other factors also hindering nuclear growth that don’t apply to renewables.

August 22, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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