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No energy solution without a radical rethink — World leaders suck in the fossil-nuclear mindset

Global leaders bear responsibility for ever worsening energy problems

No solution without a radical rethink — Beyond Nuclear International The danger of antiquated fossil-nuclear mindsets on energy policy
By Hans-Josef Fell 4 Sept 22,

EU President von der Leyen, German Chancellor Scholz, French President Macron, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing Wen, as well as most other global leaders – they are all characterized by the fact that in their important high-ranking functions they have almost always viewed energy security solely from a fossil-nuclear perspective. To the present day they have prioritised the business interests of the big energy companies, whose focus is fossil-nuclear.  

These global leaders subordinated the resulting geopolitical tensions and climate protection in their policy of procuring crude oil, natural gas, coal and uranium, although the consequences have been foreseeable for decades. They have not effectively promoted domestic renewable energies as the only real solution for energy security. For that reason, they are largely responsible for the fact that the EU and other regions are now highly dependent on energy supplies from autocratic countries and they bear a large share of the blame for the current, ever worsening energy problems, geopolitical tensions and global warming.  …………

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz  

For example, German Chancellor Scholz has still not been to Bavaria, the state that has been the biggest blocker of the energy transition for years and is hence now facing particularly massive energy problems in the coming winter. ……………………..

French President Emmanuel Macron   

Another example for persisting fossil nuclear patterns of thought is the French President Emmanuel Macron. He aims to build 14 new nuclear power plants and to continue operation of the existing ones with 50-year longevity extensions to enable French energy security in the years ahead.  This strategy seems particularly absurd in light of France’s recent experiences with new nuclear construction and operation.  For example, the only new nuclear power plant built in France, the EPR reactor in Flamanville, is still not in operation since construction started in 2007 and planned commissioning in 2012. Construction costs have skyrocketed by at least three times.  With this in mind, the plans for the construction of 14 new reactors will certainly not be feasible before 2050 and hence will by no means be part of a solution to the the current energy crisis.

On the contrary, France’s 56 nuclear power plants contribute significantly to the European energy crisis. Up to 50% of the French nuclear power plants had to be shut down recently, partly because significant safety risks had been discovered due to cracks in the cooling pipes. Additionally, many other nuclear plants had to be shut down this hot summer due to warm river temperatures and low water levels that could no longer guarantee the plants’ cooling.If the drought persists, there is a threat of further shutdowns in the coming weeks, incidentally also at coal-fired power plants as they also rely on river cooling water.   

So far, a French blackout has only been prevented with green electricity supplies from Germany………………….

   EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen   …………………………..  Ursula von der Leyen is responsible for the inclusion of the highly climate-damaging natural gas and the highly dangerous nuclear energy as “green” energies in the EU taxonomy. There is no more obvious way to document the compliant support of the fossil and nuclear economy. Against this backdrop, Ursula von der Leyens recent political activities completely failed in terms of the expansion of renewable energies.  

Ukrainian President Wolodimir Selenski  

The Ukrainian President Wolodomir Selenski plans to export electricity to Europe to generate revenue. However, more than 50% of the electricity in Ukraine comes from nuclear power plants. These are at high risk in Putin’s war right now. Misdicrected rockets as well as targeted attacks during wars can cause a nuclear “super-disaster”. In that case, regions all over Europe would be affected by radioactive contamination……….

 at least in wars, nuclear power plants must be shut down. President Selenski, however, is still sticking to nuclear power production, building up on his announcement to construct new nuclear power plants. Moreover, Ukraine itself buys fuel elements from Russia and thus paradoxically finances Russia’s war of aggression against its own country.  

Selenski’s adherence to the fossil-nuclear energy system is thus also a great danger to the existence of all Europeans. The only way out of this highly dangerous situation is the switch to 100% renewable energies. But so far, Selenski has hardly promoted this transformation.  

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing Wen  

Similarily, the industrial region of Taiwan, another current trouble spot,  is almost completely dependent on fossil and nuclear energy supplies from abroad…………………………………..

Conclusion 

Scholz, Macron, von der Leyen,  Selenski, Tsai Ing Wen – as different as the challenges that the respective countries are currently facing may be – what unites them all is that they seem to have learned nothing from the current crises. Even though the multidimensional crises of our time – energy price crisis, climate crisis, health crisis, wars – show us more painfully than ever where our nuclear fossil dependency has led us, they are still clinging to the fossil and nuclear energy system instead of clearly focusing all efforts on the expansion of renewable energies. Only with these will we be able to embark on the path to a sustainable and peaceful future. Read our global study to learn how such a 100% clean energy supply can be implemented worldwide in a technically and economically viable way.

Hans-Josef Fell is the founder and president of The Energy Watch Group and was a member of the German Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/ the Greens from 1998 to 2013.

September 4, 2022 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international

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