The push for carbon-free energy will drive the growth of small modular reactors, or SMRs, with 300 of them expected to be online by 2050 supplying 731 TWh of power, according to the results of a survey the Nuclear Energy Institute conducted with a subset of its member utilities and released Aug. 5. - Utility Dive
The climate is running hot. Evolving knowledge of climate sensitivity and polar ice melt-rate makes clear that sea-level rise is ramping, along with destructive storm, storm surge, severe precipitation and flooding, not forgetting wildfire. With mounting concern and recognition over the speed and pace of the low carbon energy transition that’s needed, nuclear has been reframed as a partial response to the threat of global heating. But at the heart of this are questions about whether nuclear could help with the climate crisis, whether nuclear is economically viable, what are the consequences of nuclear accidents, what to do with the waste, and whether there’s a place for nuclear within the swiftly expanding renewable energy evolution. As key experts who have worked on the front-line of the nuclear issue, we’ve all involved at the highest governmental nuclear regulatory and radiation protection levels in the US, Germany, France and UK. In this context, we consider it our collective responsibility to comment on the main issue: Whether nuclear could play a significant role as a strategy against climate change. The central message, repeated again and again, that a new generation of nuclear will be clean, safe, smart and cheap, is fiction. The reality is nuclear is neither clean, safe or smart; but a very complex technology with the potential to cause significant harm. Nuclear isn’t cheap, but extremely costly. Perhaps most importantly nuclear is just not part of any feasible strategy that could counter climate change. To make a relevant contribution to global power generation, up to more than ten thousand new reactors would be required, depending on reactor design. - Nuclear Consulting Group
The use of fossil fuels comes with a wide variety of externalized costs. The big focus tends to be on the carbon dioxide fossil fuel produces and its role in warming the climate. But fossil fuels also cause environmental damage when they're extracted, and burning them produces particulate pollution and ozone. Those substances have downstream effects on human health and agriculture. If all of these costs were included in the price of fossil fuels, then alternatives would be far more competitive.
There have been numerous attempts over the years to quantify these externalized costs. Some look at the issue from a purely economic perspective, and others look at efforts to inform policy. These efforts tend to be based on our best understanding at the time; however, as our knowledge improves, the figures can be worth revisiting. That's exactly what's been done by a team of researchers at Columbia and Duke Universities who use current climate scenarios and updated health data.
The researchers' results say that, even if you ignore the climate benefits, moving away from fossil fuels rapidly would lead to benefits that, in the US alone, can add up to trillions of dollars before the century is over. - ArsTechnica / CarbonBrief
A 10.5 gigawatt (GW) solar and wind farm will be built in Morocco’s Guelmim-Oued Noun region, and it will supply the UK with clean energy via subsea cables. The twin 1.8 GW high voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cables will be the world’s longest. UK-based renewables company Xlinks is the project’s developer. The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project, as it’s known, will cover an area of around 579 square miles (1,500 square kilometers) in Morocco and will be connected exclusively to the UK via 2,361 miles (3,800 km) of HVDC subsea cables. They’ll follow the shallow water route from Morocco to the UK, past Spain, Portugal, and France. The project will cost $21.9 billion. Xlinks will construct 7 GW of solar and 3.5 GW of wind, along with onsite 20GWh/5GW battery storage, in Morocco. The transmission cable will consist of four cables. The first cable will be active in early 2027, and the other three are slated to launch in 2029. An agreement has been reached with the National Grid for two 1.8GW connections at Alverdiscott in Devon. - Elektrek & XLinks
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