Essay On Usefulness Of Nuclear Energy

On the other hand, putting a price on COgives nuclear power a 2¢/ k Wh boost relative to power from coal and a 1¢/k Wh boost relative to power from natural gas – in both cases assuming that these fossil fuel plants vent rather than capture and store COmanagement may be accompanied by support for accelerated electrification of the economy to reduce dispersed emissions from transportation and space heating, which would increase overall demand for electric power.

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We are confronted with a risk-management problem of unprecedented complexity. The global atmosphere is well stirred and scarcely registers where CO Electricity serving air conditioner compressors, computer circuits, incandescent lights, and appliances arrives along wires that, worldwide, run from power plants of only a few kinds.

To be sure, nations differ in their endowments of resources; but, even so, a good strategy for mitigating climate change in one country will be a good strategy in many other countries.

The countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) emit less than one third of total global fossil fuel emissions and less than one third of global emissions from electric power production.

By extrapolation, at midcentury the OECD could contribute only one quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Three-fifths of the nuclear capacity in 2050 as stated in the MIT report is located in the OECD, and more nuclear power is deployed in the United States in 2050 than in the whole world today.

The worldview underlying these results is pessimistic about electricity growth rates for key developing countries, relative to many other sources. Such a ratio would startle many analysts today – certainly many in China.It is hard for Western analysts to grasp the importance of these numbers.The focus of climate change mitigation today is on leadership from the OECD countries, which are wealthier and more risk averse.A portfolio of wedges is needed because solving climate change with only one or two kinds of wedges is close to impossible.Moreover, there are enough options for the portfolio that none is indispensable.A “wedge model,” published in 2004, quantifies the task of global climate change mitigation. We would emit 60 billion tons per year in 2050 if we were oblivious to climate change (the so-called business-as-usual world), and we can congratulate ourselves if we cut the anticipated 2050 emissions rate in half, emitting CO produced at coal plants and burying it deep below ground.About eight wedges are needed to pat ourselves on the back, and we can choose a portfolio of them in many ways.A nuclear fleet of this size would contribute about one wedge, if the power plant that would have been built instead of the nuclear plant has the average CO Base load power of 1,500 GW would contribute one fourth of total electric power in a business-as-usual world that produced 50,000 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year, two-and-a-half times the global power consumption today.However, in a world focused on climate change mitigation, one would expect massive global investments in energy efficiency – more efficient motors, compressors, lighting, and circuit boards – that by 2050 could cut total electricity demand in half, relative to business as usual.But within a decade, the targets under discussion today can be within reach only if mitigation is in full gear in those parts of the developing world that share production and consumption patterns with the industrialized world.The map (see Figure 1) shows a hypothetical global distribution of nuclear power in the year 2050 based on a high-nuclear scenario proposed in a widely cited MIT report published in 2003.


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