As reported by Quartz, “The dream of a low-carbon future thanks to nuclear power is already looking dated.” China and India, the two most populated countries in the world, along with several others like Japan, Germany and Brazil, are already using more energy generated from (non-hydro) renewable sources than from nuclear, according to a global industry report.
Renewables such as wind are also surpassing nuclear in terms of growth of power. As seen in the chart below, between 1997 and 2014 the world added 879 terawatt hours of solar and wind power every year, compared to nuclear’s 147 TWh.
Richard Macauley, writing for Quartz, was quick to point out that despite these statistics, nuclear power isn’t necessarily on its way out. As far as reliability goes, nuclear is far better at delivering predictable amounts of electricity than wind and solar. The non-hydro renewables are more intermittent because of their dependence on weather patterns.
Nuclear energy has global safety concerns, however, especially after Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Countries such as China, are more cautious towards nuclear because of concerns for public safety, and are investing heavily in safer options, such as wind power.
With the growth of battery storage, renewable energy’s intermittent nature may no longer be a problem, Macauley said. If batteries can one day contain enough electricity to power a house, the investment in renewables will pay off in the long run.
Filed Under: News