PEI Connect: Time to put nuclear back in Europe’s energy toolbox?

nuclear power plant
Image by Robert Gasparro from Pixabay

PEi Connect provides a brief look at what got our attention during the week (7 Oct-14 Oct), and first up we consider that European industry is calling for greater emphasis on nuclear power in the face of a gas crunch and stringent emissions targets.

Spotlight on nuclear

nuclear power plant
Image credit: esi-africa.com

As Europe faces an energy crisis, a group of professionals have focused attention on the situation in Germany – a country that led the shift away from nuclear and fossil fuels through its EnergieWende movement.

A group of 25 writers, journalists, and intellectuals wrote in a joint letter, warning that dropping nuclear power would only increase the country’s carbon emissions, according to Euractive.

The contentious issue is being brought to the fore with an upcoming change in government and rising emissions targets in Europe.

Meanwhile, in response to rising energy prices across Europe, Brussels-based nuclear industry group, FORATOM, has published a communication criticising the European Commission for not paying closer attention to the role nuclear can play in mitigating the current energy crisis.

“As highlighted in the communication, the current price increases are being driven by higher natural gas prices on the global market”, states Yves Desbazeille, FORATOM Director General. “Therefore, the EU needs to already be putting solutions in place today to ensure that it is able to generate enough low-carbon electricity in Europe to meet growing demand. This means supporting the development of nuclear energy”.

Even French President Emmanuel Macron committed to nuclear power in his address announcing the ‘France 2030’ investment roadmap. “To produce energy, especially electricity, we are in luck,” Macron said. “The country’s nuclear power installation is already in place.”

Clearly, energy independence is a priority in Europe, as countries balance hefty emissions targets with increasing demand.

Image: Stock

Circular solar

Did you know: Solar panel waste in the United States may reach the weight of 30 Empire State Buildings, or 10 million metric tons, by 2050 (according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory).

This statistic was quoted in PV Magazine, which recently covered the launch of SolarRecyle.org, a site dedicated to supporting the flow of information to enable greater rates of solar panel reuse and recycling.

SolarRecycle said it aims to drive the solar panel recycling economy by connecting asset owners, operations and maintenance providers, and other players with recycling vendors.

Image credit: CalWave

California dives into wave energy

On 16 September 2021, the CalWave system was commissioned off the coast of San Diego.

This marks the beginning of California’s first at-sea, long-duration wave energy pilot operating fully submerged.

The CalWave x1™ system will be tested for six months to validate performance before heading out to the open ocean. Read more and view the project pictures.

Speaking of wave power… even Tasmania’s grid is benefitting from wave power.

You can learn more about the wave energy being fed into Hydro Tasmania’s electrical network by watching the video below.

Connect with us next week for another selection of interesting sector news.

Until then, take care, stay safe and power on.

The PEi Ed team 🙂

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