"Nuclear power has to be part of the solution. Can we really understand the notion of risk? Nuclear plant versus carbon emissions - which will and has killed more people?"
- John Hennessey, President, Stanford University
"Environmental activists, notably Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, continue to lobby against clean nuclear energy. We can agree renewable energies, such as wind, geothermal and hydro are part of the solution. But nuclear energy is the only non-greenhouse gas emitting power source that can effectively replace fossil fuels and satisfy global demand."
- Patrick Moore, Environmentalist Founder of Greenpeace
Clean electricity from 'new renewables' - solar, wind, biomass and geothermal power - deserves strong support. But the collective capacity of these technologies to produce electricity in the decades ahead is limited. The International Energy Agency projects that, even with continued subsidy and research support, these new renewables can only provide around 6% of world electricity by 2030.
Environmentalists have played a valuable role in warning that catastrophic climate change is a real and imminent danger. It is crucially important that they be equally realistic about solutions. Even with maximum conservation - and a landscape covered by solar panels and windmills- we would still need large-scale source of around-the-clock electricity to meet much of our energy needs.
Nuclear power - like wind, hydro and solar energy - can generate electricity with minimal carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions. The critical difference is that nuclear energy is the only proven option with the capacity to produce vastly expanded supplies of clean electricity on a global scale.
Far from being competitors, nuclear power and 'new renewables' are urgently needed as partners if the world's immense clean energy needs are to be met.
The International Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is the intergovernmental body that analyses global energy demand. In the private sector, the World Energy Council performs similar assessments. The projections by both organisations point inexorably to the same conclusion: Our world cannot meet its expanding energy needs - cleanly - without a sharp expansion of nuclear energy.
Source: World Nuclear Association