Clean energy groups question nuclear power advocacy
A total of 311 U.S. and international environmental and clean energy groups said today that, while they respect the climate change work of Dr. James Hansen and three of his academic colleagues, they take strong exception to the notion that nuclear power is the solution to global warming.
The joint letter from more than 300 groups – including 237 from 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and 74 from 44 other nations around the globe, including those on the ground dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster – is being issued in response to a Nov. 3, 2013 statement from Dr. Hansen and three of his academic world colleagues, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, and Tom Wigley. In that statement Hansen and the others voiced their advocacy for nuclear power.
“We can admire the important work of Dr. Hansen on climate change, which is his area of expertise, while disagreeing with his advocacy of nuclear power,” CSI Senior Energy Analyst Grant Smith said. “We have clean, affordable, safe, reliable and proven solutions available to us. These safe and clean sources can be brought to scale creating an electric grid that relies much more heavily on increased energy efficiency, variable wind and solar photovoltaic (PV), distributed power, demand response and storage technologies.”
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In today's statement organized by the Civil Society Institute (CSI) and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), 311 organizations are urging Hansen and his colleagues to publicly debate the question of climate change and nuclear power.
The statement reads in part: “Instead of embracing nuclear power, we request that you join us in supporting an electric grid dominated by energy efficiency, renewable, distributed power and storage technologies. We ask you to join us in supporting the phase-out of nuclear power as Germany and other countries are pursuing.
“It is simply not feasible for nuclear power to be a part of a sustainable, safe and affordable future for humankind. We would be pleased to meet with you directly to further discuss these issues, to bring the relevant research on renewable energy and grid integration to a dialog with you. Again, we thank you for your service and contribution to our country's understanding about climate change.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.