October 1, 2022

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We must abandon the dream of expensive nuclear power plants

We must abandon the dream of expensive nuclear power plants

  • Vik Ambassador

    Research Leader in Energy Transmission, Det Norske Veritas

Ambassador Alvik writes that nuclear energy will not be able to solve the short-term challenges we face today. Pictured: Isar 2 power plant in Germany.

Nuclear power is a side track. Instead, we must develop more renewable energy.

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This is the topic of discussion. Opinions expressed in the text are the responsibility of the author.

Nuclear power is not a “quick fix” to the energy crisis. It will take more than 20 years to create nuclear power as it is possible in Norway. Then the energy crisis ends – as long as we further develop renewable energy.

Higher electricity prices, a new green industry, energy transition and climate requirements are just some of the things that require more capacity in the Norwegian energy system. In addition, we will export energy to Europe.

Many point to nuclear power as a solution and point to our neighboring countries. But these countries have the resources that Norway lacks, such as expertise, professionals, technology and infrastructure. It would take a massive push to get all of this going. Moreover, they lack something that Norway has: stable hydroelectric power, which is excellently suited to changing winds.

Hydroelectric properties

Hydropower makes Norway the most stable of all renewable energy systems. Even with all the wind power planned, half of Norway’s electricity will come from water.

Hydropower has many of the same properties as nuclear power, as it can provide energy when we need it. Thus, Norwegian hydropower has long been a stabilizing element of the entire European energy system.

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Important Investment Areas

The most important argument against nuclear power is the temporal perspective. It will take Norway at least 20 years to build nuclear power, as expected. In our research report, Energy transition in NorwayWe estimate that by 2035 Norway will have developed so much wind and solar energy that we will have the energy we need.

Our analysis shows that in 2050 Norway will have access to 60 gigawatts of renewables, versus about. 38 today. This means that production could rise from 140 TWh in 2022 to 235 TWh in 2050, in line with growing demand. Important investment areas are:

  • More hydropower. statcraft And other energy companies are now announcing upgrades and increased capacity.
  • new sea breeze Capacity in the Norwegian power system will double.
  • More wind energy on Earth. New driving rules for wind power franchises make wind power more realistic.
  • Improving energy efficiency. On this date Explain how we can reduce our consumption by up to 30 TWh. That’s nearly 20 percent of Norway’s total energy production in a typical year.

The debate on nuclear energy should be postponed

Solar and wind energy have consistently surprised favorably, both in terms of price and speed. On the other hand, nuclear power plants are often delayed and often more expensive than planned.

Some believe that thorium is the energy source of the future. We would like to remind you that in the world today there is not a single commercial power plant based on thorium. The same applies to small modular reactors, which are called SMRs.

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There is a lot of talk about energy security in Europe – and for good reason. On the other hand, Norway has good energy security with an abundance of water and great potential for wind. In any case, nuclear energy will not be able to solve the short-term challenges we face today.

We must use our natural requirements to develop more renewable energy in Norway. This is the path to a secure energy future. Nuclear power should be a standout in the Norwegian debate.