CO2 emissions of nuclear power and renewable energies: a statistical analysis of European and global data
Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, Wendelsteinstraße 1, 17491, Greifswald, Germany
Accepted: 27 April 2021
Published online: 20 May 2021
In this paper, we investigate the CO2 emissions caused by nuclear and renewable power generation. The knowledge of the share of coal, gas and oil in electricity generation permits the exact calculation of the related CO2 emissions. In addition, there is a second approach especially within the economic sciences, which applies statistical techniques for the study of the energy-related emissions. The background for these studies is the provision of general political advice and the expectation that political, cultural, or infrastructural considerations guide nations in the preference and choice of specific technologies. In this paper, we are applying both approaches and come to the certain conclusion, that nuclear power is as effective as renewable power in order to reduce the CO2 emissions. Our results are in complete contradiction to a recent publication (Sovacool et al. in Nat Energy 5:928–935, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-020-00696-3). The authors of this paper conclude that nuclear power does not reduce the CO2 emissions, but renewable power efficiently does. In addition, they argue that these two technologies crowd out each other. The possible reason for their claims may result from a specific conditioning of the data. In contrast, our analysis clearly confirms the adequacy of both nuclear and renewable power generation.
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