Germany does “its fair share”

Cost Of Generating Electricity

Ross Gar­naut thinks Aus­tralia is drag­ging the chain and must cut its “fair share” of glob­al car­bon-emis­sions. Here’s a pret­ty clear indi­ca­tion of the pri­or­i­ty that the Ger­man gov­ern­ment places on cut­ting car­bon emissions…or not!

[Angela Merkel’s deci­sion to close]… nuclear plants will also exac­er­bate glob­al warm­ing because the share of elec­tric­i­ty gen­er­at­ed from fos­sil fuels will rise from 61 to 70 per cent, and because ener­gy-inten­sive busi­ness­es will move to coun­tries where elec­tric­i­ty is cheap­er and dirt­i­er.” Extract from The Aus­tralian

Ger­many is not alone in its deter­mi­na­tion to elim­i­nate emis­sions-free nuclear pro­duc­tion. Switzer­land has decid­ed to go down the same path. Italy has put a stop to fur­ther devel­op­ment.

Fol­ly? Cer­tain­ly, since nuclear is by far the low­est cost source of base-load pow­er if car­bon-emis­sions are priced into the costs of pow­er pro­duc­tion (see the esti­mate in the chart from the Roy­al Acad­e­my of Engi­neer­ing). Elec­tric­i­ty from the low­est cost “renew­able” source is more than twice the cost per KWh of nuclear and more expen­sive than pow­er from any of the car­bon-emit­ting fuels, even when these are taxed at a high rate. No won­der then, that Ger­man util­i­ties are plan­ning for a gas-fired future and for grow­ing, not falling, emis­sions.

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