The Executive director of the International Energy Association, Fatih Birol, has spoken out on the need for a diverse solution to the decarbonisation challenge, including nuclear. With the climate and energy crises worsening, the solutions are growing more urgent. At the annual Singapore International Energy Week, Birol argued;
“we don’t have the luxury to pick just one technology”
At an event dominated by renewables, he championed the importance of also pursuing energy efficiency and nuclear power, saying:
“for me, the number one is improving energy efficiency. All countries have different resources, but they can all take action on energy efficiency. And in some countries nuclear power, which can generate without creating emission problems, will be part of the solution”.
The future of nuclear was questioned at the event, with public opinion cited as an issue that could prevent progress. However as Birol continued, 2015 had been a kind of “golden year” for nuclear with 10 new reactors, the highest number in almost three decades. Weinberg has reported that progress in China and India as well as new initiatives for nuclear in Canada, the US and the UK is keeping the industry moving. It is vital that new technologies continue to be pursued. As Birol said,
“we have to accelerate innovation because the current technologies will not be enough.”
A diverse, holistic and innovative approach to energy and decarbonisation, based on an “all of the above” strategy, is very much needed. This will need to include renewables, but as Birol said, efficiency and nuclear too, as well as other technologies like carbon capture and storage and interconnection. It is through diversity that we are most likely to achieve energy security and climate protection.