(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have concluded that next-generation nuclear power plants could be critical to meeting the zero-emissions goal by mid-century and averting the worst effects of the climate crisis.
In regions where the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine, solar and wind farms will not work properly.
Solar and wind energy is the most obvious way to achieve zero emissions. However, these resources may not be enough without large investments or in places where there is little sun or wind.
In a new study published in the journal Nature , scientists assessed wind and solar resources in 42 countries and looked at the cheapest way to eliminate carbon emissions.
They then used the data to draw conclusions about the ability of nuclear power to replace natural gas as a backup energy source.
The scientists concluded that at current prices, nuclear energy is the most cost-effective solution to the problem of carbon dioxide emissions in the electricity supply system.
At the same time, the authors note that nuclear energy may not be needed if solutions for energy storage are found.
“We found that, at today’s prices, nuclear power is the cheapest way to almost universally eliminate all carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity supply.
However, if energy storage technologies become very cheap, then wind and solar energy could potentially become the least expensive route to a zero-emission electricity system, ” the scientists write.
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