Energy - SEPTEMBER 17, 2021

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Nuclear power’s role on the path to net zero

by Drew Campbell

As prelude to the COP26 U.N. Climate Change Conference beginning Oct. 31 in Glasgow, mother nature and market machinations are complicating what already is a complex discussion — the recent lack of wind in the North Sea, increasing natural gas prices and the ramp-up of coal-fired power plants to meet demand for price-conscious consumers provide additional examples of the complicated path to creating a net-zero world.

One of the key issues of moving to some of the emissions-friendly generation sources has always been their intermittency — what happens when the sun goes down or if the wind doesn’t blow, or drought limits the capacity of hydroelectrical dams, or wildfires shut down transmissions systems? This new normal is proving the need for maintaining a balanced energy mix.

And what happens if that happens all at once, and then the price of generation fuels, such as natural, spike? This has officials back at the drawing board in anticipation of similar scenarios

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