Here’s why there is no nuclear option for Australia to reach net zero

(The Guardian, 21 Mar 2024) Any call to go directly from coal to nuclear is effectively a call to delay decarbonisation of our electricity system by 20 years.

The battle lines have been drawn over Australia’s energy future.

With the nation signed up to net zero emissions by 2050, the Albanese Labor government is committed to renewables. The Coalition wants nuclear.

The opposition leader, Peter Dutton, has a vision for meeting Australia’s energy needs that would include large-scale nuclear power plants and small modular reactors, a technology that is not yet proven, but which the shadow minister for energy, Ted O’Brien, says could be “up and running within a 10-year period.”

While nuclear power might experience a resurgence globally and eventually have a role in Australia, right now, no matter how much intent there might be to activate a nuclear power industry, it is difficult to envision before 2040.

The reality is there is no substitute for solar and wind power this decade and next, supported by batteries, transmission lines and peaking gas generation.

External link

The Guardian, 21 Mar 2024: Here’s why there is no nuclear option for Australia to reach net zero