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NO NEED FOR NUCLEAR IN WORLD'S SUN BELT

Letter published in SciDevNet, 4 August 2006

Gerry Wolff, coordinator, Desertec-UK, United Kingdom (www.trec-uk.org.uk)

The editorial contained some highly misleading and inaccurate statements about sources of power. In particular, it said that renewable energy sources are unlikely to meet the energy demands of the world's rapidly growing urban population, and that technical, environmental and safety factors have pushed the risk-benefit balance in favour of nuclear power.

However, a June 2006 report commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety suggests otherwise. It says Europe could cut carbon emissions from electricity generation by 70 per cent and phase out nuclear power by 2050 using 'concentrating solar power' (CSP) generated in the Middle East and North Africa.

CSP involves using mirrors to concentrate sunlight to create heat, which is used to convert water to steam that generates electricity in the conventional way. The report can be downloaded from www.dlr.de/tt/trans-csp.

It should be read in conjunction with the earlier report that shows how CSP, with other forms of renewable energy, can meet all current and future electricity needs in the Middle East and North Africa.

The same will be true for other countries in the world's sun belt, many of which are relatively poor.

These two reports are thorough and highly professional. They deserve close attention by all those concerned with energy supplies in all parts of the world. The concepts and policies described in the reports should be carefully considered at the highest levels.


Last updated: 2009-08-20 (ISO 8601)