This month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report, about the impacts the planet faces if we don’t make major cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases. The report made sober reading, with scientists, businesses, governments and individuals pledging their commitment to net zero.
One of the key areas governments will discuss when they come together at COP26 in November is energy generation and the need to invest in low-carbon energy projects.
Nuclear power is already a major provider of low carbon electricity nationally and worldwide. In Essex, the proposed Bradwell B nuclear power station will generate enough low carbon electricity for 4 million homes, rain or shine, day or night. The project will make a vital contribution to meeting the UK’s future need for low carbon, secure and affordable energy and achieving the UK’s legally binding target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) recently published a technology brief on nuclear power, which finds that the world's climate objectives “will not be met if nuclear technologies are excluded."
The report states that as nuclear power plants produce both low-carbon electricity and heat, they also offer opportunities to decarbonise energy intensive industries. For example, there is potential to scale up low or zero-carbon steel, hydrogen and chemical production to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors.
In response to the UN report, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association said: “This report is a timely reminder that nuclear is absolutely vital if we are to hit net zero as a planet. Nuclear delivers reliable, clean power, new opportunities for industrial decarbonisation and good, well-paying jobs for a green economy. The retirements of existing stations right across the world, including in the UK, mean we need to act today, or we will lose jobs and see higher emissions. We applaud the UNECE for calling on policymakers to ensure there is a level playing field for all low-carbon technologies and to invest today. The price we’ll pay for not doing so is far too high.”
Find out more about the benefits of Bradwell B via the website.