|Wind turbines standing. © image: Istockphoto.com/NiseriN|
Japan wants to go back to nuclear power - What other ways of energy there. Despite the disaster in Fukushima Japan is the first time since August in two years on nuclear power. Does it have to be that way? Theoretically not, because there are enough mature alternatives are available. They would make nuclear power unnecessary in the future.
After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011 there was again a U-turn on nuclear policy: So equal to eight reactors are in Germany were shut down, the last nuclear power plant is scheduled to the end of 2022 from the network. The Italians, who renounce since meltdown in Chernobyl in 1986 on nuclear power have, in 2011, in view of Fukushima decided against a re-entry. Switzerland also announced in 2011 to a nuclear exit. Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, the Philippines and Denmark currently refrain among others entirely on nuclear energy. It works but without nuclear power.
But the fact is: To be able to do without nuclear power, must be increasingly invested in renewable energy. These include wind power, hydropower, bioenergy, geothermal, ocean energy and solar energy. Especially Japan has a good starting position in relation to the sun, wind and water, and could change, according to experts on renewable energy for power generation without any major problems. In the US, should make 2030 at least 28 percent of US capacity, according to a new climate program renewables.
Worldwide the trend is according to a report of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP towards renewables. Especially emerging and developing countries to invest in clean energy. 2014 249 billion euros flowed into solar energy, wind power and biogas plants worldwide - or about 17 percent more than last year. These energies have thus future - even if the nuclear lobby and economic interests still play a major role.
Wind power in Europe's number one
In Austria, the wind power is on the rise. Since February 2015 known: With the wind power expansion of 411 MW wind power capacity Austria reached the sixth place in the EU, as the community of interests wind power Austria ("IG Windkraft") announced in a press release. Overall, in 2014 nearly 11,800 MW of wind power capacity were constructed and invested around 16 billion euros in the expansion of wind power. For the first time, wind power has overtaken nuclear energy to power erected in Europe. However, Austria is still dependent on nuclear power from abroad. According to "IG Windkraft" still circulating 12 percent of nuclear energy in domestic electricity networks. Often the nuclear power hidden under the guise of hydropower. Because it is possible to clean hydropower certificates to buy, to stick to dirty nuclear power and thus to wash the green electricity, so "IG wind power". If it goes to the Austrian Green Electricity Act should be nuclear-free balance sheet in 2015 Austria. This target has been missed. Nevertheless, the outlook is positive, as more and more Austrians rely on wind energy. In Lower Austria alone, 87 percent of residents in favor to build more wind turbines to generate electricity, as IG Windkraft reported.
Helps conserve power
What could also help to give up nuclear energy or nuclear power altogether? Saving electricity. So already enormous number of kilowatt hours of electricity could for example be saved by replacing old refrigerators or energy-efficient buildings and offices. A well-known study of the German Corporate Energy Efficiency Initiative (Deneff) from 2011 shows how great the theoretically available savings potential: The contained therein ten-point program proposes energy efficiency measures that could save Germany by 2020 annually 68.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. As a result, Germany will spare 19.3 billion euros per year. This in turn enables all other nuclear power stations to replace carbon-neutral, even if in the next few years the demand for electricity would rise, according to the study.
Among the proposed austerity measures include, among others:
-The dissemination of energy efficient cross-section technologies (technologies for increasing energy efficiency) in industry, commerce, trade and services and the use of sensor-controlled office lighting systems and the exchange of electric storage heaters
-There is continuous monitoring with respect to savings and introduced an ambitious voluntary commitment by the industry to specific industry-related savings are encouraged.
-The establishment of an Energy Efficiency Fund: It is intended to provide incentives for companies and groups and provide information on measures to save energy.
-The waste heat from power plants and factories to be better utilized and buildings should be rehabilitated.
-The introduction of energy saving obligations for the supplier (white certificates): Particularly energy-efficient companies can obtain certificates and then resell them to the less efficient companies.
The potential to save energy or to switch to renewable energy is clearly present. An implementation would be realistic. Only the implementation is lagging behind still.