We all know Portugal has been putting a major effort towards clean energy, not only by building dams on the rivers as well and developing the wind energy mills everywhere. We even have some other experiments waiting for prime time, aiming at wave energy (thanks to the work of the Wave Energy Centre which are Client’s of WayNext).
This strategy seems like it is paying off because we are, at least for now, out of nuclear energy and we already have 45% of our electric power being supplied by renewable sources (a huge rise from only 17% five year ago) – you can read it here.
I must say I have mixed feelings about nuclear because since we have a spanish reactor less than 200km away from the border, it seems like we are exposed to all the hazards but none of the profits of using this kind of energy.
Now recently with the earthquake and tsunami the argument of going nuclear or not is again under the spotlight and today I came across this very interesting article from Greenpeace, from which I would like to highlight the following:
“Nuclear power is used only to generate electricity. It doesn’t run our cars, our planes, our trucks or our container ships. Electricity itself only accounts for around one third of greenhouse gases created by mankind. Nuclear energy today produces less than 6% of global energy consumption.”
You can read the full article here and you will go through its conclusion which is
“(…) if nuclear power isn’t necessary to solving the climate crisis, we’re no longer forced to weigh the awful consequences of climate change against the awful consequences of Chernobyl and Fukushima. In fact, we’re paying an exorbitant human, environmental, and financial price, and taking even bigger risks, for zero benefit in the fight against climate change.”
So perhaps we really should stick to renewable and clean energy sources while working to bring down the existing nuclear plants because of all the connected hazards.
On a final note, we should also remember when going to the pump to fuel our cars that the high prices we are currently paying (1 liter of diesel at ~1.45€), besides the major damage they are inflicting on our wallets (I have a big commute everyday that I can’t easily change into other kind of transportation…) could on the other hand be the missing incentive to bring us affordable, mainstream and trustworthy electric vehicles.