Team of Rivals

Why are many renewable energy promoters more anti-nuclear than anti-fossil fuels when in reality nuclear is one of the lowest CO2 emitting technologies we have?

Good question.

The reason is that renewables need a pairing fossil fueled power plant since on an annual basis, they produce only 10 to 20% (solar PV) or around 25% (wind) on average of their plate capacity.

The marriage made in heaven is that of renewables with pairing natural gas power plants. The natural gas plants can be easily modulated and thus are perfect for compensating for the fluctuating / unreliable output of renewables.

If a country commits to renewables what they are actually doing is locking in fossil fuel generating capacity for the long haul. Renewables do not reduce the need for fossil fuel installed capacity as at any particular moment their output will be zero.

Here a renewable promoter clearly states that wind and solar plants are really natural gas plants:


And what about nuclear?

Nuclear can stand on its own. It needs no pairing fossil fuel power plant and pairing renewables with nuclear wouldn't make any sense whatsoever (actually, CO2 emissions would rise if renewables were paired with nuclear power plants). Once you have the nuclear power plant, the most cost effective way to run it is 24/7/365. Sure, every so many months part of the nuclear fuel needs to be replaced, but this is scheduled for the most convenient times of the year. 

So, that is the reason renewable promoters hate nuclear. Once you consider the system nuclear is the truly low CO2 way of generating electricity and nuclear does not need renewables at all. On the other hand renewables not only need fossil fuels, they are actually "gas plants."

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