How to stop climate change – for real?

Climate change is a fact, but not all the solutions for it have been proven. Many politicians are campaigning with enthusiasm for their favorite strategy, often with a hand smoothly reaching for the taxpayer’s wallet.

Nuclear power and renewable energy including wind, solar and biomass are commonly proposed as a cure for climate change. The most reliable estimates tell us that wind, solar and nuclear should release the least CO2, as seen in this picture:

emissions

Energy solutions are not a simple matter though, and their implementation in practice doesn’t always work as one has calculated in advance. There can be surprises in the price, reliable availability and scalability of an energy source in production. These affect whether the predicted reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are achieved.

What evidence do we have for what actually works in practice?

Germany and France are neighboring countries with very different energy policies. France built up nuclear power plants to generate the majority of its electricity between 1980-1988. Germany, on the other hand, has invested heavily in renewable energy sources since 2001 in the name of Energiewende. How have their emissions changed?

france germany

The graph shows total greenhouse gas emissions from energy production in France and Germany since 1960 (level set at 100 for 1960). Choosing nuclear power reduced French emissions massively by 60% in only eight years. Meanwhile, ten years of heavy investment in renewable energy in Germany has produced no change in the level of emissions.

Nuclear power clearly greatly reduces emissions. A strategy based on renewable energy pollutes as much as before.

One of the factors causing renewable energy strategy to not produce a benefit in Germany has been the need to increase burning of coal due to downscaling of nuclear power. Turning off nuclear power is part of the renewable energy package advocated by most politicians.

And what’s the price of energy in these countries? The consumer price of electricity in Germany is about 24 eurocents per kWh, one of the highest in Europe. It’s double the price in France. In addition to the direct costs, renewable energy receives vast amount of support from German taxpayers.

We have proof that nuclear power causes a radical decrease in emissions and produces cheap electricity. Meanwhile, renewable energy in Europe has not been able to reduce emissions in practice, but has resulted in very expensive electricity.

The problems from climate change are not limited to heavy storms. It easily causes major problems in agriculture, leading to famine, refugees and war.

Our climate is not something to fool around with. We need to solve the problem for real before it gets worse.

You choose what happens by voting. Don’t make the wrong choice.