Post-Fukushima European Energy Policies: The Rationale for a Nuclear-Phase out and the Transition to Renewable Energy [Events]
Date: Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Time: 5.30 p.m. – 7.00 p.m.
Venue: 11 Slim Barracks Rise, NTU@one-north campus, Level 3, Auditorium 302, Singapore 138664
Speaker: Prof. Rolf Wuestenhagen, Good Energies Professor for Management or Renewable Energies, Director of the Institute for Economy and the Environment University of St. Gallen (Switzerland)
Synopsis: After the March 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, a number of European countries have revised their nuclear policies. The German government has revised a previous decision to extend the lifetime of existing nuclear power plants, and then agreed with an overwhelming majority of the federal parliament on a 10-year phase-out plan by 2022.
Similarly, the Swiss government has shelved plans for up to three new nuclear power plants and took a decision to phase out nuclear at the end of the lifetime of the existing reactors (between 2020 and 2035). In Italy, the government’s plans to build four new reactors were rejected in a referendum by 94 % of the population.
In all three countries, public acceptance of nuclear power had sharply dropped in the wake of the Japanese nuclear crisis. However, it was the combination of this short-term reaction with longer-term trends in the energy industry that facilitated substantial shifts in recent European energy policies, notably the countervailing cost trends in nuclear versus renewable energy technologies and an increasing awareness of the competitive opportunities in growing cleantech industries.
The presentation will provide an account of Post-Fukushima policy changes in key European countries and explore the current and future opportunities to replace nuclear power by a combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Europe.