Our planet’s hospitality for us all depends on how we shall be adapting our unsustainable use of scarce resources of any kind while minimising the environmental impact also for all.
We’re all facing significant challenges with respect to our future given the unprecedented need to reshape how we see our future development and how we remain friendly to our host, this planet. Virtually all of these challenges can be resolved though virtually all depend also on the availability of sustainable energy as part of more integrated energy systems. While the demand for primary energy may be flattened or even decreased over time, the electrification and the use of higher value energy carriers as hydrogen are projected to soar during the coming decades. A sustainable generation of heat and electricity is therefore critical.
Nuclear energy can provide both, while essentially having been focused on the generation of electricity during the past decades. The reconsideration of more market-compatible nuclear reactors, for instance small modular reactors (SMRs), providing electricity though also serving heat demand is hereby of highest importance. The recent geo-political developments have once more shown that a robust and competitive energy generation is crucial as part of a reliable and strategic infrastructure policy beneficial to the overall socio-economic well-being of countries. It also emphasises the importance of more integrated energy systems thinking with optimisation of the whole energy balance and therefore also changing the energy market mechanisms driving the transition towards such more sustainable energy systems.
This article is part of the NNWI Forum 2022 series.