Why pay more when you can pollute less?
Needed: a contract for “100% nuclear electricity”!
Some electricity providers offer contracts for power guaranteed to be of “100% renewable” origin. But some customers are now asking for a 100% nuclear offer – even more carbon-free than 100% renewables.
(From Jean-Luc Salanave’s column)
Who has never been offered a “100% renewable” electricity contract? Of course, no one is really fooled. We know that sorting electrons is an illusion. Nuclear electrons, which are the great majority, will pass through our meter just the same. But “green” electrons are so fashionable!
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Who are these consumers who are unafraid of nuclear power? Some admit to being finally cured of the “nuclear fear virus” that made the rounds after Chernobyl and Fukushima. They share three optimistic motivations, which can be summed up in the words: Why spend more when you can pollute less?
Motivation N° 1: Nuclear electricity is good for the consumer’s wallet.
For 40 years French electricity has been among the cheapest in Europe. And that doesn’t stop electro-nuclear power from bringing billions in dividends to the State and the taxpayer, nor from having made France the world’s leading exporter of low-carbon electricity.
It has become clear that the solar and wind industries, unlike nuclear, would not survive without the 7 billion euros in annual subsidies financed by our fuel taxes.
Nuclear power, by contrast, has been entirely financed by industrial loans and equity, and has repaid public research with juicy royalties. Taxpayers did not have to pay out. Our first ecological transition (1977 to 2007) was made without any protest from “yellow vests.”
The costs were passed on to consumers only in the form of prices. And although our law required the addition of provisions for future expenses (decommissioning and waste management), our electricity prices have remained 80 percent below German ones for 40 years.
Then another “virus” appeared, that of photovoltaic solar energy, with the first “outbreaks of fever” in 2009 with the feed-in tariffs: 630 euros per MWh (twenty times more expensive than the 30 euros per MWh from Fessenheim!), guaranteed until 2029, which we are still paying for and which partly accounts for the 121 billion “green” debt denounced by the Court of Auditors.
Since their premature introduction ten years ago, intermittent renewables have caused our electricity bills to skyrocket by nearly 50%, according to INSEE; and it will be even more, the day when we will have to store solar electricity in very expensive lithium batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.
Motivation N° 2: Nuclear electricity has the lowest impact on the climate.
According to the IPCC, nuclear electricity emits 12 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour globally on average. It’s 6 gCO2/kWh in Sweden thanks to its nuclear power. And only 4 gCO2/kWh in France, because the cycle is “made in France” and uses low-carbon electricity to enrich uranium, treat waste, recycle fuels and build reactors.
In other words, nuclear power is the best climate option for France because it emits 3 times less CO2 than hydro or wind power, 14 times less than photovoltaic imported from China, and more than 100 times less than gas or coal-fired power plants!
Motivation No. 3: Confidence in a solution for the future that has worked well for 40 years.
Demanding electricity of 100% nuclear origin means showing confidence in a sector whose success in winning the global climate battle is beyond doubt. In France, we have 2000 reactor-years of cumulative experience, with no accidents and virtually no CO2 emissions over the past 40 years.
Above all, it means having confidence in the 220,000 men and women who make this industry a technical and environmental success. They manage our waste for us in an exemplary manner, and they have found sustainable solutions to every difficulty.
Its exceptional performance makes young nuclear power an energy of the future. Not only does today’s nuclear power already meet the challenges to come, but research is putting the finishing touches on Generation IV reactors, champions of a quasi-renewable circular economy, as they are extending the sustainability of natural uranium resources to several millennia.
Make no mistake, France is no longer the world leader in nuclear energy, nor the only country to count on this energy to win the climate battle. China is ahead of us, as for the past 10 years it has been starting up a new nuclear reactor every two months.
And in Sweden, Kärnfull Energi is already offering its “100% nuclear smart electricity for the climate”.
Kärnfull Energi, intelligent 100% nuclear electricity for the climate
The most rational electricity contract in the country, with 100% nuclear power.
Minimizes the emission level of your home – 6 g. of carbon dioxide per kWh.
With us, everyone pays the same low price.
Join the signatories of the petition.
Ask your electricity supplier for power of guaranteed nuclear origin.
In 2020, no less than 73 competitors of EDF have asked the Energy Regulatory Commission for cost-price access to our national nuclear electricity. Let’s assert our rights and interests as eco-responsible consumers!
A consultation in the form of a national petition has already gathered the first 2,000 signatures: “My climate action: I demand a contract for electricity of 100% guaranteed nuclear origin”.