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Silver buckshot or bullet: is a future 'energy mix' necessary?


Brook, BW and Blees, T and Wigley, TML and Hong, S, Silver buckshot or bullet: is a future 'energy mix' necessary?, Sustainability, 10, (2) Article 302. ISSN 1937-0695 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2018 by the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.3390/su10020302


To displace fossil fuels and achieve the global greenhouse-gas emissions reductions required to meet the Paris Agreement on climate change, the prevalent argument is that a mix of different low-carbon energy sources will need to be deployed. Here we seek to challenge that viewpoint. We argue that a completely decarbonized, energy-rich and sustainable future could be achieved with a dominant deployment of next-generation nuclear fission and associated technologies for synthesizing liquid fuels and recycling waste. By contrast, non-dispatchable energy sources like wind and solar energy are arguably superfluous, other than for niche applications, and run the risk of diverting resources away from viable and holistic solutions. For instance, the pairing of variable renewables with natural-gas backup fails to address many of the entrenched problems we seek to solve. Our conclusion is that, given the urgent time frame and massive extent of the energy-replacement challenge, half-measures that distract from or stymie effective policy and infrastructure investment should be avoided.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:energy mix, energy policy, nuclear energy, renewable energy, fossil fuels, nuclear fission, natural gas, climate change
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Electrical engineering
Research Field:Electrical energy generation (incl. renewables, excl. photovoltaics)
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Energy transformation
Objective Field:Nuclear energy
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
UTAS Author:Hong, S (Dr Sanghyun Hong)
ID Code:123825
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2018-01-30
Last Modified:2019-03-28
Downloads:60 View Download Statistics

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