Nuclear power has proven to be a fast-changing and dynamic industry, not just for the U.S., but across the globe. China’s rapid expansion into nuclear power may have been driven by any number of factors, from a rising demand for clean energy to increased development and investment in the technologies set to revolutionize an industry, but the direction and learnings of that expansion are clear. Nuclear is the future of clean energy, despite a market glut of fossil fuels. Here are a few things we can learn from this opportunity.
Increased Global Investment
The last several years saw a variety of milestones in terms of renewable and clean energy. The construction and development of wind turbine and solar panel installations were off the charts in response to a rebounding economy and utility companies investing in renewables. An improving regulatory and investment climate provided the support and security many companies needed to take the plunge into a new and potentially high-risk market. Both wind and solar industries saw significant jumps in their stock prices with foreign governments investing in subsidies and kickbacks that make investing in renewables like nuclear power that much less of a risk.
A Changing Global Market
Even in the early months of 2016, we have seen a sharp uptick in solar and wind power installations, not just in the U.S. but in other large global economies such as China and developing countries in Africa and Latin America as well. This is very much a global trend. New orders for wind power installations are coming in from North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Within the U.S., many of the leading customers were from southern states such as Texas which happens to be the biggest producer of wind-generated electricity in the U.S. In December alone, wind energy reached the 70-gigawatt milestone, with enough power created to keep the lights on in 19 million homes.
Improved technology and improved prices are heralded as a key factor in this nuclear energy boom. While fossil fuel prices have dropped, so too have prices for modular facilities making it easier and quicker to invest in nuclear abroad. Nuclear energy has the benefit of cleaner more powerful energy generation that makes financing better technology, cleaner energy, and driving public and political interest in seeing the market succeed. The coal-fired communities have been provided with a cleaner alternative that many are very A growing renewable energy market means that the country is investing in the tools it needs for a cleaner and more secure energy future, with nuclear leading the charge. These technological advances have made it even easier for developing and developed countries to make the most of the modern technologies.
Considering that nuclear energy has an extremely low production rate of greenhouse gas emissions compared with levels created from the development and operation of hydroelectric and wind power facilities. Compared to coal and even natural gas, the use of nuclear power substantially reduces the release of greenhouse gas emissions, making nuclear power a viable choice to supplement renewable energy sources. That means wonderful things for a country like China, and their investment will pave the way for more growth in this industry for years to come.
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