A low-carbon energy future


Sir, – The countries that are making the most progress in relation to emissions and decarbonisation of their energy systems are our nuclear neighbours – Finland, Sweden and France. Germany has given up on emissions targets that are now evidently unattainable while they scale down nuclear and try to replace it with intermittent renewables. Germany’s electricity is the most expensive in Europe, after Denmark. This is the abysmal result of Angela Merkel’s shift from from nuclear power. It is so disastrous that Germany is continuing to open new coal mines and enlarging existing coal mines.

Contrast this with France, where Emmanuel Macron has recommitted his nation to nuclear power and plans to open a European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) in Flamanville within the next year. France can plan for further electrification of transport as it has abundant low-carbon electricity to power this transition.

Here in Ireland all we have is “greenwash”. Our wind turbines and solar installations have not led to a reduction in our emissions, and we are hopelessly deluded to think we can electrify our transport network when we can’t even cope with a few extra data centres. Electrification makes more sense if we had low-carbon electricity that nuclear power can provide. France’s electricity supply has a carbon intensity that is a small fraction compared to that of Germany or Ireland. – Yours, etc,