By Jarret Adams
Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christine Todd Whitman told the Washington Post yesterday that nuclear energy should be included in a “green” energy standard.
Congress recently weighed the possibility of enacting a renewable energy standard which would require utilities to use a certain percentage of renewables, such as wind, solar and biomass.
Whitman told WaPo that “she’d like to see it broadened to a ‘green’ standard that includes nuclear power. She argued that renewable sources alone won’t be able to meet the country’s growing energy needs.”
While that is true today, renewables are still an important part of the equation. AREVA produces world-class solutions for offshore wind, concentrated solar power, and woody biomass plants through its ADAGE partnership with Duke Energy.
At the same time, nuclear energy remains responsible for 70% of America’s CO2-free electricity. Hence, building new nuclear power plants can play a huge role in preventing greenhouse gas emissions. For example, each new U.S. EPR plant would prevent 10 million tons of CO2 emissions per year compared to a coal plant with similar output.
In September, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) proposed a clean energy standard that would include renewables, nuclear energy and coal with carbon sequestration (CCS). While lawmakers have adjourned for the election period, it appears that clean energy will be on the menu when the new Congress convenes in January.