We have just published a new in-depth feature article “Nuclear Power in India” by Avilash Roul, who is based in New Delhi. We welcome readers of that story who wish to comment here. While editing this story we found interesting data from the World Nuclear Association. As is nearly always the case, we also got very good information from Wikipedia’s entry on nuclear power.
What was surprising to learn is the relatively small role nuclear power plays in the sum energy consumption in the world. As a share of electrical generation, nuclear power is significant, generating about 16% of the world’s electricity. But as a share of all energy from all sources worldwide, nuclear power is only good for about 2%.
Another surprising detail we learned is that in Germany, where there is a strong anti-nuclear movement, nearly 30% of their electrical energy comes from nuclear power. At over 20 gigawatts, Germany has the fourth largest nuclear power output in the world, behind the U.S., France, and Japan. In the U.S., only 20% of their electricity comes from nuclear power.
Any look at world energy generation today has to conclude we remain hooked on coal and oil. Can nuclear power, hydroelectric power, and other renewables eventually replace coal and oil? Will nuclear fusion ever be a reality? Should nuclear power, which is clean energy as long as everything operates normally, help us with our energy needs while we develop other even cleaner, more renewable sources of energy?