To plan an effective future energy production, solar rather than nuclear energy should be the UK government’s priority. This is according to scientists writing this week in the journal Nature Materials.
Photovoltaics, the direct conversion of sunlight to electricity, could match and exceed the nuclear industry’s current output before any new reactor could begin operating. Researchers from Imperial College London argued this in their Commentary article while challenging advocates of the nuclear option.
Currently, UK generates 12 gigawatts of electricity from nuclear power stations, around one sixth of the country’s total electricity output. As compared to Germany, this is the same amount of electricity the country is predicted generate through photovoltaics, and that too by 2012, if it continues to expand its solar energy program at its present rate.