Renewable energy as a substitute for nuclear power

  • DATE / TIME:
    2011•04•18    14:30 - 15:30

    Anindya Bhattacharya, Energy Economist, IGES, will speak about the strategic policy decision that faces Japan: whether to reduce the nation’s dependence on nuclear energy by increasing the supply of renewable energy.

    [Please note that there has been a change in the lecture topic] 

    UNU-IAS Seminar Series:

    Renewable energy as substitute to nuclear energy supply: A strategic policy decision for Japan

    A lecture by Anindya Bhattacharya, Energy Economist, Economy and Environment Group , Institute for Global Environmental Strategies ( IGES )

    The conventional pricing mechanism used for electricity systematically hides huge investment and other safety risks which are embedded in the overall cost of production. Especially in the case of nuclear energy, safety risks are often ignored from the overall cost estimation which makes it cost competitive. Although consumers are often unaware of these risks, they present a large financial burden on the economy. Renewable energy investment can compensate for the risks associated with the total input costs; such costs being external volatilities of fossil fuel prices, capital costs, operating and maintenance costs, carbon costs and even safety precaution costs which can run into trillions of dollars.

    Japan could in theory obtain up to 9% of its electricity supply from green sources, as compared to the present 1.37%, based on the utilization of a portfolio risk-analysis evaluation. Explicit comparison of the monetary values of the investment risks of conventional and renewable energy sources shows that renewable energies have high market competitiveness. Based on the findings of our research, we recommend that, as a business objective, investors would benefit by focusing on electricity supply portfolio risk minimization instead of cost. This could also inherently increase the supply of renewable energy in the market and can obviously reduce the dependence on nuclear energy which proved to be unsafe and extremely damaging in the event of large scale natural disaster.

    Anindya Bhattacharya is an Energy Economist at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies in Japan. He has around 10 years of experience in the field of international energy policy and economics. His research interests are in the field of regulatory polices of power sector in Asia, international energy trading, renewable energy and climate change. He is currently leading the research work on Indian energy policy in the context of Indian National Climate Change Action Plans in IGES. He has a bachelor’s degree in Physics and an MBA in Public System Management from University of Calcutta, India and an MS degree in Applied Economics from West Virginia University, USA.

    To register, please visit the UNU-IAS website.