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During the last months and given the unprecedented increase of energy prices and the growing pressure to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the European Commission decided to ensure complementary diversification of EU-member states’ energy sector. On the 31st of December 2021, the European Commission presented to the Member States Expert Group on Sustainable Finance and the Sustainable Finance Platform a draft text of a Taxonomy Complementary Delegated Act (CDA), which has been leaked and published to European media. The proposed CDA includes nuclear in the list of green technologies under wraps: demonstration units for advanced nuclear technologies; construction of new nuclear power plants using best available technologies; and electricity generation from existing nuclear installations.
The EC’s decision triggered some climate-minded European governments, awaking old divisions among EU member states and set a new debate on whether nuclear can be used as a green transitional source, contributing to mitigate climate change.
How important is the stability of the nuclear energy production in the energy sector in such high intermittent renewable energy environment? Could the current energy prices prompt a rethink over the use of nuclear energy? Could it be seen as a relatively clean transition fuel that will help EU to decarbonize?
Prof. Samuel Furfari (aka Samuele) is a Chemical Engineer from the Free University of Brussels. In 1982 he received his Ph.D. from the same university with a thesis in the field of energy. Between 1982 and 2018, he was a senior official at the Energy Directorate General of the European Commission where he has devoted an entire career to energy technology and policy in practically all fields of energy (strategy, outlooks, technologies, environment, climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency) until its end position as adviser to the director general. Since 2003 he is a professor of energy geopolitics and energy politics at the Free University of Brussels. He also lectures at various universities. He is the author of many articles and of 18 books on energy and sustainable development; the last is ‘Energy and Geopolitics, Volume 1: Fundamentals’ (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2021). Since 2019 he is President of the European Society of Engineers and Industrialists. He is Knight of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
Prof. Spiros Papaefthimiou received his bachelor diploma in Physics (1995), MSc in Environmental Sciences (1997) and PhD specializing in smart energy saving devices for buildings (2001), all from Department of Physics at the University of Patras. He is currently Professor in Energy Management Systems and Energy Efficiency Technologies, in the School of Production Engineering and Management at the Technical University of Crete in Greece. He is specialized in energy efficiency issues, energy saving applications and renewables’ technologies. His research interests include experimental preparation and characterization of energy saving devices, technology of “smart” materials for energy applications, study of advanced solar collectors, study of photovoltaics, energy characterization of building structural elements, environmental analysis of systems, maritime emissions modeling, Life Cycle Assessment & Eco-Efficiency analysis. He has published more than 40 papers in international journals and has presented papers to numerous international energy conferences and acted as referee for international journals in the area of Renewables and Energy efficiency applications. He is the President of the Hellenic Association for Energy Economics and member in various professional and academic associations.
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