INSC Position Statement on Sustainability in the Energy Sector
The concept of sustainability (in energy), rightly at the forefront of people’s concerns, is in many instances not properly defined, and therefore misused. In some people’s minds, sustainability is limited to environment protection (“green”). This is by far too short seeing.
Energy policy is to be built on three pillars: environment protection (indeed), but also economics and affordability, and security and reliability of energy supply. Each pillar is of importance to contribute to societal sustainability, a larger definition, much more in line with the original concept of Brundtland as “a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Depending on individual priorities, one will give more weight to one pillar over the others, but an analysis based on facts and science shows that a balance must be struck between the three. There is no silver bullet, a perfect energy source matching the three pillars all together.
Each individual energy source must be analysed with pro and cons versus the three pillars. But even more, it is the whole energy system, integrating the contribution of the different sources, which must be considered.
The INSC considers that nuclear energy, as a fully decarbonised, affordable, secure and reliable energy source, has to play a major role in a sustainable energy system.
- Deffrennes, M. (2022). Role of nuclear fission energy from past to future: Critical issues: Energy policy and market design, cost control, innovation and flexibility. In Fundamental Issues Critical to the Success of Nuclear Projects (pp. 3-22). Woodhead Publishing.
- Boucau, J. (2021). Fundamental Issues Critical to the Success of Nuclear Projects. Elsevier Science & Technology.