Sunday, April 20, 2014
Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space
3

后核时代变革

柏林——切尔诺贝利事故25年后,3月发生的福岛灾难为全世界敲响了警钟,提醒人们核能绝不是洁净、安全、价廉物美的能源选择。不幸的是,需要再次爆发核灾难才能引发核能应用领域的全新讨论。

德国6月做出的到2022年逐步淘汰核能应用的决策刺激了周边支持核能应用的邻国。其他欧洲国家还没有表态他们是否会仿效德国的决策;核能支持者无法想象一个没有核能的世界。意大利最近一次公投显示大部分民众反对核能应用,对这项高风险技术越来越强的反对力量将决定欧洲在经济和生态方面的未来。

切尔诺贝利事故发生后,德国逐步淘汰核能的想法就已经开始酝酿。过去几十年间,反核人士连同他们在绿党中的政治代表一道,成功地动员了数十万抗议者。2000年,越来越强的政治压力最终导致德国政府和能源企业达成共识,同意将核电厂的寿命限制在32年之内。

安格拉·默克尔总理的政府曾于2010年退出这项协议,但福岛事故迫使当局重新思考——并永久叫停核能应用政策。德国的能源政策如今再次取决于可再生能源未来的部署情况。比方说社会民主绿党政府2000年推出的《可再生能源法》使得德国替代能源领域的发展超出了所有人的预期,现在已经在德国用电总量中占据了20%的份额。

虽然德国正朝着正确的方向发展,但法国和捷克等邻国核电站安全风险依然存在。欧洲及全球能源政策必须发生整体性的变化。目前欧洲对核电站进行的压力测试仅仅是个开始,但只要测试仍自愿参与并处在经营者的控制之下,这种测试就不过是一种政治摆设。比方说,没有任何计划要模拟坠机或恐怖袭击发生的状况,对欧盟目前运营的143座核电厂的堆芯安全进行检测。

利用可再生能源在经济方面也有着充分的理由。作为一种过时的技术,核电需要数十亿欧元的补贴,迄今为止,德国纳税人已经为此付出了1960万欧元的巨资。一项德国政府研究预测在2010到2050年间,德国用非核可再生能源取代核能或煤、天然气和石油等进口化石燃料可以节省7000多亿欧元的投资。

扩大使用可再生能源还极有可能拉动经济增长。过去10年间,可再生能源领域创造了370,000个新增就业岗位,2006-2008年可再生能源技术出口总值约为300亿欧元,同样出现了快速的增长。

与此同时,将化石燃料、尤其是煤炭视为一种有利可图的可持续能源无疑是一种目光短浅的看法。首先,越来越多地依赖化石燃料与1997年《京都议定书》碳减排目标背道而驰,此外也违反了欧盟自身的气候变化目标。此外,化石燃料成本随油价涨跌而剧烈波动,而且核电及火电厂的集中分布也为电能输送设置了障碍。

过去10年的应用已经表明,可再生能源产量增长反而会滩低它的成本。风能现在已经可以和传统电厂发电一较高下,而燃气煤炭价格攀升及可再生能源成本不断下降意味着在若干年内,化石燃料的吸引力将会进一步减弱。此外,“土生土长”的能源收入更能造福本地经济,而化石燃料的进口法案将被逐步取消。

在无需承担核灾难巨大风险(和成本)的前提下,所有这些目标都可以实现。事实上,“核复兴”的概念不过是一个神话。核事故、公众反对和高投资成本已经导致核能投资急剧下降;20世纪70年代后期以来,美国再没有委托建造任何核电厂。

随着老厂的退役,就连像法国这样传统上支持核能应用的国家公众舆论也开始转向,欧洲的核电厂数量正在下降:近三分之二的法国人现在认为核电阻碍了可再生能源的应用。意大利超过90%的选民不赞成西尔维奥·布鲁斯科尼总理恢复核能发电的计划,而日本政府不久前宣布了分阶段逐步淘汰核能的计划。

加快推动后核能时代变革还有很多工作要做。如今欧盟预算拨出更多资金用于核能而非核能以外能源的研究和开发,还有更多基础设施投资用于传统能源及碳的捕获和储存(CCS)而非可再生能源的发展应用。欧盟即将展开的2014-2020年欧洲预算谈判是转变方向的绝好机会,应该削减像法国南部国际热核试验反应堆(ITER)这样没有前途的大型项目的资金投入。

必须付出巨大的努力和基础设施投资才能完成向可再生能源的过渡。为满足基本能源需求而在欧盟全境建设高压输电线路和蓄电设施至关重要,此外还需要建设分散的配电网络及大规模投资节能项目。

德国已经迈出了第一步,但朝着完全可再生能源经济的过渡必须是全欧洲的共同选择。

Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space
Hide Comments Hide Comments Read Comments (3)

Please login or register to post a comment

  1. CommentedAnne Smith-Stolberg

    And we know, Mr. Trittin, that this is in fact a very contentious issue in Germany even now - not everyone for example welcomes the idea of high-voltage lines stretching from the "windy" north to the growth regions in the south-west and one may imagine that elsewhere in the EU similar concerns will arise. The old "as long as it's not in my back garden" argument!

  2. CommentedAnne Smith-Stolberg

    May well be - but will renewables ever be able to satisfy Germany's industrial and consumer energy demands that seem to me to continue to negate any efficiency gains made through behavioural changes in society and through technological improvements in production and transmission. And fossil fuels, especially coal, whether imported or "home-grown" will remain a significant part of the mix and in every sense - land and air - intrusive to the environment.

  3. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    Zsolt 09:33 06 Mar 12

    The question of what energy sources we need to use is secondary to why we need so much energy.

    What the global crisis is highlighting today is that we live in an unsustainable, artificially inflated overproduction/overconsumption system, which has now run into a dead end and has begun self destructing.

    Most of our life style and energy problems can easily be solved by returning to a natural, harmonious necessity and resource based system, in which case the planet could sustain in a comfortable life style much more than the 7 billion inhabitants of today.

    This vastly beyond necessity lifestyle we pursue today is unnatural that makes us unhealthy, unhappy, agressive and hateful to each other, and completely turns us against the natural system around us.

    It is not like we have a choice here. As we can see from the deepening, unsolvable crisis this system, life style cannot carry on as it carries us into a very unpredictable, volatile state where either way a change will be necessary, the question is if this change will happen with our awareness, consciously, by us understanding the global, interdependent system we live in, or we will be forced to change by our system falling apart in an unruly, unplanned catastrophic manner, where the transition, picking up the pieces for rebuilding will be much more difficult.

    The problem today is that we still examine only particular details, different parts of the puzzle, but we are still unwilling to put the whole picture together, although from the total picture the individual, local solutions would automatically arise effortlessly.

    We have all the scientific data we need, all we need is the humble openness to take a step back and examine our system and our state honestly, mutually. By the objective, transparent analysis the solution comes by itself.

Featured