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Reply to Differences in Carbon Emissions Reduction between Countries Pursuing Renewable Electricity Versus Nuclear Power, by Sovacool Et Al. (2020)

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Document pages: 8 pages

Abstract: In a recent paper, Sovacool et al. (2020) undertake a cross-sectional regression analysis to test associations between different clean energy deployment patterns and national carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution levels. The authors report that deployment of nuclear energy does not tend to associate with significantly lower carbon emissions, while renewable energy does. Here we critically review the paper’s claims and methods and perform a reanalysis, including both a revised cross-sectional analysis and a more statistically powerful panel data analysis. We find the paper’s claim that renewables are “on balance evidently more effective at carbon emissions mitigation” than nuclear power is not supported by the paper’s empirical findings. Instead, addressing several methodological issues found in Sovacool et al. (2020) and employing the same data sources and time periods, we find that nuclear power and renewable energy are both associated with lower per capita CO2 emissions with effects of similar magnitude and statistical significance.

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