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

8 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2021

See all articles by Harrison Fell

Harrison Fell

Resources for the Future

Alexander Gilbert

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jesse Jenkins

Andlinger Center for Energy & Environment and Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Matto Mildenberger

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: January 8, 2021

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.

Suggested Citation

Fell, Harrison and Gilbert, Alexander and Jenkins, Jesse and Mildenberger, Matto, Reply to 'Differences in Carbon Emissions Reduction between Countries Pursuing Renewable Electricity Versus Nuclear Power,' by Sovacool Et Al. (2020) (January 8, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3762762 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3762762

Harrison Fell

Resources for the Future

Alexander Gilbert (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jesse Jenkins

Andlinger Center for Energy & Environment and Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://https://mae.princeton.edu/people/faculty/jenkins

Matto Mildenberger

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Dept. of Political Science
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9420
United States

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