Wind better value than nuclear says Greenpeace report

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The French national utility will get better value for money -- and create more jobs -- if it invests in wind rather than nuclear, according to a report by Greenpeace France. The authors, Antoine Bonduelle and Mathias Lefère of research institute Detente, look at what would happen if Electricité de France (EDF) directs investment needed to build a next-generation European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) towards creating wind farms instead. According to them, wind would produce more electricity for the same amount of money and create more jobs. Wind plants would produce over twice as much electricity a year: 24 TWh against 10 TWh. And over the expected life time of a nuclear power station (60 years), wind would be responsible for producing between two and five times more jobs -- the exact ratio depending on how often turbines were replaced. An EPR would create temporary jobs in its construction phase but few permanent jobs when operating. Employment within wind climbs gently to begin with, but also more steadily. The report is issued in advance of a government decision on the EPR due to be taken this year. "The objective is not to recommend an 'all wind' approach," say Bonduelle and Lefère, "But rather to show how much money will be spent on an EPR and to demonstrate that with the same amount of money it is possible to develop a clean energy source."

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