We believe that this European Green Energy approval is a step in the right direction, both conceptually and materially, especially if the projects will be handled in a meaningful way and are carried out from the very start to the end of their energy life-cycle.
In the case of nuclear, safety and radioactive waste management will have to be resolved and a significant problem is the financial and time cost of construction. The way forward could be micro-reactors; the use of radioactive waste for energy production and new technologies for safety, such as other types of cooling in the event of a risk situation. VC capital is already flowing into this sector, with projects such as TerraPower LLC or Oklo Inc. It is not certain at this point that this will be the right path, but it is certain that new paths will emerge from this with the potential to be the right one.
In the case of gas, it will be important to handle the way in which gas is produced and the way in which the resulting greenhouse gas emissions will be dealt with. One option could be to use DAC (Direct Air Capture) technology directly at the source, with Climeworks being an example. Some more time and funding will be needed for development here too.
Overall, we share the goals set by Kleiner Perkins, co-founder and writer of the book Speed and Scale John Doerr, that the gas should be used until 2035-40 at the latest, and then we should be able to generate reliable and safe energy from renewables (green hydrogen included) and nuclear, which in some countries has a key role to play in achieving climate goals. Unless we find another emission-free source, this will not be possible through renewables alone. And, in some cases, probably will not be possible even if renewables efficiency is increased in the near future.