Transmutex's Keynote at Innosuisse
Franklin Servan-Schreiber, President and Co-founder, was Invited to Innosuisse's annual retreat to deliver a keynote on Swiss Innovation for Global Energy, and then to take part in a debate about the Swiss energy strategy .
Key points of the keynote and debate:
- Innovation in Switzerland should aim for global relevance since solving the CO2 challenge for Switzerland alone will have minimal impact on the problem (0.1 % to be correct).
- Switzerland is globally behind in battery, solar or wind technologies, but may have something to offer in long duration storage, hydrogen, and grid management.,
- Nuclear Energy is planned to be phased out in Switzerland, but it remains relevant internationally, as we can see in China, Japan, California, France, UK, South Korea, Ukraine, Poland, Argentina, the UAE and even Saudi Arabia among many others.
- Switzerland holds unique expertise in particle accelerators that will help in the drastic reduction in long-lived waste. Even if not for Switzerland, the government should promote research in this area of Nuclear Energy, together with deep geological storage ( Nagra - Nationale Genossenschaft für die Lagerung radioaktiver Abfälle) which will be necessary in all nuclear energy scenarios.
- Switzerland will not be able to pull off an "all renewable" energy strategy. If it was possible then China, which produces most of the solar panels for the world, and the UAE, which has all the sun, would not be building nuclear reactors. Hydro electricity is mostly maxed out in Switzerland and worldwide.
- Nuclear is the fundamental energy of the universe, solar and wind are only derivatives. The key advantage of solar and wind is their lack of reliance on water to turn a turbine. Key disadvantage is their low energy density ( 10 times less than coal or oil, 30 000 000 times less than nuclear).
- Safety issues are inherent to any technology. We need to keep engaging to find solutions and ways to improve. Stopping research on nuclear while the world is advancing is a harbinger for loss of energy relevance and sovereignty.
- Energy is not a commodity, it should not be hostage to the financial markets, it is fundamental to everything we do, all industries, even toilet paper ! Lack of energy would bring social upheaval.