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BREAKING: Europe to Abandon Natural Gas

Jeff Siegel

Written By Jeff Siegel

Updated March 25, 2024

Renewable energy just isn’t ready for prime time.

I’ve been hearing this for more than a decade now, and it’s become such an obligatory response from the old guard fossil fuel loyalists that it’s almost comical…

It reminds me of when music downloading and streaming first began, and the record companies would swear that it would never work because people like to hold an actual item.  They like to read the liner notes and look at the cover.  Boy were they way off base!

Just because the legacy energy market gate keepers keep repeating the same lie over and over again, doesn’t make it true. But, of course, it’s been hard to counter such arguments without much in the way of real world case studies.  That is until now.

According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Europe’s natural gas consumption in 2023 fell to its lowest level in a decade.  Not because natural gas has fallen out of favor.  Truth is, in terms of the world’s energy mix, natural gas still holds most of the cards. 

But after Russia and Ukraine started butting heads, countries throughout Europe sped up their integration of renewable energy and rapidly scaled up energy efficiency and conservation measures.

The result…

Natural gas consumption fell by 20 percent across the entire continent. 

This is not trivial. 

Furthermore, this indicates that if this can be done within two years, it’s unlikely that the EU will slow down these efforts which ultimately makes them less reliant on Russian gas. 

Of course, it would be misleading to suggest that renewable energy integration and an increase in energy efficiency and conservation measures are entirely responsible for this decrease in natural gas consumption.  One must also consider slower economic growth and a somewhat milder winter.

Still, many leaders in Europe want to continue building out more domestic energy production in an effort to break the shackles of Russian gas dependence.  And that means complementing additional solar and wind energy with nuclear power.

But not with traditional nuclear power, which is cost prohibitive without massive subsidies and is vulnerable to security threats. 

Consider the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, for instance, which apparently is now running on nuclear fuel that’s about to expire — and there are no qualified personnel to replace it.  Moreover, recent Russian shelling has damaged the power supply line there. 

According to the state nuclear operator Energoatom, if that line fails, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe will experience a complete blackout.  Representatives of Energoatom also noted that this is a serious violation of the conditions for the safe operation of the plant and poses a threat of potential accidents.

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, not only is Europe looking to revitalize its aging nuclear power infrastructure, it’s looking to do so with small modular reactors (SMRs). They are not only cost competitive with natural gas and coal but are far safer.  In fact, SMRs can’t really melt down. 

Now, earlier this month, EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson announced their decision to establish an industrial alliance on small modular reactors (SMRs) to facilitate the deployment of the first of those reactors by 2030.

This news came on the heels of Poland’s announcement that construction was set for 24 new SMRs in six different locations… France’s announcement that it plans to allocate $1.3 billion to fund new SMR projects… and Romania’s announcement that it’s now actively replacing a former coal plant with an SMR power plant. 

Folks, it may not be making front page news, but the rollout of new SMRs in Europe IS happening, and you better believe we’re getting some of this action.

In fact, we’ve already identified our first big play on the SMR rollout in Europe, which you can read about here.

Bottom line: there’s a new nuclear power renaissance about to take off in Europe.  It’ll be facilitated with fleets of new SMRs, and of course, the specialized nuclear fuel required to run these things. 

Don’t sleep on SMRs.

There’s a lot of money to be made here, so you might as well make it.

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth…

Jeff Siegel Signature

Jeff Siegel

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Jeff is the founder and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks. For more on Jeff, go to his editor’s page.

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