Wind turbines at sea

Nuclear vs renewables: what’s better for climate mitigation?

This is an adapted version of a blog by Prof Benjamin K. Sovacool and Prof Andy Stirling, to accompany the publication of their paper “Differences in carbon emissions reduction between countries pursuing renewable electricity versus nuclear power” in Nature Energy. A University of Sussex press release also summarises the paper’s findings and policy recommendations….

tree pattern

Politics in the language of uncertainty

This is the first in a series of three blog post about uncertainty by Andy Stirling. The second post is here and the third post is here. Uncertainty is not a condition out there in the world. It is a state of knowledge – deeply embedded and shaped in society. The difference may seem abstract….


Is Trident Influencing UK Energy Policy?

What explains the UK government’s enthusiasm for nuclear power, despite its various problems – including technical difficulties and cost? Could one hidden factor be the pressure to support the infrastructure needed for military programmes such as Trident? SPRU researcher Philip Johnstone and our co-director Andy Stirling have been researching this question, and explore their findings…

What lies behind the UK’s strange policy on nuclear power?

The UK chancellor George Osborne has recently made further commitments to support massive new investment in nuclear infrastructure, including the much-criticised Hinkley C power station. Why is the UK determined to press ahead, in the face of much criticism? SPRU researcher Philip Johnstone and STEPS co-director Andy Stirling have written a new article for The…

Why Germany is dumping nuclear power – and Britain isn’t

by Philip Johnstone and Andy Stirling The starkly differing nuclear policies of Germany and the UK present perhaps the clearest divergence in developed world energy strategies. Under the current major Energy Transition (Energiewende), Germany is seeking to entirely phase out nuclear power by 2022. Yet the UK has for many years advocated a “nuclear renaissance”,…

Responsibility at the Science-Publics-Policy Interface: What I learnt at the 2013 Science in Public Conference

The village of Onna, after the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake. Photo: Darkroom_Daze (Flickr) by Stephen WhitfieldDPhil Student, Institute of Development Studies This year’s ‘Science in Public’ conference hosted by Nottingham University was excellent. I came away from two captivating days of presentations, discussions and (at times heated) debates having learnt a lot… and inevitably feeling frustrated…