Theo Wolters

A low carbon electricity system requires a high nuclear energy share


With the transition from fossil to CO2 free energy sources like solar, wind and nuclear, comes a major shift in electricity price from fuel costs to investment costs, or in general, from operational expenditures to capital expenditures (CAPEX).

Far more important for the electricity price however is the difference in system costs between on-demand electricity production, and sun and wind driven production. The present electricity system relies on a merit order based market, which worked great for decades, but cannot cope with a substantial share of CAPEX driven production, in combination with a huge reduction of on-demand production. Without changing the system, we will end up with frequent and long black-outs, and a very high electricity price.

In his presentation Theo Wolters will compare solar and wind vs nuclear energy in an electricity system with a strongly reduced fossil fuel share on: production cost, grid cost, backup cost and grid stability cost. This will show that a low carbon electricity system needs a high nuclear energy share.

Wolters will propose a new electricity system, which will deal with all new demands of low carbon electricity production, thus providing both maximum grid stability and lowest electricity cost.


Theo Wolters graduated from Delft University of Technology (MSc.), after which he started an engineering company where has been working since. He was a member of O2 Netherlands (Sustainability for Engineers) since it started in the early nineties, and started working on sustainable energy solutions in 2000: development of Solid Oxide Fuel cells; high efficiency biomass gasification; and combustion engine efficiency improvement by hydrogen injection.
Participated in the first hydrogen economy discussion in 2007, as a start of his extensive involvement in the energy transition debate in the following years, with growing emphasis on nuclear technology.

Started the Dutch Thorium Molten Salt reactor movement in 2013 and has been actively involved in the promotion of research and development of Molten Salt reactors in the Netherlands since.

His latest contributions to the energy debate are studies about the adverse effects of the energy transition to solar, wind and hydrogen on energy costs and general prosperity; the reduction of the cost of nuclear energy production, and the benefits of a large nuclear energy fraction for the costs and stability of the electricity grid.
A lot of his work is published on the site of the Environment, Science & Policy Foundation: (English Google Translation)

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