Global energy demand and related carbon emissions both rose again in 2018, according to new figures out this week.

This comes as no surprise. The analysis from the International Energy Agency is in line with other preliminary reports from other organizations. But it raises an awkward question: if renewables are growing and the prices of solar, wind, and batteries are falling, why is the worldís climate pollution still going up?


But despite the public distaste for nuclear, it has a critical advantage over other clean sources. It generates electricity that doesnít fluctuate depending on the time or day or weather conditions, so it can help to balance out intermittent wind and solar generation, without requiring vast amounts of expensive storage or transmission upgrades to the grid. A next generation of plants that are cheaper, safer, and easier to build might also help assuage a skeptical publicís fears.