So this is a slight revision of my earlier idea, of a world that entirely lacks fossil fuels. So basically the big idea I'm interested in is an industrial revolution that fully goes through with the advent of nuclear power after starting with easier sources like wind, hydro, and biofuels. I'm also thinking about how to go from there to solarpunk, but the problem is that solarpunk doesn't really fit as well without climate change.
So is it plausible that the only fossil fuel reserves that exist are extremely hard to access in an economic fashion, to the point that they are only really used after nuclear power was developed first?
The timeline would thus be that fossil fuels exist, but nuclear power comes first in the sense of being such a significant fuel source that can electrify the world, before nuclear accidents and possible wars make it much less appealing. This then leads to lower energy return fossil fuels being used at an even faster rate than historically, as there is now an even greater fear of nuclear power after much of the world has industrialized and desperately needs more fuel. A world with a mix of extremely inefficient fossil fuels and mostly outdated and dangerous nuclear power could then transition into a more solarkpunk world over time as they are dealing with a faster rate of emissions causing climate change over a shorter time period. They would also likely have a higher rate of deforestation given the smaller number access to fossil fuels, which would also have significant effects in terms of climate change.
I think the primary change could come from a lack of coal reserves but in which they have mostly shale oil and natural gas that often requires fracking, so it is less obvious that they would be economical fuel sources early on.