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IAEA report calls for increase in nuclear power

12/09/2019
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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have called for a “significant increase” in the deployment of nuclear power, following the release of their latest projections for energy, electricity and nuclear power trends through 2050.

Nuclear energy accounts for just 10% of the global energy market
(Image via Pixabay)

The report is the 39th annual edition, called Energy Electricity and Nuclear Power Estimates for the Period up to 2050.

When announcing the publication of the report, Mikhail Chudakov, deputy director general of the IAEA claimed that without an increase in nuclear power, it will be difficult for the world to secure sufficient energy to achieve sustainable development and mitigate climate change.

According to the report, there are 450 operating nuclear power reactors worldwide, producing a near record level of 399.7 GW(e) total net installed capacity. Nuclear power produced around 10% of the world’s electricity in 2018, representing around a third of all low carbon electricity sources. Electricity generation from nuclear reactors increased by 2.4% in 2018, to reach 2563 TWh.

It highlights that nine new nuclear power reactors with a total capacity of 10,358 MW(e) were connected to the grid last year, while seven reactors with a total capacity of 5424 MW9(e) were retired. Construction was started on five new units, that are expected to add a total capacity of 6339 MW(e).

However it produces wide ranging projections for the future, which will depend on whether significant new capacity can be added to offset potential reactor retirements. If not, then the report predicts that generating capacity could decline by as much as 8% by 2030, and a further 6% by 2050.

However, if potential driving factors increase the worldwide deployment, the report predicts that capacity could increase by up to 25% in 2030 and 80% in 2050.

"The 2019 projections contain fewer uncertainties compared with previous years due to recent announcements on the future of the existing fleet in some regions and long term plans for expansion," the IAEA said. 

"Significant new capacity may be needed to offset possible reactor retirements due to age, competitiveness or other factors."

"In some regions, over the short term, the low price of natural gas and the impact of subsidised renewable energy sources are expected to continue to affect nuclear power's growth prospects. Still, interest in nuclear power remains strong in several regions, particularly in the developing world, and commitments agreed under the Paris Agreement and other initiatives have the potential to support its development."

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IAEA report calls for increase in nuclear power - Time to read 3 min
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