nuclear power Archives - Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd

Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd

Posts Tagged :

nuclear power

IAEA predicts increase in nuclear power capacity in latest outlook

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

For the first time since the Fukushima Daiichi accident a decade ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has revised up its projections of the potential growth of nuclear power capacity for electricity generation during the coming decades.

The change in the IAEA’s annual outlook for this low-carbon energy source does not yet mark a new trend, but it comes as the world aims to move away from fossil fuels to fight climate change. Many countries are considering the introduction of nuclear power to boost reliable and clean energy production.

In the high case scenario of its new outlook, the IAEA now expects world nuclear generating capacity to double to 792 gigawatts (net electrical) by 2050 from 393 GW(e) last year. Compared with the previous year’s high case projection of 715 GW(e) by 2050, the estimate has been revised up by just over 10%.

However, the realization of the IAEA’s high case scenario would require significant actions, including an accelerated implementation of innovative nuclear technologies. The low case projections indicate that world nuclear capacity by 2050 would remain essentially the same as now, at 392 GW(e).

“The new IAEA projections show that nuclear power will continue to play an indispensable role in low carbon energy production,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi. “The report’s findings represent an encouraging sign of increasing awareness that nuclear power, which emits no carbon dioxide during operation, is absolutely vital in our efforts to achieve net zero emissions.”

According to the report, the 2021 projections reflect growing recognition of climate change issues and the importance of nuclear power in reducing emissions from electricity generation. Commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement could support nuclear power development if the necessary energy policies and market designs facilitate investments in dispatchable, low-carbon technologies.

The IAEA’s high case projections of a doubling of nuclear capacity by 2050 are close to the International Energy Agency’s projections in the publication “Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector” from May this year.

As global electricity generation is expected to double over the next three decades, nuclear power generating capacity would need to expand significantly to maintain its current share of the mix.

According to the IAEA’s high case projection, nuclear energy could contribute about 12% of global electricity by 2050, up from 11% in last year’s 2050 highcase projections. Nuclear power generated around 10% of the world’s electricity in 2020. The low case scenario was unchanged with a projected share of 6% for nuclear in the total electricity generation. Coal remains the dominant energy source for electricity production at about 37% for 2020, changing little since 1980.

New low-carbon technologies such as nuclear hydrogen production or small and advanced reactors will be crucial to achieving net zero. Nuclear power could provide solutions for electricity consumption growth, air quality concerns, and the security of energy supply. Many innovations for the expanded use of nuclear techniques in related areas such as heat or hydrogen production are underway.

Ageing management programmes and long term operation are being implemented for an increasing number of reactors. About two-thirds of nuclear power reactors have been in operation for over 30 years. Despite the operation of several NPPs having been extended to 60 and even 80 years, significant new nuclear capacity to offset retirements is needed in the long term. Many new power plants will be needed to maintain nuclear power’s current role in the energy mix. Uncertainty remains regarding the replacement of these reactors, particularly in Europe and North America.

Nuclear ‘should have extended role’ in clean energy mix

1024 682 Stuart O'Brien

With the world looking to consolidate ventures in cleaner and greener electricity sources post-COVID-19, electricity from nuclear sources offer a key option.

The World Nuclear Association in a recent study states the opportunity for governments to invest in nuclear energy, which addresses the COVID-19 crisis and manages issues such as climate change, air pollution and energy crisis.

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Nuclear power plants can maintain grid stability with the ability to regulate plant yield to follow demand and help constrain the impacts of seasonal variances in renewable energy yield. In the current situation, investment in nuclear energy is anticipated to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, increased energy resilience and creation of huge numbers of long-term, high-skilled domestic employment that pay premium compensation.” 

The share of nuclear-based generation in South Korea rose amid the pandemic, whereas in the UK, nuclear played a key role in providing the support to make up the lost production from crippled coal generation during the COVID-19.

In China, electricity production diminished during January-February 2020 by more than 8% year-on-year. Compared to the significant reduction in generation from coal and hydropower, nuclear was more resilient with a mere 2% reduction in China. Even with the pandemic this year, the share of nuclear in electricity generation in the generation mix is anticipated to remain steady in the country as last year. 

The Nuclear Energy Agency in its policy briefs mentioned the COVID-19 recuperation phase as an opportunity for appropriate policy and market frameworks to incentivize investment in fundamental infrastructure that bolsters low-carbon electricity security and economic development. The 108 new planned nuclear reactors and the long-term operation of existing 290 reactors globally can play a key role within the post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts by boosting economic development and provide stability to the generation mix. 

Das concluded: “The global power industry and governments need to consider and provide a level playing field to the nuclear generation that values reliability and energy security. A harmonized nuclear regulatory environment and a holistic safety paradigm along with RE development will act as a catalyst towards global decarbonization.” 

Image by Markus Distelrath from Pixabay 

‘More nuclear power required’ to achieve net-zero emissions

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Britain’s largest business group, the CBI, has called upon the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to build new nuclear power stations and scale up carbon capture technology and infrastructure to reach the Government’s target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In a letter to the Rt Hon Greg Clark, the CBI sets out a series of priorities to decarbonise the UK economy and calls on the Government to use a forthcoming Energy White Paper to give more clarity on its vision.

The priorities include:

  • Progressing large-scale nuclear projects and supporting innovative nuclear technologies, such as Small Modular Reactors
  • Technology trials to determine the best, localised solutions to fully decarbonise heat in homes, offices and industrial processes
  • A clear mix of incentives for consumers and businesses to buy electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, alongside comprehensive nationwide infrastructure ready for future demand
  • Rationalising the tax and business rates system to ensure green energy is encouraged, not penalised
  • Hosting COP 26 to showcase to the world the UK’s expertise in green technology and commitment to leading on climate change action

“Business is right behind the need for the UK to have a net-zero economy by 2050 and build on our global leadership in cutting greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist.

“To deliver the Government’s admirable net-zero policy by 2050, it is mission critical that business, politicians and the public work together to devise and make the necessary changes.

“Firms want to see a whole host of stable, long-term policies enacted – from building new nuclear power stations to scaling-up carbon capture and storage technology and infrastructure – that send markets a robust signal: the UK is open for green business, and is a world leader in tackling climate change.”

Image by Stefan Kuhn from Pixabay