Nuclear Power Can Catalyse Transition To Energy Systems Dominated By Renewables, Says IEA

As per a report by IEA, nuclear power has the potential to enable countries to move towards energy systems that are dominated by renewables.

The report states that countries that are accelerating their nuclear power or continuing its use stand to benefit as it nuclear power reduces dependence on imported fossil fuels, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and also facilitate the integration with higher shares of wind and solar power.

Nuclear power has promising prospects, given that it is the second largest source of low emissions, the report further pointed out. 32 countries are armed with nuclear plants whereas 19 countries have nuclear reactors that are under construction. The momentum can be attributed to and is likely to be further stimulated by spikes in oil, gas and electricity prices.

The IEA further reported that the IEA’s target to attain Net Zero Emissions by 2050 necessitates nuclear power to double between 2020 and 2050, calling for construction of new plants in all countries open to the technology. The report also added in the same breath that by mid-century, nuclear accounts for a mere 8% of the global power mix, that is dominated by renewables.

IEA Executive Director, Fatih Birol reflected on the situation, “A new era for nuclear power is by no means guaranteed. It will depend on governments putting in place robust policies to ensure safe and sustainable operation of nuclear plants for years to come – and to mobilise the necessary investments including in new technologies. And the nuclear industry must quickly address the issues of cost overruns and project delays that have bedevilled the construction of new plants in advanced economies. As a result, advanced economies have lost market leadership, as 27 out of 31 reactors that started construction since 2017 are Russian or Chinese designs.”

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