Press release

Nuclear essential for sustainable clean energy future, states IEA

Jul 1, 2022 | Press Release

Brussels, 1 July 2022: “Building sustainable and clean energy systems will be harder, riskier and more expensive without nuclear” according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency. Not only is nuclear essential in the fight against climate change, it also ensures a stable and affordable energy system – important benefits given the current energy crisis.

This report reconfirms the point raised by experts and industry during the last years” states Yves Desbazeille, nucleareurope Director General. Furthermore, the IEA highlights that the political landscape is changing, partly due to events over the last 18 months. This opens the door for nuclear to reassert itself in the energy system of the future.”

According to the report:

  • Achieving net zero globally will be more difficult without nuclear. Extending the lifetime of the existing nuclear fleet should be prioritised in order to ensure a cost-effective path to net zero by 2050. Less nuclear power will make achieving net zero ambitions more difficult and expensive. Furthermore, hydrogen and heat produced from nuclear brings new opportunities, complementing the contribution from renewable sources.
  • The market needs to take into account all services provided by nuclear and other dispatchable power sources. Complementing wind and solar with low-carbon sources of energy will enable a stable energy system, and this should be recognised by the market.
  • Momentum behind small modular reactors (SMRs) is building; the net zero challenge has triggered a burst in the development of SMR technologies. Stimulating investment in these technologies will require policy and regulatory reform and private finance is also key.

As highlighted by the IEA, more needs to be done by both governments and industry” notes Mr Desbazeille. We fully agree that industry needs to do a better job at delivering projects below cost and within budget to ensure its competitiveness. At the same time, governments need to implement coherent and consistent policies that will support nuclear power and mobilise investment. This includes a conducive investment framework which enables access to green investment facilities, such as the sustainable finance taxonomy and Green Bonds”.

About us: nucleareurope is the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe. Our membership is currently composed of 15 national nuclear associations and 6 corporate members. As a result, we represent nearly 3,000 European companies working in the industry which support around 1,100,000 jobs.

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