• 4 minutes Europeans and Americans are beginning to see the results of depending on renewables.
  • 7 minutes Is China Rising or Falling? Has it Enraged the World and Lost its Way? How is their Economy Doing?
  • 13 minutes NordStream2
  • 3 hours Monday 9/13 - "High Natural Gas Prices Today Will Send U.S. Production Soaring Next Year" by Irina Slav
  • 19 hours California to ban gasoline for lawn mowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, off road equipment, etc.
  • 22 hours "Here is The Hidden $150 Trillion Agenda Behind The "Crusade" Against Climate Change" - Zero Hedge re: Bank of America REPORT
  • 19 mins GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES
  • 4 days "A Very Predictable Global Energy Crisis" by Irina Slav --- MUST READ
  • 1 day U.S. : Employers Can Buy Retirement Security for $2.64 an Hour
  • 2 days Nord Stream - US/German consultations
  • 408 days Class Act: Bet You've Never Seen A President Do This.
  • 4 days An Indian Opinion on What is Going on in China
  • 4 days Can Technology Keep Coal Plants Alive and Well?
  • 1 day Australia sues Neoen for lack of power from its Tesla battery
  • 1 day Forecasts for Natural Gas
  • 4 days Storage of gas cylinders
  • 5 days Two Good and Plausible Ideas about Saving Water and Redirecting it to Where it is Needed.

Breaking News:

Japan Asks OPEC For More Oil

Bitcoin Miners Embrace Nuclear Power

Bitcoin Miners Embrace Nuclear Power

Bitcoin miners are facing increasing…

Energy Markets Bet Against Nuclear As Election Nears In Japan

Energy Markets Bet Against Nuclear As Election Nears In Japan

Energy markets are anticipating the…

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

More Info

Premium Content

Global Nuclear Power Capacity Could Double By 2050

The world’s installed nuclear power capacity could increase by 123 percent in 2050 compared to 2016 levels, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report this week.   

These projections, however, are the so-called high in 2050. In the low case, the IAEA estimates are for a decline in capacity in the near future, followed by a rebound to current levels nearer 2050. In the high case, nuclear capacity is expected to rise from 2016 levels by 42 percent in 2030, 83 percent in 2040, and by 123 percent

The main factors that are and will be influencing the future of nuclear energy are public acceptance, financing, and electricity markets.

“If nuclear power’s potential as a low-carbon energy source grows in recognition and advanced reactor designs further improve both safety and radioactive waste management, the use of nuclear power could grow significantly,” the IAEA says.

At the end of 2016, installed nuclear capacity reached 392 gigawatts (electrical) (GW(e)), which was the highest level ever, according to the IAEA.

However, funding and safety will be crucial to the development of nuclear energy.

“The safety performance of nuclear installations is crucial to the future of nuclear power, as a strong safety record is essential for its public acceptance,” the IAEA commented, noting that “The financing of nuclear projects is challenging, given the highly capital-intensive nature of such projects, their resulting sensitivity to interest rates and construction durations, and the nature of the uncertainties.” Related: Are Strong U.S. Crude Inventory Draws Sustainable?

North America and Europe will see declines in nuclear capacity, while China’s nuclear energy plans will be the main driver of growth, the IAEA reckons.

Oil supermajors BP and ExxonMobil also project that China’s installed nuclear capacity growth will be the key driver of this type of power generation.

In the U.S., nuclear power currently accounts for around 20 percent of electricity generation. According to the EIA, more nuclear capacity in the U.S. will be retired than built, as other fuels such as natural gas and renewables gain market share. In EIA’s reference case estimates, the share of nuclear in the U.S. electricity generation mix will drop from 20 percent last year to 11 percent in 2050, while natural gas will grow the most, followed by renewables.

According to the IAEA, reduced competitiveness is the main reason for planned premature shutdowns “low natural gas prices, particularly in the USA, caused by a rapid expansion of shale gas production, have fundamentally transformed the energy economy.”

In Europe, Germany ordered the immediate shutdown of eight of its 17 reactors in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, and plans to phase out nuclear plants by 2022. Earlier this year, Switzerland—which has five ageing nuclear power plants generating one-third of its energy demand—voted to phase out nuclear power in favor of renewables.

The IAEA’s low-case projection is that the share of nuclear in global electricity generation could drop from the current 11 percent to 6 percent in 2050, while the high-case sees that share rising to 13.7 percent in 2050.

BP and Exxon, in their respective 2017 energy outlooks, see nuclear playing a part in the transition of the global fuel mix.

BP’s most recent annual energy outlook sees renewables, together with nuclear and hydroelectric power, accounting for half of the growth in energy supplies over the next 20 years. While nuclear capacity in Europe will decline by 2035 due to decommissioning of ageing plants and little investment in new capacity, Japan could restart some reactors but would not return to pre-Fukushima levels. China’s ambitious nuclear energy plan will account for almost three-quarters of the global increase in nuclear generation. As a result, BP sees the share of coal in China’s energy demand down from around two-thirds in 2015 to less than 45 percent by 2035. Much of the lower share of coal will be replaced by renewables, nuclear, and hydroelectric power, which will supply more than half of China’s increasing energy demands until 2035, BP says.     

Exxon’s current outlook through 2040 sees nuclear growing, with more than 50 percent of the growth coming from China. Related: Venezuela Rebellion Could Send Oil To $80

“Society’s push for lower-emission energy sources will drive substantial increases for nuclear power as well as renewables such as wind and solar. By 2040 nuclear and all renewables will be approaching 25 percent of global energy supplies,” Exxon reckons.

Public acceptance, safety records, the price of natural gas, and climate policies will be crucial to the future of nuclear energy.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News