Energy Union: Czech Republic and Romania reiterate their support for nuclear energy
As Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President for Energy Union, begins his tour of EU countries in order to present the EC’s first analysis of their energy system’s strengths and weaknesses, two Western European countries, i.e. the Czech Republic and Romania, reiterated their support for nuclear energy. They both stressed the significant contribution that nuclear makes to helping them meet the EU climate and energy targets.
On 18 May 2015, the Czech government published its national energy policy that foresees an increase of the country’s nuclear generation from about 35% currently to between 46% and 58% by 2040. The energy policy also indicates that the share of lignite in electricity production is expected to decrease to between 11% and 21%. Renewable energies on the other hand should, rise to up to 25% and natural gas to between 5% and 15%. The updated energy strategy is aimed at reaching the objectives of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework. An increased nuclear generation will help the country meet its CO2 emission reduction target.
The government plans to build one new nuclear reactor at each of its two existing nuclear power plants, Dukovany and Temelin. Bohuslav Sobotka, Czech Prime Minister, also declared: “We should look for all possible avenues to further develop Dukovany and Temelin, but without having to provide guarantees that would present a risk for the state budget.” He also announced on 25 May during a visit at Dukovany that a call for tender could be launched by the end of the year for the construction of a new reactor at this nuclear plant.
In the meantime, Andrei Gerea, Romanian Energy Minister, presented on 14 May 2015 during a meeting with business representatives his country’s energy policy. He stressed the major part that nuclear energy plays in ensuring security of supply and reducing CO2 emissions: “Our main concern is to ensure energy security in this part of Europe. We want Romania to ensure a balanced, competitive and technologically neutral energy mix where renewable energy sources and nuclear energy could contribute to achieving energy and climate targets set at European and national level”.
Nuclear power is a vital element of Europe’s energy mix. It provides 27% of Europe’s electricity and 53% of its carbon-free electricity. It is a competitive, reliable and base-load source of energy that will continue to make a major contribution to EU’s energy policy.
For further information, please read the press release (in Czech) of the Czech government on the updated energy policy and the press release of the European Commission on Vice-President Sefcovic’s Energy Union tour.