FORATOM highlights importance of clean, dispatchable and European energy to EU’s recovery
Brussels, 27 May 2020: FORATOM regrets that the European Commission has ignored the need for clean, dispatchable and European sources of energy in its green recovery plan published today. These three elements are essential if the EU really wants to decarbonise its economy, create jobs and ensure that citizens, hospitals and businesses have access to the energy they need when they need it.
The COVID19 crisis is having a profound impact on Europe. The EU’s recovery plan must therefore focus on solutions which will help Europe come out of the crisis. As highlighted by the Council in April, investing in clean technologies will help create growth and jobs. It furthermore noted the need to “produce critical goods in Europe, to invest in strategic value chains and to reduce over-dependency on third countries”. Nuclear meets all these criteria: it is a European technology, with a European supply chain, capable of providing Europe with the low-carbon energy it needs, when its needs it. Furthermore, nuclear also plays a key role in medical diagnosis and treatment.
“The Commission has once again ignored Europe’s largest source of low-carbon dispatchable energy” states Yves Desbazeille, FORATOM’s Director General. “Nuclear is a low-carbon European technology, which ensures security of supply and creates jobs in the EU”.
FORATOM therefore recommends that the EU’s recovery plan cover the following:
It must ensure security of supply: During the crisis, nuclear has proved itself to be both dispatchable and flexible. Furthermore, European nuclear power plants have enough fuel supplies to run for around three years.
It must pay sufficient attention to European technologies which create jobs and growth in the EU. Nuclear energy has a significant European based supply chain. As a result, it currently sustains around 1 million jobs in the EU and generates around €450 billion in GDP which is up to 4 times higher per unit of energy than for some other low-carbon sources.
It must do more to ensure it will achieve its decarbonisation goals. Hydrogen can indeed provide an excellent solution for hard to decarbonise sectors, provided it fulfils three conditions: security of supply, cost-effective production and a very low-carbon footprint. Electrolyser-based hydrogen which runs on electricity supplied by both renewables and nuclear meets these conditions perfectly.
FORATOM remains committed to providing constructive input to the debate. We hope that over the weeks and months to come, the EU will develop realistic and science-based policies which will help Europe achieve its goals.
About us: The European Atomic Forum (FORATOM) is the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe. The membership of FORATOM is made up of 15 national nuclear associations and through these associations, FORATOM represents nearly 3,000 European companies working in the industry and supporting around 1,100,000 jobs.
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 Economic and Social Impact report, Deloitte 2019. EU27 + UK