Press release

Nuclear must account for one quarter of the energy mix to ensure that Europe meets its 2050 low-carbon targets

Nov 22, 2018

Brussels, 22 November 2018: If Europe is serious about decarbonising its economy by 2050 then one quarter of the electricity produced in the EU will need to come from nuclear. This will ensure that citizens and industry have access to the low-carbon electricity they need – when they need it – and it will help to reduce the economic burden of the transition to a low-carbon economy on consumers.

These are the conclusions of an FTI-CL Energy Consulting study commissioned by FORATOM.  Entitled “Pathways to 2050: role of nuclear in a low-carbon Europe”, the study analyses how nuclear can help Europe reach its 2050 low-carbon targets. It focuses on three nuclear capacity scenarios in 2050: low (36GW), medium (103GW) and high (150GW). The authors also look at the European nuclear sector’s contribution to several key energy policy objectives, namely security of supply, decarbonisation and sustainability, and affordability and competitiveness.

The study finds that achieving the European emissions targets in a scenario with a significant early phasing out of nuclear plants would prove more challenging and increase costs for customers.” says Fabien Roques, Executive Vice President of FTI Compass Lexecon Energy.  “The results demonstrate how nuclear can contribute to an ambitious decarbonisation of the European economy.” He adds that, “in our view, the EU needs an electricity market design which rewards flexible sources and provides stable long-term investment signals.”

Nuclear power is a low-carbon technology which is available today”, states Yves Desbazeille, Director General of FORATOM. “Instead of focusing on technologies which have yet to be proven, both technically and financially, the EU should be promoting those which can already provide the low carbon electricity which Europe needs. Only by doing so, does the EU stand a chance of meeting its 2050 decarbonisation targets.”

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (Global Warming of 1.5°C) also recognises that nuclear power is essential if the world is to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees. According to one of the IPCC scenarios, a six-fold increase in global nuclear capacity is needed if we want to achieve our climate goals.

More information:

The full study is available upon request.
For more information, please contact Jessica Johnson: jessica.johnson@foratom.org.

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