IEA says 24% of global electricity must come from nuclear

The International Energy Agency yesterday issued its Nuclear Energy Technology Roadmap, which wants 24% of global electricity provided by nuclear power by 2050. This would make nuclear the single largest […]

Register now!

By Kelvin Ross

The International Energy Agency yesterday issued its Nuclear Energy Technology Roadmap, which wants 24% of global electricity provided by nuclear power by 2050.

This would make nuclear the single largest source of electricity, and, says the IEA, “a major contributor to the decarbonisation of electricity supply”.

As major nuclear players met in London at the Nuclear Industry Forum to hear Energy Minister Charles Hendry vow that the UK government can deliver on supply security, the IEA’s executive director Nobuo Tanaka said: “Current trends in energy supply and use are patently unsustainable, economically, environmentally and socially.

“Without decisive action, energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide will more than double by 2050 and increased oil demand will heighten concerns over the security of supplies.”

Mr Tanaka added: “We can, and must, change our current path, but this will take an energy revolution and low-carbon energy technologies will have a crucial role to play.”

The IEA’s roadmap states: “The obstacles to more rapid nuclear growth in the short- to medium term are primarily policy-related, industrial and financial. However, continuous development of reactor and fuel cycle technologies will be important if nuclear energy is to achieve its full potential in competition with other low-carbon energy sources.”

The IEA says that a national nuclear policy and strategy “is a prerequisite for a successful nuclear programme”.

It adds that global industrial capacity to build power plants will need to double in the next 10 years if nuclear capacity is to grow in the 2020s and beyond.

The IEA highlights that the need for “highly qualified scientists and engineers and skilled craftspeople” is vital for nuclear success, as is the management and disposal of radioactive wastes.