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IAEA increases 2050 nuclear capacity projection

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has revised its projections for the growth of nuclear power capacity upward for the first time since the Fukushima Daiichi accident 10 years ago.

In the ‘high case’ scenario of its new outlook, the IAEA now expects world nuclear generating capacity to double to 792 GW by 2050 from 393 GW last year. Compared with the previous year’s high case projection of 715 GW by 2050, the estimate has been revised up by just over 10%.

The IAEA believes that the commitments made under the Paris Agreement could ‘support nuclear power development in the necessary energy policies and market designs.’ On the other hand, the agency’s ‘low case projections’ would see world nuclear capacity remain the same in 2050 as today, at 392 GW.

According to the IAEA’s high case projection, nuclear energy could contribute about 12% of global electricity by 2050, up from 11% in last year’s 2050 high case projections. Nuclear power generated around 10% of the world’s electricity in 2020. The low case scenario was unchanged with a projected share of 6% for nuclear in the total electricity generation.

‘The new IAEA projections show that nuclear power will continue to play an indispensable role in low carbon energy production,’ says IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in a statement. ‘The report’s findings represent an encouraging sign of increasing awareness that nuclear power, which emits no carbon dioxide during operation, is absolutely vital in our efforts to achieve net zero emissions.’

News Item details

Journal title: Energy World

Countries: Japan -

Organisation: International Atomic Energy Agency

Subjects: Nuclear - Power stations - Climate change - Low carbon - Carbon emissions - Net zero -

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