IEA cuts global forecast for growth in nuclear capacity
London (Platts)--12Nov2012/750 am EST/1250 GMT
The International Energy Agency has cut its 2011 projections for growth
in installed nuclear power capacity by 10% to 580 gigawatts in 2035 in its
latest World Energy Outlook issued Monday, Fatih Birol, chief economist of
the Paris-based agency told a news conference in London to present the report.
In aggregate, world nuclear capacity in the WEO's New Policies Scenario
is about 50 GW lower than last year's prediction, Birol said.
At the start of 2011, a total of 30 countries operated 441 nuclear
reactors, with a gross installed capacity of 393 GW, 83% of which is in OECD
countries, according to the WEO.
The New Policies Scenario -- one of three scenarios in the 2011 report
-- details the impact of existing and planned policies, "when implemented
cautiously," on key energy trends to 2035 in demand, supply, trade,
investment and emissions.
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The other two scenarios are the Current Policies Scenario, which assumes
no change in current energy policy, and the 450 Scenario, which prescribes
strong policy action to limit climate change.
The anticipated role of nuclear power has been "scaled back," the IEA
said in an executive summary ahead of presentation of the report, as
countries have reviewed policies in the wake of the 2011 accident at the
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.
Japan and France have recently joined the countries with intentions to
reduce their use of nuclear power, the IEA said, while its competitiveness in
the US and Canada is being challenged by relatively cheap natural gas.
Growth in nuclear power production is also expected to decrease by 10%
compared with the agency's forecast in 2011.
Nuclear power output will rise from 2,756 terawatt hours in 2010 to
about 4,370 TWh in 2035, an increase of almost 60%, according to the report.
Correspondingly, the share of nuclear power in total generation falls to
12% from 13%, it said.
In its 2011 World Energy Outlook, the IEA said nuclear power output was
expected to rise by more than 70% between 2010 and 2035, with China, Korea
and India leading the growth, according to the agency's reference scenario.
The reference nuclear growth forecast is part of the New Policies
In its 2011 report, the IEA said that under an alternative "low nuclear"
scenario that it added as a "special" case to account for a possible
post-Fukushima shift away from nuclear power, the global share of nuclear
power in total generation would drop from 13% in 2010 to just 7% in 2035.
In its latest report, the IEA says that while nuclear output still grows
in absolute terms -- driven by expanded generation in China, Korea, India and
Russia -- its share in the global electricity mix falls slightly over time.
"Shifting away from nuclear power can have significant implications for
a country's spending on imports of fossil fuels, for electricity prices and
for the level of effort needed to meet climate targets," the IEA said in the
"The world's demand for electricity grows almost twice as fast as its
total energy consumption, and the challenge to meet this demand is heightened
by the investment needed to replace ageing power sector infrastructure," it
Of the new generation capacity that is built to 2035, around one-third
is needed to replace plants that are retired, it added.
Half of all new capacity globally is based on renewable sources of
energy, it said, although coal remains the leading global fuel for power
The growth in China's electricity demand over the period to 2035 is
greater than total current electricity demand in the United States and Japan,
China's coal-fired output increases almost as much as its generation
from nuclear, wind and hydropower combined, it said.
Average global electricity prices increase by 15% to 2035 in real terms,
driven higher by increased fuel input costs, a shift to more
capital-intensive generating capacity, subsidies to renewables and CO2
pricing in some countries, it said.
There are significant regional price variations, it said, with the
highest prices "persisting" in the European Union and Japan, well above those
in the United States and China.
--Claire-Louise Isted, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell, email@example.com