EIA predicts nuclear growth to 2030

28 June 2006

The latest assessment by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the outlook for international energy markets through to 2030 concludes that nuclear capacity is expected to increases from 361GW in 2003 to 438GW in 2030.

The analysis assumes that, for the OECD economies in the long-term, retirements of existing nuclear plants will nearly equal construction of new nuclear capacity, resulting in a slight decline of installed nuclear capacity toward the end of the projection after peaking in 2020. Few new builds are expected in the OECD economies outside of Finland, France, Japan, South Korea, and the United States the study finds. However, in the United States, nuclear capacity is expected to increase by 3GW as a result of upgrades at existing plants and by 6GW as a result of new construction.

In contrast, rapid growth in nuclear power capacity is projected for the non-OECD economies. The non-OECD economies are expected to add 33GW of nuclear capacity between 2003 and 2015 and another 42GW between 2015 and 2030. The largest additions are expected in China, India, and Russia.

Prospects for nuclear power have improved in recent years, with higher capacity factors and the expectation that most existing plants in the OECD nations and in non-OECD Europe and Eurasia will be granted extensions to their operating lives. Higher fossil fuel prices, concerns about energy supply security, and the possibility for new, lower cost nuclear reactor designs also may improve prospects for new nuclear power capacity.

Despite a declining share of global electricity production, nuclear power is projected to remain an important source of electric power through 2030. In the latest reference case, electricity generation by nuclear power plants around the world increases from 2523TWh in 2003 to 2940TWh in 2015 and 3299TWh in 2030.

The full report is available at www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/index.html

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