14.11.2017_No227 / News in Brief

China’s Nuclear Capacity Continues To Rise As It ‘Shapes Global Energy Trends’

Policies & Politics

14 Nov (NucNet): China’s installed nuclear capacity could increase from 34 GW in 2016 to 111 GW in 2030 and 145 GW in 2040 as the country continues to shape global trends, with its “energy revolution” driving lower costs for a wide range of clean energy technologies, the International Energy Agency said on 14 November 2017.

The Fuqing-4 nuclear plant in China, which began commercial operation in September 2017. Photo courtesy CNNC.

In its ‘World Energy Outlook’ report the Paris-based IEA said a strong emphasis on cleaner energy technologies, in large part to address poor air quality, is moving China to a position as a world leader in nuclear, wind, solar, and electric vehicles and the source of more than a quarter of projected growth in natural gas consumption.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, China has 38 nuclear reactor units in commercial operation and 19 under construction.

In 2016, nuclear accounted for 3.56% of China’s electricity production. The world average nuclear share is about 16%.

Other sources have said China could have as much as 150 GW of installed nuclear capacity by 2030, significantly higher than the IEA’s projection.

Over the same period to 2040 installed coal-based capacity will increase slightly from 945 GW in 2016 to 1,087 GW, the IEA said.

Solar PV will see a big increase from 77GW in 2016 to 738 GW.

An increase in oil and gas production from the US, declines in the cost of renewables and growing electrification are changing the face of the global energy system and “upending traditional ways of meeting energy demand”.

A cleaner and more diversified energy mix in China is another major driver of this transformation, the report said.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • China Approaching Completion Of First Floating Nuclear Plant, Reports Say (News in Brief No.220, 03 November 2017)

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