22.11.2018_No232 / News in Brief

Nuclear Needed To Help Stabilise Rising Electricity Prices, Says Conference

Policies & Politics

22 Nov (NucNet): An energy mix that includes nuclear power helps to stabilise electricity prices because its fuel source, uranium, is abundantly available and its price has little impact on production costs, the World Nuclear Spotlight Poland conference concluded.

A meeting at the conference, organised by Brussels-based industry group Foratom and the London-based World Nuclear Association, heard that wholesale electricity prices across Europe have seen an unprecedented increase between 2017 and 2018, and could have a significant negative impact on European economies.

“Interestingly, in France, a country where nuclear accounts for a major share of the energy mix, the rise in prices has been lower (+32%). This compares to Germany – currently phasing out nuclear – where the rise has been significantly higher (+87%),” Foratom said.

A decision to invest in nuclear will show that Poland is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit the increase in global average temperatures to well below 2C relative to preindustrial levels.

“Investing in low-carbon nuclear will enable Poland to reduce its CO2 emissions and other air pollutants, whilst ensuring people and industry have access to the electricity they need, when they need it,” Foratom said. “And all of this at an acceptable cost to consumers.”

Earlier this week Polish energy minister Krzysztof Tchórzewski told the conference Poland must invest in a new low-carbon energy source if it is to reduce its CO2 emissions, with nuclear energy a potential solution to the challenges facing the Polish economy and the energy sector.

In 2014 Poland launched a national nuclear power programme which included the construction of up to 6 GW of capacity by 2035.

Shortly after taking over at the end of 2015, Poland’s current government announced it would update the programme, but kept pushing back the deadline over uncertainties related to the project’s financing model.

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David Dalton

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