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China Led Global Nuclear Growth of 1.1% In 2017, Says BP Report

By David Dalton
26 June 2018

26 Jun (NucNet): Global nuclear generation grew by 1.1% in 2017 with growth in China and Japan partially offset by declines in South Korea and Taiwan, a report says.

The BP Statistical review of World Energy says nuclear in China grew by eight million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe), and in Japan – where units returned to service following post-Fukushima safety checks – by three mtoe.

In South Korea nuclear production fell by three mtoe and in Taiwan by two mtoe.

The report notes that the share of non-fossil fuels in the power sector in 2017 was a little lower than it was 20 years ago because the growth of renewables has not offset the declining share of nuclear.

It says “the power sector really matters” because it is by far the single biggest market for energy, absorbing over 40% of primary energy in 2017.

Solar capacity increased by nearly 100 GW last year, with China on its own building by over 50 GW –roughly equivalent to the generation potential of more than two-and-a-half Hinkley Point nuclear power plants.

The report says much of this growth continues to be underpinned by policy support, but has been aided by continuing falls in solar costs, with auction bids of less than five US cents/KWh – which would have been unthinkable for most projects even just a few years ago – now almost commonplace.

Spencer Dale, BP group chief economist said global energy markets took a backwards step in 2017 in terms of the transition to a lower carbon energy system. Growth in energy demand, coal consumption and carbon emissions all increased.

However, he said that should be seen in the context of the exceptional outcomes recorded in the previous three years. “Some backsliding was almost inevitable.”

The report is online:

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