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IEA Report / Nuclear Share Of TPES Grows From 0.5% to 4.9%

By David Dalton
12 August 2019

Nuclear Share Of TPES Grows From 0.5% to 4.9%
The share of nuclear energy in world total primary energy supply (TPES) grew from 0.5% to 4.9% between 1971 and 2017, figures from the International Energy Agency show.

Electricity generation by nuclear has remained almost flat in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries (OECD) in recent years, ranging from 1,952 TWh in 2012 to 1,976 TWh in 2018. Data beginning in 1990 shows it peaked at 2,370 TWh in 2006.

The US, which has 97 nuclear reactors in commercial operation, and France, which has 58, produced almost 50% of all nuclear between them in 2017.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are 451 nuclear reactors in commercial operation worldwide.

Between 1971 and 2017, TPES increased by more than 2.5 times with major changes to the shares of oil and gas. While still the dominant fuel in 2017, oil fell from 44% to 32% of TPES. As for natural gas, it grew from 16% to 22%.

The share of coal is one percentage point higher in 2017 compared to 1971, however, it has fluctuated significantly during that period, increasing constantly between 1999 and 2011, influenced mainly by increased consumption in China.

While energy production of all fuels is very concentrated, with over half of production stemming from fewer than five countries (and in some cases only two countries), there is significant variation among fuels.

China produced almost half of world coal in 2017, and almost a third of hydro. Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US contributed slightly less than 40% of the world crude oil while Russia and the US also accounted for 40% of world natural gas.

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