"The Dragon roars"
Energy crisis gives life extension to nuclear. As the drive to slow climate change intensifies, there is growing recognition that the pathway to net zero will be faster and easier if nuclear energy is part of the solution [SPG, 2023].
Nuclear energy outlook:
About 160 GW of new additions forecast by 2035, nearly twice as much as during the past 13 years [SPG, 2023].
China accounts for 23 of 55 nukes under construction globally [BNEF, 2023].
By 2050, China’s Net Zero Scenario (NZS) requires 352 GW of nuclear power capacity, up from 57 GW in 2022.
The nuclear center of gravity for new-build capacity is shifting from North America & Europe to mainland China, which is forecast to account for 53% of new nuclear build capacity btw now and 2035.
Although the world's nuclear power gen capacity has been based in North America & Western Europe, with France (generating nearly 70% of electricity ) and the U.S. (generating nearly 1/5 of electricity and half of its clean energy) accounting for nearly half of the global capacity, 85% of prospective capacity additions lie outside those countries, with China, India, Russia, and Turkey set to take up leadership roles in nuclear growth in the coming years (Figure 1).
Yet, while Western European countries are reconsidering the speed of their nuclear phaseout programs, lifetime extensions, and limited new-build programs in France, the U.K., and Eastern Europe will not compensate for retirements.
Figure 1: Nuclear capacity additions and retirements - 2022–30 (GW)