Nuclear power’s electricity generating capacity risks shrinking in the coming decades as ageing reactors are retired and the industry struggles with reduced competitiveness, according to a new IAEA report.
Overall, the new projections suggest that nuclear power may struggle to maintain its current place in the world’s energy mix. In the low case to 2030, the projections show nuclear electricity generating capacity falling by more than 10% from a net installed capacity of 392 gigawatts (electrical) (GW(e)) at the end of 2017. In the high case, generating capacity increases 30% to 511 GW(e), a drop of 45 GW(e) from last year’s projection. Longer term, generating capacity declines to 2040 in the low case before rebounding to 2030 levels by mid-century, when nuclear is seen providing 2.8% of global generating capacity compared with 5.7% today.