Brussels, 16 September 2020: FORATOM welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to increase its 2030 CO2 emission reduction target to at least 55%. This is essential if the EU is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The nuclear sector stands ready to play its part by providing a stable supply of low-carbon electricity, as well as other energy carriers (e.g. hydrogen).
In terms of decarbonising the electricity sector, FORATOM has identified two challenges: ensuring security of supply and costs.
“It is clear that by supporting an energy mix which combines both nuclear power and variable renewables, the EU will have access to a low-carbon supply of electricity, 24/7” states Yves Desbazeille, FORATOM Director General. “Such a combination will contribute not only ensuring security of supply, but also keeping the costs of the transition to a minimum”.
According to the conclusions of an FTI-CL Energy Consulting study commissioned by FORATOM (“Pathways to 2050: role of nuclear in a low-carbon Europe”), Europe could save more than 440bn€ between 2020 and 2050 by supporting a 25% share of nuclear in the 2050 electricity mix. Customers would save around 350bn€ in costs, with 90% of these savings occuring before 2035 thanks primarily to the life-time extension of existing nuclear reactors as well as the construction of new ones. Furthermore, around 90bn€ could also be saved in relation to the additional Transmission and Distribution grid costs needed to accommodate the new solar and wind capacity, if ever built, which would replace the lost nuclear capacity.
“It should be noted that the transition is not just about saving costs, it’s also about ensuring economic growth and jobs” adds Mr Desbazeille.
“Here nuclear plays an important role as it currently sustains more than 1 million jobs in the EU27. By 2050, this figure could rise to 1.2 million”.
The European nuclear industry stands ready to play its part in helping the EU to decarbonise. To do this, EU policy must treat all technologies in the same way. As highlighted by several Member States at the end of 2019, if they are to progress towards such ambitious targets then they must have the freedom to include low-carbon nuclear within their energy mix.
About us: The European Atomic Forum (FORATOM) is the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe. The membership of FORATOM is made up of 15 national nuclear associations and through these associations, FORATOM represents nearly 3,000 European companies working in the industry and supporting around 1,100,000 jobs.
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