Sergey Kondratiev, Deputy Head of the Economic Department at the Institute for Energy and Finance, gave a comment to the internet portal “Industry and Energy of Russia” on the prospects for developing nuclear energy in Russia and in the world.
According to Sergei Kondratyev, both political and economic factors influenced the reduction of the share of nuclear generation in the world energy balance.
“Firstly, the popularity of green parties and social movements has noticeably grown in the EU countries. Most of them are in favor of abandoning the use of atomic energy, Sergei Kondratiev says. - But in Europe it is difficult to talk about a unified course to abandon nuclear energy. Some countries, such as Germany or Belgium, have announced plans to completely phase out nuclear power plants by the mid-2020s. At the same time, Finland, France, Great Britain, some countries of Eastern Europe remain optimistic and plan to build new nuclear power plants.
Secondly, projects for the construction of new nuclear power plants in most countries do not receive any significant state support, in contrast to the same renewable energy sources, which are guaranteed the purchase of electricity at a fixed price. But economic factors are also very important - projects for the construction of new nuclear power plants have a high capital intensity and long construction periods, sometimes reaching 10-15 years. A long investment cycle leads to the "death" of capital investments and losses for generating companies."
“Of course, a lot will depend on political decisions,” Sergei Kondratiev says.“However, in the coming years, the demand for electricity in the world will grow steadily. For example, developed countries have embarked on the production of electric vehicles, energy-intensive substitutes for fuel (hydrogen). This energy can be obtained from renewable energy sources. But additional solutions will be required regarding the storage of electricity, recycling of solar panels, etc. There are not so many stable low-carbon sources, and in this regard, nuclear power has good prospects.
As for Russia, then, of course, in the European part of the country, where the share of nuclear generation reaches 45% (UES Center), there are natural restrictions for development. In this case, it will be necessary to work out issues related to energy storage, or the development of energy-intensive industries. I believe that in the country as a whole, the share of nuclear energy will remain at the level of 20-25% (20.6% in 2020).”
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