Main Media Centre,
April 26–27, 2021
In 2018 more nuclear capacity was added to the grid than has been seen for almost 30 years and 2019 looks set to beat that record again. But it is vital that the rate of nuclear new build accelerates if we are going to be able to meet our future energy needs sustainably.
Global carbon emissions jumped to an all-time high in 2018. At a time when the latest IPCC report says that emissions must be cut almost immediately, investment in alternatives to fossil fuels, particularly nuclear, needs to be increased substantially.
We must find alternatives, because the global hunger for energy is set to continue to rise, driven by the growth of emerging economies and the increase of the global population, and the many more uses to which electricity will be applied, such as desalination and recharging electric vehicles.
Access to electricity and clean air are vital needs. Currently one in six people in the world has no access to electricity. As electricity demand continues to rise, greenhouse gas emissions must fall if we are to mitigate climate change and we must switch to cleaner sources to reduce air pollution. This will require large increases of all low-carbon energy sources, of which nuclear is an important part.
Today, with the experience and knowledge it has gained, the nuclear energy industry is in a strong position to deliver on the Harmony goal of generating 25% of electricity by 2050. And we must be ready to do substantially more, particularly in those countries already with well-established nuclear generation.
We must create the conditions to make this possible and focus on removing the real barriers to growth.
The International Energy Agency has called for nuclear energy to receive “clear and consistent policy support for existing and new capacity, including clean energy incentive schemes for development of nuclear alongside other clean forms of energy.”
The whole nuclear community needs to work with a broad range of stakeholders and decisions-makers to create fair markets with a level playing field, create an effective safety paradigm and create harmonized regulatory processes.
World Nuclear Association, as the international organization that represents the global nuclear industry, is determined to play its part in creating the conditions to deliver the Harmony goal.
I am delighted to be here again at ATOMEXPO. I look forward to meeting friends and colleagues already part of our Harmony programme, I invite more of you to join us, and I wish all those attending ATOMEXPO every success.
Director General, World Nuclear Association