In January 2016, the State of New York Public Service Commission ruled that the state’s Clean Energy Standard (CES) portfolio must include nuclear power plants among its non-carbon-emitting generation resources. The decision – which came as a boost to the nuclear industry in the US – represents the latest step forward for nuclear power, in its efforts to gain global recognition as a key component of efforts to tackle climate change. It’s a message that’s already being heeded in the UK. Currently, nuclear power accounts for 16% of Britain’s overall electricity supply – a figure projected to rise to around 25% by 2025. Its pursuit of this goal has seen the UK become the first country to start to build new private sector-funded nuclear power stations in a competitive electricity market. Also, nuclear’s classification as a low-carbon technology under the UK’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) programme means it can take advantage of mechanisms such as Contracts for Difference. Meanwhile, on the global stage, the potential role of nuclear in reducing carbon impacts from power generation was a central theme of last December’s COP21 summit in Paris. During the event, Loreta Stankeviciute – Energy Economist at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – stressed that nuclear energy should be considered on equal footing with other low-carbon energy sources in weighing the energy options for mitigating climate change, in recognition of its broader potential for contributing to sustainable development.
PWC 24th Feb 2016 read more »