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27 Mar 2018


Welcome to the bi-weekly Executive Brief, delivering the latest nuclear energy news. 
"Southeast Europe is headed for an energy crisis.
The region has an energy infrastructure that is unreliable, inefficient, and unsustainable, while at the same time it is faced with the need to reduce dependence on external sources and conform to EU climate and air quality regulations.
The best way out is to invest in new nuclear capacity." 
Tim Yeo, Chairman, NNWE
4 Things to Know

(1) NNWE Chairman Tim Yeo writes exclusively for Energypost on the impending energy crisis facing Southeast Europe if urgent policy decisions are not made. 

  • Crisis, what crisis?: A mix of geopolitical tensions, Paris Accord objectives, and future EU energy policy demands from member states have magnified concerns about energy security.
  • Outlook: SE Europe is set to become a net exporter of energy in the 2030's. 
  • Accession conditions: Tightening EU rules may mean 11GW of installed coal fired plants will be decommissioned, worsening the regions energy independence. 
  • Who: The SE outlook covers - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia FYR, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia.
  • Cost: The EU Reference Scenario 2016 (EURS16) indicates that the EU-wide electricity price could reach €165 per MWh (2013 prices) by 2035, in excess of what SE nations are forecast to pay (€148 and €144 in Romania and Bulgaria in 2040 respectively).
  • Read more: online here

(2) Unit 1 of Barakah NPP has cleared the construction phase, and the project now shifts its focus to completing operational preparations required to obtain the operating licence.

  • Importance: The UAE as the first Arab country to deliver a commercial nuclear plant, as well as the first nuclear power newcomer since 1985.
  • Size: The Barakah NPP is the largest nuclear energy new build project in the world, with four APR-1400 units under simultaneous construction.
  • Timeline: Construction of Units 2, 3 and 4 are 92%, 81%, and 66% complete respectively.
  • Output: The development will deliver around 25% of the country’s requirements - saving up to 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
  • QuoteSheikh Mohamed bin Zayed -- "This is a historic moment in our nation’s development... The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme will play a strategic role in the growth of our nation by enhancing our energy security, diversifying our economy, and creating employment opportunities for our people, thereby helping secure the future of generations to come."

(3) The latest IEA calculations have shown that global energy demand grew by 2.1% in 2017 and carbon emissions rose for the first time since 2014.

  • 72%...: of global energy demand growth was met by oil, natural gas and coal - while renewables accounted for 25%.
  • 3%: Was accounted for by nuclear energy.
  • Surprises: Most major economies saw a rise, however some experienced declines, including the USA, UK & Japan, with the biggest drop coming from the US.
  • Nuclear development: Output from nuclear plants rose by 26 TWh in 2017, as a significant amount of new nuclear capacity saw its first full year of operation.
  • QuoteDr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA -- “The robust global economy pushed up energy demand last year, which was mostly met by fossil fuels, while renewables made impressive strides. The significant growth in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 tells us that current efforts to combat climate change are far from sufficient. For example, there has been a dramatic slowdown in the rate of improvement in global energy efficiency as policy makers have put less focus in this area.”

(4) A new report by SFEN discusses whether new EPRs should be built in France, touching upon the overall production cost and the levers available to ensure its competitiveness over time.

  • Government Policy: France's Climate Plan, announced in June 2017, sets a goal of neutralising GHG emissions by 2050.
  • Cost savings: 30% possible on the cost of construction and up to 50% on the financial costs, particularly through the design of contracts.
  • Timeline:  A decision on new build EPRs must be made by 2020 in order to meet existing energy objectives. 

Risk: Without new build EPRs, France will lose control of a strategically important sector to other nations, potentially risking energy security.



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