For the first time in its 32-year history, the International Energy Agency (IEA), in its World Energy Outlook 2006 urges governments around the world to help speed the construction of new nuclear power plants.
The IEA report – the first to offer advocacy rather than analysis – comes after the Group of Eight last summer asked the agency to come up with guidance on how governments could bolster energy security and combat global warming.
In the WEO 2006, the profile and significance of the World Alternative Policy Scenario is elevated and presented in the format that can be used as a ‘policy tool’ for governments to change the unsustainable trends of the reference scenario. The Alternative Policy Scenario is be built on policy measures such as energy efficiency and increased use of renewables and nuclear.
The Outlook demonstrates that nuclear power could make a major contribution to reducing dependence on imported gas and curbing CO2 emissions in a cost-effective way. But this will happen only if the governments of countries where nuclear power is accepted play a stronger role in facilitating private investment, especially in liberalized markets. “Nuclear power remains a potentially attractive option for enhancing the security of electricity supply and mitigating carbon-dioxide emissions – but financing the upfront investment cost may remain a challenge”, said Claude Mandil, Executive Director of the IEA.
The agency found nuclear power to be cost competitive with coal and gas, its main rivals, and concluded that there were enough uranium deposits to meet renewed demand.
The report also pushes for greater energy efficiency, especially in transport and home electrical appliances, and advocate renewable energy, especially biofuels for transport and wind for power generation.
The World Energy Outlook 2006 was released to International Press in London on 7 November 2006 and is available at World Energy Outlook 2006, 600 pages, ISBN 92-64-10989-7, paper €150, PDF €120 (2006)
World urged to build more N-plants, Carola Hoyos, Financial Times, Nov. 1, 2006
The World Energy Outlook 2006 Maps Out a Cleaner, Cleverer and More Competitive Energy Future , IEA press release, Nov., 7, 2006