Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nuclear Energy Agency: Economics of nuclear power

A study from the Nuclear Energy Agency is expected to be favourable to nuclear power costs, but I think this provides a nice overview on the key price drivers.
It also points out that, like most things, the OECD is no longer the key driver, or even particularly relevant to growth in operating reactors.  I'll further note the OECD counties also seem increasingly less relevant to financing new builds.

Nuclear Energy Agency Press Kits - Economics of nuclear power

Outlook for nuclear power
Image from source article
Downward revision of projected growth
Following the Fukushima Daiichi accident, a few countries have already changed their nuclear energy policies, either abandoning previous steps towards building new plants, as in Italy, or accelerating or introducing timetables for the phase-out of nuclear plants, as in Germany and Switzerland. Alongside expectations of lower natural gas prices, this led the IEA to revise downwards by roughly 10% projected growth for nuclear power compared with 2010 projections. However, several non-OECD countries and many OECD countries are expected to press ahead with plans to install additional nuclear power plants.
Possible changes in the economics of nuclear power

After the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the relative economics of nuclear power compared with other generating technologies may change, although this is still unknown and estimates are difficult to provide. It is possible that financing may become more difficult to secure, and finance providers may demand tougher financing conditions, driving up the cost of capital. 
Access to financing will be key
With the liberalisation of electricity markets, access to financing and national support policies for individual technologies designed to reduce financing risks (such as feed-in tariffs, loan or price guarantees) are likely to play an important role in determining final power generation choices.

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