The Path to Drawdown: Nuclear Power
Addressing climate change and remaining below 1.5ºC of global warming compared to pre-industrial levels means that the world’s electricity source needs to switch from fossil fuels to 100% emissions-free sources by 2050. Nuclear power needs to be a significant component in the energy mix of that decarbonized future.
Extremely powerful and efficient in generating electricity, nuclear power has reduced CO2 emissions by over 60 gigatonnes over the last five decades -- equivalent to nearly 2 years’ worth of global energy-related emissions. Unlike solar and wind, electric generation from nuclear power is stable. The cost of building new plants is still very high, but once built, the energy is relatively inexpensive. With Generation III reactors on the horizon, nuclear power is becoming safer, cheaper, and more efficient.
Nuclear power accounts for 10.5% of global electricity generation today. To be on a path to remain under 1.5C° of warming, nuclear power needs to grow mildly in the next three decades:
- <::marker> 6,093 TWh of nuclear electricity generated in 2018
- <::marker> 6,245.3 TWh needed by 2050
- <::marker> CAGR of 0.08% from 2018-2050