Emerging countries will power new nuclear energy boom

The Global nuclear energy generation will climb by almost 30 percent by the end of the decade, thanks in part to an influx of new nations developing nuclear programs, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company issued a new report titled Fuel Assemblies for Nuclear Power: Global Market Size, Average Pricing, Competitive Landscape and Key Country Analysis to 2020. The report predicts worldwide nuclear energy generation will jump from 2,386,449 GWh in 2012 to 3,078,130 GWh in 2020, with 198 nuclear reactors scheduled to begin commercial operations within the forecast window.

The predicted increase follows the modest growth witnessed between 2000 and 2011, and the sharp drop of 2011-2012 when some countries shut down reactors in response to the Fukushima disaster.

The report says that around 45 nuclear-free countries are presently considering adding nuclear reactors to their energy portfolio, including the UAE, Turkey, Poland and Bangladesh. Of this group, the UAE will be the primary nuclear energy driver over the forecast period, with four nuclear power plants expected to come online by 2020.

The escalating need for power, combined with soaring fossil fuel prices, is driving the demand for nuclear energy around the world—especially in rapidly developing countries where large-scale alternative energy generation is impractical. According to GlobalData, global power consumption will climb from 20,114,049 GWh in 2012 to 27,496,560 GWh in 2020, increasing at an annual average growth rate of 4 percent.

A substantial number of reactors coming online in countries such as China, India and South Korea will see the Asia-Pacific region lead in terms of global nuclear energy generation over the forecast period, states the new report—jumping from 323,989 GWh in 2012 to 851,698 GWh by the end of the decade.

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