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China’s nuclear power share in energy mix on the rise

Nuclear power generating capacity in China is expected to continue increasing in the coming years with its share in the country’s energy mix set to keep climbing, according to an industry report.

China is expected to further expand its installed nuclear power capacity, which will account for 10% of China’s total power output in 2035, up from 5% in 2021 and equivalent to reducing 900 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, according to a blue book – China’s Nuclear Energy Development 2024 – released by the China Nuclear Energy Association.

The share of nuclear power generation is expected to reach 18% by 2060, which is similar to the current average level for members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, it said.

The Chinese government has been implementing an active, safe and orderly development of nuclear power in recent years, with the scale and pace of nuclear power development entering a new normal, Zhang Tingke, vice-chairman and secretary-general of the China Nuclear Energy Association, said.

According to the blue book, China’s nuclear power generation has continued to grow over the past few years, and future power supply growth will come mostly from non-fossil energy sources amid its green energy transition.

Nuclear power generation in China reached 433.37 billion kilowatt-hours last year, ranking second worldwide and equivalent to reducing the burning of standard coal by more than 130 million tonnes compared with coal-fired power generation, it said.

In 2023, China’s nuclear power projects under construction steadily advanced, with five new nuclear power units launching construction.

The investment in nuclear power construction was 94.9 billion yuan last year, the highest level in five years, it said.

According to Citic Securities, the accelerated approval of nuclear power projects is expected to lead to the growth of China’s related industry chain, further facilitating the country’s goal of reducing carbon emissions sooner than planned.

Source: The Star