Global investments in wind and solar were, in 2021, almost 15 times higher than those devoted to new nuclear power plants, according to a report published on Wednesday.
Some $350 billion has been invested in solar or wind power projects, compared to $24 billion spent on nuclear, says the World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) published on Wednesday, as the decline of nuclear power continues: its share in global electricity production fell below 10% for the first time last year.
Renewables are more competitive than nuclear and fossil energy in the majority of markets because they are cheaper and faster to build
,” the report explains.
There is therefore more investment in renewable energy, leading to lower prices and more deployments, creating a virtuous circle
,” adds the WNISR.
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The generation of nuclear electricity, however, increased in gross figures by 3.1% in 2021, but remains below the level of 2019. China has for the second year in a row relegated France to second place among the largest producers.
Six reactors were connected to the grid last year, including three in China, while eight were shut down for a total of 98 start-ups and 105 shutdowns between 2002 and 2021. A total of 411 reactors were operating as of July 1, 2022 in 33 countries , four less than in 2021, seven less than in 1989 and 27 below the 2002 record. % of reactors currently under construction.
Yet it is Russia that "
largely dominates the international market
", according to the WNISR, with China limiting itself to domestic projects.
Only three of the 20 reactors currently built by the Russian company Rosatom are located in Russia.
The impact of the sanctions, imposed after the invasion of Ukraine, is for the moment "
", notes the report.
Of the ten projects launched in 2021, six are Russian technology reactors, including two in India.
Four are projects by Chinese operators.
Russian and Chinese companies are responsible for all 18 projects launched between early 2020 and mid-2022.
Among the reactors under construction, “
at least half are behind
schedule” with more than ten years for nine projects, including the EPR Flamanville-3.