Brussels has said that EU states need to invest in new nuclear power plants, to the tune of half a trillion euros
According to Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner. of the Internal Market, the transition to decarbonised energy in the European Union will include the use of nuclear energy. An investment of half a billion euros is required to be made in new atomic reactors between now and 2050 for this objective to be met.
In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, which was picked up by EFE, the French commissioner confirmed that means dedicating around €20,000 million per year to new generation reactors. This will be added to the €50,000 million that is necessary between now and 2030 to keep the current nuclear power plants in operation.
Breton defends with this argument the controversial proposal of the Community Executive to integrate nuclear power into its taxonomy of so-called ‘green’ energies, which is a way of favouring the arrival of capital for this type of project, under favourable conditions.
French President Emmanuel Macron, recently announced his intention to launch the construction of new reactors to renovate the current park that generates 70 per cent of the country’s electricity. This is a policy that the commissioner acknowledges he has always supported the inclusion of nuclear power in that taxonomy.
In his opinion, nuclear power “is one of the vectors of the energy transition, and that is why it could not be excluded from the taxonomy”. At present, in the European Union as a whole, nuclear energy contributes 26 per cent of electricity production. With the transition, it is estimated that electricity generation will need to be doubled in the next 30 years.
Taking into account the transition process currently underway, and the situation of the current nuclear power plant, Breton said that experts estimate the weight of nuclear power would drop to less than 15 per cent by 2050.
But, as electricity needs are going to increase, Breton insists that nuclear power production will have to be increased, especially given that some of the older plants will have to close in the next few years. That is why he repeats that “including nuclear power in the taxonomy is crucial to allow the sector to attract all the capital it will need”, since he foresees “a race” to attract investments from the various energy sources.
He pointed out that €65,000 million will be needed every year for renewable energies, and to that, €45,000 million per year will have to be added to equip themselves with network infrastructures. France has been one of the countries pushing the most to integrate nuclear power into the European taxonomy of green energy, something that Germany, Austria, and Spain, among others, oppose.
Breton recalls that states are sovereign when it comes to choosing which energies they draw on, and the “collective responsibility” is to focus on the means that must be deployed throughout the EU to reach the goal of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. An objective for which – he emphasised – nuclear energy has “a fundamental role” to achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of the century, as reported by larazon.es.