Full-scale electrification would require the construction of new nuclear capacity.
Full-scale electrification would not require the construction of new nuclear capacity. The economics of wind and solar power currently favour them as major sources of new generation capacity and the generation potential of alternative technologies are sufficient to satisfy increased total electricity demand.
Ultimately, the significant existing potentials of renewable generation technologies such as wind and solar PV mean that full-scale electrification could be achieved without the use of new nuclear. , Furthermore, following dramatic declines in the costs of wind and solar generation, these technologies are now, in many places, cheaper than conventional fossil generation and therefore likely to be preferred to future nuclear investments. Solar PV costs fell between 66-80% between 2010 and 2018, and further cost reductions, albeit likely on a lower level, are expected to continue. With adequate instruments available to secure the integration of a high share of renewables in the power system, it is therefore reasonable to assume that renewables will play the major role in satisfying an increased need for electricity.
Ruiz et al., “ENSPRESO - an Open , EU-28 Wide , Transparent and Coherent Database of Wind , Solar and Biomass Energy Potentials.”
IEA, “Offshore Wind Outlook 2019: World Energy Outlook Special Report.”
IRENA, “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018” (Abu Dhabi, 2019), 9, https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2019/May/IRENA_Renewable-Power-Generations-Costs-in-2018.pdf.
IRENA, Power System Flexibility for the Energy Transition.