China to Dominate Nuclear as Beijing Bets on Homegrown Reactors. China probably won’t hit its nuclear energy target this year, but that’s unlikely to derail a broader ambition to become the planet’s chief proponent of the climate-friendly fuel by the end of the decade. In an energy mix that’ll still heavily feature coal and other fossil fuels, government researchers have said that nuclear capacity could more than double to 130 gigawatts by 2030. While that would be only about 10% of national power generation, such is China’s heft in energy markets it would still save the amount of carbon that Germany emits annually from burning coal, oil and gas. In the meantime, China looks like it’ll miss its goal of 58 gigawatts of nuclear by the end of this year. Why that is, as with virtually every recent stumble associated with atomic energy, dates to the catastrophe at Fukushima in Japan nine years ago, which has slowed new projects and halted approvals. Still, GlobalData Plc predicts that China will pass France as the world’s No. 2 nuclear generator in 2022 and claim the top spot from the U.S. four years after that. China had almost 49 gigawatts installed as of 2019 and should get into the mid-fifties this year. New plants, or adding reactors at existing facilities, takes years to plan and construct, and a three-year freeze on approvals that ended in 2019 has thinned the pipeline for this decade.
Bloomberg 1st June 2020 read more »