Nuclear to play second fiddle to renewables in western Europe

24. January 2013 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Max Hall

With the UK government under fire as opponents of its Energy Bill claim it is biased towards nuclear and gas at the expense of renewables, new research could make interesting reading for Tory Chancellor George Osborne.

A nuclear power station in the UK.

Nuclear will lose market share at the expense of renewables, including solar, in the UK up to 2020, according to a new report.

In a week which saw UK solar installers announce their intention to sue the coalition government over the drastic reductions applied to solar FiT payments, new research claims nuclear is being phased out across the top 10 western European power markets – including the UK – in favor of renewables.

A report  from 'business intelligence providers' GBI Research predicts that the UK, along with the likes of Germany, Spain and Sweden, will see a reduction in nuclear installed generating capacity whilst renewables capacity will rise.

GBI Research says renewables capacity across the ten countries will rise from 308.5 GW in 2012 to 466.9 GW in 2020.

During that period the report's authors forecast a rise in nuclear capacity of only 1.6 GW, from 104 GW to 105.6 GW, with Finland and France accounting for most of that increase.

The report states that across the countries surveyed – which also include Italy, Norway, Denmark and Ireland – the share of the total power market taken by renewables will rise from 38.8% to 49.8% over the eight years in question whilst nuclear's share will fall from 14.2% last year to 11.3% in 2020.

GBI Research also predicts demand across the 10 countries in question will force up generation capacity from 758.1 GW in 2012 to 937.3 GW in seven years' time.

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