Report says 45% of global population uses more renewables than nuclear
Wind, Solar and Nuclear, Capacity Increases in the World 2000–2014. Source: The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2015.
Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and Spain already produce more power from non-hydro renewables than from nuclear power plants, says the The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2015.
These countries represent 45% of global population. It is also important to mention that in 2014 renewable power generation, including hydro, beat nuclear power in the UK for the first time in decades.
According to the report, the rapid growth of renewable power generation globally is affecting the economic and operational efficiency of nuclear power plants. The same is true for other large, centralised, baseload power stations, such as those running coal. Because of renewables, the less-flexible power plants globally will increasingly have to keep producing power even when it is not needed or when operating at a loss.
“The development of renewables, as the system is currently configured, tends to be to the detriment of nuclear power and other base‐load generators, which are said to be uncompetitive and ‘structurally disadvantaged’,” says the Status Report, published on July 15.
As shown in the figure above, the world has installed 355 GW of wind and 180 GW of solar since 2000, and just 20 GW of nuclear power capacity. The deployment of renewables at scale increases the need for highly flexible complementary sources, while turning baseload generators into “the dinosaur of the future energy system”, as defined by Swiss bank UBS.