Global Energy News Roundup: May 31

The Forum on Energy weekly news roundup brings together a mix of global energy stories from around the web. It is published every week. Please visit our page on Twitter via @forumonenergy

IEA Issues Warning For Increase in CO2 Emissions if Nuclear Power Generating Capacity Reduced

The International Energy Agency (IEA) issued a warning this week saying that if advanced economies reduced their nuclear generating capacity, the result would be billions of tons of additional carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Currently, nuclear power accounts for 18% of advanced economies electricity generation and is the largest low-carbon sources of electricity. According to the IEA, nuclear’s share of the global electricity supply has been declining over recent years. Additionally, new capacity has not kept pace with the aging and retiring of nuclear fleets built in the 1970s and 1980s. The IEA predicts that if the lifespans of these nuclear plants are not expanded, and new projects are not built, then an additional 4 billion tons of CO2 emissions will be created by the global energy sector. Dr. Faith Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director said in a statement: “Without an important contribution from nuclear power, the global energy transition will be that much harder…Alongside renewables, energy efficiency, and other innovative technologies, nuclear can make a significant contribution to achieving sustainable energy goals and enhancing energy security. But unless the barriers it faces are overcome, its role will soon be on a steep decline worldwide, particularly in the United States, Europe, and Japan.”

Source: Clean Technica

Ambassador and Admiral Argue For Support of U.S. Nuclear Energy Industry

Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr., a retired diplomat who helped negotiate every international arms control and nonproliferation agreement from 1970 to 1977 and Admiral Richard W. Mies, a former commander in chief of strategic command, and the operational commander of U.S. nuclear forces from 1998 until 2002, wrote an opinion piece published by The Hill, that argues that critical U.S. national security interests are at risk if the U.S. nuclear energy industry continues to decline. The two explain how “the U.S. share of international commercial nuclear energy markets has diminished, and so with it has the United States’ ability to influence global standards in peaceful nuclear energy.” The authors argue that the most critical moment for U.S. leadership in nuclear energy is when a country is developing nuclear energy for the first time. It is then that important relationships are forged that last for 80 to 100 years. Furthermore, the authors identify Russia and China as using nuclear energy as a strategic export “to be leveraged for geopolitical influence as well as for economic gain.” They list key steps for how to maintain U.S. leadership in nuclear energy which are to recognize what’s at stake, maintain the domestic reactor fleet, and assist American entrepreneurs in developing the next generation of the technology.

Source: The Hill

Ohio House of Representatives Pass Bill that Provides Financial Support for Two Nuclear Reactors in the State

The Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill (House Bill 6) on Wednesday that aims to save the state’s two nuclear power reactors from early retirement. The bill also allows for “solar generation to qualify for clean air credits, sets a cap to prevent windfall profits during times of high power prices and provides financial support for Ohio Valley Electric Corp’s (OVEC) coal plants in Ohio and Indiana.” The bill will now go to Ohio’s state Senate. The two reactors are located at the Davis Besse and Perry power plants on Lake Erie. The company that owns the two reactors, FirstEnergy Solutions, has stated that it will shut the reactors in 2020 and 2021 unless financial support is offered from state or federal programs. If the reactors are shut down, it is estimated that 4,300 jobs could be lost.

Source: KFGO