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IEA recommends significant nuclear power investment in India

August 6th, 2014

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has recently recommended that India needs to grow its nuclear power capacity by 15 times if it is to successfully transition away from coal-fired power.

The IEA says the Indian government needs to hugely expand its nuclear power strength in or order to bring electricity to 300 million people, while meeting international environmental obligations.

Per capita electricity consumption in India is less than one quarter of the global average, said the IEA, highlighting its analysis of India's electricity system published in its Energy Technology Persepctives 2014.

A "first priority" for India is to raise this level of power consumption.
India nuclear power plant
To do this will require investment across the country's entire power sector, with renewables and nuclear power at the fore if a low-carbon mix is to be achieved. Under the IEA's '2DS' scenario, where carbon dioxide emissions are curtailed enough to limit average global temperature increases to 2ºC, a range of renewables would provide 40 per cent of electricity with nuclear supplying 15 per cent by 2050. The use of carbon-intensive coal for power generation would fall from today's 80 per cent to less than 20 per cent.

World Nuclear News reports that such a scenario would see nuclear power grow faster than the power sector as a whole, from a total capacity of 5.3 GWe today to 80 GWe in 2050 - some fifteen times more.

India's official stated goals for nuclear power are more ambitious than the IEA's scenario, aiming for 25 per cent of electricity supply by 2050.

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