France outstrips the rest of Europe in nuclear generation

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8 September 2014, Nuclear, Solar, Wind

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Rankings of Europe's leading nuclear power nations compared to consumption in 2014:
1. France 104.0%
2. Belgium 44.0%
3. Sweden 37.9%
4. Czech Republic 38.6%
5. Hungary 36.9%
6. Finland 25.7%
7. Spain 20.6%
8. UK 18.2%
9. Romania 17.9%
10. Germany 16.8%

France's heavy investment in nuclear capacity started in the 1950s, and it currently has 59 nuclear power plant facilities. Of these, 24 have a capacity of greater than 1,000MW. Its two largest facilities (Chooz-B1 and B2) at Charleville-Mezieres have a capacity of 1,500MW each, while a new facility is under construction called Flamanville-3. It will come online by 2016 with a capacity of 1,600MW.

Belgium and Sweden were ranked second and third with 44.0% and 37.9% respectively. Belgium has eight operational nuclear power plants and Sweden has 11. Comparing the nations in terms of actual energy output, France is projected to generate 396TWh of nuclear power in 2014, while Belgium will produce 37.5TWh and Sweden will generate 57.7TWh. Despite being ranked 10th Germany is actually the next largest producer of nuclear power in actual output terms. The country is projected to create 91.9TWh through nuclear plants in 2014, but its national energy consumption is more than 2.3 times that of Belgium and Sweden combined, which accounts for its lower rank.

By 2030, Hungary and Czech Republic are projected to leapfrog Belgium and Sweden into the top three. Hungary plans to bring two extra plants online in its Nuclear Paks facility (Paks 5 and 6) by 2023 and 2025. Each will have a capacity of 1,200MW. The Czech Republic will similarly bring two new nuclear plants online by 2026 and 2028 with 1,200MW capacity per plant. Another notable mover will be Finland, which will rise from sixth in 2014 to fourth by 2030 due to its plan to construct and run three new plants.

Both Belgium and Germany have pledged to cease nuclear power generation by 2025 and 2023 respectively, mainly as a consequence of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. In addition, high commissioning and decommissioning costs for nuclear plants have played a part in these decisions. In net terms, Europe's nuclear generation will actually decline from 776.8TWh in 2014 to 683.9TWh by 2030. / / @DatamonitorEN

Source: MarketLine

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