Energy Information Administration Projections to 2030 Assume that China Will Not Meet Nuclear Targets

The 2009 Energy Information Administration Projections to 2030 have been released.

The highest energy growth case has China at 274 billion kilowatt hours for 2020 and 426 billion kilowatt hours for 2030. China is increasing its nuclear build targets to 75 gigawatts for 2020 and 104 nuclear reactors for 2030. The 2030 reactors would mostly be larger 1.7GWe versions of the AP1000. A previous target for 2030 was 160 gigawatts when the 2020 target was still 50-60 gigwatts. A more recent target for 2030 was to generate 16% of China’s total power needs which would be aboutr 250 GWe.

If China is able to achieve the 75 gigawatt target for 2020 then it would seem that the 2030 target would be about 200 gigawatts. In 2007, nuclear power in China provided 62.86 billion kWh – 2.3% of total, and there is now 8.6 GWe (net) installed.

Using the same capacity factors as China currently has the 75 GWe for 2020 would achieve 548 billion kWh. The USA was able to achieve 806 billion kwh from 101 GWe using 91.8% utilization. If China was able to achieve that level of utilization then 75 GWe would produce 598 billion kWh.

If China in 2030 was able to achieve its 250 GWe target that would be more than double the current USA nuclear power and achieving over 2000 billion kWh. This would be over 1500 billion kWh higher than the high projection from the IEA for 2030.

The IEA projections for Russia are also far lower than what Russia is planning to build.

China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Korea seem likely to have far higher nuclear reactor build than the IEA projection.

Also, there is the possibility that success with uranium hydride Hyperion Power Generation, China’s plan for factory mass produced High Temperature Pebble reactors or IEC nuclear fusion would vastly increase the amount of power from nuclear energy.

Russia is looking to double its current nuclear power generation to 51 GWe by 2020.

Goldman Sachs slides on nuclear power. H/T Dan Yurman at Idaho Samizdat.

EIA 2009 Outlook:

Non-OECD Asia leads the world in installing new nuclear capacity in the IEO2009 reference case, accounting for 54 percent of the projected net increment in nuclear capacity worldwide (or 72 gigawatts of the total 132-gigawatt increase). China, in particular, has expansive plans for nuclear power, with a net 47 gigawatts of additional capacity projected to be installed by 2030. Currently, 11 nuclear power plants are under construction in China, including 6 for which construction was
started in 2008. [International Atomic Energy Association is the March 2009 source fir EIAWith generation from coal, natural gas, and renewable energy sources also expected to continue increasing rapidly, however, the nuclear share of total generation in China increases only from 2 percent in 2006 to 5 percent in 2030.

China has 12 nuclear plants under construction now and will have 12 more starting by the end of 2009. China’s People’s Daily reported Feb 2009 that 22 new nuclear reactors were already under construction. (20 of the 22 apply CPR-1000, the China-developed second-generation technology.) The 47 net GWe of new nuclear power in China for 2030 is a massively low estimate.

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