People often talk about Business as usual (BAU) which is to expect the world say in energy to be a replay of what the past 20-50 years has been. BAU is usually focused on the United States, Europe and the rest of the OECD (the traditionally developed countries). However, we can currently expect very little economic growth from the US, Europe and Japan.
Europe has had little growth for a while and now has the debt problem of PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain).
The United States has a debt ceiling problem and other structural problems in its economy and political system which are preventing a return to relatively good growth.
Japan has the recovery from the earthquake and still has not escaped two decades of slow growth.
There is a reasonable baseline scenario which I call the Business as Currently Expected Case (BACE). This has a lot more buildout of nuclear power than looking at a flawed BAU case which focuses on a world dominated by the US, Europe and Japan. This incorporates the stated plan that China has put forward. China is indicating that they will build to 80-120 GWe of nuclear power by 2020 and more by 2030. Perhaps 300-400 GWe or more.
Also, China has indicated that they will start exporting nuclear reactors by 2013. Then China and South Korea will both be exporting nuclear reactors that are about half the cost of reactors from Japan and France and the USA.
China is well under way with its pebble bed reactor and with more breeder reactors. Russia is working with China on breeder reactors.
China, South Korea, Russia, India is the source of production of the nuclear power growth. Middle Eastern and other countries will buy their reactors from China, S Korea, Russia and India.
China will use nuclear to blunt and reduce the usage of fossil fuels.
China has passed the USA in total electricity usage already. China is growing energy usage that by 5-8% per year. The USA is at flat energy usage to 1-1.5% growth. This is why the new construction of any new energy is mostly in China and then will also be in India. Asia is where the bulk of the economic growth is and that is where the new energy construction is. All the US and Europe are doing is replacing what gets to old or breaks. With occasional build in the states and regions with some growth (like the Texas the Southern US states.)
This is the basic baseline or Business as Expected Case for 2011-2030.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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