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Yves Desbazeille said it is essential that EU policy supports nuclear energy to ensure reduced dependency on imports. Courtesy Foratom. Brussels-based nuclear industry group Foratom said the European commission should have paid closer attention to the role nuclear can play in mitigating the current energy crisis across the bloc in a communication on tackling rising energy prices.

Foratom said that by including European nuclear in its toolkit of measures to tackle rising energy prices, the commission would have a unique opportunity of limiting its dependence on carbon intensive natural gas imports, reducing its exposure to wholesale price fluctuations and its carbon footprint.

“As highlighted in the communication, the current price increases are being driven by higher natural gas prices on the global market”, Foratom director-general Yves Desbazeille said. “Therefore, as the EU moves to increase its share of variable renewables, it is essential that EU policy supports other low-carbon European sources to ensure reduced dependency on imports.”

The communication highlights the effects which lower availability of renewables has had on the market, leading to supply constraints. Because nuclear can provide both baseload and dispatchable electricity, it acts as a perfect counterbalance at times when renewables are unavailable, Foratom said. Nuclear currently accounts for around 25% of the electricity mix in the EU.

The communication refers to the sustainable finance taxonomy, confirming that a complementary delegated act will cover nuclear energy “subject to and consistent with the results of the specific review process underway in accordance with the EU taxonomy regulation”.

Foratom said this review is now complete and experts overall concluded that nuclear is compliant with the taxonomy. “We urge the commission to urgently publish the CDA to avoid nuclear being unfairly penalised,” Foratom said.

Date: Thursday, 14 October 2021
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