Avoided CO2 emissions for 4 months 202010.04.2020
Climate change is one of the major environmental challenges facing the world today. According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the average air temperature increased by 1.0 ° C ± 0.2 ° C above pre-industrial levels during 2008-2018. According to experts, global warming will reach 1.5 °C (the limit set by the Paris Climate Agreement on December 12, 2015) between 2030 and 2052, while maintaining the current rate of temperature rise.
The decarbonisation of electricity is central to the fight against climate change: global electricity production accounts for 40% of total emissions.
Nuclear power is contributing greatly to reducing global CO2 emissions and at the same time meeting the growing demand for electricity from the world's growing population and supporting sustainable development around the world. According to a 2018 IPCC report, nuclear energy is referred to as low-carbon-emitting sources, the further development of which will help to prevent climate change.
According to IPCC calculations, the average emission over the life cycle of nuclear energy is 12 g per kW. That is - is equal to wind generation. Lower figure is only for hydropower. Whereas solar is higher.
Nuclear power contributes to the security of energy supply and industrial development by providing safe and reliable electricity at stable and predictable prices.
In 2018, global installed nuclear power for the first time reached 400 GW, exceeding 10% of global electricity production and 30% of global low carbon production. Thanks to nuclear power, more than 60 gigatons of CO2 emissions have been avoided worldwide since 1970. Nuclear energy is the second largest low carbon energy source after hydropower. European countries that have achieved rapid reductions in electricity production (Sweden, Switzerland, France) are those that have a large nuclear and hydropower component in their energy balance.
Last year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD / NEA) nuclear power agency, which includes almost every developed country in the world, released a study entitled «The Cost of Decarbonisation: System Costs with High Shares of Nuclear and Renewables». According to the study, in order to prevent the planet's average temperature rise above 2 degrees Celsius, CO2 emissions in the electricity sector of the OECD countries should be reduced by almost 90% by 2050. To date, CO2 emissions from electricity production in the OECD countries average 430 grams per 1 kWh. By 2050 they should be reduced to 50 grams per 1 kWh. At the same time, only the optimal energy balance of renewable and nuclear energy, together with the right energy policy, will allow achieving ambitious climate change goals with strict energy security criteria and reasonable energy costs for consumers. Achieving renewable energy targets and reducing CO2 emissions has a significant impact on the structure of energy balance and the final cost of electricity. The introduction of RES will lead to a significant increase in power generation capacity, since the RES and actual RES capacity are much lower than in traditional generations. Therefore, to produce the same volumes of electricity, additional energy generating capacity will be required.
In Ukraine, nuclear power provides over 50% of generation. According to the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, in 2019 NPPs produced 53.9%. A further 5.1% are hydroelectric and hydroelectric power plants, and 3.6% - alternative energy. At the same time, 36.2% is the share of TPPs and TPPs, which mainly worked on coal last year.
The information on CO2 emissions is estimated by us, based on the share of production by individual generation since the beginning of the year (Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine and Energy Statistics) and in accordance with the GHGs over the life cycle (5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - 5AR IPCC, median value).
In general, if Ukraine did not have nuclear power plants, Ukraine's emissions would have increased by 2.7 billion tonnes of CO2 over the whole period of their operation.
If 2.7 billion tonnes of emissions were reduced through CCS from TPPs and TPPs, more than $ 100 billion would have to be spent.
Due to its low CO2 emissions and its high share of national electricity production, Ukraine nuclear industry is the leader in the electricity sector in preventing anthropogenic impacts on climate change. Therefore, in terms of reducing CO2 emissions and achieving climate policy goals, it makes no sense to replace the decommissioned nuclear units with RES.