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Nuclear power is a strong response to surge in global energy prices

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05.10.2021

The European Commission is considering recognizing nuclear power as a «green» energy source. This was stated by the EU Commission vice president and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis at a euro zone finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg, during which the gas prices spike heading into the winter heating season was discussed.

Dombrovskis noted that Brussels considers the current gas prices spike temporary, but this unfortunate fact will only accelerate the EU's transition to green energy.

He said that several studies have been conducted in respect of nuclear power. The European Commission is currently analyzing these studies, and it is important to recognize the role of nuclear power as a low-carbon energy source.

Meanwhile, France and Spain called for changes to rules governing the European Union’s energy markets and a coordinated European response to the surge in global energy prices to protect Europe's poorest citizens and its 2050 plan to cut greenhouse emissions.

Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino, whose country has been among the hardest hit by surging energy prices, called the spike in energy prices unprecedented and urged colleagues to make common cause: «This is not an issue that we can tackle at national level, we need a European coordinated response». She also noted that Spain wants to stop speculation on the market for CO2 emissions permits, which drove up prices as well. 

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire proposed better regulation of European gas stocks and a de-linking of the price of electricity from gas prices in favour of tying it to the average cost of production in every EU country.

«The European energy market has one key advantage – it secures the supply of energy everywhere in Europe. But it also has one major downside – the alignment of electricity prices with gas prices,» Le  Maire said while stressing such a link created a «dead end» for Europe's transition towards renewable energy sources.

According to him, if Europe wants to ensure the production of more electricity without additional carbon emissions, then nuclear power is a strong response to this situation. However, EU countries should initially recognize nuclear power as «green» because it does not produce such emissions. Then there will be an opportunity to invest in EU programs for the construction of new and modernization of existing nuclear power plants in European countries.