But right now, nuclear only takes up 0.2% of total electricity production.
Even if Western Asia currently has only one operating nuclear power reactor, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report that the region’s nuclear generating capacity in could “increase significantly” in the coming years.
Over half the final energy consumed in the Western Asia region in 2017 was in the form of oil and gas. Electricity accounted for 19% of the total energy consumption.
The electricity production mix in the Western Asia region in 2017 was dominated by gas (61%), followed by oil (20%), and coal (10%). Hydropower and other renewables contributed about 8.5%. Nuclear electricity accounted for only 0.2% of total electricity production in the region.
“Final energy consumption in the Western Asia region is expected to stay at around the present level up to 2030 and to increase slightly thereafter,” IAEA said. Electricity consumption, however, is expected to increase by about 2.5% per year over the entire period — by 2% per year between 2017 to 2030 and by 2.8% per year in the subsequent 20 years.
Electrical generating capacity in the Western Asia region is projected to increase by 27% to reach 409GW(e) by 2030, from 325GW(e) in 2017, and then by 40% to reach 574GW(e) by 2050.
In IAEA’s low case, nuclear electrical generating capacity is projected to be 8GW(e) in 2030 and 12GW(e) by 2050. “The share of nuclear electrical generating capacity in the total electrical capacity will thus increase from 0.1% to 1.9% by 2030 and to about 2.1% by 2050,” it added.
For the high case, capacity is projected to increase to 13GW(e) in 2030 and to about 26GW(e) in 2050. The share of nuclear electrical generating capacity in total electricity capacity could reach 3.1% in 2030 and about 4.5% in 2050.
“Although the single nuclear power reactor in the region provided only 2TWh in 2017, nuclear electricity production is expected to increase significantly in both the low and the high case,” IAEA added.
For the low case, nuclear electricity production is projected to increase to 59TWh in 2030 and to 95TWh in 2050. “The share of nuclear electricity in total electricity production will thus increase from 0.2% in 2017 to 4% in 2030 and to about 4.2% in 2050,” the group said.
In the high case, nuclear electricity production is projected to grow faster, reaching 98TWh by 2030 and 208 TWh by 2050, raising nuclear’s share in production to 6.6% in 2030 and to 9.1% in 2050.
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