Nuclear financing in the spotlight

Nuclear Powe Plant field

The NEA together with the Ministry of Climate and Environment of Poland and the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC) hosted a High-Level Warsaw Conference on Nuclear Financing on 23 November 2021. Focused on recent progress and challenges for nuclear financing, the virtual event concluded a series of six webinars dedicated to nuclear financing organised this year.

Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński, Undersecretary of State for Climate and Environment of the Republic of Poland, opened the conference with an overview of Poland’s national energy strategy in meeting the net-zero target. “We see a crucial role for nuclear power in the future and we see that a growing number of countries shares this view,” said Guibourgé-Czetwertyński. “Financing is critical not only in the investment decisions and the construction process but also because of its social and economic impact. If we want to ensure reasonable cost of energy produced from nuclear reactors, securing adequate and effective financing is critical.”

In his opening remarks, NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV noted that recent policy discussions, especially in the context of COP26, have drawn more attention to the role of nuclear energy in addressing climate change. “The average of 90 pathways identified by the IPCC to reach a 1.5°C scenario shows that we would need 1160 gigawatts of nuclear energy capacity globally, while currently we are at 400 gigawatts. That is a significant growth and it seems quite obvious that nuclear energy will have to play a large role.”

Aleshia Duncan, IFNEC Chair, highlighted the need for political support for nuclear projects and nuclear financing, as well as co-operation between countries. “While we have taken more than ten years to have this discussion, we do not have ten more. We will need to move swiftly and work together to come up with the solutions that will meet and match the timing of the nuclear innovations that are taking place today.”

The discussion brought together two panels of policy makers and experts from the industry and the public sector to share their perspectives on progress with nuclear new build in Central and Eastern Europe and approaches to nuclear financing.

Previous events in this series of webinars explored various aspects of nuclear financing, such as sustainable financing taxonomies, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria , the challenges and opportunities in financing small modular nuclear reactors , contractual structures and incentives in nuclear new build, and mobilising climate and development financing to meet the Paris Agreement  .

The latest NEA analysis on nuclear financing of nuclear new build will be presented in a report to be published in 2022.

See also