Nuclear Energy for Net Zero

Nuclear for Net Zero is a techno-economic assessment of the potential roles and contribution of nuclear energy in supporting a range of decarbonisation pathways modelled for the UK to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions targets by 2050.

As part of the Innovating to Net Zero programme, Energy Systems Catapult has carried out a series of deep dives into the technologies and behaviours potentially needed – such as nuclear, digitalisation and storage and flexibility.

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Net Zero Energy: Nuclear for Net Zero

Nuclear for Net Zero used Energy Systems Catapult’s internationally peer-reviewed Energy System Modelling Environment. ESME is the UK’s leading techno-economic whole system model – which has been used by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), industry, academia and the UK Government. ESME is independent of sector interests and identifies cost-optimised decarbonisation pathways across the whole economy.

The underlying nuclear technology related data and assumptions incorporate the learning from engagement with the nuclear industry and the knowledge from the Energy Technology Institute’s portfolio of knowledge building projects within its nuclear power programme, now owned by Energy Systems Catapult.

Nuclear for Net Zero: Key points

The analysis in Nuclear for Net Zero has found there is a credible path available to realise significant nuclear cost reduction delivering potentially lower costs and risks associated with achieving UK Net Zero targets, including:

The potential policy approach for nuclear suggested by this new analysis, includes:

Reaching Net Zero Emissions Through Innovation

To achieve sufficient emission reductions for UK Net Zero, a whole systems approach is needed. The Innovating to Net Zero programme includes:

Energy Systems Catapult offers technical expertise and insights on Nuclear energy from a whole system perspective. Get in touch today.

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Nuclear Energy for Net Zero

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