WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) today released its “Annual Energy Outlook 2006” with projections to 2030. The report projects that 6,000 megawatts of additional electric generating capacity will come from the construction of new nuclear power plants due to investment incentives contained in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Following is a statement from Adrian Heymer, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior director for new plant deployment.
“The nuclear industry is pleased to see that the Energy Information Administration identifies new nuclear power plants as part of the way that the United States will meet the rising demand for electricity between now and 2030. Our firm belief is that the limited investment stimulus contained in the Energy Policy Act will help resolve uncertainty in the untested licensing process for new nuclear plants, and thereby foster the next wave of nuclear power construction that our nation needs.
“However, EIA’s projection that production from nuclear power plants will remain flat at 871 billion kilowatt-hours between 2020 and 2030 ignores the lesson that we have learned over the past few years on the need to maintain a diversified and balanced national electricity portfolio that includes coal, natural gas, nuclear energy and renewables. Today, companies are moving forward with plans based on this lesson, and there is no reason to believe that they will forget this lesson in the middle of the next decade. This portion of the EIA projection is inconsistent in that it projects growth from one single fuel source greater than the total national growth in electricity production.
“Contrary to EIA’s implication that this licensing experience will prove meaningless, the industry expects electricity generation from nuclear power plants to increase substantially from 2020 to 2030 – further demonstrating nuclear energy’s value to the nation’s energy security, the economy and the environment. Given the nexus of increasing energy demand and more stringent environmental controls, there simply is no way for the United States to have a coherent, forward-looking energy policy without continuous expansion of nuclear energy.”
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.