Role of nuclear energy in the stability of EU energy prices

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advies EESC: Role of nuclear energy in the stability of EU energy prices

Practical information

  • Composition of the study group
  • Administrator: Giorgia Andrea BORDIGNON, Assistant: Jacqueline NYEMA
  • Ten Section meeting : 07 September 2022
  • EESC plenary session : 21 September 2022 

KEY POINTS

The EESC:

  • Recognises that because of the current design of the wholesale market, electricity prices are determined by merit order. This means that nuclear power does not influence energy prices on the spot market, except for when the energy mix includes a high share of low-emission sources. However, there is an important correlation between decreased supply and increased demand pushing up energy prices. With a more robust supply from stable low-carbon energy sources, energy prices will be less volatile.
  • Considers that extending the life of the existing fleet of nuclear power plants makes sense in this particular situation and will, at the same time, contribute to the transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
  • Recommends that the Member States work on solutions for storage capacity and reinforce transmission interconnections in order to respond effectively to the volatility of renewables in the longer term and in gas in the short term.
  • Proposes that the Czech Presidency, within the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF), discuss price stability in the nuclear sector and the role of nuclear power in stabilising supply as a response to reduced EU dependence on Russian gas, with close cooperation of the EESC.
  • Suggests reinforcing bilateral cooperation with international partners in the nuclear sector in order to share the findings in terms of innovation and advances in new technologies.
  • Recommends that the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU organise a conference on small modular reactors which could take the form of the EU-US high-level forum on small modular reactors and explore this promising research.