Depending on how you count them, there are between 430 and 440 nuclear reactors operating worldwide in 30 countries. They provide 14% of the world’s electricity.
There are 60 plants under construction, mostly in Asia. And there are plans at various level of completion for another 150 and proposals for 340 more. And if all of them get built, nuclear power will provide about 14% of the world’s electricity. You have to run pretty hard to stay in the same place in a world where development is the major story.
Broadly speaking, the same is true of hydroelectric power, wind and solar. There are ambitious plans for dramatic growth–China is planning 22 major dams along its mighty rivers, and its neighbors are planning even more (and are contracting with China to build them). But that won’t be enough to keep pace with the growth of demand.
Wind and solar could grow by 36% per year for 20 years (as they have for the past ten) without moving the dial on how much they contribute as a percentage of energy provided.
What we’re planning to do for the most part is build an awful lot of coal plants in the developing world, and replace aging coal plants with natural gas in the richer countries.
So it looks like the energy fuels portfolio is pretty much set. It takes a lot of time to plan, permit and build these facilities. We pretty much know how much power we’re going to get from various fuel sources to provide the 963 quads we will need in 2030.
Or do we?