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GlobalData: China to overtake US in nuclear capacity by 2026

China is on track to have the largest nuclear power generation fleet of 93GW and is set to overtake the US by 2026, according to research and analytics company GlobalData.

According to GlobalData, more than 160GW of fresh nuclear capacity will be added globally between 2020-2030 out of which about 66% of this capacity addition is anticipated to take place in China, India and Russia. China alone is set to account for more than 50% (83GW) of the new capacity built, followed by India with 8.9% (14.5GW) and Russia with 6.4% (10.5GW).

During the same period, more than 76GW of the nuclear projects will get shut down globally and schedule for decommissioning activities.

The US, European countries and Japan grew risk averse post the Fukushima meltdown and have been looking to cut down on their nuclear capacity by not reviving the projects that have ageing infrastructure and are nearing the end of their commercial life.

—Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData

As per GlobalData estimates, a sizeable capacity of 210GW of major nuclear power projects are there in the pipeline globally. These pipeline projects are either in the permitting phase, financing phase or are under construction. Here again, China (34%), India (17%) and Russia (12%) hold over 63% of the planned projects.

With the nuclear divergence by the Western countries and others like Japan and Taiwan, the share of nuclear power generation is likely to occupy a back seat. However, technological advancements and the strong nuclear capacity expansion mainly from China, India and Russia will ensure the current share of nuclear in the overall generation mix remains unchanged at 10% by 2030.

—Somik Das

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