Statement by Mr. Kirill Komarov, First Deputy Director General for Corporate Development and International Business, ROSATOM, at the Russian side-event under the auspices of HLPF-2021 «Low-emissions solutions in energy and beyond: partnering with businesses for a sustainable recovery»
There is an explosive growth of power consumption in the world now. By 2040 demand for electric power will increase by almost one third. Together with this, all countries have taken obligations to reduce CO2 according to the Paris Climate Agreement. Now more than 60 countries including EU and Japan have committed to reach carbon neutrality within next thirty years.
World electricity sector is responsible for about 25% of all global CO2 emissions, so we need to focus on low-carbon energy solutions. Now there exists 4 low-carbon sources of energy, which are hydro, wind, solar and nuclear. Of course, every country chooses its unique combination of these carbon-free technologies considering its geographical specifics, existing energy mix structure, economy and social challenges.
As for the place of nuclear power in the clean energy future, all operating NPPs in the world help to save 2 billion tons of CO2 emissions annually, that is almost the same amount, which absorb all forests on the planet. Also nuclear power plants guarantee stable energy supply 24 hours 7 days a week, create jobs, help develop infrastructure and support developing local industries.
We understand the request of international society to prove safety and security of nuclear technologies with regard to ecosystems and human health. Currently we have an independent report of JRC (Joint Research Center of European Commission), which states that “Nuclear energy does no more harm to human health or the environment than any other power-producing technology considered to be sustainable.” And we in Rosatom are always open to provide any additional information to ensure people that our technologies are green and safe.
We also need to keep in mind that long-term net-zero economy requires innovations and high-tech solutions. Rosatom is ready to answer to this request, as nuclear technologies imply thoughtful scientific basis and R&D. In recent decades all global nuclear community has been focused on developing closed fuel cycle technologies, which we call 4th generation of reactors. Rosatom is a leader in this field with MOX-fuel and Fast-neutron reactors. And I’m happy to mention that last month we started the construction of BREST fast reactor, that means that by 2030 we will turn this closed fuel cycle technology into commercial use.
I also would like to mention that Rosatom strategy includes developing wide range of “green” energy solutions. Today Rosatom operates the biggest wind farm fleet in Russia with total capacity of more than half of gigawatt. We also work on energy storage solutions and digital technologies to increase energy efficiency. Our another strategic focus is hydrogen as we believe that it is one of the most promising energy solutions of the future.
In this way we understand that the strategic concern on the climate issues is so high, that we need to engage all our low-carbon solutions and innovations to reach climate goals as in our country as well as globally, and we need to unite all our efforts with other countries and companies to succeed in this challenge.