To meet carbon emissions targets and reduce dependency on depleting fossil fuel reserves, the nations of Western Europe are beefing up their renewable energy generation, but significantly limiting growth within their nuclear power industries in the face of widespread public opposition, says business intelligence providers GBI Research.
According to the firm’s latest report*, the top 10 Western European power markets will increase renewable installed capacity from 308.5 GW in 2012 to 466.9 GW in 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.3%.
Meanwhile, during the same time frame, nuclear installed capacity for these countries will grow from 104 Gigawatts (GW) to 105.6 GW – representing a far smaller CAGR of just 0.2%.
GBI Research expects a negative growth trend in nuclear power across countries such as Germany, the UK, Spain and Sweden, but overall positive growth is forecast until 2020 due to capacity additions from Finland and the traditionally nuclear-reliant France.
In terms of power market share, however, Western Europe’s nuclear power installed capacity is predicted to drop from 14.2% last year to 11.3% by the end of the decade – primarily due to the increased influence of renewable power, which is expected to grow from 38.8% to 49.8% during the same period.
GBI Research’s report predicts the total cumulative installed capacity of these top 10 Western European nations to climb from 758.1 GW in 2012 to 937.3 GW in 2020, at a CAGR of 2.7%.