ClearPath Finds That Nuclear Power Is Essential for Decarbonization

ClearPath, a not-for-profit organization, states that in addition to longer operation for nuclear power plants and utility commitments to net-zero emissions, public policy is needed to help avert the plateau to 2050. In a new report, the DC-based organization warned that continued load growth in states that don’t have climate targets and the closure of existing nuclear plants, as well as the exhaustion of economic coal-to-gas shifting in the future, would result in shallow decarbonization.

The company expects carbon dioxide emissions to stop decreasing after 2025 and plateau until 2050, even with the recently enacted state-level clean energy standards and federal incentives.

At the moment, about 50 utilities, which make up 71% of customer accounts in the United States, have set net-zero or carbon-free goals for 2050. In their report, the strategic nonprofit included models that show their efforts to decrease emissions considerably, with a cumulative effect of avoiding the emission of four billion tons of carbon dioxide by the year 2050.

Among the effects of the utility commitments would be preserving more of the United States nuclear fleet, which currently adds up to 96 gigawatt-electric of installed capacity. Based on policy alone, commitments by utilities could maintain about 40 GWe (gigawatt-electric) of nuclear energy till 2050, which is almost twice the 19 GWe in the nonprofit’s reference scenario.

The organization stated that preserving existing nuclear power plants was one of the most affordable ways to meet clean-energy goals, adding that if more utilities set up net-zero commitments, even more nuclear capacity would be preserved. However, the report noted, federal and state support was needed to ensure this outcome.

In addition to this, the think tank explained that net-zero utility commitments were not expected to substantially increase the price of electricity, adding that in the more polluting scenario, the average retail price in 2050 would be 9.6 cents per kWh (kilowatt hour) compared with 10.1 cents per kWh in the less polluting scenario.

In the report, Clearpath concluded that following a large-scale switch to gas from coal since the year 2005 and preliminary renewable energy development, it had become clear that the United States was at the edge of shallow decarbonization opportunities. The company added that unless dispatchable clean technologies decreased in cost or the price of natural gas kept increasing, wind and solar were the only new technologies expected to develop in the near future.

The objective of the organization is to compile more reports in the future that monitor utility decarbonization commitments. Clearpath describes itself as working towards the advancement of free market reforms that make an impact.

The assertion that nuclear power has a major role to play in the decarbonization of the energy sector shows that leading players such as Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) will see increasing demand for the uranium they extract and sell to nuclear energy plants.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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