European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said that the construction of new nuclear power plants will need 500 billion euros worth of investments by 2050, adding that it is crucial that nuclear power should be given the green label in the taxonomy of the energy transition.
Breton said that only existing nuclear power plants will need 50 billion euros in investment by 2030. And next-generation ones will need additional 500 billion in investment by 2050.
He believes that the green transition will lead to an unprecedented industrial revolution. As well as a race for capital between different energy sources, for example, only renewable energies will mobilize investments of 65 billion euros per year. To this, investments of 45 billion euros per year must be added to provide with additional network infrastructure.
With 26 % of electricity currently produced in the EU coming from nuclear power plants, Breton emphasized that nuclear energy will account for at least 15 % of the energy mix in 2050.
On 31 December 2021, the European Commission unveiled a project that some nuclear power plants and some gas-fired power plants could be considered green projects, which would make it easier for them to attract funding. The EU executive will gather feedback on its proposals by 12 January and hopes to formally present the final text of its proposal by the end of the month. The proposal will then be discussed with the Governments of the member states and the European Parliament for up to six months.
Labeling nuclear power plants as green investments is causing divisions within the EU. Thus, France, a country that supplies 70 % of its electricity from nuclear power plants, is one of the most important supporters of nuclear energy and claims that the low CO2 emissions of nuclear power plants make this type of energy crucial for the transition to green energy. But Germany and other states are already opposed and have already begun shutting down their own nuclear power plants.