Why we need nuclear

To achieve Net Zero by 2050, the IEA estimates that that global clean energy production must increase from around 120 EJ to at least 420 EJ, with a matching increase in private investment, particularly in emerging market and developing economies.  This is a huge challenge for all of us, and large increases in all energy sources will be needed to make an impact.

Nuclear energy is a well-understood, safe, and reliable clean energy source, which offers high security of supply for countries and installations; its high density and ‘always on’ capacity factor mean it is the energy source of choice for many requirements and can be deployed today at scale to support the Net Zero challenge.  The IEA forecasts that the highest proportion of clean energy production in the future will be via renewables, but that an efficient global energy system will require at least a doubling of current nuclear capacity by 2050.

Why SMRs?

Although large-scale nuclear energy has key advantages, its large capital requirements and lengthy construction times make it a realistic option only for governments or very large national or regional utilities with grid-scale output.


In contrast, today’s commercial development of small modular reactors — many with advanced technologies offering ultra-safe high temperature customisable output — widens the role of nuclear energy into new and lower cost opportunities in areas such as:

  • Provision of high-density power direct to industry
  • Energy provision to development zones to foster rapid growth of industry and infrastructure
  • Adding to electricity provision on national or microgrid scale
  • Efficient production of hydrogen as a versatile fuel source, to include gas grid supplementation
  • Cost effective desalination
  • Remote / off-grid generation (including for mining and isolated communities)
  • Scalable development to support demand growth


With smaller site footprints, SMRs have the potential to be sited closer to industrial power offtakers, giving vastly reduced connection costs and more flexible deployment.  These project opportunities are attracting investors and asset owners new to nuclear technology but seek innovative and cost-effective energy generation.

"Advanced nuclear designs have the potential to offer highly efficient and cost effective industrial heat ."

IAN LAIDLAW Program Director, Greensabre Consulting

“Nuclear power plays a significant role in a secure global pathway to net zero. Less nuclear power would make net zero ambitions harder and more expensive.”

International Energy Agency 2022

The need for nuclear

Over the next two decades, we will have to install more nuclear than we have in the past six. This will not be a simple or cheap task. But not to do so risks climate change and energy shortfalls that we cannot allow.

Paul Murphy Managing Director, Greensabre Consulting

"Nuclear energy can help make the energy sector's journey away from unabated fossil fuels faster and more secure." - IEA