The global nuclear energy market demand exceeded 2,400 TWh in 2014 and it is estimated to grow at a CAGR of over 4% from 2015 to 2022. Nuclear energy accounted for over 11% of the global energy generation in 2014. Increasing power and energy demand from households and industrial sectors is expected to fuel nuclear energy market growth over the forecast period.
Rapid population growth along with improved lifestyle has resulted in an augmented energy demand from households. Rising demand for a variety of products has driven industrial developments in various countries, thus increasing energy requirements from the manufacturing sector. As of 2014, nuclear power provides over 11% of the world's electricity, and over 21% of the electricity in OECD countries.
Technological advancements implemented in day-to-day activities have increased energy demand over the past. Rising clean power demand coupled with depleting fossil fuel reserves is expected to raise energy concerns. These concerns are encouraging energy companies and governments to invest in the nuclear energy market. The industry is anticipated to grow at a rapid rate on account of rising energy demand that could accomplish the need generated by growing infrastructure without having an adverse impact on the environment.
According to the World Nuclear Association, currently, there are over 435 operational power plants across 30 countries in the world. Over 71 reactors are under construction phase in 14 countries. The industry witnessed the largest reactor construction rate in 2014. Rising adoption of nuclear technology as a feasible alternative to the fossil fuels for power generation is anticipated to drive the nuclear energy market over the forecast period.
Concerns regarding safe deployment of nuclear technology are encouraging energy companies to focus on waste management. Various accidents in nuclear power plants including Three Mile Island, Fukushima, and Chernobyl have raised the industry safety standards. These accidents have affected the power plant expansion in several economies, such as the U.S. and Europe, and raised safety concerns. Japan has been phasing out nuclear energy on account of these accidents. High storage cost coupled with harmful radioactive wastes generated in power plants is anticipated to hamper market growth in future.
However, rising power plant expansions in Russia and China are anticipated to drive the nuclear energy industry over the forecast period. Depleting fossil fuel reserves and increasing need to reduce energy import bills are expected to positively impact industry growth. Better efficiency of nuclear power plants over thermal power plants is anticipated to drive the market in future.
North America was the largest producer in 2014 with the U.S. leading the nuclear energy market with over 30% of the market share in terms of nuclear electricity generation. The U.S. had 100 reactors that produced 798 billion kWh of electricity in 2014. This electricity generation was over 19% of the total demand. Currently, there are 99 units under operation and five under construction.
The Europe nuclear energy market is expected to witness above average growth on account of stringent regulations regarding reduction in emissions by 34% over the forecast period. This is expected to require a shift in energy mix and high investments in the industry. The UK was the largest producer in 2014 with ten plants currently operational and eight under construction.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness stable growth over the next seven years. Countries such as India and China are expected to invest significantly in the nuclear energy industry over the next seven years. The region is more focused towards other alternatives of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and thermal owing to growing concerns towards waste management.
Major companies operating in the global nuclear energy market include Bruce Power, CEZ Group, China General Nuclear Power Corporation, E.ON SE, and Nukem GmbH.
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