Experts expect a bigger role of such energy in the nation's green transition.
Nuclear power will play a more prominent role in China's carbon neutrality goals, with its proportion in the country's total electricity generation to continue to climb in the years to come, according to an industry association.
China's nuclear power generation will account for 10 percent of the country's total electricity generation by 2035, Wang Binghua, head of the Nuclear Energy Public Communication Committee of China Nuclear Energy Association, said on Monday in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.
In addition to China's ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, the country's installed nuclear power capacity is estimated to reach about 400 million kilowatts by then, making up around 18 percent of total electricity generation. The country is also expected to maintain a construction rate of six to eight nuclear power units per year, he said.
By 2060, the carbon reduction contribution of nuclear energy is projected to reach approximately 25 percent by 2060, he said.
According to the National Electrical Safety Board, the cumulative electricity generation of operating nuclear power units worldwide reached 211.89 billion kilowatt-hours during the first half of this year, accounting for 5.08 percent of total national electricity generation.
In comparison to coal-fired power generation, it is equivalent to a reduction of 59.64 million metric tons of standard coal burned, a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions by 156.2 million tons.
The analyst said that nuclear power is a more stable and reliable type of clean energy compared to solar and wind power, which are more intermittent due to changing weather conditions.
China, a significant player in the global nuclear power landscape, has been actively expanding nuclear power capacity in recent times, contributing to a more diversified energy mix to meet its growing energy needs amid the green energy transition, said Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University.
Nuclear power, a clean, low-carbon and efficient source of energy, plays a vital role in China's ambitious objectives of achieving a carbon dioxide peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060. It is also a key option for China to secure its energy supply and optimize the energy mix, it said in a statement.
In a meeting held July 31, the state council approved six new nuclear power units in Ningde, Fujian province, Shidaowan, Shandong province and Xudapu, Liaoning province.
CITIC Securities said the accelerated approval of nuclear power projects would lead to the growth of China's related industrial chain and aid in reducing carbon emissions earlier. By 2025, the value of investments in nuclear power plants will reach 231 billion yuan.