Nuclear Energy Institute
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 29, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C.-During the North American Leaders Summit, President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto today committed to produce one-half of their electricity with clean power sources, including nuclear energy, by 2025. The commitment also includes renewables, carbon capture and storage plants and energy efficiency. In 2015, approximately 37 percent of North America's electricity came from zero-carbon energy sources. Following is a statement from Marvin Fertel, the Nuclear Energy Institute's president and chief executive officer.
'North America needs zero-carbon nuclear energy, and lots of it. That's the biggest takeaway from the ambitious commitment to achieve a 50 percent clean electricity supply in North America only nine years from now. In the United States, nuclear energy facilities operating in 30 states produce 62 percent of our carbon-free electricity. In Canada, nuclear energy is second only to hydropower, and it is 18 percent of Mexico's clean energy. Nuclear power is absolutely critical to domestic and international efforts to remove regulated pollutants from the atmosphere and address the threat of global climate change while powering economies with reliable, affordable and always-available electricity assets.
'The United States is adding five new nuclear plants that all will be on line by 2020, but any reduction in nuclear energy's role-specifically the premature closure of nuclear plants due to unintended consequences of federal or state energy policies or flawed electricity markets-makes it impossible to achieve the 50 percent clean energy target by 2025.
'In addition to achieving the 50 percent clean power goal, ensuring the reliability of the electricity system and the long-term affordability of electricity to consumers requires a foundation of reliable baseload nuclear plants and fossil-fuel plants with carbon capture and storage.
'The nuclear energy industry appreciates the recognition by President Obama and the leaders of Canada and Mexico that all zero-carbon sources of energy will be needed to make meaningful reductions in carbon emissions. A portfolio of clean energy technologies and approaches is required, and the inclusion of nuclear energy will help continue the path to long-term grid reliability, affordability for customers and the greenhouse gas reductions necessary to make the new clean power goal a reality. The nuclear industry looks forward to helping achieve this important commitment to a cleaner continent and a cleaner world.'