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Analysis and comparative assessments

Member States face considerable challenges in making decisions about their technology choices and sustainable development strategies. The IAEA supports rigorous analysis and provides objective information on the economic and environmental aspects of sustainable energy.  

The IAEA places a great value in research that evaluates changing energy and electricity markets, shifting environmental priorities and the need for the development of sustainable energy systems. It conducts 3E (Energy, Economics, Environment) analysis of nuclear technologies and their competitors that assist Member States in their decision making process. This assistance to Member States is provided through both in-house analysis, Technical Meetings, training missions and Coordinated Research Programmes on nuclear technology’s compatibility with national sustainable development objectives and its possible contributions to socio-economic development, climate protection and energy security.

Techno-economic analysis 

The IAEA conducts techno-economic analyses and comparative assessments designed to explore the benefits and disadvantages of different energy technologies according to a country’s specific geographical and socioeconomic context. These analyses explore various aspects of nuclear energy development and deployment including feasibility studies, cost assessments, macro-economic analysis, comparisons, cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses. They also look closely into potential deployment of innovative nuclear systems and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) as well as comparative assessments of energy systems or their attributes.

Topical studies related to sustainable energy development and climate change 

The Section develops a broad range of publications and provides objective information on the potential contribution of alternative generating technologies to climate change mitigation and sustainable energy development. It gives guidance and assistance to States to enhance the understanding of nuclear technology in the context of sustainable energy and economic development. 

The IAEA's Planning and Economic Studies Section also actively contributes to United Nations and other international studies and activities in order to provide up-to-date information and ensure that the nuclear power option is considered to be part of the energy mix where adequate. 

The Agency publishes technical publications, reports, case studies and country profiles that reflect findings of techno economic analysis, addressing issues related to climate change and nuclear power, and sustainable development. 

Climate-Land-Energy-Water (CLEW) Framework 

In collaboration with United Nations Development Prpogramme (UNDP) and United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the Section also delivers capacity building projects to Member States that analyse the linkages between land, energy and water resource systems. Through the Climate-Land use-Energy-Water (CLEW) framework the integrated assessment explores trade-offs and synergies among different policy goals and helps in building coherent strategies that are efficient and robust across different resource systems. 

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