Sustainability in energy planning

Energy planning is directly linked to national development and sustainability goals. Access to clean, affordable, safe and reliable energy is an important ingredient of sustainable economic growth and improved human well-being. Nuclear energy systems present options to provide energy in a sustainable manner.

Energy planning aims at ensuring that decisions on energy demand and supply involve all stakeholders, consider all possible supply and demand options, and are consistent with overall national sustainable development goals. 

The concept of sustainable development encompasses three interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars: social development, economic development and environmental protection, linked by effective government institutions. Depending on a country’s indigenous resource endowment, its stage of infrastructure development and sustainable development objectives, the energy system analyses may or may not conclude that nuclear energy is part of a country’s future energy mix.

The IAEA fosters the peaceful use of nuclear power by supporting existing and new nuclear programmes around the world, catalysing innovation and building indigenous capability in energy planning, analysis and nuclear information and knowledge. The Agency also works towards increasing global awareness of the role of nuclear power in relation to climate change, in particular to try to ensure that the role that nuclear power can and does play in assisting countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions is properly recognized.

The IAEA provides integrated services to its Member States on nuclear power and the nuclear fuel cycle, which include:

  • helping Member States to make knowledgeable decisions on energy supply options with the help of energy planning so they can independently chart their national energy future;
  • assisting Member States in building the necessary institutional and technical infrastructure for the initial deployment of nuclear power; and
  • assisting Member States in assessing proposed nuclear energy systems holistically from a long-term strategic perspective, taking into consideration factors in economics, infrastructure, waste management, proliferation resistance, physical protection, environment and safety.

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