Executive Director on official visit to the Czech Republic

Fatih Birol meeting Prime Minister Czech Republic

Dr Birol, the Executive Director of the IEA (left), meeting with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. (Photograph: IEA)

PRAGUE – Dr Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, on Tuesday held a bilateral meeting with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. They discussed energy and climate issues affecting Europe and the world, as well as the Czech Republic’s domestic energy priorities, including electricity, nuclear, renewables and electric vehicles.

Earlier in the day, Dr Birol gave a keynote address at the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) about the role nuclear energy can play in meeting climate and electricity security goals. The ENEF is an annual event at which stakeholders discuss the opportunities and risks of nuclear power in relation to the energy challenges faced by the European Union and its members.

Dr Birol told the forum that while nuclear power is currently Europe’s largest source of low carbon electricity, its contribution is set to fall sharply. Without policy changes, three-quarters of Europe’s ageing nuclear fleet would be decommissioned by 2040.

Nuclear power can contribute to reducing global CO2 emissions and improving energy security, Dr Birol said, but unless the barriers it faces are overcome, its growth will be limited.

The IEA is preparing a special report, “Nuclear Power in a Clean Energy System” which will examine these issues and develop policy recommendations for government, industry and financial institutions. The report will be launched in late May 2019 at the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial meeting.

Here are the slides from Dr Birol's presentation at ENEF: