(Yicai Global) Feb. 26 -- China is set to displace the U.S. as the world's largest nuclear energy power in terms of power generation in the future, says the head of the International Energy Agency.
China will overtake the U.S. by 2030 as the biggest market for nuclear energy based on current projects underway in the country, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said at a recent conference in London, adding that China is home to more than one-third of all nuclear plants currently under construction globally.
Nuclear capacity in China made up two percent of the country's total power supply in 2016, IEA data shows, and this share will rise to four percent by 2040.
The U.S. has been the global leader in nuclear power since the 1960s but a lack of new investments and no lifetime extensions for the existing plants will knock the country off the top-spot, Birol said.
China is learning by doing and bringing costs down, he said, adding that the country is ready to export technology and in a much more cost-effective manner than other nations, mimicking what is happening in China's solar sector.