Updated June 7, 2017

Europe Overview

  • Nuclear closures threaten coal lock-in.

  • Of the 94 gigawatts (GW) of installed nuclear capacity globally at risk of being prematurely retired before 2025, 45 GW are in Europe.

  • Nuclear as a percentage of the European Union electricity, declined from 31 to 28 percent between 2000 and 2014.

  • European Commission estimates electricity from nuclear nuclear will decline another 20 percent by 2025.


  • Germany, known as a world leader in clean energy as installed large amounts of wind and solar Germany’s electricity is still 61% dirty, 35% still coming from coal.

  • Even with the 20 year subsidies given to Wind and Solar, they only make up 24% of electricity generation. What will happen when the subsidies end?

  • Even with all new renewables added, in 2018 Germany produced 866 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, a far cry from its goal of 750 million tonnes by 2020.

  • In 2018, Germany’s electricity was still 10 times dirtier than France's, why? Because they are phasing out their nuclear and replacing it with coal. See more here.

  • In result, Germany will miss their reduction and clean energy targets for 2020, despite having spent 520 billion euros by 2025. Read more here.

  • In 1990 Germany’s electricity was 69% dirty in comparison to 2018 where their electricity is 61% dirty. After 28 years, Germany has only decreased their fossil fuel consumption by 8%..

  • As 20 year feed-in tariffs (FIT) expire only certain wind turbines will be re-powered due to the low rate of new subsidies.


  • Sweden has 9 reactors that provide 43 percent of its electricity. All are at risk of premature closure.

  • Main drivers of closure threat are anti-nuclear tax imposed by government, as well as discriminatory subsidies and mandates for wind but not nuclear.

  • Most nuclear reactors in Sweden are majority-owned by Vattenfall, which is a 100% state-owned utility company.

  • Tax = 25% of production cost and 33% of consumer price.

  • There is no plan to replace nuclear with alternative low-carbon energy source.

  • Sweden's rapid deployment of nuclear in the 1970s and 80s was the fastest scale-up of clean energy in world history.


  • Belgium’s 7 nuclear reactors account for 71% of Belgium’s clean energy and 38% of Belgium’s electricity

  • Belgium’s nuclear plants are at risk of closing and has caused the country to import more energy, in 2017 import consumption was 8% and in 2018 it increased to 22%

  • Between 2013 and 2018 the share of electricity from nuclear declined by 13%

  • With the threat of nuclear closures in 2022, EP and our allies held a nuclear pride fest in Brussels on April 2019, persuading the Belgian public to continue the fight in saving their cleanest energy source

United Kingdom

  • Unless something changes, UK will lose a net 6 GW of 8 GW total of its nuclear power by 2023.

  • Nuclear in UK was not included in subsidies provided for wind, and efforts to build a new nuclear plant have been delayed due to political reaction against perceived high cost of a new plant at Hinkley.


  • Swiss voters decided in May 2017 to close down all five of the country's nuclear reactors, which provide 38 percent of the country's electricity.

  • Swiss nuclear plants would be replaced overwhelmingly by coal and natural gas. 


  • France generates 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear and in 2015 passed a law that requires that nuclear power be limited to 50 percent of the country's total installed electrical capacity.  


  • With a fossil fuel dependency and only one nuclear plant, Netherlands Electricity Mix is 86% dirty, with 50% of coming from natural gas

  • Their one and only nuclear power plant, Borssele, generates 3.5 % of their electricity and generates 20% of their clean electricity. (BP Global Outlook)

  • Even though Netherlands does not have any plans to build new reactors, they currently import 7% of their electricity from both France and Germany. (Netherlands Government)

  • Although, they only have one reactor, this country is intriguing in the sense that the public is relatively positive towards nuclear and are committed to keeping their nuclear.

  • In October, EP will be visiting the reactor at Borssele for a jubilee celebration organized by its owner, utility PZEM. We hope to work with policy makers to invest in new nuclear plants for future national energy plans.

  • On October 20th, 2019 allies will be hosting a Stand up for Nuclear event that will be a day of celebration and awareness of nuclear energy. Find out more information here!