The Harmony programme

What will power our electric future? TM   Updated 4 December 2018

Harmony is the global nuclear industry's vision for the future of electricity. To meet the growing demand for reliable, affordable and clean electricity, we will need all low-carbon energy sources to work together as part of a diverse mix. Achieving this means nuclear energy capacity must expand and we have set the goal of supplying 25% of electricity in 2050 through the construction of 1000 GW of new nuclear capacity. The Harmony programme provides a framework for action, helping industry reach out to key stakeholders so that barriers to growth can be removed.


Why we need Harmony

Access to electricity and clean air is vital. Around the world about 7 million people die every year from air pollution, much of which is associated with energy use. Some 2.7 billion people are estimated to be without clean cooking facilities, while 1.2 billion people are without adequate access to electricity. Current commitments to curb carbon dioxide emissions are not on track to deliver on the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C, therefore urgent action and greater ambition is needed.

Global electricity demand is currently on track to at least double by 2050 as more countries industrialise and seek to improve quality of life. However, avoiding dangerous levels of climate change requires that at least 80% of electricity to be supplied from low-carbon sources, up from a level of 34% today.  

Currently nuclear energy is used by 30 countries and supplies 11% of global electricity. A 25% nuclear share of electricity by 2050 would help to balance the expanding needs of human development with those of the natural environment while assisting with the introduction of other low-carbon technologies.

Nuclear energy…  

  • is clean-air energy that avoids polluting the air that we breathe
  • is low-carbon and an important part of the solution to the climate challenge
  • has a small land and resource footprint, leaving more space for nature
  • is a complementary partner to renewable energy sources 
  • is capable of generating 24/7, but can also operate flexibly if desired
  • boosts security of supply and grid resilience in an uncertain world
  • is among the most cost-competitive energy options over many decades of operation
  • supports skilled hi-tech jobs and economic activity in nearby communities
  • is proven technology, available today and can be expanded quickly
  • is improving, with new technologies improving efficiency and opening up new applications to enable decarbonization of heat, industry and transport sectors
  • can provide isotopes and support for medicine, industry and agriculture

An increased share of all low-carbon energy sources, as well as a greatly reduced level of fossil fuel, can work together in harmony to ensure a reliable, affordable and clean future energy supply for everybody.


The challenge

Today, with the experience and knowledge we’ve gained, the global industry is in a strong position to deliver on the Harmony goal. This is an ambitious programme, but the rate at which new reactors will have to be built is no higher than what has been historically achieved. 

The build rate required to reach the Harmony goal

But it won’t be easy. Achieving 1000 GWe of new build by 2050 will require a cooperative effort by the whole nuclear community - from industry to research, governments, and regulators - to focus on demolishing the real barriers to growth. 

The global nuclear industry - and all its surrounding stakeholders - should seek to:

  • Establish a level playing field in energy markets which optimizes existing low-carbon energy resources already in place and drives investment in future clean energy, where nuclear energy is treated on equal opportunity with other low-carbon technologies and recognized for its value in a reliable, resilient low carbon energy mix.
  • Ensure harmonized regulatory processes in order to provide a more internationally consistent, efficient and predictable nuclear licensing regime, to facilitate significant growth of nuclear capacity, without compromising safety and security.
  • Create an effective safety paradigm focusing on genuine public wellbeing, where the health, environmental and safety benefits of nuclear are better understood and valued when compared with other energy sources

Join us

Harmony provides the framework for action for the nuclear industry to deliver its potential. World Nuclear Association is leading the way in engaging with industry to identifying the solution-oriented responses that need to be put in place, and reaching out to key stakeholders in order to ultimately deliver the Harmony goal.

If you would like to find out more about Harmony and our industry engagement process please contact World Nuclear Association members can access our engagement packs via the Members Site. If you wish to take part but do not have Members Site access, email for a guest login.


Download the Harmony brochure
Download the Harmony presentation
See images and graphs from the Harmony brochure in our Image Library


Related information

Energy Harmony on a Major Scale

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