OECD boosts support for nuclear exports

25 June 2009

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said that its member countries have agreed to boost official backing for exports of renewable energy and nuclear power equipment.


In a move to respond to growing demand for low-carbon energy, the organisation said that "countries that participate in the OECD's Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits agreed on a new framework for official export credits giving improved terms on an equal footing in both sectors."


A statement from the OECD said, "Under the new arrangement, projects in the renewable energies, water and nuclear power sectors will be entitled to official export credit support in the form of loans with longer repayment terms of up to 18 years and more flexible definitions of repayment schedules, accompanied by a revised fixed interest rate regime for longer loan durations."


With regards to nuclear power, the export credits apply to contracts for complete nuclear power plants or plant components. It includes materials and services, including the training of personnel directly required for the construction and commissioning of new nuclear power plants. In addition, the export credits will cover some modernization and life extension contracts, depending on the value of the contract and how long the plant's life will be extended.


The export credits also cover contracts for the supply of nuclear fuel and enrichment, as well as used fuel management.


The participating countries also agreed that, by the end of 2009, they would examine the issues of a minimum floating interest regime, as well as the maximum amount of official support for local costs.


The agreements are designed to support renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass and hydro power, as well as nuclear power, in preference to traditional energy projects using fossil fuel, where existing, stricter financial terms and conditions continue to apply.


Participating countries also agreed to take account of climate change issues in their future work on renewable energies.