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Title: The Economic Potential of Two Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems

Abstract

Tightly coupled nuclear-renewable hybrid energy systems (N-R HESs) are an option that can generate zero-carbon, dispatchable electricity and provide zero-carbon energy for industrial processes at a lower cost than alternatives. N-R HESs are defined as systems that are managed by a single entity and link a nuclear reactor that generates heat, a thermal power cycle for heat to electricity conversion, at least one renewable energy source, and an industrial process that uses thermal and/or electrical energy. This report provides results of an analysis of two N-R HES scenarios. The first is a Texas-synthetic gasoline scenario that includes four subsystems: a nuclear reactor, thermal power cycle, wind power plant, and synthetic gasoline production technology. The second is an Arizona-desalination scenario with its four subsystems a nuclear reactor, thermal power cycle, solar photovoltaics, and a desalination plant. The analysis focuses on the economics of the N-R HESs and how they compare to other options, including configurations without all the subsystems in each N-R HES and alternatives where the energy is provided by natural gas.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1285734
Report Number(s):
NREL/TP-6A50-66073
TRN: US1601675
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 14 SOLAR ENERGY; 17 WIND ENERGY; HYBRID SYSTEMS; GASOLINE; NATURAL GAS; ENERGY SYSTEMS; REACTORS; WIND POWER PLANTS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DESALINATION PLANTS; PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER PLANTS; ELECTRIC POWER; CONFIGURATION; CONVERSION; COST; ECONOMICS; SYNTHETIC FUELS; POWER PRODUCTION; nuclear; renewable; desalination; solar photovoltaics; synthetic gasoline scneario; thermal power; wind power; electricity; clean power

Citation Formats

Ruth, Mark, Cutler, Dylan, Flores-Espino, Francisco, Stark, Greg, Jenkin, Thomas, Simpkins, Travis, and Macknick, Jordan. The Economic Potential of Two Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1285734.
Ruth, Mark, Cutler, Dylan, Flores-Espino, Francisco, Stark, Greg, Jenkin, Thomas, Simpkins, Travis, & Macknick, Jordan. The Economic Potential of Two Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems. United States. doi:10.2172/1285734.
Ruth, Mark, Cutler, Dylan, Flores-Espino, Francisco, Stark, Greg, Jenkin, Thomas, Simpkins, Travis, and Macknick, Jordan. 2016. "The Economic Potential of Two Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems". United States. doi:10.2172/1285734. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1285734.
@article{osti_1285734,
title = {The Economic Potential of Two Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems},
author = {Ruth, Mark and Cutler, Dylan and Flores-Espino, Francisco and Stark, Greg and Jenkin, Thomas and Simpkins, Travis and Macknick, Jordan},
abstractNote = {Tightly coupled nuclear-renewable hybrid energy systems (N-R HESs) are an option that can generate zero-carbon, dispatchable electricity and provide zero-carbon energy for industrial processes at a lower cost than alternatives. N-R HESs are defined as systems that are managed by a single entity and link a nuclear reactor that generates heat, a thermal power cycle for heat to electricity conversion, at least one renewable energy source, and an industrial process that uses thermal and/or electrical energy. This report provides results of an analysis of two N-R HES scenarios. The first is a Texas-synthetic gasoline scenario that includes four subsystems: a nuclear reactor, thermal power cycle, wind power plant, and synthetic gasoline production technology. The second is an Arizona-desalination scenario with its four subsystems a nuclear reactor, thermal power cycle, solar photovoltaics, and a desalination plant. The analysis focuses on the economics of the N-R HESs and how they compare to other options, including configurations without all the subsystems in each N-R HES and alternatives where the energy is provided by natural gas.},
doi = {10.2172/1285734},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

Technical Report:

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  • This report is one of a series of reports that Idaho National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory are producing to investigate the technical and economic aspects of nuclear-renewable hybrid energy systems (N-R HESs). Previous reports provided results of an analysis of two N-R HES scenarios. This report builds that analysis with a Texas-synthetic gasoline scenario providing the basis in which the N-R HES sells heat directly to an industrial customer. Subsystems were included that convert electricity to heat, thus allowing the renewable energy subsystem to generate heat and benefit from that revenue stream. Nuclear and renewable energy sources aremore » important to consider in the energy sector's evolution because both are considered to be clean and non-carbon-emitting energy sources.« less
  • This report is one of a series of reports that investigate the technical and economic aspects of Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems. It provides the results of an analysis of two scenarios. The first is a Texas-synthetic gasoline scenario and the second is an Arizona-desalination scenario. The analysis focuses on the economics of the N-R HESs and how they compare to other options, including configurations without all the subsystems in each N-R HES and alternatives in which natural gas provides the energy.
  • This report is one in a series of reports that Idaho National Laboratory and the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis are publishing that address the technical and economic aspects of nuclear-renewable hybrid energy systems (N-R HESs). This report discusses an analysis of the economic potential of a tightly coupled N-R HES that produces electricity and hydrogen. Both low and high temperature electrolysis options are considered in the analysis. Low-temperature electrolysis requires only electricity to convert water to hydrogen. High temperature electrolysis requires less electricity because it uses both electricity and heat to provide the energy necessary to electrolyze water.more » The study finds that, to be profitable, the examined high-temperature electrosis and low-temperature electrosis N-R HES configurations that produce hydrogen require higher electricity prices, more electricity price volatility, higher natural gas prices, or higher capacity payments than the reference case values of these parameters considered in this analysis.« less
  • The United States is in the midst of an energy revolution, spurred by advancement of technology to produce unprecedented supplies of oil and natural gas. Simultaneously, there is an increasing concern for climate change attributed to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that, in large part, result from burning fossil fuels. An international consensus has concluded that the U.S. and other developed nations have an imperative to reduce GHG emissions to address these climate change concerns. The global desire to reduce GHG emissions has led to the development and deployment of clean energy resources and technologies, particularly renewable energy technologies, at amore » rapid rate. At the same time, each of the major energy sectors—the electric grid, industrial manufacturing, transportation, and the residential/commercial consumers— is increasingly becoming linked through information and communications technologies, advanced modeling and simulation, and controls. Coordination of clean energy generation technologies through integrated hybrid energy systems, as defined below, has the potential to further revolutionize energy services at the system level by coordinating the exchange of energy currency among the energy sectors in a manner that optimizes financial efficiency (including capital investments), maximizes thermodynamic efficiency (through best use of exergy, which is the potential to use the available energy in producing energy services), reduces environmental impacts when clean energy inputs are maximized, and provides resources for grid management. Rapid buildout of renewable technologies has been largely driven by local, state, and federal policies, such as renewable portfolio standards and production tax credits that incentivize investment in these generation sources. A foundational assumption within this program plan is that renewable technologies will continue to be major contributors to the future U.S. energy infrastructure. While increased use of clean renewable technologies will aid in achieving reduced GHG emissions, it also presents new challenges to grid management that must be addressed. These challenges primarily derive from the fundamental characteristics of variable renewable generators, such as wind and solar: non-dispatchability, variable production, and reduced electromechanical inertia. This document presents a preliminary research and development (R&D) plan for detailed dynamic simulation and analysis of nuclear-renewable hybrid energy systems (N-R HES), coupled with integrated energy system design, component development, and integrated systems testing. N-R HES are cooperatively-controlled systems that dynamically apportion thermal and/or electrical energy to provide responsive generation to the power grid.« less
  • This report summarizes the current status of the modeling and simulation capabilities developed for the economic assessment of Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems (N-R HES). The increasing penetration of variable renewables is altering the profile of the net demand, with which the other generators on the grid have to cope. N-R HES analyses are being conducted to determine the potential feasibility of mitigating the resultant volatility in the net electricity demand by adding industrial processes that utilize either thermal or electrical energy as stabilizing loads. This coordination of energy generators and users is proposed to mitigate the increase in electricity costmore » and cost volatility through the production of a saleable commodity. Overall, the financial performance of a system that is comprised of peaking units (i.e. gas turbine), baseload supply (i.e. nuclear power plant), and an industrial process (e.g. hydrogen plant) should be optimized under the constraint of satisfying an electricity demand profile with a certain level of variable renewable (wind) penetration. The optimization should entail both the sizing of the components/subsystems that comprise the system and the optimal dispatch strategy (output at any given moment in time from the different subsystems). Some of the capabilities here described have been reported separately in [1, 2, 3]. The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the improvement and extension of those capabilities and to illustrate their integrated application in the economic assessment of N-R HES.« less