skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

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

Abstract

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. 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.

Authors:
 [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), Strategic Programs (SP)
OSTI Identifier:
1351061
Report Number(s):
NREL/TP-6A50-66764
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; electrolysis; nuclear-renewable hybrid energy systems; electricity price; renewable energy; JISEA; hydrogen

Citation Formats

Ruth, Mark, Cutler, Dylan, Flores-Espino, Francisco, and Stark, Greg. The Economic Potential of Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems Producing Hydrogen. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1351061.
Ruth, Mark, Cutler, Dylan, Flores-Espino, Francisco, & Stark, Greg. The Economic Potential of Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems Producing Hydrogen. United States. doi:10.2172/1351061.
Ruth, Mark, Cutler, Dylan, Flores-Espino, Francisco, and Stark, Greg. Sat . "The Economic Potential of Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems Producing Hydrogen". United States. doi:10.2172/1351061. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1351061.
@article{osti_1351061,
title = {The Economic Potential of Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems Producing Hydrogen},
author = {Ruth, Mark and Cutler, Dylan and Flores-Espino, Francisco and Stark, Greg},
abstractNote = {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. 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.},
doi = {10.2172/1351061},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • 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
  • 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: amore » 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.« 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.
  • Summary on figures of merit for evaluation alternative energy systems. Focused on nuclear hybrid energy systems producing hydrogen.
  • 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