Harmonizing nuclear and renewable energy: Case studies

Jong H. Kim, Saeed A. Alameri

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Climate change is one of the grand global challenges facing the world community. With the global warming threat and the attendant public health risks caused by poor air quality and harmful fine particles, the two different energy sources—nuclear and renewables—may have found a common ground and thread to form an alliance to meet these grand global challenges. The latest advent of technologies enables load-follow flexibility of nuclear power, which has mainly provided baseload power, making nuclear energy an ideal partner for renewable energy, leveling the uncertainty and accommodating the unpredictability associated with renewables. The progress in small modular reactor (SMR) technology, which can be deployed to remote areas, can further facilitate the linking of the two energy resources. Some investigators have recently pioneered the ideas to inosculate these two energy resources with the aid of energy storage devices. This paper presents a series of case studies on meeting demand forecasts by coupling nuclear and renewable energy resources for various practical scenarios. The paper also proposes a paradigm shift in thinking in order to eliminate (or minimize to a certain extend) the need for energy storage devices in the combined energy production system by replacing the energy storage devices with some industrial facilities to directly utilize any excess power supplied by renewable energy. As an example, a desalination facility appended to the nuclear-renewable integrated system is shown to absorb surplus power from renewable energy to produce water, thereby satisfying the demand for both power and water in a typical small remote village. Case studies are also performed to extend the concept to include the effect of weather condition and seasonal variation in solar energy conditions. The promising role of disruptive emerging technologies in the nuclear-renewable combined system is also addressed.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)8053-8061
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Energy Research
    Volume44
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

    Keywords

    • emerging technologies
    • harmonization of nuclear and renewables
    • nuclear energy
    • renewable energy

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