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Economic feasibility of energy supply by small modular nuclear reactors on small islands: case studies of Jeju, Tasmania and Tenerife

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Hong, S ORCID: 0000-0001-6754-2291 and Brook, BW ORCID: 0000-0002-2491-1517 2018 , 'Economic feasibility of energy supply by small modular nuclear reactors on small islands: case studies of Jeju, Tasmania and Tenerife' , Energies, vol. 11 , pp. 1-11 , doi: 10.3390/en11102587.

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Abstract

Small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) offer the promise of providing carbon-free electricity and heat to small islands or isolated electricity grids. However, the economic feasibility of SMRs is highly system-dependent and has not been studied in this context. We selected three case-study islands for such an evaluation: Jeju, Tasmania and Tenerife based on their system complexity. We generated 100,000 electricity-mix cases stochastically for each island and examined the system-level generation-cost changes by incrementing the average generation cost of SMRs from USD$60 to 200 MWh−1. SMRs were found to be economically viable when average generation cost was −1 for Jeju and −1 for Tenerife. For Tasmania the situation was complex; hydroelectric power is an established competitor, but SMRs might be complementary in a future “battery of the nation” scenario where most of the island’s hydro capacity was exported to meet peak power demand on the mainland grid. The higher average generation cost of SMRs makes it difficult for them to compete economically with a fossil fuel/renewable mix in many contexts. However, we have demonstrated that SMRs can be an economically viable carbon-free option for a small island with a limited land area and high energy demand.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hong, S and Brook, BW
Keywords: small modular reactors, renewable, small island, micro grid, isolated grid
Journal or Publication Title: Energies
Publisher: MDPIAG
ISSN: 1996-1073
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/en11102587
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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