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


Hong, S and Brook, BW, Economic feasibility of energy supply by small modular nuclear reactors on small islands: case studies of Jeju, Tasmania and Tenerife, Energies, 11, (10) Article 2587. ISSN 1996-1073 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.3390/en11102587


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 <†$100 MWh−1 for Jeju and <†$140 MWh−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 islandís 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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:small modular reactors, renewable, small island, micro grid, isolated grid
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Electrical engineering
Research Field:Electrical energy generation (incl. renewables, excl. photovoltaics)
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Energy transformation
Objective Field:Energy transformation not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hong, S (Dr Sanghyun Hong)
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:128614
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2018-10-02
Last Modified:2021-01-06
Downloads:73 View Download Statistics

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