Exploring the future low-carbon electricity system: impacts of nuclear power and demand patterns
Licentiate thesis, 2021
This thesis investigates the impacts of nuclear power and demand patterns on the future low-carbon electricity system, and addresses the following research questions: What is the cost of a future low-carbon electricity system without nuclear power for Sweden?; and How will the electricity demand pattern affect the electricity system cost and the electricity supply mix? A greenfield techno-economic cost optimization model with a high temporal resolution for the electricity system is developed and used to answer these questions.
The results of this work reveal that including nuclear power in the electricity system reduces the nodal net average system cost by 4% for Sweden. This implies that the economic rationale for Sweden as a country to invest in nuclear power is limited if there is a transition towards a low-carbon electricity system in Europe. In addition, we find that varied electricity demand patterns (seasonal and diurnal variations) affect only slightly the electricity system cost, except for the case of summer peak, where the system cost may increase by up to 8%. The demand pattern may have a stronger impact on the electricity supply mix, especially solar and storage capacities, than on the electricity system cost.
This thesis contributes to a better understanding of the potential future low-carbon electricity system. The results are beneficial in identifying the implications for the planning of the future electricity system, policy support for low-carbon technologies, and demand profile treatment for modeling studies.
net system cost
electricity supply mix
Low-carbon electricity system
variable renewable energy
electricity system cost
energy system modeling
Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory
The cost of a future low-carbon electricity system without nuclear power – the case of Sweden
Energy,; Vol. 195(2020)
Kan, X., Reichenberg, L., & Hedenus, F. (2020). The impacts of the electricity demand pattern on electricity system cost and the electricity supply mix: a comprehensive modeling analysis. Submitted to journal.
Energy Systems in Transition (ENSYSTRA)
European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/765515), 2017-10-01 -- 2021-09-30.
Other Environmental Engineering
Areas of Advance
Opponent: Assistant Professor Marta Victoria, Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Aarhus University, Denmark