World Nuclear News
27 Sept 2021
To facilitate rapid decarbonisation and cut dependency on fossil fuels, both nuclear energy and renewables are needed for power and hydrogen production, a new independent study has concluded. The study, by Aurora Energy Research, investigates the benefits of deploying both nuclear and renewables for hydrogen production, to support the energy transition and meet UK climate targets. The report — Decarbonising Hydrogen in a Net Zero Economy — was commissioned by Urenco and has been supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency, EDF and LucidCatalyst.
It follows the UK government's Hydrogen Strategy, published last month. The Hydrogen Strategy stated that nuclear provides a number of options for producing clean hydrogen, but did not model the costs and competitiveness of nuclear's contribution.
"The majority of studies on the future of the hydrogen sector in Great Britain focus on electrolytic hydrogen from renewable energy sources (RES) and fossil-based hydrogen with carbon capture and storage (CCS)," the report says. "The potential for nuclear to participate in the hydrogen economy is often not considered due to high costs of recent assets and lack of clear policy direction leading to planned projects being put on hold.
"This study investigates how policy support for new nuclear technologies and business models to provide low-carbon electrolytic hydrogen could reduce nuclear and system costs whilst reducing reliance on fossil fuels when deployed alongside RES on the path to net-zero."