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World Utilities Congress 2022
Conference on 9-11 May 2022
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll, Co-founders and Managing Directors at LucidCatalyst, participated in the World Utilities Congress in Abu Dhabi (UAE). The conference programme will enable the global utilities industry to share insights and strategies as companies worldwide implement proactive measures to digitalise their power and water systems, control emissions and attract long-term capital investments. On Day 1 of the conference, Kirsty Gogan moderated the global leadership panel: Masterclass: Successful delivery of a nuclear new build megaproject When it launched its peaceful nuclear energy program, the UAE was the first in 27 years to join the global nuclear industry. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has broken the mould for the successful construction and delivery of nuclear projects worldwide by delivering in one of the shortest timeframes globally, in accordance with the highest standards of quality and safety. What are the keys to successfully delivering a highly complex nuclear energy plant megaproject? How can other nations around the world duplicate this blueprint for success and decarbonize their energy sectors using nuclear energy? On Day 2, Kirsty Gogan was a speaker on the panel: The latest innovations and advances within the nuclear sector – what does the future hold? Research capability and technical expertise in nuclear science are needed to maintain a high-level performance and support innovation to develop future-generation nuclear technology. Dozens of nuclear companies are designing advanced reactors that will reshape how we think about nuclear energy and improve deployment timelines. What are the recent R&D advances in the nuclear industry? What R&D investments are needed to field a new generation of nuclear energy technologies? Can SMRs increase access to nuclear energy in new and developing markets? What does it take for R&D technologies to be commercialised? How can the nuclear industry support the production of clean hydrogen? > Visit conference website
A longer life for Diablo Canyon? Newsom touts nuke extension
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD April 29, 2022 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Facing possible electricity shortages, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday raised the possibility that the state’s sole remaining nuclear power plant might continue operating beyond a planned closing by 2025, an idea that could revive a decades-old fight over earthquake safety at the site. The Democratic governor has no direct authority over the operating license for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which sits on a seaside bluff above the Pacific midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. But the governor floated the idea that plant owner Pacific Gas & Electric could seek a share of $6 billion in federal funding the Biden administration established to rescue nuclear plants at risk of closing. “The Governor is in support of keeping all options on the table to ensure we have a reliable (electricity) grid,” spokeswoman Erin Mellon said. “This includes considering an extension to Diablo Canyon, which continues to be an important resource as we transition to clean energy.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the effect of the drought on power generation after touring the Edward Hyatt Power Plant at the Oroville Dam, in Oroville, Calif., Tuesday, April 19, 2022. Facing possible electricity shortages, Newsom on Friday, April 29, 2022, raised the possibility that the state's sole remaining nuclear power plant might continue operating beyond a planned closing by 2025. Newsom has no direct authority over the operating license for the nuclear power plant, but Newsom spokeswoman Erin Mellon said "The Governor is in support keeping all options on the table to ensure we have a reliable (electricity) grid.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) ... Newsom’s idea was welcomed by the American Nuclear Society, which represents professionals in nuclear science and technology. Diablo Canyon “has an essential role to play in California’s clean and secure energy future,” the group said. Research from scientists at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [and LucidCatalyst] has concluded that delaying Diablo Canyon’s retirement to 2035 would save California $2.6 billion in power system costs, reduce the chances of brownouts and lower carbon emissions. When the research was presented in November, former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the nation is not positioned in the near-term to go to 100% renewable energy. There are 55 commercial nuclear power plants with 93 nuclear reactors in 28 U.S. states. Nuclear power already provides about 20% of electricity in the U.S., or about half the nation’s carbon-free energy. > Read full article > Read report by Stanford, MIT and LucidCatalyst that provides research and analysis for supporting Diablo Canyon to remain open Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.
California promised to close its last nuclear plant. Now Newsom is reconsidering
BY SAMMY ROTH APRIL 29, 2022 With the threat of power shortages looming and the climate crisis worsening, Gov. Gavin Newsom may attempt to delay the long-planned closure of California’s largest electricity source: the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Newsom told the L.A. Times editorial board Thursday that the state would seek out a share of $6 billion in federal funds meant to rescue nuclear reactors facing closure, money the Biden administration announced this month. Diablo Canyon owner Pacific Gas & Electric is preparing to shutter the plant — which generated 6% of the state’s power last year — by 2025. “The requirement is by May 19 to submit an application, or you miss the opportunity to draw down any federal funds if you want to extend the life of that plant,” Newsom said. “We would be remiss not to put that on the table as an option.” ... Nuclear plants are America’s largest source of climate-friendly power, generating 19% of the country’s electricity last year. That’s almost as much as solar panels, wind turbines, hydropower dams and all other zero-carbon energy sources combined. A recent UC Berkeley poll co-sponsored by The Times found that 44% of California voters support building more nuclear reactors in in the Golden State, with 37% opposed and 19% undecided — a significant change from the 1980s and 1990s. The poll also found that 39% of voters oppose shutting down Diablo Canyon, with 33% supporting closure and 28% unsure. Nuclear supporters say closing plants such as Diablo would make it far more difficult to achieve President Biden’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2035, and to mostly eliminate planet-warming emissions by midcentury — which is necessary to avert the worst impacts of climate change, including more dangerous heat waves, wildfires and floods, according to scientists. Nuclear plants can produce power around the clock. The stunning growth of lithium-ion battery storage has made it easier and cheaper for solar panels and wind turbines to do the same, but those renewables still play much less of a role when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing, at least for now. The U.S. Commerce Department, meanwhile, is considering tariffs on imported solar panels, which could hinder construction of clean energy projects that California is counting on to avoid blackouts the next few summers, as Diablo and several gas-fired power plants shut down. Newsom said in a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo this week that her department’s tariff inquiry has delayed at least 4,350 megawatts of solar-plus-storage projects — about twice the capacity of Diablo Canyon. The governor said he’s been thinking about keeping Diablo open longer since August 2020, when California’s main electric grid operator was forced to implement rolling blackouts during an intense heat wave. Temperatures stayed high after sundown, leaving the state without enough electricity to keep air conditioners humming after solar farms stopped producing. A few hundred thousand homes and businesses lost power over two evenings, none of them for longer than 2½ hours at a time, officials said. The state only narrowly avoided more power shortfalls during another heat storm a few weeks later, highlighting the fragility of an electric grid undergoing a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Newsom spokesperson Anthony York said the governor’s decision to reconsider Diablo Canyon’s closure timeline was driven by projections of possible power shortages in the next few years. Those projections, he said, came from the California Independent System Operator, which oversees the electric grid for most of the state. ... Supporting nuclear is a key climate priority for the Biden administration. But federal officials hadn’t seemed optimistic PG&E would apply for a share of the Energy Department’s $6-billion nuclear bailout fund. During a visit to Southern California last week, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters she’s “not sure that the community [around] Diablo Canyon is on board yet.” > Read full article > Read report by Stanford, MIT and LucidCatalyst that provides research and analysis for supporting Diablo Canyon to remain open Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.
Wars are dangerous, reactors much less so
Nuclear Newswire March 30, 2022 By Jacopo Buongiorno, Steven Nesbit, Malcolm Grimston, Lake Barrett, Matthew L. Wald, and Andrew Whittaker The authors of this article, experts in nuclear engineering, set the record straight and explain the risks of nuclear power plants in war zones, which is surprisingly small. "Nuclear reactors cannot 'explode' like a nuclear weapon, because of their fundamental differences in materials and designs." Furthermore, "nuclear power plants must, by law, be able to withstand a broad range of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods, as well as terrorist attacks. Ukraine’s nuclear power plants have multiple layers of protection." It is important to note that while "Civilian infrastructure isn’t built to withstand military assault. Nuclear power plants, however, are exceptionally hardened facilities, as we have seen. By comparison, other power plants, dams, ports, chemical plants, the food supply chain, long-span bridges, the electric grid, oil and gas pipelines, and the internet, just to mention a few, are much softer targets. An attack on these targets could inflict considerably greater suffering and disruption to the civilian population and the environment." > Read full article Note that two of this article's authors are advisors to LucidCatalyst: Jacopo Buongiorno (Director of Nuclear Engineering at MIT) and Andrew Whittaker (U Buffalo-expert in nuclear seismic isolation). About the authors Jacopo Buongiorno, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Steven Nesbit, President, American Nuclear Society Malcolm Grimston, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Imperial College Centre for Environmental Policy and Technology, London Lake Barrett, Nuclear Engineer and Independent Energy Consultant Matthew L. Wald, Energy Analyst and Consultant Andrew Whittaker, Professor of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo
Designing the terawatt transition
Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll, Managing Directors at LucidCatalyst, examine the role the global shipbuilding industry could play in producing low-cost hydrogen as the world looks towards zero-carbon fuels. Lloyd's Register February 16, 2022 In November 2021, political leaders, investors and industry stakeholders gathered at COP26 in Glasgow with the same mission: to try and accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. In other words, continue the search for zero-carbon alternatives to today’s fossil fuels. At TerraPraxis, we gathered key industry stakeholders, representing several trillion dollars in potential market demand, who revealed new near-term climate-scale strategies to compete on price and performance with fossils fuels. This then saw customers, investors and political leaders announce strategies to accelerate the affordable repowering of two Terawatts of coal and delivery of 100 million barrels per day of carbon neutral liquid fuels. These large-scale solutions repurpose trillions of dollars of existing infrastructure, known to supply reliable energy but without the emissions, and thus advance groundbreaking progress towards becoming net-zero by 2050. However, despite the progress already made in driving down emissions in the power sector, projections show that fossil fuels will continue to supply the bulk of global energy by mid-century, and coincides with the high-risk 4°C trajectory, in which substantial areas of the planet will become uninhabitable. Meanwhile, 840 million people have no access to electricity today, and nearly 3 billion people depend on inefficient and highly polluting cooking systems, resulting in nearly 4 million premature deaths each year, according to Sustainable Energy For All (2021). To address these multiple crises, the supply chain will require the extensive deployment of electrification, efficiency, renewables, and other clean technologies, and in turn need a significant growth in energy access in global mitigation strategies. Nuclear energy has been identified as being a necessary component of climate mitigation roadmaps by international institutions, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, International Energy Agency and European Commission, but has also been dismissed as being too expensive and slow. While, nuclear power has its benefits and drawbacks, there is much we can learn from the renewables industry and its success as a template for broader and deeper emissions reductions. And there is the potential to transform today’s costly and cumbersome projects to modernised, manufactured products using nuclear technology which can be achieved by looking to other large-scale, high-productivity industries, such as shipping and aviation where innovative delivery models for “designed-for-purpose” facilities built by shipyards can quickly achieve significantly lower costs and large-scale deployment of clean technologies. In this article, we look at the Terawatt-scale opportunity for advanced reactors, also referred to as ‘advanced heat sources’, which can contribute towards very low cost hydrogen and synthetic fuels production to address hard-to-abate sectors, including aviation and shipping, as well as the cement production industry. ... > Read full article
WNE confirms its popularity and its status as the world's largest civil nuclear exhibition
Great success for WNE 2021 Press Release December 15, 2021 United Arab Emirates: The 4th edition of the World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE), the world's largest civil nuclear exhibition, which took place over three days from 30 November to 2 December in Villepinte, north of Paris, has ended on an upbeat note. WNE once again succeeded in attracting a large international attendance, despite the difficult health context. This 2021 edition kept its promises in terms of audience. An event by GIFEN (the French Nuclear Industry Association), organised by RX France, WNE 2021 brought together 17,000 participants and 612 exhibitors (40% of whom were international) from 76 countries. The 2021 figures once again reflect the popularity of WNE. The numerous cooperation agreements signed at the show reaffirm the business dimension of WNE, while the exhibition also received very strong media coverage abroad. Sylvie Bermann, Ambassador of France and President of WNE, said: "For three days, the global nuclear industry gathered in Paris has demonstrated its ability to meet the challenge of climate change. Because it can produce low-carbon electricity continuously and at competitive prices, but also of innovating and adapting to the multiple challenges of today's world by developing new solutions, our industry confirms that it is, as the theme that has guided us for three days states: a key player for a low-carbon society in a responsible future. ... WNE welcomed nearly 1,000 top international decision-makers (governments, institutions, major buyers, etc.) and official delegations from some 20 countries (Albania, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America). ... > Read full article
U.S. energy chief hints California may grant reprieve to its last nuclear plant
Reuters / Yahoo Finance By Timothy Gardner November 30, 2021 WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - California may reconsider whether to close its last nuclear power plant as public support has grown for the low-carbon energy source, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told Reuters on Tuesday. She added she was willing to eventually talk with state officials about keeping the Diablo Canyon plant open. The Biden administration has expressed support for the nuclear power industry as crucial to its goal of decarbonizing the U.S. electrical grid by 2035. "California has been very bullish on zero-carbon emission energy," Granholm said in a wide-ranging interview to be broadcast next week at the Reuters Events conference Energy Transition North America 2021 https://reutersevents.com/events/energy-transition-north-america, where leaders will discuss the move to clean energy. ... A report this month from researchers at Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) [and LucidCatalyst] said California should extend the life of Diablo Canyon to meet state climate goals. Granholm said any decision on keeping Diablo open is up to California and did not indicate she had any information that regulators were set to change their position. "This is clean dispatchable base load power. ... I know the decision has been made already to close it down, perhaps it's something that they might reconsider," she said. And she hinted she would be willing to give her persuasion skills with officials in California, a state plagued with power outages and climate-related wildfires, a try. "Let's just get through this consent-based siting process first and certainly I'm willing to have those conversations." ... > Read full article > Read report Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.
Op-Ed: California needs to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open to meet its climate goals
Los Angeles Times BY STEVEN CHU AND ERNEST MONIZ NOV. 21, 2021 Even assuming rapid buildout of renewable energy, the continued operation of Diablo Canyon would significantly reduce California’s use of natural gas for electricity production from 2025 to 2035. (Joe Johnston / San Luis Obispo Tribune) The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is scheduled to close when its federal 40-year license expires in 2025 — marking the end of nuclear power generation in California. This schedule was set in a complex multi-stakeholder process approved by state regulators in 2018, and modifying it would be at least as complex. However, much has changed in the last few years, underscoring the need to revisit this decision — including rolling blackouts in California in 2020, global awareness of the need for greater ambition in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a better understanding of the limitations of existing technology within a reliable and resilient system. Reconsidering the future of Diablo Canyon is now urgently needed in advancing the public good. At the global climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, the nearly 200 nations attending acknowledged the need for deep reductions in carbon emissions by mid-century. California deserves credit for leading the way in transitioning to a zero-carbon economy. Groundbreaking legislation requires all sources of electricity in the state to be emission-free by 2045. Former Gov. Jerry Brown directed the state to achieve economy-wide climate neutrality by the same date. And Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order last year requiring all new cars sold in the state to be zero-emission, starting in 2035. The effects of climate change are unmistakable and severe around the world and in California, with record temperatures, drought and wildfires of unprecedented ferocity and destruction. Moving toward deep decarbonization is of paramount importance. Timing matters. Most of the carbon we emit today stays in the atmosphere and warms the planet for centuries. To avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need to avoid carbon dioxide emissions even as we aim to reach zero emissions by mid-century. Today, the Diablo Canyon Power Plant accounts for 15% of California’s carbon-free electricity production, and 8% of overall electricity output. Natural gas accounts for almost half of California’s generation. Without nuclear power, even as deployment of renewable power expands, California will have to increase reliance on gas-fired peaker plants (power plants that run when energy demand peaks) at a time when we need all the clean power we can produce. Congress and the administration recognized the importance of existing nuclear power by providing incentives to keep nuclear plants running in the bipartisan infrastructure law. Researchers at MIT and Stanford University [and LucidCatalyst] have completed an independently funded joint study to reassess Diablo Canyon’s potential value for helping California meet the challenges of climate change by providing clean, safe and reliable electricity. The study also assessed Diablo Canyon’s potential for powering water desalination and hydrogen fuel production. The researchers found that an inclusive strategy that preserves the clean electricity from Diablo Canyon will augment new energy generation from renewables and other sources of clean power. We need to increase renewables at a massive scale, but that will take decades, so any zero-carbon source we retire today will set us back years on the zero-carbon journey. Carbon-free power is also essential for system reliability and resilience because, beyond the short-term variability, there are weeks and months when wind and solar power are low and storage technologies are of inadequate duration. This is not an either/or situation: California needs both Diablo Canyon and renewables to significantly reduce emissions over the next two decades. Keeping Diablo Canyon running through 2035 would cut carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 11% annually compared with 2017 levels and save ratepayers billions of dollars — an estimated $2.6 billion through 2035 and up to $21 billion by 2045. It also would alleviate the need to develop 90,000 acres of land for renewable energy production just to replace the facility’s capacity. But the potential benefits of preserving Diablo Canyon go beyond generation of more clean electric power. The MIT-Stanford [and LucidCatalyst] study found that Diablo Canyon could be repurposed to become a power source for water desalination and for clean hydrogen production, operating as a polygeneration facility. Diablo Canyon’s continued operation would thus help address three of the state’s largest challenges: energy reliability, persistent drought, and the transition to emission-free transportation and industry — two sectors that are challenging to decarbonize. A desalination facility at Diablo Canyon could produce up to 80 times the output of the state’s largest desalination plant at about half the cost. The researchers also found that, as demand for hydrogen increases, Diablo Canyon could produce it at about half the cost of hydrogen produced by other clean energy sources. ... > Read full article > Read report Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.
Opinion: Closing California’s last nuclear power plant would be a mistake
Washington Post By Editorial Board November 16, 2021 The Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant stands in Avila Beach, Calif. on March 30. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg) In 2018, California’s leaders decided to close the state’s last nuclear power plant, at Diablo Canyon, by 2025. Several months later, they approved a bill obligating the state to be carbon-neutral by 2045. These acts of feel-good environmentalism were, in fact, contradictory. If the state is serious about achieving carbon neutrality over the next few decades — and it should be — it cannot start by shutting down a source of emissions-free energy that accounts for nearly 10 percent of its in-state electricity production. A new report from experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University [and LucidCatalyst] has made that point clearly: Closing down Diablo Canyon would be the definition of climate incoherence. With only a few years left on the plant’s license, California should reverse course. Indeed, political leaders across the country should be trying to keep existing nuclear plants open for as long as possible, not closing them prematurely. The MIT and Stanford analysts point out that, as renewables play an increasingly large role feeding the electricity grid, “always on” sources of electricity will become more valuable. For the moment, the only viable “baseload” options are natural gas, a fossil fuel from which California already derives nearly half the electricity it generates, or nuclear, which is carbon-free. The report finds that without Diablo Canyon, the state’s electricity shortage would have been three times as severe during last year’s massive blackouts. The experts project that keeping Diablo Canyon open just one more decade would cut California’s power-sector emissions by more than 10 percent, because it would burn far less gas, and save the state $2.6 billion in power system costs. Extending the life to 2045 would save up to $21 billion and drastically cut the amount of land the state would need to produce electricity. ... > Read full article > Read report Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.
Can California Resurrect Its Lone Nuclear Power Plant Because Of Climate Change?
Forbes November 10., 2021 by Ken Silverstein Diablo Canyon Power Plant is an electricity-generating nuclear power plant at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County, California. The plant has two pressurized-water nuclear reactors operated by Pacific Gas & Electric. The plant was started in 1968 and completed in 1973 The facility is located on about 750 acres (300 ha) in Avila Beach, California. Together, the twin 1,100 MW reactors produce about 18,000 GW of electricity annually, supplying the electrical needs of more than 2.2 million people. Diablo Canyon is designed to withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake from four faults, including the nearby San Andreas and Hosgri faults. Equipped with advanced seismic monitoring and safety systems, the plant is designed to shut down promptly in the event of significant ground motion. (Photo by Gerald L French/Corbis via Getty Images) Some Californians and powerful scholars are trying to resurrect nuclear energy in the state from the dead. They want PG&E Corp. to keep its Diablo Canyon plant in operation past its planned closure for 2025. The reason: California cannot meet its climate change obligations without it. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University have raised new questions. In their just-released study [performed with LucidCatalyst], they conclude that extending Diablo Canyon through 2045 would save $21 billion — a number that would be compounded if the plant could be also used to produce hydrogen and desalinated water. If the plant stayed operational from 2025 to 2035, they say that CO2 levels would drop by 10% a year and displace natural gas use, saving customers $2.6 billion. “We are seeing that current nuclear plants are under threat because of business models,” says Arjun Majumdar, with Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy and a former under-secretary at the Department of Energy during President Obama’s tenure, at a news conference. “It is difficult to sustain nuclear. But in the broader business context, it can be used to produce hydrogen at $2 a kilogram and to address fresh-water needs. The sunk costs are already there.” ... > Read full article > Read report Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.
Study assesses potential value of continued operation for Diablo Canyon
World Nuclear News 9 November 2021 Delaying the retirement of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power would reduce California's power sector carbon emissions, reduce reliance on gas, save billions in power system costs and bolster system reliability, according to a new report by authors from Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and LucidCatalyst. The plant could further increase its value to the state by providing multiple services including desalination and hydrogen production. Diablo Canyon currently provides 8% of California's in-state electricity production and 15% of its carbon-free electricity production, but the state's Public Utilities Commission in January 2018 approved a multiparty settlement to fully and permanently shut the plant down when unit 2's operating licence expires in 2025. In its decision, the commission found that the plant was not cost effective to continue in operation, was not needed for system reliability, and that its value for reducing greenhouse gas emissions was "unclear", according to the authors of An Assessment of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant for Zero-Carbon Electricity, Desalination, and Hydrogen Production. "But in the intervening three and half years, several new developments have occurred," they note. These include: the signature of state legislation on zero-carbon generation and climate neutrality targets; recent studies highlighting the importance of always-available, non-weather-dependent generation capacity and reliable sources of zero-carbon fuels for hard-to-electrify sectors of the economy; blackouts and brownouts when electrical capacity has fallen below demand; mounting evidence of an increasing danger of severe water shortages; and state commitments to increase the share of land that is set aside for conservation purposes, limiting the amount of land available for energy production and other uses. These developments led the joint study team of researchers from Stanford University and MIT to re-examine the potential value of Diablo Canyon in addressing these overlapping challenges. The team was assisted on hydrogen and multiple product research by Justin Aborn of energy analysis firm LucidCatalyst. Delaying the retirement of the plant by ten years, to 2035, would reduce California power sector carbon emissions by more than 10% from 2017 levels and reduce reliance on gas, save USD2.6 billion in power system costs, and bolster system reliability to mitigate brownouts, the researchers found. "Even assuming rapid and unconstrained buildout of renewable energy, the continued operation of Diablo Canyon would significantly reduce California’s use of natural gas for electricity production from 2025 to 2035 by approximately 10.2 TWh per year. In doing so, Diablo Canyon would also reduce California carbon emissions by an average of 7 million tonnes (Mt) CO2 a year from 2025-2035," the report notes. Operating the plant to 2045 and beyond could save up to USD21 billion in power system costs, potentially avoid the need to use save 90,000 acres of land for the siting of new solar photovoltaic capacity, and save up 50 Mt CO2 in cumulative emissions. Multiple benefits Diablo Canyon could be a "powerful driver of desalination to serve urban, industrial, and agricultural users," the study found. A desalination plant situated adjacent to Diablo Canyon would be able to augment fresh water supplies to the state as a whole and to critically under-served or overdrafted regions, at lower costs than existing or proposed desalination plants, while meeting environmental standards protecting marine life. California "will likely need hundreds of millions of kilograms of hydrogen-based, zero-carbon fuels" annually to achieve a zero-carbon economy, the authors note. "The preliminary analysis here suggests that, with heat-assisted electrolysis, Diablo Canyon could produce 110 million kilograms of hydrogen annually at a cost of $2.01-2.46/kg. This is up to half less than the range of current costs of hydrogen produced from solar or wind power, while utilizing a small fraction of the space required for those other generation sources." Hydrogen production at the Diablo Canyon site would also likely be cost-competitive with the hydrogen produced from natural gas with carbon capture, which is today's least expensive form of zero-carbon hydrogen production, they add. The analysis also considered the potential to "repurpose" the nuclear plant to provide grid electricity, desalinated water, and hydrogen at the same time, and concluded that the production of these three products could "substantially increase" the value of Diablo Canyon by an amount equivalent to USD70/MWh, or even higher. "In a polygeneration configuration, the electricity output of Diablo Canyon plant could be directed to provide varying amounts of electricity to the power grid, desalination or hydrogen production, respectively, to maximise revenue, provide grid reliability, or meet other objectives, as needed," the report notes. ... > Read full article > Read report Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.
Ammonia Energy Conference 2021
November 9 – 11, 2021 Boston, MA, USA Ammonia Energy Association The 18th annual Ammonia Energy Conference was co-located at the AIChE annual meeting. This event was an in-person conference located at the Boston Marriott, Copley Place. The event featured a panel session located in our main theater, which was complimented with “deep dive” workshops hosted in smaller breakout rooms. These workshops were available to AEA Members and scheduled in between the panel sessions. For our international audience unable to travel to the US, online events were programmed. A full schedule with presentation materials (where available) can be found at the link below. > More Information View Eric Ingersoll of LucidCatalyst's presentation about how to create sustainable shipping with ammonia fuel substitution below.