Opportunities and Challenges for Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems

Mark Ruth, Richard Boardman, Paul Spitsen, Shannon Bragg-Sitton

Research output: NRELPresentation


Tightly coupled nuclear-renewable hybrid energy systems (N-R HESs) are systems that link subsystems to generate dispatchable electricity and produce at least one industrial product from two or more energy resources. Because N-R HESs are designed to produce different products based on the value of those products in markets, their optimal designs and operations can be complex. This paper summarizes some key conclusions from a set of economic analyses of N-R HESs. Each N-R HES use case analyzed includes a nuclear reactor, a thermal power cycle to convert nuclear energy into electricity, either a wind or photovoltaic solar subsystem producing electricity, and an industrial process producing an energy or an industrial product. The analyses focused on identifying the optimal configuration and hours of operations for each N-R HES within ranges of hypothetical future electricity price profiles and industrial product prices. Four important insights are drawn from the results of those analyses.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePresented at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s Technical Meeting on Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems for Decarbonized Energy Production and Cogeneration, 22-25 October 2018, Vienna, Austria

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A20-72564


  • hybrid energy system
  • hydrogen
  • N-R HES
  • nuclear


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