The Economic Potential of Two Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems

Mark Ruth, Gregory Stark, Dylan Cutler, Francisco Flores-Espino, Jordan Macknick, Thomas Jenkin, Travis Simpkins

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Tightly coupled nuclear-renewable hybrid energy systems (N-R HESs) are an option that can generate zero-carbon, dispatchable electricity and provide zero-carbon energy for industrial processes at a lower cost than alternatives. N-R HESs are defined as systems that are managed by a single entity and link a nuclear reactor that generates heat, a thermal power cycle for heat to electricity conversion, at least one renewable energy source, and an industrial process that uses thermal and/or electrical energy. This report provides results of an analysis of two N-R HES scenarios. The first is a Texas-synthetic gasoline scenario that includes four subsystems: a nuclear reactor, thermal power cycle, wind power plant, and synthetic gasoline production technology. The second is an Arizona-desalination scenario with its four subsystems a nuclear reactor, thermal power cycle, solar photovoltaics, and a desalination plant. The analysis focuses on the economics of the N-R HESs and how they compare to other options, including configurations without all the subsystems in each N-R HES and alternatives where the energy is provided by natural gas.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages275
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A50-66073


  • clean power
  • desalination
  • economics
  • electricity
  • hybrid systems
  • natural gas
  • nuclear
  • renewable
  • REopt
  • solar photovoltaics
  • synthetic gasoline scneario
  • thermal power
  • wind power


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