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New Report Highlights Nuclear Flexibility in Clean Energy Systems

Just how flexible is an energy source?

It's a question that many of us don't think too much about. But as the growth of variable generators, like wind and solar, continue to gain traction around the world, it's an important question to ask.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that renewables will supply nearly half of the world's electricity by 2050. As higher penetrations of renewables (primarily wind and solar) are connected to the grid, traditional base load energy sources, like nuclear energy, will need to operate more flexibility to produce heat and electricity as needed.

A new international report, released by the Clean Energy Ministerial’s NICE Future initiative, highlights this topic of flexibility and thoroughly examines the potential roles current and future nuclear reactors can play in developing increasingly integrated clean energy systems.

The Flexible Nuclear Energy for Clean Energy Systems report, led by the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan, includes experts from several ministries, government agencies, and industry organizations from around the world.

A variety of analytical tools, systems analyses, and optimization studies used in the report were sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and conducted in collaboration with industry partners.

The main takeaway is very clear. Nuclear is more flexible than many of us thought and its FULL potential can be realized by teaming up with renewables to create new hybrid energy systems that could ultimately lead to new jobs, thriving economies and lower emissions.

You can view the report here: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy20osti/77088.pdf

Flexible nuclear

Looking to a NICE Future

The Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial works with governments, research institutions, non-government organizations and industry to build partnerships, pool information, inform the design process, and ultimately explore the potential for expanding integrated systems that meet a wide range of clean energy needs.

You can learn more about its Flexible Nuclear Campaign and how coordinated use of these technologies can reliably and affordably accelerate contributions to clean energy systems of the future.

The Office of International Nuclear Energy Policy and Cooperation, within the Office of Nuclear Energy, collaborates with international partners, bilaterally and multilaterally, to support the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.