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國際核能現況 : Foratom highlights nuclear's load-following abilities
發表人 nicenter 於 2018/5/9 14:17:45 (103 人讀取)

By combining flexible nuclear power plant operation with the use of variable renewable energy sources, Europe will be able to ensure security of energy supply while reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, according to the European nuclear trade body Foratom. However, it calls for an EU energy policy that creates the right market and regulatory conditions for this to happen.

Brussels-based Foratom noted there is a general misconception that nuclear can only provide baseload energy. However, nuclear power plants can also be operated flexibly, "providing a large-scale solution to the need for network stability and flexibility". According to the trade group, "Analysis shows for a fact that [nuclear power plants and variable renewable energy sources] can be highly complementary if the right framework is adapted.

"Technically, existing nuclear power plants and new designs can perform both frequency control and load-following operations but practices are heterogeneous in the EU," Foratom said yesterday. "In some Member States or regions, there is currently no need or incentives for flexible operations of nuclear power plants. In other Member States, flexible operations of nuclear power plants is a standing and proven practice."

In a new position paper, Foratom noted that nuclear power plants have been operated flexibly in several European countries, including France, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

"To date, two-thirds of nuclear power plants in France have been operated routinely in flexible mode," it said. "This has demonstrated on a grand scale the ability of nuclear energy to balance the intermittency of variable renewables. Actually, nuclear energy appears as being the only large-scale, non-weather dependent low-carbon technology that is capable of doing so."

However, Foratom noted the decision to perform load-following depends very much on how flexibility is valued by the national electricity market and on legal/regulatory constraints.

Andrei Goicea, Foratom Executive Manager, said: "When it comes to nuclear flexibility, two elements need to be taken into consideration: the regulatory framework (which can vary from one Member State to another), and the market environment."

Foratom says the EU needs "a well-functioning electricity market recognising the specificities of long-term investments in low-carbon energy sources and a functioning EU Emissions Trading Scheme delivering a long-term and predictable carbon price". This, it claims, "would lead to a level playing field for all low-carbon energy sources in a market where subsidies were not needed. In such a market, a proper reward for flexibility would encourage nuclear power plant operators to operate in a flexible way".

Yves Desbazeille, Foratom director general, added: "If Europe is serious about reducing its CO2 emissions whilst at the same time ensuring security of supply, then it needs to take low-carbon nuclear energy seriously as a flexible partner for renewables."

In April 2017, Foratom published a position paper on the European Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package of measures for a clean energy transition. The organisation said the EU's aim to decarbonise the economy by more than 80% by 2050 cannot be achieved without nuclear power.

The 128 nuclear power reactors - with a combined capacity of 119 GWe - currently operating in 14 of the 28 EU Member States account for more than one-quarter of the electricity generated in the whole of the EU.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News


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