The cost of a future low-carbon electricity system without nuclear power – the case of Sweden

Xiaoming Kan*, Fredrik Hedenus, Lina Reichenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

To achieve the goal of deep decarbonization of the electricity system, more and more variable renewable energy (VRE) is being adopted. However, there is no consensus among researchers on whether the goal can be accomplished without large cost escalation if nuclear power is excluded in the future electricity system. In Sweden, where nuclear power generated 41% of the annual electricity supply in 2014, the official goal is 100% renewable electricity production by 2040. Therefore, we investigate the cost of a future low-carbon electricity system without nuclear power for Sweden. We model the European electricity system with a focus on Sweden and run a techno-economic cost optimization model for capacity investment and dispatch of generation, transmission, storage and demand-response, under a CO2 emission constraint of 10 g/kWh. Our results show that there are no, or only minor, cost benefits to reinvest in nuclear power plants in Sweden once the old ones are decommissioned. This holds for a large range of assumptions on technology costs and possibilities for investment in additional transmission capacity. We contrast our results with the recent study that claims severe cost penalties for not allowing nuclear power in Sweden and discuss the implications of methodology choice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117015
JournalEnergy
Volume195
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Electricity trade
  • Low-carbon electricity system
  • Net system cost
  • Nuclear power
  • Transmission
  • Variable renewable energy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The cost of a future low-carbon electricity system without nuclear power – the case of Sweden'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this