News

World news Bookmark and Share

16.11.2018 11:20
US Deparment of Energy Publishes a Report on Subsidies for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors
AUTHOR: publics.bg


  • © Pixabay

State-imposed standards and financial incentives such as those used to spur widespread adoption of renewables technologies offer a promising model to address challenges to commercialize small modular reactors, says a report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, POWER reports.

But to make a meaningful impact, nearly $10 billion in incentives will be needed to deploy 6 GW of small modular reactor capacity by 2025, it acknowledges.

The report, “Examination of Federal Assistance in the Renewable Energy Market,” was prepared by Kutak Rock and Scully Capital under contract with the Department of Energy and made public on November 15. It notes that while uncertainty attached to the rapidly evolving market environment is shadowing long-term investment decisions at electric utilities in the U.S, current trends in the power sector present an opportunity for the technology development “as a flexible, carbon-free baseload generation resource which can be built on a smaller scale than traditional nuclear plants.” However, efforts to commercialize it have lagged owing to several challenges. These include development of a manufacturing ecosystem, licensing risks, developmental timelines, first-of-a-kind costs, and uncertainty in long-term energy markets.

Federal financial assistance such as tax and credit incentives could help curb reductions in the cost of power, while demand mandates would assure off-take at predictable prices, the report adds.

Citing data from a September 2017  economic study conducted by U.S.-based consortium SMR Start, the report says that allowing SMRs to receive production tax credits could reduce the cost of power by just under 1 cent per kWh. Credit incentives, such as loan guarantees could further slash the cost of power by another 0.3 cents. Additionally, state and local tax incentives, such as sales and use tax exemptions and property tax abatements, could further reduce costs by 0.5 cents. “Altogether, these would reduce the cost of power by 22%,” it concludes.

But to meaningfully impact commercial deployment, financial incentives would need to be applied to several reactors in combination with demand mandates “to assure off-take,” it suggests. “Construction of 6 GW of SMR capacity by 2035 would comprise about 5% of total capacity additions through that year. This would amount to 15 SMR projects with capacity of 400 MW each.” If the federal government backed 15 SMR projects with PTCs and DOE loan guarantees, total taxpayer-funded costs could amount to about $10 billion.

However, the report argues: “While this level of support is significant relative to the capacity deployed, the high capacity factors and long operating lives of SMRs support an attractive return on the government’s investment.” Government-backing of SMRs could even prove cheaper than its support for renewables, it adds. “Specifically, the $10 billion assistance estimate equates to approximately $0.0034/kWh.

By comparison, the investments in wind and solar equaled approximately $0.0108/kWh.” Federal expenditure for SMRs could be impactful even if on a smaller scale than the $51 billion that the government spent on solar and wind through mandates, tax incentives, loans and research grants from 2005 to 2015, the report says. It notes that 90% of the $51 billion came in the form of subsidies, which included investment and production tax credits. One reason that SMRs compare favorably to renewables is that they are “expected to realize capacity factors of 92.1% or above and have very long operating lives.”

Still, the report notes that significant questions remain about how much commercial deployment of SMRs will actually cost—and whether 6 GW of induced capacity would be enough to develop the industrial capabilities necessary to support the industry over the long-term.


TAGS: subsidies | nuclear | report | usa | department | of | energy 


All world news

No published comments
Login to comment


Interview

17.09.2020  Boyana Achovski, General Secretary of the international organization Gas Infrastructure
In both short and long term, gas will continue being part of the energy mix of Southeastern Europe
Full text

Events

No records in this category!

Poll

Which is the fuel of the future?










 



We use cookies to ensure we give you the best browsing experience on our website. Find out more on how we use cookies and how you can change your settings.

Cookies

What are cookies ?

A cookie is a small text file that a website saves on your computer or mobile device when you visit the site. Cookies are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

How do we use cookies?

Website use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google") to help analyse the use of this website. For this purpose, Google Analytics uses"cookies", which are text files placed on your computer.

The information generated by the cookies about your use of this website - standard internet log information (including your IP address) and visitor behaviour information in an anonymous form - will be transmitted to and stored by Google including on servers in the United States. Google will anonymize the information sent by removing the last octet of your IP address prior to its storage.

According to Google Analytics terms of service, Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website and compiling reports on website activity.

We not use, and not allow any third party to use the statistical analytics tool to track or to collect any personally identifiable information of visitors to this site. Google may transfer the information collected by Google Analytics to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google`s behalf.

According to Google Analytics terms of service, Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

You may refuse the use of Google Analytics cookies by downloading and installing Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on. The add-on communicates with the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js) to indicate that information about the website visit should not be sent to Google Analytics.

Cookies are also used to record if you have agreed (or not) to our use of cookies on this site, so that you are not asked the question every time you visit the site.

Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on

How to control cookies?

You can control and/or delete cookies as you wish. You can delete all cookies that are already on your computer and you can set most browsers to prevent them from being placed.

All about cookies

Managing cookies in your browser

Most browsers allow you to:
  • see what cookies you have got and delete them on an individual basis
  • block third party cookies
  • block cookies from particular sites
  • block all cookies from being set
  • delete all cookies when you close your browser

If you chose to delete cookies, you should be aware that any preferences will be lost. Also, if you block cookies completely many websites (including ours) will not work properly and webcasts will not work at all. For these reasons, we do not recommend turning cookies off when using our webcasting services.
X