Speaker: Gabriel Rioseco
Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation, University of Queensland.
Hosted by the Nuclear Engineering Panel of Engineer Australia Sydney Branch.
6 pm to 7:30 pm AEST Wednesday 20 July 2022 – Hybrid Event.
Venue: Harricks Auditorium, Engineers Australia Sydney Office, 44 Market St (Mezzanine Floor), Sydney, NSW.
This presentation explored the role of Nuclear Small Modular Reactor (SMR) in a low-carbon NEM and the importance of expanding the portfolio of technologies capable of providing firm, clean and affordable electricity supply.
The Australian NEM must undergo a large and rapid transformation if deep decarbonisation is to be achieved. A UQ modelling study developed a long-term electricity capacity planning model with an embedded short-term operational/unit-commitment formulation.
Various cases were evaluated by varying the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets and the set of technologies available, including a case that allows Nuclear SMR deployment. Results show that renewables usually offer a lower-cost alternative under modest carbon emission constraints. However, below the 50% GHG reduction target, allowing Nuclear SMR in the system consistently reduces the system costs and system size (in terms of installed capacity and land use) relative to scenarios that excluded this technology. As the GHG target approaches zero, these differences become more pronounced. In a fully decarbonised system, the average generation cost of a system that excludes Nuclear SMR is 85% higher than when this technology can be deployed.
These results highlight the role of nuclear SMRs in a low-carbon NEM and the importance of expanding the portfolio of technologies capable of providing firm, clean and affordable electricity supply.
Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation, University of Queensland
Gabriel holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering, specialising in Environmental Economics from the University of Concepción, Chile. In 2018 he graduated from the University of Queensland (UQ) with a Master of Sustainable Energy. He is completing his last year of PhD studies at the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation at UQ. Gabriel’s research is part of the global collaborative project titled “Rapid Switch Project”.