Nuclear power versus fossil-fuel power with CO2 capture and storage: A comparative analysis

Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Energy Sector Management, 2008, 2 (2), pp. 181 - 196
Issue Date:
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Purpose - In recognition of the urgency of the global need to reduce CO2 emissions from the electricity sector, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the cost-effectiveness of nuclear power and fossil-fuel-based power with and without the provision of carbon capture and storage in select, yet environmentally-significant, group of countries - China, India, Russia, Korea, Pakistan, Poland, Argentina, Bulgaria and Romania. Design/methodology/approach - The analyses are based on comparisons of electricity generation costs for nuclear and fossil-fuel technologies. These costs, expressed in present value terms, are estimated on the basis of life-cycle costs, employing detailed country-specific technological and economic data and assumptions. Findings - The analyses suggest that that the provision of carbon capture and storage is likely to result in a significant increase in the cost of electricity produced from fossil fuels (principally coal) in all countries represented in this paper. Such increase would completely erode the existing cost advantage enjoyed by fossil-fuel power (in relation to nuclear power) in some countries (Argentina, Bulgaria, China, and India) and considerably enhance the existing cost-advantage of nuclear power in other countries (Korea, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, and Russia). Originality/value - Notwithstanding these limitations, thefindings of this paper contribute appreciably to the emerging knowledge on this topic and provide useful foresight into the likely challenges of developing internationally acceptable policy prescriptions for mitigation CO2 emissions from the electricity sector. At a mundane, yet important, level, this paper establishes a platform on which further analyses could be built.
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