Electricity Generation Portfolio Analysis for Coal, Gas and Nuclear Plant under Future Uncertainties

P. Vithayasrichareon, I. MacGill (Australia), and F. Wen (PR China)


Nuclear power, generation portfolio analysis, generation investment under uncertainty, Monte Carlo simulation.


High and volatile fossil fuel prices, growing concerns over energy security and the risk of climate change have all contributed to revived interest in nuclear power around the world. This is particularly the case in fast developing ASEAN countries. However, there is still considerable uncertainty about the prospects of nuclear power in terms of its economic viability and associated risks given a highly uncertain future energy industry context. This paper employs a stochastic tool based on the Monte Carlo simulation technique to assess the expected generation costs and risk profiles of different electricity generation portfolios of coal, Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT), and nuclear plants. The tool explicitly incorporates uncertain future fuel and carbon price, and plant capital costs into the analysis. Results from the model enable tradeoffs between expected system generation cost, associated risks and CO2 emissions among generation portfolios to be identified. In this paper the economics of nuclear power in relation to coal and CCGT are evaluated for different portfolio mixes under a number of scenarios of future fuel and carbon prices in the context of the ASEAN region. Results highlight the important role that a carbon price is likely to play in making nuclear power an economic option.

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