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Nuclear and intermittent renewables: Two compatible supply options? The case of the French power mix


  • Cany, Camille
  • Mansilla, Christine
  • da Costa, Pascal
  • Mathonnière, Gilles
  • Duquesnoy, Thierry
  • Baschwitz, Anne


The complementary features of low-carbon power sources are a central issue in designing energy transition policies. The French current electricity mix is characterised by a high share of nuclear power which equalled 76% of the total electric production in 2015. With the increase in intermittent renewable sources, nuclear flexibility is examined as part of the solution to balance electricity supply and demand. Our proposed methodology involves designing scenarios with nuclear and intermittent renewable penetration levels, and developing residual load duration curves in each case. The load modulation impact on the nuclear production cost is estimated.

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  • Cany, Camille & Mansilla, Christine & da Costa, Pascal & Mathonnière, Gilles & Duquesnoy, Thierry & Baschwitz, Anne, 2016. "Nuclear and intermittent renewables: Two compatible supply options? The case of the French power mix," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 135-146.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:95:y:2016:i:c:p:135-146
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.04.037

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Leurent, Martin & Jasserand, Frédéric & Locatelli, Giorgio & Palm, Jenny & Rämä, Miika & Trianni, Andrea, 2017. "Driving forces and obstacles to nuclear cogeneration in Europe: Lessons learnt from Finland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 138-150.
    2. Gianfreda, Angelica & Parisio, Lucia & Pelagatti, Matteo, 2018. "A review of balancing costs in Italy before and after RES introduction," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 549-563.
    3. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Martiskainen, Mari & Hook, Andrew & Baker, Lucy, 2020. "Beyond cost and carbon: The multidimensional co-benefits of low carbon transitions in Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).
    4. Pilpola, Sannamari & Lund, Peter D., 2018. "Effect of major policy disruptions in energy system transition: Case Finland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 323-336.
    5. Tlili, Olfa & Mansilla, Christine & Robinius, Martin & Syranidis, Konstantinos & Reuss, Markus & Linssen, Jochen & André, Jean & Perez, Yannick & Stolten, Detlef, 2019. "Role of electricity interconnections and impact of the geographical scale on the French potential of producing hydrogen via electricity surplus by 2035," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 977-990.
    6. Leurent, Martin & Da Costa, Pascal & Jasserand, Frédéric & Rämä, Miika & Persson, Urban, 2018. "Cost and climate savings through nuclear district heating in a French urban area," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 616-630.
    7. Perrier, Quentin, 2018. "The second French nuclear bet," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 858-877.
    8. Rämä, Miika & Leurent, Martin & Devezeaux de Lavergne, Jean-Guy, 2020. "Flexible nuclear co-generation plant combined with district heating and a large-scale heat storage," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    9. Blanco, Herib & Nijs, Wouter & Ruf, Johannes & Faaij, André, 2018. "Potential for hydrogen and Power-to-Liquid in a low-carbon EU energy system using cost optimization," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 232(C), pages 617-639.
    10. Malischek, Raimund & Trüby, Johannes, 2016. "The future of nuclear power in France: an analysis of the costs of phasing-out," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 116(P1), pages 908-921.
    11. Cany, C. & Mansilla, C. & Mathonnière, G. & da Costa, P., 2018. "Nuclear contribution to the penetration of variable renewable energy sources in a French decarbonised power mix," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 544-555.
    12. Abdin, Islam F. & Zio, Enrico, 2018. "An integrated framework for operational flexibility assessment in multi-period power system planning with renewable energy production," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 222(C), pages 898-914.
    13. Reichenberg, Lina & Hedenus, Fredrik & Odenberger, Mikael & Johnsson, Filip, 2018. "Tailoring large-scale electricity production from variable renewable energy sources to accommodate baseload generation in europe," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 129(PA), pages 334-346.
    14. Dong, Zhe & Liu, Miao & Zhang, Zuoyi & Dong, Yujie & Huang, Xiaojin, 2019. "Automatic generation control for the flexible operation of multimodular high temperature gas-cooled reactor plants," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 11-31.
    15. Antonelli, Marco & Desideri, Umberto & Franco, Alessandro, 2018. "Effects of large scale penetration of renewables: The Italian case in the years 2008–2015," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 81(P2), pages 3090-3100.


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