IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sip/dpaper/05-001.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can the Modular Helium Reactor Compete in the Hydrogen Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Geoffrey Rothwell

    () (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

Abstract

In today’s energy economy, hydrogen is primarily used in the petroleum refining and petrochemical industries. The dominant technology for generating hydrogen is Steam Methane Reforming (SMR), which uses natural gas as both feedstock and fuel. In the much-discussed future hydrogen economy, hydrogen could become a major carrier of energy for distributed use, such as in fuel-cell vehicles. This paper compares the cost of hydrogen production using natural gas and SMR technology with the cost of nuclear-powered hydrogen production using a Modular Helium Reactor (MHR). A time series model of natural gas prices is estimated and used to simulate the cost of hydrogen from SMR to 2030: it is never above $11.80/GJ or $12.45/million BTU (in 2001 dollars). A cost engineering model of the General Atomics’ MHR shows a range of hydrogen production costs, none of which are below $11.80/GJ. For the MHR to be competitive in the pipeline hydrogen market, there must be an increase of 50-100% in the price of natural gas.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey Rothwell, 2005. "Can the Modular Helium Reactor Compete in the Hydrogen Economy," Discussion Papers 05-001, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:05-001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/05-001.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Reed E. Hundt & Gregory L. Rosston, 2005. "Cost Contingency as the Standard Deviation of the Cost Estimate for Cost Engineering," Discussion Papers 04-007, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    2. Geoffrey Rothwell, 2004. "Cost Contingency as the Standard Deviation of the Cost Estimate for Cost Engineering," Discussion Papers 04-005, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Huntington, Hillard G., 2007. "Industrial natural gas consumption in the United States: An empirical model for evaluating future trends," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 743-759, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hydrogen markets; hydrogen economics; nuclear power economics;

    JEL classification:

    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:05-001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Shor). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cestaus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.