Repowering Coal

Our Publications

TerraPraxis 2022 Annual Review

Widespread impacts from climate change are already here. Our actions in this critical decade will determine the full extent of future impacts on our children and grandchildren. In our 2022 Annual Review, you will see how, with our world-class sustainability partners, Terra Praxis is the only entity designing a scalable, rapid repowering system to decarbonize the entire global coal fleet by 2050. This is how we plan to eliminate one-third of global carbon emissions and provide a method for supplying affordable, reliable, and emissions-free energy to billions of people.

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TerraPraxis 2021 Annual Review

Climate change is an energy problem. We only have 28 years to replace fossil fuels and double our overall energy supply. Our programs could accelerate the reduction of global carbon emissions by repurposing trillions of dollars of existing infrastructure to supply clean, affordable, and reliable energy to billions of people. As you reflect on our 2021 Annual Review, we hope you will be as energized as we are by our success in mobilizing a broad coalition of public and private sector leaders and building momentum for innovative climate solutions.

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Repowering the Global Coal Fleet by 2050

TerraPraxis Climate Solution Profile

The TerraPraxis ‘Repowering Coal’ system is a fast, low-cost repeatable strategy to repower hundreds of existing coal plants that would otherwise continue to burn coal, and whose closure is likely to encounter fierce political resistance and cause economic harm to communities. This initiative is designed for radical cost reduction to enable production of reliable, competitive, clean energy, rapidly repowering the 2TW global coal fleet and cutting carbon emissions by 40%. The repowering system transforms coal plants into flexible clean generators, making them better partners for renewables on the grid. This paper describes a fast, low-cost, and repeatable strategy to repower hundreds of existing coal plants that would otherwise continue to burn coal, or whose closure would cause economic harm to communities.

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Affiliate Publications

TerraPraxis staff have worked on the following publications through their affiliations with other organisations.

Repowering a Coal Power Unit with Small Modular Reactors and Thermal Energy Storage

Repowering coal plant infrastructure with clean heat sources such as nuclear and geothermal energy is crucial if we want to reach the Paris Goals of Net Zero by 2050. Luckily, several colleagues and organzations are now doing very through analysis to turn this into a reality. This article, written by our colleagues from QuantifiedCarbon (QCL) proposes and analyzes a solution that will enable the flexibility of electricity production of new nuclear energy while avoiding the stranding of existing fossil fuel assets and local job losses.

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Small Modular Reactors: A new nuclear energy paradigm

Read this if you want to get a quick and realistic understanding of how SMRs could be a game-changer. This new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), available as a pre-print, is the secretariats' view on SMRs. It talks about three major areas (1) Understanding SMRs (2) What will it take to make SMRs a success and (3) What's next for SMRs. The last chapter provides a comprehensive list of IAEA activities to support the SMR deployment.

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Investigating Benefits and Challenges of Converting Retiring Coal Plants into Nuclear Plants

Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Supply Chain

This DOE study estimates potential savings for coal plant owners, and benefits for regions: “To replace a large coal plant, nuclear overnight costs of capital could decrease by 15%-35% when compared to greenfield construction, through the reuse of infrastructure. This aligns with TerraPraxis estimates: “Converting plants to run on AMRs will deliver capital cost saving of 28%-35% (compared with new nuclear plant) and 9%-28% reduction in levelized cost of energy.” (WNN, 2022a). This is also consistent with analysis based on Kairos Power SMR design (Bartela et al., 2021), and C2N#3 approach.

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Nuclear Power and Secure Energy Transitions: From Today's Challenges to Tomorrow's Clean Energy Systems

IEA's report examines how nuclear energy can help address the crises of energy and climate. The study team acknowledges benefitting from TerraPraxis' work: “the replacement of coal-fired plants with SMRs, such as that of TerraPraxis which aims to prepare standardised and pre-licensed designs supported by automated project development and design tools.” “In today’s context of global energy crisis, skyrocketing fossil fuel prices, energy security challenges, and ambitious climate commitments, I believe nuclear power has a unique opportunity to stage a comeback,” said IEA's head Fatih Birol.

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Techno-Economic Assessment of Coal-Fired Power Unit Decarbonization Retrofit with KP-FHR Small Modular Reactors

Policymakers of many countries, even those that have taken a more passive approach toward decarbonization, have started to define the dates by which their countries will completely abandon coal as an energy source. On 25 September 2020 Poland decided that it will close its coal plants by 2049, exploring viable techno-economic solutions that meet this policy objective is key to achieving its goals and mission. This paper by our colleagues from QuantifiedCarbon (QCL) studied the retrofit decarbonization of coal units using a low-carbon heat source to an existing brownfield coal site.

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Retrofit Decarbonization of Coal Power Plants—A Case Study for Poland

Power sector emissions represent the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally, and coal-fired power stations are the biggest source of emissions within this sector. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, rapid decarbonization of coal heavy economies is essential. In this study our colleagues from QuantifiedCarbon (QCL) assess the potential of these strategies as options in a broader general strategy, which we call “retrofit decarbonization” of coal power units.

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The ETI Nuclear Cost Drivers project: Full Technical Report

Energy Systems Catapult has just released the full technical report from the Energy Technologies Institute Nuclear Cost Drivers (ETI NCD) project by LucidCatalyst. This report demonstrates a credible path for nuclear energy to become a competitive Net Zero solution alongside renewables.

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Platforms: Bridging the gap between construction + manufacturing

This publication from Bryden Wood describes an evidence-based design process and manufacture-led construction approach using standardised and repeatable components that could be replicated as an approach across a range of horizontal infrastructure projects in the transport and utilities sectors.

TerraPraxis is partnering with Bryden Wood to design a standardised design for repowering coal plants.

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