Climate Solution Profile
In September 2020, TerraPraxis and LucidCatalyst published the Missing Link to a Livable Climate report. This brief contains its main findings, key messages, and interesting facts on how we can still meet the Paris Goals with proven, ready technology and with no major investments.
How Hydrogen-Enabled Synthetic Fuels Can Help Deliver Paris Goals
Our report shows that it’s not too late to still meet the Paris goals — but only if we are prepared to make major investments in clean hydrogen production. There is simply no other way to make the numbers add up — this truly is the missing link we need to maintain a livable climate on this planet.
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TerraPraxis staff have worked on the following publications through their affiliations with other organisations, such as LucidCatalyst.
A Vision for Zero-Carbon Energy "Everywhere"
Superhot rock (SHR) has been called the “holy grail” of geothermal energy—because, in most of the world, SHR could provide competitive, zero-carbon, dispatchable power and support zero-carbon hydrogen fuel production. It is one of the very few high-energy-density, zero-carbon resources that could replace fossil energy around the globe. With significant private and public investment, SHR could plausibly be commercialized within 10-15 years. John Herter and Eric Ingersoll of TerraPraxis contributed to this important Clean Air Task Force (CATF) report.
Aurora Energy Research and Urenco
Urenco published the findings from an independent study that it initiated with Aurora Energy Research to investigate the benefits of deploying both nuclear and renewables in hydrogen production, to support the energy transition and meet UK climate targets. To facilitate rapid decarbonisation and cut dependency on fossil fuels, both nuclear and renewables are needed for power and hydrogen production. The report was supported by the IAEA, EDF and LucidCatalyst.
De-Risking, De-Scoping, and Lowering the Cost of Achieving Net Zero
LucidCatalyst published this Insights Report summary version of the the Aurora Energy Research (AER) hydrogen study that concluded that combining nuclear energy and renewables in the UK energy system can eliminate dependence on fossil fuels, lower emissions, and lower the total cost of achieving UK Net Zero. LucidCatalyst was on the project team that informed the full report, available below.
Net Zero 2050
LucidCatalyst contributed to this ground-breaking new modelling report just published by NNL demonstrating the role nuclear can play in delivering the UK’s net zero goals. This is the first time that such diverse, scalable and low-cost applications for nuclear technologies have been fully represented across the whole energy system.
Authors Forsberg and Ingersoll write that the viability of nuclear power ultimately depends on economics. The most important factor is an efficient supply chain, including on-site construction practices. This is the basis for the low capital cost of light water reactors from China and South Korea. The design can significantly affect capital cost through its impact on supply chain. The question is, how can advanced reactors boost revenue and reduce cost?
In this article, published in the The Bridge (National Academy of Engineering), authors Eric Ingersoll, Kirsty Gogan, and Giorgio Locatelli describe how the US nuclear sector can shift to standardized products with replicable designs delivered by consistent, experienced suppliers, as demonstrated by experience in other countries.
By Eric Ingersoll and Kirsty Gogan, IAEA Bulletin. The Clean Energy Ministerial Flexible Nuclear Campaign we co-founded explores the expanded role that nuclear energy can play in de-risking the energy transition. Here, we describe two opportunities to drive deeper decarbonization with nuclear energy: 1) expand role of nuclear energy in electricity production through a combination of advanced reactors and thermal energy storage to complement renewables in future energy grids; 2) address the use of oil and gas by providing large-scale, low-cost hydrogen produced with nuclear power.
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.
LucidCatalyst is providing support and staffing for the Flexible Nuclear Campaign led by EFH, EON, and NREL, which is a campaign of the NICE Future Initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial.
The LucidCatalyst team was honored to be invited to write both the NGO Foreword (with Energy for Humanity and ClearPath Foundation) as well as a dedicated chapter in the report focused on flexible advanced reactors in future energy grids and innovative new hydrogen production facilities.
In 2018 LucidCatalyst led the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) Nuclear Cost Drivers Study (NCD) suggesting that UK nuclear new build has very significant cost and risk reduction potential. The 30% Cost Reduction Working Group therefore commissioned LucidCatalyst to apply the insights gained in the ETI NCD Study to produce this short report.
A new study by LucidCatalyst for the ARPA-E MEITNER program is the first to derive the highest allowable capital cost for advanced reactors across four of the major power markets in the US in 2034. Advanced reactors that cost less than $3,000/kW will be attractive investments, and create the most value for plant owners. The study shows how advanced reactors can complement wind and solar. Together, these technologies drive down costs, reduce emissions, and improve performance in future U.S. electricity grids.
A Key Source of Low-Carbon Power
Kirsty Gogan contributed to this report, which focuses on the role of nuclear power in advanced economies and the factors that put nuclear power at risk of future decline. It is shown that without action, nuclear power in advanced economies could fall by two-thirds by 2040. The implications of such a “Nuclear Fade Case” for costs, emissions and electricity security using two World Energy Outlook scenarios – the New Policies Scenario and the Sustainable Development Scenario are examined.
The Need for Urgent Action
The UK’s Nuclear Innovation & Research Advisory Board (Nirab) has recommended that the UK Government should consider investing up to GBP1 billion (USD1.3 billion) between 2021 and 2025 to boost the progress of innovation in the nuclear energy sector.
LucidCatalyst created a Stakeholder Engagement Curriculum for newcomer countries on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The workshop aims to provide a basic grounding in the concepts and best practices of stakeholder involvement for a broad variety of participants, drawn from around the globe and across the full range of nuclear activities.
An Interdisciplinary MIT Study
A fresh look at nuclear, given advances in inherently safer technologies, a sharpened focus on the need to reduce CO2 emissions in the energy sector, and challenges of cost and public perceptions of safety. LucidCatalyst's Eric Ingersoll and Andrew Foss contributed.
Advanced nuclear technologies represent a dramatic evolution from conventional reactors in terms of safety and nonproliferation, and the cost estimates from some advanced reactor companies—if accurate—suggest that these technologies could revolutionize the way we think about the cost, availability, and environmental consequences of energy generation. Comparing the cost of future nuclear technologies to current designs (or other generation technologies) requires capturing cost data for advanced nuclear plants in a standardized, comprehensive manner. Using the plant cost accounting framework developed by the Generation IV International Forum, LucidCatalyst and EON created a cost model for this study that includes all potential cost categories for an nth- of-a-kind (NOAK) nuclear plant.
This guide, produced by Sense About Science, and co-authored by a range of experts, is designed to help guide informed decision-making around some of the big questions and concerns about nuclear energy. LucidCatalyst's Kirsty Gogan, a contributor, said: “Our response to climate change today will have far-reaching implications for our children. Our decisions must be based on the best available evidence. We need to go beyond wishful thinking and crunch the numbers properly if we are to succeed globally in making a rapid and meaningful transition from fossil fuels. Robust information and sound analysis are as important as following our hearts.”