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Theses

Interactions entre énergie nucléaire et énergies renouvelables variables dans la transition énergétique en France : adaptations du parc électrique vers plus de flexibilité

Abstract : The French power system is transitioning towards a more diversified low carbon mix. The power mix is characterised by a high nuclear share which is to remain significant and the target to increase variable renewables (wind and solar) by 2050. When introduced massively, wind and solar trigger new needs for back-up power, both in the short and long term, to answer the flexibility required in order to maintain the reliability target level of the power system. All flexibility options should be complementarily developed, given their characteristics, and nuclear will have a role to play in this context.How could the French power mix be adapted towards more flexibility while maintaining a low-carbon level and mastering associated costs? The purpose of this PhD thesis is to shed light on this issue thanks to a techno-economic analysisAt first, interactions between nuclear and variable renewables are analysed thanks to two complementary approaches. On the one hand, a technical perspective is adopted by confronting prospective nuclear load-following requirements to the fleet theoretical capabilities. On the other hand, thanks to a techno-economic approach, we evaluate the additional cost of ensuring part of the flexibility requirements with the nuclear fleet and examine options to reduce this cost to make nuclear back-up competitive. These two approaches are based on the construction of realistic scenarios by 2030 and 2050.The French nuclear fleet will be asked for a strong increase of the load following operations with growing wind and solar shares. Even if the nuclear fleet can enable higher power ramps and amplitude variations, when wind and solar account for more than 30% in the total demand, compensating for the power variations induced would require complementary means. From a fleet management perspective, it would be beneficial to favour wind compared to solar in the power mix. The latter induces extreme power ramps and amplitudes for the nuclear fleet.The nuclear production cost could be significantly increased with the decrease of the nuclear utilisation rate. In the transition phase, it would be of great importance to promote a progressive replacement of the nuclear fleet to compensate for the production cost increase. In the case of new nuclear investments, a carbon price increase could make nuclear back-up able to compete with combined-cycle gas turbine plants as the alternative back-up option. Anticipating the development of new outlets becomes crucial to guide future investments in low-carbon power plants.To bypass the issue of the nuclear utilisation rate reduction, it would be worth considering taking advantage of the available excess energy to produce valuable products while providing flexibility services to the grid. Hydrogen production, as a flexible power demand, could enhance synergies between nuclear and variable renewables through new markets to valorise the excess nuclear energy. When wind and solar shares increase, along with the hydrogen market expected growth driven by mobility uses, opportunities are created for the nuclear operator. If the French nuclear capacities are maintained and if an adapted business model is developed, nuclear-hydrogen coproduction could answer the hydrogen demand by 2030. Other options could be considered to find outlets to the excess power such as the development of power exportations or the coproduction of heat and electricity.Overall, in order to foster synergies between low-carbon power plants, the change of the nuclear share in the French power mix should be apprehended through dynamics adapted to the penetration of renewables as well as to the deployment of hydrogen markets, and new markets in general.
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https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01565665
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 4:55:07 PM
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Camille Cany. Interactions entre énergie nucléaire et énergies renouvelables variables dans la transition énergétique en France : adaptations du parc électrique vers plus de flexibilité. Autre. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLC015⟩. ⟨tel-01565665v2⟩

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