​​​​​​​​Integrated Engery Systems

What are Integrated Energy Systems?

Power plants exist to make electricity, but most also produce a lot of heat. What if they could use that heat for other processes that require thermal energy? Today, roughly 40% of all energy is wasted. More efficient energy use would be better for the environment and for the plant owner. A power plant being used for both electricity and heat is called an integrated energy system. Integrated energy systems could couple nuclear, renewable and fossil energy sources. Such systems offer efficiencies that can lead to energy independence, economic competitiveness, job creation and smarter use of resources.

What are national labs doing?

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy supports a national laboratory Integrated Energy Systems (IES) Program. The program conducts research, development, and deployment activities to expand the role of nuclear energy beyond supporting the electricity grid. Expanded roles include supplying energy to various industrial, transportation and energy storage applications. Development of integrated energy systems may include multiple energy inputs (e.g., nuclear, renewable, and fossil with carbon capture), multiple energy users (e.g., grid consumers, industrial heat or electricity users, transportation fuel users), and multiple energy storage options (e.g., thermal, electrical and chemical). Focusing IES development on enhanced utilization of low- or non-emitting energy generation options within IES will help the U.S. to achieve the bold goals that have been established by the Biden administration to achieve a 100% clean energy economy (link) and net-zero emissions by 2050 (link​).

Recent Technical Reports

Picture Size
372 x 481312 KB 10/16/2020 1:48 PMCase Study: Integrated Nuclear-Driven Water Desalination— Providing Regional Potable Water in Arizona
372 x 48149 KB 10/14/2020 3:30 PMFlexible Nuclear Energy for Clean Energy Systems
342 x 44349 KB 10/16/2020 1:44 PMIES 2020 Roadmap
372 x 48152 KB 10/16/2020 1:48 PMProduction Feasability

Call For PapersModeling and Assessment of Integrated Multi-Energy Systemshttps://www.journals.elsevier.com/advances-in-applied-energy/call-for-papers/modeling-and-assessment-of-integratedPapers due 08-15-2021
Call For PapersNuclear Integration and Thermal Energy Storagehttps://www.mdpi.com/journal/energies/special_issues/Nuclear_Integration_Thermal_Energy_StoragePapers due 08-10-2021
Other OpportunitiesThe project will be launched at its first Research Coordination Meeting in March 2022https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/new-crp-technical-evaluation-and-optimization-of-nuclear-renewable-hybrid-energy-systems-i32012Proposals due 10-01-2021

​Nuclear power plants can leverage the energy stored in some of the world’s heaviest elements to generate the lightest: hydrogen. That is not news, but it casts an aura of alchemy over straightforward engineering. Amid the hype, and the hope of significant federal funding, it’s worth acknowledging that hydrogen has an industrial history over 100 years old.​​

Hydrogen: The best shot for nuclear sustainability?12/3/2021

​INL Executive Director Shannon Bragg-Sitton said modern nuclear reactors “are designed to operate at higher temperatures, run more efficiently, and provide greater flexibility.” INL is the nation’s main lab for nuclear energy research and development.

Analysis: Many Environmentalists Oppose Nuclear Energy Despite Its Reliability, Carbon-Free Footprint11/15/2021

Electric power groups hailed the newly passed $1 trillion infrastructure legislation, pointing to billions of dollars in funding to upgrade the grid, electrify transportation and develop technologies for decarbonizing the electric power system.

POTOMAC: Power Groups, Lawmakers Cheer Infrastructure Bill11/12/2021

​As Congress awaited key votes yesterday on spending bills that include production tax credits for at-risk plants and a new amendment adding $500 million in supplemental funding over five years to increase the availability of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a Full Committee Hearing On Potential Non-Electric Applications Of Civilian Nuclear Energy.​

Senators probe nuclear priorities: HALEU, hydrogen, reactor siting, and more11/5/2021

​According to an Energy Harbor release, Davis-Besse was selected by the DOE due to its ability to provide a carbon-free source of power, strong operational track record and proximity to the water required to produce hydrogen.

Davis-Besse moving forward with hydrogen production pilot project10/27/2021
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