Electricity generation in the world and Ukraine: Current status and future developments

Alexander Zvorykin, Igor Pioro, Nataliia Fialko

Abstract


Electricity generation is the key factor for advances in industry, agriculture, technology and the level of living. Also, strong power industry with diverse energy sources is very important for country independence. In general, electricity can be generated from: 1) non-renewable energy sources such as coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear; and 2) renewable energy sources such as hydro, biomass, wind, geothermal, solar, and wave power. However, the major energy sources for electricity generation in the world are: 1) thermal power – primarily using coal (~40%) and secondarily natural gas (~23%); 2) “large” hydro power plants (~17%) and 3) nuclear power from various reactor designs (~11%). The rest of the energy sources for electricity generation is from using oil (~4%) and renewable sources such as biomass, wind, geothermal and solar (~5%), which have just visible impact in selected countries. In addition, energy sources, such as wind and solar, and some others, like tidal and wave-power, are intermittent from depending on Mother Nature. And cannot be used alone for industrial electricity generation. Nuclear power in Ukraine is the most important source of electricity generation in the country. Currently, Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) generate about 45.5% of the total electricity followed with coal generation ‒ 38%, gas generation 9.6% and the rest is based on renewable sources, mainly on hydro power plants – 5.9%. Nuclear-power industry is based on four NPPs (15 Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) including the largest one in Europe ‒ Zaporizhzhya NPP with about 6,000 MWel gross installed capacity. Two of these 15 reactors have been built and put into operation in 70-s, ten in 80-s, one in 90-s and just two in 2004. Therefore, based on an analysis of the world power reactors in terms of their maximum years of operation (currently, the oldest reactors are ~45-year old) several projections have been made for future of the nuclear-power industry in the world and Ukraine. Unfortunately, all these projections are quite pessimistic. There is a possibility that around 2030‒2040 the vast majority of the world reactors and Ukrainian reactors will be shut down, and, in particular, Ukraine can be left without the basic and vital source of electricity generation.

Keywords


Electricity Generation; Nuclear Power Plant; Nuclear-Power Reactor; Thermal Efficiency; Capacity Factor

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20535/2521-1943.2017.80.113757