Nuclear power stations may produce cheapest energy in Kazakhstan 18 апреля 2013, 19:08
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Nuclear power stations may become a source of cheap energy in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the National Nuclear Center. The scientists said that heat energy produced by thermal power plants working on coal is considered the cheapest energy in Kazakhstan. These stations produce 80 percent of the country’s energy. The cost of one kWh of electricity at heat power plants is around 5.5 tenge ($0.04). This value is mainly based on fuel costs, as all the plants were built dozens of years ago and do not require investments return. However, taking into account the worn-out state of the thermal power plants and their poor environmental friendliness, Kazakhstan needs to build more advanced thermal power plants or switch to other energy sources. “Cost of the energy produced at nuclear power plant’s energy blocks with the capacity of 1,000 MW is quite competitive by the cost with the energy produced by thermal power plants. The energy blocks with less capacity are more efficient and are good for local needs (Western energy zone of the country considered for construction of the energy blocks with a capacity of up to 300 MW in Aktau),” the experts said. According to the scientists, self-cost of the nuclear energy is mostly defined by the costs of the station’s construction costs rather than its fuel costs, unlike in cases of the existing thermal power plants. “The fuel component in the cost of the energy produced by nuclear power stations does not exceed 25 percent, while it makes 50-80 percent in the thermal power stations working on organic fuel,” the experts said. The global experience shows that the cost of 1 kWh of nuclear energy makes around 3.5 cents or 5.25 tenge. That means that the energy at new nuclear power stations may be cheaper than at the existing coal thermal power plants that require additional investments for modernization. Wind, hydro and solar stations could be sources of renewable energy in Kazakhstan. However, the energy generated by such stations will be much more expensive. The cost of the energy has to include the investment component. For example a wind generator unit will require significant investments and the equipment will cost around $2-2.5 thousand per every kW of the capacity. With this aspect included the cost of the generated energy will reach 20-25 tenge ($0.13-0.17) per 1kWh. By Dmitriy Khegai