Recently there have been calls for a ban on U.S. oil and natural gas production using hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”), and several states have passed laws banning its use. To investigate such a policy initiative, the American Petroleum Institute (API) turned to OnLocation to provide quantitative modeling and analysis to determine the impacts of an outright ban on fracking. API chose OnLocation because of its reputation for respected and timely analysis of this nature.
The United States has a long and complex history with regards to nuclear energy, stretching back to the first harnessing of nuclear power during the Manhattan Project through the panic in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident and to today where technological advancements are making nuclear power safer and more efficient than ever before. Despite these advancements, decreasing natural gas prices, a boom in solar and wind power, and a persistent inherent fear of nuclear power in some circles has brought construction of new nuclear plants to a virtual standstill. Only one new reactor, Watts Bar #2, has come online since 1996, one construction project in South Carolina was abandoned partway through construction, and the only active nuclear construction project, Plant Vogtle in Georgia, has been mired in controversy and uncertainty amid escalating costs. Compounding that issue in the nuclear industry is the expected closure of many of the aging nuclear reactors across the country, with almost 12% of U.S. nuclear capacity expected to close in the next seven years.
Frances Wood and Sharon Showalter at OnLocation co-authored a paper that was recently published in the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) 32 special issue of the journal Energy Economics. The article, titled “U.S. Energy Sector Impacts of Technology Innovation, Fuel Price, and Electric Sector CO2 Policy: Results from the EMF 32 Model Intercomparison Study,” describes results from a joint study with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Policy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – Joint Global Change Research Institute, and HEC Montréal. The study was performed using several energy models, including a customized version of the National Energy Modeling System created by OnLocation.
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