CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION AND ITS AFFECT ON BASE LOAD POWER GENERATION ECONOMICS

Open Access
Author:
Bugos, Nicholas Charles
Area of Honors:
Engineering Science
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Darryl Farber, Thesis Supervisor
  • Mark William Horn, Honors Advisor
  • Judith A Todd, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Climate Change
  • Electric Generation
  • Power Generation
  • Nuclear Power
Abstract:
This thesis will evaluate the varying economic effects that climate change policy will have on near term base load power plant technologies. Specifically, it will look at how cap and trade regulations on carbon emissions will change the economics for new coal, gas and nuclear plants at varying carbon prices and will qualitatively evaluate other political, market, and technological risks involved with these technologies. The ultimate goal of this thesis will be to provide a comprehensive picture of the strengths, weaknesses, and risks associated with new power generation technologies. The quantitative analysis shows significant uncertainty depending on how various factors come together, since the economic profiles of the different technologies are all so different and unique. The quantitative model will be balanced with a comprehensive qualitative analysis of the interplay between the social, political, and economic factors affecting the construction of new power plants. This study will provide a unique perspective that will inform individuals interested in the future makeup of the power generation landscape.