published Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Solar power cheaper than new nuclear plants, study says

Aided by federal and state tax breaks, solar energy will be cheaper than building new nuclear power plants, according to a North Carolina study released today.

Dr. John Blackburn, the emeritus chair of economics and former chancellor of Duke University, said the costs of new nuclear plants continues to rise while electricity generated from solar voltaic panels is only half the cost of 12 years ago.

In a study commissioned by the environmental group NC Warn, Dr. Blackburn estimates that the cost of new nuclear plants is now about 16 cents per kilowatt-hour and headed higher while solar energy can be generated with rooftop panels and solar farms in North Carolina for a comparable rate and solar costs are trending down.

Solar costs are cut by about one-third because of state and federal tax credits, but Dr. Blackburn said the nuclear industry also benefits by federally backed insurance, loan guarantees and research assistance.

“The message is that solar is here and now and not something exotic for the future,” Dr. Blackburn said.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

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davelv said...

Only with massive federal and state subsidies far exceeding those for nuclear power is solar photovoltaic system below $5/watt. A home system of 5 kw costs about $25,000 even with these subsidies. Commercial scale solar power plants cost about the same.

Solar power is no where near the cost of nuclear power without these subsidies. And if everyone gets these subsidies, then there is no subsidy!

"Green" energy proponents are dreaming if they think distributed solar power is as reliable and low cost as nuclear power.

Particularly, what happens during snow storms, hail storms, rain and cloudy days? Betcha all of the electricity users expect the power to turn on even so. So in reality, every watt of solar power needs a watt of fossil fuel or nuclear energy as backup. What does this do to the economics?

There seems to be a group of people in America that for the last 40 years objects to nuclear power, yet it has never killed anyone and has an incredible low cost safety record.

The press and the public should be asking why this distortion is continuing.

July 9, 2010 at 8:54 p.m.
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