Solar Cheaper than Nuclear?

Sadly the cost of nuclear power is being pushed higher and higher by myriad regulatory roadblocks and uncertainties and the global economic downturn. Regulatory barriers and escalating front-end costs are stifling much-needed investment in the nuclear-power industry. Now, a Duke University study claims that, for the first time, “Electricity from new solar installations is now cheaper than electricity from proposed new nuclear plants” in North Carolina.

As reported by The Energy Collective, the study says that “When the cost of a kilowatt hour (kWh) of solar power fell to 16 cents earlier this year, it ‘crossed over’ the trend-line associated with nuclear power. Of course, such “competitiveness” results from the lavish subsidies that solar power enjoys — subsidies that do no good when the sun’s not shining. Nuclear power is subsidized as well, but on a levelized basis (meaning an output-per-subsidy comparison), there is no contest that nuclear power gives us the best bang for our buck. Rain or shine, we can split atoms.

Fast Company writes, “the fact remains that nuclear plants can pump out energy 24 hours a day. Solar plants can’t. A long-lasting nuclear plant will most likely generate more energy per dollar invested than a solar plant ever could.”  And nuclear power, unlike solar, produces power on a commercial scale — meaning, nuclear-power reactors generate so much electricity that you can’t put them on your roof. So, before we throw photovoltaic panels a ticker-tape parade, let’s be mindful of the limitations of intermittent renewables that are “competitive” simply because U.S. taxpayers are forced to make them so.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More