Turns out that Nuclear is far more Expensive than Offshore Wind Power
Another study has been published showing that when it comes to energy costs, renewable energy comes out the clear winner over nuclear power – even if talking about offshore wind. And that’s even with stripping out all subsidies.
In fact, according to new calculations by the Energy Fair group, nuclear power is about £40/MWh more expensive than offshore wind. Nuclear costs “at least” £200/MWh it says, while the cost of offshore wind power is £140/MWh.
$0.30 per kWh! Where do these bozos get their data?
It is interesting that it is only with "new calculations" that this revelation has been made.
Basically calculations that show the data in a way that can be manipulated to give different results.
Maybe they included the cost of clearing up a giant nuclear disaster on the scale of Fukushima, every 20 years or so. Those added billions may have helped to bump the average cost per unit up.
When an estimate is made, you have to look at who did the estimating and what angle they are trying to push. Estimating can be skewed any way the estimator wants. If you know bus arrives every half-hour and you want to estimate how long you might have to wait, the mean value is 15 minutes. But you could wait 0 or 30 minutes. Someone eager to push the idea would say, 'the bus might very well arrive immediately', while someone else who is against the idea would say, 'you can stand there waiting for up to 30 minutes' I think these estimates of cost are probably at that level of reliability.
When an estimate comes out that says Nuclear is more expensive than Offshore wind, you can bet they are pushing offshore wind.
But the two are not directly comparable, they serve two different purposes. Nuclear is need to supply the base load 24/7 to maintain stability in the grid, while offshore wind kicks in when the wind is blowing. You could say, why not make it all nuclear, then? but any wind, wave, tidal or hydro power, if it is widely distributed, will not all fail at once, and thus the nuclear requirement is reduced.
As nuclear power has its hidden costs, like disposal of waste and deconstruction of old plant sites. Windpower has also its own hidden costs that are not obvious at the first glance. These are most pronounced in Germany where existing power grid is inadequate for transporting huge amounts of power from north to south when winds are blowing. Adding long distance electric cables has its own costs and should be taking into account when calculating wind farm electricity price. Other alternative is to use compensating power plant when wind is not blowing but power is needed. Probably the best solution is the mix of ultra long power transmission lines and compensating plants. These are factors that add much to wind power price. And if you look at different angle on the nuclear waste, it could be considered as a valuable source of rare elements after radioactivity has reduced to certain levels. Technology is there to extract these materials. But high radioctivity makes extracting commercially not very attractive. Perhaps after 100 years this waste is much cheap to handle and waste turns into valuable source. Depends on which angle to look.
Smaller distributed natural gas turbines will offer a more reliable grid, cheaper energy, and lower price than any other technology. Minimize power lines but have redundant systems that are secure, and protected from solar flares, winds, and high tides.
Nuclear power is the ONLY power source that payes all those cost in set aside fees continuously. Those costs are NOT hidden, they are paid daily. Oh, and by the way, the payments are based on the outdated Linear No Threshold model so are very much higher than they need to be. That is, NPPs overpay daily.
Originally Posted by decent
Sounds like you are touting the benefits of small, modular LFTRs. The distinction between NG units and LFTRs is that LFTR fuel will pretty much ALWAYS be cheap but NG prices have a proven track record of volatility.
My understanding is that offshore is much more expensive than onshore wind power. Isn't that true?
A better way of putting it might be that onshore wind turbines are cheaper than offshore ones, for installation anyway. The issue is how the annualised up-front capital costs compare to the annual savings in tons of CO2, which depends on the price of CO2.
Originally Posted by ronwagn
The Energy Fair Group - the British group anyway - is an anti-nuclear pressure group. Therefore they will use the upper estimates of the cost of nuclear and the lower estimates for the alternatives.
Last edited by Alan; 03-30-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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