3 Aug 2010

PV now cheaper than nuclear

Solar photovoltaic systems have long been seen as expensive compared with other alternatives to oil, like nuclear power. Although I always wondered if you really take all the costs of nuclear like security, insurance, accidents and the long, long term storage of waste whether it really was cheaper?

Anyhow now a report shows nuclear clearly isn't cheaper and looks set to rise in costs as solar gets cheaper to produce and install. We have reached what is being billed as an “historic crossover” - the point where the costs of solar photovoltaic systems have declined to the point where they are lower than the rising projected costs of new nuclear plants. See New York Times here and report here with graph above.

All this is a little sad when news in the last couple of days is that Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat energy secretary, has performed a remarkable volte-face by declaring that nuclear power stations were “part of the future”. Although they still have to show they stand up economically - they wont but it still looks like the government are covering up the subsidies they will offer nuclear (see my previous letter here).

Meanwhile see here a Green party response to a letter in the SNJ that criticised that letter of mine about subsidies and said that renewables are not the answer to our energy needs.

Update on Oldbury

It was reported in the Gazette that a building must come down near Oldbury as it poses as an opportunity for any potential terrorist to use and adapt the building as a base to carry out hostile reconnaissance - see here! Already the cost of keeping 24 armed police officers, at the current Oldbury site, must be significant. Do these costs get included when they price nuclear?

Meanwhile the new Environment Agency consultation about the design of new build can be found here.

Update 28th Aug: I note here that the article has added an additional comment - similarly a blog here - but sadly those seeking to correct make many of the same mistakes and don't cover the full extent of nuclear subsidies....ah well we can make stats say pretty well anything....there is no question though that while nuke costs of build and mining uranium etc rise the costs of installing solar are set to fall.

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