Wind And Solar Power Cheaper Than Nuclear Energy


An analysis comparing the cost of low-carbon technologies has found wind and solar power to be clear winners.
New wind and solar can provide power at up to 50 percent lower generation costs than new nuclear and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) states the analysis, which is based on comparison of current feed-in tariffs in Germany with the agreed remueration for an upcoming new nuclear plant in the UK (Hinkley Point C) and current cost estimates for CCS. 
That’s all well and good, but what about when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing?
While the analysis doesn’t incorporate energy storage, to answer the intermittency issue it found that a reliable generation system based on wind, solar and gas as backup is 20 percent cheaper than a system of new nuclear power plants combined with gas.
The analysis also doesn’t take into account future technology cost reductions in any of the four technologies, but notes solar PV and wind are expected to produce electricity at even lower cost in the future – but that isn’t the case for nuclear. 
With regard to CCS, as an operating commercial CCS-enabled power plant is still a mythical beast, estimates from the UK presented likely indicate the lower end of CCS costs that will be incurred in the future. The paper’s authors state studies estimate CCS to cost about as much as new nuclear power or more.
As for a predominantly coal or gas CCS system, these were not included as these were “even less competitive in comparison to PV and onshore wind.”
The study was commissioned by Germany’s Agora Energiewende and carried out by Prognos AG. “Comparing the Cost of Low-Carbon Technologies: What
is the Cheapest Option?” can be viewed in full here (PDF).