Solar challenging nuclear as potential climate change solution. Research suggests that we can power 80% of the United States with wind, solar, and 12 hours of energy storage, but the replacement of nuclear power plants hasn’t been financially viable. Is that about to change? Nuclear power delivers almost 20% of all electricity in the United States, and about 50% of all low-emission electricity. Moreover, the United States has almost 100 nuclear power units operating more than 90% of the time, providing a steady base of power generation. But moving forward, it seems nuclear has lost its swagger. Price increases, project delays, and cancellations have caused what may prove to be generational damage to nuclear power’s reputation. pv magazine USA has previously reported on industry pricing models, showing nuclear’s lagging pricing. Now, Georgia Power’s Vogtle Unit 3 and Unit 4 – the nation’s only nuclear generating units currently under construction – have announced further delays and price increases. Conservative cost estimates suggest the two 1.117 GW facilities will require at least $30 billion to complete, including $3 billion in finance costs and $27 billion in construction costs.
PV Magazine 9th Aug 2021 read more »