Nuclear power is so uneconomical that even Bill Gates, who is worth $90 billion, can’t make it work without massive taxpayer funding.
Gates has been going around Capitol Hill in recent weeks trying “to persuade Congress to spend billions of dollars over the next decade… for a pilot of his company’s never-before-used technology, according to congressional staffers,” the Washington Post reported.
“This plea for federal largesse from a decabillionaire illustrates why further nuclear subsidies make no sense,” energy and finance expert Greg Kats writes in a forthcoming article for GreenBiz.com shared with ThinkProgress. Kats served as director of finance for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the mid-1990s. (Disclosure: The author of this piece worked with Kats at the time as DOE acting assistant secretary.)
The reality is that nuclear power is so uneconomical that existing U.S. nuclear power plants are bleeding cash — and in many places it’s now cheaper to build and run new wind or solar farms than to simply run an existing nuclear power plant.
So, given existing plants are so uneconomic, it’s no shock that building and financing an entire new fleet of nuclear plants is wildly unaffordable — especially since a new nuclear plant can cost $10 billion or more.
The nuclear industry has effectively priced itself out of the market for new power plants, at least in market-based economies. That’s why nuclear power’s share of global power generation has dropped to around 11 percent — its lowest level in decades.
The November “Cost of Energy Analysis 2018” by the financial firm Lazard Ltd makes clear just how untenable nuclear power is.
Source: ThinkProgress. Reproduced with permission.