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Published on May 30th, 2014 | by Guest Contributor

25

Wind Subsidies & Solar Subsidies ~50% Nuclear & CCS Subsidies (Charts)

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May 30th, 2014 by
 

Originally published on Renew Economy
By Sophie Vorrath

After a week which saw the use of renewable energy support schemes in Australia described as “plain crazy”, it seems like a good time to take another look at the study published last month by Agora Energiewend that shows European subsidies for solar and wind essentially come at half the price of those for nuclear or CCS.

The analysis – based on a comparison of European subsidies for low-carbon energy systems – found that new wind and solar PV could generate energy for an overall cost of up to 50 per cent less than new nuclear or coal or gas with (as yet unavailable) carbon capture and storage technology.

“Today’s feed-in tariffs for wind and PV in Germany are up to 50 per cent lower than those offered for new nuclear in the UK according to the Hinkley Point C agreement,” the report says, noting that for CCS, with the technology still in demonstration phase, estimates suggest it would cost about as much as new nuclear power or more.

“Even today and under conservative assumptions, a generation mix consisting of PV, onshore wind and gas is approximately 20 percent less expensive than a mix consisting of new nuclear power (based on the Hinkley Point C agreement) and gas,” the report says.

Overall, it says, “onshore wind at sites with a good resource potential and utility-scale PV represent the low-carbon technologies with the lowest cost,” while power from nuclear, as well as gas and coal plants with CCS represent the low-carbon technologies with the highest cost.

But we’ll let the charts do the talking…

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 11.44.19 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 10.25.10 AM

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  • LookingForward

    What I don’t think is fair, is that the author compares nuclear and FF CCS of one country, with wind/solar from another country with the cheapest wind/solar on the planet (accept for maybe China?)
    If he wants to do it fair, he compares FF without CCS with wind/solar from the same country. Though wind/solar will still win, Germany is at grid parity as of this year, thank god, the difference will be much smaller.

    • Matt

      He would have to do FF with CCS, in same country. We need to include externals in the cost of fossil. That has the lie of cheap fossil fuel for years.

      • LookingForward

        We do indeed need to include externals, but about CCS, I don’t see it happening. For the average powerplant CCS will cost, what? A couple 100 million? Isn’t it cheaper and more productive, when it comes to “capturing” CO2 to just plant a million trees per average power plant? Or destroy pests that now kill millions of trees in the US because of rising temperatures? Build an irrigation system with desalination in California to stop wildfires for millions of trees?
        The US has more then enough room for millions more trees, even if you have to plant a million trees per GWh of capacity to capture half the CO2, which would account for 500 to 750 million trees, if CCS needed to be done, which it does, I think trees are cheaper.
        This all sounds very treehuggery, but I’d rather have more trees, then more waste we have to process some how, which will cost even more money and more energy and no CO2 storage is perfect.

        • Jan Veselý

          Trees are not effective. Grasslands and pastures can be easily supereffective – grass stores carbon underground, in roots. Google for Allan Savory.

          • LookingForward

            Offcourse we need to use the most effective and cost competative plants there are.
            Maybe a combination of the 2? That will save a huge amount of land.
            Also, maybe grasslands are more effective when it comes to CO2, but you also have to think about shade and water evaboration and keeping areas cooler then is now the new norm.
            I think, for example, it’s better to have 100 acres of pine cone forest, with some grass in between. Then 100 acres of grasslands with some trees in between.
            Right?

          • Jan Veselý
          • LookingForward

            Perfect way.
            Tho maybe plant some extra trees for extra carbon capture per acre. Animals can walk between those and it adds some shade for them and extra for the land to recover faster.
            Starting to sound way to much like a cliché treehugger, but that one picture in the ted talk looked best, I think, the one with the trees in Simbabwe, I think it was.

  • dango-man

    huh.. misleading. The article decide to compare renewables in Germany to fossil fuels and nuclear in the UK, Why? They car not directly comparable as they each have different skills sets and manufacturing bases.
    I have no idea where you’re going to find the current cost of offshore wind at 95 euros in the UK. Secondly you’re assuming that nuclear strike price (Not the ACTUAL cost of new nuclear, it’s just a poor government that can’t negotiate as has been written about hundreds of times) is the entire price is a subsidy?
    Also as the tiny small detail says grid connections are NOT included in the prices you mention where as they are included nuclear price.
    I’m not going to advocate any technology in this article but if you’re going to convince people of benefit over another DO NOT mislead them.

    • Grad

      You should read the report. It says that even taking grid connections and backup gas power plants into account, renewables are still 20% cheaper than nuclear.

      • dango-man

        I have re-read it in full and you’re wrong. I quote from conclusion of the article on page 19
        “The cost estimates presented here leave out grid costs, potential additional system costs (e.g. voltage and frequency control) as well as possible cost differences related to how gas power plants are operated (e.g. higher ramping rates).”

        Again for my argurment agaisn’t using german figures here is another addition

        “Clearly, contrasting PV and onshore wind in different European
        regions would require a comparison of different resource potentials and corresponding differences in LCOE. For example, while PV potential in the UK is mostly below the average potential for Germany, the opposite is true for wind.”
        So I stand by my point different country and misleading figures for a headline.

        • Michael Berndtson

          What planet are we discussing here? Governments are funding new nuclear just like old nuclear. The private sector has and always will build and operate plants. The government does all the R&D, oversight and waste management. New or old. Basically private sector has the government pick up whatever they don’t want to. Just like military and health industrial complexes. Energy is no different. Except for some blog commenters.

          Hell, governments through massive lobbying efforts by investors, plant builders and operators, are picking up the tap for construction, indemnifying cost overruns and dealing with waste issues more than ever. They’ve just hired more public relations firms and business wire journalists to make it seem like its all “private sector.”

          This lobbying effort is being done in the US and UK – and anywhere investment houses, Bechtel, GE, and others do business.

    • Michael Berndtson

      The metric is the same here – electricity generation.

      What’s new nuclear? Nuclear has a legacy cost that it can’t toss off – regardless if it’s a 50 year old plant or a brand spanking new one. You can’t promote new nuclear without addressing old plant decommissioning and waste management. I realize it seems unfair that wind and solar have quick install time frames and zero raw material cost for O&M. But it is what it is.

      This argument is like the reorganization of the New GM after bankruptcy. All the debt, pension obligation, useless asset writedowns, and environmental liability were tossed into the Old GM set up as a trust. Someone still has to pay into that trust. Same with nuclear’s legacy. This is called life-cycle comparative economic analysis. And is done all the time for engineering decision making. Hardly ever in sales and marketing.

      • dango-man

        No, legacy nuclear is separate from new nuclear.

        The costs do not mix. As legacy nuclear is set of old company/government problems that tribute to the cost of previous nuclear generation which you can easily conclude would of been uneconomically particular considering the costs of legacy nuclear power plants relation to previous nuclear experimentation or nuclear weapons. These costs are currently taken by the government (UK government at least) due it it’s involvement in nuclear sites before the industry was privatised.

        Any new nuclear power plants will be built by an operator not the government and as you say will also have to factor in the decommissioning in it’s current costs in order to build up cash to deal with the future problems. I’ll admit that currently the details of new nuclear decommissioning are not known and who bears the costs. Will the government take the cost at the end by taking payments from the operator during it’s operating life or the operator expected to pay for it?

        • Michael Berndtson

          Wait a minute. What planet are we discussing here? Governments are funding new nuclear just like old nuclear. The private sector has and always will build and operate plants. The government does all the R&D, oversight and waste management. New or old. Basically private sector has the government pick up whatever they don’t want to. Just like military and health industrial complexes. Energy is no different. Except for some blog commenters.

          Hell, governments through massive lobbying efforts by investors, plant builders and operators, are picking up the tab for construction, indemnifying cost overruns and dealing with waste issues more than ever. They’ve just hired more public relations firms and business wire journalists to make it seem like its all “private sector.”

          This lobbying effort is being done in the US and UK – and anywhere investment houses, Bechtel, GE, and others do business.

          • dango-man

            I ask the same of you! Did you read my comment? I only suggested it MAY change for new nuclear but we don’t know the details of decommissioning of new nuclear or actually much of any of the agreement for new nuclear.

            I did not argue against R&D although it is crucial which government paid for the R&D of the reactor as the French paid for the EPR reactor not the UK government. Of course oversight or waste management is government operated but the operator will build it and the issues of “picking up the tab for construction, indemnifying cost overruns and dealing with waste issues” well clearly if that happens it is a poor job for the government managing it and the same goes for lobbying. It’s a bad government that is influenced by lobbyists too much and not having it’s own expertise.

            What is crucial is the agreements on how everything is paid for and how they are stuck to. If those agreements are sidestepped then the consequences are far greater than say agreements with renewable power companies.

            So if you have a competent government choose nuclear if you don’t choose renewables.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Nuclear plants are being built much slower than they are being closed.

            Many of the world’s nuclear plants are aging out and it’s unlikely that most will be replaced with new nuclear.

            Nuclear’s dead. We’ll just watch the corpse twitch for a few more decades.

          • Matt

            Repeat after me. Profit is Private; risk/cleanup is public.

  • JamesWimberley

    SFIK there’s no online betting contract on whether Hinkley C will ever get built, but I’d take 50-50 odds that it won’t.

    • sault

      But even if it isn’t built, there’s a 100% chance that the British People will have to cover all the losses…

  • heinbloed

    Thank, Sophie Vorrath!

    Even outside Europe off-written atomic power plants are unable to match market prices:

    http://safeenergy.org/2014/05/28/exelon-loses-big/

    Special anti-RE laws are needed to protect the bangers:

    http://www.beyondnuclear.org/nuclear-power/2014/5/30/neis-il-house-speaker-madigan-exelon-declare-nuclear-war-on.html

    France just upgraded the production price for their atomic power by 20% to €0.06/kWh:

    http://bizzenergytoday.com/franz%C3%B6sischer_atomstrom_teuerer_als_bisher_gedacht

    Blamed is the fuel price, but this dropped to the bottom of the barrel:

    http://enformable.com/2014/05/uranium-suppliers-forced-cut-production-due-lack-demand/

    The uranium price fell that far that the mines in the third world (in the colonies) need to subsidise now the French uranium demand. Otherwise – so the threat of the atomic bullies with the back-up of mercenaries – the mines will be closed. Mining contracts are revised:

    http://www.enerdata.net/enerdatauk/press-and-publication/energy-news-001/areva-france-signs-strategic-uranium-mining-agreement-niger_28927.html

    But French atomic electricity is still sold at the EEX for much less, a heavily subsidised form of el. generation.

    People in the Sahel now get killed by the colonial mercenaries as was forecasted a long time ago:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/mali-s-tuareg-uranium-conspiracy/30118

    http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/38/38437/1.html

    So the uranium states in the Sahel must pay now for the execution of their own people since there are no more profits to be made from uranium by the colonial companies.

    The real capitalists, the jolly bankers will profit anyhow, one way or the other:

    http://derstandard.at/1361241091682/Katar-kauft-sich-in-Frankreich-ein

    They even equipped floating mercenary supermarkets, entree free for anyone. All credit cards accepted. Priest, hairdresser and Gucci-shop on board as well:

    http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/40/40327/1.html

    • dango-man

      Mercenaries… you really have to sink that low?? Firstly the ship is government operated by government troops but its just carrying sales teams from companies. It is essentially a trade mission with any good s that are produced in Italy. The actual issue is with a military ship not conducting exercise as apart of national security and instead doing a trade mission which the idea itself is not bad it’s just on the wrong ship.

      I’m sorry but you’re taken the situation in Mali too lightly and its disgraceful! You suggest that its better for people in Mali to be killed by their own people and in greater numbers. It is not! They are there to save lives as Mali has close ties to France which why France intervened first to save LIVES! Uranium which can be sourced elsewhere as they isn’t a shortage and reactors typically run about 9 months before they are refuelled. So there is no rush for uranium.

      If you have no understanding of the situation do not comment at all as you belittle people’s lives the same way that you claim your colonial companies do.

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