Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Renewables Are Cheaper Than Nuclear Or CCS, Finds German Decarbonization Study

Originally published on sister site Planetsave.


Agora Energiewende this week released the results of a cost analysis of four different CO2-free power scenarios in Europe. Says Patrick Graichen, executive director of Agora:

Wind and solar systems will dominate the power system in increasingly more countries. The battle for the cheapest CO2-free power mix is decided. In the future wind and solar will play an ever greater role in countries across the world as a source of power.

The German “think-&-do-tank,” funded by the Mercator Foundation and European Climate Foundation, came to two conclusions:

New wind and solar can provide carbon-free power at up to 50% lower generation costs than new nuclear or carbon capture and storage.

A reliable power system based on wind and solar with natural gas backup is 20% cheaper than a system of new nuclear power stations combined with gas.

Considering two decades of plummeting costs for wind and photovoltaic power, Agora looked at how wind and solar systems now compare to other decarbonization technologies (nuclear power and carbon capture and storage). The company based its “conservative” conclusions on a look at current feed-in tariffs in Germany; the agreed Hinkley Point C (UK) strike price; and the latest cost estimates for CCS (likely low) from studies commissioned by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change in relation to the White Rose (coal) and Peterhead (gas) CCS plants, planned to be operational by 2020.



The chart above compares average remuneration for new nuclear power, PV, wind (onshore and offshore), and the levelized costs of electricity for gas/coal CCS.

Although further cost reductions in PV and wind are expected to result from technological advancements, the decarbonization report factors in no future cost reductions in any of the technologies. Taking into account backup capacities and peak loads (not usually factored into the levelized cost of electricity), study authors found that the higher power generation cost of nuclear dwarfs the cost of backup gas capacity for the renewables options.


Agora advised last year that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government cap aid to clean-energy developers in order to offset the costs of closing down nuclear reactors and expanding renewables. Agora commissioned this year’s study from Prognos AG, a Swiss economic research consultancy established in 1959. It is freely available on the Agora website.

h/t Wiwo Green

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."


You May Also Like


After stumbling on biofuel, algae finds its footing and steps up to help the concrete industry cut its carbon footprint, too.

Climate Change

Steel will not remotely be a constraint for global transformation of energy over the coming decades. We make vastly more of it per year...


Ford says it plans to bring the heat in its battle for EV dominance with Tesla while Cupra is said to be eyeing the...


One of the big question marks in the automotive industry is how the existing ICE players are going to enter the electric age while...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.