Friday, July 30, 2010

Costs of Solar vs Nuclear Power: Fight!

Very interesting news from a study from Duke University looking at the costs trends of solar and nuclear energy, at least in North Carolina.  As one would expect, the cost of solar has been falling, but what's surprising is that the cost of nuclear is climbing at the rate they indicate. This is attributed to the "nuclear renaissance" and the associated redesign of the facilities, for which projections continue to climb as the planning gets into the specifics. Based on this work, it would seem unlikely that many more nuclear plants will be constructed.

The bad news for those of us at higher latitudes is that the solar photovoltaic potential is considerably lower here.  But then we've got quite few wind power initiatives in the works. I'd love to see the wind power costs overlaid on this chart.

8/3/10 - UPDATE: Stanford researchers announce a new method for harvesting both light and heat energy from the sun, potentially doubling power output. This could be the nail in the coffin of nuclear if it pans out.

No comments: