Power costs matter.
The wind industry keeps telling us that their product is ‘free’, and getting cheaper all the time. Trouble is, that the facts tend to differ.
In the table above, in nuclear powered France, power consumers pay half the cost for power than those suffering along in wind powered Denmark.
Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that when you build a nuclear plant, you don’t need to build another one of the same capacity, just to sit there in case the first one stops producing, every time the wind stops blowing. Reliability is worth something; chaos costs.
It’s that, among other factors, that led Tom Stacy (a former member of the ASME Energy Policy Committee) and George Taylor, PhD (the director of Palmetto Energy Research) to conclude that nuclear and coal-fired power beat wind and solar hands down on cost.
Study: Wind & Solar up to 5X More Costly than Existing Coal and Nuclear
Institute for Energy Research
Tom Stacy & George Taylor
4 August 2016
WASHINGTON – A new study from the Institute for Energy Research finds that electricity from new wind and solar power is 2.5 to 5 times more expensive than electricity from existing coal and nuclear power.
This innovative study relies on data from the Energy Information Administration and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to find the levelized cost of electricity from existing plants, not just the cost of electricity from new power plants as is typical with many studies. The source of the calculations used in this study is a compilation of data reported by the generators themselves to FERC and EIA.
In addition, IER’s study estimates the costs imposed on the grid by the intermittent nature of wind and solar power. Factoring in these “imposed costs” provides a more realistic estimate of what electricity from new wind and solar power costs. In fact, solar power’s imposed costs actually increase as more capacity is added to the system.
The following chart shows the stark contrast between the cost of electricity from existing and new sources:
As the chart indicates:
- Electricity from new solar is nearly 5 times more expensive than from existing nuclear and over 3.5 times more expensive than from existing coal.
- Electricity from new wind is over 3.5 times more expensive than from existing nuclear and over 2.5 times more expensive than from existing coal.
“Much of our existing coal and nuclear fleet could continue to provide affordable, reliable electricity for decades to come if not for policies like the Obama administration’s carbon regulations or the deal struck in California to shut down Diablo Canyon,” said IER President Thomas Pyle.
“Unnecessarily shutting down our existing generation in favor of expensive and intermittent wind and solar power means Americans will be left with higher electricity bills and less money in their pockets.
This will have the harshest impact on poor and middle class families who spend more of their hard-earned money on energy costs. This study adds a much-needed reality check to the debate over our nation’s electricity policy.”
Read full report here
Institute for Energy Research