Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Climate Change Committee shows pro-nuclear bias

I suppose when you are evaluating the costs of various power sources, you have to interpret the data, but the Committee on Climate Change has interpreted it in a pro-nuclear direction. The Committee says that nuclear power is the cheapest low carbon option, even cheaper than onshore wind. Well, in that case how come,in the USA, that nuclear power gets both the same tax credit subsidies as wind power, but gets in addition loan guarantees from the Federal Government? How can nuclear be said to be cheaper than wind power under this set of circumstances when it requires much bigger state support than wind power?. Please Committee on Climate Change, explain this paradox to us.

The fact is that the Committee on Climate Change gloss over the fact that nuclear power would not get financed by pension funds and banks without some sort of guarantee that the loans and equity returns will be repaid. That is the only way that nuclear power stations in the West, currently only four power stations in the US (2), Finland (1), France (1), are being built. So how much is the Committee on Climate Change's calculations worth?

Judge for yourself.

One wonders how the Government is going to hide the need to give guarantees for nuclear loan repayments. Probably by being in as much denial and using as much smoke and mirrors as it is using to hide the nuclear power subsidies it is already planning as part of the electricity market reforms it published last December. It will be interesting to see how they do it - and hide the fact that nuclear will get financial guarantees denied to renewable energy sources.

For some further comments of mine on this subject, see the current issue of Renewable Energy Focus,  pages 4-6: http://e-ditionsbyfry.com/ActiveMagazine/welcome/rrf/rrf110501130727.asp

Please also see my account of the electricity market reform proposals which was carried in the previous issue of Renewable Energy Focus, pages 24-26: