Well, yes, of course

Government officials have drawn up secret plans to tax electricity consumers to subsidise the construction of the UK\’s first new nuclear reactors for more than 20 years, the Guardian has learned.

This is hardly surprising.

Solar is subsidised, wind is subsidised….so why not nuclear?

For the point is that fossil fuels are still the cheapest way to generate electricity: but as we know there are external effects associated with that which we\’re not all that keen on. So we need to price in those external effects: in short, subsidise the non-fossil fuel methods.

The executive director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, said: \”Nuclear power has always been a byword for monumental taxpayer handouts. Now the likes of EDF Energy are getting cold feet over the cost of new nuclear stations, it looks like the government is trying to sweeten the deal with public money. This is despite saying categorically that any new reactors will have to survive without subsidy. Without huge financial support, nuclear power doesn\’t make economic sense. Even the big utilities now admit this.\”

Quite John. But this is also true:

The executive director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, said: \”Renewable power has always been a byword for monumental taxpayer handouts. Now the likes of EDF Energy are getting cold feet over the cost of new renewable stations, it looks like the government is trying to sweeten the deal with public money. This is despite saying categorically that any new renewables will have to survive without subsidy. Without huge financial support, renewable power doesn\’t make economic sense. Even the big utilities now admit this.\”

I\’ll admit to not being fully up on the details but the question we\’re really interested in is which needs more subsidy? Nuclear or renewables?

4 comments on “Well, yes, of course

  1. The answer to that question is deliberately obscured. The government tries to hide the subsidy given to renewables by using mandates.

    Moreover, nobody is really sure yet what the cost of new nukes will be.

  2. Both renewables and nuclear cost a lot of money. The chief difference is that nuclear power occasionally produces some electricity.

  3. No, Brian. The chief difference is that nuclear power reliably produces electricity while renewables occasionally produce some electricity

  4. I’m going back to discussion of the matter some 50 years ago or so. I seem to remember it being maintained (by the nuclear industry) and hardly challenged by other types of power providers that nuclear was actually cheaper than fossil fuel methods if the presumed “costs” did not have to include those of insurance against catastrophe.
    I believe the first plants went in with some kind of “cap” or limit on the potential liabilities of the nukes but (I would think) that the good record over the years would cause that figure
    (liability) to be substantially less now than then.

    Is that incorrect?

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