How can they say this with a straight face?
No nuclear power station has been built without state cash – as our government recognises. No subsidies means no nuclear. Supporting nuclear means getting behind taxpayer-funded subsidies for, in George Monbiot\’s words, the \”liars\” who run the industry.
In contrast to the billions spent on nuclear, there remains real reluctance to invest in renewable energy. Only last week ministers cut support for small-scale renewable power. Their plans for electricity market reform will not support the development of offshore wind and other marine renewables.
It\’s entirely wibble, isn\’t it?
No, not the facts put forward, but the argument.
Nuclear requires subsidy therefore we shouldn\’t use it.
Meaning that we should now provide even greater subsidies for renewables because nuclear requires subsidy.
Yes, well done, here\’s a lollipop now go and play with the other children.
Do note that, not including this subsidy, nuclear produces \’leccy at about 10p per unit. Solar, including the subsidy, produces it at 46 p or so.
So, electricty production in the UK is around 400 TWh (2004 figure but good enough). Nuclear is 20% of this (again, good enough). 80 TWh. A TWh is 10*9 kWh.
Thus total production of nuclear in the UK, per year, is 80,000,000,000 kWh. So, if the nuclear subsidy were to be equal to the solar subsidy then the nucelar subsidy per year (ie, 80,000,000,000 x 36 p) would need to be £28,800,000,000 per year.
£29 billion a year.
As the general estimate is that the subsidy of the entire nuclear system over the past 60 years (yes, including all the bomb making n\’all, the R&D to work out how to do it etc) is estimated at £50-£100 billion, or £1.6 billion per year, that appears to make nuclear cheaper than solar by £25 billion a year.
Which is, when you come to think of it, a bit more than just chump change.
And this is just massively gorgeous:
By contrast, after just a few years\’ support in Germany, solar panels are expected to be producing power without the need for public subsidies.
That link is to an article from 2008.
At the solar industry trade fair in Munich over the weekend, there was growing confidence that the holy grail known as \”grid parity\” – whereby electricity from the sun can be produced as cheaply as it can be bought from the grid – is now just a few years away.
The market will probably expand another 40% this year,\” said Carsten Körnig, of the German solar industry association, referring to both PV and solar thermal systems, which produce hot water. He said his previous assumption – that grid parity would be reached in Germany in five to seven years – now looked very conservative since it allowed for only a 3% rise in electricity prices each year. In many countries increases of 20% a year are becoming the norm.
How excellent. OK, so the conservative assumption was that solar PV would have grid parity in 2013. But that\’s too conservative. It\’ll be shorter than that. Good, we\’re now in 2011….so grid parity has arrived, yes?
Excellent, so no more subsidy is needed, is it?
You really do have to be some kind of numpty to use the proof that you don\’t need subsidy any more as an argument for more subsidy.
And an idiot to not notice that that is what you are doing.