Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Costs of Nuclear v. Solar Power

Stagnaro, Carlo and Bakst, Daren (2010): Costs of Nuclear v. Solar Power. Published in: John Locke Foundation Spotlight No. 397

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A study by the North Carolina Waste Awareness Network (NC WARN), an anti–nuclear power advocacy group, argues that solar power today is less expensive than nuclear power. Media have embraced this study despite its absurd conclusion and its arbitrary use of subsidies in calculating the costs of competing energy sources. NC WARN calculates solar power’s costs at 35 cents per kWh then drastically lowers it by applying two subsidies (federal and state tax credits). Subsidies may reduce the price to consumers, but they do not reduce the cost of generating electricity. Otherwise, a 100 percent tax credit would make the generation of solar power completely free. Even so, NC WARN does not apply subsidies to lower the cost of nuclear power. Therefore, their report unfairly gives solar power the “benefit” of subsidies while denying it to nuclear power.

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