Solar energy now costs less than nuclear energy

A new report out of Duke University says that solar energy and nuclear energy have passed a “historic crossover,” where decreasing solar energy costs and increasing nuclear energy costs have met, and then parted. Solar energy is now cheaper than nuclear energy and is getting increasingly cheaper every day

The costs include construction, which for nuclear plants is $10 billion per reactor and rising. The nuclear industry also gets huge guarantees and support from the federal government and in effect they can’t fail, because the government and ultimately taxpayers will pick up the tab. How cosy for management of nuclear facilities.

But with solar now costing less than nuclear, all of this needs to change. Forget nuclear, it’s a fossil now. And a dangerous fossil to boot.


  1. Does the cost of solar include the cost of the equipment required to provide power when the sun is not shining?

    Does it include the cost of extending the grid to the areas where solar power would be generated?

    Does it consider that much of the cost of nuclear power is the result of construction and operational delays caused by changing regulations AFTER construction has begun?

    Per the article, a nuclear plant costs $10 billion. Where does it cost $10 billion? How much does it cost in France, Norway, and Canada? Why does it cost so much less in those countries? Is it possible that we could reduce our costs to be comparable with costs in those countries?

    • At the risk of highlighting the obvious, the grid already reaches the Southwest where much solar energy could be generated. There are a lot of coal plants already here, with power lines already in place.

      However, the real beauty of solar is that it also operates as a distributed technology. Where the climate is right (about 50% of the U.S.) solar can be attached to individual homes and businesses. Any excess is fed back to the grid. And where I live, peak solar production dovetails nicely with peak summer electric usage.

      It should also be noted that power storage technology is in its infancy, because we never needed it before– we could fire up the coal plant, dump whatever power didn’t get used, and order another trainload of coal for tomorrow.

      That’s one reason (of several major reasons) we as a nation waste 2/3 of the energy we produce. Conservation technology is also in its infancy, and offers the potential to shut down every coal plant in the country.

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