One favorite Fossil Nuke talking point is that renewable energy, and especially solar, is just too expensive.
For those who might not be familiar with the term “Fossil Nuke”, that is my shorthand for the position that supports nuclear energy while opposing renewable. No offense meant by that. More here.
That is wishful thinking.
In the real world, solar energy delivers so much cheap electricity at the peak noon times that it makes new nuclear plants impossible for economic reasons alone. Solar energy is eating nuclear’s lunch. The profits nuclear power plants used to make in Germany from high priced peak noon electricity are gone, and they are not coming back, even if not one more solar panel were added in the country.
Terium: The impact of current political decisions and market changes extends far beyond Germany. The large amounts of wind and solar energy that are being fed into the grid, together with the economic crisis, have led to a sharp decline in electricity prices.
SPIEGEL: But consumers in Germany now have to pay more for their electricity.
Terium: Yes, because government levies for new, renewable forms of energy, electricity grids and storage facilities drive up the price of electricity. The price we receive for generating power is currently so low that it’s simply irresponsible to build an expensive nuclear power plant in Europe. The nuclear power chapter has come to an end for us. (Emphasis mine).
So if you are a Fossil Nuke, your problem with renewable energy is not that it is too expensive. It is exactly the other way round. You can’t get your nuclear power plants built because solar and wind are too cheap for you to compete any more already.
I am always somewhat puzzled why people who understand the necessity to do something about climate change would oppose renewable energy, or solar energy. Even if you support nuclear energy as a solution to climate change, why oppose renewable? Nuclear plus renewable will always deliver more low carbon electricity than nuclear alone.
This would seem to be an explanation. Building nuclear requires getting rid of renewable energy first, since it can’t compete anymore with the low prices of sun and wind.
But getting rid of renewable energy is not going to happen. No solar panels are going to get shut down in Germany. The genie is out of the bottle. Deal with it.