Stacking the Deck Against Nuclear Power

City Journal: "According to a 2020 analysis by Robert Bryce, a stunning contrast emerges when one measures the tax breaks against the quantity of energy produced. Counted in terms of subsidy dollars per megawatt-hour, Bryce concludes, “the American solar industry got roughly 250 times as much in federal tax incentives as the nuclear sector.” Wind power received subsidies about 160 times greater than those granted to nuclear producers.

"No wonder nuclear plants face headwinds. States add additional burdens, in particular “renewable portfolio standards” that force utilities to buy large shares of their electricity from renewable sources. In most cases, these RPS rules exclude nuclear power (which, though it is zero-carbon, is not technically 'renewable').

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"This pattern—higher emissions coupled with higher consumer prices—has been repeated in every region where nuclear plants have closed prematurely. The push to replace reliable nuclear power mostly with wind and solar compounds the problem. While renewable energy can make meaningful contributions to clean-power generation, the grid today can’t operate primarily on these intermittent sources. (A mostly renewable power grid would require technology capable of storing huge amounts of energy at a reasonable cost. That goal remains far outside our reach for now.)   California, home to the country’s most aggressive green-energy policies, faced rolling blackouts in 2020 when grid operators couldn’t cope with the wild swings in renewable-power output. In other words, the renewables-first approach isn’t just inefficient, it’s backfiring."

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