Now, 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 Oil Drum: Europe | Why wind needs feed-in tariffs (and why it is not the enemy of n... - 0 views
An argument often heard against wind is that it costs a lot in public subsidies for a solution that will always have a limited impact (because it still produces only a small fraction of overall needs, and because of its unreliability linked to its intermitten nature). This is an argument worth addressing in detail, especially when it is pointed out, as the graph shows, that wind is already almost competitive with the other main sources of electricity, which suggests that it might not even need the subsidies then (and the increase in commodity prices since that graph was prepared using 2004 data, only reinforces that argument).
The Guardian reports this morning on a private report to Gordon Brown that suggests that Britain should oppose binding target for renewable energies in Europe (20% of all energy by 2020, as agreed earlier this year at this spring's EU Summit). The Guardian flags the juicy political bits ("work with Poland and other governments sceptical about climate change to "help persuade" German chancellor Angela Merkel and others to set lower renewable targets", "a potentially significant cost in terms of reduced climate change leadership"), but also provides some of the apparent underlying reasons provided, which are worth commenting upon:
- it undermines the carbon-trading scheme which "allows wealthy governments to pay others to reduce emissions";
- it costs too much money (£4 billion a year to get to 9% by 2020);
- it does not help push for new nuclear plants as it "reduces the incentives to invest in other carbon technologies like nuclear power";
Let's say it plainly: each of these arguments is stupid, short-sighted and, quite simply, false. Let me take you through them in turn (under the fold).