Solar And Wind Power More Expensive Than Thought

A new paper from Charles Frank an economist at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, argues that wind and solar power are not economically viable:

The paper examined four kinds of carbon-free energy – solar, wind, hydroelectric and nuclear – as well as low-carbon gas generation, and compared them with generators that burn fossil fuels. It also posited a value of $50 per metric ton of reduced carbon emissions and $16 per million BTUs of gas.

Frank calculated that electricity generated by a combination of nuclear, hydro and natural gas have much greater benefits than either wind or solar energy because wind and solar generators cost more to operate even though they require no fuel.

For example, nuclear plants run at about 90 percent of capacity compared with wind turbines, which are only about 25 percent efficient, and solar plants with only 15 percent efficiency. As a result, Frank wrote, nuclear plants avoid almost four times as much CO2 per unit of capacity as wind turbines, and six times as much as solar generators….

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