Monday, May 26, 2008

TWiN 58 - New Nuclear Gains Construction Cost Advantage Over Wind and Coal as Steel Prices Rise

There's been a lot of discussion lately about the impact of rising steel prices on new power plant costs. I decided to do some research on the topic and the results may surprise you. Here's a link to my analysis:

Nuclear Gains Cost Advantage Over Wind and Coal as Steel Prices Rise

Listen to the podcast for my discussion.

The bottom line is this: the cost of raw materials used in the construction of wind, coal and nuclear power plants is rising rapidly. Because nuclear plants use fewer of these natural resources than either wind or coal power plants, as costs rise nuclear plants gain an increasing construction cost advantage.

It looks like another myth held sacred by the anti-nuclear establishment is beginning to crumble; the myth that nuclear plants are too expensive to build.


John Wheeler


Franklin [] said...

If wind energy is costly compared to nuclear, how to explain this?

- From WWEA: around 20000Mwe were installed in 2007, compared to 2000 MWe of new nuclear plants (Kaiga 3 (India), Tianwan 2 (China), Cernavoda 2 (Romenia) e Browns Ferry 1 (USA) ) according to WNA.

Even considering an average capacity factor of 0.3 for wind and 0.85 for nuclear, the new eolic turbines had exceed nuclear output by a factor of 3 (minimum).

John Wheeler said...

Hello Franklin,

You make a good point. Many companies and nations are indeed investing in wind energy projects. This does not mean they are economically competitive nor reliable. They survive on large government subsidies.

The main cost advantage of wind is that wind generation can be added in very small increments where this is not possible with large central station power plants.