Solar and Wind Will Be Cheaper Than Nukes by End of Decade: Greenpeace

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Common Dreams

Solar and Wind Will Be Cheaper Than Nukes by End of Decade: Greenpeace

New report shows nuclear-dependent France has historic opportunity, and enormous financial incentive, to move towards renewables

A Greenpeace campaigner holds a banner atop a building at the Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant in France earlier this year. (Credit: flickr / Greenpeace France)

A new report by Greenpeace in France shows that renewable energy sources like photovoltaic solar and wind will be more affordable than nuclear power by the end of the decade.

As France rushes to make expensive upgrades to its aging nuclear plants in the midst of the ongoing Fuksuhima disaster in Japan, the report (published here in French) shows that maintaining the nation's dependence on atomic energy no longer makes financial sense.

According to Reuters, the Greenpace study comes a week before French Energy Minister Segolene Royal "presents the broad lines of a much-delayed framework energy law that aims to spell out how France will cut the share of atomic energy to 50 percent from the current 75 percent by 2025."

As the solar energy industry website PVTech reports:

Nuclear upgrades under new European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) standards would push nuclear prices to €133 per MWh (US$180 MWh), with €4.4 billion (US$6.0 billion) of investment per reactor required.

Increasing the costs and financial risk of EPRs are operating costs, wall investment, improving safety and erosion of profitability, the report claimed.

Compared to renewables nuclear will be more expensive than onshore wind (at €40-80 per MWh by 2018), and more expensive than solar and offshore wind power by 2020.

The report urges government to take control of nuclear power, future nuclear generation, and the financial future of the country.

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