Nuclear’s Scam On New Energy’s Incentives
How nuclear plants are gaming climate-change rules; In state after state, operators have figured out how turn green-power incentives into sweetheart deals.
Travis Kavulla, April 23. 2019 (Politico)
“…[Procurement mandates requiring a share of electricity needs to be supplied by solar, wind and other renewable technologies] are in force in 29 states…[T]hese laws have been so effective at reducing the cost of renewables that it is not readily apparent that such mandates are a necessary driver for decarbonization…[T]hree-quarters of the U.S. coal fleet could be replaced today by renewables solely for economic reasons…[but in] numerous states, companies with large investments in nuclear energy — including Exelon, First Energy, Dominion and PSEG — have lobbied states to reconfigure their clean-power incentives to subsidize existing nuclear plants, rather than the emergent technologies that the laws were intended for…
…[It] started in Democratic states like Illinois and New York in 2016, spread to Connecticut in 2017 and New Jersey in 2018. Bills to this effect are now being considered by Republican-led chambers in Ohio and Pennsylvania…[The proposals] take advantage of green-sounding energy incentives, and they share a basic outline intended to avoid the appearance of being a naked subsidy…[Instead of spurring competition between emissions-reducing power sources, like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade program, the] nuclear subsidy schemes are an elaborate greenwashing that neither returns money to the public nor further reduces carbon emissions…[These programs] billions of dollars…[Some say the costs are necessary to prevent an emissions] spike if nuclear units are replaced by abundant and cheap natural gas…[But most of these nuclear plants would not shut down. And propping up older technologies risks] harm to innovative technologies looking to break into the market…[Nuclear energy] should compete fairly against other electricity sources…” click here for more