New Study: Solar Power is Now Cheaper than Nuclear

That&;s right! A new study, created by two Duke University researchers, claims solar power is now cheaper than nuclear power. The study was based in the North Carolina energy market (which is not considered a traditional “sun-rich” state).

What factors are contributing to this revelation?

Solar power generation is now cheaper than it has ever been and is projected to continue to fall in price. The abundance of silicon and other materials needed to produce solar panels continues to drive panel prices down. Additionally, panel manufacturers are beginning to achieve economies of scale as demand rises around the world.

Key Considerations

While solar power enjoys subsidies, Duke projects that the solar industry could enjoy unsubsidized cost efficiency, or grid parity, within the next decade. Additionally, nuclear power has enjoyed tax breaks and subsidies throughout it&;s history.
The study brought to light that commercial-scale solar companies are already producing energy at a price of 14 cents per kWh. Duke&;s researchers project that newly constructed nuclear plants would produce power at a prices of 14 – 18 cents per kWh. Yes, nuclear power could be at the same 14 cent level, but solar power is projected to continue to decrease in cost as it matures, where nuclear is exactly the opposite, increasing with every year. Furthermore, the average newly constructed nuclear reactor is priced around $10 billion and could take 6 to 12 years to complete.

While both technologies have their advantages and drawbacks, lately solar energy is tending to have more advantages than nuclear. We are interested on your take with this epic debate. What do you think is the most promising future energy technology? Solar or Nuclear? (Comment Below)

Image Credit: Duke University

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