Cheap Renewables Undercut Nuclear Power

A nuclear power plant near Perry, Ohio. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Cheap renewables are mounting a serious challenge to nuclear power, which in 2017 has had a difficult year. Key projects have been abandoned, costs are rising, and politicians in countries which previously championed the industry are withdrawing their support. Renewables, on the other hand, especially wind and solar power, have continued to expand at an enormous rate. Most importantly, they have got significantly cheaper. And newer technologies like large-scale battery storage and production of hydrogen are becoming economic, because they harness cheap power from excess renewable capacity. Advertisement This latest trend – the production of hydrogen from excess wind and solar power – raises the possibility of replacing natural gas, at least in part, for domestic heating and cooking and for power stations. Many existing gas pipelines and domestic networks are equally capable of taking natural gas, biogas and hydrogen, or a mixture of all three. The speed with which the transition is taking place has exceeded all official estimates. In favourable locations across the world, including th

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