In light of the recent tragedy in Japan, many people are questioning the future use of Nuclear Power vs. Renewable Energy. It appears, for the moment, we all may be sliding down a slippery slope in terms of a worldwide disaster as these Nuclear Plants begin to age and break down, causing potential global threats. With a world population of over 6 billion it is a necessary task for us to find a better solution.
So what is the answer? This is the question we all are asking. Currently legislation is pushing for new, safer energy solutions with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as one of the key players.
Solar energy needs no fuel and has no decommissioning costs (compared to nuclear). Costs per Watt are just incomparable.
We can build complete photovoltaic plants for $ 3,200/kilowatt. Solar thermal plants are even more favorable, in connection with other renewable energy technologies to solving availability, load balancing, etc., There is no argument for the use of nuclear energy vs. solar energy when taken into account the nuclear lobby, free raw material, no risk, no landfill problems, etc, etc…
According to a recent study conducted by NC WARN, a member-based nonprofit nuclear and climate change watchdog group, the cost of building a nuclear power station is increasing as the costs for building Solar plants are decreasing. Their study conducted in July of 2010 shows the cost of solar energy dropped to roughly 15.9¢/kWh, while nuclear power costs rose to nearly 20$¢/kWh at the plant site, before any transmission charges.
The debate over the future of nuclear power has just stepped up a notch – with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima plant “raises questions” about the use of nuclear energy in the country.
“What’s happening in Japan raises questions about the costs and the risks associated with nuclear power, but we have to answer those. We get 20 per cent of our energy right now in the United States from nuclear power.” Clinton said.
For now Nuclear Power has the upper hand, but if legislators get their way, that will be changing fast. This means new opportunities for growth in a new global market that is moving ahead to replace those old nuclear plants with clean, safe systems, such as those using Solar Energy.
Already drastic measures have been taken to fund renewable energy projects and build solar plants her in the U.S. The need for trained solar workers is in high demand and will continue to grow as more solar plants are built.