A research paper developed at the University of New South Wales reports that nuclear energy will be more expensive than most forms of renewable energy by 2020.
The paper finds the cheapest renewable energy sources – solar, wind and geothermal – are already cost-competitive with conventional nuclear energy power plants.
The deputy director of the Institute of Environmental Studies says part of the reason is that the cost of building a nuclear power plant has risen rapidly since 2002. What once cost $2000 per kilowatt of generation is now about $7400 per kilowatt or 15 cents per kilowatthour. By comparison, wind comes in at about $1900 per kilowatt and solar at $5120 per kilowatt.
Of note, natural gas remains at about 3 cents per kilowatthour and coal hovers around five cents.
The deputy director also says the cost of nuclear energy is rising because the industry is not expanding.
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