Mark Jacobson: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is planning to bail out three upstate nuclear power plants. To fund the bailout, New Yorkers statewide will be forced to pay higher energy bills. The estimated cost is nearly $8 billion—a staggering amount to keep open the failing Nine Mile Point 1, FitzPatrick and Ginna. It’s no surprise that Cuomo faces growing opposition to this plan. It would be an expensive mistake to implement this bailout when the state has options to replace the plants with wind and solar that are cheaper, result in less carbon emissions and produce many more high-quality permanent jobs for New Yorkers. Let me explain. Wind and solar power are now far better than nuclear in terms of cost, emission reductions and jobs. Sunshine and air currents don’t need to be mined or refined, so solar panels and wind turbines emit zero carbon dioxide. Refining uranium for nuclear, on the other hand, in energy-intensive and emits lots of carbon, as does mining uranium. Wind and solar are also much cheaper to operate than a nuclear plant, because their fuel costs are zero. Also, building and operating wind and solar employ more workers. Simply put: bailing out nuclear power makes neither economic nor climate sense.
Crains 10th Jan 2017 read more »