Wind and Solar Power are even more expensive than it is commonly thought
Despite being a free form of energy and available plentiful, a study by the Brooklyn Institute have found out that the wind and the solar power are even more expensive than it is commonly thought. It has been observed that though no expenditure is required on these renewable forms of energy, they appear to be expensive than the carbon based fuels.
The latest paper by the famous Economist Charles Frank calculates the cost benefit analysis of Wind and Solar energy in comparison to the comparative costs of the fossil fuels. It takes into account the cost of construction and management of the plants to the reduction in emissions to the idle periods of the plants when the winds are calm and the sun is not shining. His research paper gives a comparative of four kinds of energies i.e. solar, wind energy, hydroelectric energy and the nuclear energy in comparison to the generators using fossil fuels.
He has derived the conclusion that wind and solar energy sources are far more costly than one has thought. The evidence that advocates his finding is that he found that the nuclear energy plants run at about 90% capacity when compared to the wind energy plants which run at about just 25% of their efficiency while the solar plants lagging behind with just 15% of the capacity. Further, the nuclear power plants avoid carbon dioxide emissions to a greater level than as compared to wind or solar energy.
Frank has even found out that the nuclear power plants are far more costlier to be built up than the solar and wind plants but since they run for almost 24 hours a day, there is no idle time and the cost is easily recovered. Further, we actually need about four wind farms or seven solar generators to replace a coal based power plant. Due to high idle time during the non sunshine and non wind periods, the coal based plants does not have the ‘avoided capacity cost’.
In this way, Frank’s paper has concluded that out of all the clean sources of energy, nuclear power takes a leap due to being more efficient if we look beyond the initial set up cost.