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Why Would Governments Favor Expensive Nuclear Power Over Competitive Clean Energy?

1 min. read

Yet another example of sub-optimal energy policy, this time at the state level.

As SCE&G and other utilities work to complete atomic power plants, the law that made construction possible gives power companies less incentive to use solar, wind and other forms of alternative energy.

That’s one conclusion in a broad study that criticizes the way South Carolina, Georgia and Florida have helped utilities afford the multi-billion dollar costs of building nuclear power plants.


Historically, utilities have had to show that power plants are up and running properly before they could recover the costs for construction, Vermont researchers said. Now, laws adopted in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida have allowed utilities to charge ratepayers for nuclear power plants before the reactors are built.

That takes away most of the risk of building the nuclear plants – and that could affect the rise of alternative energy, including solar power, according to the study by Vermont Law School economic analyst Mark Cooper.

We would hope that the fossil fuel industries and the think tanks they love to fund would be consistent and fight against these types of unfair, taxpayer-funded, market-distorting policies. But we're certainly not holding our breaths.