Biden Adopting Subsidies for Existing Nuclear Plants, Not To Build Any
May 17, 2021 (EIRNS)—The Biden White House according to multiple media reports has told lawmakers it supports taxpayer subsidies to keep existing nuclear facilities from closing, adding “production tax credits” into the so-called “American Rescue Plan” in order to get West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin’s vote for it. These are really “electricity generation tax credits” and wind and solar installations already get them.
But a study published in April by Potomac Economics for the Department of Energy forecasts the economics of nuclear plant operation are going to continue to deteriorate leading to reliable, well-run power plants continuing to shut down. The report studied the largest electricity market in the United States, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland (PJM), which serves 65 million customers in 13 states and whose utilities operated 31 nuclear plants. It found that the cheapness of natural gas turbine generation and the subsidies to wind and solar—which do not bear any of the cost of the natural gas turbines which back them up, means that “we find it unlikely that any of the nuclear resources in PJM are covering their costs.”