Germany’s Solar and Wind Is Triple the Cost of France’s Nuclear and Will Last Half as Long

Nuclear is the obvious fix to the issues posed by environmentalists but they want a moral crusade not a solution

France’s nuclear energy spending was 60% of what Germany spent on renewables. France gets about 400 Terawatt hour per year from nuclear but Germany gets 226 Terawatt-hours each year. 45 Terawatt-hours of Germany’s renewable power comes from burning biomass which generates air pollution.

Germany’s solar farms will have to be rebuilt every 15-25 years. The wind farms will need to be rebuilt every 20-25 years. Nuclear plants can last 40-80+ years. This means that it guaranteed that the solar and wind farms will have to be rebuilt in 15-25 years. The maintenance costs will increase as wind turbines or solar panels are replaced. The old turbines and solar panels will need to be replaced.

France completed construction on 76% of its current 58 reactors at an inflation-adjusted cost of $330 billion (€290 billion). The complete buildout of the 58 reactors was less €400 billion. Germany has spent about €500 billion over the last 20 years to get to 35% renewables. 7% of this is burning biomass. France gets almost double the TWh from nuclear than Germany gets from renewables (solar, wind, biomass, hydro). France has gotten about 400 TWh per year from nuclear while all of Germany’s renewables (solar, wind and biomass) amounts to about 220 TWh.

China has a more recent buildup of nuclear energy. China has spent less than $150 billion from 2000 to 2019 to develop 300 Terawatt-hours per year of nuclear energy.

France’s cost was $1 billion to build each terawatt hour per year of clean energy.
Germany’s cost is $2.5 billion to build each terawatt hour per year of relatively clean energy. The 180 TWh per year of solar and wind is clean [until you need to dismantle the panels] but the biomass is not. It generates air pollution. France’s electricity is 41% cheaper for its citizen’s than Germany. Germans now pay 30 euro cents per kwh. the French pay 18 euro cents per kwh. This was an extra €24 billion per year. 22 years of extra cost is another $500 billion. This is triple the cost of France and does not include the rebuild of solar and wind over the 50+ year during of the nuclear reactors.

China’s cost is $0.5 billion per terawatt hour per year of clean energy. China’s nuclear buildout is over 5 times cheaper than Germany’s.

From 2006 to 2017, Germany increased the cost of electricity for households by 50%. (per an OECD report) French electricity costs are just 59% of German electricity prices. France produces one-tenth the carbon pollution from electricity compared to Germany.

Germany would need 50% more nuclear energy than France to completely replace all other power generation. This would cost €600 billion if Germany could match France’s build from the 1980s. Costs and safety regulations have increased even though France’s nuclear power has operated without incident for over 30 years. 80 nuclear reactors would now cost €1600 billion euros for Germany. This would still be cheaper than the estimated costs for the solar and wind buildout that is underway.

Over the past five years alone, the Energiewende has cost Germany €32 billion ($36 billion) annually, and opposition to renewables is growing in the German countryside. This was €160 billion to get 70 Terawatt-hours per year. The same portion of France’s spending on nuclear wolud be 200 Terawatt-hours per year.

Der Spiegel cites a recent estimate that it would cost Germany “€3.4 trillion ($3.8 trillion),” or seven times more than it spent from 2000 to 2019, to increase solar and wind three to five-fold by 2050.

Germany needs to add 7,700 new kilometers of transmission lines to move the renewable power from solar and wind farms but only 8% have been built. Large-scale electricity storage remains inefficient and expensive. [But non-solar and non-wind do not require it.]

Germany is 2% of the world carbon dioxide emissions.

Looking Solar Panel Costs Does Not Cost the Energy Transformation Correctly

People do not understand energy or the benefits and risks that relate to energy.

John Gorman was the chief executive of the Canadian Solar Industries Association but now he is a nuclear energy advocate. John indicates that nuclear energy is vital to solving the energy issues related to climate change.

An overly optimistic view of renewables has affected major decisions about other energy sources, particularly nuclear. The global focus on renewables has caused existing nuclear plants to be retired early and has stalled investment in new projects. It’s given people a false sense of security that we don’t need nuclear any more when nothing could be further from the truth.

What’s worse, because wind and solar are variable (they produce electricity only when the wind blows or the sun shines), they must be paired with other energy sources to support demand, and these are almost always fossil fuels. In the absence of enough nuclear energy, renewables are effectively prolonging the life of coal and gas plants that can produce power around the clock.

Nuclear is the only proven technology that has decarbonized the economies of entire countries, including France and Sweden.

Source: Next Big Future

  1. Fred says

    The reason greenies DON’T want to go to nuclear, is nothing more than maintaining power and control over “their” populous, nothing more. There are probably monetary reasons too, funding of their causes etc.

  2. Robert says

    Like others here, my choice was made decades ago. But it appears to be a different one: I don’t mind paying (and saving) more $€£$€£$€£$€£s, in order to keep this planet from turning into more of a sewer (both literally and metaphorically) than it already is. However, this article is exclusively about $€£$€£$€£$€£s. It seems that the author and his children do not mind living in a sewer.

    Other commentators have mentioned Fukushima and Chernobyl, i.e. the obvious. I’ll settle for picking up this one, a gross, blatant untruth: “France’s nuclear power has operated without incident for over 30 years”. Which immediately brings a question to mind: how many £$€£$€£$€£s did the author get for writing such a biased piece?

  3. Ronnie&MargaretInDementia says

    Nuclear was always going to be a bridge energy between where we are now and where we need to be when more tech is developed in 30 or 40 years time. Sadly the eco brigade have lead to a delay which has left a lot of european countries wanting in medium to long term energy policy. It takes about 20 years to build a modern nuclear plant (maybe a bit less if you get the chinese to do it for you!) so places like the UK and Germany who stopped their reactors and/or development programmes are in for problems down the line. The Russians are developing new salt based hybrid thorium reactors which will extend the possibilities for nuclear as they wont be reliant on U235 which has a finite supply, they can even run off nuclear waste from older reactors. Definitely this will be part of the mix all countries will need to develop in the coming decades.

  4. JustPassingThrough says

    B.W. explain to me how nuclear waste from these power plants is being processed?
    Explain to me what has happened in Fukushima?
    Explain to me what is being done to properly police and regulate the nuclear power plants today?

    Myopic POV

    1. Canosin says

      good questions… but…. guess you won’t get any satisfactory answers….. as usual

      1. JustPassingThrough says

        yeah, it’s dummies like B.W.
        that give voice to the silent majority of dummies.
        no one thinks any deeper than the short term $$, €€
        already irradiated.

    2. Shaun says

      Nuclear waste isn’t nearly so much of a problem as people think. The reason people think Chernobyl killed thousands and thousands of people is due to them getting scientific education from the Simpsons.

      Fukushima immediately after the accident was less radioactive than most of Colorado’s background levels are. Their farms are cleared for produce. Literally nobody has died as a result of the radiation.

      Chernobyl has killed so far, roughly 60 people in the half century since it happened. It’s made a lot of people sick, and was an awful event, but not nearly as awful as people who haven’t checked their facts assume.

      Fossil fuel pollution kills 7 million people every year, and makes BILLIONS sick.

      Chernobyl was a horrific disaster, but it was the worst CONCEIVABLE nuclear accident, due to unsanctioned experiments on an experimental reactor.

      Fossil fuels kill 100,000 times the number of people who died in the worst nuclear accident in history, EVERY YEAR. Under normal operation. It’s acidifying the oceans, threatening a runaway greenhouse effect, and wiping out ecosystems.

      Refusing to accept nuclear power because it’s dangerous is like refusing to accept vaccines because they can be theoretically harmful, while ignoring that they’re a solution to an ACTUALLY dangerous, very present hazard. It’s lunacy and stupidity.

      1. JustPassingThrough says

        i don’t know where you are getting your information but you are horribly misinformed.
        Your statement about Fukishima displays a huge amount of not knowing what is going on or what has gone on.
        Have they disabled the core yet?.
        The health problems, the radioactive junk on the beaches of CA the dead and mutated sealife. You’re really behind the curve..

        I don’t see alternative energy as fossile energy. What are you talking about?
        Do you know what it costs to decommision a nuclear plant?
        Do you know the huge lapse in inspections in the US and elsewhere?
        Do you know that children in Fukushima are already suffering from various cancers.

        “Nuclear waste is not such a problem.” Oh really? By whose standards? Yours?

        Like i said in a previous post Wang the wanker wakes up all the already irradiated.

        1. Shaun says

          “There were no acute radiation injuries or deaths among the workers or the public due to exposure to radiation resulting from the FDNPS accident.

          Considering the level of estimated doses, the lifetime radiation-induced cancer risks other than thyroid are small and much smaller than the lifetime baseline cancer risks. Regarding the risk of thyroid cancer in exposed infants and children, the level of risk is uncertain since it is difficult to verify thyroid dose estimates by direct measurements of radiation exposure.

          For the twelve workers who were estimated to have received the highest absorbed radiation doses to the thyroid, an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer and other thyroid disorders was estimated. About 160 additional workers who received whole body effective doses estimated to be over 100 mSv, an increased risk of cancer could be expected in the future although it will not be detectable by epidemiological studies because of the difficulty of confirming a small incidence against the normal statistical fluctuations in cancer incidence.

          From a global health perspective, the health risks directly related to radiation exposure are low in Japan and extremely low in neighbouring countries and the rest of the world.”

          On Thyroid cancers, it’s the exact same reason why autism diagnoses are going up, which is that more people get tested after a nuclear accident, despite there not being an observable increase.

          But the same document reiterates my point from before – that your unscientific claims and vilification or radiation is what’s ACTUALLY harming people. That basing nuclear policy in hysterical, emotional falsehoods is what leads to rushed evacuations and social stigma.

          “There were public health consequences related to the response actions to the disaster, such as evacuation and relocation of people. These measures were taken based on radiation safety considerations and the massive damage to the infrastructure and facilities following the earthquake and tsunami. These measures resulted in a wide range of social, economic, and public health consequences. A sharp increase in mortality among elderly people who were put in temporary housings has been reported, along with increased risk of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and mental health problems. The lack of access to health care further contributed to deterioration of health.”

          The Fukushima nuclear plant proved how inherently safe nuclear reactors are post-Chernobyl. It’s a zero-carbon high-power energy source that when hit by multiple natural disasters in excess of the most conservative estimates, still manages to kill next to nobody.

          And even if it does shorten lives, it will be so low that it’ll be difficult to prove, and will be treatable.

          Meanwhile fossil fuel pollution kills millions.

          Every year.

          Well done.

  5. Tom Jelinek says

    There are already two places in the world permanently uninhabitable, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Some say nuclear is safe now, not like before. Or that Chernobyl was at a time of political turmoil. But there will always be turmoil, and financial difficulties that make them cut corners on maintenance. You need to look at it a millennium at a time. Do you want hundreds of these cores around the world?

    1. Shaun says

      Literally nobody died from Fukushima radiation. People live there. Their farms are cleared for produce and healthy. Most of Fukushima immediately following the accident was less radioactive than Colorado just usually is. It is NOT “permanently uninhabitable”

      Meanwhile fossil fuels threaten a runaway greenhouse effect which we know for a fact from other planets in our system can be apocalyptic. They’re acidifying the oceans, wiping out innumerable ecosystems and species, while killing roughly 7 million people per *year* and making billions sick.

      Nuclear is the only serious replacement for fossil fuels. What’s more renewables have killed more in mining, installation & maintenance accidents than have ever died as a result of nuclear.

      Fighting tooth and nail against it because you can’t be bothered to make sure your opinions have any foundation in reality makes you complicit in climate change.

      1. JustPassingThrough says

        this is BS.
        people are dying in Fukushima.
        The CA beaches are littered with radioactive junk.
        The fish are suffering along the coast.
        We are talking alternative energy not fossile fuels.
        What’s the matter with you?
        Can’t you read?

        1. Shaun says

          Yes people are dying in Fukushima

          But not from radiation. Thousands died from a rushed evacuation because of radiophobia, and people are killing themselves and being harassed because the public aren’t being informed of the ACTUAL risk levels of radiation and they feel “tainted”.

          When you make claims that “Fukushima is completely uninhabitable” or “Chernobyl has killed hundreds of thousands of people”, you’re lying, because they are abjectly false, easily disprovable ideas, and you’re asserting that your being able to believe whatever you want is more important than having a grasp on the reality of a subject where millions of lives are at stake. When you do that you ruin the lives of people exposed to radiation stigma.

          Nuclear is the same format as fossil fuel stations, uses the same infrastructure, can provide high power 24/7 while producing the same carbon footprint as a wind farm. Fossil fuel pollution is killing millions of people annually, and poisoning billions. Chernobyl has killed fewer than 1000 people from radiation to date.

          It would take well over 100,000 Chernobyl accidents every year for a decade to do the same damage as fossil fuels cause under normal operation. Watt for watt, fewer people have been killed or made seriously ill by nuclear power than renewables. I can provide sources for that.

          Fighting nuclear power with arguments as verifiably wrong as “Fukushima is uninhabitable” means you’re lying about a solution which could have near ended climate change had we invested properly over the last 30 years, for no good reason.

          It’s worth remembering the ocean is vast, and home to more naturally occuring radiation than has been released from Fukushima. Hell nuclear reactors have been found in nature. Life on this planet has evolved to protect against ionising radiation, it’s but the main source of energy for life on earth after all, but not CO2 poisoning or climate change, two things nuclear prevents.

          If you want to argue with me about something that affects real lives and the real fate of the world, use actual facts instead of vague assertions with no basis in reality.

  6. stevek9 says

    Many people, myself included have made this point for decades. I no longer consider it worthwhile posting information … environmentalists are just going to have to figure it out, on their own. Some have done so. There are mountains of good information out there, written by people that actually know what they are talking about.

    1. Shaun says

      I’m one of those who did so. The day it occured to me that I hadn’t actually externally verified what I’d been told about nuclear was one that’ll stick with me. It’s a deeply sickening sensation when you realise exactly how warped public, and your own, perception of radiation is, and that the fight against nuclear you’ve put energy into is one of the main reasons climate change is such a clear and present threat. I blame the Simpsons for much of that.

      But part of being an adult is being able to question your beliefs and reassess them when incontrovertible facts incompatible with them come to light, regardless of whether that means admitting you were wrong.

  7. CHUCKMAN says

    Thanks for this.

    I especially like the comparisons with German windmills.

    Our corporate press is stuffed regularly with meaningless, unanalytical stories about the wonders of wind power and how it is making an increasing contribution to total generation.

    You can especially see that kind of advertising, offered as reporting, in Britain’s Guardian, and, to a lesser degree, The Independent. Canada’s national news source, CBC is addicted too.

    On the general topic, readers may enjoy:

    Note this from Wikipedia on German nuclear:

    ‘Within days of the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, large anti-nuclear protests occurred in Germany. Protests continued and, on 29 May 2011, Merkel’s government announced that it would close all of its nuclear power plants by 2022.’

    ‘Eight of the seventeen operating reactors in Germany were permanently shut down following Fukushima. Chancellor Angela Merkel said the nuclear power phase-out, previously scheduled to go offline as late as 2036, would give Germany a competitive advantage in the renewable energy era, stating, “As the first big industrialized nation, we can achieve such a transformation toward efficient and renewable energies, with all the opportunities that brings for exports, developing new technologies and jobs”‘

    1. Garry Compton says

      Good comment C Man – but nuclear power plants can be easily sabotaged by a certain type of subcontractor. And that could lead to catastrophic consequences. Blowing up a windmill – no biggy !

      1. DarkEyes says

        IMO, like they probably did in Japan / Fukushima.
        It looks like somebody had the opinion Japan had to be “punished” for something not clear yet.
        MSM is not talking about nuclear contamination of the Pacific Ocean, yet.

        1. Canosin says

          they won’t report….. never… might be part of a de-population plan…. no fish….. less humans in the countries bordering the Indo Pacific……. sarc

        2. Garry Compton says

          Japan made some deals with Iran – Israel/America didn’t like it, so they had to be punished, Israel was doing some work on Fukushima and planted some mini nukes { like they do everywhere they work}. They drilled into bedrock 120 klicks off the coast and planted a nuke. the charge went off but it was no 9.0 and they used a weapon to make a tsunami and timed that with the mini nukes. One reactor down that had the fuel rods out – blew up – can’t happen without a bomb device in the cell. Some very good engineers have discussed this already and I watched the Tsunami videos – no infrastructure had a 9.0 earthquake – no roads or bridges even saw damage and the people were still walking around when the water started coming in. No body would be standing around any water after a 9.0- esp. people on the coast. Since I’m Alaskan and know exactly what a 9 does. So they say – I like this version because it looked just like a perfect demolition ops. Spacibo

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.