Opinion: The energy transition Ontario really needs is to nuclear – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – June 9, 2023)


When you factor in its reliability, nuclear is cheaper than solar or wind, which are available only intermittently

If Ontario wants to keep its lights on and its economy stable, it needs to abandon the fantasy that wind and solar power can make a meaningful contribution to its energy needs. In the absence of untapped hydroelectric sites, the provincial government’s determination to outlaw fossil fuels in pursuit of an all-electric society means Ontario has no choice but to go nuclear.

Large-scale wind and solar have never been competitive, despite the narrative since the first Earth Day in 1970 that plummeting costs eventually would see them overtake fossil fuels. Today, a half century later, wind and solar in Ontario remain two to four times as expensive as nuclear, four to eight times as expensive as hydroelectricity, and 10 to 20 times as expensive as fossil fuels would be in a free market.

The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 illustrates the abject failure of renewables to become competitive. It not only requires taxpayers to subsidize 50 per cent of the renewables’ capital costs, it also provides a subsidy of 2.6 cents per kilowatt-hour produced, which coincidentally matches the 2.6 cents per kwh that the Energy Information Agency claims to be the cost of new wind power.

Put another way, the U.S. government evidently believes it needs to pay wind power producers more than 100 per cent of their costs to make it worth their while to remain in the wind business.

For the rest of this column: https://financialpost.com/opinion/opinion-the-energy-transition-ontario-really-needs-is-to-nuclear