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The Market For Energy Is Widening. Coal And Nuclear Are Becoming Less Competitive And Solar And Wind Are Becoming More Competitive With Natural Gas

ArmchairPolitiicianEnergy, December 3, 2017, by Brad Peery,

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President Trump is trying to save coal and nuclear power, presumably because he believes they are more safe at times of national catastrophe. He is proposing subsidies to reward their presumed reliability. Solar and wind are variable because of the variability of their source, wind and the sun. The Trump policies are facing the challenges of a U.S. energy generation industry that is about flat in terms of demand

The recovery of inexpensive natural gas from shale deposits has been a driver in the electrical energy distribution market. However, this is being matched by the declines in the cost of the renewables solar and wind.
Power Shift Drives a Slide in Prices, Wall Street Journal, by Erin Ailworth and Russell Gold, November 30, 2017

The main drivers of the energy industry are the fact that energy usage is not growing because of such things as more energy efficient devices, such as home appliances. Also businesses and homeowners are doing things such as using solar power on their facilities and homes to reduce their energy demands from energy providers.

Older energy facilities, particularly coal and nuclear plants, are being retired because they are not cost competitive. According to Lazard, an investment banker, it costs $60 per megawatt of power, on average. This compares with $102 for a coal burning plant, and about $150 per megawatt hour for a nuclear powered plant. However, there are two nuclear plants in Georgia that are struggling to be completed.

Wind and solar power costs are competitive with natural gas in many regions of the U.S. According to Lazard, utility grade crystalline solar sells for $49.50 per megawatt-hour (MWH) and wind is about $45 MWH. Natural gas, in the recent past, was used as a base power source that could handle peak loads. Natural gas can still be used to fill in at the times when solar and wind are not generating power. The three provide a very cost effective and reliable long term source of power when the power generating facilities are planned in a way to mitigate the variability of solar and wind.

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion
The energy market directions for coal and nuclear power are not likely to be changed by the Trump administration. The costs of solar and wind are competitive with natural gas. Coal is the big environmental polluter, although the nuclear waste disposal issue is unresolved, and it needs to be stored safely for 10,000 years. China continues to build coal power plants, and exports of coal to China may help the U.S. coal industry through 1930, but after that coal will likely resume its death spiral. The only hope for nuclear power is the smaller plants that are being developed by early stage companies that might sell such plants internationally.

See:
ArmchairPolitiicianNuclearPower, November 20, 2017, by Brad Peery,
Is Nuclear Power Vital To The U.S. Energy Industry?

See Also:
ArmchairPolitiicianEnergy, September 10, 2017, by Brad Peery,
Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) From The U.S. Should Be Able To Capitalize On The Growing Worldwide Market For LNG.

ArmchairPolitiicianCleanEnergy, July 7, 2017, by Brad Peery, ArmchairPolitician.US@gmail.com, www.ArmchairPolitician.US
Trump Promotes Coal And Nuclear Energy-Clean Energy Will Continue To Grow, But Coal and LNG Exports Should Increase

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