The general message is clear: in France nuclear power works, in 2007 providing 77% of the electricity in the country and 47% of all nuclear electricity in the EU. “The requests by countries that wish to profit from that clean and cheap source of energy are legitimate”, claims French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. But does it really work that well and is it all that clean and cheap in France?
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The paper reviews the history and the economics of the French PWR program, which is arguably the most successful nuclear-scale up experience in an industrialized country. Key to this success was a unique institutional framework that allowed for centralized decision making, a high degree of standardization, and regulatory stability, all epitomized by comparatively short reactor construction times.
All Risk, No Reward for Taxpayers and Ratepayers: The Economics of Subsidizing the 'Nuclear Renaissance' with LGs and CWIP
As the projected costs of nuclear reactor construction have escalated, demand forelectricity has declined as result of the recession, and the cost of alternatives has plummeted, the nuclear industry has recognized that new nuclear reactors are simply uneconomic and impossible to fund in the capital markets. Seeking to override the verdict of the marketplace, the industry’s lobbying arm has demanded massive increases in subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers to underwrite the industry. It demands:
Of note: analysis contains a detailed summary of credit downgrades associated with the last waves of nuclear reactor construction.
While nuclear power remains a thorny political and policy issue today, the concept of building new facilities has gradually reawakened in recent years, offering a buffer against foreign energy dependence, unpredictable commodity prices, and heavily polluting fuel sources. As a result, several of the largest U.S. power companies in recent years have announced plans to pursue new nuclear generation.
Hundreds of government subsidies have fuelled the growth of ethanol and biodiesel in the USA, worth half or more their retail price. Cumulative costs under some mandate proposals exceed $1 trillion by 2030. Even using favourable assumptions, reduced greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels are far more expensive than other options: more than $100/mt CO2e even for cellulosic ethanol and nearly $300/mt CO2e for corn-based fuel. Despite rising concerns, environmental screens in existing subsidy policies remain weak or non-existent.
A number of energy and transportation projects have been proposed to promote the physical integration of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia's Amazon territories. The Madeira River Hydroelectric and Navigation Mega-project includes the construction of two hydroelectric power stations (HPS), Jirau and Santo Antônio, in Brazil, a third HPS between Abunã in Brazil and Guayaramerín in Bolivia, and probably a fourth at the Esperanza Falls on the Beni River in Bolivia.
All European countries provide fuel subsidies to their fisheries sector in one form or another. Those subsidies consist mostly of fuel tax exemptions, but there are also some other state aid and support schemes that play a role in reducing fuel costs for the fishing industry. This report analyses fuel subsidies and the impact it has on fish stocks and the fisheries sector in the EU. It is well documented that by reducing operating costs and thus enhancing fishing effort, fuel subsidies are increasing the fishing pressure on the target species and related species (e.g.
The Tasmanian forestry industries has received more than A$630 million in direct and indirect subsidies from 1997 to 2008. The study also found that despite the huge taxpayer funded subsides, which were intended to create jobs, that there have been steady job losses over the same period. The authors advocate a commercially-based industry, and that Forestry Tasmania deliver a commercial rate of return.
Detailed look at the hierarchy of subsidies within the US federal government, using the analogy of Dante's Inferno. A great summary when the article first appeared nearly 15 years ago, the core issues sadly remain as central challenges today.