Monday, August 11, 2008

When You Hear About Wind Subsidies ...

... Here is a useful factoid to keep in mind:

It took nuclear power 10 years to go from <0.1% to 1% of U.S. electricity generation, then an additional 23 years to go from 1% to 20% (23 years sounds a lot like 20% wind by 2030, and wind is at just over 1% today). This achievement by nuclear power occurred with essentially full government support, R&D (research & development) incentives of approximately $50-60 billion over that period (in 2003$), plus the government limiting the financial liability from a major accident through the Price-Anderson Act.

Today, nuclear power is a valuable and significant part of the U.S. electric power system, but it's important to understand that its development did not come about solely through free market forces. Substantial and persistent government assistance played a critical role.


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