Think solar and wind are cheap alternatives to coal power plants? Per this paper from Peter Lang, Emission Cuts Realities – Electricity Generation they’re not as cheap as you think, not to mention as feasible.
Five options for cutting CO2 emissions from electricity generation in Australia are compared with a “Business as Usual‟ option over the period 2010 to 2050. The six options comprise combinations of coal, gas, nuclear, wind and solar thermal technologies.
The conclusions: The nuclear option reduces CO2 emissions the most, is the only option that can be built quickly enough to make the deep emissions cuts required, and is the least cost of the options that can cut emissions sustainably. Solar thermal and wind power are the highest cost of the options considered. The cost of avoiding emissions is lowest with nuclear and highest with solar and wind power.
Peter Lang is a retired geologist and engineer with 40 years experience on a wide range of energy projects throughout the world, including managing energy R&D and providing policy advice for government and opposition. His experience includes: coal, oil, gas, hydro, geothermal, nuclear power plants, nuclear waste disposal, and a wide range of energy end use management projects
I hope you enjoy his paper, which goes to show you again, that the people in charge need to start looking before they’re leaping. Per this paper they’re wasting time and money on boondoggles, when they should be building nuclear power plants that will reduce CO2 with the best cost-benefit and quickest effect.