The claim that U.S. government energy subsidies favor nuclear energy over renewables (hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal) is not factual (DOE-EIA). From 1950-2006, total federal support chained to constant 2006 dollars (DOE-EIA) was $726 billion. Subsidies provided $529 billion for fossil fuels, $132 billion for renewables, and $65 billion for nuclear. Subsidies included tax relief ($326 billion), regulations ($142 billion), research and development ($135 billion), market activity, government service, and disbursements ($122 billion). The primary subsidy for nuclear energy has been research and development.
Actual electrical energy generated shows that wind and solar incurred taxpayer subsidies at $3.55/kWh (kilowatt hour), coal at 1.53 mils/kwh, nuclear at 3.8 mils/kWh and hydro at 5.88 mils/kWh. The average cost of U.S. electrical energy in 2006 was 91 mils/kWh, so electricity from coal was subsidized at 1.7 percent, nuclear at 4.2 percent, hydro at 6.5 percent. Renewables was at 390 percent. The subsidy for solar photo voltaic to produce 0.01 percent of U.S. electricity was $4.43/kWh, or 49 times the average cost of a kWh of electricity. Past subsidization of renewable energy is exorbitant and unsustainable by ratepayers.
Gary M. Sandquist
Salt Lake City