Wind Tax Windfalls, Nuclear Tax Burdens

This Week in Nuclear Episode #78 – MP3 File In this episode of This Week in Nuclear I interview Joseph Somsel, the author of “How Taxes Pervert Our Energy Choices”.  Our discussion covered a wide range of topics including: How favorably short depreciation schedules for wind have created a “gold mine” for investors, virtually independent of how much electricity the wind turbines produce. How nuclear investors would benefit if new nuclear plants received the same treatment as new wind turbines. How tax law have created hidden massive subsidies for wind energy, but added tax burdens for nuclear. A creative option for funding the industrial infrastructure needed for nuclear fuel cycling. Comparisons of the lifetime energy provided by similar investments in wind and nuclear. Who pays for new transmission lines to support new wind turbines and new nuclear plants. What do nuclear loan guarantees actually guarantee? Be sure to read some of Mr. Somsel’s other works.  Here are a couple of places to start: The American Thinker Energy Pulse John...

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Nuclear Energy’s Tiny Environmental Footprint

Fast Fission Podcast #12 – MP3 File I recently came across a fascinating study that was done by five researchers from The Nature Conservancy.  If you have not heard of them before, the Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people The study compares the impact to natural habitats in the United States of various types of new energy development.  They refer to this as the “land use intensity” of energy, and it is measured in energy produced for a given land area.  Specifically, they estimated the amount of land that will be needed for the USA to meet energy demands by the year 2030 for various energy sources.   The group is concerned that the build out of new energy sources to meet growing demand and combat climate change could cause what they refer to as “energy sprawl” with detrimental impact to natural habitats.  It turns out, there is a lot to worry about! The results?  It takes on average 72 square kilometers of land to provide one megawatt of energy for one year when wind turbines are used.  Solar energy is better at 15 to 37 square kilometers, depending on the technology used.  Nuclear energy has the lowest impact on land use of ANY energy source.  In fact, nuclear energy has about one sixth the impact of solar thermal generation, and one thirtieth the impact of wind generation.  It takes just 2.4 square KM, or about one square mile to provide one megawatt of electricity for one year when that energy is derived from nuclear energy.  This is a great example of how the incredible energy density of nuclear energy provides benefits to...

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