by Brian Balfour
Senior Vice President of Research, John Locke Foundation
A new study released today by the John Locke Foundation spells out just how superior nuclear and natural gas are in achieving carbon emission reduction goals for the state.
Relying more heavily on solar and wind is “an expensive, wasteful, and risky means of achieving the state’s emissions goal,” according to the study.
In terms of affordability, efficiency, reliability and yes, environmental concerns, nuclear and natural gas blow solar and wind out of the water.
Specifically, the study evaluates Duke Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) alternatives to achieve the state’s “Clean Energy Plan” devised by the Department of Environmental Quality; then compares those plans to plans relying less on solar and wind and more on nuclear and natural gas.
As Locke’s Jon Sanders recently pointed out, “With the state’s top source being nuclear, and its second-leading source now being natural gas … North Carolina’s GHG emissions have been falling all century — dramatically.”
The new study highlights some eye-popping contrasts between nuclear and natural gas vs. wind and solar:
The study concludes “Expanded utilization of nuclear energy and natural gas would provide better pathways to emissions reduction than the wind, solar, and battery storage scenarios preferred by Governor Cooper and the Department of Environmental Quality.”
The study’s findings should be top of mind for legislators as they consider House Bill 951, the “Modernize Energy Generation” bill.