China adds nuclear energy and US courts allow state subsidy laws

The Haiyang 2 AP1000 in China is the fourth AP1000 nuclear energy reactor to be connected to the electricity grid. Sanmen 1 became the first AP1000 to begin commercial operation in September, 2018.

China has 1750 Gigawatts of power generation. Nuclear power has a high utilization rate. It is about 4 times the utilization level of wind in China and double the level of hydroelectric dams.

40 gigawatts of nuclear power is equal to 160 gigawatts of wind or 80 gigawatts of hydroelectric. Wind power is at about 175 gigawatts in China. The overall electrical power generation of nuclear power in China is within about 10% of the power generation of wind. Nuclear power also generates heat which can be used for industrial processes.

Sanmen 2, Haiyang 1 and Haiyang 2 are connected to the grid. They will all be started later in 2018 or in 2019.

US Nuclear Energy getting good news and help

In Georgia, the Vogtle AP1000 reactors will continue construction.

Vogtle 3 is currently scheduled to enter service by November 2021 and unit 4 by November 2022.

Two US federal courts of appeals last month upheld very similar state laws in Illinois and New York aimed at subsidizing those states’ under-performing and at-risk nuclear power plants.

Two of Exelon Corporations’ nuclear generation facilities were close to being closed because the zero-emission value of nuclear generation was not being recognized, the Illinois legislature passed the Future Energy Jobs Act.

The Illinois Power Agency subsidy program requires generators that use coal or natural gas to buy zero-emissions credits (ZECs) from nuclear power plants. The price of each credit was set at $16.50 per megawatt-hour. The price of ZECs under the program goes down if average annual energy prices on the market exceed a set cap.

Exelon Nuclear, a division of Exelon Generation, operates the largest fleet of nuclear plants in America. They have 22 reactors which are clean, zero-carbon and always-on: an ideal foundation for a clean energy future.

Nuclear energy emits no greenhouse gases (GHG), making it a clean power source. Right now, nuclear plants are helping address climate change, providing 20 percent of the nation’s electricity and 60 percent of its clean, zero-carbon energy.

Nuclear power dominates in clean energy and also reliability. It meets the demand for an uninterrupted flow of electricity for extended periods, in even extreme weather conditions. This steady, around-the-clock performance means more reliable service for customers and communities.

Exelon’s nuclear reactors have 94.1 percent capacity factor.

If America is to achieve its 80 percent reduction goal in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, nuclear energy needs to be part of the solution.

Zero emission credits support clean nuclear energy

Zero-emission credits are payments to compensate nuclear power for not emitting greenhouse gases in the production of electricity. ZECs are modeled after credit programs in many states that support renewable energy production. Like renewable energy credits (RECs) that are generated by wind and solar generators and sold to utilities. ZECs are credits generated with each megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity produced by the plants. Just as wind, solar and other non-emitting generators have been compensated through REC programs, ZECs have been established for nuclear energy production, specifically for those plants facing imminent closure.

The Clinton Power Station in central Illinois and the Quad Cities Generating Station on the Mississippi River were saved. These plants support around 4,200 direct jobs and $1.2 billion in economic activity in the state.

The nuclear plants in New York were also saved.

This is the model for saving reactors in Pennsylvania and other areas.

By Brian Wang of Nextbigfuture.com

45 thoughts on “China adds nuclear energy and US courts allow state subsidy laws”

  1. Nuke generators in the mid Atlantic on PJM break even today at ~$30/MWh. Inflation marches on and rates stay low. Nobody is going to stay open to break even. The new legislation that is soon to go into effect in New Jersey basically puts a floor on the cost of electricity – the “subsidy” is variable and involves state proctologists going through the books before the utility receives compensation. Three eighths of NJ generation is nuclear – not a good idea to let gas put it out of business. Unreliables are no competition in NJ, a generally flat land that is overcast 60% of the time.

    Reply
  2. Though… in a political environment where “about to be closed” powerstations might get subsidised if they are lucky, it might be a good idea to pretend that a famous power station is about to close, even if it isn’t.

    Reply
  3. Do hydro, wind and solar also get to sell Clean Energy credits? Power plant capacity are sold and bought. Even with that nuclear energy is still so expensive that they have to be saved. BTW, I don’t disagreed with saving the nuclear power plants since Climate Change is a bigger threat. And I would even support building new nuclear power plant but only as a 1G to 1G replacement to coal power plants. And I would even agree to the government subsidizing the cost of generation.

    Reply
  4. Nuke generators in the mid Atlantic on PJM break even today at ~$30/MWh. Inflation marches on and rates stay low. Nobody is going to stay open to break even. The new legislation that is soon to go into effect in New Jersey basically puts a floor on the cost of electricity – the subsidy”” is variable and involves state proctologists going through the books before the utility receives compensation. Three eighths of NJ generation is nuclear – not a good idea to let gas put it out of business. Unreliables are no competition in NJ”””” a generally flat land that is overcast 60{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the time.”””

    Reply
  5. Though… in a political environment where about to be closed”” powerstations might get subsidised if they are lucky”” it might be a good idea to pretend that a famous power station is about to close”” even if it isn’t.”””

    Reply
  6. Do hydro wind and solar also get to sell Clean Energy credits? Power plant capacity are sold and bought. Even with that nuclear energy is still so expensive that they have to be saved. BTW I don’t disagreed with saving the nuclear power plants since Climate Change is a bigger threat. And I would even support building new nuclear power plant but only as a 1G to 1G replacement to coal power plants. And I would even agree to the government subsidizing the cost of generation.

    Reply
  7. If the Indian Point nuclear plants in New York close, as Governor Cuomo plans to do, the massive amounts of carbon dioxide that would be released by their gas plant replacements would completely negate all the environmental benefits of the wind turbines and solar panels New Yorkers have spent large sums of money on. The sequence is simple: “Close nuclear, lose renewable” and this is happening all around the country. Why isn’t the environmental community speaking out?

    Reply
  8. If the Indian Point nuclear plants in New York close as Governor Cuomo plans to do the massive amounts of carbon dioxide that would be released by their gas plant replacements would completely negate all the environmental benefits of the wind turbines and solar panels New Yorkers have spent large sums of money on. The sequence is simple: Close nuclear”” lose renewable”” and this is happening all around the country. Why isn’t the environmental community speaking out?”””

    Reply
  9. All the operating nukes were built since the 1960s… “even without a lot of additional nuclear” is an incorrect statement. They were quite profitable for the first 10 years of “deregulated market”.

    Reply
  10. I like nuclear energy, but not sure it makes sense for ratepayers to subsidize them heavily. CO2 per unit of real GDP has dropped two-thirds in the US since the 1960s, even without a lot of additional nuclear, and last year total US CO2 emissions dropped 2.6 percent (unlike Europe, which rose) despite a strong economy.

    Reply
  11. All the operating nukes were built since the 1960s… even without a lot of additional nuclear”” is an incorrect statement.They were quite profitable for the first 10 years of “”””deregulated market””””.”””

    Reply
  12. I like nuclear energy but not sure it makes sense for ratepayers to subsidize them heavily. CO2 per unit of real GDP has dropped two-thirds in the US since the 1960s even without a lot of additional nuclear and last year total US CO2 emissions dropped 2.6 percent (unlike Europe which rose) despite a strong economy.

    Reply
  13. The nuclear power plant are between 30 and 40 years old. They are reaching End of Life without major refurbishment. New nukes won’t be as cheap and they will be difficult to build in New Jersey. So it will be natural gas power plants and unreliables.

    Reply
  14. The nuclear power plant are between 30 and 40 years old. They are reaching End of Life without major refurbishment. New nukes won’t be as cheap and they will be difficult to build in New Jersey. So it will be natural gas power plants and unreliables.

    Reply
  15. Our Climate Change isn’t temporary. The Change is getting worse and worse. A large part of the world is at the edge of survival of 100F and 90% humidity. A 5C increase in temperature just isn’t survivable. And there is no guarantee that the increase will stop at 5C. There are potential feed forward effects like methane gas release from melting permafrost that could quickly get us 10C increase.

    Reply
  16. Our Climate Change isn’t temporary. The Change is getting worse and worse. A large part of the world is at the edge of survival of 100F and 90{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} humidity. A 5C increase in temperature just isn’t survivable. And there is no guarantee that the increase will stop at 5C. There are potential feed forward effects like methane gas release from melting permafrost that could quickly get us 10C increase.

    Reply
  17. Our Climate Change isn’t temporary. The Change is getting worse and worse. A large part of the world is at the edge of survival of 100F and 90% humidity. A 5C increase in temperature just isn’t survivable. And there is no guarantee that the increase will stop at 5C. There are potential feed forward effects like methane gas release from melting permafrost that could quickly get us 10C increase.

    Reply
  18. Our Climate Change isn’t temporary. The Change is getting worse and worse. A large part of the world is at the edge of survival of 100F and 90{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} humidity. A 5C increase in temperature just isn’t survivable. And there is no guarantee that the increase will stop at 5C. There are potential feed forward effects like methane gas release from melting permafrost that could quickly get us 10C increase.

    Reply
  19. The nuclear power plant are between 30 and 40 years old. They are reaching End of Life without major refurbishment. New nukes won’t be as cheap and they will be difficult to build in New Jersey. So it will be natural gas power plants and unreliables.

    Reply
  20. The nuclear power plant are between 30 and 40 years old. They are reaching End of Life without major refurbishment. New nukes won’t be as cheap and they will be difficult to build in New Jersey. So it will be natural gas power plants and unreliables.

    Reply
  21. Our Climate Change isn’t temporary. The Change is getting worse and worse. A large part of the world is at the edge of survival of 100F and 90% humidity. A 5C increase in temperature just isn’t survivable. And there is no guarantee that the increase will stop at 5C. There are potential feed forward effects like methane gas release from melting permafrost that could quickly get us 10C increase.

    Reply
  22. The nuclear power plant are between 30 and 40 years old. They are reaching End of Life without major refurbishment. New nukes won’t be as cheap and they will be difficult to build in New Jersey. So it will be natural gas power plants and unreliables.

    Reply
  23. ” Do hydro, wind and solar also get to sell Clean Energy credits? ” <-- Not only yes, but if you'd read the damn thing you'd know only nuclear was inadvertently excluded! " since Climate Change is a bigger threat " <-- Non-threat. Even if AGW was happening, we are colder than the halcyon days of the Roman and Medieval Optimums...

    Reply
  24. All the operating nukes were built since the 1960s… “even without a lot of additional nuclear” is an incorrect statement. They were quite profitable for the first 10 years of “deregulated market”.

    Reply
  25. All the operating nukes were built since the 1960s… even without a lot of additional nuclear”” is an incorrect statement.They were quite profitable for the first 10 years of “”””deregulated market””””.”””

    Reply
  26. I like nuclear energy, but not sure it makes sense for ratepayers to subsidize them heavily. CO2 per unit of real GDP has dropped two-thirds in the US since the 1960s, even without a lot of additional nuclear, and last year total US CO2 emissions dropped 2.6 percent (unlike Europe, which rose) despite a strong economy.

    Reply
  27. I like nuclear energy but not sure it makes sense for ratepayers to subsidize them heavily. CO2 per unit of real GDP has dropped two-thirds in the US since the 1960s even without a lot of additional nuclear and last year total US CO2 emissions dropped 2.6 percent (unlike Europe which rose) despite a strong economy.

    Reply
  28. If the Indian Point nuclear plants in New York close, as Governor Cuomo plans to do, the massive amounts of carbon dioxide that would be released by their gas plant replacements would completely negate all the environmental benefits of the wind turbines and solar panels New Yorkers have spent large sums of money on. The sequence is simple: “Close nuclear, lose renewable” and this is happening all around the country. Why isn’t the environmental community speaking out?

    Reply
  29. If the Indian Point nuclear plants in New York close as Governor Cuomo plans to do the massive amounts of carbon dioxide that would be released by their gas plant replacements would completely negate all the environmental benefits of the wind turbines and solar panels New Yorkers have spent large sums of money on. The sequence is simple: Close nuclear”” lose renewable”” and this is happening all around the country. Why isn’t the environmental community speaking out?”””

    Reply
  30. All the operating nukes were built since the 1960s… “even without a lot of additional nuclear” is an incorrect statement.

    They were quite profitable for the first 10 years of “deregulated market”.

    Reply
  31. I like nuclear energy, but not sure it makes sense for ratepayers to subsidize them heavily. CO2 per unit of real GDP has dropped two-thirds in the US since the 1960s, even without a lot of additional nuclear, and last year total US CO2 emissions dropped 2.6 percent (unlike Europe, which rose) despite a strong economy.

    Reply
  32. If the Indian Point nuclear plants in New York close, as Governor Cuomo plans to do, the massive amounts of carbon dioxide that would be released by their gas plant replacements would completely negate all the environmental benefits of the wind turbines and solar panels New Yorkers have spent large sums of money on.
    The sequence is simple: “Close nuclear, lose renewable” and this is happening all around the country. Why isn’t the environmental community speaking out?

    Reply
  33. Nuke generators in the mid Atlantic on PJM break even today at ~$30/MWh. Inflation marches on and rates stay low. Nobody is going to stay open to break even. The new legislation that is soon to go into effect in New Jersey basically puts a floor on the cost of electricity – the “subsidy” is variable and involves state proctologists going through the books before the utility receives compensation. Three eighths of NJ generation is nuclear – not a good idea to let gas put it out of business. Unreliables are no competition in NJ, a generally flat land that is overcast 60% of the time.

    Reply
  34. Nuke generators in the mid Atlantic on PJM break even today at ~$30/MWh. Inflation marches on and rates stay low. Nobody is going to stay open to break even. The new legislation that is soon to go into effect in New Jersey basically puts a floor on the cost of electricity – the subsidy”” is variable and involves state proctologists going through the books before the utility receives compensation. Three eighths of NJ generation is nuclear – not a good idea to let gas put it out of business. Unreliables are no competition in NJ”””” a generally flat land that is overcast 60{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the time.”””

    Reply
  35. Though… in a political environment where “about to be closed” powerstations might get subsidised if they are lucky, it might be a good idea to pretend that a famous power station is about to close, even if it isn’t.

    Reply
  36. Though… in a political environment where about to be closed”” powerstations might get subsidised if they are lucky”” it might be a good idea to pretend that a famous power station is about to close”” even if it isn’t.”””

    Reply
  37. Do hydro, wind and solar also get to sell Clean Energy credits? Power plant capacity are sold and bought. Even with that nuclear energy is still so expensive that they have to be saved. BTW, I don’t disagreed with saving the nuclear power plants since Climate Change is a bigger threat. And I would even support building new nuclear power plant but only as a 1G to 1G replacement to coal power plants. And I would even agree to the government subsidizing the cost of generation.

    Reply
  38. Do hydro wind and solar also get to sell Clean Energy credits? Power plant capacity are sold and bought. Even with that nuclear energy is still so expensive that they have to be saved. BTW I don’t disagreed with saving the nuclear power plants since Climate Change is a bigger threat. And I would even support building new nuclear power plant but only as a 1G to 1G replacement to coal power plants. And I would even agree to the government subsidizing the cost of generation.

    Reply
  39. Nuke generators in the mid Atlantic on PJM break even today at ~$30/MWh. Inflation marches on and rates stay low. Nobody is going to stay open to break even. The new legislation that is soon to go into effect in New Jersey basically puts a floor on the cost of electricity – the “subsidy” is variable and involves state proctologists going through the books before the utility receives compensation. Three eighths of NJ generation is nuclear – not a good idea to let gas put it out of business. Unreliables are no competition in NJ, a generally flat land that is overcast 60% of the time.

    Reply
  40. Though… in a political environment where “about to be closed” powerstations might get subsidised if they are lucky, it might be a good idea to pretend that a famous power station is about to close, even if it isn’t.

    Reply
  41. Do hydro, wind and solar also get to sell Clean Energy credits?

    Power plant capacity are sold and bought. Even with that nuclear energy is still so expensive that they have to be saved.

    BTW, I don’t disagreed with saving the nuclear power plants since Climate Change is a bigger threat. And I would even support building new nuclear power plant but only as a 1G to 1G replacement to coal power plants. And I would even agree to the government subsidizing the cost of generation.

    Reply

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