Monday, September 03, 2007

Which costs more, coal or wind energy?

Which costs more, coal or wind energy?

Take the following power sources: wind, solar, nuclear, coal, hydroelectric.

See if you can rank them by cost -- from cheapest to most expensive.

While you are working it out, consider these points:

* Wind-power is unreliable, and its cost distorted by present government subsidies [those on the left argue that ALL power sources are subsidized by governments].

* Coal is a C02 emitter (just like you and me), so it's "bad".

* Nuclear power has low-to-zero C02 emissions. Logically, a person ought to be entitled to carbon credits by investing in nuclear technologies, but, since nuclear power is out of favour with environmentalists, I doubt that it works that way.

* In Canada, hydroelectric power was so dominant historically that we still refer to electricity as "hydro" and the electric bill as the "hydro bill".

OK, here's my ranking, based on an article by David Frum on energy costs in the National Post.

1. Coal. Carbon-emitting coal is the cheapest energy source. Coal plants are currently being built like crazy in China, and the Kyoto agreement so loved by Liberals exempts China from Kyoto. If that's not political, rather than scientific, I don't know what is.

2. Hydroelectric Power. A great energy source.

3. Nuclear. Carbon-friendly, but there's the cost of mining the uranium, the issue of disposing of nuclear waste, and the security threat associated with terrorism.

4. Wind-power. Clean, but unreliable.

5. Solar. Clean, but expensive.


a. I had to guess on the order between nuclear and wind-power. Mr. Frum simply says that nuclear costs more than coal and hydro, and wind-power costs twice as much as coal. Environmentalists argue that when the security costs of nuclear are thrown in, wind-power becomes cheaper.

b. David Frum didn't mention solar power, but I scanned articles on the subject, and solar was presented as a more-expensive source of energy.

* * *

Remember: "this is my Father's world". We are here as stewards. But also consider this: it is God who put the coal and oil and natural gas in the ground -- did he not do so for our use and benefit?

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

1 comment:

itsboopchile said...

I have never really thought about heating. I grew up in the South and then when I married I moved up to the cold North.
I found I like wood heat. We have had fireplaces and wood stoves but have neither now and I really missed the warm wood heat last winter.
Being in Canada you must know what I mean.
Betty G

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"