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The US government is providing the company Abengoa Solar with $ 1,45 billion in loan guarantees to kick-start the construction of the largest solar power plant in the world in Arizona at Gila Bend near Phoenix. The Solana project will have the capacity to generate 280 MW of power. This will provide 100 permanent jobs and 1,500 temporary construction jobs. This is a smart move. America needs hundreds more plants like this. Solar energy is the answer – not nuclear.

The deserts on earth receive more energy from the sun in six hours than humans consume in a year! Not to tap this endless source is just stupid. We have deserts on all continents and more than 90% of the world's population live less than 2,000 miles away form a desert.

If we could bet on only one source of renewable energy, solar would be it. We have sunlight for about half a day on average. Heat absorbed during the day can be released at light and so keep the plant running 24 hours a day.

It’s not cheap but it’s getting cheaper every year and it is definitely much cheaper than nuclear. The average nuclear plant has the capacity to generate 1GW of power, about 4 times Solana’s capacity. We would need to build 4 Solanas with the total price tag of $ 6 billion to generate 1 GW. How much does a 1GW nuclear power plant cost?

Interesting: no body can say for sure. There are project estimates, but until it’s finally built, the total costs are anyone’s guess. Here some estimates for nuclear plants in construction in the US:

Cost estimate: $ 4.7 billion
Location: Florida
Last budget update: March 2008
Operator: Progress Energy

Cost estimate: $ 4.9 billion
Location: South Carolina
Last budget update: May 2008
Operator: South Carolina Electric and Gas Co.

Cost estimate: $ 5.5 billion
Location: South Carolina
Last budget update: November 2008
Operator: Duke Energy Carolinas

Cost estimate: $ 5 to 9 billion
Location: Alabama
Last budget update: November 2008
Operator: Tennessee Valley Authority

Cost estimate: $ 8.5 billion
Location: Georgia
Last budget update: April 2008
Operator: Georgia Power Company

The costs for the disposal of atomic waste are not included!

Solar is competitive not only in costs:

Solar is safer: If a solar power plant is completely destroyed by an earthquake or a terrorist attack, the damage will be restricted to the site. You can’t say the same about an atomic power plant...

Solar produces no waste: we have been producing nuclear energy for civilian use for more than half a century now and no country has solved the problem of waste disposal in a satisfactory way yet – maybe because the problem can’t be solved? While we wait, more waste is being produced every year...

Solar can be deployed everywhere: one can use photovoltaic technology to power vehicles, airplanes, satellites, drones, etc.

The nuclear industry has been using the issue of climate change to reposition uranium as a “clean” fuel that doesn’t produce carbon dioxide and therefore is “good for the environment.” That’s nonsense.

Solar is better, cheaper, and safer. Let the sunshine in!


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