Diverting indirect subsidies from the nuclear industry to the photovoltaic industry: Energy and financial returns
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Nuclear power and solar photovoltaic energy conversion often compete for policy support that governs economic viability. This paper compares current subsidization of the nuclear industry with providing equivalent support to manufacturing photovoltaic modules. Current U.S. indirect nuclear insurance subsidies are reviewed and the power, energy and financial outcomes of this indirect subsidy are compared to equivalent amounts for indirect subsidies (loan guarantees) for photovoltaic manufacturing using a model that holds economic values constant for clarity. The preliminary analysis indicates that if only this one relatively ignored indirect subsidy for nuclear power was diverted to photovoltaic manufacturing, it would result in more installed power and more energy produced by mid-century. By 2110 cumulative electricity output of solar would provide an additional 48,600. TWh over nuclear worth $5.3 trillion. The results clearly show that not only does the indirect insurance liability subsidy play a significant factor for nuclear industry, but also how the transfer of such an indirect subsidy from the nuclear to photovoltaic industry would result in more energy over the life cycle of the technologies. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.