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Calculating the true cost of electricity | Environment | DW.DE | 13.09.2012

Taking into account health and environmental damage, wind and solar power from new plants in Europe is actually cheaper than energy from coal and nuclear power plants, according to a new report.

Many people find it difficult to calculate the true cost of their electricity. Special duties, taxes and subsidies all add up to influence prices, not to mention the environmental and health costs that aren't included in the final calculations.

Researchers from Green Budget Germany (GBG) have taken a closer look at these extra costs in a recent study. Their work calculated, among other things, the environmental and health expenses related to available energy sources.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 04:16:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Haven't found the study yet, but Green Budget Germany (Green Budget Europe) is interesting. Here's just one:

Green Keynesianism

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 06:20:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the German Wind Association (funded the study with Greenpeace) press release.

If these costs were added up and passed on to consumers, the surcharge for conventional energy would be 10.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, nearly 3 times higher than the current surcharge for renewable power, according to the study "Was Strom wirklich kostet" conducted by Green Budget Germany on behalf of power provider Greenpeace Energy and the German Wind Energy Association (BWE).

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 06:26:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 14th, 2012 at 02:47:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merci, afew.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Sep 14th, 2012 at 03:06:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I notice in this report is that they don't really estimate the external costs of nuclear. What they write is the the estimates in the literature lie in the (enormous) range between 0.1 and 270 cents/kWh. And as they see no methodically valid way to pick a plausible value from this, they settle on conventionally using the value for the most dirty of the fossil fuels, lignite at 7.9 ct/kWh.

But, hey, this isn't methodologically valid either!

Using the most optimistic (and likely wrong) value, nuclear comes out at 5.0 ct/kWh, below wind and water -- but only slightly. Using the most pessimistic (and likely wrong too) value, nuclear goes off the scale.

A loose end in an otherwise interesting report. (What I would have done is take the median of literature values: this would be somewhat robust against both the unduly optimistic and unduly pessimistic results.)

by mustakissa on Fri Sep 14th, 2012 at 02:35:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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