What a World Without Nuclear Looks Like

In a word, expensive.

Platts reports that electricity prices in California jumped 70% during the first half of 2013, year-on-year. Much of the increase apparently related to shut-down of the San Onofre nuclear generating station.

Power prices in the “Southern California” grid affected by the San Onofre outage surged by $4.29 per megawatt hour. Compared to an overall decrease of $3.65 per megawatt hour in neighbouring and unaffected grids like San Diego.

The rising prices in the Southern California zone look to be a direct result of the lost nuke. The California Independent System Operator Department of Market Monitoring reports that power imports to this zone have been rising to fill the gap. Causing “congestion” on this grid during 51% of operating hours.

Residents here however, asked to have it this way. The San Onofre nuclear plant was shut down in early 2012 after premature wear was discovered on some of its tubing. The plant’s operator, Southern California Edison, had been trying to re-start the facility since. But protests from local communities had delayed the process.

Edison gave up on a re-start in June. After Friends of the Earth won a decision with the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board saying that an adjudicatory public hearing would be needed before the facility could operate again.

Amid the protest, the plant will now be retired completely. Causing the results noted above.

Interesting to see just how much going non-nuclear can cost.

Here’s to keeping the lights on,

Dave Forest

dforest@piercepoints.com / @piercepoints / Facebook

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