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Nuclear Plants Produce Lower Cost Power Than Other Forms of New Clean Energy, Such as Wind and Solar, October 7, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, nuclear industry, Payette County.
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BOISE, Idaho, Oct 4, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — Even as the world searches for clean, reliable sources of electricity, some critics say that one possible answer–nuclear power–won’t work because it is too expensive. “Nuclear power is quite uneconomic in the U.S., far more costly than a wide range of low-carbon alternatives, not to mention conventional sources of electricity,” argues Mark Cooper, senior fellow for economic analysis at Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and Environment, in a recent report. However, AEHI has seen no documented evidence that Mr. Cooper has experience designing, building or operating any energy plants and the Pro Nuclear Democrats website indicate his “study has been debunked and taken to task by many.”

“Cooper and other nuclear critics are wrong,” says Don Gillispie, CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (otcqb:AEHI) /quotes/comstock/11i!aehi (AEHI 0.82, +0.02, +1.99%) . “It’s time to expose the myth that nuclear power is more costly than wind, solar and other renewables. In fact, nuclear power can successfully compete even with inexpensive coal-fired electricity. Further, I can tell you that the first question from informed investors regarding renewables is, ‘What are the subsidies?’ The question arises because renewable power sources have proven unprofitable without taxpayer funding. Germany’s large wind power projects would not be possible without government subsidies. Many U.S. states are mandating a percentage of their power come from renewables which is effectively another high tax on electricity consumers.”

A 45-year veteran of the nuclear industry, Gillispie has the experience and numbers to back up his assertions. His company is preparing to build two big 1700-megawatt (MWe) nuclear plants in Payette County, Idaho that will produce electricity more cheaply than new wind and solar can, by a long shot.

Nuclear critics like Cooper calculate that the cost of one new 1700 MWe nuclear power plant is $10 billion or more. At that price, electricity from the plant would cost at least 16 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) according to Cooper. That’s far higher than the 3-5 cent cost of coal power (though that will increase to 10 cents or more with tougher coming emissions standards). It’s higher than the widely claimed figures of 8-10 cents for wind or 12-18 cents for big solar thermal plants including subsidies.

“Don’t believe it,” says Gillispie. “First of all, one of the big untold stories is that renewables are much more expensive than these figures indicate. For instance, it costs more than $10 billion to build 1700 MWe worth of wind or large-scale solar, but renewables only operate a fraction of the time, so the cost per MWe is far higher,” Gillispie explains. “The real price of wind is more like 16-20 cents per kWhr without subsidies. Solar is more than 20 cents. A lot of games are being played to make renewables look sweeter than they are including ignoring subsidies,” Gillispie says.

Even environmental activist and attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. agrees that electricity from new wind farms is more than twice the price of competing alternatives. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/opinion/16kennedy.html?_r=1

In addition, the typical wind farm or solar installation has a planned life of 15-20 years. A nuclear plant can operate for 60-100 years. “That means capital costs for nuclear plants can be amortized over many more years, reducing the overall costs per kWhr,” says Gillispie.

Most importantly, the price of nuclear plants is far lower than critics like Cooper estimate. “My company is on track to build not one, but two, large plants in Idaho for $9 – $10 billion,” Gillispie says. Reasons for the lower price tag include competition as new suppliers enter the market, which is lowering the capital cost, and the fact that key components are being built in Asia, where manufacturing costs are lower.

“The power from these new plants would cost 4-5 cents per kWh and based on today’s market, the carbon credits it creates could be sold for hundreds of millions of dollars as well,” says Gillispie, “This makes nuclear competitive with coal, with a decided clean-air advantage, since coal is the single biggest contributor of global warming in the world not to mention heavy metals like mercury and other lung damaging particles. And the price of nuclear power alone makes it a huge bargain over wind and solar. Further, we must have baseload electricity, which means large, highly reliable sources of power that renewables can’t deliver and if we don’t build clean low cost nuclear plants it will be more of the same; pollution from toxic coal plants that are already being planned because of the current nuclear plant delays.”

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (http://www.AlternateEnergyHoldings.com) — Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The company is the nation’s only independent nuclear power plant developer seeking to build new power plants in multiple non-nuclear states. Other projects include Energy Neutral(TM), which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (http://www.EnergyNeutralinc.com) Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and Green World Water(TM), which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation (http://www.GreenWorld-H2O.com), production of potable water and other suitable applications. AEHI China, headquartered in Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power.

The Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=8058

Safe Harbor Statement: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “target,” “optimistic,” “intend,” “aim,” “will” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements include, among others, those concerning our expected financial performance and strategic and operational plans, as well as all assumptions, expectations, predictions, intentions or beliefs about future events, including our ability to list on a national securities exchange. These statements are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to us and reflect our current view concerning future events. As such, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among many others: our significant operating losses; our limited operating history; uncertainty of capital resources; the speculative nature of our business; our ability to successfully implement new strategies; present and possible future governmental regulations; operating hazards; competition; the loss of key personnel; any of the factors in the “Risk Factors” section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently completed fiscal year; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. You should also carefully review the reports that we file with the SEC. We assume no obligation, and do not intend, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

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Comments»

1. rmarg - October 11, 2010

It is certainly sad and ironic that countries such as the UAE, China, Japan, and Korea are all building new nuclear while the US is debating the economics. Natural gas prices will likely rise during the 60-80 year life of a nuclear plant.


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