Nuclear Plant Subsidies Anger Clean Energy Advocates

May 31, 2016

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Clean energy activists in New York say the state should not subsidize the nuclear energy industry. 

The activists spoke at a Public Service Commission hearing last week on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed energy plan. The goal is to have New York generate half of its energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar power, by 2030.

It would also require utilities to buy power from nuclear plants.

Peter Swords, with the Nuclear Free World Committee, says subsidizing nuclear power undermines the state’s green energy industry.

“We have this fast growing green energy industry here. A lot more jobs are created in retrofitting in solar and renewables per million dollars than in nuclear energy.”  

The activists say the subsidies are designed to shield nuclear companies from competition with lower-cost energy sources.  

But Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration says there was concern that some upstate nuclear plants were struggling to stay open. They said if the plants close, the nuclear energy would be replaced by fossil fuels. To stop the possible increase of carbon emissions, the administration says it wants to use nuclear energy to help bridge the state until it expands its renewable energy options.