California currently uses 32% renewable power with a mandate for 100 percent renewables by 2045. Capital cost for utility scale solar is about $1.00 per watt and falling with zero fuel costs.
New nukes are several times as expensive plus fuel plus waste treatment with ever-rising costs.
We do not need carbon taxes. We need state and national mandates like Green New Deal for increasing percentages of renewables plus storage.
Elon Musk has said that a trivial amount of land covered with PV, around a 60-mile square, could supply all U.S. power. Of course, this is best done in distributed fashion and include a mixture of wind, solar geothermal, hydro, tidal, digester bio mass and synthetic gas et al.
The last thing we need is to bank on a future generation of nukes or on carbon taxes. We need mandated annual increases in renewable energy that is rapidly dropping in cost and increasing in efficacy.
That’s climate solution at hand. We have the industrial capacity to mass produce the renewable energy infrastructure that can power our cars, heat, cool and light our homes, and run our factories.
In the way Ford’s River Rouge plant in WWII went from producing cars to having million-part bombers roll off the assembly line, one every hour, we can produce planet saving renewable transformation with breakneck speed.
Desperation says maybe nukes can save the day. If the next twelve years are crucial, then renewables are at land and can drive a quick transition, if we can make that choice between sustainable renewable-based prosperity or global collapse.
Does not seem like a hard choice to me.
Roy Morrison builds solar farms. His next book is Ecological Economic Growth: Hot to Stop Climate Change and Build an Ecological Civilization (to be published in 2019).