Nuke Retirement Impact Study Flawed

In April 2018, The Brattle Group published a report on the impact of announced nuclear retirements in Ohio and Pennsylvania. This report was published after FirstEnergy Solutions made an appeal to the U.S. Department of Energy for subsidies for the plants and after FirstEnergy Solutions filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In this report, the authors outline reasons that they believe justify state and/or federal subsidies to continue operating uneconomic nuclear power plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

This report is being used by proponents of a bailout of the economically failing nuclear plants. Unfortunately, the report is analytically flawed.

The report does not in any way address what the potential cost of a state and/or federal nuclear subsidy to ratepayers would be, so that a cost/benefit analysis cannot be made.

The report fails to recognize the operation of competitive markets for electricity; the report makes the assumption that should these plants retire, the markets in which they operate will not respond accordingly. That is, it assumes that no individual power producer would see an opportunity in increased capacity costs to develop new renewable energy products.

The report ignores the value of competitive markets to provide the most efficient price of electricity for consumers.

And, the report supports a technology over a technology-neutral regulatory system that has served Ohioans for nearly a decade.

Read more. 2/28/2019