Reducing the cost of energy production from RES could permanently remove the need for nuclear power plants

Belarus, as the country most affected by the Chernobyl disaster, is still exposed to the adverse effects of radiation. After 30 years since the accident, once again remembering all the events and the anguish suffered, Belarusians are closely watching the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (the Belarusian NPP is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno region).

Obviously, taking into account the difficult experience of the terrible consequences of the accident, this project is carried out with the most responsible approach to security.

However, the people of Belarus who were personally affected or who have loved ones affected by the disaster, dread the construction of this type of energy source. In addition, the neighbouring countries situated at a relatively small distance from the Belarusian NPP under construction (especially Lithuania), have repeatedly expressed their negative attitude towards the construction of the power plant, and strongly oppose it.

The international community, led by the states that successfully use nuclear power (France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Italy, USA, Australia and others), oddly enough, states the futility of the use of the atom. These countries, with a firm rejection of the construction of new nuclear power plants, have made their choice in favor of RES.

Due to the active development of the wind power industry, the cost of production of 1 kWh of electricity from wind is constantly decreasing, increasing the economic efficiency of wind energy. For example, in Germany the cost of nuclear electricity generation costs almost twice as much as in WPT.

In Belarus, however, wind indicators only tend to catch up with nuclear ones.

In order to provide the capacity equal to the NPP under construction – 2400 MW, it will take about a three-fold increase in the installed capacity, i.e. at least 7000 MW. This is due to the utilization factor of installed capacity, which, based on the experience of the WT near the locality Grabniki (Novogrudok district, Grodno region), is about 32-33%.

The cost of 1 kW of installed capacity in the construction of a large wind farm is estimated at about 2 thousand US dollars. Thus, the cost of setting WPT with a total capacity of 7000 MW, capable of replacing the Belarusian NPP, will be 14-15 billion US dollars. At the same time, the construction of the nuclear power plant near Ostrovets is estimated at 10 billion US dollars.

At first glance, the math is not in favour of such an environmentally friendly RES as wind. However, if we add to the cost of nuclear power the expanses for future disposal (both of the power plant and hazardous radioactive waste), as well as lost profits from deterioration (on the grounds of the Belarusian NPP) of relations with the neighbouring countries and the EU as a whole, then wind power is able to outweigh in the economic component as well.

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