Those nuclear plants play a critical role in reducing emissions from the electricity sector. The three power plants slated for closure produce about the same amount of electricity as all of the solar capacity in California. They also provide thousands of high-paid jobs. They also provide stable, baseload power to the electric grid. And unlike solar and wind energy, they need lots of rural land, and they don’t need new high-voltage transmission capacity to accommodate their output.
Joe Biden has proposed “Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Standard” which he “pledges to fully decarbonize the domestic electric grid by 2035”.
Achieving this without the massive amount of zero-carbon electricity now being produced by America’s existing fleet of reactors will make it impossible.
43 terawatt-hours is nearly three times as much as was produced by all U.S. geothermal plants in 2019. It’s also nearly three times as much electricity as was produced by all the solar capacity in Spain in 2019 and about 1.5 times as much as all the wind energy that was produced in Iowa in 2019. Need another comparison? The reactors slated for closure are currently producing about as much energy as all of the wind turbines in California, or all of the solar capacity in Germany.