ManagEnergy – Renewable Energy

Wind Turbine Vs Nuclear




Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Wind turbines and solar panels may seem like a green option, but their energy production requires more land, produces less electricity, and costs more money than nuclear energy does.

Nuclear power plants are inflexible and often take years to construct, while smaller renewable projects can be completed quickly. Due to these factors, as well as wider social drivers, nuclear energy deployment cannot be done quickly or efficiently.


Wind turbines are far cheaper than nuclear power, with prices for solar and onshore wind having fallen by 70% over the past decade, while offshore wind has even further declined in price.

According to Lazard’s 2019 report, utility-scale renewable energy prices in the United States have continued to decrease since 2009, bringing them far below those for fossil fuel generation. They are now less than half as expensive as nuclear power – now just over $5/kW!

One of the primary reasons wind and solar are now more cost-effective than nuclear is their scalability. This makes it simpler to construct new wind and solar power plants than it would be to construct a coal plant.

Wind and solar power generation have become more cost-effective due to technological advancements. This underscores why it is becoming increasingly attractive as an alternative source of electricity generation – even more so than nuclear power.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s 2019 Annual Technology Baseline, renewables’ levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) is projected to continue decreasing. Under its optimistic scenario, NREL projects that wind energy’s LCOE will drop another 64% by 2050 and solar power’s by 74%.

Another factor driving down the cost of renewable energy is its growing competitiveness against conventional fossil fuels in the power market. For instance, gas-fired power plants in America are now priced higher than renewables due to carbon costs.

Additionally, the costs of integrating intermittent sources into the grid have come down. This includes backup generation during times when wind or solar production isn’t taking place and transmission and distribution facilities to move energy from where it’s produced to where it’s needed.

System costs are the major driving force behind the declining cost of renewables.

Are you curious how much it would cost to install a wind turbine in your area? Installation of the wind turbine and any necessary components – like batteries or charge controllers – ranges from C$8,000 to C$11,000 per kW, depending on its size and location. This price includes installation of the turbine itself as well as any poles/towers it sits atop – along with any additional fees like design work.

Environmental Impact

The use of renewable energy in electricity production is often criticized due to its environmental impacts. This is because building large-scale renewable plants necessitates the use of rare materials, transport-related emissions, and other harmful activities.

Wind turbines can be an eyesore in some areas and may negatively affect local wildlife populations, depending on the type of facility and its siting. To minimize these effects, best practices should be employed during planning and siting processes. For instance, using proper land management techniques when developing offshore wind facilities helps minimize their effect on marine birds and fish populations.

Wind power still offers the potential for clean and renewable energy production despite its drawbacks. Its small footprint and high capacity factor make it a viable solution for countries looking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels while meeting their energy demands in an environmentally friendly manner.

Nuclear energy poses its own environmental challenges and has become a controversial topic in many countries. To ensure the responsible production and disposal of nuclear fuels and wastes, an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be conducted.

Conversely, renewable technologies like solar and wind power tend to be considered less harmful than nuclear energy as they produce less waste and emit fewer carbon emissions. To make a comparison between different energy systems more transparent, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) can be used which compiles all relevant environmental impacts into one value that’s usually normalized according to the amount of electricity generated.

Nuclear power has the advantage of creating less waste from mining to final disposal than renewable energy systems, which can be further minimized through reprocessing old fuel rods or burying them. Furthermore, nuclear energy provides a consistent source of employment for years.

Therefore, to meet sustainability targets through rapid expansion of renewables, global nuclear energy would need to increase by 80%. To accomplish this goal, advanced economies would have to invest USD 1.6 trillion into their power sector from 2018-2040.


Wind power is a popular renewable energy source, but it isn’t as dependable as nuclear. Unlike power plants burning coal or natural gas, turbines in wind farms may not operate to their full capacity due to variable weather conditions and other factors.

Wind turbines typically generate less than 25 percent of their rated capacity, so to match the output of a nuclear power plant with 1154 megawatts (MW), an extensive array of turbines is necessary.

Many opponents of renewable energy cite the capacity factor as a major issue, since it is not as reliable as power plants running on coal or natural gas.

Recently, however, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported that this may not be the case. Their data revealed that the amount of reserve electricity needed to protect against wind variability is far smaller than what would be needed by a conventional power plant.

As a result, the average cost of wind reserves is only four cents per kilowatt hour, as opposed to the 76 cents required to maintain a hedge against power plant outages.

One way to determine this is by looking at the reliability of wind and solar resources as a percentage of national demand over an extended period. The most dependable combinations of wind and solar generation have higher shares of renewables than their worst counterpart, which has only 3% renewables (on average; Fig. 2e, f).

Contrastingly, a typical system that meets 95% of a country’s demand still has numerous long-duration gaps that persist each year (yellow and green bubbles in Fig. 3; see Supplementary Figure 1).

Due to fluctuations in electricity demand, renewable sources are more variable than nuclear plants that run continuously once refueled.

By adding additional annual generation or energy storage, long-duration gaps are significantly reduced; the benefits are greater for countries with a small land area than those with larger ones. Furthermore, aggregating resources within 19 contiguous multinational regions or across 6 continents further improves reliability.


Wind turbines offer a sustainable alternative to traditional electricity sources, but they may pose risks to workers. Without safety equipment, workers could get electrocuted or hurt due to arc flashes and other electrical hazards.

The most dangerous potential hazard is falling from a height, especially for those working on top of turbines. This could result in serious injuries such as broken bones or severe burns.

Another potential risk is being struck by moving parts within the turbine. This is highly hazardous and could even result in death if not attended to promptly.

Fire safety is an increasingly critical concern for wind turbine operators. Anyone working on wind turbines – from repair and installation – should always wear the appropriate protective gear and use emergency descent devices like parachutes or drop lines in case of emergency.

While many would agree that nuclear power is a safer alternative than wind turbines, it’s essential to remember that no industrial activity is entirely risk-free. Those working in the nuclear industry understand accidents can and will happen, so they must do their best to minimize injuries.

Nuclear plant safety is ultimately the responsibility of its licensees, with oversight from independent national regulatory authorities. The European Union strives to have a robust transnational approach to nuclear safety across Europe in order to keep accidents to a minimum and minimize environmental and public risk.

This is why the European Union has prioritized nuclear safety, and why the International Atomic Energy Agency was created in the first place. This international regulator exists to guarantee that all nuclear activities around the world are secure and comply with current safety protocols.

About the author

Latest posts