"We think natural gas will stay cheap for a very long time," Rowe said in an interview today at Bloomberg's headquarters in New York. "As long as natural gas is anywhere near current price forecasts, you can't economically build a merchant nuclear plant."
Rowe said that the price of natural gas would have to rise to $8 per million British thermal units and permits for emitting a ton of carbon dioxide would have to be $25 to make the power prices from new merchant reactors competitive with gas-fueled plants. Merchant plants sell their power on wholesale markets without the income assurance that utilities with regulated electricity rates get.
. . . Absent a price on carbon dioxide emissions, gas would have to rise to $9 or $9.50 to make the reactors economically attractive, Rowe said.
December 29, 2010
Low Natural Gas Prices To Set Back Construction of Nuclear Plants
Exelon Corp. Chief Executive Officer John Rowe said he expects natural-gas prices to remain low, pushing back the construction of new U.S. nuclear power plants by a "decade, maybe two."