Report: DOE bailout for coal, nuclear plants could cost $34 billion

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) proposal to save coal and nuclear plants from retirement could cost $34 billion, according to a new Brattle analysis prepared for Advanced Energy Economy (AEE).

While details remain scarce, earlier this summer a draft DOE memo surfaced, sketching out a plan to have the federal government purchase electricity or generation capacity from coal and nuclear plants for two years.

According to the new analysis, direct costs to keep the plants running would be about $17 billion annually, depending on how the plan rolls out and which coal and nuclear plants qualify. The analysis does not include any potential impacts of the government's purchase on competitive markets, although some of the business groups that funded the study have voiced their concerns about what they believe could be negative consequences for consumers and the market if the bailouts were to occur.