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Wind, Solar May Be Competitive With Coal in Decade, Chu Says

Wind and solar power may compete with fossil fuels, without aid from government subsidies, within the next decade, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.

“It’s not going to be three decades,” Chu said today at an event in Washington sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trust.

Chu is calling for a national energy policy that will promote the use of clean-energy technologies. The U.S. should invest in advanced battery technologies, biofuels and efficient high-voltage transmission systems, Chu said.

China and other nations are promoting policies to support cleaner energy.

“This is a race,” he said.

Small, modular nuclear reactors, less than a third the size of current units, are “much, much safer” than traditional reactors, which remain safe, Chu said.

Chu was speaking about the role that future generations of nuclear reactors might play in U.S. energy policy.

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