When it comes to beaten down and unloved forms of energy, coal is often thought of as the red-headed stepchild. After all, coal’s woes are pretty well televised, and the continued spate of coal miner bankruptcies is often in the headlines. But another form of unloved energy generation could be even worse off.
And we’re talking about nuclear power.
Since 2011, nuclear energy has gone downhill fast. More expensive than coal to produce, nuclear has continued to lose market share and face numerous shutdowns of generation facilities. But there could be hope on the horizon. President Trump has set his sights on reviving the beleaguered energy source. And that could be just what investors need to bet on the sector.
Nuclear energy was undergoing a sort of renaissance in the early part of the decade. Rising power consumption, as well as higher natural gas and oil prices, meant that plant operators were willing to take on the higher costs for building nuclear power operations. Thirteen utilities including SCANA Corporation (SCG ), Exelon (EXC ) and Duke Energy (DUK ) applied for construction and operating licenses to build 25 new reactors. Nuclear was once again getting a severe look from utilities hoping to comply with new environmental rules as well as provide plenty of base-load power.