Renewable energy contains uncertainties that nuclear power does not deal with. Renewable technologies like solar and wind power rely on the dynamic patterns of weather. While forecasts can be accurate, there is no guarantee that the sun will shine or the wind will blow at the exact rate needed to produce expected electricity quantities. Companies like Solyndra can become bankrupt despite hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. The annual rate of return is simply not at the same level of other energy sources. Nuclear power plants require billions of dollars of initial building costs, yet produce a reliable, consistent output of energy which pays back the cost fairly quickly. Nuclear power plants have proven to be profitable as well as reliable operating at about 90% capacity while renewable energy is more volatile in that regard, operating at as low as 15% capacity. Nuclear plants also fit into the current, centralized framework of our transmission infrastructure while renewables require a more decentralized grid system. Given all these factors as well as the need to keep nuclear power plants secure to avoid disastrous radiation exposure, they have received financial benefits greater than renewables. Investors need to feel confident with the least amount of rate of return risk, and as of now nuclear power is able to provide that more than renewable energy.
An advantageous niche opportunity in the world of renewable energies would be to expand distributed generation techniques. Instead of having huge, centralized solar power plants, more individual, off the grid solar or wind projects could be undertaken. This includes rooftop solar panels or windmills on homes or even businesses. The potential to reduce the cost of electricity over a period of time after an initial investment is an attractive concept especially for those who do not plan to move or become displaced in the near future.