Wind and solar “cheapest” by 2030: ABARES
Onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy technology will rank amongst the cheapest forms of power generation by 2030 according to a report published by Australia’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics.
The Australian Energy Technology Assessment 2012 report looked at 40 electricity generation technologies and provided cost projections for building and operating power stations for each under Australian conditions until 2050.
The report looked at nuclear power as a cost-effective energy option, but cost predictions for the controversial energy source did not include extra expenses such as waste costs, insurance and decommissioning.
Prof. Ken Baldwin, ANU Energy Change Institute director and member of the steering committee said commercial solar cells had seen a dramatic reduction in price in recent years.
Coal is becoming less cost effective in the future and is reflecting a transition to a market shaped by carbon pricing.
“These figures are really indicating we are moving into a carbon pricing environment and also that things are shifting very rapidly in terms of the alternative forms of energy generation,” said Prof Baldwin.
“These two things combined together show that coal doesn’t really have the long-term future many decades out.”
The report predicts the cost of onshore wind farms will fall from $116 per MWh to $90 per MWh. Similarly, solar photovoltaic panel plants will see falls from the current price of $224 per MWh to $133 per MWh by 2020.
Fossil fuel generators are predicted to face escalating costs and even gas plants which are relatively low in carbon emissions will have costs which outweigh fixed solar by 2020.
Biomass and biogas technologies were also mentioned in the report as representing some of the most competitive forms of electricity generation at present.
Clean Energy Council deputy CEO Kane Thornton said the report is a reflection of the changes Australia is making in the way it generates and consumes energy.
“By building renewable energy now we are able to create the diversity of sources we need to have low cost and reliable energy in the future,” Mr Thornton said.
Mr Thornton said that historically all governments in the country had underestimated the ability of renewable energy to improve in efficiency and decrease in cost.
“This report goes some way towards addressing the balance,” he said.
This entry was posted onTuesday, October 9th, 2012 at 11:38 pm and is filed under Financing, Research, Research & Finance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.