Thursday, February 14, 2013

Renawable energy now cheaper in Australia

Part of the problem when comparing renewables with fossil fuel is that the subsidies for renewables is generally more transparent than those in place for fossil fuels.  How exactly do you factor in the cost of those aircraft carriers (not to mention wars) over in the Middle East?

This appears to be an effort to alleviate some that imbalance.

Renewable energy now cheaper than new fossil fuels in Australia
Bloomburg, 7 February 2013 (hat tip: Big Picture)
Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s research on Australia shows that since 2011, the cost of wind generation has fallen by 10% and the cost of solar photovoltaics by 29%. In contrast, the cost of energy from new fossil-fuelled plants is high and rising. New coal is made expensive by high financing costs. The study surveyed Australia’s four largest banks and found that lenders are unlikely to finance new coal without a substantial risk premium due to the reputational damage of emissions-intensive investments – if they are to finance coal at all. New gas-fired generation is expensive as the massive expansion of Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market forces local prices upwards. The carbon price adds further costs to new coal- and gas-fired plant and is forecast to increase substantially over the lifetime of a new facility.
BNEF’s analysts conclude that by 2020, large-scale solar PV will also be cheaper than coal and gas, when carbon prices are factored in. By 2030, dispatchable renewable generating technologies such as biomass and solar thermal could also be cost-competitive.

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