A study by Bloomberg New Energy Finances lays out the numbers: Unsubsidised renewable energy is cheaper to produce than subsidised conventional fossil fuel subsidies. Listen up, Tony Abbott.
As reported by CleanTechies Blog, the study shows that electricity from a new wind farm would cost AUD 80/MWh (USD 83) compared to AUD 143/MWh from a new coal plant or AUD 116/MWh from a new gas plant. These figures include the cost of emissions under the previous government’s carbon pricing scheme. But even without a carbon price, wind energy still comes out 14 per cent cheaper than new coal and 18 per cent cheaper than new gas.
According to CleanTechies Blog, the research shows that since 2011, the cost of wind generation has fallen by 10 per cent and the cost of solar photovoltaics by 29 per cent in Australia. In contrast, the cost of energy from new fossil-fuelled plants is high and rising, largely due to high financing costs.
“The perception that fossil fuels are cheap and renewables are expensive is now out of date”, said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). “The fact that wind power is now cheaper than coal and gas in a country with some of the world’s best fossil fuel resources shows that clean energy is a game changer which promises to turn the economics of power systems on its head.”
BNEF analysts conclude that by 2020, large-scale solar PV will also be cheaper than coal and gas, when carbon prices are factored in and that by 2030, technologies such as biomass and solar thermal could also be cost-competitive reports CleanTechies Blog.