Experts said the cost of producing electricity from renewable energy could be cut by as much as two-thirds within 10 years, thus making it competitive with coal-fired power. Plus, the cost of doubling the world’s total clean energy output by 2030 will be lower than the regular approach because of the surprising production costs according to an article by SMH.
The findings are inciting calls for Australia to re-asses its dependence on coal-fired power and speed up its transition to clean energy, which the coalition has slowed by revoking the carbon price and lowering the Renewable Energy Target. According to the report of the International Renewable Energy Agency, the cost of PVs could be cut by 59% from 2025 to 6 US cents per kilowatt hour. The offshore wind cost can go down by as much as 35% in less than a decade, with the cost onshore wind cut by 26%.
Report author Michael Taylor said that the fast advances made in the renewable technology sector meant the idea that renewable energy was not affordable and are really expensive compared to energy produced by traditional fossil fuels which is now outdated. He also said that the faster devaluation in the prices of solar and wind energy means that Australia is poised to produce low-cost electricity.
The research found that rapid technological gains have supported the steady growth for wind and solar power, which showed solid growth in 2015. The report also calculated global renewable energy consumption to be 2.8%, up from 0.8% ten years ago. Renewables accounted for 6.7% of global generation, with China recording a huge 21% growth and Germany at 23%. Coal’s share of global primary energy consumption fell to its lowest level since 2005 at 29%.
After becoming prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull commended the country’s “cleaner coal” as one solution to energy poverty. He stated the fast advances being made in solar and wind, but said that coal is very important part of the energy agenda. He also rejected calls for a moratorium on new coal mines. Opposition leader Bill Shorten has also rejected such bills. He told the Pacific country leaders that he had made it very clear that the Labour Party is not going to stop coal mining. Plus just this month, the Liberal and Labour parties agreed to lower renewable Energy target from 41,000 gigawatt-hours to 33, 000 gigawatt-hours or by 23.5 % by the year 2020. This followed a push within the Coalition to cut the renewable energy target.
Mr Taylor said that the new study showed the world could double its clean energy output by the year 2030 and stay on target for reaching the climate goals of the country. He also said that scenario would still cost less than the current policies that are centred on coal.