Clean Electricity Revolution Soars with Fall in Cost of Renewables


Credit: Flickr / Omar Bárcena / CC BY 2.0

Fossil fuels are all set to steamroll, and the forecasters reportedly are anticipating a huge plunge in the cost of renewables. The plunge is more evident with the technologies like gigantic wind turbines making an entry in the market.

That is pretty much of a conclusion reached by BNEF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance), whose founder, Michael Liebreich, has estimated that clean energy would garner around 86% of the $10.2 trillion that is likely to be invested in power generation by 2040.

Liebreich stated that technology is making clean energy more cost-effective than fossil fuels with the slashing of the costs of wind and solar farms. In this context, BNEF started pooling data in 2004 and could draw a trend towards bigger machines in the wind industry that could contribute more to the grid. The prospect of bigger machines in the next decade also encouraged developers of the offshore wind farms in Germany to commit to electricity without subsidy on forthcoming projects.

Meanwhile, Liebreich indicated two tipping points, the first was when a new wind or solar project could compete directly with new coal or gas plants without subsidies. And, the second was the new wind or solar project being cheaper than running on coal and gas power stations that have already been built.

A slide from his research presentation at a conference in London pointed out that it would be cheaper to build a new PV plant than a coal-fired power generator in Japan by 2025. This milestone would reportedly be passed in India by 2030 for wind power. Tipping point one mostly is already existent in most major markets. Meanwhile, the second tipping point is allegedly more costly to operate existing coal and gas plants, and also indicates the arrival in the middle of the next decade in Germany and China. The economics of the solar and wind are getting more inducing, and Liebreich adds that nobody could make coal great again.

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