Wind turbine, solar, geothermal, and other forms of renewable energy are becoming cheaper to produce. According to a new report published by the International Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency, calculates the exact cost of producing the renewable energy, with somewhat surprising results.
It’s no secret that renewable energy has become cheaper and easier to produce over the past few years, thanks largely in part to technological advancements in the field. However, many people assume that traditional coal-burning power plants offer the cheapest form of energy. While coal-burning power plants have also become more efficient, the “Projected Costs of Generating Electricity: 2015 Edition” report published by the two aforementioned agencies suggests that renewable energy sources are just as cheap if not cheaper to produce, but without all of the harmful side effects (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions and pollution).
When compared to the same report published five years ago, the agencies’ latest report indicates a noticeable decrease in the cost of solar and wind energy, particularly for photovoltaic (PV) solar panels via sustained technical progress. This trend, when paired with the steep price decrease of nuclear power plant productions, has stopped the cost inflation of power production over the past few years, allowing billions of people throughout the world to remain connected to the grid.
As noted in the report, there’s no “one” type of renewable energy production that’s the cheapest. Whether it’s solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, etc., there are multiple factors at play which affect the total cost of investment. Some of these factors may include market, country regulations, policy, resource availability, location, demand, and more.
“The analysis of more than 180 plants, based on data covering 22 countries, reveals several key trends, pointing, for example, to a significant decline in recent years in the cost of renewable generation,” wrote researchers in the report. “Readers will find a wealth of details and analysis, supported by over 200 figures and tables, underlining this report’s value as a tool for decision makers and researchers concerned with energy policies, climate change and the evolution of power sectors around the world.”
This report can be accessed at https://www.iea.org/bookshop/711-Projected_Costs_of_Generating_Electricity.No tags for this post.