In Australia, Renewable Energy Is Cheaper than Fossil Fuels

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In Australia, renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels.


According to a report from Bloomberg energy research, unsubsidized renewal energy is cheaper than coal and gas electrical generation in Australia:

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.

Australia levies a carbon tax on its energy providers, but even without that tax, Bloomberg found that "wind energy is 14% cheaper than new coal and 18% cheaper than new gas."

Globally, wind power capacity grew 20 percent in 2012.

Hat tip: Jeff Spross.

(AP Photo)

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