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Renewable Energy is already Cheaper than Coal and Gas in Australia

By Joao Peixe | Thu, 07 February 2013 22:43 | 2

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has performed an analysis of different forms of energy production in Australia, and discovered that electricity from renewable energy sources was cheaper to produce than electricity from new build coal and gas power plants.

New wind farms in Australia can produce electricity at $80/MWh, which is far cheaper than coal power stations which produce at $143/MWh, and even natural gas power stations at $116/MWh.

Michael Liebreich, the chief executive at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), stated that “the perception that fossil fuels are cheap and renewables are expensive is now out of date.

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.”

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This may leave some to question why renewables continue to receive support from the government, but BNEF explained that normally new build renewables must compete with pre-existing fossil fuel power plants which don’t have the large cost of construction.

BNEF also predict that by 2020, large scale PV solar farms will be cheaper than coal and natural gas, in fact Racth Australia, an Australian energy company, said that it can already build new solar installations at around $120/MWh, and prices are constantly falling.

Based on the findings of the analysis Kobad Bhavnagri, the head of clean energy research at BNEF, suggested that “it is very unlikely that new coal-fired power stations will be built in Australia. They are just too expensive now, compared to renewables.

By 2020-30 we will be finding new and innovative ways to deal with the intermittency of wind and solar, so it is quite conceivable that we could leapfrog straight from coal to renewables to reduce emissions as carbon prices rise.”

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com

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  • kevinb on February 09 2013 said:
    Totally agree, solar. The whole CAGW thing is a scam and the Greens are just Marxists in disguise. This scam is about money and power, nothing else, and is not related to the environment at all.
  • Solar on February 08 2013 said:
    What a load! Nothing but a fluff piece for socialists to point to as evidence that so called ("Green Energy", Marxists to the rest of the world).
    You completely left out the reasons it cost less, over regulation designed to kill competing energy sources, such as coal, Ng on the other hand is free, you merely need to tap it out of the ground, but being that it produces Co2, it is heavily taxed and fees applied before it ever reaches the end consumer.

    Now I admit I know nothing of the laws in OZ, but it doesn't take a 4th grader to figure out this scam.
    I've been an expert in the alternative energy field for over 25 years, lived on solar longer, I know of what I speak!

    The only reason alternatives could possibly cost less, is due to taxpayer funded schemes to make the Green party richer (socialists in the party politics), in other words, the tax payer is funding the kick backs to those that invest in this, the other is taxes, fees, or lets call it what it really is, Punitive Taxation on a reliable source of energy and the business' that brought the country cheap reliable energy.

    Do your homework my Aussie friends, don't be fooled by this scam, follow the money, you'll quickly find it is your very own representative Govt that is connected to this and making a killing off the backs of the working people.

    For those interested, I can be reached http://conservativepoliticalforum.com/political-discussion-and-debate/

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