January 18, 2015

Renewable Power Costs Plummet now cheaper than Fossil Fuels

The cost of generating power from renewable energy sources has reached parity or dropped below the cost of fossil fuels for many technologies in many parts of the world.

Adnan ZAmin , Director General International Renewable Energy Agency
Adnan ZAmin , Director General International Renewable Energy Agency

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) revealed in a new report today on Saturday said that biomass, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind are all competitive with or cheaper than coal, oil and gas-fired power stations.

The report entitled “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014” says the renewable energy sources are becoming cheaper even with the falling oil prices globally.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy according to the report is leading the cost decline, with solar PV module costs falling 75 per cent since the end of 2009 and the cost of electricity from utility-scale solar PV falling 50 per cent since 2010.

The International Renewable Energy Agency Director-General Adnan Amin said at the launch of the report in Abu Dhabi that renewables are creating a historic opportunity to build a clean, sustainable energy system.

The report highlights that Solar PV module prices have dropped 75% since 2009 and continue to decrease with residential solar systems now as much as 70% cheaper than in 2008.

Michael Taylor, an Energy costing Analyst with International Renewable Energy Agency in an interview said between 2010 and 2014 the total installed costs of utility-scale solar PV systems fell by as much as 65 per cent.

State Minister for Energy, Engineer Simon Du Jang, who is leading Uganda’s delegation to the Fifth International Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi, said Uganda is exploring means of exploiting its huge renewable energy potential which includes hydroelectricity, solar, biomass and geothermal power sources.

He says the government plans to attract private investors to invest in the mostly untapped renewable energy sources spread all over the country.

With the price of oil falling from $110 to less than $50 a barrel since last June, some investors in the sector are already feeling nervous.

Unsurprisingly, all the oil exploration firms have seen their earnings forecasts downgraded by analysts over the past three months. The deepest cuts have been issued for Tullow, Soco and BP.

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