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Renewable Energy Cheaper In Our Lifetime

IRENA logoIRENA forecasts renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuel by 2030

Cocking a snook to Energy UK Chief Executive Angela Knight’s claim that:

“[The UK] have an opportunity in the energy industry to get fact based, logic based, properly costed and sensible EU policy-making and to encourage a move away from an emotion driven and expensive agenda,”

IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, hot on the heels of the International Energy Agency has backed renewable energy technology as the most beneficial investment at the expense of paying to maintain old, dirty and dying generation plant.

IRENA claim worldwide energy supply could be provided at a lower cost by doubling the contribution of wind, solar and other renewable sources.

IRENA presented to the UN in New York an illustration that the share provided by renewable energy could double to 36% by 2030 if governments put in place policies to promote it. That claim chimes with the $40tn investment the IEA expects over the same period and which is currently dominating its focus on old plant and generation tech.

IRENA even believes it is possible for Biomass’s contribution to renewable energy targets to be completely removed and replaced entirely by solar and wind, such an event would require their current levels to quadruple over the period. A tall ask indeed.

In addition IRENAs figures suggest this can be delivered at a lower cost than worldwide energy at present. However these numbers rely on a value being attributed to the benefit of cutting pollution on health and by the depression of prices as existing renewable technology become cheaper.

IRENA justifies the figures by pointing out that the level of subsidy for keeping fossil fuel plant alive was $544bn in 2012 whereas ‘just’ $315bn of subsidies would be required for renewables by 2030. That is on top of an annual investment of around $460bn per year in the required infrastructure and plant.

Director General of IRENA, Adnan Amin summed up his confidence in a cost effective renewable future in saying:

“Now it’s a question of political will, and how ambitiously governments want to move on this”

Indeed, and as we have seen from the UK energy supplier lobby, we are apparently in no mood to move.

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