Now Cheaper to Switch to Renewables than Gas

May 20, 2022

Renewables outcompeting gas. This has been true for a while, even before recent events have spiked the price of fossil gas. See vids above and below.

CNBC:

  • According to the findings of climate analytics firm TransitionZero, it is now cheaper to switch from coal to clean energy, compared to switching from coal to gas.
  • That’s thanks to the falling cost of renewables and battery storage, coupled with the rising volatility of gas prices.
  • Investing in renewables provides a hedge against climate change risks, said Jacqueline Tao, an analyst at TransitionZero.

Record-high coal and gas prices have been pushing prices higher for consumers and businesses alike, but there could be a silver lining.

According to the findings of climate analytics firm TransitionZero, it is now cheaper to switch from coal to clean energy, compared to switching from coal to gas — thanks to the falling cost of renewables and battery storage, coupled with the rising volatility of gas prices.

“The carbon price needed to incentivize the switch from coal generation to renewable energy for storage has dipped to a negative price,” said Jacqueline Tao, an analyst at TransitionZero.

“So essentially that means that you can actually switch to renewables at a cost saving,” she told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Wednesday.

The report claims that the global average cost of switching from coal to renewable energy has plunged by 99% since 2010, compared to switching from coal to gas.

Using its Coal to Clean Carbon Price Index — or C3PI project — the company measured the carbon price level it takes to motivate 25 countries to switch fuels, from existing coal to renewables such as new onshore wind or solar photovoltaics plus battery.

This challenges the place of natural gas as a “bridge fuel” to transition from coal to clean energy like wind, solar and other renewables. Traditionally, gas has been considered a bridge from coal to renewables because burning gas has a lower carbon intensity than burning coal.

But deploying energy, any energy, is a serious challenge in our divided, dysfunctional society.

8 Responses to “Now Cheaper to Switch to Renewables than Gas”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Some utilities are contractually committed to paying for some power plants, so they have to pay the bonds off anyway. What I think I’m hearing is that just scrapping the not-yet-paid-off coal or gas plant and adding solar is still cheaper than continuing to run the thermal plant.


  2. Solar is NOT getting cheaper! That’s because China has to divert the coal (which is absolutely necessary to make polysilicon) to alleviate their energy crisis. You’ll learn more about energy by listening to people like Alex Epstein and Mark Mills than whoever the people in those videos are.


  3. It doesn’t look like wind is getting cheaper either:

    ‘We’re all in trouble’ | Wind turbine makers selling at a loss and in a ‘self-destructive loop’, bosses admit
    Price pressures from auctions, higher raw-material and logistics costs, plus the Ukraine war, have led to an unsustainable situation, top executives from GE, Nordex and Enercon tell WindEurope 2022

    https://www.rechargenews.com/wind/were-all-in-trouble-wind-turbine-makers-selling-at-a-loss-and-in-a-self-destructive-loop-bosses-admit/2-1-1197217

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Did you actually read that article? It talks about the current state of supply chain issues and inflation which are doing the same thing to fossil fuels, food supplies and just about everything else.

      The idea, nimwit, is to compare the cost of wind to the cost of competing energy sources (including externalized cost).


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