A report from IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency) shows that, in 2020, electricity from onshore wind and solar photovoltaic systems will be less expensive than fossil-fuel alternatives. More specifically, over 75% of all onshore wind, and over 80% of all solar photovoltaics, commissioned next year will be cheaper than the least expensive new fossil-fuel sources, according to Reuters.
It seems the world is at another tipping point in the competition between fossil fuels and renewable sources. This time, though, renewables have added another argument in their favor: price. In the early days of renewables, cleanliness was not a strong enough argument – they also had to be economically justified. Price has been subject to downward pressure because of “increased production runs and technology improvements,” says the article. Add in the steady decline of coal as a commodity and the conclusion is clear: onshore wind and solar photovoltaics are better options through both a sustainable and an economic lens. Now that battery storage tech is catching up with power generation tech, it too will see downward price pressure, completing the picture.
But it’s still a long road to renewable sources making up the majority of our power mix, and other steps toward energy conservation are more necessary than ever. Our work at Energy Resource Center makes homes more energy efficient, leading to less energy waste on the consumer end of the equation. Less energy waste means less total energy usage in a home. In turn, this leads to less stress on utility infrastructure and saving money on repairing/replacing that infrastructure.