Why shouldn’t ecological by synonymous with economical? So concludes a study by IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency), which is forecasting a substantial fall in renewable energy costs by 2020. This excellent news could make a big difference to the energy revolution.
They may be good for the environment friendly but they’re too expensive… For too long, renewable energies have been handicapped by presenting a high cost by comparison with that of fossil energies. Until now, this gap has resulted in a reluctance shown by many countries in investing massively in green energies. But soon there will be no need to choose between making savings and protecting the planet!
According to IRENA, “all renewable energy technologies will compete with fossils on price by 2020.” The prices forecast are between $30 and $100 per megawatt hour for renewables, compared to $50 and $170 per megawatt hour for fossil energies1. The fall in prices is explained both by the technological progress achieved and by more intense competition.
The first signs of this shift can already be seen: in Chile, the cost for the purchase of electricity from solar energy stood at €30 per MWh in 2016, compared to €700 per MWh in 2008. In France, the average price paid in the photovoltaic electricity sector is approximately €62.50 per MWh, or less than one half the cost of electricity produced by new nuclear projects2.
Attracted by these lower costs, many players have decided to focus more on renewables. In 2017, €333.5 billion has been invested in green energies at global level, equivalent to a 3% increase compared to 2016. In majority, this has involved solar energy, with €160.8 billion of investment in 2017, 18% higher than in 20163.
This high growth is primarily driven by emerging countries, which attracted the majority of investment in renewables in 2015. China, in particular, takes the honors, with a total of $132.6 billion of investments in 2016, including $86.5 billion in solar energy.
The fall in the price of renewable energies should make it possible to wage a decisive battle on greenhouse gas emissions and should give a real boost to the energy revolution that is already well under way.
Throughout the world, players are committing to supporting the transition toward a more sustainable world. A key player in these changes, the ENGIE Group has made the energy transition a priority at worldwide level, and is aiming to raise the share of renewable energies in its production portfolio to 25% by 2020.
The increased competitiveness of renewables will expand the scope of these initiatives and help ensure that the targets are met.
1 Source : LesEchos.fr.
2 Source : « Qui peut arrêter la lutte contre le changement climatique et la révolution énergétique ? », article by Isabelle Kocher.
3 Source : Bloomberg New Energy Finance.