Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Renewables Gaining on Fossil Fuels Despite Reports to the Contrary

Despite flawed reports to the contrary, renewable energy is becoming increasingly price competitive compared to fossil fuels. Regardless of the metrics used, wind and photovoltaic (PV) solar are growing fast due in large part to declining costs and improving productivity.

Whether comparisons are done based on levelized cost of energy, saved carbon, cash flow profile, financial return, annual and cumulative installed capacity or global investment renewable energy (wind & PV)  fare very well and are improving all the time.

A Brookings Institution working paper by economist Charles R. Frank Jr. erroneously claimed that solar and wind were more costly than previously thought. His flawed analysis was inaccurate because it relied on outdated data. To make matters worse the paper was the basis for an article in The Economist which received considerable attention.

Put simply Frank's analysis is flawed because it is premised on inaccurate and outdated assumptions. Frank considers solar and wind to be more expensive and less productive than they actually are and oil and gas to be less expensive and more productive than they actually are.

To see a comprehensive rebuttal of Frank's flawed assessment click here.

Graphics - Renewable Energy: Economic Benefits and Scaling
UK's Renewable Energy (Wind) Records in 2014
Why Oil Prices Matter for Renewable Energy
American Voters Want More Renewable Energy
The Promise of Renewable Energy in the US
Renewable Energy Is Our Only Hope
President Clinton on What the American Public Needs to Know about Renewable Energy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where did the graph come from? Looks like you are predicting effective disappearance of fossil for power production by 2040. Also, graph suggests power production (hence, consumption?) will increase from 210,000 GW-hrs to around 240,000 GW-hrs over the same period. That seems an unlikely small increase in power demand (production). Do you believe those are reasonable expectations?