Solar power is more affordable than new fossil fuel and nuclear power, with costs plummeting by almost 60% over the last 5 years, a new report released by the Climate Council today has found.
The report ‘State of Solar 2016’, finds that the solar rollout will continue to go gangbusters, with more than 20 industrial-scale installations set to go ahead across the country this year and another 3700 megawatts in the pipeline.
Climate Councillor and former president of BP Australasia Greg Bourne said solar power is being embraced with its cost predicted to fall by a further 40-70% by 2040.
“We are seeing more and more industrial-scale solar coming online across the country and the world. Hospitals, airports, farms and a variety of other businesses have embraced smarter and cleaner power,” he said.
“The solar surge is well and truly underway, with an extra 3,700 megawatts already in the pipeline – that’s enough power to over 600,000 homes.”
Key report findings:
- Globally, solar photovoltaic (PV) power is surging on the back of scaled-up production and continually falling costs.
- Solar costs are now so low that large-scale solar plants are providing cheaper power than new fossil and nuclear power in many countries.
- Solar costs have dropped 58% in five years and are expected to continue to fall by a further 40-70% by 2040.
- Australia is expected to reach over 20GW of solar PV in the next 20 years, equivalent to about a third of Australia’s current total power generation capacity.
- Solar and battery storage for households and businesses is already gaining traction in Australia.
Andrew Stock, an energy expert with more than 40 years experience said solar combined with storage technology means that solar power can be available day and night.
“Uptake in household batteries is expected to triple this year, while major industrial scale storage plants are being built in Queensland and Victoria. As extreme weather increasingly threatens our power system, solar increases its resilience by generating power right where it is used.”
Australian homes continue to lead the world in the solar renewables race.
“Australia is enjoying some of the cheapest household solar costs around the globe. States like Queensland have seen around 30% of homes installing panels on their rooftops,” he said.
“It’s only a matter of time before our energy system transitions to smart, sustainable and secure 21st Century technology. The transition is underway because it makes economic sense. Australia can use our greatest natural asset, sunshine, create non-polluting power, new jobs and new industries, as well as, bringing investment from the global solar boom.”
The Climate Councillor called on the Federal Government to join the Australian public and embrace solar energy.
“The government’s energy rhetoric does not match reality. The era of coal is over and global investment has moved firmly to renewable energy. Solar power is cheaper, has no fuel costs, is non-polluting and it is clear that it will be a key of Australia’s future.”
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