The “spectacular” ongoing cost reduction of renewables technologies such as wind, solar and batteries is threatening the dominance of fossil fuels in the global energy mix, a new analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) suggests. BNEF’s latest report on the levelised costs of electricity (LCOE) for all leading energy technologies finds that fossil fuel power is facing an “unprecedented challenge” in all three roles it performs in the electricity mix: bulk generation, dispatchable generation – the ability to respond to increases or decreases in grid demand – and flexibility. Rapid LCOE reductions in wind and solar PV in particular is threatening fossil fuels bulk generation dominance, according to the report, while pairing these technologies with increasingly viable battery systems is additionally helping to give renewables an edge in dispatchable generation. Moreover, stand along storage systems such as big batteries or pumped hydro storage are competing with open cycle gas plants as a viable means of providing grid flexibility, or enabling energy provision to be switched on or off altogether in response to shortfalls or surpluses in power supply over certain periods.
Business Green 29th March 2018 read more »