Sam Arie research analyst at UBS. In 2010, using solar power to boil your kettle would have cost you about £0.03. By 2020, according to estimates by our research team at UBS, the cost will have fallen to half a penny. By 2030, the cost could be so near to zero it will effectively be free. This is great news for the planet, and probably also for the economy. Abundant, cheap, clean power can be put to many uses – not just making tea. But the same simple truth- that renewables could soon be cheaper than all the alternatives – is contributing to a wave of corporate action in the energy sector. Currently we count a dozen major European utilities (about half the names in the sector index) which have recently announced – or have been featured in the press – acquisitions, divestments or takeovers that could substantially reshape their business. The latest move was from Orsted, the offshore wind specialist, who announced last week they will acquire Lincoln Clean Energy, expanding their business into US onshore wind. In the past year large wind and solar projects have appeared that are viable without any subsidy or tax break at all. This means renewables can start to grow as fast as technology development allows, rather than at the pace that the world’s energy ministers decree. The auction model is driving innovation and efficiency at a level nobody expected. In the UK, tendering has cut the cost of offshore wind by more than half in just three years. In Germany it has helped to shrink the premium for renewable energy by roughly half since 2015.
FT 13th Aug 2018 read more »