Renewable Energy Becoming More Competitive

“In various settings Renewable Energy is already economically competitive”. “The cost of most Renewable Energy technologies has declined and additional expected technical advances would result in further cost reductions.” These are among the conclusions of a Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation released in summary form this week by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The full report is expected to be released on May 31st.

According to data presented in the summary report (Gallon Letter’s interpretation), some of the better economic performers include biomass electricity, geothermal electricity, hydropower, wind electricity, biomass heat, solar thermal heat, geothermal heat, and biofuels.

According to the Report, “Examples of important areas of potential technological advancement include: new and improved feedstock production and supply systems, biofuels produced via new processes (also called next-generation or advanced biofuels, e.g., lignocellulosic) and advanced biorefining; advanced PV and CSP technologies and manufacturing processes; enhanced geothermal systems; multiple emerging ocean technologies; and foundation and turbine designs for offshore wind energy. Further cost reductions for hydropower are expected to be less significant than some of the other RE technologies, but R&D opportunities exist to make hydropower projects technically feasible in a wider range of locations and improve the technical performance of new and existing projects.”

Gallon Letter regular monthly edition will be commenting in greater detail following release of the full report.

The Summary for Policy Makers of the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation can be accessed at http://srren.ipcc-wg3.de/report .

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