Sun and wind have become the cheapest sources of electricity in Australia. Renewables are now superior to fossil fuels, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). The latest report confirms the findings of previous years that renewables are beneficial not only for the planet, but also for the budget.
CSIRO GenCost’s third report, published in collaboration with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), analyzes the costs of various energy production technologies. Solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind came in first, even when the costs of integrating them – energy storage and new infrastructure – were factored in.
Integration costs raise the most questions for specialists. Since wind and sunlight are not constant, the cost of storing electricity is considered an obstacle to the competitiveness of renewables. The new document, which takes these costs into account, proves that renewables continue to vastly outperform fossil fuels, and batteries are becoming more sophisticated, with longer lifespan and lower replacement costs.
CSIRO Chief Energy Economist Paul Graham noted that an early draft of the report, published for December 2020, got even better after more research.
“The final report takes into account our cost analysis for the integration of renewable energy sources. It now takes into account the variability of the weather from year to year and its impact on the demand and supply of electricity, ”said Graham.
In addition to solar and wind energy, the report showed that pumped-storage hydropower is a strong contender in the energy market, especially when longer energy storage is required.