Australia, Policy, Renewables, Solar, Storage

GenCost Report: Nuclear eight times pricier than renewables

Latest GenCost 2023-24 report from CSIRO and AEMO shows renewables will provide the cheapest power for Australian homes and businesses by 2030.

The report finds energy from renewables will cost between $83 and $120 per megawatt-hour (MWh) by 2030.

In contrast, any potential small modular nuclear reactors operating by 2030 would be significantly more expensive, costing up to $382/MWh—up to eight times the cost of renewables with storage factored in.

It also estimates nuclear could not come online before 2040 at the earliest, missing coal power’s forecast 90 per cent closure by 2035.

“Our Reliable Renewables plan is backed by experts to deliver the lowest cost energy where and when we need it to power households and industries,” Chris Bowen, Minister for Climate Change and Energy, said.

The report shows large-scale solar’s construction costs fell 8 per cent in the past year, with Australia’s abundant sunshine underpinning renewables’ cost advantage.

“Abundant, low-cost energy is a vital input for our Future Made in Australia plan to grow jobs and exports while reducing emissions,” Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said.

“Today’s independent assessment from CSIRO and AEMO is further confirmation that firmed renewables are the only realistic option.

“Our Reliable Renewables approach will deliver Aussie industry cheap, clean power sooner and our economy a competitive head start.”

According to the Federal Government, it is investing record sums in renewables, batteries, storage and affordable gas to replace retiring coal plants and meet its emissions reduction targets.

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