Australia, Climate, Policy, Projects, Renewables, Solar

GenCost reveals renewable’s future dominance in Australia

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen has emphasised that renewables are the most cost-effective energy source in Australia until 2030.

According to the 2023-24 GenCost consultation draft, a collaboration between CSIRO and AEMO, utility-scale solar and onshore wind, including transmission and storage have significant advantage over new coal and small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).

Minister Bowen highlighted the GenCost’s annual assessment of energy costs in the country supports the government’s initiatives, including the expanded Capacity Investment Scheme, Rewiring the Nation, and the Gas Code as the most economical path amid the retirement of coal-fired power.

Bowen said solar power’s influence is evident in a 71 per cent drop in wholesale prices within a year, primarily driven by increased rooftop solar.

He reiterated the report’s affirmation that renewable energy remains the most economical option, even when considering storage and transmission costs.

CSIRO’s Director of Energy, Dr Dietmar Tourbier, said GenCost is one of several economic analysis documents that help the Australian energy market plan for future electricity generation.

“The evolving landscape of cost-drivers is complex, and shaped by new and changing technologies, rising consumption and our transition to net-zero emissions,” Dr Tourbier said.

The GenCost consultation draft also revealed that battery costs remained steady with a marginal 2 per cent increase, offshore wind costs decreased by 9 per cent, while costs for technologies like pumped hydro, wave, and tidal energy rose due to a combination of new information and inflationary pressures, following more than a year without updates.

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