Renewables are cheaper than coal/gas, says Greens Senator

Greens Senator Scott Ludlum has said research shows it is now cheaper to deliver renewable energy than by coal and gas.

Senator Ludlum released research from Sustainable Energy Now, which claims in the last 12 months, the falling cost of delivering renewable energy now means it is cheaper than traditional fossil fuel burning energy, as reported by Energy Business News.

Senator Ludlum said since 2013, according to the government’s own forecasts, the operating cost of onshore wind energy had fallen 18 per cent, tracking solar PV by 20-30 per cent, and concentrating solar power – or solar thermal – by between 8 and
27 per cent.

Overall, this meant the operating costs of all forms of renewable energy had fallen by around 20 per cent, Mr Ludlum said.

His announcement was accompanied by the news US firm Solar Reserve would be setting up operations in Western Australia, given the state the capability of being powered by solar energy through the night.

Solar Reserve is in the final stages of completing an 110MW solar thermal plant near Las Vegas in Nevada, which will power the city through the afternoon and into the night.

Senator Ludlum said establishing such a facility in Western Australia would be top of his agenda.

“By the end of my second Senate term, my aim is to have the first of these solar energy power stations up and running in Western Australia,” he said, as reported by Energy Business News.