Renewables rapidly becoming preferred energy source

Renewable energy sources, particularly solar and wind, are reaching price and performance parity on-and-off the grid, according to a new report.

Deloitte’s latest Global Renewable Energy Trends report reveals renewable energy is rapidly becoming a preferred energy source, having only recently been recognised as “mainstream”.

Three key enablers – price and performance parity, grid integration, and technology – allow solar and wind power to compete with conventional sources on price, while matching their performance.

As technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing continue to advance the deployment of renewables, prices will likely continue to fall, and accessibility will improve.

Deloitte Australia energy, resources and industrials national lead partner Michael Rath said demand for renewable energy has grown globally and notably at lower cost in Australia.

“The price for utility scale onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) generation has dropped to grid price parity and is moving closer to performance parity with conventional sources,” Mr Rath said.

“The Deloitte Global Renewables Energy Trends report shows Australia has the lowest cost for solar PV and Africa has the highest due to investment costs.

“South Australia, along with China has the lowest unsubsidised, levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for concentrating solar power.”

Already among the cheapest energy sources globally, solar and wind have not even run the full course of their enabling trends yet.

As costs continue to fall and accessibility increases, the demand for renewables is growing rapidly, driven by the following smart renewable cities, community energy projects, and corporate involvement.

China, the United States and Germany have already reached price parity for certain renewable sources.

Despite the recent policy retreat on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) in Australia, the future is an increasing mix of renewables into the grid and a transition away from traditional forms of energy.

These declining costs and the increasing reliability of wide-scale integration makes the renewable energy solution a credible alternative for consumers, communities and cities.

Renewable Energy demand will continue despite the policy void at a domestic level in Australia.