For decades, many in the fossil fuel industry and plenty of politicians argued that we cannot move to renewables unless they are cheaper than fossil fuels. Now of course this ignores the fact that they have been for decades if we made fossil fuel users pay all the cost of their use (clean-up, health problems and others).
However, a new report shows that across much of the world, it is cheaper to abandon coal and gas power stations and replace them with renewables – and then run them, than it is to keep using the coal or gas PowerStation.
What is more, is that this is not just true in small parts of the world, or in countries with the right tax incentives but is true for countries containing 46% of the worlds population.
In these countries, it does not make sense to carry on even to the end of the current powerplant stations lives.
So far the increase in commodity prices that we have seen over the last few years, has not actually changed this (largely by turbines getting bigger and having larger solar farms). It is true that if this is sustained, gas will for the first time in a decade become slightly cheaper – on pure finances, though still more expensive as a whole for humanity, given the global warming price.
These countries include China India and Brazil Chile and Spain (all countries with markets likely to grow greatly over the next few decades, meaning that if they can do this the world will benefit) where sun tracking solar panels make cheaper power than fossil fuels. In terms of wind power China India Germany Brazil UK Poland and Morocco all would be better off building wind turbines, rather than coal or gas plants.
What does this mean? Well, essentially it destroys governments and fossil fuel companies argument. Not only are they damaging the planet, but they are also pushing a means of electricity generation which is more costly than green sources – a must for the planet.