Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) report shows renewables significantly cheaper.


Mon, 10/02/2014

The Australian Energy Technology Assessment 2013 Model Update has finally been posted on BREE’s website:  http://www.bree.gov.au/publications/australian-energy-technology-assessments, even though the report was already eluded to in January.

This report leaves no uncertainty in the minds of our energy experts that the cheapest avenue forward for Australia in a low carbon world is renewable energy with solar in particular.

“It’s a stunning document, it outlines clearly what I have been saying for quite some time, that in today’s electricity market there is an compelling economic place for renewables,” said Greens spokesperson on energy, MLC Robin Chapple.

BREE quietly released an update of its Australian Energy Technology Assessment in December 2013.

In this report BREE concluded after “consultation” with various industry sectors, the cost of solar technologies has been adjusted to reflect true cost, in some cases by being reduced by 30 per cent and that wind was already cheaper comparable to fossil-fuel generation.

With all the Federal and State governments spin around the cost effectiveness of carbon capture and storage and nuclear, these have now been revised upwards significantly.

The key features of the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) cost parameters in the Australian Energy Assessment (AETA) 2013 Model update with respect to the AETA 2012 Model can be summarised as follows:

1.    Renewable technologies have generally higher LCOEs than the lowest cost non-renewable technologies, and the relative LCOE rankings significantly change post 2030. The LCOE of solar PV becomes lower than the non-renewables, from mid-2030 onwards;

however, wind based generation is estimated to already have a lower LCOE than many new build, comparable fossil-fuel generation technologies;

2.    LCOE costs vary substantially across the technologies from $89/MWh (combined cycle gas turbine) to $351/MWh (solar thermal Linear Fresnel) in 2012, and $73/MWh (PV non-tracking) to $247/MWh (IGCC black coal CCS) in 2050;

3.    Changes are made to nuclear capital costs and nuclear technology plant’s ‘first year of construction’, carbon capture and storage (CCS) retrofit thermal efficiency and amortisation period for various technologies to include construction period;

4.    A reduction in onshore wind operations and maintenance (O&M) costs of 18 per cent;

5.    A reduction in offshore wind fixed O&M costs, and a three-fold increase in offshore wind variable O&M costs, resulting in an overall increase of 50 per cent total O&M costs;

6.    Fixed tilt PV configurations have not seen significant changes in O&M costs;

7.    Single axis tracking and dual axis tracking PV configurations are approximately 20-30 per cent reduced based on a better understanding of the associated O&M costs;

8.    Concentrating solar power (solar thermal) O&M cost reduced between 8 per cent and 27 per cent.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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