Incredible falls in the cost of renewables have continued this year, making a strong transition to clean energy a no-brainer. The cost of wind and solar energy has fallen so much they are now out-competing gas and coal, and experts are saying that will price gas out as a transition fuel.
The latest news comes from Stockyard Hill Wind Farm in Victoria, where Origin Energy has just signed a deal to buy power for a record $55/MWh, and India, where solar has just seen a 40% price drop. When you throw in the rapid uptake of batteries, the solution to our energy crisis and rising electricity prices is clear.
Prices and uptake have come have so far, energy experts say they've bypassed gas a transition fuel. The Centre for Climate Economics and Policy's Professor Jotzo has said "gas had been overtaken by renewable energy, including battery storage, in the transition away from coal-fired power." in a piece by the AFR earlier this month. AGL agreed, saying that Australia's energy transition will straight to large-scale wind and solar.
Recent research from modelling firm, Reputex, confirms the predictions, finding that renewables, even with the cost of balancing renewable supply with demand, are cheaper than fossil fuels.
Seemingly in spite of this, the 2017 budget has earmarked $90m for gas development. With no end in sight to the price competitiveness of renewables and battery storage projects being explored in both Victoria and South Australia, it looks like the transition is going to happen with or without the Federal Government. Let's hope they catch on soon, and map a policy pathway to grid security and resilience.