After a week which saw the use of renewable energy support schemes in Australia described as “plain crazy”, it seems like a good time to take another look at the study published last month by Agora Energiewend that shows European subsidies for solar and wind essentially come at half the price of those for nuclear or CCS.
The analysis – based on a comparison of European subsidies for low-carbon energy systems – found that new wind and solar PV could generate energy for an overall cost of up to 50 per cent less than new nuclear or coal or gas with (as yet unavailable) carbon capture and storage technology.
“Today’s feed-in tariffs for wind and PV in Germany are up to 50 per cent lower than those offered for new nuclear in the UK according to the Hinkley Point C agreement,” the report says, noting that for CCS, with the technology still in demonstration phase, estimates suggest it would cost about as much as new nuclear power or more.
“Even today and under conservative assumptions, a generation mix consisting of PV, onshore wind and gas is approximately 20 percent less expensive than a mix consisting of new nuclear power (based on the Hinkley Point C agreement) and gas,” the report says.
Overall, it says, “onshore wind at sites with a good resource potential and utility-scale PV represent the low-carbon technologies with the lowest cost,” while power from nuclear, as well as gas and coal plants with CCS represent the low-carbon technologies with the highest cost.
But we’ll let the charts do the talking…
Sophie is editor of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and deputy editor of its sister site, RenewEconomy.com.au. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.