3 Benefits of Cost-Effective Renewables
For many years, the major topic the renewable energy conversation always came back to was its high cost. Solar, wind, and geothermal were once very expensive methods of capturing energy and very few people were willing to foot the bill. However, as the times have changed, so has the cost of renewable energy—dramatically. While this is definitely a good thing, how does the decreasing cost of renewable energy benefit everyone?
3. Lower costs mean more accessibility.
As costs of renewable sources fall, the amount of people with access to them rises. This has been particularly true with solar, which has seen an explosion in currently developing countries. Solar in rural India has taken off and is now on track to bring power to millions without. This wouldn’t have been possible with solar costs staying where they were.
2. Lower costs mean an increase in manufacturing.
Just yesterday, it was announced that Yingli Solar joined Jinko and Trina as panel manufacturers manufacturing panels for less than $.50 each. Of course, this increase in manufacturing has benefits built in.
“Pushing beyond the 50-cents-per-watt cost barrier allows firms to capture greater margin and provides a means to offset volatile OEM costs, high polysilicon prices, and aggressively priced regional end markets,” Jade Jones, upstream solar analyst at GTM research, said.
1. Lower costs mean lower emissions.
With renewable more accessible thanks to lower costs, perhaps the biggest benefit is the decrease in carbon emissions. While large-scale renewable energy isn’t quite available everywhere yet, the lower costs of it all are helping it get deployed in more places, helping move the world away from coal and other high-carbon sources of energy.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.