Drop in solar and wind power costs to be driven by cheaper energy storage
According to a recent report released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the drop in wind and solar power costs will be driven by energy storage expenses.
The New Energy Outlook report suggests that wind power will be 58% cheaper by the middle of the century.
Solar energy costs are expected to be 71% less expensive in the review period, the report finds.
The two renewable energies have seen prices fall significantly since 2009 – solar costs have dropped by 77% in the past nine years, and wind power was fallen by 41%.
The report notes that the continual fall in renewable expenses will be intrinsically linked to dropping battery costs.
“The arrival of cheap battery storage will mean that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar, so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining,” commented Seb Henbest, Head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa at BNEF, and lead author of the New Energy Outlook report.
“The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”
Since 2010, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 80%. The report argues that costs will continue to drop by an additional 66% by 2030, against a 2017 baseline.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.