On the blogs: Former skeptics are now backing renewables

first_imgOn the blogs: Former skeptics are now backing renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享OilPrice.com:Who would have thought wind’s transformation from subsidy-supported to self-financing power source would happen so quickly—not this publication, that’s for sure.Apart from diehard environmentalists, most consumers have been opposed to renewables on the basis they cost significantly more, and turbines are an eyesore on the landscape. But in the span of less than 10 years, public opposition has declined. Opposition has not gone way entirely, but it has softened as we have become more familiar with the sight of slowly rotating turbine blades on the horizon and with the realization that its costs are falling dramatically.A recent article in The Telegraph reports on how the cost of power production from onshore wind farms has dropped so far it undercuts conventional coal, natural gas and nuclear options. Calling it the “subsidy-free revolution,” the Telegraph article reflects our own surprise at how quickly the change has taken place.To be fair, offshore power still requires some subsidy because of the greater cost of installation and maintenance. Even here, costs continue to fall, and subsidy is a route the authorities prefer to entertain because of public opposition to what was seen as the blight of onshore turbines dotting the landscape. In large part, this is because turbine sizes have increased and, as a result, efficiencies have increased.The latest figures are sounding the death knell for nuclear power in the U.K., but as usual the government hasn’t caught up with the numbers. Nuclear power is costing a massive £92.50 per megawatt hour and is partly justified on the basis that a base load of power is always required to fill in renewables variability. However, battery parks like Glassenbury in Kent are springing up that can meet gaps in demand, but nothing like a 2 GW nuclear power plant; still, a few MW here and there is slowly adding up.Still, a low-carbon future, at lower power costs and with the benefit of economic growth from investments–what’s not to like?More: Wind Energy Is Getting Cheaper And Cheaperlast_img

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