So says the European Energy Markets Observatory (EEMO), 2016, the annual study conducted by Capgemini, in partnership with I4CE and Vaasa ETT. Let’s delve into a little bit more of detail on this.
The development of renewable energy is absolutely necessary – we need it to significantly decrease CO2 emissions, which have a huge impact on our climate. We also need it, to face a future where fossil fuels will be scarce and expensive.
And the good news is, renewable energy prices are falling. Wind and solar power are, with hydropower, the main sources of renewable electricity generation in Europe. Offshore wind installation costs, which tend to be higher than onshore costs, fell for the first time in 2015. And onshore wind costs too declined. Technology advances have meant that utility-scale solar panel installation costs are set to decline by a further 20% over the next three years.
Worldwide, investments in renewables are at a historic high. And while the investments in Europe have declined, they still represent more than a quarter of the global investment, in spite of Europe having only 7% of global population.
So while this is good news, renewable energy prices are still more expensive, than say, nuclear power, another low-carbon technology. Competitiveness of renewables is crucial. For this, new efforts to lower direct costs – solar panels, wind turbines, facilities construction prices, cheap land for solar is important. So is lowering of indirect costs like grid management.