Fossil fuels versus renewables for generating electricity

The coalition is making strange claims about electricity:

The Liberal Party and the National party are both pushing hard for new coal electricity generation – and claiming that they are going to bring down the cost of electricity. It is amazing that they can take this stance when it is contradicted by authoritative Australian studies.



The costs of electricity generation: December 2018:

The latest annual report on the costs of electricity generation was in December 2018, produced by two authoritative Australian organisations:

  • The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO), and
  • The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) which operates¬† Australia‚Äôs largest gas and electricity markets and power systems.

The report finds:

  • Existing fossil fuel power plants produce cheap electricity because they were built a long time ago and no longer have to charge for the cost of building the generators.
  • New solar and wind generators now produce cheaper electricity than new fossil fuel generators.
  • This is true even when you require that new solar and wind generators have six hours of storage with batteries or pumped hydro.
  • The costs of building solar and wind generators will continue to fall

Note that the cost of fossil fuel electricity is subsidised here. The cost of this electricity should be increased to allow for things like the emissions of carbon dioxide emissions, the emissions of heavy metals and air pollution.

(The above link is to the CSIRO website. Renew Economy also wrote an article on this report.)