The Australian government’s main economic advisor has significantly revised its cost estimates for leading energy technologies in an update that should introduce a dose of reality to the energy debate in this country.
The Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics quietly released an update of its Australian Energy Technology Assessment in December. The first report came out in July, 2012.
In the latest report – concluded after “consultation” with various industry sectors – the cost of solar technologies has been revised downwards (in some cases by up to 30 per cent), in particular solar thermal with storage, while the costs of clean energy rival technologies such as carbon capture and storage and nuclear have been revised upwards.
It leaves no doubt which is the cheapest avenue forward for Australia in a low carbon world – renewables, and solar in particular. Importantly, even if carbon emissions and their costs were not taken into account, it will still be the cheapest option.