A new world in which solar and storage becomes the cheapest form of energy

Renewable energy became the cheapest form of electricity in 58 emerging economies last year. This year, the 11th Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 11.0) showed that solar and wind energy generation costs (at $46 to $53 per megawatt-hour of generation) easily beat coal and gas (at $60-68).

Solar power was the fastest-growing source of new energy worldwide in 2016, outpacing the growth in all other forms of power generation for the first time. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), on the back of a strong solar PV market, renewable energy accounted for two-thirds of new power added to the world’s grid last year. In addition to this, solar energy is set to surpass nuclear power by the end of 2017.

In November this year, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) organized its first energy forum in Seoul at which GGGI Member countries shared their energy transformation experience. In Germany, on one sunny breezy Sunday last summer, solar and wind broke a record 85 per cent of all energy used in the country.

The rapidly growing renewable energy sector is quickly replacing nuclear energy in Germany – while coal is still playing a key role in the energy mix. In the UK, on the other hand, the use of coal in the energy mix has rapidly fallen from 50 to 9 per cent in just ten years, replaced by cheap solar and offshore wind energy – while nuclear energy is maintaining a key role.

The Australian capital city, Canberra, has rapidly achieved the solar and wind investments to shift to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020, and is now moving to zero emissions by 2030, while the national targets are much more modest.

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