Thursday, June 16, 2016

IRENA Predicts Solar PV costs may fall another 59% by 2025 and installed base to grow 10X by 2030

The International Renewable Energy Agency is out with a study (click on this link to download it) predicting a FURTHER 59% reduction in solar PV globally weighted levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) between 2015 and 2025.  Onshore wind LCOE is predicted to fall by as much as 26%.   In this case, the charts and tables are more powerful than words.

According to the conclusions (summarized in the above table), potential global weighted LCOE for solar PV of US$0.06 per kWh by 2025, and US$0.05 per kWh for onshore wind.  No wonder that most of the new generation being planned in many places globally today is solar or wind.

UPDATE:  And just a few days later, still in June 2016, IRENA rolls out another study named "Letting in the Light" (downloadable at the link) which offers more sunny news.

IRENA predicts that, led by ongoing cost reductions, solar PV installations in Japan can reach 136GW by 2030.  This is more than double the Japanese government's politically influenced 2015 "energy mix" forecast for 2030, which predicted only 64GW, and much higher even than Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)'s reaction to the "energy mix" which suggested Japan would attain 95GW solar by 2030.  Globally, IRENA suggests that PV can go from 227GW (2015) to 1,760GW~2,500GW in 2030.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Oxford Study finds potential for Massive Stranded Coal Assets in Japan

Just looking around the world at what is happening in the energy business, and one would suspect it is a really dumb idea for Japan to be investing a massive amount in adding a lot of coal-fired electricity generation over the coming years.  But it is nice to find that a world class university research institute -- Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment -- has done the detailed work to try and quantify just how dumb it is, and what is likely to happen to Japan's existing coal-fired generation in coming years.

The headline:  over the next 5~15 years, stranded coal assets are predicted to be 6.8 to 8.9 trillion yen, or US$61.6 billion to US$80.2 billion.

You can download a copy of the 100+ page study here.  It goes into detail looking at 5 different Japanese utilities and identifying risks at specific generating plants.  Much more granular than anything one would see in Japan on this topic!


NOTE:  To be clear, this study does not predict exactly WHEN coal generation assets become stranded in Japan.  That will depend upon (1) implementation of wholesale competition, (2) carbon tax or equivalent to reflect the externalities of operating these plants, (3) cost of LNG, (4) success in restarting nuclear plants, and (5) speed of introduction of renewables.  Most of the utilities will do everything they can to slow down this process.  Of course, if they slow things too much, consumers will self-generate and the grid will go into a negative spiral of reduced consumption and higher per kWh costs.