AFTER years of dependence on fossil fuels, the good news from the international agency on renewable energy, IRENA is that the cost of technology on renewables are falling, and that by 2020, the average cost of power generation of all commercially available renewable energy technologies would be competitive with oil.
“Since 2009, solar PV module costs have fallen by more than 80%,” said IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, hosted by the United Arab Emirates in its capital of Abu Dhabi, in one of its recent reports.
“The power generated by solar PV declined by 73 per cent between 2010 and 2017. Onshore wind costs have also fallen sharply. The global weighted average cost of electricity from onshore wind fell by 22% between 2010 and 2017, making it one of the most competitive sources of electricity available today.”
With IRENA confirming that RE technology is being widely available and cheaper, the onus now is on politicians to ensure that such lower costs trickle down to their population.
This will be so true for islands in the Pacific, members of the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) who for years had complained about high prices of fossil fuels that had strangled their desire to grow their small and vulnerable economies, burdened as they are already with limited natural resources and expensive transportation costs.
Indeed, another report of IRENA was more direct in stating the obvious, that these small states stand to benefit the Costs tumble in renewable energy most if the world shifts towards adopting renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels.
“Fossil fuel imports currently amounts to 8 per cent of GDP for SIDS worldwide. The shift therefore to renewable energy would cut import bills, promote sustainable development and increase their resilience,” said the IRENA report ‘A New World.’
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