Renewables are now outperforming fossil fuels even on prices

Renewables are now outperforming fossil fuels even on prices

Elisa Maria Giannetto
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With the cost of wind and solar in steady decline, China and Israel are launching ambitious renewable energy development projects

It appears that renewable energy has overcome the primary obstacle to its full development. In fact, for the first time, wind and solar energy are now competitive with fossil fuels, reaching an equal (and in more than thirty countries even lower) cost. The news was announced by the latest World Economic Forum report, which describes the event as a ''tipping point'' for a more robust fight against climate change, and for stimulating the investments of green energy businesses. However, the road ahead is still a long one, as noted by Michael Drexler, a member of the WEF’s executive committee, who stated, ''Wind and solar are now very affordable, and their cost will continue to go down. Renewables are not only a commercially viable option, but an outright compelling investment opportunity with long-term, stable, inflation-protected returns''.

This state of affairs has already convinced China to invest 360 billion dollars in renewables from here to 2020. ''According to our projections, 2.5 trillion yuan (359.8 billion USD) will be invested over the next five years'', stated the deputy administrator of the National Energy Agency (NEA), Li Yangzhe, presenting the details of China’s green energy development plan.

On the other side of the globe, Israel, a nation traditionally powered by fossil fuels, is looking to make a leap forward in solar energy with a large-scale project boasting the world’s tallest solar tower. Standing at 250 m over the Negev Desert, the structure will absorb solar energy until sunset with the help of an array of 50,000 heliostats. It is a monument to Israel’s ambitious renewables target: to increase the share of low-impact energies in its energy mix by 10% by the year 2020.