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Wind Energy And Solar Power - 40% By 2050?


by Energy Matters

Wind and solar power cost parity

The International Scientific Congress on Climate Change is currently taking place in Copenhagen. The congress has received almost 1,600 scientific contributions from researchers from more than 70 countries, including Australia. 

Among the submissions and presentations is research from the Helsinki University of Technology's Advanced Energy Systems that states renewable energy technologies like wind and solar power could supply 40 percent of the world's electricity by 2050.

According to the University's Peter Lund, the findings show that with global political support and suitable investment, previous estimations for the potential for renewables making up a much smaller fraction of world demand were wrong - the issue is simply one of prioritisation. All the renewable energy industry needs is the same level of support as provided to fossil fuel and nuclear power generation industries.

Reported on BusinessGreen, Peter Lund said that if wind and solar were given the same government attention and financial backing as nuclear was in the 1970s and 80s, wind energy will achieve price parity with traditional electricity generation by 2020-2025 and solar power by 2030. After the break even point,  these technologies will be cheaper that nuclear and coal fired power generation.

The research estimates that global financial support of just AUD $19.7 billion to AUD $39 billion annually would be all it would take to see wind and solar energy as mainstream technologies. This is a tiny amount compared to some of the recent spending on stimulus packages and bailouts.

The results of the conference will be presented to world leaders later this year in Copenhagen for the post-Kyoto negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15).



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