Renewable Energy Program – Colorado Springs Utilities – An Overview
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The federal government uses wind auctions to purchase contracts for future energy products. The most affordable cost in the 2016 auction yielded around $60/MWh in existing costs. This figure is based on a flat rate of $ 77/MWh for twenty years and assumes around 3% inflation, which is the upper end of Australia’s inflation rate target of 2-3%.
So, based upon the limited expense of energy created by existing coal-fired power stations with sunk expenses, Canavan is appropriate in saying that renewables are not “at the moment, cheaper than coal”. Nevertheless, the story is different if we are speaking about new-build electricity costs. And this is frequently where conversations and disputes end up being confused.
As can be seen from the table below, 9 of Australia’s 12 greatest operating coal-fired power stations are more than thirty years old. In preparation for the retirement of those older coal-fired stations, policymakers, energy companies and other investors are discussing whether to change them with new coal-fired power stations, or other types of energy generation.
FactChecks rely on data from events that have already happened. So we can’t state with factual certainty whether or not renewables would be more affordable than coal as a new-build energy source, due to the fact that no coal-fired power stations have actually been built just recently. However we do have current costs for the most affordable kind of new-build renewable resource, which is freshly installed wind power.
The predicted rate for new supercritical coal power is available in at around $75/MWh from the recent Finkel evaluation of the National Electrical Energy Market, based on information produced by Jacobs Consultancy. That is consistent with the rate of $80/MWh from the 2016 report by the CO2 Cooperative Research Study Centre, and less than the $84-94/ MWh from the 2012/3 Australian Energy Innovation Assessment. 
So, if we look at current wind power costs and current cost projections for new supercritical coal power, it’s sensible to say that as things stand today wind power would be the more affordable new-build source of electricity. green energy. There are very important additional elements that require to be taken into consideration when thinking about the expenses of new-build coal-fired electricity and new-build eco-friendly electrical energy as we look even more into the future.
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It is possible to make educated presumptions about how these aspects would affect prices in the future. However I won’t include those forecasts in this FactCheck, for 2 reasons: firstly, we are yet to see the results second of all, the Q&A audience member and Canavan were going over prices as they are “now” and “at the minute”.
Based on the electricity created now by old coal-fired power stations with sunk expenses, Matt Canavan was best to state: “I don’t accept that renewables are, at the moment, cheaper than coal.” In 2017, the minimal cost of creating power from an existing coal station is less than $40/MWh, while wind power is $60-70/ MWh.
Based upon recent rates for freshly set up wind power of around $60-70/ MWh, and current cost projections for brand-new supercritical coal power at around $75/MWh, it is reasonable to say that as things stand today wind power would be more affordable than coal as a new-build source of electrical power. The author has supplied a sound FactCheck that covers a great deal of the intricacies of a challenging issue.
The cost of new-build coal is most likely to be higher than reported in the FactCheck. The author was correct to mention that the introduction of a rate on carbon emissions would increase the cost of new-build coal-fired electrical power. The simple possibility of the intro of a rate on carbon or carbon regulation in the future really affects the costs of new-build coal-fired electrical power today.
The overall result is a higher weighted average expense of capital (generally, a greater average rate of interest) for emission-intensive generation. In the Finkel review, the weighted typical expense of capital for coal is projected to be 14.9%, compared to 7.1% for renewables. Risk-adjusted funding expenses would result in the levelised expense of new coal being greater than the figures presented in the FactCheck.
As noted by the author, the comparison in this FactCheck does not include the cost of intermittency for renewables. Recognising that no innovation runs 100% of the time, there is a backup cost to be added to wind to make it as company (or steady) as a fuel-based plant. Available expenses for such backup, such as massive battery or pumped storage, are based upon estimates and are the subject of much existing research study.
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Nevertheless, at present, the contention in any case is unproven (renewable energy facts). The Discussion FactCheck is recognized by the International Fact-Checking Network. The Discussion’s FactCheck system is the first fact-checking team in Australia and among the first around the world to be accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network, an alliance of fact-checkers hosted at the Poynter Institute in the United States.