What are the Cheapest Energy Sources in the World?
All around the world, the impetus to move towards more affordable energy is only second to the need for greener consumption. Fortunately, renewable energy is fast becoming the cheapest energy sources in the world – when considering long-term savings as well.
Spanning solar power, wind energy, and the force of tidal waves, it is now increasingly affordable to tap into freely available resources to meet our electricity requirements.
On that note, our blog this week dives into the greenest and cheapest energy sources in the world. Continue reading to find out what these are!
Over the years, solar power has gradually become one of the cheapest energy sources in the world. In fact, the global weighted average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of utility-scale solar PV fell by 73% between 2010 and 2017, reaching a cost of $0.10 per kWh.
Owing to a combination of factors – including the advancement of solar technology, developments in the manufacturing process, and the multitude of rebates and financing options available – solar power now represents a popular option for even the smallest homes in Australia.
Given their ability to harness energy from the sun and convert it into electricity, the solar industry is a site for increasing investment and competition, resulting in lower costs to consumers. China’s investment of $103 billion dollars into solar projects last year alone is a testament to this fact. This spending surpassed solar investments made by the US, UK, and Japan, combined.
While solar energy may not be the go-to solution in many parts of the world, it is the capacity for long-term cost savings that render these systems the cheapest source of energy worldwide. Affordability is usually determined by the availability of sunshine, the energy contracts in a given country, and the kind of subsidies, rebates, and incentives available.
Along with solar energy, wind power is also cited among the cheapest energy sources on the market.
According to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2017, on-shore wind was identified as the cheapest energy source, along with solar power. In this regard, wind turbine prices were discovered to be an average of $0.06 per kWh, with certain schemes delivering energy for as low as $0.04 per kWh.
This stands in comparison to a price tag that ranges from $0.05-$0.17 per kWh for fossil fuels.
Within this industry, investment and research in the last few years have brought costs down, leading to record-breaking price drops in the last few years. IRENA, in fact, estimates that over the next few years, both solar and wind power systems will produce electricity for as low as $0.03.
While tidal energy is more expensive compared to the other renewables discussed above, it possesses a strong potential to transform into one of the cheapest energy sources in the world.
In this regard, operational and maintenance costs are cited to be among the lowest in the energy industry, in spite of high construction costs. Certain studies even show that the former represents a mere 0.5% of initial capital costs.
Given, however, that this area has suffered from a relative lack of investment and research, it remains costly for a majority of countries around the world. Should governments decide to tap into this renewable source of energy, in the future, it is likely that solar power and wind energy will face stiff competition from the tidal energy market.
At a time where fossil fuels and other non-renewable forms of energy face global risks – scarcity included – renewable alternatives comprise the cheapest energy in the world.
In addition to traditional competitors such as solar power and wind energy, tidal power is also a source of great potential – provided investment and research are directed accordingly.
Keen on leveraging the cheapest energy source to power your home or office?