A shift in heavy industry toward renewables

first_imgA shift in heavy industry toward renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times ($):In the forests of central Sweden, construction is about to begin on a giant wind farm with a single purpose: to supply power to the aluminium smelters of Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s biggest producers, for the next 29 years.The wind farm, which cost €270m to build, highlights an important development in renewable energy — a growing number of investments from heavy industry.Recent deals from cement plants and aluminium smelters signal how a market is developing for renewable energy, particularly during a time of volatility for traditional energy prices, as some of the world’s most carbon-intensive industries try to go green.“Industrial players are going to have a huge role, a pivotal role in the development of renewables in the future,” said Mark Dooley, head of green energy at Macquarie Capital and the Green Investment Group, one of the developers of the wind farm. “We think that, while it makes sense that an aluminium producer is in the vanguard, there is every reason to expect that all heavy industrial will follow.”Corporate buyers of renewable power have been on the rise and emerged as one of the main drivers for new renewables projects, because long-term power supply deals typically enable construction to begin on a large wind or solar project.Tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, which have big data centre power needs, were among the first to do these deals. But the trend has now spread across sectors and even to heavy industry, which has been one of the slowest sectors to decarbonise.More ($): Heavy industry turns to renewables in drive to go greenlast_img read more

New report finds wind and solar will soon be cheaper than coal worldwide

first_imgNew report finds wind and solar will soon be cheaper than coal worldwide FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Building new wind and solar plants will soon be cheaper in every major market across the globe than running existing coal-fired power stations, according to a new report that raises fresh doubt about the medium-term viability of Australia’s $26bn thermal coal export industry.While some countries are moving faster than others, the analysis by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a climate finance think tank, found renewable power was a cheaper option than building new coal plants in all large markets including Australia, and was expected to cost less than electricity from existing coal plants by 2030 at the latest.Solar photovoltaics and wind energy were already cheaper than electricity from about 60% of coal stations, including about 70% of China’s coal fleet and half of Australia’s plants, it said. In Japan, where Australia sells nearly half its exported thermal coal, wind power was found to cost less than new coal plants and was expected to be cheaper than existing coal by 2028. Solar power in Japan was forecast to be a better option than new coal by 2023 and existing coal by 2026.The story was similar in China and South Korea, which each take about 15% of Australia’s exported thermal coal. In China, wind was already cheaper than any coal power, and solar electricity was forecast to cost less on average than existing coal later this year. Renewable energy in South Korea was expected to be cheaper than existing coal within two years.The report acknowledged this trend did not necessarily mean coal power would be pushed from the market within a decade. It said some governments were effectively incentivising or underwriting new coal power through regulatory programs that either directly subsidised coal operators or passed the higher cost on to consumers.But the group found that coal power would struggle if markets were priced fairly. It called on governments to block new coal projects and phase our existing coal plants, in part by changing regulations to allow renewable energy to compete on a level playing field. Carbon Tracker’s Matt Gray, a co-author of the report, said proposed coal investments risked becoming stranded assets that locked in increasingly expensive power for decades. The analysis found that developers risked wasting more than $600bn if all mooted coal-fired plants were built.[Adam Morton]More: Wind and solar plants will soon be cheaper than coal in all big markets around world, analysis findslast_img read more