Jo Nova explains the weekend news that mining companies are using more renewables. We have to have a renewable energy target to force fossil fuels out of business and increase the cost of power.
A better headline would be: Renewable targets make electricity so expensive miners are forced to switch to renewables.
The money quote:
“Emily Alford is a principal consultant at Oakley Greenwood … [she] told The Weekend Australian that solar generation cost about $200 a megawatt hour five years ago, and had dropped to about $70-$80 now.”
Compare that to 53 year old Hazelwood coal power which was selling electricity for $30/MWh in it’s last month of operation. When brown coal stations set the price in Victoria they were winning bids at prices like $13/MWh. The cheapest electricity in the world comes from 30 year old brown coal plants.
The $70-$80 estimate is artificially low. Unreliable power makes the other baseload generators more expensive, adding $30/MWh to gas generators for example. Because the back up generators have to be there, not earning money while solar feeds in, they have to charge more to recoup those costs in a shorter working period. Doh. So add that cost to solar, not the gas.