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Renewable energy set to plummet in price

Renewable energy set to plummet in price

Renewable energy set to plummet in price

If you are an office manager looking for ways to increase your energy efficiency and reduce costs, there is some good news on the horizon.

New research has predicted a fundamental shift in the world electricity system over the coming decades, towards sustainable power sources like wind and solar.

This will make it much easier for businesses to run their premises and power their operations in an efficient, environmentally friendly way, without paying over the odds.

For companies that are serious about green issues, investing in renewables like solar power or biomass heating is an attractive option, but, for many firms, the cost of such an investment is likely to be a problem.

However, the latest long-term forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance has suggested that there is reason to be optimistic. Solar photovoltaics and wind are set to be the cheapest ways of producing electricity in many countries in the 2020s and across most of the world in the 2030s.

One of the key reasons for this is rising investment in the sector, which will help it to grow and become more cost efficient.

Approximately $7.8 trillion (£5.5 trillion) is set to be invested in renewables over the coming decades, according to BNEF's New Energy Outlook 2016 report. This compares to $2.1 trillion for fossil fuels like coal and gas.

In the green energy sector, some $3.4 trillion will go into utility-scale, rooftop and other small-scale solar, which could be one of the most significant developments for companies interested in using this source to power their businesses.

Onshore and offshore wind are likely to attract investment of $3.1 trillion, while $911 billion will go towards hydroelectric generation, according to the forecasts.

Some of these trends are expected to be most keenly felt in Europe, with wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy sources set to deliver 70 per cent of the continent's power by 2040, compared to 32 per cent today.

Discussing the findings, Jon Moore, chief executive of BNEF, said: "The New Energy Outlook incorporates a significantly lower trajectory for coal and gas prices than the 2015 edition did a year ago but, strikingly, still shows rapid transition towards clean power over the next 25 years."

Elena Giannakopoulou, senior energy economist on the project, added: "One conclusion that may surprise is that our forecast shows no golden age for gas, except in North America. As a global generation source, gas will be overtaken by renewables in 2027. It will be 2037 before renewables overtake coal."

While these are encouraging trends for environmentally aware businesses, one of the biggest considerations for many firms is the simple, everyday changes they can make within their operations to ensure sustainability.

An efficiency drive can start with the smallest steps, like holding training sessions and distributing information to ensure employees switch off lights and electronic devices when they are not in use.

Managers and directors should also ensure they carry out the right checks to ensure any external partners or service providers have good green credentials.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock