In our quest for a more sustainable future, our reliance on fossil fuels is a major hurdle that we need to overcome. While a change won’t happen overnight, recent revelations have left us feeling confident that we’re moving towards a brighter tomorrow.
Last year saw the world hit a major milestone, as solar power became the cheapest form of energy in 58 countries, including China, India and Brazil. Data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance showed that the average price of solar energy in these countries dropped to US$1.65 million per megawatt, just below wind at US$1.66 million per megawatt.
This is fantastic news as it means renewable energy will be seen as an increasingly attractive option for companies looking to invest in new power plants in the future. Prices have also been dropping at auctions, with firms bidding against each other for big energy contracts.
A recent Carbon Tracker report, produced in partnership with the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, confirmed this shift. It estimated that solar PV could supply 23% of global power generation by 2040, and 29% by 2050, entirely phasing out coal and leaving natural gas with just a 1% market share. Put simply, your future energy supply could look a lot brighter.
We reached out to a couple of our favourite Green Tech Heroes, to see what they had to say about these milestones.
Matt Allen, Founder & CEO at Become Energy, cited innovation as key to cutting costs and helping the industry move forward, saying:
“This is a massive milestone for solar power, which is helping to make electricity a positive part of people’s lives across the world. Not only does it enable us to generate our own power, but by combining solar generation with battery storage, we can consume solar power on-demand. This delivers meaningful savings and a positive impact for both consumers and for our environment.
“While the UK solar industry faces challenging times, innovation will continue to cut costs, making the direction of travel inevitable. For businesses and consumers, it’s incredibly empowering, because it enables us to genuinely affect change and accelerate our transition to a low carbon economy.”
David Hill, Director of Business Development & Corporate Affairs at Open Energi, pointed out that while this news is great, there is still more to be done.
“Falling renewable costs are great news for consumers and the planet. But it creates challenges too. The UK’s electricity grid is used to large, centralised power stations that can be turned up or down as required. To pave the way for more wind and solar power, it urgently needs to become much more flexible. Smart grid technology is providing many of the answers.
“Advanced automation and intelligent demand management is enabling businesses and consumers to invisibly adjust their demand in response to changes in supply and become active participants in a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.”
Visit our Green Pioneer page to find out more about our renewable energy tariff, which comes with 100% green electricity.