September 27, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Webinar: Moody’s Investor Services on the Gathering Transition to Renewables

Thursday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m. ET: Declining Capital Costs, Technological Advances, Broad Public-Political Support

Sept. 27, 2017 (IEEFA) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis hosts a webinar tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m. ET, register here) with executives from Moody’s Investor Services on the gathering global transition toward renewable energy.

The webinar, featuring Jim Hempstead, Moody’s managing director of global projects and infrastructure finance; Anna Zubets-Anderson, Moody’s vice president and senior analyst, and Swami Venkataraman, Moody’s senior vice president, will elaborate on recent research published by the ratings agency around a broad shift occurring in the electricity-generation markets.

Moody’s in early September published two reports in an announcement headlined “Global Renewable Energy Cost Declines Prompt Surge in Growth” in which the agency describes how solar- and wind-powered electricity are gaining market share and doing so—notably—as government subsidies for the sector are declining.

Excerpts from the agency’s description of its new reports:

  • “As more countries shift to renewable procurement through competitive auctions and move away from reliance on subsidies, renewables will continue to transition from being a marginal supplement to a central focus of national energy policies.:
  • “Falling costs of renewable energy also reduce risks for top carbon-emitting nations as they move toward compliance with the Paris Agreement.”
  • “Along with declining capital costs, wind and solar power have benefitted from higher efficiencies, making both technologies more competitive with fossil fuels in many parts of the world.”
  • “Wind and solar are expected to see strong growth globally over the next few years as many countries move away from subsidies to incentivize new renewables.”

Venkataraman said the trends are apparent in emerging and developing economies alike: “Emerging markets are a key market for growth in renewables, with countries such as China and India leading the charge as new renewables become competitive with other sources of power even in developing nations.”

Christopher Bredholt, a vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s and the lead author of one of the reports, said “The number of countries procuring renewables capacity by competitive auctions has been increasing, as governments seek to limit the burden on consumers and respond more rapidly to evolving industry dynamics.”

The agency’s announcement on its research includes this passage: “Moody’s views a lower reliance on subsidies as positive for renewable energy generators, as over time it alleviates the cost on end consumers and relieves the political pressure on governments to address affordability concerns. Additionally, auctions enable governments to respond more quickly to market developments, help push down costs for end consumers and provide a clear signpost for the future project pipeline.”

Globally, China and India are expected to lead in renewable energy installation. In the U.S., even in the absence of subsidies, lower-cost wind and solar are expected to continue to take market share from coal-fired electricity generation.

Moody’s in its recent research also notes growing political support for renewables in much of the U.S., driven by job growth, noting that “the renewable energy sector provides significant employment for the U.S. economy — 677,544 jobs in total versus 160,119 for coal — and this helps to ensure that the sector will continue to receive support from many local governments.”

The webinar, Financial Trends in U.S. Utilities, Renewables and Coal, is open to the public. Register here.

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