Australia’s main scientific body and the country’s energy market operator have again underlined the fact that “integrated” wind and solar – including the cost of storage and transmission – is still by far the cheapest source of new electricity generation in Australia.
The 2022 version of CSIRO’s annual GenCost report also points to a rapid fall in the cost of hydrogen electrolysers, which will increase hopes that Australian can use its abundant and cheap wind and solar energy to become a global hydrogen and renewable superpower.
The latest GenCost report is important because it emphasises the point that wind and solar, including the cost of storage and transmission, is still by far the cheapest form of generation, even up to a 90 per cent share of total generation.
It also underlines some important principles about a renewables grid. Solar and wind do not require additional investments in storage and transmission until their share of generation reached around 50 per cent.
Once they do, and even including the added cost of storage and transmission, wind and solar remain the cheapest sources of electricity up to a 90 per cent share, mostly because far less storage is necessary than many people believe.