A new report from Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac) shows that the Asia-Pacific region will see cheaper levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) from renewables than coal by 2030, and solar plus storage projects will be competitive with gas by 2026.
The report forecasts that new renewable investments will be a substantial 23% lower than coal power before the decade is out. This is quite a swing, currently WoodMac puts the cost of renewable power 16% higher than coal power on average. Before the decade is done we should see those numbers flip like President-Elect Biden flipped the battleground states.
Of course, these forecasts are for region as a whole. In Australia, thanks to the sunburnt country’s splendid insolation, renewables are already at the tipping-point. In fact, by 2030 WoodMac predicts renewables will be 47% cheaper in Australia than new-build coal.
Even if fossil-fuel companies won’t yet concede the obsolescence of their assets, the financial world is already beginning to turn their backs. According to a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), Sumitomo’s loss stems, at least partially, from Sumitomo’s and joint venture partner Kansai Electric’s failure to refinance loans of almost AUD$400m on the Bluewaters plant due in August 2020, “as a growing wave of major banks decline further coal funding.”