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Clean Energy Is Approaching a Tipping Point

“The cost of renewables is plunging faster than forecasters anticipated just a few years ago as as technologies like gigantic wind turbines arrive on the market. . . .

“The same process of producing more electricity for a lower cost is making photovoltaics cheaper. Liebreich predicted two “tipping points” where the cost of renewables will make power generation fueled by natural gas and coal increasingly unattractive.

“’The first is when new wind and solar become cheaper than anything else,’ Liebreich said. The slide below from his presentation indicates that in Japan by 2025 it will be cheaper to build a new PV plant than a coal-fired power generator. That milestone will be passed in India for wind power by 2030. . .

“The second tipping point, a little further off, is when it’s more costly to operate existing coal and gas plants than to take power from wind and solar. The chart below, from BNEF forecasts, indicates that point may arrive in the middle of the next decade in both Germany and China.”

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