As has been noted before, the era of ever declining costs for renewables is now over.
“As has been publicly reported in recent weeks, global commodity price increases, in part due to ongoing war in Ukraine, sharp and sudden increases in interest rates, prolonged supply chain constraints, and persistent inflation have significantly increased the expected cost of constructing the project. As a result, the project is no longer viable and would not be able to move forward absent amendments to the PPAs”
“On Monday, New Jersey utility Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. said it’s deciding whether to pull out of Ocean Wind 1, a proposed project in the Atlantic Ocean that would generate 1.1 gigawatts…A representative for PSEG said by email that the company has been reviewing its 25% equity stake in Ocean Wind 1, majority-owned by the Danish energy giant Orsted AS, on an ongoing basis. PSEG Chief Executive Ralph LaRossa said on a call with investors Monday that the company was reviewing the costs of the project, and another executive said not going forward with the project was an option on the table.”
“Shell has cited ”technical, commercial and financial challenges” in the execution of the project as the main reasons for the decision to cancel the EUR 300 million, 28.5 MW Groix & Belle-Île pilot wind farm, Le Parisien reports.”
“Unless we manage to reduce energy prices in Germany and Europe quickly and reliably,” Thomas Schäfer wrote in a Monday LinkedIn post, “investments in energy-intensive production or new battery cell factories in Germany and the EU will be practically unviable.”…
He lamented that Germany and the European Union are “rapidly losing their attractiveness and competitiveness” while other countries such as the USA, Canada and China, among others, “are forging ahead.”
" In fact, across Europe, major wind turbine makers are reporting massive losses and laying off swaths of employees. Just this month, Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems, the largest maker of wind turbines in the world, reported a third-quarter loss of 147 million euros (about $151 million). General Electric, another major wind turbine producer in the United States and Europe, reports that its renewable energy unit is likely to report a $2 billion loss at the end of the year. Spanish company Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, a Madrid-based company that is a leading producer of offshore wind turbines, reported an annual loss of 940 million euros ($965 million) and has announced spending cuts which will incur 2,900 job losses – approximately 11% of the company’s workforce."
I still think wind is cheaper than coal. When fully depreciated it comes down to maintenance costs and service life. The jury may still be out but I’m betting on wind in the long run.
Most numbers get fouled up on financing costs for the installation. “Cost” is mostly the cost of financing. Samuel Insul learned that is generally true of electric generation. That’s why he emphasized uses that were off peak such as elevators and electric trains. He had to spend to provide generation capacity to serve peak demand. Off peak use was almost like found money. Minimal additional cost to provide.
Industry observers warned that Clough’s administration, which occurred after a $350 million sale deal with Italy’s Webuild fell through, would delay and could drive up costs of the Perth-based contractor’s projects. These include some of Australia’s biggest projects, such as the $5.9 billion Snowy 2.0 storage venture and the $3.3 billion Project EnergyConnect electricity interconnector between South Australia and NSW, as well as one of the few gas power plants being built in the National Electricity Market…
In the wake of the Clough administration, Credit Suisse analyst Saul Kavonic said cost increases appear inevitable for at least some of the projects, including Snowy 2.0 and Waitsia, “with risks of delays also rising”.
That’s fair. But then we should also include the costs of removing pollutants from coal fired plants from jthe atmosphere, otherwise you’re allowing one form of energy production to just use the whole planet as a garbage dump, while insisting another account for every possible variation in its production process.
Aren’t those called scrubbers on coal plants?
At any rate, figuring out the total costs gets very complicated. How wide and far does one go? Mining costs? Child labor in Africa? Dead raptors? Endangered right whales?
“The researchers found that of the 23 species they studied, 11 experienced population declines of at least 20% due to exposure to alternative energy plants.”
Yes. But scrubbers are designed to filter sulphuric dioxide which produces acid rain. It’s about 95% effective. It does nothing for carbon dioxide, and then there are hundreds of millions of tons of coal ash produced which are dumped in landfills, not to mention ponds and lakes. (I am in Tennessee where a coal ash slurry nearly wiped out a nearby town when the banks of the retaining ponds collapsed.)
I agree. But I go for the big ones: among all energy sources coal is probably the worst. There are detrimental effects of all of them, admittedly, but “do less harm” is my way of dealing with it.
There is also a difference is cost category. There are external costs that we have mentioned. However, batteries or other storage become a necessary part of the system for it maintain stability and reliability (offering power 24/7).