Reasons why clean energy
Follow the money
Perhaps the most surefire proof of a global transition to clean energy is to follow the money. The research teams at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report that "Renewable energy sources are set to represent almost three-quarters of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power generating technology until 2040." Even more significantly, across the Asia Pacific region (including the Chinese and Indian economies), BNEF reports that renewables will account for more than 60 percent of new energy investments, versus just 10 percent for coal and gas generation. That sounds like a ratio that could make a difference.
Meanwhile, the market for green bonds — investment securities that generate money to be used for projects with environmental or climate benefits — has soared to record heights. Green bond issuance reached (PDF) $155.5 billion worldwide in 2017, up 78 percent from the previous year on strong backing by the United States, France China and new development in ASIA especially ASEAN, Finance experts predict additional exponential growth in 2018 and are optimistic that green bonds could be a $1 trillion market by the end of 2020.
When faced with the overwhelming amount of money flooding the sector, it’s hard to argue that the future will be anything but renewable-powered.
Big business is all-in on renewables
In 2017 corporate renewable energy buyers reached a cumulative 10 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy projects. This milestone means that corporate-backed renewable projects power the equivalent of more than 7 million homes. And as more companies choose to buy renewable energy to power their operations, the market is responding to enable smaller, more diversified companies to transact as well.
In the past year, companies buying renewables ranged from high-tech players such as Google and Facebook to heavy industrials such as Cummins and auto manufacturers such as General Motors. Even beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev got in on the action with not one, but two renewable energy purchases, including a massive wind farm in Oklahoma. Combined, these businesses and their peers contracted for 3.11 GW of power last year, the second-best year for corporate renewable energy buying.
It’s important to realize that these companies buy renewables not because they have to, but because it’s good for business. With more than 10 GW of new renewables coming online due to corporate buyers, the tide is turning against naysayers who believe renewables are only viable due to government intervention and or participation, Policies, and regulations support the investment. We "Sonnens Energy" spend more than 10 years to establish this relationship. No one can survive alone on this planet.
Renewable energy's biggest myth goes bust
The "expensive" renewables myth is dead and we killed it. In late December, RMI announced that construction began on a 3 MW solar project in New Mexico that will sell its power below 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. This price is officially the lowest reported contract for distributed photovoltaic solar energy across the entire U.S., beating coal prices that average 6 cents and up per kilowatt-hour and competing with natural gas prices averaging 4.2 cents and up, according to Lazard.
But wait, there’s more. This month, Colorado utility company Xcel Energy received "shockingly low bids" for electricity from renewable sources. How shocking? Wind power bids had a median average price of 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, and solar’s median bid was 2.95 cents per kilowatt-hour. Even with storage technology costs included — allowing renewables to generate 24/7 just like fossil fuels — the average wind price was 2.1 cents per kilowatt-hour and the average solar price was 3.6 cents per kilowatt-hour. According to the Denver Post, if wind bids come in at 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, customers would save $175 million versus building new fossil fuel plants.
If these stories tell us one thing, it’s that the bogus myth of "expensive renewables" is well and truly dead. Not only will the low-carbon economy be better for the environment, but it will be better for electricity customers as well.