Wind power is now cheaper than coal power from new coal plants in Australia. PHOTO: Reuters
Don't look now, but coal energy is gradually getting priced out of the market. The latest news to suggest this came from Australia where wind energy is now cheaper than coal. Actually, that's only true for new coal plants (plants built in the 70s and 80s still beat wind on price), but it's still a significant step.
Two forces are working to make this happen: first, the price of wind energy has fallen 10% since 2011 (!) due to lower equipment expenses, and the Australian government now charges a fee on coal to account for its harmful effects on the environment. The cost of solar has also fallen dramatically: a 29% drop since 2011.
When people say renewable power does not work, they willfully ignore the numbers that show the technology at a tipping point. Green power is not just the technology of the future because our environment (and living standards) require it, green power is delivering more bang for the buck by the month.
Australia's investment in renewables allows it to be the world's biggest coal exporter, providing a double whammy (the good kind) to their economy.
Deep breaths, people. The scientists might just save us from ourselves after all.
Especially if this happens.