Wind and solar cheapest way to power UK as prices decline

Wind and solar cheapest way to power UK as prices decline

New economic analysis shows that wind and solar are likely to be the lowest-cost way to power the UK over the next decade, as costs for clean wind and solar energy decline and biomass uncertainty grows.

Wind and solar power are likely to be less expensive than burning trees in order to replace coal in the United Kingdom, according to a new study released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Conducted by London-based Vivid Economics, the study says these truly clean, renewable forms of energy will also help the UK reduce carbon pollution and meet its goals to combat climate change.

The report examines the full system costs of renewables like wind and solar relative to biomass for replacing coal and meeting the UK’s clean and reliable electricity objectives in the period 2020-2025. The results point to the need for policymakers to reform the UK’s bioenergy policies so as not to encourage more expensive and dirtier solutions to the country’s energy needs.

“The science already shows that burning biomass on a mass scale for electricity increases carbon pollution and is extremely harmful to the environment. The emissions risks associated with biomass are simply too big to be ignored, and now we see that the economics of biomass don’t make sense as the UK strives to replace coal and decarbonise its power sector,” said Sasha Stashwick, a senior advocate with NRDC, a US-based environmental organisation.

“This report clearly indicates that when you account for total economic costs, cleaner alternatives like wind and solar are the lower-cost solution for a coal-free UK. It’s just good economic sense.”