Analysis: WA moving to 100% renewables by 2029 cheaper than status quo

The WA Greens have published a new analysis that suggests that the state could move to 100 per cent renewables by 2029 with a cheaper outcome than business as usual.

The study was released ahead of the weekend’s Senate re-run in the state, and suggests that runaway advances in the cost of solar in particular, and falling costs in other technologies, suggest the costs would be cheaper than continuing with fossil fuels.

Senator Scott Ludlam, the lead Greens candidae, is also urging the introduction of 24-hour solar thermal power plant (with storage) as a key technology for the state.

He cited the technology developed by US CSP developer Solar Reserve, which last year set up their first Australian office in Perth. In February, the California-based company began commissioning of its Crescent Dunes solar tower power plant – the biggest of its kind in the world.

“By the end of my second senate term, my aim is to have the first of these solar energy power stations up and running in WA,” Ludlam said.

Ludlam says the federal government’s own research shows that, since 2013, the operating costs of renewable energy have fallen: 18 per cent for onshore wind; 20-30 per cent for tracking solar PV; and 8-27 per cent for concentrating solar power (solar thermal). Overall, renewable energy operating costs have fallen about 20 per cent.

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Giles Parkinson