Renewable energy attitudes need "coming of age"
Worldwide solar energy costs have dropped below the cost of diesel generation for communities living away from the electricity grid. It's just one example renewable energy's entry into a cycle of falling costs, increased deployment, and accelerated technological progress, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The public debate around renewable energy, however, continues to suffer from an outdated perception that renewable energy is not competitive, IRENA contends, forming a significant and unnecessary barrier to its deployment.
IRENA's analysis of 8000 medium-to-large scale renewable power generation projects demonstrates that renewables are already the default economic solution for off-grid power supply, as well as quickly becoming the most competitive option for new electricity grid supply and grid extension.
"The past two years have seen a remarkable increase in the competitiveness of renewable energy," said Adnan Amin, IRENA Director General. "2012 was the year when renewables came of age -- able to compete with other power generation technologies, and increasingly without subsidies. It is time for the public debate to reflect this changing reality."
As a complement to its research, IRENA is launching the Renewable Costing Alliance to raise awareness of falling costs of and collect more data about renewable energy. The alliance brings together utilities, research institutions, government agencies, financial institutions, equipment manufacturers, and project developers.
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