How Much Does Renewable Energy Cost?

In 2021, savvy companies want to switch to renewable energy. Doing so helps them to save money through tax deductions and establishes them as environmentally friendly companies.

But businesses often question whether or not the cost of using more environmentally friendly processes is worth it.

Well good news; switching to renewable energy can definitely be worth it! We’ll show you how you can get $18/MwH (megawatt an hour) while reducing your net carbon footprint.

How Do You Calculate Renewable Energy Cost?

Renewables vs Fossil Fuels Chart

Most people know that renewable energy is our future, and think that it is overly expensive since the government is pouring in tax benefits for scaling renewable energy.

For pragmatists, the answer is, “whatever the cost, can we afford not to?” But what if it is cheaper than you actually think?

For the purpose of this article, we’ll discuss renewable energy in terms of megawatts and identify real life examples of the costs involved. What we uncover may surprise you, so keep reading!

The Cost Factors of Renewable Energy vs. Fossil Fuels:

A Side-by-Side Comparison One of the easiest ways to look at renewable energy costs is to compare it to something we are more familiar with: fossil fuels.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported in 2019 that the energy produced from renewable sources was comparable in price to that of fossil fuels.

Comparing the cost of electricity alone, we can see very similar costs per kilowatt (kWh). According to an article by Forbes, the cost of electricity from developing fossil fuel plants varies in price from $0.05/kWh to $0.15/kWh. Here are the comparable prices of renewable sources of energy:

Hydroelectric: $0.05/kWh

Onshore wind, solar voltaic, biomass, and geothermal: Less than $0.10/kWh

Offshore wind: $0.13/kWh

*It’s important to mention that these costs are worldwide averages and prices can vary wildly based on the specific scenario.

There are several costs that are associated with the cost of energy which we will quickly explore in this 10,000ft comparison.

Renewable  Fossil Fuels
  • Extraction
      • Wind – Turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy
      • Hydroelectric – Turbines convert the kinetic energy of falling water into mechanical energy
  • Machinery 
      • Wind – Turbine
      • Hydroelectric – Turbine
  • Labor 
      • Windaerospace engineers, civil engineers, computer engineers, electrical engineers, environmental engineers, health and safety engineers, industrial engineers, materials engineers, and mechanical engineers.$65k median annual wage per worker
      • Hydroelectric – $58,390 median annual wage per worker
      • (It should be noted that although worker wages are lower, renewable energy requires more workers per unit of energy than fossil fuels, thus creating more jobs according to CBS news).
  • Extraction -mining/drilling
  • Machinery – drilling rigs, excavation sites, various excavation vehicles
  • Labor – $82k median annual wage per worker

Average Renewable Energy Costs

While coal is at $102/MWh – on average, renewable energy costs in comparison are as follows:

  • Wind power: $20/MWh
  • Solar power: $37/MWh
  • Hydro power: $85/MWh

At Powerphase our Fastlight storage-engine costs are lower than any of the renewable energy costs above. Fastlight comes in at just $18/MWh due to its hybrid combination of renewable powered compressed air.

Fastlight stores renewable energy in the form of compressed air and provides a firm, baseload renewable energy to the grid. When storage is depleted, the system also functions as an efficient peaker asset to deliver power as needed.

Economic Costs Associated with Renewable Energy

Clean energy can help the economy in the long term. Renewable energy reduces the cost of energy, creates jobs, and reduces pollution. As time passes and technology continues to improve, renewable energy will become more and more affordable for businesses and households alike. Renewable energy also requires more workers per unit of energy than fossil fuels, thus creating more jobs.

Some experts believe that the world will reach 100% renewable energy use in the future. The exact date is yet to be determined but some experts say it could happen as early as 2032. That means the potential for jobs in renewable energy is rising.

A Comparison of Different Renewable Energy Technologies

Safe & Clean source of energy chart

All of the renewable forms of energy are much safer than nonrenewable sources according to this illustration from “Our World in Data”. If we look at the top four we can see the death toll is very low in hydropower, wind, and solar, with nuclear energy only being slightly more harmful.

The main takeaway is that the cleanest sources of energy are nuclear, wind and solar, with nuclear energy being marginally cleaner than wind energy. Fastlight Storage Engine comes in at about 200 tonnes per gigawatt hour of energy. Although it is not as low as renewable energy, the Fastlight Storage Engine has the capability to generate 50% of its energy with renewable energy even when the renewable energy is not available through its energy storage system.

How Renewable Energy Technologies Tackle Intermittency

Lasting 30+ years, our FastLight Storage Engine technology is a long-term storage asset that diminishes the need for battery replacement and disposal. With superior durability and storage capacity, compressed air storage offers a more flexible and environmentally-friendly alternative to batteries at a fraction of the levelized cost of energy. Intermittency in the use of renewable energy can be a thing of the past with FastLight.

Renewable Energy Can Have A Low Cost When Using the Right Technology

As you can see, renewable energy can in many cases be less expensive than nonrenewable renewable energy. It is also, on average, cleaner and safer than other energy sources. To save even more money, & reduce intermittency, we recommend our FastLight Storage Engine to get $18/MWh using compressed air.

Renewable Energy Can Have A Low Cost When Using the Right Technology

As you can see, renewable energy can in many cases be less expensive than nonrenewable renewable energy. It is also, on average, cleaner and safer than other energy sources.

To save even more money, & reduce intermittency, we recommend our FastLight Storage Engine to get $18/MWh using compressed air.

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