The renewable energy industry may be labeled a pipedream by fossil fuel tycoons and stakeholders, but expert analysis is making it difficult to deny its potential, and not just in the U.S. On a global scale, the wind, solar and hydro industries are worth more than $1 billion annually, and developing countries continue to embrace the waste-based technologies of biogas and biomass power. While cost has typically been the biggest development hindrance, that is slowly starting to change. The International Renewable Energy Agency points out that recent years have seen dramatic cost reductions as a result of research and development and accelerated deployment, but unfortunately, policymakers are often exposed to outdated information. Since most are unaware of the latest cost data, progress is not where it could be.
In order to disperse and make available current renewable energy market data, IRENA has published a five-part renewable energy cost analysis series, with the hopes that it will assist in policymaking, especially in its 102 member countries. Michael Taylor, IRENA renewable energy cost status and outlook analyst, explains that the organization has a mandate from its members to accelerate the deployment of all types of renewable energy, and as part of this mandate, IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre has a specific program that focuses on the costs and performance of renewable technologies.
Tags: renewable technologies, renewable energy data, IRENA data collection, technology costs, feedstock costs, biomass power, boilers, LCOE, digesters
Biomass Magazine, 2012-11-20.