Written by on May 5, 2023

A twitter post claiming that renewable energy is very expensive is false.

“Renewable” energy is environmentally destructive and much more expensive than fossil fuels. The poor and middle class are going to suffer the most,” states the claim.

According to a study published on September 13, 2022 in the journal Joule, a rapid transition to net zero could save $12 trillion in the coming decades. The research states that the cost of renewables have been trending down for decades and are already cheaper than fossil fuels in several situations. It further indicates that they will become cheaper than fossil fuels across almost all applications in the years to come and if the transition will be accelerated, they will become cheaper faster. The findings of the research affirm that completely replacing fossil fuels with clean energy by 2050 will save trillions.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) states that of all the wind, solar and other renewables that came into stream in the year 2020, about two-thirds, that is 62% were cheaper than the cheapest new fossil fuel. This was double the equivalent share for 2019.

Source: IRENA

IRENA’s report on the Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2020 finds that there is a continued significant fall in the costs for renewable technologies year on year. The report further established a fall by 16% in the cost of concentrating solar thermal power technology systems which use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver.

IRENA reported that solar photovoltaics (PV) which is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials saw project costs fall by 7%. It reports that the cost of electricity from utility scale solar PV plunged 85% in the decade to 2020.

According to the World Energy Outlook 2020 by the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar power is currently the cheapest electricity in history. The outlook finds that the technology is cheaper than gas and coal in most major countries.

Another study by IEA; Net Zero by 2050, reports that there is a possibility of carbon neutrality by 2050, but this will depend on big changes, which include huge cuts in the use of oil, gas and coal, as well as substantial investment in renewables.

We looked into this claim stating that renewable energy is very expensive and found it to be false.

This fact-check was produced by Sky 106.1 FM with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck, International Fact-Checking Network, and African Fact Checking Alliance network.

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