Reportedly the latest analysis by research company BloombergNEF (BNEF) shows that the benchmark levelized cost of electricity, or LCOE, for lithium-ion batteries has fallen 35 percent to $187 per megawatt-hour since the first half of 2018. Meanwhile, the benchmark LCOE for offshore wind has tumbled by 24 percent. Onshore wind and photovoltaic solar have also gotten cheaper, their respective benchmark LCOE reaching $50 and $57 per megawatt-hour for projects starting construction in early 2019, down 10 percent and 18 percent on the equivalent figures of a year ago."
As a student of public policy, I have long believed that the only practical approach to climate policy is to encourage the rapid development and implementation of renewable energy technology. Energy use is too imbedded in our daily economic life to reduce its use beyond the considerable gains we could achieve via energy efficiency. But as the world economy develops the use of energy will continue to rise, where everyone wants smart phones, refrigerators, climate control, personal transportation, computers and the internet.
But the transition will take time and won't be smooth. This past year the world economy, emitted more greenhouse gasses than we did in 2017, after several years of slow reductions of greenhouse gasses. Our investment in fossil fuel infrastructure and the political power of those who own the infrastructure guarantees a slow transition.