Wholesale cost of electricity to rise by 11% in coming years
PwC says use of onshore wind technology will lead to electricity prices increase
The PwC roadmap looks primarily to offshore wind to reduce emissions but admits that “offshore wind is relatively expensive”. Photograph: iStockPhoto
The wholesale cost of electricity in Ireland will increase by 11 per cent over the period 2016 to 2050 through the use of onshore wind technology, which Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) considers to be the most cost competitive low carbon technology.
According to PwC’s report, Transitioning to a Low Carbon Energy System, the electricity cost will be substantially lower than in a “business as usual world”, but, 2050 policy targets set under the Paris agreement “present an enormous challenge requiring immediate attention and action”.
The PwC report recommends that “policymakers should prioritise achieving a singular goal of emissions reductions across sectors and highlights that this can only be realised via a suite of complementary and not competing policy objectives and instruments”.
The report notes that although the cost of electricity will increase over the coming years, a 92 per cent reduction in emissions can be achieved if renewable energy sources are prioritised.
The PwC roadmap looks primarily to onshore wind to reduce emissions. However, it expects offshore wind to eventually become more prevalent but admits that “offshore wind is relatively expensive”. The professional services firm estimates that offshore wind costs €149 per megawatt hour versus €66 per megawatt hour for onshore windfarms.
Aside from the electricity sector, PwC says that its recommendations could achieve an 80 per cent reduction in residential greenhouse gases and a 94 per cent reduction in transport greenhouse gas emissions.
Commenting on the report, Owen Wilson, chief executive of the Electricity Association of Ireland, said: “The [electricity] industry is conscious that people need to have some tangible vision of what the transition might look like in terms of scale and complexity if they are to fully understand and appreciate the impact of the transition to a low-carbon energy future.”
Sean Kyne, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, said: “Increased cross-governmental thinking is already happening and will indeed be required to implement a range of solutions along the way if Ireland is to avoid high costs.”