The findings of the latest report on Australia's energy future, suggesting renewable energy will have just a minor role in the country's energy mix by 2030 because it will be unable to compete on price, is based on flawed cost estimates, says Auswind, the Australian wind energy association. "The report puts the price of wind energy above $85/MWh in 2030, which is simply ridiculous," says Auswind's Dominique La Fontaine. Wind energy often sells at less than A$80/MWh, and with the effect of economies of scale and technological advances, that figure could easily be A$50/MWh or less by 2030, she adds. La Fontaine points out that today the average wind turbine produces 180 times the power produced by its equivalent 20 years ago and at half the cost per unit of electricity. "It is crazy to believe that wind energy technology will not continue to improve, lowering costs even further," she says. The report predicts Australia will largely be dependent on clean coal and nuclear by 2030. "Both nuclear and so-called clean coal are at least 15 years away and their prices are uncertain, but wind energy is here and now, creating power with zero fuel costs and zero emissions," she adds.
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