6 Charts Showing the Renewables Threat to Natural Gas

Why build gas peaker plants when solar or wind plus energy storage is cheaper?

Today, utility storage capacity amounts to around 6 gigawatt-hours worldwide, but Wood Mackenzie predicts a more than tenfold increase, to at least 65 gigawatt-hours, by 2022. The U.S. will continue to lead this build-out, thanks to its more mature market.

The outlook up to 2022 was “just the tip of the iceberg” in terms of predicted energy storage deployment. At the same time, solar and wind energy have both fallen drastically in price over the last half decade, largely thanks to the advent of government auctions.

The global solar market, for example, has smashed power-purchase agreement (PPA) records seven times since the start of 2016. Solar is now cheaper than the global levelized cost of coal and gas in Chile, Mexico and parts of the Middle East.

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