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This was compounded by the increasing use of reticulated electricity based on fossil fuels and the importance of portable high-density energy sources for transport – the era of oil.
It includes capital, financing, operation and maintenance, fuel (if any), and decommissioning.
Another relevant metric is energy return on energy invested (EROI).
Wind turbines have developed greatly in recent decades, solar photovoltaic technology is much more efficient, and there are improved prospects of harnessing the energy in tides and waves.
Solar thermal technologies in particular (with some heat storage) have great potential in sunny climates.
Technology to utilise the forces of nature for doing work to supply human needs is as old as the first sailing ship.
But attention swung away from renewable sources as the industrial revolution progressed on the basis of the concentrated energy locked up in fossil fuels.With government encouragement to utilise wind and solar technologies, their costs have come down and are now in the same league per kilowatt-hour as the increased costs of fossil fuel technologies, especially with likely carbon emission charges on electricity generation from them.However, the variability of wind and solar power does not correspond with most demand, and as substantial capacity has been built in several countries in response to government incentives, occasional massive output from these sources creates major problems in maintaining the reliability and economic viability of the whole system.Fourth, they are more modular and can be deployed in a much more distributed fashion.Fifth, unlike fossil or nuclear fuels, wind and sunlight cannot be transported, and while renewable energy resources are available in many areas, the best resources are frequently located at a distance from load centres thus, in some cases, increasing connection costs.There is a new focus on system costs related to achieving reliable supply to meet demand.In the following text, the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) is used to indicate the average cost per unit of electricity generated at the actual plant, allowing for the recovery of all costs over the lifetime of the plant.Together, these would lead to an 8% per capita reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025 and 9% by 2030.The role of India and China INDCs is noteworthy here.The (WEO2016) makes the points that VRE have five technical properties that make them distinct from more traditional forms of power generation.First, their maximum output fluctuates according to the real-time availability of wind and sunlight.