Renewable energy targets – the importance of system and resource costs

The government has an ambitious renewables programme whose costs have been much discussed. Unfortunately, due to the polarised nature of the debate, it has not produced clarity and some basic points remain obscure – are renewables cheap or expensive? Are renewables costs rising or falling?  This Comment, by Malcolm Keay, looks at two important aspects of the issue – resource and system costs – which have often been neglected but which throw light on the debate and help explain some of the uncertainties about the likely cost of meeting the government’s targets.

By: Malcolm Keay