The electricity cost of "solar + energy storage" in East Asian countries is more cheaper
According to an article signed by Warda Ajaz on the CarbonBrief website, the vast majority of the current 141 GW of planned natural gas-fired power generation capacity in East Asia is located in two countries, namely China (93 GW) and South Korea (20 GW). At the same time, both countries have pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century, with South Korea aiming for 2050 and China aiming to be "carbon neutral" by 2060.
The relative competitiveness of electricity relative to natural gas and renewables has changed significantly as the cost of wind, solar and storage continues to plummet and international gas prices have soared over the past 12 months. An analysis by think tank TransitionZero compares these alternatives based on the levelized cost of electricity generation (LCOE), which is defined as "the average total cost of building and operating a power plant per unit of electricity generated over its lifetime."
The analysis shows that in South Korea, the LCOE for solar plus storage is currently $120/MWh, while the LCOE for natural gas is $134/MWh. For China, TransitionZero analysis shows that onshore wind with energy storage currently costs $73/MWh, compared to $79/MWh for natural gas. Its figures suggest that solar with energy storage will also be cheaper than natural gas generation by next year.
This presents an opportunity for countries like China and South Korea to avoid massive construction of gas-fired power plants and leapfrog to cheaper renewable energy.