WEC, Bloomberg Come Together on a “Complete View” of Global Energy

The World Energy Council and Bloomberg New Energy Finance are combining forces for a thorough look at the costs associated with new, renewable and conventional energy technologies.

A UN-accredited global energy body, the WEC has compiled data on the world’s energy resources since 1934. Now, with BNEF, the effort will expand to renewable energy technologies.

The WEC says its 2010 Survey of Energy Resources has been downloaded more than three million times. The new report, titled “World Energy Survey of Resources and Technologies,” will be published in October 2013, during the 22nd World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea.

It will include BNEF indices that track equipment prices for solar PV, wind turbines, batteries, and other technologies, while also monitoring the costs of capital associated with financing clean energy projects through an network of financial and energy sector clients.

WEC says that by combining those two elements – equipment costs and costs of capital – BNEF “produces, on a quarterly basis, the definitive estimate of levelized costs of electricity for clean energy technologies worldwide.”

“With fast-changing and ever more globalized energy markets, we recognize that effective decision-making requires not only a detailed understanding of resources but also how energy technologies are used to provide energy,” WEC Secretary General Christoph Frei said. “Sustainable energy can only be achieved through the combination of robust policy frameworks and a strong, competitive energy industry. Both require a strong evidence base.”

BNEF spoke in much the same vein, including the use of the word ‘robust.’ “Energy prices are in a period of unusual flux: on top of the usual market volatility, we have seen a dramatic fall in U.S. gas prices due to the breakthrough ‘fracking’ technology,” said CEO Michael Liebreich. “We have also seen extremely rapid reductions in renewable energy costs, in particular for wind and solar. It is absolutely vital that policymakers, investors and energy industry executives have access to robust, up-to-the-minute data on the price landscape.”

Frei and Liebreich launched the first stages of the study in London last month during a meeting of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All High-Level Group.

The complimentary and collaborative nature of this project could turn into a powerful and necessary resource for global policy-makers seeking ways to devise the most efficient energy systems and strategies over the coming decades. But what took so long? This information was needed years ago.

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