The additional costs associated with adopting renewable energy are frequently used to argue that it is too expensive to adopt renewables. However, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has taken a look at the costs and offsets from renewable energy use and finds "The answer: the cost is a tiny fraction of the ultimate savings."
Although the costs for the equipment needed to integrate renewables into the existing grid are not insignificant, the associated savings in reduced fuel costs are far greater. Cycling fossil power plants to generate power intermittently also increases wear on the equipment, which leads to increased maintenance costs. But overall, the savings are far more than the increases.
The other key finding is that, as renewables continue to be integrated into the grid, the continuing costs will become smaller. Making the systems able to work with renewables connected to the grid is something that gets easier and less expensive. So, in a way, the early adopters have made an even bigger contribution to improving the energy infrastructure.
via: Ars Technica