As predicted, renewable energy is gaining the price edge over old energy. In Australia and the US, wind energy is beating the business model of gas, coal and nukes.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently reported that unsubsidised wind energy is now cheaper than electricity from new-build coal- and gas-fired power stations in Australia.
The study found that even without a carbon price, wind energy is 14% cheaper than new coal and 18% cheaper than new gas. A new wind farm can supply electricity at a cost of $80 per megawatt hour, compared with $143 a megawatt hour from a new coal-fired power plant or $116 from a new natural gas station when the cost of carbon emissions is included.
BNEF’s research on Australia shows that since 2011, the cost of wind energy has dropped by 10% while solar PV fell by 29%. In contrast, the cost of energy from new coal plants remains high and is still rising, which suggests that in future the Australian economy will be powered by renewable energy while investment in fossil fuels will be limited.
This is of course excellent news for the environment, the economy and the renewable energy sector.
Meanwhile, in New Mexico there’s been more positive news for wind energy after a subsidiary of the region’s energy supplier Xcel Energy announced it was seeking to invest in 700MW of additional wind energy, citing low costs, and resulting in a saving of more than $590 million in fuel costs over 20 years.
The wind energy will be sourced from three wind farms in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
Once the world has woken up to the fact that renewables make good economic sense as well as being the best choice for the planet, we will be on track to quit coal for good.