A Fundamental Shift in the Nation’s Energy Market?

Posted September 19, 2014 at 10:29am

Financial Times : “Large wind farms and solar plants are now cost-competitive with gas-fired power in many parts of the US even without subsidy, according to Lazard, raising the prospect of a fundamental shift in the country’s energy market.”  

“Costs have fallen and efficiency has risen for solar panels and wind turbines … to the point that in areas of strong wind or sunshine they can provide electricity more cheaply than fossil fuel plants.”

“The falling cost of renewable power will encourage greater investment by generators and utilities, and could help ease public concerns about the cost of federal and state regulations intended to support alternative energy and cut carbon dioxide emissions.”

“In the first half of this year, almost half the utility-scale generation capacity added in the US has been in solar and wind power, according to the government’s Energy Information Administration.”

“The economics of wind power have been improving sharply, with its lowest possible unsubsidised cost dropping from a minimum of $101 per megawatt hour in 2009 to a minimum of $37 per MWh today.”

“The decline in solar costs has been even more dramatic: since 2009 the lowest possible cost of generation from a large photovoltaic solar plant has plunged almost 80 per cent, from $323 per MWh to $72 per MWh.”