November 6, 2017 Read More →

Report: U.S. Renewable Costs Fall Below Existing Coal and Nuclear


The cost of building and operating new renewable energy projects has fallen so far that it can be less expensive than operating existing coal and nuclear generators, according to a recent analysis by Lazard Ltd.

Falling renewable energy generation costs, especially from new large-scale wind and solar farms, have for years put the cost of green energy below generating power from new coal-fired and nuclear power plants in many places around the world on an unsubsidized basis, but this year, in its annual analysis of energy costs, Lazard found that costs have reached a new milestone.

“This is new and we are just now starting to see the impact on a large scale,” Jonathan Mir, head of Lazard’s North American Power Group, said in an interview. “The fully loaded lifetime costs of natural gas, utility-scale wind and solar are in some cases below the cost of nuclear and coal. Which means you can build from the ground up a new resource and undercut the price of nuclear and coal in certain geographies.”

Mir already sees this new trend playing out in the marketplace, for instance, with respect to American Electric Power Co. Inc.’s recently announced 2,000-MW Wind Catcher Wind Farm to supply power to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. “AEP is doing this because it is the cheapest way to provide energy in those states,” Mir said. The trend toward replacing old coal and nuclear assets with new renewables and gas is unfolding in global markets with access to inexpensive gas, particularly the United States, and places with good wind and solar resources.

More ($): New wind, solar, gas ‘undercut’ operating coal, nukes on cost, report says

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