Wind costs now competitive with fossil fuels, and solar is on its way!

11.10.15 By

A new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has found that the global average cost of wind power is now comparable to fossil fuels, and in some parts of the world, it’s even cheaper!

The LCOE Update H2 2015 report analysed the “levelised cost of electricity” from over 55,000 projects around the world, taking into account several factors such as capital expenditures, interest rates and operating costs, and using these to compare different energy sources on a US$ value.

The report found that the global average cost of onshore wind electricity fell from $85 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in the first half of 2015 to $83 in the second half, while crystalline silicon PV solar fell from $129 to $122.

In the same period, the average cost for coal-fired electricity generation increased from $66 per MWh to $75 in the Americas, from $68 to $73 in Asia-Pacific, and from $82 to $105 in Europe.

This means that the global average cost of wind power is now comparable to fossil fuels. But not only that – wind power is now the cheapest form of electricity in the UK and Germany! The report found the average cost of wind is $85 per MWh in the UK and $80 in Germany, compared to the combined average cost of over $100 per MWh for coal and natural gas in both countries.

According to Bloomberg Business, the latest data is evidence of a self-reinforcing cycle: “As more renewables are installed, coal and natural gas plants are used less. As coal and gas are used less, the cost of using them to generate electricity goes up. As the cost of coal and gas power rises, more renewables will be installed.”

Read more from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Bloomberg Business.


Image credit: Flickr user Daniel Hoherd licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0