The dream of environmentalists and a nightmare for the traditional energy companies is coming true in the US. This is the first country, where cost of power generation based on renewable sources of power, wind and sun, is equal to cost of power generated by burning coal and gas.
This is only the beginning. According to New York Times, the cost of solar and wind power started going down five years ago and has significantly accelerated this year.
Such a success in use of “green power” in the US has been achieved owing to generous subsidies of the state, which soon could be reduced or even cancelled. However, the analysis shows that event without support of the state alternative sources of power could compete with the traditional ones.
This year in the contracts on electricity supply “solar” and “wind” power were much cheaper, than gas power. This very often happens in the region of Great Valleys and southwest of US, where sunny days and wind are abundant.
For instance, last autumn Austin Energy company in Texas signed a 20-year contract for delivery of electricity from the solar station at the price below 5 cent per KWh.
According to evaluation of the Lazard consultation company, at present cost of solar power in the US dropped to 5.6 cent per 1 KWh, wind power – to 1.4 cent and electricity generated from natural gas burning costs 6.1 cents and the one generated from coal burning – 6.6 cents.
The analysts calculated that without state subsidies solar power will cost 7.2 cents, wind power – 3.7 cents. “This is excellent, considering where we were only five years ago, it is nice to see reduction cost of these technologies,” said Jonathan Meer, Lazard Managing Director, who has been watching electric energy economy since 2008.
California is the leader of the solar power generation in the US. In March 2014 the state doubled solar power generation against last year and reached 4 GWt.
As far as Europe is concerned, Denmark is the leader of use of renewable energy. At present 43% of electric energy in the country is generated from wind. The government of Denmark has instructed to reach the figure of 55% within five years.