Latest in Science

Image credit:

Clean energy is nearly as inexpensive as coal and gas

98 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

One of the biggest obstacles to adopting solar or wind power is simply the cost of getting started. However much an electricity company might save in the long run, that up-front expense is tough to swallow. Or rather, it was -- Bloomberg New Energy Finance study has found that the cost of clean energy has dropped so much that it's within spitting distance of dirty sources like coal and gas. The global average cost of onshore wind power has dipped to $83 per megawatt-hour, while silicon solar power now costs $122. Neither of those figures is trivial, but they're not much different than what firms pay for coal (which has risen to $75 per MWh in the Americas) or gas turbines ($82 per MWh). Some green tech is still expensive, such as offshore wind ($174) and marine ($400-plus), but prices have fallen there, too.

Humanity is still a long way from the point where renewable energy is outright cheaper, especially in China and other places where conventional power costs just over half as much. Even so, the gap has closed to the point where solar and wind are genuinely competitive in some situations. You may see more companies and countries embracing clean energy because it makes the most fiscal sense, not just because they want to fight climate change.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Laura Leon]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
98 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Tilta mods Blackmagic's Pocket Cinema Camera with a tilt screen and SSD

Tilta mods Blackmagic's Pocket Cinema Camera with a tilt screen and SSD

View
Three Mile Island's infamous nuclear plant shuts down after 45 years

Three Mile Island's infamous nuclear plant shuts down after 45 years

View
Samsung asks users to be extra careful with the Galaxy Fold

Samsung asks users to be extra careful with the Galaxy Fold

View
Uber sues NYC over vehicle caps

Uber sues NYC over vehicle caps

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr