Wind and solar cheaper than coal
The economics of generating electricity from fossil fuels are deteriorating rapidly as renewable energy technology plunges in costs according to a new Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. In most places, wind and solar will work out cheaper than coal by 2023. One new factor is that lithium-ion batteries have enjoyed a 79 per cent drop in costs since 2010, making the idea of storing energy a possibility the coming years. The price per megawatt-hour for generating from wind farms built onshore fell 18 per cent in the first half of 2018 to $55, while photovoltaics dropped 18 per cent to $70. Calculations for energy costs in China compare generating costs for combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT), coal, wind farms and photovoltaics, suggesting that coal will fall behind the main forms of renewables early in the next decade. The cheapest solar and wind costs can now be found in China and India, which are also among the worst polluters. Bloomberg concludes that the tumbling costs will continue until at least until 2040 for both renewable energy sources worldwide, and they will become cheaper than coal and gas within five years, the report showed.