Polaris solar PV net news: over the past 5 years, United States solar and wind power prices are falling, and in some areas even cheaper than coal or natural gas power.
Power industry, according to trends in renewable energy prices rapidly this year, especially in the wind and sunshine-rich United States Great Plains and the Southwest, some companies are selling below the price of natural gas signed a solar or wind power purchase agreement. In the past, require large subsidies to achieve lower prices and subsidies are gradually reduced or canceled, but the latest analysis shows that without subsidies, renewable energy is still able to compete with conventional energy.
This year spring, Texas of Austin energy company and a solar company to each kWh 0.05 dollars of price signed has for 20 years of contract; September Russian carats Oklahoma of big Yangtze River Dam Committee approved has next year of wind procurement plans, said the project will for user save 58 million dollars; Russian carats Oklahoma of United States power company also due to last year wind of low price, increased has twice times of procurement amount. United States power renewable energy Department Manager Jay ˙ Godfrey (Jay Godfrey) said that although Oklahoma does not rigidly require power companies to purchase renewable energy, but wind is like “sales”, so the company made that decision. (US $ 1 or about 6.14 million)
Reed investment banking survey, utility-scale solar power costs can be as low as US $ 0.056 per kWh, wind energy as low as $ 0.014; by contrast, natural gas cost as low as $ 0.061, coal is $ 0.066. And unsubsidized solar power cost you need $ 0.072, wind energy is $ 0.037.
Red Bank Managing Director Jonathan ˙ mil (JonathanMir) comparison of power industry since the 2008 State of the economy. In his view, compared with five years ago, renewable energy costs declined significantly, while comparing prices also should consider the hidden costs of renewable energy and fossil fuels. For example, solar energy and wind farms are only intermittent electricity supply, power companies are required to demand fluctuations with other sources of electricity; traditional energy and power generation produces greenhouse gases and other pollution, also faced increasingly strict control and higher costs. But if a direct comparison with electricity costs, solar and wind power needed for new projects profitable price “competitive”.
Experts and executives warned that low prices do not mean that wind and solar power plants will soon be replacing the traditional power plants. Austin, Vice President of energy company energy marketing operations and resource Kahari ˙ Chalabi (Khalil Shalabi) that, because renewable energy is difficult to schedule mediation, the higher the cost of blast furnace gas-fired combined cycle power plants still have value. However, the present price of solar electricity industry was surprised over the last two problems of renewable energy-expensive and non-scheduled, and price is not a problem now.
According to the solar energy industries Association Trade Organization, since 2008, large-scale solar projects electricity prices in long-term contracts has dropped 70%; in 2009, early construction standard of utility-scale solar power projects has fallen one-third average price, electricity production increased compared with the previous year, family homes and small business 12%-15% solar energy prices also fell.
Wind energy industry is similar, prices fall by more than half in recent years. United States wind energy Association, industrial data analysis manager Emily ˙ Williams (Emily Williams) said that in 2013 power plants signed a record number of energy purchase agreements, prices to record lows. Especially in wind energy a very rich United States Central region from North Dakota to Texas, power plant at an average cost of $ 0.021 per kWh to sign long-term contracts, while five years ago prices closer to $ 0.05.
In fact, the United States wind and solar industries are using new technology and financing operations strategies to reduce costs, but there is still hope that the Government will continue to subsidize. Solar industry is trying to extend the 30% of United States federal tax credits, originally planned to end of 2016 the credit will be reduced to 10%; wind energy industry are working hard to extend the production tax credit. Congress has repeatedly announced that it has expired, but then postponed.
Current Federal President of the Treasury Board, the Oregon Democratic Senator Ron ˙ Wyden (Ron Wyden) to promote harmonization of tax policies in the energy sector. Wyden said, “Congress to extend the short-term incentive policy has some precedent, but in the United States in the highly competitive market environment, short-term incentives does not allow renewables and other energy sources have the same status. ”
Original title: United States solar and wind power falling prices comparable to traditional power