Wind and solar are the cheapest option:
Carbon neutral meets a balanced budget
A New Age:
We are witnessing a rare transformation. Before our very eyes renewables are becoming cheaper than fossil fuels. With every passing year, and indeed every passing month, we are entering a new clean energy reality where wind and solar are the most affordable sources of energy.
In many areas, renewables are delivering electricity at the cheapest cost of any source, cheaper than coal, nuclear, and even gas. You read that right: in 2017 wind and solar have already become the single cheapest forms of electricity in many parts of the world. The astounding cost competitiveness of sustainable electricity generation comes from a confluence of factors.
The Falling Price of Renewables:
In the past ten years the price of solar has fallen by more than 70%. Prices have been falling for wind as well, and today in the Midwest, wind turbines are already cranking out electricity for as little as $20/megawatt hour. That’s 33% cheaper than its coal fired competitors.
The Rising Price of Carbon:
At the same time, the cost of fracked gas is rising. For years, gas powered generation has been the primary competition with renewables for new installations, but fracked gas has passed its boom and the cost is beginning to bust. In late 2015 the price of gas generated electricity began increasing in all parts of the world. Considering all of that, it is no wonder that renewables accounted for more than half of all electrical capacity installed since 2011 globally.
Is it subsidies?:
These cheap prices are not made possible by government subsidies. In fact, even in the 21st century fossil fuels are still receiving massive amounts of taxpayer dollars in annual handouts. Fossil fuels are subsidized more than renewables at a ratio of 5 to 1. Renewables are emerging as the top competitor despite government subsidies, not because of them.
We have the power:
There may have been a time when we had to choose between renewable electricity and affordable electricity, but no longer. Now we can make the just transition to renewables, and know that we are transitioning to the cheapest form of energy.