An annually published report shows production costs for wind and solar power plants have dropped in the past year. Meanwhile, production costs for more traditional power sources, like coal and nuclear, have stayed roughly the same. Lazard, an asset management company, tracks over years the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE). Basically, the LCOE is the lifetime cost of a wind turbine, divided by the amount of energy that turbine will produce in its lifetime.
This year’s report shows that wind and solar production costs have each fallen by six percent. Still, alternative energy isn’t yet capable of completely powering the grid, which leads to the ongoing political debate of how to divide up resources and drive the US economy.
Yet at this rate experts speculate that the question facing energy corporations soon won’t be: “is it cheaper to build new coal plants or to build new renewables?" Instead the question will be: “is it cheaper to continue operating an existing coal plant or to build new renewables?”