Renewable Energy Revolution Took Its First Step in the U.S.

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12 April 2016
Renewable energy prices got lower in America even without subsidies from government than energy from conventional sources such as gas and coal-fired power plants in 2014. 

As reported by Lazard investment company, levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of renewable energy reduced by 58% for wind and 78% for solar energy for the last five years. An average cost of 1 MWh energy from solar and wind energy was 56 and 14 USD respectively with government subsidies. Excluding subsidies, the costs for solar and wind was 72 and 37 USD respectively compared to 61-66 USD for 1 MWh energy from conventional gas and coal-fired power plants. As you have noted, wind energy had become twice cheaper without subsidies and competitive to conventional energy sources.

Solar panels installed on Porsche company building in California

Such a good result in lower prices from renewables attained by making the technology cheaper and by new approaches to funding schemes and facility operation. It must be duly noted that the role of subsidies was vital for renewables expansion and its cost getting lower in a large scale. For the last years, the U.S. offered extremely beneficial tax credits for green energy sources that fostered new era of energy production. 

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Current LCOE for various types of renewable energy sources

At the same time energy experts warn that low cost renewables does not mean that they can totally substitute conventional energy sources since hydrocarbon-powered power plants are still needed to promptly react to energy consumption rate.  

LCOE Dynamics for the last five years

Translated: Anuar Satbayev
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