The price of onshore wind power has dropped to record lows, and is competitive with coal-fired power in some regions. That’s according to the latest edition of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Wind Turbine Price Index.
The report has said that in some regions of Brazil, Mexico, Sweden, and the United States, the cost of wind powered electricity is on par with coal-fired power. In these places, the cost of wind power is $68 per megawatt-hour, compared to $67 a megawatt-hour for coal-fired power, and $56 per megawatt-hour for natural gas.
What has caused this development is falling costs for wind turbines, which have been at their lowest level since 2005. The index is based on a review of wind turbine contracts by 28 turbine buyers in 28 markets worldwide. This represents 7,000 megawatts of combined wind turbine power.
Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, commented:
“The latest edition of our Wind Turbine Price Index shows wind continuing to become a competitive source of large-scale power. For the past few years, wind turbine costs went up due to rising demand around the world and the increasing price of steel. Behind the scenes wind manufacturers were reducing their costs, and now we are seeing just how cheap wind energy can be when overcapacity in the supply chain works its way through to developers.”
Many around the world will be happy with this news, including companies such as Google, who have a stated aim of working towards helping to develop renewable energy cheaper than coal (RE<C). It stands to reason that many more power consumers around the world will switch to clean sources of power when they are comparable in price to coal and freely available.
With this news, that day is a step closer. It’s great news for the future of clean energy worldwide.