Utility-scale solar, wind LCOEs continue to drop, but pace is slowing

November 8 (Renewables Now) – The cost of generating electricity from utility-scale solar and onshore wind farms has decreased by 7% and 3.5%, respectively, in the past year.

This is according to the latest Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 13.0) report by Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ), which also shows the rate of cost decline has dwindled, especially for wind. Over the last five years, the fall in utility-scale solar costs was about 13%, while for wind its was 7%.

Financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard noted that the two renewable energy sources mentioned above continue to maintain competitiveness with the marginal cost of existing conventional generation technologies. In the US, when government subsidies are included in the calculation, the cost of new utility-scale solar and onshore wind arrives at USD 36/MWh and USD 28/MWh, respectively, while the marginal cost of coal and nuclear is USD 34/MWh and USD 29/MWh, respectively.

In a separate report focused on battery storage LCOE, Lazard says lithium-ion, especially when used for shorter duration applications, remains the least expensive of the energy storage technologies it analysed. Its cost will fall further as a result of rising efficiencies and a maturing supply chain.

(USD 1= EUR 0.904)

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