Solar and onshore wind ‘reach parity with many global wholesale prices’

Bloomberg New Energy Finance says renewable energy sources can now generate electricity at a cost equal to or lower than wholesale prices in California and parts of Europe

New solar and onshore wind energy facilities have now reached parity with average wholesale prices in many places around the world.

That’s according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), which says the renewable energy sources can now generate electricity at a cost equal to or lower than wholesale prices in California and parts of Europe.

It also notes their levelised costs are now below the average regulated coal power price in China and highlights its own global benchmark levelised cost figures for onshore wind and solar projects financed in the last six months totalled $47/MWh (£36.5) and $51/MWh (£39.6) respectively.

This means the price of wind power has fallen by 6% and solar by 11% compared to the first half of the year.

The report reveals offshore wind has seen the fastest cost declines, down 32% from a year ago.

Report Author Tifenn Brandily said: “This is a three-stage process. In phase one, new solar and wind get cheaper than new coal and gas plants on a cost-of-energy basis. In phase two, renewables reach parity with power prices.

“In phase three, they become even cheaper than running existing thermal plants. Our analysis shows that phase one has now been reached for two-thirds of the global population. Phase two started with California, China and parts of Europe. We expect phase three to be reached on a global scale by 2030.”

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