Australian Study Shows Wind Energy Now Cheaper than Coal or Gas

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fossil fuels may have met their match in Australia, where wind power has demonstrated itself to be a cheaper source of energy.


New wind farms can supply electricity at a cost of AU$80 per megawatt hour (MWh), compared to AU$143/MWh for new coal-fired power plants and AU$116/MWh for new gas-fired generation, according to research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.


The calculations included the cost of carbon emissions. But even without a carbon price, wind energy still was 14% cheaper than new coal plants and 18% cheaper than new gas plants.


“The perception that fossil fuels are cheap and renewables are expensive is now out of date,” Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, told Renew Economy.


“The fact that wind power is now cheaper than coal and gas in a country with some of the world’s best fossil fuel resources shows that clean energy is a game changer which promises to turn the economics of power systems on its head,” Liebreich added.


Thom Hartman noted at The Smirking Chimp that Australia relies more on coal than any other industrialized nation in the world. “But that coal reliance will soon change, as companies in Australia are quickly adopting new, cheaper renewable energies. As the study found, banks and lending institutions in Australia are now less and less likely to finance new coal plants, because they've simply become a bad investment,” he wrote.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Renewables Now Cheaper Than Coal qnd Gas in Australia (by Giles Parkinson, Renew Economy)

A New Manhattan Project (by Thom Hartman, Smirking Chimp)


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