In its latest study, the Levellised Cost of Energy Analysis 9.0, Lazard notes that utility-scale solar PV has fallen 25 per cent in the last year alone, since its most recent study.
Since 2009, when it began the analysis, solar and wind energy have fallen by 80 per cent and 60 per cent respectively.
Lazard says that because of this, and despite big falls in the cost of natural gas in the US, wind and solar are beating conventional fuels in most situations, as revealed in their success in competitive capacity auctions.
The study shows that US wind and solar are much cheaper than gas and coal, and less than half the cost of nuclear, and one-third the cost of peaking gas (which explains why big solar plants are displacing planned peaking plants in the US).
It is interesting to note that compared to Lazard’s previous reports, wind, solar and gas costs have fallen, coal has remained static, while nuclear is the only technology to show a significant increase.
The report also finds that wind and large-scale solar PV provide negative abatement costs, compared to nuclear ($US34/MWh).
“(This) analysis … suggests that policies designed to promote wind and utility scale solar deployment could be a particularly cost effective way of limiting carbon emissions,” it says.
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