Lazard published its annual update to the costs of electricity generation and storage in the USA on 8 November. The reports, Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (v12.0) and Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Storage Analysis (v4.0) show a continued decline in the costs of alternative energy technologies. Significantly, the costs for new-build utility-scale solar PV arrays and onshore wind turbines were shown to have fallen to or below the marginal costs of operating conventional generation in the US.
As shown in our chart this week, utility-scale solar deployment and onshore wind were costed at $36-44/MWh (£28-35/MWh) and $29-56/MWh (£23-44/MWh) respectively. These are 13% and 7% lower than the same figures last year, are below the costs of building new coal or nuclear plants, and in line with the lower end of new CCGT costs. Furthermore, the mid-point for unsubsidised new solar sits within the range for operating the average US coal plant, $27-45/MWh (£21-35/MWh).