While wind and solar projects may have benefitted from tax credits, data show that renewable energy will remain highly competitive even when subsidies are gone. The levelized prices for power from utility-scale solar projects (5 megawatts and larger) declined by 73 percent from an average of $154.20 per megawatt-hour in 2009 to $41.10 per MWh in 2015. Recent solar prices in California, the Southwest and Texas were priced as aggressively as $35 per MWh or lower. Likewise, wind power contracts have declined by more than 45 percent over the same time frame, from an average of $69.06 per MWh in 2009 to an average of $37 per MWh in 2015. Recent agreements have been cheaper still, within a range of $20.68 to $26.43 per MWh. These steep declines in have been driven by sharp drops in installation costs and improvements in operating efficiencies and performance. Expectations are that by the early 2020s, unsubsidized wind and solar prices will be below the variable costs of operating coal and natural gas plants, just like subsidized prices are today.

– via the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

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