Research Shows Renewables Now Cheaper Than Traditional Power for Many U.S. Regions
This fall, the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute released updated research that supports their Full Cost of Electricity project from 2016, a project that led to the development and release of a series of complementary reports on the energy market in the United States.
The purpose of the Full Cost of Electricity project is to “inform public policy discourse with comprehensive, rigorous and impartial analysis,” and the updated research shows a strong trend in renewable energy becoming more affordable as a source for commercial power.
The research focuses on the changing market conditions that have made renewable energy the cheapest option for many regions in the United States.
From the High Plains to the Midwest and Texas, wind power won out as the most economically competitive source for new electricity generation. The report also includes portions of the Northeast in the wind power category.
In the Southwest, as well as eastern and northern regions, solar power was determined as the most affordable option for electricity generation, and natural gas came in first as the best option for the most of the remaining U.S. regions.
“From the High Plains to the Midwest and Texas, wind power won out as the most economically competitive source for new electricity generation… In the Southwest, as well as eastern and northern regions, [it was] solar power, and natural gas came in first as the best option for the most of the remaining U.S. regions.”
“These are complex, interrelated issues that warrant a cross-disciplinary examination,” said Carey King, an assistant director at the Energy Institute and a principal investigator for the study. “The research team we assembled reflects considerable depth of expertise on a wide range of disciplines including engineering, geosciences, business, public policy and law.”
This new research comes in conjunction with other organizations that have recently released reports on the market conditions that are making renewable energy more economical than traditional power sources.
In addition, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) released its 2018 National Shared Renewables Scorecard. The project aims to facilitate the idea sharing among policymakers on implementing renewables programs in the United States.
Renewable technology continues to be constantly refined and improved, and these innovations have positioned renewable energy shake up our nation’s energy market. Comprehensive energy reporting like the Energy Institute’s Full Cost of Electricity is a great way to educate business leaders and policymakers on the economic benefits of adopting renewable energy technology for America’s grid.