Which Form of Energy is the Cheapest? Europe Does the Math

Which kind of power is the cheapest? Listen to energy companies, and theyíll insist that traditional forms like gas and coal are the way to go. Of course, they have money invested in keeping the existing systems in business. Thatís why the European Union commissioned an independent analysis to study the topic. According to the report, wind energy is the most cost-efficient way to supply power.

When proponents of non-renewable energy point to costs, they intentionally overlook the overall economic impact that polluting causes. Once experts start to calculate the costs associated with public health and climate change that coincide with burning coal and gas, the true cost is far higher than initially reported. Itís both irresponsible and shortsighted to ignore these environmental and health consequences from the equation.

The overall price breakdown goes like so:

  • Wind: $133 for each megawatt/hour
  • Gas: $207 for each megawatt/hour
  • Coal: $294 for each megawatt/hour

Coming in at roughly $158 for each megawatt/hour, both solar and nuclear powers are also more cost-efficient than gas and coal, as well, though still not as economical as wind. The good news is that, as renewable energy companies refine their techniques, the price of this energy has dramatically decreased in recent years.

Since renewable energy technologies are new, they are relying on government subsidies to get off the ground. While these costs are generally used as a strike against green energies, the EU report points out that the gas and coal industries still receive massive subsidies from the government as well, despite earning lofty profits. However, if these industries were held accountable for their carbon emissions rather than given tax breaks, that would make the comparative cost of wind energy even more affordable.

Currently, the conservative party of the United Kingdom is prepared to propose legislation to block wind energy. Hopefully this research-backed report will influence these politicians to take a new approach before implementing this foolhardy policy instead of continuing to align with corporate interests.

Some conservationists have attacked wind energy for utilizing turbines, which kill flying birds. While itís true that birds are more obviously victims to this kind of energy, scientists who crunched the numbers found that exponentially more birds die (again because of the health and environmental factors) due to oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy Ė and not just combined, but each of those things individually.

Whether or not the European Union actually follows the eco-friendly recommendation and factors all costs into its energy decisions, itís certainly a good sign that governments will be forced to acknowledge that clean energy is the cheap and smart approach power source of the future.

146 comments

Ann Bodimeade
Ann B2 years ago

tyfs

SEND
Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm2 years ago

They are agasint clean energy becasue dirty energy wants them to be…..and then they sell us the talking points they wish them to use to cointeract any competition.

Unlike what David thinks…….our corporations do EVERYTHING they can to stifel ANYTHING good or bad that affect their bottom line. Clean air….we dodnt need it clean water PULLLEEEEZZEEE Solar panels……naw in fact if you have a surplus of electricity we will make you pay fees to sell it back to the power companies. Anything that affects their monopoly is frowned upon. Free market my ass. Make the electric companies a utility like they used to be. They were allowed a 6%m if they were like, AT&T profit margine and any other profit had to be reinvested back into the company to make it better. Therfe wouldnt be any fines if it was a utility. The would be GLAD to take the excess energy from solar panel homes.

WE cant trust any figures from Europe……they are all communists. Ask David He will tell you LOLOLOLOL

SEND
Charlie Rush
Charlene Rush2 years ago

My main question to conservatives is, from where does your reluctance against clean energy stem?
It's quite simple to comprehend the objections from Big Business, when an energy source does not make them any profits, but, unless you are in the 1%-2%, what is your goal in objecting to something that is better, not only economically but health-wise, for humans, animals and all creatures on Earth?

Is your objective, only to agree with Teapublicans?
Or, is there none other?

With few exceptions, every type of industry and/or business has changed, rebuilt itself and/or simply disappeared. What is different now?

SEND
Charlie Rush
Charlene Rush2 years ago

Just look at the evolutionary time involved in our countries.

Europe is like the grandparent. American is the parent, and countries just starting out are the children.
Somewhere, along the line, the U.S.A. look on a superior attitude. We thought and still do, think we can tell every other country and nation what to do, because we know best.

Well guess what !!!
We have shown our lack of maturity with every passing year. While we were in a progression, moving forward stance, we are now moving backwards.
We are becoming one of the most selfish developed nations on Earth.
We have more of our citizens imprisoned, more gun violence, and
less concern for our children and the elderly.

The safest and most cost efficient forms of energy, we permit Big Business to reject, for obvious reasons.
If that isn't going in the wrong direction, I don't know what is.

SEND
Sharon Stein
Sharon Stein2 years ago

AGAIN I IMPLORE science to look into WAVE power generation!

SEND
Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 years ago

Hey, "it's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." Yogi Berra

SEND
Joseph Glackin
Joseph Glackin2 years ago

Danny Boy~~~~~~

From your source:
The data presented in Figure ES-3 suggest an approximate 0%–40% reduction in LCOE through 2030.

btw, at the front of your source there is this:

"NOTICE
This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States government.
Neither the United States government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty,
express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of
any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed."

Makes me real sure of the accuracy of their work.

SEND
Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 years ago

Naturally, the promoters of wind energy present the rosiest scenario possible. Some independet analyses of the situation differ:

https://www.ieawind.org/index_page_postings/WP2_task26.pdf

From 1980 to the mid 2000s, wind energy fell from over $150/MWh to ~$50. Starting around 2003, capital costs increased, pushing the price up almost 50% over six years, in spite of performance improvements. In 2012, the levelized cost was ~$70/MWh. Since then, prices have fallen, but not to historical lows. It is estimated that no further capital cost improvements can be gained (indeed, modest capital cost increases may occur), and that any price reductions must come from performance improvements. Still, the report estimated a 25% cost reduction by 2050 based on learning curves. Wether this is cost competitive, will on part be dependent on other commody prices.

SEND
Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND
Joseph Glackin
Joseph Glackin2 years ago

Danny Boy~~~

YOUTUBE is your "source"?????????

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH !!!!!!!!!!

I challenge your "youtube" and raise you:
http://www.livescience.com/33219-which-10-giant-corporations-dont-pay-taxes.html

SEND