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- December 1, 2015: Vol. 2, Number 12

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Change in the Air: Wind and solar have boosted cost competitiveness versus fossil fuels

by Mike Consol

This year has brought a significant shift in the generating cost comparison between renewable energy and fossil fuels, according to an analysis by technology and region by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The research company’s Levelised Cost of Electricity Update for the second half of 2015, based on thousands of data points related to individual deals and projects around the world, shows that onshore wind and crystalline silicon photovoltaics — the two most widespread renewable technologies — have both reduced costs this year, while costs have increased for gas-fired and coal-fired generation.

The BNEF study shows that the global average levelized cost of electricity, or LCOE, for onshore wind nudged downwards from $85 per megawatt-hour in the first half of 2015, to $83 in the second half of the year, while that for crystalline silicon PV solar fell from $129 to $122.

In the same period, the LCOE for coal-fired generation increa

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