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Electric Generation, Storage Costs Plunge

The cost of wind, solar, batteries and other new, clear energy sources continues a steep decline.

The cost of large distributed generation – most of it clean – is falling along with the price of energy storage, according to a new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The figures point to a continued buildout of new, utility-scale generation that point to a lessened dependence on large coal-powered and nuclear-powered baseload generation, long a mainstay of America’s electric utility might.

U.S. Energy Information Administration

“In 2015, wind, natural gas, and solar were the most commonly added capacity types, adding 8.1 gigawatts, 6.5 gigawatt, and 3.2 gigawatts, respectively. In the case of wind and solar, almost all of these additions (98 percent and 91 percent, respectively) were at new plants, as opposed to new generators at existing plants,” EIA said.

The cost of battery storage hit $864 per kilowatt in 2015, according to EIA, and many experts say it will decline further.

Greater deployments of battery storage will be required to knit growing intermittent renewable energy resources into the power grid.



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