Lazard: Renewables can challenge existing coal plants on price

Average costs for wind and solar energy can undercut existing coal generation even without subsidies, according to analysis from the research firm Lazard.

The latest version of Lazard's levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis finds that U.S. onshore wind energy costs average between $26/MWh and $56/MWh without subsidies, while utility-scale solar averages between $36/MWh and $44/MWh. That challenges the average cost for existing U.S. coal plants, which Lazard pegs between $27/MWh and $45/MWh

Factoring in federal subsidies for wind and solar, the renewable resources become even more competitive against coal and challenge nuclear and gas plants. The findings come on the heels of multiple utility announcements that they will replace coal and nuclear plants with renewable energy and natural gas.