In the European Union, onshore wind is cheaper than gas, coal and nuclear when externalities are stacked with the levelized cost of energy and subsidies, according to an Ecofys study ordered and endorsed by the European Commission.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) says its analysis of the report finds that onshore wind has an approximate cost of EUR 105/MWh, which is cheaper than gas (up to EUR 164/MWh), nuclear (EUR 133/MWh) and coal (EUR 162-233/MWh). Offshore wind comes in at EUR 186/MWh, and solar photovoltaic has a cost of around EUR 217/MWh.
The total cost of energy production – which factors in externalities such as air quality, climate change and human toxicity, among others – shows that coal is more expensive than the highest retail electricity price in the EU, adds EWEA.
‘This report highlights the true cost of Europe's dependence on fossil fuels," says Justin Wilkes, deputy CEO of EWEA. "Renewables are regularly denigrated for being too expensive and a drain on the taxpayer. Not only does the commission's report show the alarming cost of coal, but it also presents onshore wind as both cheaper and more environmentally-friendly.’