The AFP reported yesterday that U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested clean energy projects like wind and solar will be on par with the price of oil and gas projects by the end of the decade.
Price has long been an impediment to increasing renewable energy projects.
Large-scale solar plants are expensive to construct and install. BrightSource Energy received a $1.37 billion loan guarantee from the DOE to build the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, which is the largest solar project under construction with a capacity of 392 megawatts.
In 2007, the average installation cost of a commercial-scale wine turbine was about $3.5 million. Even smaller scale 10-kilowatt turbines, which is the size needed to power a home, could be up to $50,000 to install.
But Chu said he sees renewables becoming cost effective with new fossil fuel without subsidy by 2019.
“So the country and the companies who develop those renewable energy and resources that become cost competitive without subsidy all of a sudden have a world market. And, boy, we can’t lose that world market,” he said, according to the AFP.