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This year has brought a shift in the generating cost comparison between renewable energy and fossil fuels, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The BNEF study shows that the global average levelised cost of electricity, or LCOE, for onshore wind nudged downwards from US$ 85 per MWh in the first half of the year, to US$ 83 in H2, while that for crystalline silicon PV solar fell from US$ 129 to US$ 122.

In the same period, the LCOE for coal-fired generation increased from US$ 66 per MWh to US$ 75 in the Americas, from US$ 68 to US$ 73 in Asia-Pacific, and from US$ 82 to US$ 105 in Europe. The LCOE for combined-cycle gas turbine generation rose from US$ 76 to US$ 82 in the Americas, from US$ 85 to US$ 93 in Asia-Pacific and from US$ 103 to US$ 118 in EMEA. Offshore wind reduced its global average LCOE from US$ 176 per MWh, to US$ 174, but still remains significantly more expensive. Among the country-level findings of the BNEF study are that onshore wind is now fully cost-competitive with  both gas-fired and coal-fired generation, once carbon costs are taken into account, in the UK and Germany. In the UK, onshore wind comes in on average at US$ 85 per MWh in the second half of 2015, compared to US$ 115 for combined-cycle gas and US$ 115 for coal-fired power; in Germany, onshore wind is at US$ 80, compared to US$ 118 for gas and US$ 106 for coal. In China, onshore wind is cheaper than gas-fired power, at US$ 77 per MWh versus US$ 113, but it is much more expensive still than coal-generated electricity, at US$ 44, while solar PV power is at US$ 109. In the US, coal and gas are still cheaper, at US$ 65 per MWh, against onshore wind at US$ 80 and PV at US$ 107.

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