The Remarkable Cost Advantage of Natural Gas vs. Renewables

Green energy fanatics keep telling us renewables are coming cost competitive but the cost advantage of natural gas continues to be insurmountable for them.

A week rarely goes by at the EIA’s Today on Energy blog without some wonderful news on the cost advantage of natural gas. Yesterday’s post is a perfect example. The title, “Average U.S. construction costs for solar and wind continued to fal...,” leads one to briefly suppose the green energy fanatics might have a point; that costs of renewables are getting cheaper and it’s only a matter of time before the green energy future arrives. That will, perhaps, someday become reality, but the cost advantage of natural gas is nowhere near being wiped out, let alone seriously being seriously challenged.

Like all Today In Energy posts, this one by Ray Chen is simply an unbiased recitation of the facts. Even the title, though slightly misleading for reasons I get into below, is accurate. Those construction costs are coming down on a per kilowatt basis, while the average cost of natural gas generation has gone the other way. Nonetheless, that’s anything but the whole story.

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