Fact Checks

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  • FACT: Clean energy technologies of all stripes are increasingly beating fossil fuels on cost across the country – with or without subsidies.

  • According to the financial advisory firm Lazard, wind energy is the cheapest source of electricity in the United States, regardless of subsidies. (Lazard, September 2014, http://bit.ly/16JaWtm)

  • Lazard also found that utility-scale solar, geothermal energy, biomass, and energy efficiency are already cost competitive with natural gas and coal, even without subsidies. (Lazard, September 2014, http://bit.ly/16JaWtm)

  • The average U.S. wind power purchase agreement signed in 2013 was for $0.025 per kW/h. That’s about 1/4th of the average retail price for electricity in the U.S. (U.S. Department of Energy, August 2014, http://1.usa.gov/1Gagp6R)

  • The price of solar energy dropped by 80% from 2008 to 2013. (IRENA, September 2014, http://bit.ly/1GmbLbm)

  • Over half of the price of solar installations now comes from “soft costs” – not the equipment or panels. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, October 2013, http://1.usa.gov/17E9tot)

  • On average, saving a kW/h with energy efficiency measures is over 60% cheaper than generating a kW/h. (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, http://bit.ly/1hir2uU)

  • Washington state enjoys the lowest electricity prices in the nation. Not coincidentally, over 75% of its electricity comes from hydropower. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, Januarty 2015, http://1.usa.gov/1NnfDaA)

  • Deutsche Bank expects solar to reach grid parity in all 50 states by the end of next year. (Bloomberg, October 2014, http://bloom.bg/1OKqXyb)

  • According to the Energy Information Administration, geothermal energy will be the cheapest source of electricity in 2019 at nearly half the price of coal. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, April 2015, http://1.usa.gov/1wWvTgE)

  • In 2013, Massachusetts’ 3 largest utilities agreed to purchase 565 MW of wind energy – enough to power 170,000 homes – at prices cheaper than coal and nuclear. The deal will save ratepayers anywhere from $0.75 to $1.00 a month. (The Boston Globe, September 2013, http://b.globe.com/16SwUXv)

  • Last year, Grand River Dam Authority agreed to purchase 100 megawatts from an Oklahoman wind farm. The deal is expected to save ratepayers over $50 million. (The Oklahoman, September 2014, http://bit.ly/1umlSUE)

  • The largest single solar plant in Texas will sell electricity to Austin Energy for just $0.05 per kW/h when it goes online next year. The average retail price of electricity in Texas is $0.11 per kW/h. (Greentech Media, May 2014, http://bit.ly/1IMqnOD)

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