Steven Chu: Mexico’s Energy Auction Reveals True Price Of U.S. Renewables

5/8/2016 Forbes 

energy -wind_energyIf you want to know the true price of renewable energy in America—free from subsidies and mandates—look to Mexico, former Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Friday.

In March, Mexico’s state utility, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), departed from almost 80 years of state-owned monopoly and let private companies bid to supply solar, wind, hydro, cogeneration, combined-cycle gas, and geothermal energy.

“The cost was about 4¢ a kilowatt-hour without the mandates, in both solar and wind,” Chu said Friday at Stanford University, where he now teaches. “Four to four-and-a-half cents with no production tax credit, no investment tax credit, no renewable portfolio standard. It’s just money, including profit. This is pretty good news.”

A GTM Research analyst revised the average price slightly higher, to about 5¢/kWh, but that price, too, is much lower than most experts would have predicted renewables would be in 2016.

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