Solar, wind could save the US $7 billion in fossil-fuel costs


As much as $7 billion could be saved if the high levels of wind and solar power generated in the U.S. were incorporated into the country’s electricity grid, according to research by the NREL.

In a statement released on Tuesday by the Colorado-based research arm of the U.S. Energy Department, they argued that it costs more to switch fossil-fueled power stations on and off in response to the intermittent nature of renewable energy than it would do to simply add wind and solar power to the grid.

Cycling between coal and gas plants saves anything from $35 million to $157 million, the NREL says, but those savings would shoot up to $7 billion if renewable sources were properly integrated into that system.

"Avoided fuel costs are far greater than the increased cycling costs for fossil-fueled plants," said Debra Lew, the NREL researcher who led the study, which ran evaluated scenarios whereby as much as one-third of the U.S. grid’s total electricity came from solar and wind sources.

?Their findings revealed that over 4 MWh of renewable power displace 1 MWh of coal power, and 3 MWh of gas.

Popular content

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact:


Related content

Elsewhere on pv magazine...

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.