Most industry professionals have agreed for some time that the cost of wind and solar power will be lower than coal and gas prices. The question stirring up the most argument is when. Many observers say that day is years away, but utilities have been increasingly willing to sign long-term power purchase agreements for renewable energy now.
Granted, how fast wind and solar energy prices are dropping and how utilities respond varies at least in part on where they are located. The regions in the U.S. where wind and solar resources are plentiful offer prices lower than natural gas in many instances — for example, in the Southwest and Great Plains.
The New York Times recently reported that wind and solar can frequently be cheaper than traditional fuel sources without existing subsidies and incentives established to help them develop and mature.