Australia wind power cheaper than fossil fuels: Report

Electricity generated from wind is now cheaper that energy from fossil fuels in Australia, the world's biggest coal exporter, Bloomberg reported.

A new wind farm in the country can now supply electricity at $80 per MWh, as against $143 a MWh from a new coal-fired power plant or $116 from a new station powered by natural gas when the cost of carbon emissions was included, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report (BNEF) said.

Coal-fired power stations built in the 1970s and 1980s could still produce power at a lower cost than that of wind, according to research.

Fossil fuel reliance for electricity production was  getting more expensive due to the government's price on carbon emissions imposed last year, higher financing costs and rising natural gas prices, BNEF said.

The cost of wind generation had fallen by 10 per cent since 2011 due to lower equipment expenses, even as the cost of solar power had dropped by 29 per cent.

''The fact that wind power is now cheaper than coal and gas in a country with some of the world's best fossil fuel resources shows that clean energy is a game changer which promises to turn the economics of power systems on its head,'' Michael Liebreich, chief executive officer of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in a statement.

According to the report while wind energy had become more competitive, Australia's plan to get at least 20 per cent of its power from renewables by the end of the decade was still required to drive investment due to weak energy demand, the report said.