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Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Solar and wind facilities are now the least expensive option for new power worldwide, except in Japan, according to the consultancy Bloomberg NEF.

The big picture: That's the top-line finding of their latest twice-yearly look at the so-called levelized cost of electricity — a metric that compares costs of building, running, supplying and maintaining different types of facilities over time.

The intrigue: The cost of new solar photovoltaic projects has dropped 13% over the past half-year — a bankshot effect of Chinese policy decisions to slow the growth of their utility-scale PV market.

  • This has "created a global wave of cheap equipment" that's pushing down costs, Bloomberg NEF said.

When it comes to onshore wind, their study shows a cost decrease of 6% since that last version of the study.

  • In many regions, building new wind farms is now more economically attractive than new natural gas plants in the U.S. despite the glut of shale gas, Bloomberg NEF said.

The bottom line: The report is a snapshot of the growing edge that renewables have in key markets around the world. 

  • The latest version of the study suggests that new solar and onshore wind are as cheap or cheaper than new coal in China, which wasn't the case in the prior edition of the twice-yearly analysis, according to Bloomberg NEF.

Go deeper

56 mins ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.

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