Where available, geothermal is probably the most affordable and reliable. Hydropower might be cheaper on a per-watt price, but damming rivers can make its environmental impact can be too high.
Scientific American and the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office say that the cost of geothermal can be as low as 3.3 cents a kilowatt-hour, compared to about 5.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for coal. Wind energy generally costs a little more.
DOE’s EERE says new geothermal will likely cost about 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.
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