Houston — Falling renewable power costs could be the solution to boosting global climate action, the International Renewable Energy Agency said in a report released Wednesday.
In 2018 the global weighted-average cost of electricity from solar photovoltaics and from onshore wind declined by 13% compared to 2017, the report said, and cost reductions for these two technologies “are set to continue to decline into the next decade.”
“Over three-quarters of the onshore wind and four-fifths of the solar PV capacity that is due to be commissioned [in 2020] will produce power at lower prices than the cheapest new coal, oil or natural gas options,” the IRENA report said. “Crucially, they are set to do so without financial assistance.”
IRENA, based in Abu Dhabi, is an inter-governmental body with around 160 members. In its report it said that it continues to revise its cost forecasts for solar PV and onshore wind, but renewables have been “beating earlier expectations.”
At the beginning of 2018, IRENA’s analysis of auction and PPA data suggested that the global-weighted average cost of electricity could fall to just under five US cents per kilowatt-hour for onshore wind and five and a half cents per kilowatt-hour for solar PV in 2020.
At the beginning of 2019, the “potential value” for onshore wind in 2020 had dropped a further 8%, to four and a half cents per kilowatt-hour, while that of solar PV dropped 13%, to less than five cents per kilowatt-hour.
The report said that onshore wind and solar PV costs between three and four cents per kilowatt hour are “already possible” in areas with good resources and enabling regulatory and institutional frameworks.
Source: S&P Global, Author: Jeffrey Ryser, Editor Gail Roberts and Commodity Electric Power, ELECTRIC POWER, 29 May 2019 | 22:42 UTC, Houston