Falling Tech Costs Make Renewables “Backbone” of Energy Decarbonization, IRENA Report Finds
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The report highlights the latest trends for each of the main renewable power technologies, and draws on IRENA’s cost database of approximately 17,000 renewable power generation projects and 9,000 auction and power purchase agreements for renewable power.

Over 75% of onshore wind and 80% of solar PV projects to be commissioned in 2020 will produce power at lower prices than the cheapest new coal, oil or natural gas options.

29 May 2019: Renewable power is the cheapest electricity source in many parts of the world, according to a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which predicts that renewable power costs will continue to fall, strengthening the business case for renewables and leading to greater climate ambition.

The report titled, ‘Power Generation Costs in 2018,’ highlights the latest trends for each of the main renewable power technologies, and draws on IRENA’s cost database of approximately 17,000 renewable power generation projects and 9,000 auction and power purchase agreements for renewable power. According to IRENA, electrification based on renewables is the “backbone of the energy transformation,” and is critical to decarbonization and meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

IRENA will help facilitate on-the-ground solutions and action toward renewable energy projects.

Speaking about the report’s findings, IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said his organization will help facilitate on-the-ground solutions and action towards renewable energy projects.

According to the report, costs of commercially available renewable energy technologies decreased to an all-time low in 2018, with average costs of electricity from concentrated solar power (CSP) declining by 26%, bioenergy by 14%, solar photovoltaics (PV) and onshore wind by 13%, hydropower by 12%, and geothermal and offshore wind by 1%.

The report underscores, in particular, cost reductions for solar and wind power technologies. For example, within IRENA’s global database, over 75% of onshore wind and 80% of solar PV projects to be commissioned in 2020 will produce power at lower prices than the cheapest new coal, oil or natural gas options. This will be achieved without financial assistance. Expectations about future cost reductions for solar PV and onshore wind are constantly being updated with lower values as new data become available.

The report was released ahead of the preparatory meeting for the UN Climate Action Summit, held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), at the end of June. [Publication: Renewable Energy Generation Costs in 2018] [Publication Landing Page] [IRENA Press Release] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on IRENA Report on Global Energy Transformation]


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