Onshore costs ‘tumble’
IRENA report says global weighted average price is $0.06/kWh
The cost of generating power from onshore wind has fallen by about one quarter since 2010, while solar costs have dropped by 73% in that time, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The report – ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017’ – said the global weighted average costs over the last 12 months for onshore wind and solar are $0.06 and $0.10 per kilowatt-hour, respectively.
“Recent auction results suggest future projects will significantly undercut these averages,” IRENA said.
The report said solar costs are expected to halve by 2020 with the best onshore wind and photovoltaic projects potentially delivering electricity for an equivalent of $0.03/kWh in the next two years.
This price is significantly below the current cost of power from fossil fuels, which is in the range of $0.05 to $0.17/kWh, IRENA said.
The report said competitive procurement practices together with the emergence of a large base of experienced medium-to-large project developers competing for global market opportunities are the main new drivers for recent cost reductions, as well as continued technology advancements.
IRENA director-general Adnan Amin said: “This new dynamic signals a significant shift in the energy paradigm.
“These cost declines across technologies are unprecedented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system.”
The report added that other forms of renewable power generation, such as bioenergy, geothermal and hydropower projects in the last 12 months have competed head-to-head on costs, with power from fossil fuels.