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Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2019

Die aktuellste Studie der IRENA zeigt auf, dass über die Hälfte des aus EE-Anlagen generierten Stroms, zu geringeren Kosten generiert werden kann, als bspw. Strom aus den neuesten Kohlekraftwerken. © IRENA 2020, IRENA (2020), Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2019, International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION COST TRENDS, 2010-2019 Electricity costs from renewables have fallen sharply over the past decade, driven by improving technologies, economies of scale, increasingly competitive supply chains and growing developer experience. As a result, renewable power generation technologies have become the least-cost option for new capacity in almost all parts of the world. This new reality has been increasingly reflected in deployment, with 2019 seeing renewables account for 72% of all new capacity additions worldwide. According to the latest cost data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the global weighted-average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) 1 of utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PV) fell 82% between 2010 and 2019, 2 while that of concentrating solar power (CSP) fell 47%, onshore wind by 39% and offshore wind at 29% (Figure ES.1), the IRENA Renewable Cost Database shows. 3 Costs for solar and wind power continued to fall in 2019, as equipment costs and balance of plant costs declined and, in the case of wind power, improvements in technology yielded higher capacity factors. Electricity costs from utility-scale solar PV fell 13% year-on-year in 2019, reaching USD 0.068 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). For projects commissioned in 2019, the global weighted-average LCOE of onshore and offshore wind both declined about 9% year-on-year, reaching USD 0.053/kWh and USD 0.115/kWh, respectively. Costs for CSP – still the least-developed among solar and wind technologies – fell 1% to USD 0.182/kWh. The trend in the global weighted-average LCOE for the mature technologies of bioenergy for power, geothermal and hydropower has been more varied. These technologies represent competitive, firm power with already low costs in many cases. Between 2010 and 2019, the global weightedaverage LCOE of bioenergy for power projects fell from USD 0.076/kWh to USD 0.066/kWh – a figure at the lower end of the cost range for new fossil fuel-fired projects. 4 Power generation costs in 2019 were around USD 0.073/kWh for newly commissioned geothermal power projects. The global weightedaverage LCOE of newly commissioned hydropower projects increased from USD 0.037/kWh in 2010 to USD 0.047/kWh in 2019. Despite this, hydropower remains very competitive, with nine-tenths of all capacity commissioned in 2019 producing power for less than the cheapest new fossil fuel-fired cost project. 1 The LCOE is the ratio of lifetime costs to lifetime electricity generation, both of which are discounted back to a common year using a discount rate that reflects the average cost of capital. In this report, all financial values are in real 2019 USD (that is to say, taking into account inflation). LCOEs are calculated assuming a real cost of capital of 7.5% in OECD countries and China, and 10% in the rest of the world, for all technologies unless explicitly mentioned. All LCOE calculations exclude the impact of any financial support. 2 All data presented in this report are for the year of commissioning, unless explicitly stated otherwise. 3 The IRENA Renewable Cost Database contains cost and performance data for around 17 000 renewable power generation projects with a total capacity of more than 1 770 GW that is installed or in the pipeline for commissioning. 4 The fossil fuel-fired power generation cost range by country and fuel is estimated to be between USD 0.05/kWh and USD 0.177/kWh. The lower bound represents new, coal-fired plants in coal-producing regions in China. 12

Renewable power generation continues to grow in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. New capacity additions in 2020, however, will be lower than the new record previously anticipated. Nonetheless, renewables steadily increasing competitiveness, along with their modularity, rapid scalability and job creation potential, make them highly attractive as countries and communities evaluate economic stimulus options. Crucially, boosting investment in renewables can align short-term recovery measures with mediumand long-term energy and climate sustainability goals. Solar PV and onshore wind offer easy, rapid roll-out possibilities, while offshore wind, hydropower, bioenergy and geothermal technologies provide complementary and cost-effective medium-term investment options. Figure ES.1 Global weighted average levelised cost of electricity from utility-scale renewable power generation technologies, 2010 and 2019 Biomass Geothermal Hydro Solar Photovoltaic Concentrating solar power Offshore wind Onshore wind 0.4 0.378 0.346 0.3 0.259 2019 USD/kWh 0.2 Fossil fuel cost range 0.182 0.161 0.1 0.076 95 0.073 th percentile 0.115 0.086 0 0.066 2010 2019 0.047 0.068 0.049 0.053 0.037 5 th percentile 2010 2019 2010 2019 2010 2019 2010 2019 2010 2019 2010 2019 Note: For CSP, the dashed bar in 2019 shows the weighted average value including projects in Israel. Note: This data is for the year of commissioning. The thick lines are the global weighted-average LCOE value derived from the individual plants commissioned in each year. The project-level LCOE is calculated with a real weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is 7.5% for OECD countries and China and 10% for the rest of the world. The single band represents the fossil fuel-fired power generation cost range, while the bands for each technology and year represent the 5 th and 95 th percentile bands for renewable projects. 13

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