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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. www.irena.org

RENEWABLE POWER

RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION COSTS 2019 By year commissioned, the global weightedaverage capacity factor 7 for new utility-scale solar PV increased from 13.8% in 2010 to 18.0% in 2019. This was predominantly driven by the increased share of deployment in sunnier locations. After increasing steadily every year between 2010 and 2018, the capacity factor seems to be stabilising around the 18% mark. The largest reduction in country-level weightedaverage LCOE between 2010 and 2019 occurred in India, where costs declined by 85%, to reach USD 0.045/kWh in 2019 – a value 34% lower than the global weighted average for that year. China and Spain achieved the next most competitive LCOEs in 2019, with weighted-average values of USD 0.054/kWh and USD 0.056/kWh respectively for 2019. Residential and commercial sector rooftop solar PV typically have higher cost structures than utility-scale projects within a country. The LCOE of residential PV systems has, however, also experienced a steep reduction. Assuming a 5% weighted average cost of capital (WACC) to allow for cheaper finance for homeowners, the LCOE of residential PV systems by country and market declined from between USD 0.301/kWh and USD 0.455/kWh in 2010 to between USD 0.063/kWh and USD 0.265/kWh in 2019 – a decline of between 42% and 79% by country/market. In 2019, the lowest country/market average LCOEs for commercial PV up to 500 kW could be found in India and China, at USD 0.062/kWh and USD 0.064/kWh, respectively (Table 3.3). Between 2017 and 2019, the LCOEs in these markets fell 12% and 26%, respectively. For onshore wind and renewable power generally, continuous technological innovation remains a constant. The global weighted-average LCOE of onshore wind projects commissioned in 2019 fell to USD 0.053/kWh, 9% lower than in 2018 and 39% lower than in 2010, when it was USD 0.086/kWh. Onshore wind now consistently outcompetes even the cheapest fossil fuel-fired source of new electricity, as installed costs have fallen and capacity factors increased, while costs continue to edge lower. In 2019, the country-level weighted-average LCOE for new projects was lower than the cheapest fossil fuel-fired option in Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, Finland, India, Sweden and the United States. Falling prices for onshore wind turbines – down 55-60% since 2010 – have reduced installed costs, while expanding hub heights and swept areas have boosted capacity factors at the same time as operation and maintenance (O&M) costs have fallen. The global weighted-average total installed cost of onshore wind farms thus declined by 5% in 2019, year-on-year, falling from USD 1 549/kW in 2018 to USD 1 473/kW in 2019. Improvements in wind turbine technology have resulted in larger rotor diameters, swept blade areas, name plate capacities and hub-heights. This has driven an improvement in capacity factors that means today’s turbines harvest more electricity from the same resource than their predecessors. Between 2010 and 2019, the global weighted-average capacity factor for onshore wind increased by almost one-third, from just over 27% in 2010 to 36% in 2019. Offshore wind’s installed costs fell 18% in 2010-2019, while its capacity factor improved by nearly one-fifth over the last decade (from 37% in 2010 to 44% in 2019). Operation and maintenance costs similarly fell with larger turbine sizes, expanded service capacities, and the emergence of cost synergies across growing maritime wind-farm zones. In 2019, the global weighted-average LCOE of offshore wind had fallen to USD 0.115/kWh, from USD 0.161/kWh in 2010. Recent auction results, including subsidy-free bids, however, herald a step-change in competitiveness for offshore wind in the 2020s, with electricity prices of between USD 0.05 and USD 0.10/kWh about to become the norm. 7 For solar PV only, capacity factors are the AC/DC value, given costs for solar PV are quoted in DC terms. 16

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Concentrating solar power’s installed costs have fallen in recent years with ongoing technological improvements and increased supply-chain competitiveness. The global weighted-average capacity factor improved from 30% to 45% between 2010 and 2019, with new CSP plants being built with improved technology, at better sites and in countries with more sunshine. The global weighted-average LCOE of CSP plants was around USD 0.35/kWh between 2010 and 2012, but fell 47% between 2010 and 2019. Recent auction and PPA results suggest the cost of electricity from CSP will fall into the USD 0.07/kWh to USD 0.08/kWh range. With its ability to provide dispatchable renewable power, CSP could therefore play an increasingly important role in facilitating ever-higher shares of variable solar PV and wind in areas with the direct solar resources to support CSP plants. Hydropower is a mature, commercially attractive renewable power generation technology. Hydropower is also uniquely placed to provide not only low-cost electricity, but also cheap electricity storage and large-scale flexibility services to the grid. Between 2018 and 2019, the global weighted-average total installed cost of hydropower projects rose from USD 1 435/kW to USD 1 704/kW. The global weighted-average LCOE of hydropower in 2019 was USD 0.047/kWh – 6% higher than in 2018 and 27% higher than in 2010. Despite the increase in global weightedaverage LCOE since 2010, hydropower remains a competitive, low-cost source of electricity, with its global weighted-average LCOE still comfortably below the cheapest fossil fuel-fired source of new electricity generation. Bioenergy for electricity generation offers a suite of options, spanning a wide range of feedstocks and technologies. Where low-cost feedstocks are available – such as by-products from agricultural or forestry processes onsite – they can provide highly competitive, dispatchable electricity. For bioenergy projects newly commissioned in 2019, the global weighted-average total installed cost was USD 2 141/kW, an increase on the 2018 weighted-average of USD 1 693/kW. Capacity factors for bioenergy plants are driven by the availability of low-cost feedstocks. Between 2010 and 2019, the global weighted-average capacity factor for bioenergy projects varied between a low of 64% in 2012 to a high of 86% in 2017. Due to the heterogeneity of bioenergy feedstock and technology costs – and the typically higher technology costs in OECD countries – annual global weighted-averages are strongly influenced by the technology mix and geographical location of commissioned plants. Between 2010 and 2019, the global weighted-average LCOE of newly commissioned bioenergy plants has therefore ranged between a low of USD 0.055/kWh in 2011 to a high of USD 0.082/kWh in 2014, ending at USD 0.066/kWh in 2019. Newly commissioned geothermal plants had a global weighted-average LCOE of USD 0.073/kWh in 2019, up only slightly from the previous year and still broadly in line with costs since 2013, From then until 2019, the global weighted-average LCOE ranged between USD 0.06/kWh and USD 0.07/kWh for this mature technology which provides firm renewable electricity in areas with active geothermal resources. New capacity additions for this technology remain modest. The year 2019 saw record new capacity additions, but they totalled just 680 megawatts. 17

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