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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.


RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION COSTS 2019 The LCOE of a given technology 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 LCOE results are in real, 2019 USD (that is to say, taking into account inflation). They are also calculated excluding any financial support and using a fixed assumption of a real cost of capital of 7.5% in Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and China, and 10% in the rest of the world, unless explicitly mentioned. All LCOE calculations exclude the impact of any financial support. All data presented here is for the year of commissioning. Planning, development and construction can take 2-3 years for solar PV and onshore wind, but can take five years or more for CSP, fossil fuels, hydropower and offshore wind. These varied metrics allow us not only to follow the evolution of the costs of renewable power generation technologies, but also analyse what the underlying drivers are, at a global level and in individual countries. These layers of data and the granularity available provide deeper insights for policy makers and other stakeholders. 20

LATEST COST TRENDS RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION COST TRENDS: 2010 TO 2019 In 2019, data from the IRENA Renewable Cost Database demonstrated the ongoing competitiveness of the mature renewable power generation technologies – hydropower, bioenergy and geothermal. This data also showed a continued improvement in the competitiveness of solar and wind power technologies. The global weighted-average LCOE of solar PV fell by 13% year-on-year in 2019 – slightly lower than the 15% reduction experienced in 2018 – driven by declines in module prices and balance of system costs (Figure 1.1). Onshore and offshore wind both experienced a year-on-year decline of around 9%. For onshore wind, this was similar to the experience in 2018, but for offshore, it was a significant increase on the 3% recorded in 2018. Cost reductions for onshore wind were driven by falls in turbine prices and balance of plant costs. Figure 1.1 Global LCOE from newly commissioned utility-scale renewable power Percentage reduction 1.0 0.9 0.8 2018 2019 Concentrating solar power Onshore wind Source: IRENA Renewable Cost Database. Offshore wind Solar photovoltaic -1.2% -8.8% -9.2% -13.1% These saw the global weighted-average total installed cost of onshore wind fall below USD 1 500/kW. Another factor in reducing costs was the continued improvement in technology, leading to an increase in average capacity factors. Between 2010 and 2019, the global weighted-average LCOE of bioenergy projects commissioned fell 13%, while that of offshore wind by 29%. For onshore wind, the figure fell by 39%, that of CSP by 47% and that of solar PV by a precipitous 82%. The global weighted-average LCOE of geothermal projects, where the market is very thin 2 , increased by 50% between 2010 and 2019, to USD 0.073/kWh 3 in 2019. For newly commissioned projects, the global weighted-average LCOE of utility-scale solar PV fell by 82% between 2010 and 2019, from USD 0.378/kWh to USD 0.068/kWh (Figure 1.2), as global cumulative installed capacity of all solar PV (utility-scale and rooftop) increased from 40 GW to 580 GW. This reduction has been primarily driven by declines in module prices – which have fallen by around 90% since 2010 – and balance of system costs. Together, these factors led to total installed costs of utilityscale solar PV to fall by almost four-fifths between 2010 and 2019. Capacity factors have also risen, but predominantly due to a shift in the share of deployment to regions with better solar resources. The global weighted-average LCOE in 2019 of USD 0.068/kWh is at the lower end of the range for new fossil fuel-fired electricity projects, while utilityscale solar PV projects are increasingly undercutting even the cheapest new fossil fuel-fired option. 4 Over the period 2010 to 2019, the global weightedaverage cost of electricity from CSP fell from USD 0.346/kWh to USD 0.182/kWh when two Israeli projects that were much delayed and came online in 2019 are excluded. 5 That decline is even more remarkable when taking into account that global cumulative installed capacity at the end of 2019 was just 6.3 GW. 2 New capacity additions for geothermal in 2010 were 225 MW and in 2011, just 89 MW. As a result, these years are not particularly representative of recent geothermal cost trends. 3 All cost data in this report is expressed in real, 2019 United States dollars (USD), that is to say, taking into account inflation. 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, mine-mouth coal-fired plants in China. 5 These two utility-scale projects in Israel were much delayed and as a result were contracted while CSP costs were significantly higher than today. They also use what is now considered an uneconomic configuration. Given the thin market for CSP, these two projects have an outsized impact on the global weighted average. Figure 1.2 includes both the weighted-average value without these plants, to track the underlying trend in CSP costs, as well as with the plants included, to show their impact on 2019 numbers. 21

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