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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 Similarly to solar PV, the cost of electricity decline for CSP has been driven by reductions in total installed costs. Yet, improvements in technology have also played a significant role in increasing capacity factors, aided by a shift in deployment to areas with better solar resources. Onshore wind power represents an increasingly competitive source of new generation. Between 2010 and 2019, the global weighted-average cost of electricity from onshore wind projects fell by 39%, from USD 0.086/kWh to USD 0.053/kWh, as cumulative installed capacity grew from 178 GW to 594 GW. The decline in the cost of electricity from onshore wind has been driven by reductions in total installed costs and improvements in the technology of wind turbines, which have increased capacity factors and lowered operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. Wind turbine prices have fallen by around 55-60% since 2010, with the global weighted-average total installed cost falling more slowly, by 24%. For onshore wind, the key impact on reducing costs that improvements in technology have been having is through the deployment of larger turbines, with higher hub-heights and swept areas. These can collect more electricity than older turbines from the same resource. As a result, the global weighted-average capacity factor of newly commissioned onshore wind projects increased by almost a third between 2010 and 2019. For offshore wind, over this period, the global weighted-average LCOE of newly commissioned facilities fell from USD 0.161/kWh to USD 0.115/ kWh, as cumulative installed capacity at the end of 2019 reached 28 GW. With a relatively volatile trend in weighted-average values, given the relatively small number of projects added in some years, there is somewhat more “noise” in the data for any one year-on-year comparison. From 2010 to 2019, however, total installed costs fell by around 18%, as capacity factors increased by around one-fifth, from 37% in 2010 to 44% in 2019. Figure 1.2 Global LCOEs from newly commissioned utility-scale renewable power generation technologies, 2010-2019 Biomass Geothermal Hydro Solar Photovoltaic Concentrating solar power 95 th percentile Offshore wind Onshore wind 0.4 0.378 0.346 0.3 0.259 2019 USD/kWh 0.2 0.1 Fossil fuel cost range 0.076 0.066 0.049 0.073 0.037 0.047 0.068 0.182 5 th percentile 0.161 0.115 0.086 0.053 0 2010 2019 2010 2019 2010 2019 2010 2019 2010 2019 2010 2019 2010 2019 Capacity (MW) ≤ 1 100 200 ≥ 300 Note: For CSP, the dashed bar in 2019 shows the weighted average value including projects in Israel. Source: IRENA Renewable Cost Database. Note: This data is for the year of commissioning. The diameter of the circle represents the size of the project, with its centre the value for the cost of each project on the Y axis. The thick lines are the global weighted-average LCOE value for plants commissioned in each year. 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. 22

LATEST COST TRENDS Over half of newly commissioned utility-scale renewable power generation capacity in 2019 produced electricity at lower costs than the cheapest new source of fossil fuel-fired power. The installed costs and capacity factors of bioenergy for power, geothermal and hydropower are highly project-specific. As a result, there can be significant year-to-year variability in global weighted-average values when deployment is relatively thin and the share of different countries/regions in new deployment varies significantly year-to-year. 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 of electricity from new fossil fuel-fired projects. For hydropower, the global weighted-average LCOE for this period rose by 27%, from USD 0.037/kWh to USD 0.047/kWh. This was still lower than the cheapest new fossi fuel-fired electricity option, despite the fact that costs increased by 6% in 2019, year-on-year. For hydropower, the commissioning in 2019 of a number of delayed projects that had experienced some cost overruns was a contributing factor that may not be repeated in 2020. The global weighted-average LCOE of geothermal has been around USD 0.07/kWh since 2016. Costs not only continue to decline for solar and wind power, but these, along with the more mature technologies, are increasingly being built at very low absolute cost levels. Indeed, in many cases renewables are not just competing, but out-competing fossil fuels. The data shows that renewables – without financial support – are undercutting fossil fuels by a substantial margin in an increasing number of cases. In 2019, 41 GW of the onshore wind projects commissioned in 2019 (around 75% of the total) had electricity costs that were lower than the cheapest fossil fuel-fired option. For hydropower, 10.7 GW of the projects commissioned (around 89% of the total) had costs that were less than the lowest cost fossil fuel-fired power generation option. 6 With the dramatic decline in the costs of solar PV, 2019 saw 28 GW (40% of utility-scale deployment) of utility-scale solar PV projects commissioned having lower costs than the cheapest fossil fuel-fired option. Overall, 56% of all newly commissioned utility-scale renewable power generation projects by capacity had an LCOE lower than the cheapest new source of fossil fuel-fired power. In 2020, in non-OECD countries, where demand for electricity is growing over the medium- and longterm, renewable power generation projects will, in their first full year of operations, reduce costs in the electricity sector by just over USD 1 billion, relative to adding the same amount of fossil fuel-fired generation. The majority (52%) of these savings are attributable to hydropower (USD 554 million/ year), due to the large capacity added at significant discounts to the cheapest fossil fuel-fired cost option, along with hydropower’s higher capacity factor. Onshore wind contributes USD 354 million/ year. This is because although four times as much onshore wind capacity as hydropower is being added at an LCOE lower than fossil fuels, the discount is, on average, smaller, while onshore wind also has a lower capacity factor. Solar PV accounts for USD 148 million/year of the savings. The cumulative savings of the above projects, over their economic lives, will reach around USD 28 billion. In addition to these direct cost savings, the substantial economic benefits of reduced carbon-dioxide emissions and local air pollutants also need to be factored in. 6 Overall, since 2010, almost 250 GW of hydropower capacity has been added that has a lower cost than even the cheapest fossil fuel-fired option. 23

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