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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 AUCTION AND POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT DATA: A CRYSTAL BALL INTO THE NEAR FUTURE The continued cost reductions for solar and wind power technologies have by no means run their course. Data from IRENA’s Auction and PPA Database 7 and forthcoming analysis of the techno-economic potential for continued cost reductions for solar and wind power technologies 8 indicates that the costs of solar and wind power will continue to fall in the short-term and out to 2030 and beyond. These reductions are being driven by ongoing improvements in technology, reduced manufacturing costs, greater economies of scale, competition in supply chains and ongoing competitive pressures. IRENA’s Auction and PPA Database contains data on around 10 700 individual winning auction or tender bids, as well as PPA contracts, covering 496 GW of capacity. The data is predominantly at the project level, but where the details of individual winning bids are not disclosed, the entries represent the total capacity of that particular auction. This database provides a complementary view to the IRENA Renewable Cost Database, with its project installed cost, capacity factor and LCOE data. While the Auction and PPA prices conceal all the assumptions that are necessary to calculate an LCOE, the pricing provides unique insights into where market prices for renewable electricity are trending. These prices can also be benchmarked against LCOE trends to improve our understanding of cost trends in different markets. Direct comparisons between the LCOE and PPA/ Auction data are not always possible, however. This is because in many instances the terms and conditions of tenders, auctions and PPAs mean that the boundary conditions (e.g., the auction price is a “premium” over spot prices), or underlying contract length or terms diverge from LCOE assumptions. This occurs, for example, when contract periods for the winning bids do not match the economic lifetime of a project, or there are prices that are not indexed to inflation. 9 Some of these differences can be accurately corrected for. Others, however, require additional assumptions that may differ from the asset owners assumptions (e.g., likely revenues after the end of the awarded contract, out to the end of the economic life of the asset) – and therefore may not accurately reflect what the project LCOE is likely to be. Despite these caveats, the volume of data available makes it possible to draw some compelling insights from the global dataset about trends in renewable electricity costs over the next few years. Competitive procurement has grown in importance in recent years, with significant volumes of awards from around 2016, allowing more robust comparisons with the LCOE database. Figure 1.3 overlays the Auction and PPA Database data and project LCOE data. In this figure, auction or PPA prices that are clearly not comparable to an LCOE have been removed or corrected to the extent possible. For instance, the impact of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on solar PV and Production Tax Credit (PTC) on onshore wind auction and PPA prices in the United States have been corrected for. Additionally, all projects where it is known that no indexing of award prices occurs, have been deflated to a real price. The differences in the global weighted-average trend lines from the LCOE and Auction and PPA databases in the earlier years can be largely attributed to the fact that data in the Auction and PPA database was thin and the projects in those years were not representative of the global deployment of each technology. In recent years, however, competitive procurement processes have become the dominant source of new utility-scale deployment in an increasing number of countries, especially for utility-scale solar PV. Some variation 7 This database contains data on successful and unsuccessful bids and awards in tender and auction processes to competitively procure renewable power. Only data on winning bids is presented here, however. The database includes data on the winning bid prices, duration of the contracts and information on whether and how the award price is indexed over the contract period. 8 In 2020, IRENA will release an update of the 2016 report, “The power to change: Solar and wind cost reduction potential to 2025” (IRENA, 2016), with updated cost reduction potentials for solar and wind power technologies, updated to 2030 and extended to provide country-level analysis. 9 As discussed, care must be taken in interpreting the Auction and PPA data results. IRENA has already discussed these issues in previous editions of its power generation cost update series. See IRENA, 2018 for more details. 24

LATEST COST TRENDS naturally exists, given the different coverage of each dataset and the fact that the O&M and weighted average cost of capital assumptions in the LCOE database may diverge from what’s implied by the Auction and PPA data. Bearing in mind these caveats, the data shows that for onshore wind, the global weighted-average price for electricity from the 27 GW of utility-scale onshore wind projects in the Auction and PPA Database expected to be commissioned in 2020 will decline to USD 0.045/kWh, and to USD 0.043/kWh in 2021 for the 25 GW of capacity in the database expected to be commissioned in that year (Figure 1.3). Given the potential slippage in commissioning of some of the projects in the database due to the impact of efforts to control the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, it is possible that a small number of onshore wind projects commissioning dates may slip into 2021, but what impact this will have on the global weighted-average electricity cost for onshore wind for 2020 and 2021 is not yet clear. It is therefore likely that, compared to 2019, the cost of electricity from onshore wind will fall by a further 18% between 2019 and 2021. Of the projects in the Auctions and PPA database that are expected to be commissioned in 2021, 62% (15 GW) have electricity costs lower than the cheapest fossil fuel-fired new capacity option, which stands at USD 0.05/kWh. Figure 1.3 The LCOE and PPA/Auction prices by project for solar PV, onshore wind, offshore wind and CSP, 2010-2023 Solar photovoltaic Concentrating solar power Onshore wind Offshore wind 0.4 0.378 0.3 0.346 0.259 2019 USD/kW 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.039 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 0.182 0.075 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 0.086 0.043 0.161 0.082 Fossil fuel cost range 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 Auction database LCOE database Note: For CSP, the dashed blue bar in 2019 shows the weighted average value including projects in Israel. Source: IRENA Renewable Cost Database. Note: Each circle represents an individual project LCOE (blue dots), or an auction result (orange dots), where there was a single clearing price at auction, for the actual or estimated year of commissioning respectively. The centre of the circle is the value for the cost of each project on the Y axis. The thick lines are the global weighted average LCOE, or auction values, by year. For the LCOE data, the real WACC is 7.5% for OECD countries and China, and 10% for the rest of the world. The band represents the fossil fuel-fired power generation cost range. 25

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