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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 The global weighted average LCOE for CSP in 2019, excluding the two Israeli projects, was USD 0.182/kWh – slightly lower than in 2018 and 47% lower than in 2010 (Figure 1.7). The global weighted-average total installed cost of CSP in 2019 was USD 5 774/kW, excluding the two Israeli projects, which is a fall of 36% from the global weighted-average for projects commissioned in 2010 (USD 8 987/kW). If the the two delayed Israeli projects are included, this raises the global weighted-average for projects commissioned in 2019 to USD 6 474/kW. The 5 th and 95 th percentile range for individual projects commissioned in 2019 ranged from around USD 3 740/kW to USD 8 595/kW. With a number of Chinese project start dates delayed into early 2020, total installed costs for 2020 are likely to fall again to around the USD 5 200/kW level. A key driver of lower electricity costs from CSP has been the shift of deployment to locations which are, on average, sunnier. Better solar resources directly reduce the installed costs of projects by reducing the area of solar field collector necessary for a given level of power output, and by improving the performance and the economics of the plant. An important additional consideration is that CSP projects can achieve the lowest LCOE by including storage to improve the overall utilisation of the project’s power block and associated investments. This has been reflected to some extent in trends in deployment, as the average storage of projects commissioned in 2018 (8.3 hours) was more than twice the level observed in 2010 (3.6 hours). The optimal level of storage varies depending on the solar resource and the storage and collector costs, but is typically in the range of 7-10 hours. These drivers combined to increase the global weighted-average capacity factor by half between 2010 and 2019 – from 30% to 45%, if the two Israeli projects are excluded. Including those projects sees the weighted average regress to the technology specifications prevalent in the period 2011 to 2014, with a correspondingly lower weighted-average capacity factor. The global weighted-average LCOE of CSP plants was around USD 0.35/kWh between 2010 and 2012. In the latter year, virtually all new capacity-added was in Spain (around 850 MW). In 2013, the market changed, however, with new capacity added by Spain that year only accounting for about 28% of the market. Figure 1.7 Global weighted average total installed costs, capacity factors and LCOE for CSP, 2010-2019 Total installed cost Capacity factor Levelised cost of electricity 12 000 60% 0.50 11 000 10 588 0.45 2019 USD/kW 10 000 9 000 8 987 8 000 7 000 6 000 5 000 6 419 8 183 7 737 7 361 7 324 5 510 5 253 6 474 5 774 Capacity factor 40% 40.4% 35.5% 36.2% 31.0% 30.0% 28.5% 27.4% 45.1% 45.2% 37.6% 38.6% 2019 USD/kWh 0.40 0.35 0.348 0.353 0.346 0.30 0.290 0.25 0.268 0.251 0.243 0.253 0.20 0.259 4 000 3 000 2 000 20% 0.15 0.10 0.184 0.182 1 000 0.05 0 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 0% 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 0.00 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Note: dashed bars in 2019 show weighted average values including projects in Israel. Source: IRENA Renewable Cost Database. 32

LATEST COST TRENDS As the market expanded beyond Spain, the LCOE started to fall, with a downward trend being clear, despite volatility in annual numbers. As mentioned above, this decrease in LCOE was driven in part by the geographical shift away from Spain to newer markets with better solar resources and, increasingly, lower installed costs and improved technology (e.g., higher operating temperatures). Continued modest growth in the market – and the growing role of Chinese companies – has seen a broadening of supply chains. This, when combined with the emergence of a number of internationally competitive, experienced project developers, has seen electricity costs fall. As will be discussed later in this report, the results of recent auction and PPA programmes suggest that a step-change in CSP competitiveness will occur in the next few years, as the cost of electricity from CSP will potentially fall into the USD 0.07/kWh to USD 0.08/kWh range, with potential for this to fall even further. 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 good direct solar resources that can support CSP plants. Hydropower Hydropower is a mature, commercially attractive renewable power generation technology. It produces low-cost electricity and, where reservoir storage is available, it can also play an important role in providing grid flexibility and ancillary services. Indeed, hydropower is uniquely placed to provide not only low-cost electricity, but also cheap electricity storage and large-scale flexibility in services to the grid, such as frequency or voltage regulation, fast reserve, black start capability, etc. This can not only reduce the cost of running the grid, but also contribute to integrating higher shares of Variable Renewable Electricity (VRE) and adds substantially to the value hydropower brings to the grid. It has the ability to meet load fluctuations minute-by-minute, as spinning turbines can be ramped up more rapidly than any other generation source, providing additional generation or voltage regulation to ensure that the electricity system operates within its quality limits. In addition, hydropower’s ability to operate efficiently at partial loads – which is not the case for many thermal plants – should also not be overlooked. Hydropower plants can be constructed in a variety of sizes and with different properties, with a range of technical characteristics affecting the choices of turbine type and size, as well as the generation profile. These characteristics include the height of the water drop to the turbine – known as the “head” – seasonal inflows, potential reservoir size, minimum downstream flow rates, and many other factors. As a result, the project-specific variation in total installed costs around hydropower’s weighted average can be more significant than for other technologies. Part of the reason for this is also due to the fact that hydropower has long been the bedrock of remote area electrification in many countries around the world. These remote hydropower projects are the cheapest source of electricity, but typically have significantly higher total installed costs. Between 2018 and 2019, the global weightedaverage total installed cost of hydropower projects rose from USD 1 435/kW (Figure 1.8) to USD 1 704/kW. The global weighted-average total installed cost therefore increased by 36% between 2010 and 2019. Most of this increase happened in the period 2010 to 2016, however, when the global weighted-average total installed cost increased from USD 1 254/kW to USD 1 784/kW – albeit not linearly. The figure has been in the approximate range of USD 1 700/kW to USD 1 825/kW since, with the exception of the decline in 2018. Despite the recent volatility, the new higher average cost level seems to be driven by a shift towards the exploitation of sites with more challenging civil engineering conditions, resulting in higher costs. This is, to a large extent, the story of what is happening in China and the rest of Asia, given that they have been responsible for 63% of the capacity additions since 2010. For example, the weightedaverage total installed cost of hydropower in China in the period 2010 to 2014 was USD 1 062/kW, while for the period 2015 to 2019 (inclusive) it had risen to the albeit still low level of USD 1 264/kW. 33

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