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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 weighted-average LCOE of biomass-fired electricity generation projects commissioned in 2019 was USD 0.066/kWh – a figure up on the 2018 value, but otherwise lower than all but three years over the period 2010 to 2019, inclusive. Looking at all the data in the IRENA Renewable Cost Database, so as to smooth out annual variations in technology deployment by country and region, the weighted-average LCOE ranged from a low of USD 0.057/kWh in India and USD 0.059/kWh in China, to highs of USD 0.08/kWh in Europe and USD 0.099/kWh in North America. The higher electricity costs in in Europe and North America reflect the more advanced technology choices, but also the more stringent emissions controls and higher feedstock costs. Having said this, where capital costs are relatively low – and low-cost feedstocks are available – bioenergy can provide competitively priced, dispatchable electricity generation with an LCOE as low as USD 0.03/kWh, even in OECD countries, particularly when they are combined heat and power plants. Geothermal Geothermal is a mature, commercially available technology that can provide low-cost baseload capacity in areas with very good high-temperature geothermal resources, close to the Earth’s surface. Around 680 MW of new geothermal power generation capacity was commissioned in 2019, making it the best year for new capacity additions since the 655 MW added in 2015. Yet, additions remain modest compared to other technologies, except CSP. On average, relative to solar PV and onshore wind, geothermal power is more capital intensive, but can be comparable or have lower installed costs than offshore wind and CSP. The global weighted-average LCOE of newly commissioned geothermal plants was USD 0.049/kWh in 2010, with this rising to USD 0.085/kWh in 2012, while between 2013 and 2018, the average was between USD 0.06/kWh and USD 0.07/kWh (Figure 1.10). Figure 1.10 Global weighted average total installed costs, capacity factors and LCOE for geothermal power, 2010-2019 9 000 Total installed cost Capacity factor Levelised cost of electricity 100% 0.15 8 000 7 000 80% 87.0% 89.0% 83.3% 84.9% 85.4% 82.4% 84.1% 81.0% 79.4% 2019 USD/kW 6 000 5 000 4 000 3 000 2 588 2 000 5 254 4 171 3 829 3 728 3 916 3 570 3 671 3 496 Capacity factor 60% 40% 20% 2019 USD/kWh 0.10 0.05 0.049 0.085 0.070 0.074 0.073 0.066 0.072 0.064 0.060 1 000 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 Source: IRENA Renewable Cost Database. 36

LATEST COST TRENDS The total installed costs of geothermal power plant can be as low as USD 560/kW for brownfield projects where capacity is being added to a geothermal reservoir which is already well mapped and understood, and where existing infrastructure can be used. Such cases are, however, somewhat rare. Data for recent projects shows that total installed costs for most projects have largely fallen in the range of USD 2 000/kW to USD 5 000/kW, although smaller projects in new markets have experienced higher costs. The swings in new capacity additions between 2010 and 2013 saw volatile weighted average total installed costs for geothermal. Since 2014, new capacity additions have been more stable, though (in the range of 440 MW to 680 MW per year), while global weighted-average total installed costs have been between USD 3 496/kW and USD 4 171/kW. Capacity factors for geothermal are typically high, with projects utilising low-temperature resources that require binary power production technologies typically delivering capacity factors of 60% to 80%. Geothermal plants using high-temperature resources and “flash” technologies consistently deliver capacity factors higher than 80%, with few outliers below that value. Plants using direct-steam technologies also see capacity factors around 80%. A factor crucial to maintaining these capacity factors over the life of the plant is an active management plan for the reservoir, which will often necessitate additional production wells over the life of the project. This is one of the reasons why O&M costs for geothermal, at an assumed USD 110/kW/year, are much higher than all but offshore wind and CSP plants. Yet, geothermal power generation still offers a competitive source of new electricity generation. In 2019, the global weighted-average LCOE of newly commissioned geothermal plants was USD 0.073/kWh and, with some small inter-year variations, has been around USD 0.07/kWh since 2016. NEW SOLAR PV AND ONSHORE WIND: INCREASINGLY CHEAPER THAN THE MARGINAL COSTS OF EXISTING COAL-FIRED CAPACITY Data from the IRENA Auction and PPA Database suggests that for utility-scale solar PV and onshore wind, the new capacity that has been procured competitively and will be commissioned in 2021 will have significantly lower costs than the global weighted-average for 2019. Indeed, the average price of projects awarded through auction/tender or via a PPA, will fall to USD 0.043/kWh for onshore wind and USD 0.039/kWh for utility-scale solar PV. These values are cheaper than the marginal operating costs of an increasing number of existing coal-fired power plants, raising the risk that there are an increasing number of stranded assets. Carbon Tracker’s assessment of short-run marginal costs (Carbon Tracker, 2018) for over 2 000 GW of global coal-fired capacity suggests that for 2021, around 1 200 GW of coal-fired capacity could have operating costs higher than the average price of electricity from auctions for solar PV, which are estimated to average USD 0.039/kWh in that year. Around 850 GW of this existing coal would also higher operating costs than the estimated average 37

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