Solar&Wind Threaten Global Coal Fleet As Technology Costs Continue To Fall

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) sees the evidence of further falls in global renewable energy as a sign that governments can do more and lift ambition on reducing emissions.

The latest Renewable Power Costs Report from IRENA as shown the enormous potential for renewable energy projects to deliver the most affordable sources of new electricity generation.

“We must do everything we can to accelerate renewables if we are to meet the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement. Today’s report sends a clear signal to the international community: Renewable energy provides countries with a low-cost climate solution that allows for scaling up action.” IRENA’s director-general Francesco La Camera said.

The IRENA report shows renewable energy being the cheapest source of electricity in a growing number of countries, with renewable energy technologies being the lowest cost electricity source in a majority of countries, with solar PV projects recording particularly dramatic falls.

IRENA saw double digit cost reductions across a range of renewable energy technologies in 2018, as technology costs, and efficiencies in the construction of projects continue to lead to cheaper projects.

In 2018, IRENA estimated that the cost of large-scale solar projects and onshore wind developments both fell by 13%. Concentrated solar thermal saw even more dramatic falls in the last year, with costs falling 26% in 2018 driven by falling technology costs and improve capacity factors. Hydroelectric projects, the most established of all renewable energy technologies also recorded a fall in cost by 12%.