Renewable energy is increasingly competitive way to meet new power generation needs: IRENA

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16 January 2018

LONDON: The increasingly cost competitive nature of renewable energy in meeting new power generation is revealed in a report released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Based on cost and auction price data from projects around the world, IRENA finds renewable power generation costs are still falling, and renewable energy is a “very competitive” option for meeting new capacity needs.

Key findings from Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017 include:

  • The levelized electricity cost from solar photovoltaics dropped 69% between 2010 and 2016, reaching the cost range of fossil fuels.
  • Solar power is now cheaper than new nuclear power in developed countries.
  • With every doubling of cumulative capacity for onshore wind, investment costs fell by 9% and electricity became 15% cheaper.

Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, said: “IRENA’s research demonstrates that we’re rapidly approaching a tipping point at which renewable electricity is simply the cheapest and most sensible option for powering business.

“IRENA’s news comes just a week before we launch a major RE100 report, looking at how ambitious companies are responding to falling costs and increasing availability of renewable electricity as they work towards 100% renewable electricity goals.”

Analyzing data representing over 1000 gigawatts of power generation capacity, IRENA states in its new report that competitive procurement helps accelerate decreasing costs in new markets, despite making up only a small portion of global renewable energy deployment. IRENA also explains that global competition is making renewables more cost-competitive by spreading best practices and reducing technology risk.

Next week, RE100 will publish its annual highlights report. Find out more about RE100 and follow #RE100 on Twitter for the latest.

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