The cost-competitiveness of renewable power generation technologies has reached historic levels says a study from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind can all now provide electricity competitively compared to fossil fuel-fired power generation.
Most impressively, the cost of electricity (LCOE) of solar PV has halved between 2010 and 2014, so that solar photovoltaics (PV) is also increasingly competitive at the utility scale.
Installed costs for onshore wind power, solar PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) have continued to fall, while their performance has improved.
Onshore wind is now one of the most competitive sources of electricity available. Technology improvements, occurring at the same time as installed costs have continued to decline, mean that the LCOE of onshore wind is now within the same cost range, or even lower, than for fossil fuels.
LCOEs of the more mature renewable power generation technologies – biomass for power, geothermal and hydropower – have been broadly stable since 2010.
For renewables, further cost reductions can still be expected into the future, which will further lower the weighted average LCOE. With equipment costs reaching low levels; future cost reductions could be driven by reduced balance-of-project costs, lower operation and maintenance and finance costs.