Full Title: Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017
Author(s): Andrei Ilas, Pablo Ralon, Asis Rodriguez, and Michael Taylor
Publisher(s): International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Publication Date: January 1, 2018
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For new projects commissioned in 2017, electricity costs from renewable power generation have continued to fall. After years of steady cost decline, renewable power technologies are becoming an increasingly competitive way to meet new generation needs.
In 2017, as deployment of renewable power generation technologies accelerated, there has been a relentless improvement in their competitiveness. Bioenergy for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind projects commissioned in 2017 largely fell within the range of fossil fuel-fired electricity generation costs, data collected by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows. Indeed levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for these technologies was at the lower end of the LCOE range for fossil fuel options.
The global weighted average LCOE of new hydropower plants commissioned in 2017 was around USD 0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), while for onshore wind plants it was around USD 0.06/kWh.
For new bioenergy and geothermal projects, the global weighted average LCOE was around USD 0.07/kWh.
The fall in electricity costs from utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects since 2010 has been
remarkable. Driven by an 81% decrease in solar PV module prices since the end of 2009, along with reductions in balance of system (BoS) costs, the global weighted average LCOE of utility-scale solar PV fell 73% between 2010 and 2017, to USD 0.10/kWh. Increasingly, this technology is competing head-to-head with conventional power sources – and doing so without financial support.
Offshore wind power and concentrated solar power (CSP), though still in their infancy in terms
of deployment, both saw their costs fall between 2010 and 2017. The global weighted average LCOE
of offshore wind projects commissioned in 2017 was USD 0.14/kWh, while for CSP, it was USD 0.22/kWh. However, auction results in 2016 and 2017, for CSP and offshore wind projects that will be
commissioned in 2020 and beyond, signal a step-change, with costs falling to between USD 0.06 and USD 0.10/kWh for CSP and offshore wind.