Fossil fuels blown away by wind in cost terms

Renewable energy generation costs continue to fall International Renewable Energy Agency report

Report also highlights that solar costs are set to fall further with another halving expected by 2020

The cost of generating power from onshore wind has fallen by around a quarter since 2010, with solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity costs falling by 73 per cent in that time, according to new cost analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

The best onshore wind and solar PV projects are expected to deliver electricity for three U.S. cents or less by next year. The report highlights that onshore wind is now routinely commissioned for $0.04 cents per kWh. The current cost spectrum for fossil fuel power generation ranges from $0.05-0.17 per kWh.

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New onshore wind and solar energy projects are set to deliver electricity more cheaply than fossil fuels plants, with other green technologies also rapidly gaining a cost advantage over dirty fuels, a report published yesterday said. "This new dynamic signals a significant shift in the energy paradigm", said IRENA's Director-General, Adnan Amin, in a statement.

The eighth edition of the IRENA Assembly, which represents the world's principal platform for global cooperation on renewable energy, is being held on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which got underway today and will run until the 20th of January. "These cost declines across technologies are unprecendented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system, " he added.

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Competitive procurement practices together with the emergence of a large base of experienced medium-to-large project developers competing for global market opportunities are cited as new drivers of recent cost reductions, in addition to continued technology advancements.

And this drop in costs is also observed for other renewable energies, notes Irena. The study found that new bioenergy and geothermal projects commissioned in 2017 had global weighted average costs of around seven U.S. cents per kWh. IRENA said auction results suggest that two other technologies - concentrating solar power (CSP) and offshore wind - will provide electricity for between six-10 United States cents per kWh by 2020.

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The two-day global event is being attended by around 1,100 delegates from more than 150 governments, the private sector and civil society to discuss key issues in the global energy transition.

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