Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2019

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Report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which finds that renewable electricity costs have fallen sharply over the past decade, driven by improving technologies, economies of scale, increasingly competitive supply chains and growing developer experience.

Solar and wind power costs have continued to fall, complementing the more mature bioenergy, geothermal and hydropower technologies. Solar photovoltaics (PV) shows the sharpest cost decline over 2010-2019 at 82%, followed by concentrating solar power (CSP) at 47%, onshore wind at 40% and offshore wind at 29%.

Highlights on solar PV 

  • At an individual country level, the weighted average LCOE of utility-scale solar PV declined by between 66% and 85% between 2010 and 2019.
  • The cost of crystalline solar PV modules sold in Europe declined by around 90% between December 2009 and December 2019.
  • The global capacity weighted-average total installed cost of projects commissioned in 2019 was USD 995/kW, 79% lower than in 2010 and 18% lower than in 2018.
  • Solar PV capacity grew 14-fold between 2010 and 2019, with 580 GW installed at the end of 2019.
  • The total installed costs in the residential rooftop PV market are higher than utilityscale due to their small size, but decreased by between 47% and 80% between 2010 and 2019 depending on the market.
  • Total installed system costs in the commercial rooftop markets where data is available decreased by between 64% and 86% between 2010 and 2019.
  • On average, in 2019, balance of system costs (excluding the module and inverter) made up about 64% of total installed costs.
  • The global weighted-average capacity factor for new, utility-scale solar PV, increased from 13.8% in 2010 to 18.0% in 2019. This was predominantly driven by the increased share of deployment in sunnier locations.