A new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in recent days suggests that the cost of generating power from either onshore wind or solar energy has plummeted dramatically in recent years.
According to IRENA’s Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017 report, the average cost of generating power by solar photovoltaic (PV) energy sources has fallen by almost three quarters (73 per cent) since 2010, while onshore wind costs have fallen by a quarter over the same period.
IRENA says that the cost of generating renewable power is falling at a previously “unprecedented” rate – a trend which it believes will continue well into the foreseeable future.
Taking note of “recent auction results” in the UK and elsewhere, an IRENA spokesperson said that renewable power costs across multiple platforms would become more and more competitive with the average costs of traditional fossil fuels in coming years.
Within two years’ time, the organisation estimates that solar energy generation costs will halve.
By 2020, the group estimates that solar PV and onshore projects will be delivering electricity at a cost of just 2p per kilowatt hour (KWh) or less.
Adnan Amin, Director General of IRENA, said: “Turning to renewables for new power generation is not simply an environmentally conscious decision, it is now – overwhelmingly – a smart economic one.
“Governments around the world are recognising this potential and forging ahead with low-carbon economic agendas underpinned by renewables-based energy systems.
“These cost declines across technologies are unprecedented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system,” he said.
“We expect the transition to gather further momentum, supporting jobs, growth, improved health, national resilience and climate mitigation around the world in 2018 and beyond.”