According to the report, by 2019 the best onshore wind and solar PV projects will be supplying electricity for a $3 cents per kWh, significantly below the current cost of power from fossil fuels.

Furthermore, auction results show that offshore wind and concentrating solar power projects commissioned between 2020-22, will cost in the range of $6-10 cents per kWh, supporting accelerated deployment globally. As a result, renewable energy technologies will compete with fossils on price by 2020.

The cost of generating power from onshore wind decreased by around a quarter since 2010, with solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity costs falling by 73 per cent in that time, IRENA reports. Moreover, solar PV costs are expected to decrease by 50% by 2020, with similar projects expected to deliver electricity for an equivalent of $3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), or less within the next two years.

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.

“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 recognizing this potential and forging ahead with low-carbon economic agendas underpinned by renewables-based energy systems. 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,”  said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General.

In summary IRENA reports the following:

  • The global weighted average equalised cost of electricity (LCOE) of utility-scale solar PV has fallen by 73% between 2010 and 2017 to $10 cents/kWh.
  • The average cost of electricity from onshore wind decreased by 23% between 2010 and 2017. Projects are now routinely commissioned at $4 cents/kWh and the global weighted average is around %6 cents/kWh.
  • By 2019, the best onshore wind and solar PV projects will be delivering electricity for an equivalent of $3 cents/kWh, or less. New bioenergy and geothermal projects commissioned in 2017 had global weighted average costs of around $7 cents/kWh.
  • Record low prices for solar PV in Abu Dhabi, Chile, Dubai, Mexico, Peru and Saudi Arabia have made $3 cents kWh (and below) the new benchmark.
  • By 2020, project and auction data suggest that all currently commercialised renewable power generation technologies will be competing, and even undercutting, fossil fuels by generating in the range $3-10 cents/kWh range.

You can see the full report by clicking the PDF herebelow