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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Onshore wind power now affordable, solar to halve by 2020 - Study

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), reports NaijaAgroNet.

The IRENA study, NaijaAgroNet reports, highlighted that solar PV costs are expected to halve by 2020, stressing that the best onshore wind and solar PV projects could be delivering electricity for an equivalent of USD 3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), or less within the next two years.

Also, NaijaAgroNet reports that global weighted average costs over the last 12 months for onshore wind and solar PV now stand at USD 6 cents and USD 10 cents per kWh respectively, with recent auction results suggesting future projects will significantly undercut these averages.

According to the Executive Summary of the study, onshore wind is now routinely commissioned for USD 4 cents per kWh. The current cost spectrum for fossil fuel power generation ranges from USD 5-17 cents per kWh.

The Director-General at IRENA, Adnan Z. Amin, was quoted as saying, “This new dynamic signals a significant shift in the energy paradigm. These cost declines across technologies are unprecendented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system." 

The study, NaijaAgroNet gathered was recently released on the first day of IRENA’s Eighth Assembly in Abu Dhabi on ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017’ highlights that other forms of renewable power generation, such as bioenergy, geothermal and hydropower projects in the last 12 months have competed head-to-head on costs, with power from fossil fuels.

The findings, NaijaAgroNet reported, had noted that by 2019, the best onshore wind and solar PV projects will be delivering electricity for a USD 3 cents per kWh, significantly below the current cost of power from fossil fuels.

NaijaAgroNet equally reports that for IRENA, 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,” Amin said.  

Further, NaijaAgroNet reports that IRENA study underscored that auction results are signaling that offshore wind and concentrating solar power projects commissioned in the period between 2020-22 will cost in the range of USD 6-10 cents per kWh, supporting accelerated deployment globally.

“IRENA projects that all renewable energy technologies will compete with fossils on price by 2020,” he said.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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