A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) projects that all renewable energy technologies will compete with fossils on price by 2020.

The Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017 report highlights that onshore wind is now routinely commissioned for USD 4 cents per kWh. The current cost spectrum for fossil fuel power generation ranges between USD 5 and 17 cents per kWh.

IRENA says 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 percent in that time. The report also highlights that solar PV costs are expected to halve by 2020. By 2019, the best onshore wind and solar PV projects will be delivering electricity for USD 3 cents per kWh.

“This new dynamic signals a significant shift in the energy paradigm,” says Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA director general. “These cost declines across technologies are unprecedented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system." 

Leading the cost reductions are technology improvements, competitive procurement, and a large base of experienced, internationally active project developers.    

“Turning to renewables for new power generation is not simply an environmentally conscious decision, it is now – overwhelmingly – a smart economic one,” says Amin.

“Governments around the world are recognising 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.”  

The report was launched during the eighth IRENA Assembly in Abu Dhabi, which brings together more than 1,100 representatives of governments from 150 countries.