IRENA: Renewables keep getting cheaper
A recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows plunging cost of wind and solar energy that could lead to a switch to renewables.
The report, “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2019”, shows prices of concentrating solar power went down by 47%, onshore wind by 40%, and offshore wind by 29% over the 2010–2019 period. New solar or wind farms are increasingly cheaper to build than running existing coal plants, according to the report.
It is estimated the world could save up to $23 billion of power system costs per year by using onshore wind and solar PV to replace the most expensive 500 gigawatts of coal-fired power, mostly found in China, India, Ukraine, Poland, South Korea, Japan, Germany and the United States.
The report also found replacing the costliest coal capacity with renewables would also reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by around 1.8 metric gigatons, or 5% of last year’s global total.
IRENA believes this would help governments embrace the switch to renewables and better deal with the aftermath of COVID-19.