NewEnergyNews: New Beats Coal As Post-Covid Investor Target – IRENA

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    Friday, June 05, 2020

    New Beats Coal As Post-Covid Investor Target – IRENA

    Renewables Increasingly Beat Even Cheapest Coal Competitors on Cost; Competitive power generation costs make investment in renewables highly attractive as countries target economic recovery from COVID-19

    2 June 2020 (International Renewable Energy Agency)

    “…[More than half of the renewable capacity added in 2019 achieved lower power costs than the cheapest new coal plants…On average, new solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind power cost less than keeping many existing coal plants in operation, and auction results show this trend accelerating – reinforcing the case to phase-out coal entirely. Next year, up to 1,200 gigawatts (GW) of existing coal capacity could cost more to operate than the cost of new utility-scale solar PV…[According to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), replacing] the costliest 500 GW of coal with solar PV and onshore wind next year would cut power system costs by up to USD 23 billion every year…It would also yield an investment stimulus of USD 940 billion, which is equal to around 1% of global GDP…

    Since 2010, utility-scale solar PV power has shown the sharpest cost decline at 82%, followed by concentrating solar power (CSP) at 47%, onshore wind at 39% and offshore wind at 29%...Electricity costs from utility-scale solar PV fell 13% in 2019, reaching a global average of 6.8 cents (USD 0.068) per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Onshore and offshore wind both declined about 9%, reaching USD 0.053/kWh and USD 0.115/kWh, respectively…Recent auctions and power purchase agreements (PPAs) show the downward trend continuing for new projects…Solar PV prices based on competitive procurement could average USD 0.039/kWh for projects commissioned in 2021, down 42% compared to 2019 and more than one-fifth less than the cheapest fossil-fuel competitor namely coal-fired plants…[V]alues as low as USD 0.03/kWh are already possible… In 2019, twice as much renewable power generation capacity was commissioned than in 2010 but required only 18% more investment.” click here for more

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