The Falling Cost of Renewable Energy

The Falling Cost of Renewable Energy
The Falling Cost of Renewable Energy

The world is still a long way from producing all of its required electricity via renewable sources, but figures covered by Our World in Data reveal that at least when it comes to cost, things are certainly moving in the right direction.

Back in 2010, a megawatt-hour of electricity gleaned from solar photovoltaic cost a global average of $378 to generate. That’s without the effect of any subsidies which may have been applicable in some areas. By 2019, that cost had tumbled down to just $68 – cheaper than nuclear and coal and only a little behind the most economically efficient option looked at in this chart – onshore wind.

Wind energy, both onshore and offshore, has also seen decreases in costs since 2010, while the more established methods of nuclear and coal have either increased in price or seen only a slight drop.

As described by Our World in Data, this difference in price is crucial for increased and rapid adoption of renewable energy sources going forward, and the effects are already being seen: “It is the relative price that matters for the decision of which type of power plants are built.

Did the price decline of renewables matter for the decisions of actual power plant builders in recent years? Yes, it did. Wind and solar energy were scaled up rapidly in recent years; in 2019 renewables accounted for 72 percent of all new capacity additions worldwide”.

 

The Falling Cost of Renewable Energy

Infographic: The Falling Cost of Renewable Energy | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Solar power costs fell by 16% last year, according to the report, while the cost of onshore wind dropped 13% and offshore wind by 9%. In less than a decade the cost of large-scale solar power has fallen by more than 85% while onshore wind has fallen almost 56% and offshore wind has declined by almost 48%.