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|| Renewable Power: Climate-Safe Energy Competes on Cost Alone
|| International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
| Published in:
|| December 2018
|| As climate talks focus increasingly on practical solutions to cut carbon emissions, countries around the world are more firmly committed than ever to accelerating renewable energy deployment. They do so, moreover, with a view to economically replacing fossil fuels over the decades to come. Technological innovation, enabling policies and the drive to address climate change have placed renewables at the centre of this global energy transformation.
Yet alongside these developments, the chief driver of renewable energy deployment is a strong and steadily improving business case, which offers increasingly exciting economic opportunities.
Indeed, the cost of electricity from renewable energy technologies has fallen steadily, and in some cases dramatically, in recent years. This is particularly true over the decade since 2008, when solar and wind power first broke through as viable commercial options. Today, power generation from renewable sources and technologies has become increasingly competitive with, or in many situations less costly than, fossil-based or nuclear power.
Where untapped and economical resources exist, new installations of bioenergy, hydropower and onshore wind technologies all offer low-cost power generation. Recent and often rapid cost declines for electricity from solar photovoltaics(PV) have allowed this technology to compete head-to-head against conventional power sources, without financial support. Although offshore wind and concentrating solar power (CSP) are still in early stages of deployment, both saw cost declines between 2010 and 2017, continuing into 2018.
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