The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014


Executive Summary

The competiveness of renewable power generation technologies continued improving in 2013 and 2014.

The cost-competitiveness of renewable power generation technologies has reached historic levels. Biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind can all now provide electricity competitively compared to fossil fuel-fired power generation (Figure ES 1). Most impressively, the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE)1  of solar PV has halved between 2010 and 2014, so that solar photovoltaics (PV) is also increasingly competitive at the utility scale.

Installed costs for onshore wind power, solar PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) have continued to fall, while their performance has improved. Biomass for power, geothermal and hydropower have provided lowcost electricity – where untapped economic resources exist – for many years.

Solar PV module prices in 2014 were around 75% lower than their levels at the end of 2009. Between 2010 and 2014 the total installed costs of utility-scale PV systems have fallen by 29% to 65%, depending on the region. The LCOE of utility-scale solar PV has fallen by half in four years. The most competitive utility-scale solar PV projects are now regularly delivering electricity for just USD 0.08 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) without financial support, compared to a range of USD 0.045 to USD 0.14/kWh for fossil fuel power plants. Even lower costs for utility-scale solar PV, down to USD 0.06/kWh, are possible where excellent resources and low-cost finance are available

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