Renewable power generation costs in 2021

According to this new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), almost two-thirds or 163 gigawatts of newly installed renewable power added in 2021 had lower costs than the cheapest coal-fired options in G20 countries.

The global weighted average cost of newly commissioned solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore and offshore wind power projects fell in 2021. This was despite rising materials and equipment costs, given that there is a significant lag in the pass through to total installed costs. The global weighted average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of new onshore wind projects added in 2021 fell by 15%, year‑on‑year, to USD 0.033/kWh, while that of new utility-scale solar PV fell by 13% year-on-year to USD 0.048/kWh and that of offshore wind declined 13% to USD 0.075/kWh. With only one concentrating solar power (CSP) plant commissioned in 2021, the LCOE rose 7% year-on-year to USD 0.114/kWh. The period 2010 to 2021 has witnessed a seismic improvement in the competitiveness of renewables. The global weighted average LCOE of newly commissioned utility‑scale solar PV projects declined by 88% between 2010 and 2021, whilst that of onshore wind fell by 68%, CSP by 68% and offshore wind by 60%.