Cost of wind and solar power worldwide plummet

In a recent report published by United Nations and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) the average “levelized cost” or total cost of generating power from solar worldwide dropped 17% percent, onshore wind costs dropped 18% and offshore wind turbine power costs fell 28%.

TechWorld says that the report comes after a decrease of 13% from 2015 to 2016 on the average capital cost of solar power projects of new construction, while the drop for on-shore wind and off-shore was 11.5% and 10% respectively.

“Well, after the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years, unsubsidized wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world — sometimes by a factor of two,” Michael Liebreich the chairman of the Advisory Board at BNEF, said in the report.

Liebreich went on to say “It’s a whole new world: even though investment is down, annual installations are still up; instead of having to subsidize renewables, now authorities may have to subsidize natural gas plants to help them provide grid reliability,”

Renewable Energy Cost Graph

Solar power was also the leader of net gigawatts installed with 750GW being added last year more than any other technology. Behind solar technology trailed wind, coal, gas, large hydroelectric, nuclear and biomass.

Last year renewable energy accounted for over half of all new power worldwide last year. This growth from the year before also come at less cost with the price being 23% lower than figures recorded in 2015.

Investment in renewable energy capacity is also up with around double the investment made into fossil fuels, this trend continuing for a 5th successive year. 11.3% of all power in 2016 was derived from renewable sources which prevented an estimated emission of 1.7 gigatons of CO2.

Despite a 51% growth between 2015 and 2016 Australia still lags behind countries such as China and the USA in new investments in renewable energy, placing 8th in the world.

This information comes courtesy of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) earlier this year in January.

Renewable Energy Investment Country GraphSource : UN/BNEF